The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) recently published the Phase 1b priority groups. We have confirmed with the WDH that as of today, Veterinarians and their teams are NOT under Phase 1b. Before Wyoming moves towards Phase 2, WDH says a Phase 1c priority list is expected, though no timeline has been shared. View the Phase 1a and 1b vaccination priority list – https://health.wyo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/WDH_Phase-1a-and-1b-COVID-19-Vaccination-Priorities_12.30.20.pdf
From the AVMA Government Relations –
Here are links to information on the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. More information will be coming from the IRS and Dept. of Labor quickly.
DOL press release describing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Indicates that guidance and emergency rules will be coming this week.
IRS press release describing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Provides some information and indicates guidance and emergency rules coming this week. Excerpts from the web page:
Prompt Payment for the Cost of Providing Leave
When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and the employees’ share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers then are required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.
Under guidance that will be released next week, eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS.
The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.
If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS. The IRS expects to process these requests in two weeks or less. The details of this new, expedited procedure will be announced next week.
If an eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.
If an eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.
Equivalent child care leave and sick leave credit amounts are available to self-employed individuals under similar circumstances. These credits will be claimed on their income tax return and will reduce estimated tax payments.
Small Business Exemption
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. The exemption will be available on the basis of simple and clear criteria that make it available in circumstances involving jeopardy to the viability of an employer’s business as a going concern. Labor will provide emergency guidance and rulemaking to clearly articulate this standard.
Labor will be issuing a temporary non-enforcement policy that provides a period of time for employers to come into compliance with the Act. Under this policy, Labor will not bring an enforcement action against any employer for violations of the Act so long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the Act. Labor will instead focus on compliance assistance during the 30-day period.
- FDA maintains a drug shortage database (active always, not just in the case of COVID-19) that can be accessed here: www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/…
- Alcohol-containing products, including hand sanitizers, have been reported to be in short supply and FDA has issued guidance accordingly: www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/…
- FDA has indicated it anticipates a shortage of gloves and has issued guidance accordingly: www.fda.gov/medical-devices/…
- Similar shortages are anticipated for surgical masks and gowns and FDA has also issued guidance for those: www.fda.gov/medical-devices/…
- CDC has also issued guidance for multiple types of PPE: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/…
- AVMA has also drafted guidance for conservation, which is available here: www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/…
- Global Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center
- CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- WHO World Health Organization Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
For resources on COVID-19 related to veterinary medicine:
- AVMA AVMA COVID-19 includes information on COVID-19 origin and spread, COVID-19 in humans, Coronavirus and domestic animals, keeping veterinary teams healthy, links to telemedicine resources, supply chain impacts, financial relief legislation, and more.
- FAQs COVID-19 FAQs for Veterinarians and Veterinary Clinics and COVID-19 FAQs for Pet Owners are available on the AVMA COVID-19 website as downloadable PDFs, and are also included below.
- Pet Exposure If you encounter a pet that has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient, please see AVMA COVID-19 for guidelines on handling precautions.
|Your AVMA is actively engaged on COVID-19 and its potential impacts on veterinary medicine. Our goal is to support you with relevant information in this fast-evolving situation. We are in regular contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), veterinary medical experts, and international agencies to gain the latest resources and intel on the disease and its causative virus (SARS-CoV-2) for you and your clients.We’ve gathered information important to veterinary professionals at avma.org/Coronavirus and will continue to provide you with regular updates there and on the AVMA@Work blog as soon as they become available. We are also sharing updates on all our social media platforms. You can subscribe to the blog and follow our social media pages for breaking updates.
Coronavirus: What we know as it relates to pets
We are actively monitoring developments related to animals and the virus. On Thursday, February 27, a dog in Hong Kong tested “weak positive” for coronavirus (the owner tested positive for coronavirus). The dog has since received a second positive result that has been sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which is working with Hong Kong health officials on this case. The precise meaning of “weak positive” remains unclear and further evaluation is ongoing. Hong Kong authorities have said the dog shows no clinical signs of illness but remains quarantined. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
At this time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) say there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. However, as with any disease, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.
According to the CDC, people who are sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would restrict your contact with other people. When possible, a member of the household other than the individual who is ill should care for any animals in the household. Those infected with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. Those who must care for a pet, or who will be around animals while sick, should wear an appropriate facemask and wash hands thoroughly before and after interacting with those animals.
Potential Shortages of Drugs and Medical Supplies
The AVMA is also concerned about potential medical supply chain issues, including both pharmaceuticals (specifically active pharmaceutical ingredients [APIs]) and medical products, such as personal protective equipment. We have learned from FDA that there are 32 animal drug firms that make finished drugs or source active pharmaceutical ingredients in China for the United States market. The FDA has contacted all 32 firms and no shortages have been reported at this time. However, six of those firms have indicated that they are seeing disruptions in the supply chain that soon could lead to shortages. The FDA is working with these firms to help identify interventions to mitigate potential shortages. FDA has done similar work on the medical product/device side. An FDA webpage has been created through which the FDA is sharing information around the availability of drugs and medical supplies. Because veterinarians use a substantial number of FDA-approved human drugs under federal extralabel drug use statute and regulations, shortages on the human side will be felt by veterinary medicine as well. The AVMA’s concern and our work on behalf of the veterinary profession thereby touches both markets.
AVMA is in close communication with FDA and is supporting its efforts by gathering information about drug needs (from both the animal and human markets) and any related concerns from veterinarians, practices/practice groups, and veterinary distributors. Veterinarians are encouraged to send information regarding any supply chain issues of concern to the AVMA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailed information on the product of concern and the manufacturer/distributor of that product will be most helpful.
We want to emphasize that we’re here for you. We are working with all of the relevant agencies and key stakeholders to be your source of veterinary-related information so that you can make the best decisions for your practice, your employees, your clients, and your patients. If you have any questions regarding how the AVMA Trust may be able to help you or your practices, visit www.AVMAPLIT.com or call 800-228-7548.
Please check back in with us on the AVMA website or follow our social media channels, where we will continue to share the latest developments regarding COVID-19.