WNA Update on Response to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Wisconsin Nurses Association is in a unique position to provide support through information sharing and active engagement in responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (click here for a printable PDF)

During the past two weeks WNA has participated in a Governor Sanctioned Department of Health Services State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee. The committee has been asked to respond to the following documents:

    1. March 12, 2020 First Meeting:
      • Review and provided feedback on the Governor’s proposed Executive Order #72 – Declaring a Health Emergency in Response to the COVID- 19 Coronavirus. (Posted FB and WI Nurses CONNECT [WNC])
      • Revised CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings (Posted FB and WNC)
      • LTC Visitor Restrictions
      • Health Care Worker Safety
    1. March 19, 2020 Reviewed and provided input to Recommendations for Active Symptom

Monitoring for Employees in Health Care Settings where Community

Transmission ofCOVID-19 is Occurring (will be released 3/20/20)

                  • Addresses health care worker exposure and quarantined
                  • Address health care worker illness
                  • Health care worker monitoring for illness
                  • Testing
                  • PPE usage

Other activity over the past two weeks

  1. Board of Nursing Meeting – March 12, 2020
      • Requested the Board to consider waiving administrative rule that expands use of simulation for undergrad nursing students to support meeting educational requirements.
      • Board is reviewing all of the administrative rules to determine others that should be waived.
  1. Media Interviews
      • 3/16/20 WISN, Milwaukee
      • 3/16/20 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
      • 3/20/20 Wisconsin Health News
  1. Governor Key Stakeholders and Media Meeting – 3/17/20 (Testing equipment update, closures)
  2. Legislation/Regulation
      • 3/21/20 – WNA Board members and WNA NP Forum Board meeting with Senator Tammy Baldwin and her staff to discuss upcoming Senate action on Phase 3 COVID-19 spending bill and sharing of WNA requests that support the nursing workforce and patients.
      • 3/19/20 – Discussion with Sen. Kooyenga about his letter sent to Secretary’s Palm and Crimm regarding increasing the nursing workforce supply by allowing retired or nurses who did not renew to be relicensed. Other topics being explored:
          • Waiver that can increase use of telehealth.
          • Waive Administrative Rule that increase the supply of nurses.
          • Seek out other resources for obtaining PPE materials, dental, estheticians, construction etc.
  1. Reviewed ANA activity in response to COVID-19 – March 19, 2020
      • 3/18/20 – The American Nurses Association (ANA) Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN, met with President Donald J. Trump to urge the administration to provide a sufficient supply of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for nurses and to share the need for creative staffing strategies to sustain the nursing workforce so they can continue to provide care during this pandemic. Dr. Hatmaker addressed safety, staffing and capacity during the White House meeting on March 18, 2020. Read the full statement.
      • 3/19/20 – ANA Senor Policy Fellow, Cheryl Petersen, presented information about the nursing issues related to COVID-19 and information to the public as part of a PBS Special Newhour Report: Confronting Coronavirus: A PBS Newshour Special. A virtual town hall addresses public and personal health, as well as economic impact, of the new strain of coronavirus — COVID-19.
      • ANA joined the American Hospital Association (AHA) in urging Congress to swiftly provide supplemental emergency funding directly and specifically to support the preparedness and response needs of hospitals, health systems, physicians and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. Read the full letter.
      • (ANA) is gratified that Congress passed and President Trump signed a bill that will provide $8.3 billion in emergency funds to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
      • Supports ongoing efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate, monitor, and research the coronavirus.
      • Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that nurses, health care teams and the public have accurate and up-date information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as resources.
      • Need to build a solid public health infrastructure in advance of an outbreak.
  1. Leadership

March 20, 2020 WNA Board of Directors approved a plan for responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Click here for further information.

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