Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

July 6, 2021

Latest Positivity Rates. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their latest positivity rates for Ohio counties today because of the holiday yesterday. Again this week, the Ohio table shows only two yellow counties and the rest green. As was the case last week, the two yellow counties are Lawrence and Morgan, although Lawrence County bounced back up to 10% positivity. On the other end of the spectrum, Perry County officially registered at 0.0%.

Ordering BinaxNOW Cards from ODA. As of yesterday, the Department of Aging (ODA) stopped automatically shipping BinaxNOW antigen testing cards to SNFs and residential care facilities that opt in to state support that includes antigen testing. As ODA wrote in their email last week with the subject, "ODA Care Center Portal – Ready for You!":

BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests will begin shipping to facilities the week of June 28, 2021 (based on current enrollment preferences). This will be the last automatic shipment of antigen supplies. After July 5th, you will be able to conveniently order the supplies that you need – when you need them – directly from the portal. Plan for 5-7 business days for your request to be processed. 

The portal is the new ODA COVID-19 Care Center. ODA further stated, "[i]f you have not received your portal credentials or are having trouble accessing the portal, please contact COVIDTesting@age.ohio.gov immediately. The credentials can be used by all of your facility contacts/personnel as needed."

New Monoclonal Antibody Calculator (from AHCA/NCAL). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) unveiled a new online calculator aimed at expanding access to monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for COVID-19. The calculator helps health administrators and clinicians determine and plan for resource needs to successfully ramp up treatment capacity or update existing practices. 

  • Monoclonal antibodies used to treat high-risk patients can significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and will continue to play an important role even as vaccination rates rise, given that there will always be a cohort of people who will not be vaccinated. 
  • A recently expanded FDA EUA means healthcare providers can now connect more patients to monoclonal antibodies based on their own clinical judgment.
  • Read more about the calculator here.
Weekly HHS/ASPR stakeholder engagement calls provide regular updates about therapeutics, including mAb, and address inquiries from healthcare providers. To join these weekly events, contact ASPRstakeholder@hhs.gov:
  • HHS/ASPR update call regarding allocation, distribution, drug administration of therapeutics for healthcare and hospital association/organizations (WED from 3:15-4 pm eastern) 
  • HHS/ASPR Office Hours – an opportunity to get your questions answered (THURS from 2-2:30 pm eastern)