President Biden Announces Additional COVID-19 Plans
The administration is going to buy 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, and make them available to Americans. They also plan to use federal resources to provide pop-up clinics and get more pharmacists involved in vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week that an estimated 73% of COVID-19 cases were from the Omicron variant. This is astounding considering the first case of the variant was reported just 3 weeks ago.
Back in early December, The Biden Administration announced a 9-point plan to combat COVID-19.
The plan includes the following strategies:
- Boosters for All Adults
- Vaccinations to Protect Our Kids and Keep Our Schools Open
- Expanding Free At-Home Testing for Americans
- Stronger Public Health Protocols for Safe International Travel
- Protections in Workplaces to Keep Our Economy Open
- Rapid Response Teams to Help Battle Rising Cases
- Supplying Treatment Pills to Help Prevent Hospitalizations and Death
- Continued Commitment to Global Vaccination Efforts
- Steps to Ensure We Are Prepared for All Scenarios
And with the rapid acceleration of the new variant, President Joe Biden announced this afternoon that the government was going to buy 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests and make them free to Americans who request such tests through a website.
In addition, Biden has added several other strategies to bolster his 9-point plan. These initiatives include:
Increased Support for Hospitals. The administration is planning to steps to ensure states and health systems across the country have the personnel, beds, and supplies they need as they battle rising Omicron hospitalizations.
Deploying Additional Medical Personnel. The administrationis mobilizing an additional 1000 troops to hospitals burdened by COVID-19. They are deploying6 emergency response teams with 100 clinical personnel and paramedics across 6 states. This is in addition to the 300 medical personnel that have been deployed since Omicron was detected.
Expanding Hospital Capacity. The administration is activating the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Response Teams to Help States and Hospitals Add Capacity Now. Biden is directing to activate additional staffing and capacity for the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) and FEMA regions, and to mobilize planning teams to work with
Providing Critical Supplies. The federal government has PPE including hundreds of millions of N-95 masks, billions of gloves, tens of millions of gowns, as well over 100,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile.
Expanding Capacity to Get Shots in Arms.Over the fall, the Administration has added 10,000 more vaccination sites across the country, and FEMA is standing up new pop-up vaccination clinics. In addition, the administration is deploying more vaccinators, and Allowing Flexibility to surge pharmacy teams to address more pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer vaccines. To do so, Health and Human Services will issue an amendment to the PREP Act Declaration allowing flexibility for pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer a wider set of vaccinations across state lines. Also for pharmacies they are scaling up and adding appointments and capacity across their network. Pharmacy hiring additional clinical and operational staff nationwide. And, pharmacies are opening up hundreds of new vaccination sites for kids in January.