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“Wear It Pink” Friday

On Friday, October 9, 2020, ALPI staff celebrated “ Wear it Pink” Day. Staff, throughout the entire agency, wore pink in support of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”. Breast Cancer Awareness Month helps to raise awareness of the disease and raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

DeSantis Extends Eviction, Foreclosure Ban Again

FLORIDA –The moratorium on evictions and foreclosures got a late-night extension by Gov. Ron DeSantis, although moving forward it will shift some of the burden of relief back on to renters.

Landlords can file eviction actions in court, however final judgments will be withheld until the moratorium is lifted.

Renters behind on monthly payments will need to file a motion in court proving they have a coronavirus hardship causing them to miss rent payments, such as a job loss or other income reduction.

And when the hardship passes, all accrued rent payments dating back to April when the moratorium was put in place will be due.

The moratorium extension comes as bad news for landlords who have been in limbo for five months, not being able to take legal action to retrieve lost rent payments.

Foreclosure attorney Charles Gallagher III said last week an extension would be a short-term fix, but not a long-term solution.

“None of the forbearances, none of the executive orders, did anything with the rent or mortgages that were accruing,” Gallagher said. “So all of these evictions, all of these forbearance claims did not wipe away the rent or wipe away the mortgager payments. They are all due and they all remain open.”

The foreclosure attorney continued, saying that regardless of the governor’s decision, more has to be done to address the growing financial problem triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gallagher suggested that homeowners and renters start addressing the problem now.

“Work out some type of plan that would provide something more than just your monthly rent each month to chip away at that surplus of rent that accrued over that time frame,” Gallagher said.

Families who aren’t making ends meet say the uncertainty has to end.

“Not knowing until the very last minute every single month of whether or not you stand to be evicted or not be evicted, it’s unacceptable,” said Beth Wiggins. She was laid off from her full restaurant job at a Florida theme park.

The experts say, even when the moratorium is allowed to expire, families will not find themselves on the street right away. It could take months for foreclosures and eviction orders to move through the court system.

Groups on both sides, renters and landlords, are arguing more needs to be done by the state for rent assistance.

But right now, it is not known where that money would come from.

The moratorium is now set to expire on October 1.

By: Dale Greenstein and Jason Lanning, Florida

Regarding COVID-19

The Coronavirus has affected all businesses and employers.  Unfortunately, lawyers are without clear and definite basis to advise our clients on many of the questions that arise daily in their course of business.  At a minimum, we advise to comply with the suggestions of the United States Center for Disease Control, as well as from our state and local governments.  In addition, we are paying attention to our various bar associations, blogs, and emails, from a myriad of sources, providing their suggestions and news. 

ALPI is covered by several insurance policies for business interruption, workers compensation, discrimination in employment, negligence and the like.  Litigation is pending, and further expected, in many, if not all, jurisdictions, over insurance policy coverage for claims by employees and others who sue a business/corporation/employer for damages due to medical expenses, termination, reinstatement to employment, and even death. 

I am not yet aware of courts in ALPI’s jurisdictions that have rendered decisions that immediately affect you.  So far, the decisions I am aware of are in other federal district courts, which would have to be appealed to other federal circuit courts of appeal, or from other states.  Those courts who have rendered decisions, have very closely read and considered the exact wording of each insurance policy and all of its implications, as matters of contract and insurance law.

On the legislative front, the federal and many state legislatures are considering proposed laws to limit or completely insulate businesses from any liability for damages in COVID-19 related claims.  Those proposed laws, will be considered and decided upon in the coming months.

Head Start Remembers Congressman John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis was a transformative leader and longstanding champion for Head Start children and families across the country. Representative Lewis showed us what it meant to be a true leader, to stick to one’s principles, and to embrace ‘good trouble,’ when it means fighting for what is right. Watch NHSA’s video tribute to Congressman Lewis and his tremendous legacy.

FDA advises consumers not to use hand sanitizer products manufactured by Eskbiochem

FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

FDA tested samples of Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ. Lavar Gel contains 81 percent (v/v) methanol and no ethyl alcohol, and CleanCare No Germ contains 28 percent (v/v) methanol. Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although all persons using these products on their hands are at risk, young children who accidently ingest these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute, are most at risk for methanol poisoning.

On June 17, 2020, FDA contacted Eskbiochem to recommend the company remove its hand sanitizer products from the market due to the risks associated with methanol poisoning. To date, the company has not taken action to remove these potentially dangerous products from the market. Therefore, FDA recommends consumers stop using these hand sanitizers and dispose of them immediately in appropriate hazardous waste containers. Do not flush or pour these products down the drain.

FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

FDA remains vigilant and will continue to take action when quality issues arise with hand sanitizers. Additionally, the agency is concerned with false and misleading claims for hand sanitizers, for example that they can provide prolonged protection such as 24-hours against viruses including COVID-19, since there is no evidence to support these claims.

To date, FDA is not aware of any reports of adverse events associated with these hand sanitizer products. FDA encourages health care professionals, consumers and patients to report adverse events or quality problems experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:

  • Complete and submit the report online; or
  • Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.

Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report Critical Updates on COVID-19 / Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report

As Of:  6/18/2020
American Academy of Pediatrics

State-level reports are the best publicly available data on confirmed child COVID-19 cases in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics is collecting and sharing all publicly available data from states on child COVID-19 cases (see report Appendix for links to all data sources).

On June 18, the age distribution of confirmed COVID-19 cases was reported on the health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. While children represented only 6.2% of all confirmed cases in states reporting cases by age, over 116,000 children were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.

A smaller subset of states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age, but the available data indicated that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.

At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 confirmed cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can continue to be documented and monitored.

Summary of Findings Reported on 6/18/20:

Confirmed Cases

  • 116,176 total confirmed child COVID-19 cases reported

  • Children represented 6.2% (116,176/1,885,905) of all available confirmed cases

  • Overall rate: 162 confirmed cases per 100,000 children in the population

Testing

  • In 7 states reporting, children made up between 5.2%-11.0% of total state tests

Hospitalizations

  • In 19 states and NYC, children were 0.7%-3.3% of total reported hospitalizations

Mortality

  • In 42 states and NYC, children were 0%-0.6% of all COVID-19 deaths; 24 states reported zero child deaths

Read the full report here.  

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