AFDO COVID-19 Situation Update

Links to most guidance documents and information in this communication can be found on the AFDO COVID-19 Resources Page at for ease of use on an ongoing basis. 
More than 2,010,900 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 113,000 have died, according to a New York Times database. This map shows where the number of new cases is rising and where it is falling in the last 14 days. See more at the New York Times website.

  • Source New York Times June 16, 2020  
What is New Today?

CDC Studies Public Attitudes, Behaviors, and Beliefs Related to COVID-19

On June 12th, the CDC released an initial report about the attitudes concerning stay-at-home orders and recommended personal protective practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During May 5–12, 2020, a survey among adults in New York City and Los Angeles and broadly across the United States found widespread support of stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures and high degree of adherence to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Most respondents reported that they would feel unsafe if restrictions were lifted at the time of the survey. Routine assessment of public priorities can guide public health decisions requiring collective action. Current levels of public support for restrictions and adherence to mitigation strategies can inform decisions about reopening and balancing duration and intensity of restrictions. Read the full release here. 

FDA Warns of Potential Drug Interaction With Remdesivir

On June 15th, the FDA warned health care providers about a newly discovered potential drug interaction related to the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir, which has received emergency use authorization for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe disease.  Based on a recently completed non-clinical laboratory study, the FDA is revising the fact sheet for health care providers that accompanies the drug to state that co-administration of remdesivir and chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended as it may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir.  Get the new fact sheet here. 

FDA Revokes Emergency Use Authorization of Hydroxychloroquine

On June 15th, FDA revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) that allowed for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated to the Strategic National Stockpile to be used to treat certain hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when a clinical trial was unavailable, or participation in a clinical trial was not feasible. The agency determined that the legal criteria for issuing an EUA are no longer met. Based on its ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, the FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA.
Worth Repeating...

CDC Examines Role of Companion Animals in COVID-19 Spread

An estimated 76 million pet cats live in the United States, and approximately 70% of U.S. households own at least one pet (9). Close interactions between humans and pets create opportunities for zoonotic disease transmission. In both cases presented in this report, the cats with positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 had close epidemiologic links to owners with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. In addition, human symptom onset preceded that in cat A by 9 days and in cat B by 8 days. No identified onward human or animal infections were attributed to these animals. This evidence supports findings to date that animals do not play a substantial role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, although human-to-animal transmission can occur in some situations. Companion animals that test positive for SARS-CoV-2 should be monitored and separated from persons and other animals until they recover.  Read this analysis here.

Recording Available
FDA's Frank Yiannas Keynotes AFDO Recognition of World Food Safety Day

Listen now! Frank Yiannas, FDA's Deputy Commissioner, Food Policy & Response presented a webinar that was part of AFDO's  recognition of the second annual World Food Safety Day. The deputy commissioner gave an update about food safety as part of the Smarter Era initiative and challenges in light of COVID-19. He shared his perspective as we continue moving forward in this unprecedented time and talked about the importance of food safety professionals in that effort. Listen to the recording here. 

More FDA Responses to COVID-19 Food Safety Questions
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Cosmetic Information Center (FCIC)/Technical Assistance Network (TAN) continues to release responses for questions of interest to AFDO members regarding COVID-19. 

This is in addition to updating its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page to include guidance regarding food products.  Real time updates of the FDA's Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page can be found at  Updates are dated so you are able to tell what information has been added each time. 

As part of the AFDO commitment to providing information and resources to members and the those we serve, we continue to add resources to the 
COVID-19 Resource Page. We continue to offer links to information that has been developed by our partnerships and other subject matter experts. If you identify resources that should be considered or your organization develops some of your own that can be shared with other members, please email them or the link to We appreciate everyone who helps us be more prepared.

New Responses Released This Week
Where should I send questions if we are having problems moving food or getting food through areas that have curfews and restrictions because of the coronavirus? (Updated June 2, 2020)

If you are experiencing issues regarding your supply chain, delivery of goods, or business continuity, please contact the FEMA National Business Emergency Operations Center at

What if a worker reports being in close contact with another worker on the job tested positive for COVID-19? (Updated June 2, 2020)

Consult CDC’s Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. It includes the following:

  • Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
  • Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.
  • Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
  • Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
  • Disinfect and Clean Work Spaces: Routinely clean and disinfect areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment.

Agriculture Workers and Employers: Consult this CDC and U.S Department of Labor Guidance for action steps on how to protect workers from COVID-19.  Agriculture employers can adapt these recommendations to their particular work sites or for specific work operations, such as transportation vehicles and shared worker housing, among others.  

Sick workers should follow the CDC’s Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.

Additional Resources

The Food and Beverage Issues Alliance has developed protocols for (1) when an employee of a firm is a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19 and (2) when a facility employee/facility visitor/customer has been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19. This protocol is specific to food manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and wholesale and retail outlets.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Action to Protect Public Health; Increase Supply of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer 
On June 1 the FDA took additional action to help ensure widespread access to hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Consumer and health care personnel safety is a top priority for FDA, and an important part of FDA’s mission is to protect the public from harm, including as we seek to increase supply of hand sanitizer. To that end, we have updated our guidances to provide additional clarification on the manufacturing and compounding of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products to help ensure that harmful levels of impurities are not present in ethanol used in hand sanitizer.
Restaurant Reopenings Will Require Advance Planning

Restaurants will need to rethink all aspects of dining room design as they prepare to reopen safely. In addition to physical barriers and proper distancing between tables, guidelines from the National Restaurant Association advise eateries to use features such as floor markings and outdoor waiting areas to keep parties separate while they wait to be seated.
Read the Forbes story here.
COVID-19 Impact on Local Retail Regulatory Food Safety Programs

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has released their assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on local regulatory programs. Food safety programs that responded to the NACCHO COVID-19 assessment noted that they have been experiencing varying levels of impact from COVID-19 to their routine operations, ranging from minimal impact to entire food safety programs being shut down, or large portions of staff being reassigned to COVID-19 response. As communities and businesses reopen, the impacts of these reductions in work may have significant impacts.  Read the NACCHO report here.

AFDO Professional Development Series Continues to Add More Offerings - From Manufacturing Practices to Food Trucks to Cannabis

The Association of Food and Drug Officials is continuing its support of our regulatory and industry partners until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. We continue to provide relevant content to keep staff engaged by offering a growing series of webinars and web-based training courses that can be utilized for staff development. We have provided a variety of courses and webinars and new offerings are added every day.  Please check the webpage to look for the daily additions. And if you missed a webinar, those recordings are available through this page as well. All webinars, webinar recordings and courses are free! Just register for the course using the “Register Now” link associated with that course to obtain the log-in information.
In addition, you can access the AFDO podcast catalog at the following links. Videos can be found at and audio podcasts at Or download the AFDO app (IT'S FREE) so you can listen or watch on the go. The app is available for iPhone and Android.

If there are topics of interest that you think should be in our catalog, please let us know by emailing

No CEU's or Certificates of Attendance will be available for these sessions. 
Copyright © 2020 Association of Food and Drug Officials, All rights reserved.

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