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Alerts & Updates

COVID 5 Day Alert

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in its Updated Respiratory Virus Guidance on March 1, 2024, that while COVID-19 remains an important public health threat, it’s no longer the emergency that it once was, and its health impacts increasingly resemble those of other respiratory viral illnesses, including influenza and RSV.

Based on “key drivers and indicators”, the Center determined that its isolation-time guidelines of 5 days, adopted in 2021 for asymptomatic cases, are no longer applicable for COVID patients “…if they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the aid of medications and if their symptoms are improving”. With that qualifying statement, individuals with COVID-19 need not isolate for five days before returning to work or school.

According to its release, far fewer people are currently getting seriously ill from COVID-19 due to the use and implementation of widely available “protective tools”, like vaccination and treatment, that have resulted in decreasing the risks of COVID-19 disease. Current data indicate rates of hospitalizations and deaths are down substantially, and that clinically COVID-19 has become similar to, or even less severe in hospitalized people, than influenza and RSV.

Key drivers and indicators of the reduction in threat from Covid-19 include:

• Weekly hospital admissions for COVID-19 have decreased by more than 75% and deaths by more than 90% compared to January 2022, the peak of the initial Omicron wave.
• Complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome are now less common, and the prevalence of Long COVID appears to be decreasing.
• COVID-19 vaccinations have reduced the risk of symptomatic disease and hospitalization by about 50% compared to people not up to date on vaccination.
• Over 95% of adults hospitalized in 2023-2024 dure to COVID-19 had no record of receiving the latest vaccine.
• Moe than 98% of the U.S. population now has some degree of protective immunity against COVID-19 from vaccination, prior infection, or both.
NOTE: COVID-19 remains a greater cause of severe illness and death than other respiratory viruses, but the differences between these rates are much smaller than they were earlier in the pandemic.

For additional information call CDC-INFO.
• 800-CDC-INFO
• 800-232-4636
Regular Business hours:
• Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm ET
• Weekends / Holidays: 9:00 am – 5”30 pm (COVID questions only)

English, Spanish, and other languages are available.

Download COVID 5 Day Alert

Healthcare ransomware attacks increase by 278%

Ransomware attacks increased 278% in the five-year period from 2018 to 2023.

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Maximum OSHA penalties Increase in January

OSHA’s maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations increased from $156,259 per violation to $161,323 per violation.

Download OSHA penalties Increase

U. S, Treasury implements Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)

The CTA became effective in January, 2024, to enhance transparency in entity structures and ownership to combat money laundering, tax fraud, and other illicit activities.

Download Corporate Transparency Act (CTA)

Administration of Anesthetic Agents for Dental Procedures

The Dental Quality Assurance Commission amended the administration of anesthetic agents for dental procedures rules January 1, 2024. Washington State Department of Health, Dental Quality Assurance Commission requires licensed dentists who administer moderate sedation with enteral agents, parenteral agents, or general anesthesia to perform a minimum of twelve emergency drill scenarios at least two times per year. The following guides can be used as you perform each drill. For questions, please contact us!

Washington State - Quick Reference Guide

Download DQAC Anesthesia Q&A

Download Emergency Drill Kit

Smart Hubs – OK in the Dental Office?

Download “Smart Hubs – OK in the Dental Office?”

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announces it will increase investigations for small breaches of Protected Health Information

Download “HIPAA Increases Investigations of Small PHI Breaches”

Stolen Laptops Lead to HIPAA Citations/Penalties

"These major enforcement actions underscore the significant risk to the security of patient information posed by unencrypted laptop computers and other mobile devices."
-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Download "Stolen Laptops Lead to HIPAA Citations/Penalties"

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