Agencies Issue Guidance on Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests
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Agencies Issue Guidance on Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests

On Jan. 10, 2022, the Depts. of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued FAQ guidance regarding the requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests. At-home COVID-19 tests must be covered even if they are obtained without the involvement of a health care…

FDA Expands Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
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FDA Expands Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

On Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, authorizing a booster shot for children ages 12-15. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently the only primary vaccination series authorized for this age group. The FDA also amended the EUA to shorten the time…

CDC Recommends Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine
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CDC Recommends Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine

On Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced its recommended periods for COVID-19 isolation (confirmed COVID-19 infection) and quarantine (potential COVID-19 exposure). Asymptomatic individuals infected with COVID-19 have been told to isolate for five days from the day they test positive—down from the original 10. After, they should wear…

President Biden Announces Plan to Combat COVID-19 in Winter Months
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President Biden Announces Plan to Combat COVID-19 in Winter Months

On Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, President Joe Biden spoke at a press conference where he outlined a multiprong approach to combat COVID-19 this winter. The plan is described as having the following goals: Drafting a rule that requires private insurers to reimburse the costs of at-home COVID-19 tests Getting the approximately 43 million vaccine holdouts…

Understanding the Omicron Variant
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Understanding the Omicron Variant

A new variant of coronavirus is prompting renewed concern regarding the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) named the new variant “Omicron.” Omicron is labeled a “variant of concern,” the agency’s serious category for tracking. Such a designation is reserved for dangerous variants that may be more transmissible or virulent or could decrease the effectiveness…

Workplace Parties During the 2021 Holiday Season
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Workplace Parties During the 2021 Holiday Season

Many employees look forward to year-end workplace holiday celebrations. These events allow employees to celebrate with their colleagues and sometimes even family and guests. Importantly, these celebrations can also be a great way to drive employee engagement. While these events are often a long-standing company tradition, many organizations canceled holiday parties last year or found…

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel During a Pandemic
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Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel During a Pandemic

As the holidays approach and COVID-19 vaccination eligibility expands to younger children, many Americans may be making plans to travel. According to Tripadvisor, 55% of Americans plan to travel this winter, which is a 5% increase from those who traveled last winter. Not surprisingly, the most popular travel dates are the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays….

CDC Signs Off on COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11
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CDC Signs Off on COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed a low-dose version of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The approved vaccine is one-third of the amount given to adults. With the CDC’s green light, parents can now seek vaccinations for their children immediately. The Food and Drug…

FDA Authorizes Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots
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FDA Authorizes Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The agency also authorized the use of “mixing and matching” any of the three available COVID-19 vaccines, including the Pfizer-BioNTech version. In other words, if an individual has received a full dose…

It’s Cold and Flu Season Again
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It’s Cold and Flu Season Again

With the fall and winter months comes flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity peaks between December and February, so now’s the time to ensure you’re prepared. Social distancing and mask mandates significantly prevented a “twindemic” last year as the flu season coincided with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic….