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FDA News Release

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Daily Roundup March 26, 2020

For Immediate Release:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the following actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The FDA issued guidance today on a Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The FDA is issuing this guidance to provide restaurants and food manufacturers with flexibility regarding nutrition labeling so that they can sell certain packaged foods during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, restaurants may have purchased ingredients that they can no longer use to prepare restaurant food and instead wish to sell to their customers. 
  • The FDA posted questions and answers related to consumer use of hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The FDA wants to make consumers aware of the steps the agency is taking to increase the supply of hand sanitizer during this public health emergency. The questions also discuss hand washing, expiration dates and other frequently asked questions by consumers on hand sanitizer.
  • Late yesterday, the FDA issued an immediately in effect guidance: Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency. The FDA believes the policy set forth in this guidance may help address urgent public health concerns by helping to expand the availability of general use face masks for the general public and particulate filtering facepiece respirators (including N95 respirators) for health care professionals.
  • The FDA took action today regarding 3D printing. The FDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID), and is working with America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, to facilitate connections between patients and healthcare providers, local manufacturers with capabilities, and designs for needed medical products. This MOU provides a framework for collaboration intended to facilitate regulatory and basic science innovation with 3D printing technologies to respond to COVID-19. Through this collaboration, the U.S. government and partners will help ensure that veterans and civilians have access to the most innovative medical solutions and technologies, including medical products that are manufactured close to the patient or at point-of-care. The FDA also issued FAQs on 3D Printing of Medical Devices During COVID-19 for entities who 3D print devices, accessories, components, and/or parts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Diagnostics update to date: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has worked with more than 220 test developers who have said they will be submitting emergency use authorizations (EUA) requests to FDA for tests that detect the virus. To date, 17 emergency use authorizations have been issued for diagnostic tests, including the AvellinoCoV2 test, which is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab specimens collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider. Additionally, FDA has been notified that more than 100 laboratories have begun testing under the policies set forth in our COVID-19 Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019 during the Public Health Emergency Guidance. The FDA also continues to keep its COVID-19 Diagnostics FAQ up to date.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

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Stephanie Caccomo

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