Notes from ME DHHS Medical Directors Call 10/19/2021

Approved use of COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for post-exposure prophylaxis in the setting of LTC outbreaks:  As noted on the call, we communicated this language to the mAb providers in the state:  This week ME DHHS has decided to allow the use of mAb's for post-exposure prophylaxis specifically in the setting of COVID-19 outbreaks in LTC facilities, recognizing the high risk to older individuals in those settings. Please feel free to contact me directly if your facility is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak & you're running into issues accessing mAb therapies.

Links referenced by Carrie Rice, ME CDC:
RE: the reference to ME DHHS decision to allow LTC facilities to hire new employees who have their first vaccination, see language below from the press release

In response to suggestions from stakeholders, and to help facilities during the transition to the new rule in November, Maine DHHS and CDC will use enforcement discretion during this time-limited period to allow health care facilities subject to the emergency rule to hire a new employee who has received at least a first dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to the employee's start date. This is conditional on the employer ensuring that the employee uses appropriate personal protective equipment and is tested at least weekly until the employee is fully vaccinated (including an employee who received a Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine prior to the start of employment). Any such employee who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine must receive the second dose on the FDA-authorized schedule.>>
Online tool for assistance with hiring:  I connected w/ Joy Gould, ME DHHS Manager for Health Care Workforce, and she suggested that rather than use the website (which has been somewhat less helpful than anticipated), LTC facilities can instead use the ME Dept of Labor Maine Job Link:

Link to the CMS QSO 20-39 (“Nursing Home Visitation – COVID-19) – Rev'd April 2021:

Staff Contact: