The Academy is continuously monitoring the public health situation related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to provide information and resources for you, your practice, and your patients.
COVID-19 information for patients can be found on ENThealth.org.
Updated January 25, 2021
Guidance for Return to Practice for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
The AAO-HNS, with the collaboration of the otolaryngology specialty societies, has developed recommendations for a safe return to practice that are being presented in two parts. These will be “living documents” that will be updated on a regular basis as new information becomes available. Resources include downloadable PDFs, podcasts, and video versions of each podcast. To access all of the materials available, click HERE.
- Part One, released on May 7, contains comprehensive general considerations that are applicable to all practice settings and specialty areas of otolaryngologists’ practice. Page 6 was updated on July 1, 2020, to include testing guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
- Part Two, released on May 15, contains specific recommendations encompassing prioritization and special circumstances related to surgical procedures for all specialty areas.
[January 21] AAO-HNS Statement on Treatment of Idiopathic Facial Paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Academy released a statement on “Treatment of Idiopathic Facial Paralysis (Bell’s Palsy) During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The aim is to guide physicians on the treatment of 1) patients who develop Bell’s palsy shortly after vaccination, and 2) unvaccinated patients who develop Bell’s palsy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement was coordinated by C. W. David Chang, MD, Co-chair of the AAO-HNS Patient Quality and Safety Improvement Committee. Members of six AAO-HNS committees and two infectious disease specialists participated. Read the full statement.
[January 21] CDC: Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States Read More.
[January 14] Reminder: MIPS Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception Application Deadline February 1
For the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance period, CMS is using the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow clinicians, groups, and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the varying effects of the pandemic on eligible practitioners, CMS has extended the deadline to submit a COVID-19 related 2020 extreme and uncontrollable circumstances application to February 1, 2021. Learn More.
[January 11] U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Loan Resumes On January 11 the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with the U.S. Treasury Department, reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The SBA began accepting “first draw” loans from small businesses that had not yet received a PPP loan. Effective January 13, businesses that already applied for a PPP loan can pursue “second draw” PPP loans. To promote access for smaller lenders and their customers, SBA will initially only accept “first draw” and “second draw” loan applications from participating community financial institutions. Applicants are generally eligible for a “second draw” PPP loan if the borrower previously received a “first draw” PPP loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses; has no more than 300 employees; and can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. Learn more about loan details and how to apply as well as access additional resources provided by the SBA.
[January 4] FDA Statement on Following the Authorized Dosing Schedules for COVID-19 Vaccines Read More.
[December 26] CDC Guidance: COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for Persons with Underlying Medical Conditions Read More.
[December 25] Allergic Reactions Related to COVID-19 Vaccinations in Allergic Patients: Joint Statement by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO–HNS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) Read the full statement.
[December 19] AAO-HNS Statement on Bell’s Palsy Related to Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
AAO-HNS issues statement on incidence of Bell’s palsy related to FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines. These rare events should not dissuade healthcare personnel or patients from receiving these critical vaccines. Read the full statement.
[December 19] CDC Update on COVID-19 Vaccines and Severe Allergic Reactions Read more.
[December 18] FDA Takes Additional Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for Second COVID-19 Vaccine Read more. FDA: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
[December 11] AAO-HNS Calls on Governors to Prioritize Otolaryngologists in COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plans
On December 11 the Academy sent letters to each of the 50 state Governors, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia urging prioritization of otolaryngologists and other frontline medical workers for receipt of the Food and Drug Administration’s first approved COVID-19 vaccine. The letters implored Governors to consider the particular vulnerability of otolaryngologists in treating patients with COVID-19 as vaccine distribution plans are established in their individual state. Read the Letter.
[December 11] FDA Takes Key Action in Fight Against COVID-19 By Issuing Emergency Use Authorization for First COVID-19 Vaccine Read more. FDA: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
[December 10] VRBPAC Votes in Favor of Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
On December 10 the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) convened at an all-day meeting to consider whether the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc. in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH merits an emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The VRBPAC has voted in favor of the EUA. If the FDA follows the VRBPAC guidance, which most expect the agency to do, it will speed up the delivery of the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States. Some experts estimate the vaccine’s rollout could commence within a matter of days. Read More.
[December 2] CDC: Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing Read More.
[December 1] CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommendations for COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out View Meeting Presentations
[November 21] FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19 Read More.
[October 6] FDA launched a new vaccines webpage to highlight new information as it becomes available. The new page includes the October 6 FDA issued guidance with recommendations for vaccine sponsors regarding the scientific data and information that would support issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) for investigational vaccines intended to prevent COVID-19.
AAO-HNS and ENThealth.org Highlight Proper COVID-19 Testing Procedures
Spencer C. Payne, MD, Chair of the Board of Governors, recorded an informational video that provides an overview of proper testing techniques for COVID-19. This video is available here and on the ENThealth.org “What You Should Know about COVID-19” webpage. Access the Video Here.