What We're Reading: Halting Baby Powder Sales; Reopening Nursing Homes; CDC Releases Revised Guidance

May 20, 2020
AJMC Staff

Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder sales will soon cease in North America; CMS provides detailed guidance on how to reopen nursing homes to visitors; CDC provides additional information for schools and business looking to resume operations.

Johnson & Johnson Will Stop Baby Powder Sales in US, Canada

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will soon halt sales of its controversial talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada, reports The New York Times. All product currently remaining on store shelves can be sold, but once gone, these supplies will not be replenished. Sales of powder formulations with cornstarch will continue, while the talc-based powder will still be available in other countries. J&J has faced criticism over the years, defending its signature powder from countless lawsuits and claims that it contains asbestos and causes cancer.

CMS Releases Step-by-Step Guidance on How to Safely Reopen Nursing Homes Post COVID-19

Nine pages of guidance from CMS detail how nursing homes can safely reopen to visitors in 3 phases. Phase 1 involves testing all residents and staff, as well as screening staff daily, in addition to facility inspections as necessary. Phase 2 will commence when, among other factors, there have been no new cases for 2 weeks and there are enough personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies; some visitation can also start in the phase. Phase 3 starts when all phase 2 criteria have been met, including no rebound cases. Nursing homes have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with close to one-third of deaths from the virus being residents or staff at these facilities.

Updated CDC Report Released to Provide Reopening Advice to Schools, Businesses

All 50 states have reopened or are starting to, and a revision to a CDC report previously shelved has now been released to help schools, business, and transit systems, as well as numerous other industries, come back online, according to The New York Times. Flexibilty lies at the heart of the 60-page document and centers on providing ongoing testing, depending on risk of exposure to COVID-19; instituting strict rules on hygiene; and coordinating with local health officials on maximum prevention efforts. The report comes on the heels of checklists that the CDC released last week specifically to help school and business make the most informed decisions on when to reopen.