coronavirus-19

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Need help with vaccination, boosters or testing?

Trained staff are standing by to help you find vaccine and testing locations, make appointments, order free at-home test kits, and connect to local services and supports if you need them to get vaccinated or tested. 

Both phone lines are staffed Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Eastern). (Use this infographic to help spread the word about DIAL.) 

What's New

Here are the latest additions to this page. Sign up for ACL Updates to receive these and other updates via e-mail.

  • The HRSA Health Center COVID-19 N95 Mask Program began in January to distribute high quality N95 masks to underserved communities and populations through health centers. The N95 Mask Program ordering opportunities have been extended and will now sunset on June 20, 2022. Health centers will have three additional opportunities to order masks through this program before the sunset date – May 23, June 6, and June 20. All health center orders must be received by June 20, but grantees and partners are encouraged to continue their relationships with health centers after this date. The HRSA COVID-19 Testing Supply Program continues to offer access to free COVID-19 testing supplies, including both at-home self-tests and point-of-care tests for clinical settings.

  • Households can now order a third round of four free at-home COVID-19 tests at COVIDTests.gov. 

  • The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) was initially declared January 31, 2020 (retroactive to January 27). It has been renewed several times, most recently on April 12, 2022. If it is not renewed again, the PHE declaration will now end July 11, 2022. 

  • Under the PHE, HHS granted waivers of compliance with certain provisions of federal law in order to provide flexibility to health care providers to meet needs during the pandemic. These waivers will expire at the end of the public health emergency, but HHS also has discretion to them sooner if it determines they are no long necessary or are resulting in harm to consumers. In an April 7 policy memo to states, CMS announced that it will end several waivers affecting long-term care facilities, including two of particular relevance to the aging and disability networks related to discharge planning and nurse staffing.

  • On April 18, a federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC's mask requirement for public transportation. The CDC continues to recommend that all people wear masks on indoor public transportation, and the Department of Justice has appealed the Florida court’s ruling. For now, however, masks are not required on public transportation or in transportation hubs like train stations and airports.

  • People enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid are eligible for a second booster dose without any out-of-pocket costs, including copayments, coinsurance or deductibles. Full vaccination with a booster has been shown to provide maximum protection against serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests people fifty and older and those who are immunocompromised receive a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose. The CDC has published detailed information on what booster shots to get and when based on the brand and timing of initial vaccine and first booster, as well as age and immunocompromised status. Visit www.covid.gov for information on where to find local locations for vaccines and boosters

More recent additions
  • This document summarizes the findings of ACL's National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) grantees who collected data on the experiences of people with disabilities during COVID-19.

  • ACL's National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems is hosting a webinar, Person-Centered Healthcare Delivery: Centering Patient Experience in Accessing Care from Home, on April 27 at 3:30pm ET. (Posted April 14)

  • HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Telehealth.HHS.gov are pleased to host a National Telehealth Conference bringing together public and private sector leaders to discuss telehealth best practices and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of two days (May 16-17, 2022), experts in the field will examine the evolution of telehealth as part of the standard of care and the importance of its continued integration in an overall, integrated care delivery model. (Posted April 11)

  • ACL's new fact sheet (available as a PDF or Word document) helps the aging and disability networks prepare for changes to Medicaid resulting from an eventual end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. (Posted April 5)

  • Americans with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, now have access to over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. (Posted April 5)

  • Under new CDC guidance, people over the age of 50 and certain immunocompromised individuals are eligible for a second mRNA booster four months after their first booster. In addition, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. (Posted March 30)

  • CDC released an updated framework for community response to COVID-19. Based on current data and science, the framework recommends that community measures should focus on minimizing the impact of severe COVID-19, rather than on eliminating transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. Read a summary of the guidance and its impact on older adults and people with disabilities. (Posted March 14)

  • CDC has added disabilities, primary immunodeficiencies, and physical inactivity to its list of conditions that have been conclusively shown to put people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. CDC notes that people with disabilities are more likely to have chronic health conditions, live in congregate settings, and face more barriers to health care, all of which increase risk. Age remains the strongest risk factor for severe illness, and living in congregate settings also significantly increases risk. For people with underlying medical conditions, risk increases as the number of conditions increase. This science brief explains CDC's systematic review process. (Posted March 14)

  • On February 25, the Department of Education released a letter that outlines how the CDC’s updated masking guidelines apply to schools and early care settings and highlights guidance available for schools and parents on the rights of students with disabilities.

  • CDC now recommends consideration of an eight-week interval between the first and second mRNA COVID-19 shots for some people ages 12 years and older, particularly males who are between 12 and 39 years old. (Some studies have shown that the longer interval may make the vaccines more effective and further reduce the small risk of heart inflammation associated with the vaccines.)  It’s important to note that this new recommendation does not apply to everyone. For people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, adults age, 65 and older, and others who need rapid protection due to increased concern about community transmission or risk of severe disease, the CDC still recommends a shorter interval between the first and second dose (three weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna).

  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 2 sets of 4 free at-⁠home COVID-19 tests. If you already ordered your first set, order a second today. (Posted March 10)

Resources for people with COVID-related disabilities

On July 26, the White House published this comprehensive package of resources for people with disabilities, including people with COVID-related disabilities. We've created a page for these and other resources for people with COVID-related disabilities -- we'll add to it as more resources are available.
 

For Older Adults, People with Disabilities, Families, and Caregivers

  • Vaccine info
  • Staying safe
  • Your rights

Click here to learn more

Find the latest vaccine-related resources

Find resources on "Long COVID"

For the Aging and Disability Networks

  • ACL Program Guidance
  • Promising Practices: Innovative approaches that may work in your community
  • Guidance from other federal programs

Find more resources here

Find a listing of upcoming and archived webinars

Find resources on promoting vaccinations and boosters

Ensuring Equity and Inclusion

Resources for

  • State and local COVID-19 response planners
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Educators
  • Businesses
  • others who need to understand the needs and issues of older adults and people with disabilities

Click here to find more helpful tips


National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness

The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness provides detailed information about the seven goals of Biden Administration's coordinated pandemic response. The 198-page strategy document begins with an overview of the goals, followed by details on a variety of topics, many of which intersect the core missions of the aging and disability networks. Among the topics covered are home and community based services, vaccination communication, impact on at-risk groups, equitable access to PPE, and community-based, multi-sector efforts to align health and social interventions. The strategy reflects the White House's priorities for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Follow your state's guidance

Decisions about community measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as vaccine prioritization and distribution, will be made by local and state officials, The links in this section will connect you to some state resources.

Links to state resources

Last modified on 05/17/2022


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