Walden COVID-19 update 5/29

House Passes PPP Flexibility:
Yesterday, the House voted 417-1 to pass legislation that provides additional flexibility to small businesses that have been approved for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). For more information click here.

Supporting Rural Tribal Communities: 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $15 million in funding provided by CARES to Tribes serving rural communities. This funding will help support 52 tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian health organizations, and health services providers to tribes across 20 states to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 in rural communities.

In Oregon, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians received funding. Read more here. 

Flexibility for Farms:

The FDA provided flexibility to farms regarding eligibility for the qualified exemption under the Produce Safety Rule during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Farms that are currently eligible for the qualified exemption and associated modified requirements will still be considered eligible, even if they shift sales away from qualified end-users, so long as they continue to meet the requirement that their average food sales during the previous three years total less than $500,000.  Learn more here.

New CDC Guidelines for Retirement Communities & Independent Living Facilities:

The CDC updated the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in retirement communities and independent living facilities. Read more here.

The CDC also recently published new interim guidelines for COVID-19 antibody testing. Read more here.

Progress in Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Treatment:

NIH published the preliminary results from a clinical trial of remdesivir.  The investigational antiviral remdesivir is superior to the standard of care for the treatment of COVID-19, according to a report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.  he report notes that patients who received remdesivir had a shorter time to recovery than those who received placebo — the median time to recover was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. 

The findings support remdesivir as the standard therapy for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and requiring supplemental oxygen therapy, according to the authors. However, there is a continued need to evaluate antivirals with other therapeutic agents to continue to improve clinical outcomes for patients with COVID-19. Read more here.

What’s Walden Doing: An update on my latest actions.

Walden, DeFazio, Blumenauer, Bonamici Press US Forest Service Chief on Preparedness for 2020 Wildfire Season

Reps. Greg Walden, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, and Suzanne Bonamici requested U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Vicki Christiansen provide details on the agency’s efforts to prepare for the 2020 wildfire season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

Greg Walden Announces $2.4 Million for Oregon Community Health Centers

Greg Walden released a statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), awarded over $2.4 million to 11 Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Oregon’s Second District. The funding comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help HRSA-funded health centers across Oregon expand COVID-19 testing. Read more here.