Updates

DHS S&T Helps Keep Communities Safe from Chemical Hazards During Hurricane Season

Extreme weather from hurricanes and tropical storms can devastate communities along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts, and the threat of subsequent hazard chemical releases can be just as deadly. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) actively anticipates and prepares for this possibility.

HHS Leaders Urge States to Maximize Efforts to Support Children’s Mental Health

Agencies across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a joint letter to states, tribes, and jurisdictions encouraging them to prioritize and maximize their efforts to strengthen children’s mental health and well-being.

DHS Announces $1.6 Billion in Preparedness Grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced $1.6 billion for eight Fiscal Year 2022 preparedness grant programs. Together, these programs provide critical funding to help state and local officials prepare for, prevent, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism and other hazards.

Unique binding of Delta variant may explain high transmissibility

Unlike other SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Delta variant can attach to copies of itself, forming larger aggregations, or clumps, of viral particles, suggests a study by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. The researchers theorize that this linking property may have played a role in the ability of the Delta variant to spread more rapidly than all the variants that preceded it.

DHS Wraps Up Jamming Exercise to Strengthen First Responder Communications

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agenc hosted JamX 22, an exercise to counter electronic jamming at White Sands Missile Range with federal, state, local and industry participants. Information shared during this exercise will enhance anti-jamming technologies and inform policy to ensure resilient requirements for first responders’ communications systems.

Community Policing Development

The 2022 Community Policing Development program is designed to advance the practice of community policing by providing guidance on promising practices through the development and testing of innovative strategies; building knowledge about effective practices and outcomes; and supporting new, creative approaches to preventing crime and promoting safe communities.

Collaborative Reform Initiative

The 2022 Collaborative Reform Initiative encompasses three technical assistance programs offering expert services to state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies to support effective community policing. This continuum of services is designed to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve; improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness; enhance officer safety and wellness; and develop and disseminate evidence-based, promising, and innovative public safety practices.

Coronavirus Update: FDA Approves First COVID-19 Treatment for Young Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approval of the COVID-19 treatment Veklury (remdesivir) to include pediatric patients 28 days of age and older weighing at least 3 kilograms (about 7 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing. This action makes Veklury the first approved COVID-19 treatment for children less than 12 years of age.

Updated Information on Availability and Use of Treatments for Outpatients with Mild to Moderate COVID-19 Who are at Increased Risk for Severe Outcomes of COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing this Health Alert Network Health Advisory to update healthcare providers, public health departments, and the public about the availability and use of recommended therapies for COVID-19 and to advise against using unproven treatments that have known or potential harms for outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

HHS’s New Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefit Resources Will Help People Seeking Care to Better Understand Their Rights

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires most health plans or health insurers that offer coverage for mental health conditions or substance use disorders to make these benefits comparable to those offered for medical and surgical benefits. This means that deductibles, copays, out-of-pocket maximums, and treatment limitations for mental health or substance use disorders must not be more restrictive than corresponding requirements or parameters offered for medical and surgical benefits.