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    Où rencontrer Pasteur dans Arbois

    Après les monuments dolois à l'effigie de Louis Pasteur, c'est au tour des sites arboisiens !
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    Angiolillo, Giuseppe Musumeci and where can i buy prednisone for the DUBIUS Investigators, on behalf of the Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology (SICI-GISE)Sources of Funding. This work was supported by the ACTION Coeur study group (www.action-coeur.org), the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Sorbonne University, the Institute of CardioMetabolism and Nutrition (ICAN), and by the French National Agency through the national program Investissements d’Avenir Grant ANR-10-IAHU-05.Disclosures. Johanne SILVAIN reports during the past 2 years the following disclosures.

    Consulting Fees or Lecture Fees or Travel Support from AstraZeneca, where can i buy prednisone Bayer HealthCare SAS, Boehringer Ingelheim France, CSL Behring SA, Gilead Science, Sanofi-Aventis France, Terumo France SAS, Abbott Medical France SAS, Stockholder of Pharmaseeds. Mathieu KERNEIS received Research Grants from Institut Servier, Federation Francaise de Cardiologie, Sanofi, Consulting fees from Bayer, Sanofi, Servier. Michel ZEITOUNI has received research grants from Servier and Fédération Francaise de Cardiologie.

    Benoit LATTUCA has received research grants from Daiichi-Sankyo and Fédération Francaise where can i buy prednisone de Cardiologie. Consultant fees from Daiichi-Sankyo and Eli Lilly. And lecture fees from AstraZeneca.

    Eric VICAUT reports consulting or speaker fees from Abbott, Bristol Myers Squibb, Celgene, Edwards, where can i buy prednisone Pfizer, Sanofi And Novartis. Jean-Philippe COLLET has received research grants or honorarium from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eli-Lilly, Fédération Francaise de Cardiologie, Lead-Up, Medtronic, MSD, Sanofi-Aventis, WebMD all outside of the scope of this study. Gilles MONTALESCOT has received research grants or honorarium from ADIR, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Berlin Chimie AG, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical, Brigham Women’s Hospital, Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Celladon, CME Resources, Daiichi-Sankyo, Eli-Lilly, Europa, Elsevier, Fédération Francaise de Cardiologie, Fondazione Anna Maria Sechi per il Cuore, Gilead, ICAN, Janssen, Lead-Up, Menarini, Medtronic, MSD, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Servier, The Medicines Company, TIMI Study Group, WebMD all outside of the scope of this study.

    The remaining authors have nothing to discloseData Sharing.

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    But researchers still don’t know if the inflammation appears in Alzheimer’s as a reaction to another problem in the immune system, or if chronic inflammation drives the disease itself.If the latter were true, reducing chronic inflammation should also reduce the likelihood of someone developing Alzheimer’s. In studies where people were given ibuprofen or aspirin — two medications that reduce inflammation — their risk for developing Alzheimer’s stayed unchanged, however. “When it’s human studies, that’s the only way to know without a doubt prednisone online canada causality,” Walker says. “To turn this one thing down and reduce the appearance of a disease, that’s the holy grail.”What a Diet Can DoEven if lowered inflammation hasn’t yet been proven as the key to avoiding Alzheimer’s, avoiding the chronic low-level immune reaction can help reduce the risk of other health conditions.

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    These tests aren’t even part of routine doctor’s visits, Walker says. And when Gibson and her colleagues ask people about why they follow a certain diet, whether it’s “paleo” or “anti-inflammatory,” participants often report differences in how they feel. Maybe physically feeling more energized or generally “well” is a biological response to some of these diets, and maybe prednisone online canada it’s a placebo effect, Gibson says — she doesn’t know for sure. What Gibson does know is that a diet low in saturated fats and high in fiber and veggies helps for inflammation.

    If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s the same dietary advice suggested for all sorts of health problems prednisone online canada. Gibson thinks part of the reason it’s so hard to get people excited about this scheme for healthy eating is that they’ve heard it so many times before — rather than just eat their vegetables, people are enticed by creative and new diets that are popular on the internet. Luckily, Gibson, says, it’s not too late for health professionals to work on their branding to bring people back to the real, research-backed inflammation interventions.

    "We as scientists need to not underestimate the public’s intelligence," Gibson says, "and actually provide the reasons and biochemical pathways [to explain] why things work.".

    Your immune system is built to help where can i buy prednisone you. And usually, it does. When an injury or infection damages cells in your body, immune cells and proteins rush to the site to draw attention to the problem and improve your condition. This is the process where can i buy prednisone of inflammation. Ideally, the surge of inflammatory cell activity tapers off when cellular repair begins.

    “That’s if everything goes according to plan,” says Keenan Walker, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. When inflammation doesn’t go as planned — like when it continues at low levels for a long time — that can cause more harm where can i buy prednisone than good. The potential for inflammation to be a healthy, normal reaction or a counterproductive force can make learning about it confusing. And the line between the good and the bad gets even muddier with particular health conditions. In some cases, researchers still don’t know what to make of where can i buy prednisone the inflammation they see — is it a symptom or source of the problem?.

    Sometimes You Feel It, Sometimes You Don'tWe all know the classic sensations that go along with inflammation. If you twist your ankle, for example, it will swell up — thanks to immune cells making the blood vessels more permeable to let other immune system agents in, Walker says. Some of the arriving proteins give off the sensation of heat or where can i buy prednisone pain. These sensations dissipate when this short burst of what's called acute inflammation dies down. During chronic inflammation, lower levels of those same immune system agents circulate through the body all the time.

    Older individuals might be where can i buy prednisone prone to this scenario. As immune systems age, they have a harder time winding down once started, Walker says. In other cases, physical changes in our bodies trigger inflammation. For example, chronic high blood where can i buy prednisone pressure injures blood vessel walls. An inflammatory response will dispatch to take care of the damage — but the damage is always going, perpetuating immune system activity.

    If fat cells around the abdomen grow, they issue signals calling for inflammatory responses, too. In these where can i buy prednisone cases, the constant immune activity interferes with other biological processes. Inflammation proteins disrupt how cells interact with insulin, for example. Too much obstruction can decrease insulin sensitivity, which can progress to diabetes. In the brain, some immune system agents might cut connections, or synapses, between where can i buy prednisone cells.

    This is often a helpful activity, “but it can become out of control,” Walker says, “and essentially make it harder to learn and form memories because the synapses are pruned faster than they should be.”Is It the Solution or the Problem?. The way the immune system interacts with the brain is Walker's speciality, and it’s also one area of chronic inflammation research that researchers are still figuring out. When it comes to obesity, high blood pressure, inflammation and diabetes, those associations are better understood. Researchers know that where can i buy prednisone some of those conditions can exacerbate each other. But what’s happening with neurological conditions — like in Alzheimer's disease, for example — are less clear.

    Genes that put people at risk of the neurodegenerative disorder also regulate immune responses, and there is strong scientific consensus that the conditions are wrapped up in one another somehow, Walker says. Even dissections of brains affected by Alzheimer’s show inflammatory proteins are present during the neural decline, trying to break up problematic clumps where can i buy prednisone of proteins associated with the condition. But researchers still don’t know if the inflammation appears in Alzheimer’s as a reaction to another problem in the immune system, or if chronic inflammation drives the disease itself.If the latter were true, reducing chronic inflammation should also reduce the likelihood of someone developing Alzheimer’s. In studies where people were given ibuprofen or aspirin — two medications that reduce inflammation — their risk for developing Alzheimer’s stayed unchanged, however. “When it’s human studies, that’s the only way to know without a doubt causality,” Walker says where can i buy prednisone.

    “To turn this one thing down and reduce the appearance of a disease, that’s the holy grail.”What a Diet Can DoEven if lowered inflammation hasn’t yet been proven as the key to avoiding Alzheimer’s, avoiding the chronic low-level immune reaction can help reduce the risk of other health conditions. One way to do so is to eat a healthy diet. Though there’s no definition for an “anti-inflammatory diet,” several studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet — or meals rich in healthy fats, high in fiber and full of colorful veggies — can lower where can i buy prednisone levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, says Simone Gibson, a dietitian at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Most advice on how to reduce chronic inflammation with food will refer to entire diets and not single ingredients, as studies looking at what happens in your body after eating one food require unrealistic conditions that are challenging to maintain. For example, if someone eats a bowl of lentils, it could take eight hours before researchers could measure how the food altered inflammation levels, says Gibson.

    “But who eats a bowl of where can i buy prednisone lentils [and then] nothing else for the next eight hours?. ” Plus, even if single foods do have evidence showing they reduce problematic inflammatory agents, like olive oil, that one food alone won’t set you on a course to better health, Gibson says. Unlike, say, weight, inflammation can’t be measured at home. When studies show that diets or medications help reduce chronic inflammation, the researchers are taking blood samples and examining them for particular immune where can i buy prednisone system agents. These tests aren’t even part of routine doctor’s visits, Walker says.

    And when Gibson and her colleagues ask people about why they follow a certain diet, whether it’s “paleo” or “anti-inflammatory,” participants often report differences in how they feel. Maybe physically feeling more energized or generally “well” is a biological response to some of these diets, and maybe it’s a placebo effect, Gibson where can i buy prednisone says — she doesn’t know for sure. What Gibson does know is that a diet low in saturated fats and high in fiber and veggies helps for inflammation. If that sounds familiar, it should. It’s the same dietary advice where can i buy prednisone suggested for all sorts of health problems.

    Gibson thinks part of the reason it’s so hard to get people excited about this scheme for healthy eating is that they’ve heard it so many times before — rather than just eat their vegetables, people are enticed by creative and new diets that are popular on the internet. Luckily, Gibson, says, it’s not too late for health professionals to work on their branding to bring people back to the real, research-backed inflammation interventions. "We as scientists need to not underestimate the public’s intelligence," Gibson says, "and actually provide the reasons and biochemical pathways [to explain] why things work.".

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    Coastal communities how to take prednisone 6 day pack in Northern NSW will be encouraged to boost their mental fitness thanks to a five-way partnership led by Surfing NSW with funding from the NSW Government’s Mental Health Sports Fund.Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor launched the initiative at Surfing NSW headquarters at Maroubra Beach today. She said the ‘Surfing Mental Health 360’ program will bring together Surfing NSW, Batyr, Waves of Wellness, Man Anchor and the Rise Foundation to how to take prednisone 6 day pack deliver programs aimed at boosting the mental health and wellbeing in communities impacted by drought. €œThis community-driven program is connecting boardriders’ clubs, surf schools and high schools to trusted mental health organisations that can help them build their mental fitness from the ground up,” Mrs Taylor said.

    €œSurfing has a great way of bringing people from all walks of life together and this program will empower them to have the right conversations about improving their wellbeing and knowing when it’s how to take prednisone 6 day pack time to put their hand up for help.” Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the program will assist all age groups living in Kingscliff, Byron Bay and Ballina. €œThis initiative will provide powerful ocean therapy as a vital tool to improve mental health and train locals in Mental Health First Aid,” Mr Lee said. €œSports like surfing play a critical role in keeping us healthy, active and how to take prednisone 6 day pack connected.

    The ‘Surfing Mental Health 360’ program will be a great resource for these communities.” Surfing how to take prednisone 6 day pack NSW CEO Luke Madden said the $60,000 grant will help the partners to start more conversations about the impacts of drought, bushfires and COVID-19. €œNow, more than even, we need to come together as a community and create time for these important, courageous conversations about mental wellbeing and resilience.” The $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund Grants Program is a partnership between the Ministry for Health and the Office for Sport, driving a collaborative approach to the social and emotional wellbeing of the NSW regional community.​​The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposed guidelines to promote mentally healthy workplaces in NSW.Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said a draft SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for managing the risks to psychological health is being developed to provide simple and practical guidance for workplaces to promote improved mental health.“Mitigating and managing mental health risks at work can be complex, that’s why we’ve drafted a practical guide for employers, making it easy for them to create a mentally healthy workplace,” Mr Anderson said.“Mental health is everybody’s business and it is vital that every single workplace in NSW has the tools to create a positive and healthy environment.” NSW will be the first state in Australia to develop a code of this kind that encompasses a broad overview of risks to psychological health covering all NSW workplaces. €œWe want to how to take prednisone 6 day pack hear from the public as to how clear and effective the draft code is.

    Once the consultation period has ended, every submission received will be considered,” Mr Anderson said. Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, stressed the importance and benefits of having a mentally healthy workplace for how to take prednisone 6 day pack employers and employees. €œMost of us spend how to take prednisone 6 day pack about one-third of our waking lives at work.

    It’s a huge part of what we do and can have a huge impact on our mental health in a positive or negative way,” Mrs Taylor said. €œKnowing how to prioritise the mental health how to take prednisone 6 day pack and wellbeing of staff, is more important than ever, and can also make a big difference to workplace morale and productivity.” Individuals and organisations are invited to comment on the consultation paper. Submissions can be made via the Safework website​.​.

    Coastal communities in Northern NSW will be encouraged to boost their mental fitness thanks to a five-way partnership led by Surfing NSW with funding from the NSW Government’s Mental Health Sports Fund.Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor launched the initiative at Surfing NSW headquarters at Maroubra Beach today where can i buy prednisone. She said the ‘Surfing Mental Health 360’ program will bring where can i buy prednisone together Surfing NSW, Batyr, Waves of Wellness, Man Anchor and the Rise Foundation to deliver programs aimed at boosting the mental health and wellbeing in communities impacted by drought. €œThis community-driven program is connecting boardriders’ clubs, surf schools and high schools to trusted mental health organisations that can help them build their mental fitness from the ground up,” Mrs Taylor said. €œSurfing has a great way of bringing people from all walks of life together and this program will empower them to have the right conversations about improving their wellbeing and knowing when it’s time to put their hand up for help.” Acting Minister for Sport where can i buy prednisone Geoff Lee said the program will assist all age groups living in Kingscliff, Byron Bay and Ballina. €œThis initiative will provide powerful ocean therapy as a vital tool to improve mental health and train locals in Mental Health First Aid,” Mr Lee said.

    €œSports like surfing play a critical role in keeping us where can i buy prednisone healthy, active and connected. The ‘Surfing Mental Health 360’ program will be a great resource for these communities.” Surfing NSW CEO Luke Madden said the $60,000 grant will help the partners to start more conversations about the impacts where can i buy prednisone of drought, bushfires and COVID-19. €œNow, more than even, we need to come together as a community and create time for these important, courageous conversations about mental wellbeing and resilience.” The $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund Grants Program is a partnership between the Ministry for Health and the Office for Sport, driving a collaborative approach to the social and emotional wellbeing of the NSW regional community.​​The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposed guidelines to promote mentally healthy workplaces in NSW.Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said a draft SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for managing the risks to psychological health is being developed to provide simple and practical guidance for workplaces to promote improved mental health.“Mitigating and managing mental health risks at work can be complex, that’s why we’ve drafted a practical guide for employers, making it easy for them to create a mentally healthy workplace,” Mr Anderson said.“Mental health is everybody’s business and it is vital that every single workplace in NSW has the tools to create a positive and healthy environment.” NSW will be the first state in Australia to develop a code of this kind that encompasses a broad overview of risks to psychological health covering all NSW workplaces. €œWe want to hear from the where can i buy prednisone public as to how clear and effective the draft code is. Once the consultation period has ended, every submission received will be considered,” Mr Anderson said.

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    John Rawls begins a Theory of Justice with the observation that 'Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought… Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of prednisone aggressive behavior society as a whole cannot override'1 (p.3). The COVID-19 prednisone aggressive behavior pandemic has resulted in lock-downs, the restriction of liberties, debate about the right to refuse medical treatment and many other changes to the everyday behaviour of persons. The justice issues it raises are diverse, profound and will demand our attention for some time.

    How we can respect the Rawlsian commitment to the inviolability of each person, when the welfare of societies as a whole is under threat goes to the heart of some of the difficult ethical issues we face and are discussed in this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.The debate about ICU triage and COVID-19 is quite well developed and this journal has published several articles that explore aspects of this issue and how different places approach it.2–5 Newdick et al add to the legal analysis of triage decisions and criticise the calls for respecting a narrow conception of a legal right to treatment and more detailed national guidelines for how triage decisions should be prednisone aggressive behavior made.6They consider scoring systems for clinical frailty, organ failure assessment, and raise some doubts about the fairness of their application to COVID-19 triage situations. Their argument seems to highlight instances of what is called the McNamara fallacy. US Secretary prednisone aggressive behavior of Defense Robert McNamara used enemy body counts as a measure of military success during the Vietnam war.

    So, the fallacy occurs when we rely solely on considerations that appear to be quantifiable, to the neglect of vital qualitative, difficult to measure or contestable features.6 Newdick et al point to variation in assessment, subtlety in condition and other factors as reasons why it is misleading to present scoring systems as ‘objective’ tests for triage. In doing so they draw a distinction between procedural and outcome consistency, which is important, and hints at prednisone aggressive behavior distinctions Rawls drew between the different forms of procedural fairness. While we might hope to come up with a triage protocol that is procedurally fair and arrives at a fair outcome (what Rawls calls perfect procedural justice, p.

    85) there is prednisone aggressive behavior little prospect of that. As they observe, reasonable people can disagree about the outcomes we should aim for in allocating health resources and ICU triage for COVID-19 is no exception. Instead, we should work toward a transparent prednisone aggressive behavior and fair process, what Rawls would describe as imperfect procedural justice (p.

    85). His example of this is a criminal trial where we adopt processes that we have reason to believe are our best chance of determining guilt, but which do not guarantee the truth of a verdict, and this is a reason why they must be transparent and consistent (p. 85).

    Their proposal is to triage patients into three broad categories. High, medium and low priority, with the thought that a range of considerations could feed into that evaluation by an appropriately constituted clinical group.Ballantyne et al question another issue that is central to the debate about COVID-19 triage.4 They describe how utility measures such as QALYs, lives saved seem to be in tension with equity. Their central point is that ICU for COVID-19 can be futile, and that is a reason for questioning how much weight should be given to equality of access to ICU for COVID-19.

    They claim that there is little point admitting someone to ICU when ICU is not in their best interests. Instead, the scope of equity should encompass preventing 'remediable differences among social, economic demographic or geographic groups' and for COVID-19 that means looking beyond access to ICU. Their central argument can be summarised as follows.Maximising utility can entrench existing health inequalities.The majority of those ventilated for COVID-19 in ICU will die.Admitting frailer or comorbid patients to ICU is likely to do more harm than good to these groups.Therefore, better access to ICU is unlikely to promote health equity for these groups.Equity for those with health inequalities related to COVID-19 should broadened to include all the services a system might provide.Brown et al argue in favour of COVID-19 immunity passports and the following summarises one of the key arguments in their article.7COVID-19 immunity passports are a way of demonstrating low personal and social risk.Those who are at low personal risk and low social risk from COVID-19 should be permitted more freedoms.Permitting those with immunity passports greater freedoms discriminates against those who do not have passports.Low personal and social risk and preserving health system capacity are relevant reasons to discriminate between those who have immunity and those who do not.Brown et al then consider a number of potential problems with immunity passports, many of which are justice issues.

    Resentment by those who do not hold an immunity passport along with a loss of social cohesion, which is vital for responding to COVID-19, are possible downsides. There is also the potential to advantage those who are immune, economically, and it could perpetuate existing inequalities. A significant objection, which is a problem for the justice of many policies, is free riding.

    Some might create fraudulent immunity passports and it might even incentivise intentional exposure to the virus. Brown et al suggest that disincentives and punishment are potential solutions and they are in good company as the Rawlsian solution to free riding is for 'law and government to correct the necessary corrections.' (p. 268)Elves and Herring focus on a set of ethical principles intended to guide those making policy and individual level decisions about adult social care delivery impacted by the pandemic.8 They criticize the British government’s framework for being silent about what to do in the face of conflict between principles.

    They suggest the dominant values in the framework are based on autonomy and individualism and argue that there are good reasons for not making autonomy paramount in policy about COVID-19. These include that information about COVID-19 is incomplete, so no one can be that informed on decisions about their health. The second is one that highlights the importance of viewing our present ethical challenges via the lens of justice or other ethical concepts such as community or solidarity that enable us to frame collective obligations and interests.

    They observe that COVID-19 has demonstrated how health and how we live our lives are linked. That what an individual does can have profound impact on the health of many others.Their view is that appeals to self-determination ring hollow for COVID-19 and their proposed remedy is one that pushes us to reflect on what the liberal commitment to the inviolability of each person means. They explain Dworkin’s account of 'associative obligations' which occur within a group when they acknowledge special rights and responsibilities to each other.

    These obligations are a way of giving weight to community considerations, without collapsing into full-blown utilitarianism and while still respecting the inviolability of persons.The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing ethical deliberation in new directions and many of them turn on approaching medical ethics with a greater emphasis on justice and related ethical concepts.IntroductionAs COVID-19 spread internationally, healthcare services in many countries became overwhelmed. One of the main manifestations of this was a shortage of intensive care beds, leading to urgent discussion about how to allocate these fairly. In the initial debates about allocation of scarce intensive care unit (ICU) resources, there was optimism about the ‘good’ of ICU access.

    However, rather than being a life-saving intervention, data began to emerge in mid-April showing that most critical patients with COVID-19 who receive access to a ventilator do not survive to discharge. The minority who survive leave the ICU with significant morbidity and a long and uncertain road to recovery. This reality was under-recognised in bioethics debates about ICU triage throughout March and April 2020.

    Central to these disucssions were two assumptions. First, that ICU admission was a valuable but scarce resource in the pandemic context. And second, that both equity and utility considerations were important in determining which patients should have access to ICU.

    In this paper we explain how scarcity and value were conflated in the early ICU COVID-19 triage literature, leading to undue optimism about the ‘good’ of ICU access, which in turned fuelled equity-based arguments for ICU access. In the process, ethical issues regarding equitable access to end-of-life care more broadly were neglected.Equity requires the prevention of avoidable or remediable differences among social, economic, demographic, or geographic groups.1 How best to apply an equity lens to questions of distribution will depend on the nature of the resource in question. Equitable distribution of ICU beds is significantly more complex than equitable distribution of other goods that might be scarce in a pandemic, such as masks or vaccines.

    ICU (especially that which involves intubation and ventilation i.e. Mechanical ventilation) is a burdensome treatment option that can lead to significant suffering—both short and long term. The degree to which these burdens are justified depends on the probability of benefit, and this depends on the clinical status of the patient.

    People are rightly concerned about the equity implications of excluding patients from ICU on the grounds of pre-existing comorbidities that directly affect prognosis, especially when these align with and reflect social disadvantage. But this does not mean that aged, frail or comorbid patients should be admitted to ICU on the grounds of equity, when this may not be in their best interests.ICU triage debateThe COVID-19 pandemic generated extraordinary demand for critical care and required hard choices about who will receive presumed life-saving interventions such as ICU admission. The debate has focused on whether or not a utilitarian approach aimed at maximising the number of lives (or life-years) saved should be supplemented by equity considerations that attempt to protect the rights and interests of members of marginalised groups.

    The utilitarian approach uses criteria for access to ICU that focus on capacity to benefit, understood as survival.2 Supplementary equity considerations have been invoked to relax the criteria in order to give a more diverse group of people a chance of entering ICU.3 4Equity-based critiques are grounded in the concern that a utilitarian approach aimed at maximising the number (or length) of lives saved may well exacerbate inequity in survival rates between groups. This potential for discrimination is heightened if triage tools use age as a proxy for capacity to benefit or are heavily reliant on Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs) which will deprioritise people with disabilities.5 6 Even if these pitfalls are avoided, policies based on maximising lives saved entrench existing heath inequalities because those most likely to benefit from treatment will be people of privilege who come into the pandemic with better health status than less advantaged people. Those from lower socioeconomic groups, and/or some ethnic minorities have high rates of underlying comorbidities, some of which are prognostically relevant in COVID-19 infection.

    Public health ethics requires that we acknowledge how apparently neutral triage tools reflect and reinforce these disparities, especially where the impact can be lethal.7But the utility versus equity debate is more complex than it first appears. Both the utility and equity approach to ICU triage start from the assumption that ICU is a valuable good—the dispute is about how best to allocate it. Casting ICU admission as a scarce good subject to rationing has the (presumably unintended) effect of making access to critical care look highly appealing, triggering cognitive biases.

    Psychologists and marketers know that scarcity sells.8 People value a commodity more when it is difficult or impossible to obtain.9 When there is competition for scarce resources, people focus less on whether they really need or want the resource. The priority becomes securing access to the resource.Clinicians are not immune to scarcity-related cognitive bias. Clinicians treating patients with COVID-19 are working under conditions of significant information overload but without the high quality clinical research (generated from large data sets and rigorous methodology) usually available for decision-making.

    The combination of overwhelming numbers of patients, high acuity and uncertainty regarding best practice is deeply anxiety provoking. In this context it is unsurprising that, at least in the early stages of the pandemic, they may not have the psychological bandwidth to challenge assumptions about the benefits of ICU admission for patients with severe disease. Zagury-Orly and Schwartzstein have recently argued that the health sector must accept that doctors’ reasoning and decision-making are susceptible to human anxieties and in the “…effort to ‘do good’ for our patients, we may fall prey to cognitive biases and therapeutic errors”.10We suggest the global publicity and panic regarding ICU triage distorted assessments of best interests and decision-making about admittance to ICU and slanted ethical debate.

    This has the potential to compromise important decisions with regard to care for patients with COVID-19.The emerging reality of ICUIn general, the majority of patients who are ventilated for COVID-19 in ICU will die. Although comparing data from different health systems is challenging due to variation in admission criteria for ICU, clear trends are emerging with regard to those critically unwell and requiring mechanical ventilation. Emerging data show case fatality rates of 50%–88% for ventilated patients with COVID-19.

    In China11 and Italy about half of those with COVID-19 who receive ventilator support have not survived.12 In one small study in Wuhan the ICU mortality rate among those who received invasive mechanical ventilation was 86% (19/22).13 Interestingly, the rate among those who received less intensive non-invasive ventilation (NIV)1 was still 79% (23/29).13 Analysis of 5700 patients in the New York City area showed that the mortality for those receiving mechanical ventilation was 88%.14 In the UK, only 20% of those who have received mechanical ventilation have been discharged alive.15 Hence, the very real possibility of medical futility with regard to ventilation in COVID-19 needs to be considered.It is also important to consider the complications and side effects that occur in an ICU context. These patients are vulnerable to hospital acquired infections such as ventilator associated pneumonias with high mortality rates in their own right,16 neuropathies, myopathies17 and skin damage. Significant long term morbidity (physical, mental and emotional challenges) can also be experienced by people who survive prolonged ventilation in ICU.12 18 Under normal (non-pandemic) circumstances, many ICU patients experience significant muscle atrophy and deconditioning, sleep disorders, severe fatigue,19 post-traumatic stress disorder,20 cognitive deficits,21 depression, anxiety, difficulty with daily activities and loss of employment.22 Although it is too soon to have data on the long term outcomes of ICU survivors in the specific context of COVID-19, the UK Chartered Society of Physiotherapy predicts a ‘tsunami of rehabilitation needs’ as patients with COVID-19 begin to be discharged.23 The indirect effects of carer-burden should also not be underestimated, as research shows that caring for patients who have survived critical illness results in high levels of depressive symptoms for the majority of caregivers.24The emerging mortality data for patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU—in conjunction with what is already known about the morbidity of ICU survivors—has significant implications for the utility–equity debates about allocating the scarce resource of ICU beds.

    First, they undermine the utility argument as there seems to be little evidence that ICU admission leads to better outcomes for patients, especially when the long term morbidity of extended ICU admission is included in the balance of burdens and benefits. For some patients, perhaps many, the burdens of ICU will not outweigh the limited potential benefits. Second, the poor survival rates challenge the equity-based claim for preferential access to treatment for members of disadvantaged groups.

    In particular, admitting frailer or comorbid patients to ICU to fulfil equity goals is unlikely to achieve greater survival for these population groups, but will increase their risk of complications and may ultimately exacerbate or prolong their suffering.The high proportions of people who die despite ICU admission make it particularly important to consider what might constitute better or worse experiences of dying with COVID-19, and how ICU admission affects the likelihood of a ‘good’ death. Critical care may compromise the ability of patients to communicate and engage with their families during the terminal phase of their lives—in the context of an intubated, ventilated patient this is unequivocal.Given the high rates of medical futility with patients with COVID-19 in ICU, the very significant risks for further suffering in the short and long term and the compromise of important psychosocial needs—such as communicating with our families—in the terminal phase of life, our ethical scope must be wider than ICU triage. Ho and Tsai argue that, “In considering effective and efficient allocation of healthcare resources as well as physical and psychological harm that can be incurred in prolonging the dying process, there is a critical need to reframe end-of-life care planning in the ICU.”25 We propose that the focus on equity concerns during the pandemic should broaden to include providing all people who need it with access to the highest possible standard of end-of-life care.

    This requires attention to minimising barriers to accessing culturally safe care in the following interlinked areas. Palliative care, and communication and decision support and advanced care planning.Palliative careScaling up palliative and hospice care is an essential component of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Avoiding non-beneficial or unwanted high-intensity care is critical when the capacity of the health system is stressed.26 Palliative care focuses on symptom management, quality of life and death, and holistic care of physical, psychological, social and spiritual health.27 Evidence from Italy has prompted recommendations that, “Governments must urgently recognise the essential contribution of hospice and palliative care to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure these services are integrated into the healthcare system response.”28 Rapid palliative care policy changes were implemented in response to COVID-19 in Italy, including more support in community settings, change in admission criteria and daily telephone support for families.28 To meet this increased demand, hospice and palliative care staff should be included in personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation and provided with appropriate infection preventon and control training when dealing with patients with COVID-19 or high risk areas.Attention must also be directed to maintaining supply lines for essential medications for pain, distress and sedation.

    Patients may experience pain due to existing comorbidities, but may also develop pain as a result of excessive coughing or immobility from COVID-19. Such symptoms should be addressed using existing approaches to pain management.27 Supply lines for essential medications for distress and pain management, including fentanyl and midazolam are under threat in the USA and propofol—used in terminal sedation—may also be in short supply.29 The challenges are exacerbated when people who for various reasons eschew or are unable to secure hospital admission decline rapidly at home with COVID-19 (the time frame of recognition that someone is dying may be shorter than that through which hospice at home services usually support people). There is growing debate about the fair allocation of novel drugs—sometimes available as part of ongoing clinical trials—to treat COVID-19 with curative intent.2 30 But we must also pay attention to the fair allocation of drugs needed to ease suffering and dying.Communication and end-of-life decision-making supportEnd-of-life planning can be especially challenging because patients, family members and healthcare providers often differ in what they consider most important near the end of life.31 Less than half of ICU physicians—40.6% in high income countries and 46.3% in low–middle income countries—feel comfortable holding end-of-life discussions with patients’ families.25 With ICUs bursting and health providers under extraordinary pressure, their capacity to effectively support end-of-life decisions and to ease dying will be reduced.This suggests a need for specialist COVID-19 communication support teams, analogous to the idea of specialist ICU triage teams to ensure consistency of decision making about ICU admissions/discharges, and to reduce the moral and psychological distress of health providers during the pandemic.32 These support teams could provide up to date information templates for patients and families, support decision-making, the development of advance care plans (ACPs) and act as a liaison between families (prevented from being in the hospital), the patient and the clinical team.

    Some people with disabilities may require additional communication support to ensure the patients’ needs are communicated to all health providers.33 This will be especially important if carers and visitors are not able to be present.To provide effective and appropriate support in an equitable way, communication teams will need to include those with the appropriate skills for caring for diverse populations including. Interpreters, specialist social workers, disability advocates and cultural support liaison officers for ethnic and religious minorities. Patient groups that already have comparatively poor health outcomes require dedicated resources.

    These support resources are essential if we wish to truly mitigate equity concerns that arisingduring the pandemic context. See Box 1 for examples of specific communication and care strategies to support patients.Box 1 Supporting communication and compassionate care during COVID-19Despite the sometimes overwhelming pressure of the pandemic, health providers continue to invest in communication, compassionate care and end-of-life support. In some places, doctors have taken photos of their faces and taped these to the front of their PPE so that patients can ‘see’ their face.37 In Singapore, patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are quarantined in health facilities until they receive two consecutive negative tests.

    Patients may be isolated in hospital for several weeks. To help ease this burden on patients, health providers have dubbed themselves the ‘second family’ and gone out of their way to provide care as well as treatment. Elsewhere, medical, nursing and multi-disciplinary teams are utilising internet based devices to enable ‘virtual’ visits and contact between patients and their loved ones.38 Some centres are providing staff with masks with a see-through window panel that shows the wearer’s mouth, to support effective communication with patient with hearing loss who rely on lip reading.39Advance care planningACPs aim to honour decisions made by autonomous patients if and when they lose capacity.

    However, talking to patients and their loved ones about clinical prognosis, ceilings of treatment and potential end-of-life care is challenging even in normal times. During COVID-19 the challenges are exacerbated by uncertainty and urgency, the absence of family support (due to visitor restrictions) and the wearing of PPE by clinicians and carers. Protective equipment can create a formidable barrier between the patient and the provider, often adding to the patient’s sense of isolation and fear.

    An Australian palliative care researcher with experience working in disaster zones, argues that the “PPE may disguise countenance, restrict normal human touch and create an unfamiliar gulf between you and your patient.”34 The physical and psychological barriers of PPE coupled with the pressure of high clinical loads do not seem conducive to compassionate discussions about patients’ end-of-life preferences. Indeed, a study in Singapore during the 2004 SARS epidemic demonstrated the barrier posed by PPE to compassionate end-of-life care.35Clinicians may struggle to interpret existing ACPs in the context of COVID-19, given the unprecedented nature and scale of the pandemic and emerging clinical knowledge about the aetiology of the disease and (perhaps especially) about prognosis. This suggests the need for COVID-19-specific ACPs.

    Where possible, proactive planning should occur with high-risk patients, the frail, those in residential care and those with significant underlying morbidities. Ideally, ACP conversations should take place prior to illness, involve known health providers and carers, not be hampered by PPE or subject to time constraints imposed by acute care contexts. Of note here, a systematic review found that patients who received advance care planning or palliative care interventions consistently showed a pattern toward decreased ICU admissions and reduced ICU length of stay.36ConclusionHow best to address equity concerns in relation to ICU and end-of-life care for patients with COVID-19 is challenging and complex.

    Attempts to broaden clinical criteria to give patients with poorer prognoses access to ICU on equity grounds may result in fewer lives saved overall—this may well be justified if access to ICU confers benefit to these ‘equity’ patients. But we must avoid tokenistic gestures to equity—admitting patients with poor prognostic indicators to ICU to meet an equity target when intensive critical care is contrary to their best interests. ICU admission may exacerbate and prolong suffering rather than ameliorate it, especially for frailer patients.

    And prolonging life at all costs may ultimately lead to a worse death. The capacity for harm not just the capacity for benefit should be emphasised in any triage tools and related literature. Equity can be addressed more robustly if pandemic responses scale up investment in palliative care services, communication and decision-support services and advanced care planning to meet the needs of all patients with COVID-19.

    Ultimately, however, equity considerations will require us to move even further from a critical care framework as the social and economic impact of the pandemic will disproportionately impact those most vulnerable. Globally, we will need an approach that does not just stop an exponential rise in infections but an exponential rise in inequality.AcknowledgmentsWe would like to thank Tracy Anne Dunbrook and David Tripp for their helpful comments, and NUS Medicine for permission to reproduce the COVID-19 Chronicles strip..

    John Rawls begins a where can i buy prednisone Theory of Justice with the observation that 'Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought… Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override'1 (p.3). The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lock-downs, the restriction of liberties, where can i buy prednisone debate about the right to refuse medical treatment and many other changes to the everyday behaviour of persons. The justice issues it raises are diverse, profound and will demand our attention for some time. How we can respect the Rawlsian commitment to the inviolability of each person, when the welfare of societies as a whole is under threat goes to the heart of some of the difficult ethical issues we face and are discussed in this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.The debate about ICU triage and COVID-19 is quite well developed and this journal has published several articles that explore aspects of this issue and how different places approach it.2–5 Newdick et al add to the legal analysis of triage decisions and criticise the calls for respecting a narrow conception of a legal right to treatment where can i buy prednisone and more detailed national guidelines for how triage decisions should be made.6They consider scoring systems for clinical frailty, organ failure assessment, and raise some doubts about the fairness of their application to COVID-19 triage situations. Their argument seems to highlight instances of what is called the McNamara fallacy.

    US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara used enemy body counts as a measure where can i buy prednisone of military success during the Vietnam war. So, the fallacy occurs when we rely solely on considerations that appear to be quantifiable, to the neglect of vital qualitative, difficult to measure or contestable features.6 Newdick et al point to variation in assessment, subtlety in condition and other factors as reasons why it is misleading to present scoring systems as ‘objective’ tests for triage. In doing so they draw a distinction between procedural and outcome consistency, which is important, and hints where can i buy prednisone at distinctions Rawls drew between the different forms of procedural fairness. While we might hope to come up with a triage protocol that is procedurally fair and arrives at a fair outcome (what Rawls calls perfect procedural justice, p. 85) there where can i buy prednisone is little prospect of that.

    As they observe, reasonable people can disagree about the outcomes we should aim for in allocating health resources and ICU triage for COVID-19 is no exception. Instead, we should work toward a transparent and fair process, what Rawls would describe as imperfect where can i buy prednisone procedural justice (p. 85). His example of this is a criminal trial where we adopt processes that we have reason to believe are our best chance of determining guilt, but which do not guarantee the truth of a verdict, and this is a reason why they must be transparent and consistent (p. 85).

    Their proposal is to triage patients into three broad categories. High, medium and low priority, with the thought that a range of considerations could feed into that evaluation by an appropriately constituted clinical group.Ballantyne et al question another issue that is central to the debate about COVID-19 triage.4 They describe how utility measures such as QALYs, lives saved seem to be in tension with equity. Their central point is that ICU for COVID-19 can be futile, and that is a reason for questioning how much weight should be given to equality of access to ICU for COVID-19. They claim that there is little point admitting someone to ICU when ICU is not in their best interests. Instead, the scope of equity should encompass preventing 'remediable differences among social, economic demographic or geographic groups' and for COVID-19 that means looking beyond access to ICU.

    Their central argument can be summarised as follows.Maximising utility can entrench existing health inequalities.The majority of those ventilated for COVID-19 in ICU will die.Admitting frailer or comorbid patients to ICU is likely to do more harm than good to these groups.Therefore, better access to ICU is unlikely to promote health equity for these groups.Equity for those with health inequalities related to COVID-19 should broadened to include all the services a system might provide.Brown et al argue in favour of COVID-19 immunity passports and the following summarises one of the key arguments in their article.7COVID-19 immunity passports are a way of demonstrating low personal and social risk.Those who are at low personal risk and low social risk from COVID-19 should be permitted more freedoms.Permitting those with immunity passports greater freedoms discriminates against those who do not have passports.Low personal and social risk and preserving health system capacity are relevant reasons to discriminate between those who have immunity and those who do not.Brown et al then consider a number of potential problems with immunity passports, many of which are justice issues. Resentment by those who do not hold an immunity passport along with a loss of social cohesion, which is vital for responding to COVID-19, are possible downsides. There is also the potential to advantage those who are immune, economically, and it could perpetuate existing inequalities. A significant objection, which is a problem for the justice of many policies, is free riding. Some might create fraudulent immunity passports and it might even incentivise intentional exposure to the virus.

    Brown et al suggest that disincentives and punishment are potential solutions and they are in good company as the Rawlsian solution to free riding is for 'law and government to correct the necessary corrections.' (p. 268)Elves and Herring focus on a set of ethical principles intended to guide those making policy and individual level decisions about adult social care delivery impacted by the pandemic.8 They criticize the British government’s framework for being silent about what to do in the face of conflict between principles. They suggest the dominant values in the framework are based on autonomy and individualism and argue that there are good reasons for not making autonomy paramount in policy about COVID-19. These include that information about COVID-19 is incomplete, so no one can be that informed on decisions about their health. The second is one that highlights the importance of viewing our present ethical challenges via the lens of justice or other ethical concepts such as community or solidarity that enable us to frame collective obligations and interests.

    They observe that COVID-19 has demonstrated how health and how we live our lives are linked. That what an individual does can have profound impact on the health of many others.Their view is that appeals to self-determination ring hollow for COVID-19 and their proposed remedy is one that pushes us to reflect on what the liberal commitment to the inviolability of each person means. They explain Dworkin’s account of 'associative obligations' which occur within a group when they acknowledge special rights and responsibilities to each other. These obligations are a way of giving weight to community considerations, without collapsing into full-blown utilitarianism and while still respecting the inviolability of persons.The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing ethical deliberation in new directions and many of them turn on approaching medical ethics with a greater emphasis on justice and related ethical concepts.IntroductionAs COVID-19 spread internationally, healthcare services in many countries became overwhelmed. One of the main manifestations of this was a shortage of intensive care beds, leading to urgent discussion about how to allocate these fairly.

    In the initial debates about allocation of scarce intensive care unit (ICU) resources, there was optimism about the ‘good’ of ICU access. However, rather than being a life-saving intervention, data began to emerge in mid-April showing that most critical patients with COVID-19 who receive access to a ventilator do not survive to discharge. The minority who survive leave the ICU with significant morbidity and a long and uncertain road to recovery. This reality was under-recognised in bioethics debates about ICU triage throughout March and April 2020. Central to these disucssions were two assumptions.

    First, that ICU admission was a valuable but scarce resource in the pandemic context. And second, that both equity and utility considerations were important in determining which patients should have access to ICU. In this paper we explain how scarcity and value were conflated in the early ICU COVID-19 triage literature, leading to undue optimism about the ‘good’ of ICU access, which in turned fuelled equity-based arguments for ICU access. In the process, ethical issues regarding equitable access to end-of-life care more broadly were neglected.Equity requires the prevention of avoidable or remediable differences among social, economic, demographic, or geographic groups.1 How best to apply an equity lens to questions of distribution will depend on the nature of the resource in question. Equitable distribution of ICU beds is significantly more complex than equitable distribution of other goods that might be scarce in a pandemic, such as masks or vaccines.

    ICU (especially that which involves intubation and ventilation i.e. Mechanical ventilation) is a burdensome treatment option that can lead to significant suffering—both short and long term. The degree to which these burdens are justified depends on the probability of benefit, and this depends on the clinical status of the patient. People are rightly concerned about the equity implications of excluding patients from ICU on the grounds of pre-existing comorbidities that directly affect prognosis, especially when these align with and reflect social disadvantage. But this does not mean that aged, frail or comorbid patients should be admitted to ICU on the grounds of equity, when this may not be in their best interests.ICU triage debateThe COVID-19 pandemic generated extraordinary demand for critical care and required hard choices about who will receive presumed life-saving interventions such as ICU admission.

    The debate has focused on whether or not a utilitarian approach aimed at maximising the number of lives (or life-years) saved should be supplemented by equity considerations that attempt to protect the rights and interests of members of marginalised groups. The utilitarian approach uses criteria for access to ICU that focus on capacity to benefit, understood as survival.2 Supplementary equity considerations have been invoked to relax the criteria in order to give a more diverse group of people a chance of entering ICU.3 4Equity-based critiques are grounded in the concern that a utilitarian approach aimed at maximising the number (or length) of lives saved may well exacerbate inequity in survival rates between groups. This potential for discrimination is heightened if triage tools use age as a proxy for capacity to benefit or are heavily reliant on Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs) which will deprioritise people with disabilities.5 6 Even if these pitfalls are avoided, policies based on maximising lives saved entrench existing heath inequalities because those most likely to benefit from treatment will be people of privilege who come into the pandemic with better health status than less advantaged people. Those from lower socioeconomic groups, and/or some ethnic minorities have high rates of underlying comorbidities, some of which are prognostically relevant in COVID-19 infection. Public health ethics requires that we acknowledge how apparently neutral triage tools reflect and reinforce these disparities, especially where the impact can be lethal.7But the utility versus equity debate is more complex than it first appears.

    Both the utility and equity approach to ICU triage start from the assumption that ICU is a valuable good—the dispute is about how best to allocate it. Casting ICU admission as a scarce good subject to rationing has the (presumably unintended) effect of making access to critical care look highly appealing, triggering cognitive biases. Psychologists and marketers know that scarcity sells.8 People value a commodity more when it is difficult or impossible to obtain.9 When there is competition for scarce resources, people focus less on whether they really need or want the resource. The priority becomes securing access to the resource.Clinicians are not immune to scarcity-related cognitive bias. Clinicians treating patients with COVID-19 are working under conditions of significant information overload but without the high quality clinical research (generated from large data sets and rigorous methodology) usually available for decision-making.

    The combination of overwhelming numbers of patients, high acuity and uncertainty regarding best practice is deeply anxiety provoking. In this context it is unsurprising that, at least in the early stages of the pandemic, they may not have the psychological bandwidth to challenge assumptions about the benefits of ICU admission for patients with severe disease. Zagury-Orly and Schwartzstein have recently argued that the health sector must accept that doctors’ reasoning and decision-making are susceptible to human anxieties and in the “…effort to ‘do good’ for our patients, we may fall prey to cognitive biases and therapeutic errors”.10We suggest the global publicity and panic regarding ICU triage distorted assessments of best interests and decision-making about admittance to ICU and slanted ethical debate. This has the potential to compromise important decisions with regard to care for patients with COVID-19.The emerging reality of ICUIn general, the majority of patients who are ventilated for COVID-19 in ICU will die. Although comparing data from different health systems is challenging due to variation in admission criteria for ICU, clear trends are emerging with regard to those critically unwell and requiring mechanical ventilation.

    Emerging data show case fatality rates of 50%–88% for ventilated patients with COVID-19. In China11 and Italy about half of those with COVID-19 who receive ventilator support have not survived.12 In one small study in Wuhan the ICU mortality rate among those who received invasive mechanical ventilation was 86% (19/22).13 Interestingly, the rate among those who received less intensive non-invasive ventilation (NIV)1 was still 79% (23/29).13 Analysis of 5700 patients in the New York City area showed that the mortality for those receiving mechanical ventilation was 88%.14 In the UK, only 20% of those who have received mechanical ventilation have been discharged alive.15 Hence, the very real possibility of medical futility with regard to ventilation in COVID-19 needs to be considered.It is also important to consider the complications and side effects that occur in an ICU context. These patients are vulnerable to hospital acquired infections such as ventilator associated pneumonias with high mortality rates in their own right,16 neuropathies, myopathies17 and skin damage. Significant long term morbidity (physical, mental and emotional challenges) can also be experienced by people who survive prolonged ventilation in ICU.12 18 Under normal (non-pandemic) circumstances, many ICU patients experience significant muscle atrophy and deconditioning, sleep disorders, severe fatigue,19 post-traumatic stress disorder,20 cognitive deficits,21 depression, anxiety, difficulty with daily activities and loss of employment.22 Although it is too soon to have data on the long term outcomes of ICU survivors in the specific context of COVID-19, the UK Chartered Society of Physiotherapy predicts a ‘tsunami of rehabilitation needs’ as patients with COVID-19 begin to be discharged.23 The indirect effects of carer-burden should also not be underestimated, as research shows that caring for patients who have survived critical illness results in high levels of depressive symptoms for the majority of caregivers.24The emerging mortality data for patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU—in conjunction with what is already known about the morbidity of ICU survivors—has significant implications for the utility–equity debates about allocating the scarce resource of ICU beds. First, they undermine the utility argument as there seems to be little evidence that ICU admission leads to better outcomes for patients, especially when the long term morbidity of extended ICU admission is included in the balance of burdens and benefits.

    For some patients, perhaps many, the burdens of ICU will not outweigh the limited potential benefits. Second, the poor survival rates challenge the equity-based claim for preferential access to treatment for members of disadvantaged groups. In particular, admitting frailer or comorbid patients to ICU to fulfil equity goals is unlikely to achieve greater survival for these population groups, but will increase their risk of complications and may ultimately exacerbate or prolong their suffering.The high proportions of people who die despite ICU admission make it particularly important to consider what might constitute better or worse experiences of dying with COVID-19, and how ICU admission affects the likelihood of a ‘good’ death. Critical care may compromise the ability of patients to communicate and engage with their families during the terminal phase of their lives—in the context of an intubated, ventilated patient this is unequivocal.Given the high rates of medical futility with patients with COVID-19 in ICU, the very significant risks for further suffering in the short and long term and the compromise of important psychosocial needs—such as communicating with our families—in the terminal phase of life, our ethical scope must be wider than ICU triage. Ho and Tsai argue that, “In considering effective and efficient allocation of healthcare resources as well as physical and psychological harm that can be incurred in prolonging the dying process, there is a critical need to reframe end-of-life care planning in the ICU.”25 We propose that the focus on equity concerns during the pandemic should broaden to include providing all people who need it with access to the highest possible standard of end-of-life care.

    This requires attention to minimising barriers to accessing culturally safe care in the following interlinked areas. Palliative care, and communication and decision support and advanced care planning.Palliative careScaling up palliative and hospice care is an essential component of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Avoiding non-beneficial or unwanted high-intensity care is critical when the capacity of the health system is stressed.26 Palliative care focuses on symptom management, quality of life and death, and holistic care of physical, psychological, social and spiritual health.27 Evidence from Italy has prompted recommendations that, “Governments must urgently recognise the essential contribution of hospice and palliative care to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure these services are integrated into the healthcare system response.”28 Rapid palliative care policy changes were implemented in response to COVID-19 in Italy, including more support in community settings, change in admission criteria and daily telephone support for families.28 To meet this increased demand, hospice and palliative care staff should be included in personal protective equipment (PPE) allocation and provided with appropriate infection preventon and control training when dealing with patients with COVID-19 or high risk areas.Attention must also be directed to maintaining supply lines for essential medications for pain, distress and sedation. Patients may experience pain due to existing comorbidities, but may also develop pain as a result of excessive coughing or immobility from COVID-19. Such symptoms should be addressed using existing approaches to pain management.27 Supply lines for essential medications for distress and pain management, including fentanyl and midazolam are under threat in the USA and propofol—used in terminal sedation—may also be in short supply.29 The challenges are exacerbated when people who for various reasons eschew or are unable to secure hospital admission decline rapidly at home with COVID-19 (the time frame of recognition that someone is dying may be shorter than that through which hospice at home services usually support people).

    There is growing debate about the fair allocation of novel drugs—sometimes available as part of ongoing clinical trials—to treat COVID-19 with curative intent.2 30 But we must also pay attention to the fair allocation of drugs needed to ease suffering and dying.Communication and end-of-life decision-making supportEnd-of-life planning can be especially challenging because patients, family members and healthcare providers often differ in what they consider most important near the end of life.31 Less than half of ICU physicians—40.6% in high income countries and 46.3% in low–middle income countries—feel comfortable holding end-of-life discussions with patients’ families.25 With ICUs bursting and health providers under extraordinary pressure, their capacity to effectively support end-of-life decisions and to ease dying will be reduced.This suggests a need for specialist COVID-19 communication support teams, analogous to the idea of specialist ICU triage teams to ensure consistency of decision making about ICU admissions/discharges, and to reduce the moral and psychological distress of health providers during the pandemic.32 These support teams could provide up to date information templates for patients and families, support decision-making, the development of advance care plans (ACPs) and act as a liaison between families (prevented from being in the hospital), the patient and the clinical team. Some people with disabilities may require additional communication support to ensure the patients’ needs are communicated to all health providers.33 This will be especially important if carers and visitors are not able to be present.To provide effective and appropriate support in an equitable way, communication teams will need to include those with the appropriate skills for caring for diverse populations including. Interpreters, specialist social workers, disability advocates and cultural support liaison officers for ethnic and religious minorities. Patient groups that already have comparatively poor health outcomes require dedicated resources. These support resources are essential if we wish to truly mitigate equity concerns that arisingduring the pandemic context.

    See Box 1 for examples of specific communication and care strategies to support patients.Box 1 Supporting communication and compassionate care during COVID-19Despite the sometimes overwhelming pressure of the pandemic, health providers continue to invest in communication, compassionate care and end-of-life support. In some places, doctors have taken photos of their faces and taped these to the front of their PPE so that patients can ‘see’ their face.37 In Singapore, patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 are quarantined in health facilities until they receive two consecutive negative tests. Patients may be isolated in hospital for several weeks. To help ease this burden on patients, health providers have dubbed themselves the ‘second family’ and gone out of their way to provide care as well as treatment. Elsewhere, medical, nursing and multi-disciplinary teams are utilising internet based devices to enable ‘virtual’ visits and contact between patients and their loved ones.38 Some centres are providing staff with masks with a see-through window panel that shows the wearer’s mouth, to support effective communication with patient with hearing loss who rely on lip reading.39Advance care planningACPs aim to honour decisions made by autonomous patients if and when they lose capacity.

    However, talking to patients and their loved ones about clinical prognosis, ceilings of treatment and potential end-of-life care is challenging even in normal times. During COVID-19 the challenges are exacerbated by uncertainty and urgency, the absence of family support (due to visitor restrictions) and the wearing of PPE by clinicians and carers. Protective equipment can create a formidable barrier between the patient and the provider, often adding to the patient’s sense of isolation and fear. An Australian palliative care researcher with experience working in disaster zones, argues that the “PPE may disguise countenance, restrict normal human touch and create an unfamiliar gulf between you and your patient.”34 The physical and psychological barriers of PPE coupled with the pressure of high clinical loads do not seem conducive to compassionate discussions about patients’ end-of-life preferences. Indeed, a study in Singapore during the 2004 SARS epidemic demonstrated the barrier posed by PPE to compassionate end-of-life care.35Clinicians may struggle to interpret existing ACPs in the context of COVID-19, given the unprecedented nature and scale of the pandemic and emerging clinical knowledge about the aetiology of the disease and (perhaps especially) about prognosis.

    This suggests the need for COVID-19-specific ACPs. Where possible, proactive planning should occur with high-risk patients, the frail, those in residential care and those with significant underlying morbidities. Ideally, ACP conversations should take place prior to illness, involve known health providers and carers, not be hampered by PPE or subject to time constraints imposed by acute care contexts. Of note here, a systematic review found that patients who received advance care planning or palliative care interventions consistently showed a pattern toward decreased ICU admissions and reduced ICU length of stay.36ConclusionHow best to address equity concerns in relation to ICU and end-of-life care for patients with COVID-19 is challenging and complex. Attempts to broaden clinical criteria to give patients with poorer prognoses access to ICU on equity grounds may result in fewer lives saved overall—this may well be justified if access to ICU confers benefit to these ‘equity’ patients.

    But we must avoid tokenistic gestures to equity—admitting patients with poor prognostic indicators to ICU to meet an equity target when intensive critical care is contrary to their best interests. ICU admission may exacerbate and prolong suffering rather than ameliorate it, especially for frailer patients. And prolonging life at all costs may ultimately lead to a worse death. The capacity for harm not just the capacity for benefit should be emphasised in any triage tools and related literature. Equity can be addressed more robustly if pandemic responses scale up investment in palliative care services, communication and decision-support services and advanced care planning to meet the needs of all patients with COVID-19.

    Ultimately, however, equity considerations will require us to move even further from a critical care framework as the social and economic impact of the pandemic will disproportionately impact those most vulnerable. Globally, we will need an approach that does not just stop an exponential rise in infections but an exponential rise in inequality.AcknowledgmentsWe would like to thank Tracy Anne Dunbrook and David Tripp for their helpful comments, and NUS Medicine for permission to reproduce the COVID-19 Chronicles strip..

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    Start Preamble Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT prednisone for lower back pain. Notice of funding opportunity. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health prednisone for lower back pain emergency Start Printed Page 63654has had a significant impact on transit operations. During a series of FTA listening sessions held over the last three months, transit agencies asked FTA to support research to identify solutions to address the operational challenges that they are facing as a result of COVID-19. In response, FTA makes available through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) funding to support research demonstration grants to public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    Demonstration grants under this NOFO are authorized under FTA's Public Transportation Innovation prednisone for lower back pain Program (49 U.S.C. 5312). Eligible projects will demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the operational efficiencies of transit systems and enhance mobility for their communities in four major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment prednisone for lower back pain and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection. (2) exposure mitigation measures.

    (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures prednisone for lower back pain that strengthen public confidence in transit services. The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $10,000,000. FTA may prednisone for lower back pain supplement this amount if additional funding becomes available. Applicants must submit completed proposals for funding opportunity FTA-2020-015-TRI through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by 11:59 p.m.

    Eastern Time on November 2, 2020. Prospective applicants should register as soon as possible on the GRANTS.GOV website to ensure they can complete the prednisone for lower back pain application process before the submission deadline. Application instructions are available on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/​howtoapply and in the “FIND” module of GRANTS.GOV. FTA will not accept mail and fax submissions. Start Further prednisone for lower back pain Info Please send any questions on this notice to Jamel El-Hamri email.

    Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 2020-366-8985. A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) is available for individuals who prednisone for lower back pain are deaf or hard of hearing at 1-800-877-8339. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Table of Contents A. Program Description B prednisone for lower back pain.

    Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information prednisone for lower back pain E. Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration Information G.

    Federal Awarding Agency Contact Information prednisone for lower back pain A. Program Description The Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program is funded through the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312), with the goal to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Eligible projects will propose to develop and deploy innovative solutions in four prednisone for lower back pain major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection.

    (2) exposure prednisone for lower back pain mitigation measures. (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. As required by 49 U.S.C prednisone for lower back pain. 5312(e)(4), projects funded under this NOFO must participate in an evaluation by an independent outside entity that will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of the projects funded under this subsection and any plan for broad-based implementation of the innovation promoted by successful projects.

    B. Federal Award Information FTA makes available $10,000,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 funds under the Public prednisone for lower back pain Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) to finance the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. FTA may supplement the total funds available if additional funding becomes available at the time project selections are made. FTA will grant pre-award authority starting on the date of the project award announcement for selected prednisone for lower back pain projects and should be completed within 24 months from the date of award.

    Funds are available only for eligible expenses incurred after the announcement of project selections. C. Eligibility Information prednisone for lower back pain (1) Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants include State and local governmental authorities, direct recipients of Urbanized Area (49 U.S.C. 5307) and Rural Area (49 U.S.C. 5311) formula funds, prednisone for lower back pain and Indian tribes.

    Eligible applicants are limited to FTA grantees or subrecipients who would be the primary beneficiaries of the innovative products and services that are developed—typically public transit agencies. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal. States and other eligible applicants also may submit consolidated prednisone for lower back pain proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of the Statewide application will not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients.

    Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private providers prednisone for lower back pain engaged in public transportation. Eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects. (2) Cost Sharing or Matching The maximum Federal share of project costs is 100 percent. FTA may give additional consideration to applicants that propose a local prednisone for lower back pain share and may view these applicants as more competitive. The applicant must document the source(s) of the local match, if any, in the grant application.

    For any applicants proposing match, prednisone for lower back pain eligible local match sources include the following. Cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services. Revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions. Revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms prednisone for lower back pain. Funds from an undistributed cash surplus.

    Replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve. New capital prednisone for lower back pain. Or in-kind contributions. (3) Eligible Projects Eligible projects will propose innovative solutions to improve operational efficiencies of transit agencies and enhance the mobility of transit users, through projects that demonstrate innovative solutions for. Vehicle, prednisone for lower back pain facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection.

    Exposure mitigation measures such a real-time notification of rail and bus passenger loads. New multi-modal payment innovative mobility systems prednisone for lower back pain such as contactless payments. And measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. Each applicant may only submit one proposal.Start Printed Page 63655 D. Application and Submission Information (1) Address prednisone for lower back pain and Form of Application Submission Applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV.

    Applicants can find general information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV at www.fta.dot.gov/​howtoapply, along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. (2) Content prednisone for lower back pain and Form of Application Submission a. Proposal Submission A complete proposal submission consists of at least two forms. 1.

    The SF-424 Mandatory Form (downloadable from prednisone for lower back pain GRANTS.GOV) and 2. The supplemental form for the FY 2020 COVID-19 Demonstration Program (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV), which is available on FTA's website at (placeholder for FTA COVID-19 Demonstration Program). The application prednisone for lower back pain must include responses to all sections of the SF-424 mandatory form and the supplemental form unless a section is indicated as optional. FTA will use the information on the supplemental form to determine applicant and project eligibility for the program and to evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part E of this notice. FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF-424 submission.

    FTA encourages applicants to consider submitting a single supplemental form that includes prednisone for lower back pain multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF-424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project budgets, or excerpts from relevant planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed. Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc., may be requested in varying degrees of detail on both prednisone for lower back pain the SF-424 form and supplemental form. Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms.

    If applicants copy information into the supplemental form from another source, they should verify that the supplemental form has fully captured pasted text and that it has not truncated the text due to character limits built into the form. Applicants should use both the “Check Package for Errors” and the “Validate Form” validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields prednisone for lower back pain. Applicants should also ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are consistent. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with prednisone for lower back pain the R.O.U.T.E.S.

    Initiative, the Department encourages applicants to consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. B. Application Content The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the supplemental form will prompt applicants for the required information, including. I. Applicant Name ii.

    Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number iii. Key contact information (contact name, address, email address, and phone number) iv. Congressional district(s) where project will take place v. Project Information (title, executive summary, and type) vi. A detailed description of the need for the project vii.

    A detailed description of how the project will support the Program objectives viii. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost shares ix. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the applicant x. A detailed project budget xi. Details on the local matching funds xii.

    A detailed project timeline xiii. Whether the project impacts an Opportunity Zone (3) Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant is required to. (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting an application. (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application. And (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA.

    These requirements do not apply if the applicant. (1) Is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c). Or (2) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

    All applicants must provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM may take as little as 3-5 business days, but there can be unexpected steps or delays. For example, the applicant may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number. FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, to complete all steps. For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov.

    (4) Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on November 2, 2020. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have caused either GRANTS.GOV or FTA systems to reject the submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not within the applicant's control.

    Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV. (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV. And (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV.

    If the applicant does not receive confirmation of successful validation or receives a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is Start Printed Page 63656a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants may still be required to update their registration before submitting an application.

    Registration in SAM is renewed annually and persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. (5) Funding Restrictions Funds may be used for post-award expenditures only. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse projects for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to the date of project award announcements. (6) Other Submission Requirements FTA encourages applicants to identify scaled funding options in case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the program and meets all relevant program requirements.

    The applicant must provide a clear explanation of how a reduced award would affect the project budget and scope. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not the applicant provides a scalable option. E. Application Review Information (1) Project Evaluation Criteria Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S.

    Initiative, the Department will consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. In addition, the Department will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this Notice in accordance with the President's September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities, consistent with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Attorney General and with all applicable laws. FTA will evaluate proposals submitted according to the following criteria. (a) Project Innovation and Impact. (b) Project Approach.

    (c) National Applicability. (d) Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer. And (e) Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity. FTA encourages each applicant to demonstrate how a project supports all criteria with the most relevant information the applicant can provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested or identified in this notice. A.

    Project Innovation and Impact i. Effectiveness of the project in achieving and demonstrating the specific objectives of this program. Ii. Demonstration of benefits in addressing the needs of the transit agency and industry and impacts to infrastructure, equipment, transit workforce, and riders. Iii.

    Degree of improvement over current and existing technologies, designs, and/or practices applicable to the transit industry. B. Project Approach i. Quality of the project approach such as existing partnerships, collaboration strategies and level of commitment of the project partners. Ii.

    Proposal is realistic in its approach to fulfill the milestones/deliverables, schedule and goals. C. National Applicability i. Degree to which the project could be replicated by other transit agencies regionally or nationally. Ii.

    Ability to evaluate technologies, designs and/or practices in a wide variety of conditions and locales. Iii. Degree to which the technology, designs and/or practices can be replicated by other transportation modes. D. Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer i.

    Demonstrates a realistic plan for moving the results of the project into the transit marketplace (patents, conferences, articles in trade magazines, webinar, site visits, etc.). Ii. How the project team plans to work with the industry on improving best practices, guidance and/or standards, if applicable. Iii. Demonstrate a clear understanding and robust approach to data collection, access and management.

    E. Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity Capacity of the applicant and any partners to successfully execute the project effort. There should be no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant that would make this a high-risk project. (2) Review and Selection Process An FTA technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the published project evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation committee will rate the applications and may seek clarification about any statement in an application.

    The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding for each project after consideration of the findings of the technical evaluation committee. Geographic diversity, diversity of the project type, the amount of local match to be provided, and the applicant's receipt and management of other Federal transit funds may be considered in FTA's award decisions. Prior fare payment innovation efforts may receive priority consideration. The FTA Administrator will consider the following key DOT objectives. A.

    Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing models to attract non-Federal sources of investment. B. Whether the project is located in or supports public transportation service in a qualified opportunity zone designated pursuant to 26.U.S.C. 1400Z-1. And c.

    The extent to which the project addresses challenges specific to the provision of rural public transportation. (3) FAPIIS Review Prior to making a grant award, FTA is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) accessible through SAM. An applicant may review and comment on information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants. F.

    Federal Award Administration Information (1) Federal Award Notices FTA will announce the final project selections on the FTA website. Project recipients should contact their FTA Regional Office for additional information regarding allocations for Start Printed Page 63657projects. At the time project selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects before announcement. There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount, but FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible.

    FTA only will consider proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities. Due to funding limitations, projects selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. (2) Administrative and National Policy Requirements a. Pre-Award Authority FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection.

    FTA does not provide pre-award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected, and there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award authority, see the FY 2020 Apportionments Notice published on June 3, 2020, at https://www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2020-06-03/​pdf/​2020-11946.pdf. b. Grant Requirements Selected applicants will submit a grant application through FTA's electronic grant management system and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements for research project (insert Circular name). All competitive grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the Congressional notification and release process.

    FTA emphasizes that third-party procurement applies to all funding awards, as described in FTA Circular 4220.1F, “Third Party Contracting Guidance.” However, FTA may approve applications that include a specifically identified partnering organization(s) (2 CFR 200.302(f)). When included, the application, budget, and budget narrative should provide a clear understanding of how the selection of these organizations is critical for the project and give sufficient detail about the costs involved. C. Planning FTA encourages applicants to engage the appropriate State Departments of Transportation, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations, or Metropolitan Planning Organizations in areas to be served by the project funds available under this program. D.

    Standard Assurances The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file.

    E. Free Speech and Religious Liberty In connection with any program or activity conducted with or benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, recipients of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States. Statutory, regulatory, and public policy requirements, including without limitation, those protecting free speech, religious liberty, public welfare, the environment, and prohibiting discrimination. The conditions of performance, non-discrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of the Department of Transportation. And applicable Federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget.

    In complying with these requirements, recipients must ensure that no concession agreements are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Amendment. If the Department determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to reimburse any expended award funds. (3) Reporting The post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report in TrAMS. An evaluation of the grant will occur at various points in the demonstration process and at the end of the project. In addition, FTA is responsible for producing an Annual Report to Congress that compiles evaluation of selected projects, including an evaluation of the performance measures identified by the applicants.

    All applicants must develop an evaluation plan to measure the success or failure of their projects and describe any plans for broad-based implementation of successful projects. FTA may request data and reports to support the evaluation and Annual Report. A. Independent Evaluation To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of each proposed COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program, projects funded under this announcement will require the recipient to conduct a third party independent evaluation of their project. Recipients will be required to contract with a third party independent evaluator to assist in developing an evaluation plan, and collecting, storing and managing data required to fulfill the evaluation requirement.

    No more than 10 percent of the Federal share of the project may be used to hire the third-party independent evaluator and the inclusion of a third-party independent evaluation should be described in the grant application. If the project duration is more than two years, an interim evaluation report would need to be submitted to FTA, otherwise the evaluation report should be included as part of the final project report. B. COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program Evaluation Projects funded under this announcement will be required to establish a set of performance metrics set by the third-party independent evaluator and shared with FTA. G.

    Federal Awarding Agency Contacts Information For questions about applying, please contact Jamel El-Hamri email. Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 202-366-8985. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDDFIRS). To ensure that applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly with questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties.Start Printed Page 63658 FTA staff also may conduct briefings on the competitive grants selection and award process upon request.

    Start Signature K. Jane Williams, Deputy Administrator. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-22316 Filed 10-7-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4910-57-P.

    Start Preamble Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT where can i buy prednisone. Notice of funding opportunity. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public where can i buy prednisone health emergency Start Printed Page 63654has had a significant impact on transit operations. During a series of FTA listening sessions held over the last three months, transit agencies asked FTA to support research to identify solutions to address the operational challenges that they are facing as a result of COVID-19. In response, FTA makes available through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) funding to support research demonstration grants to public transit agencies to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    Demonstration grants under this NOFO where can i buy prednisone are authorized under FTA's Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312). Eligible projects will demonstrate innovative solutions to improve the operational efficiencies of transit systems and enhance mobility for their communities in four major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure where can i buy prednisone cleaning and disinfection. (2) exposure mitigation measures.

    (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in where can i buy prednisone transit services. The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $10,000,000. FTA may supplement this amount if additional funding becomes available where can i buy prednisone. Applicants must submit completed proposals for funding opportunity FTA-2020-015-TRI through the GRANTS.GOV “APPLY” function by 11:59 p.m.

    Eastern Time on November 2, 2020. Prospective applicants should register as soon as possible on the GRANTS.GOV website to where can i buy prednisone ensure they can complete the application process before the submission deadline. Application instructions are available on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/​howtoapply and in the “FIND” module of GRANTS.GOV. FTA will not accept mail and fax submissions. Start Further Info Please send any questions on this notice to where can i buy prednisone Jamel El-Hamri email.

    Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 2020-366-8985. A Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) is where can i buy prednisone available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 1-800-877-8339. End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information Table of Contents A. Program Description where can i buy prednisone B.

    Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission where can i buy prednisone Information E. Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration Information G.

    Federal Awarding Agency Contact Information where can i buy prednisone A. Program Description The Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program is funded through the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312), with the goal to develop, deploy, and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies, as well as enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Eligible projects will propose to develop and where can i buy prednisone deploy innovative solutions in four major areas. (1) Vehicle, facility, equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection.

    (2) exposure where can i buy prednisone mitigation measures. (3) innovative mobility such as contactless payments. And (4) measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. As required where can i buy prednisone by 49 U.S.C. 5312(e)(4), projects funded under this NOFO must participate in an evaluation by an independent outside entity that will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of the projects funded under this subsection and any plan for broad-based implementation of the innovation promoted by successful projects.

    B. Federal Award where can i buy prednisone Information FTA makes available $10,000,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2020 funds under the Public Transportation Innovation Program (49 U.S.C. 5312) to finance the Public Transportation COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. FTA may supplement the total funds available if additional funding becomes available at the time project selections are made. FTA will grant pre-award authority starting on the date of the project award announcement for selected projects and where can i buy prednisone should be completed within 24 months from the date of award.

    Funds are available only for eligible expenses incurred after the announcement of project selections. C. Eligibility Information where can i buy prednisone (1) Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants include State and local governmental authorities, direct recipients of Urbanized Area (49 U.S.C. 5307) and Rural Area (49 U.S.C. 5311) formula funds, and where can i buy prednisone Indian tribes.

    Eligible applicants are limited to FTA grantees or subrecipients who would be the primary beneficiaries of the innovative products and services that are developed—typically public transit agencies. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated State proposal. States and other eligible applicants also where can i buy prednisone may submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of the Statewide application will not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients.

    Eligible subrecipients include public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and private providers engaged in where can i buy prednisone public transportation. Eligible applicants may submit consolidated proposals for projects. (2) Cost Sharing or Matching The maximum Federal share of project costs is 100 percent. FTA may give additional consideration to applicants that where can i buy prednisone propose a local share and may view these applicants as more competitive. The applicant must document the source(s) of the local match, if any, in the grant application.

    For any where can i buy prednisone applicants proposing match, eligible local match sources include the following. Cash from non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services. Revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions. Revenues generated where can i buy prednisone from value capture financing mechanisms. Funds from an undistributed cash surplus.

    Replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve. New capital where can i buy prednisone. Or in-kind contributions. (3) Eligible Projects Eligible projects will propose innovative solutions to improve operational efficiencies of transit agencies and enhance the mobility of transit users, through projects that demonstrate innovative solutions for. Vehicle, facility, where can i buy prednisone equipment and infrastructure cleaning and disinfection.

    Exposure mitigation measures such a real-time notification of rail and bus passenger loads. New multi-modal payment innovative mobility systems such as contactless where can i buy prednisone payments. And measures that strengthen public confidence in transit. Each applicant may only submit one proposal.Start Printed Page 63655 D. Application and Submission Information (1) Address and Form of Application Submission Applications must be where can i buy prednisone submitted through GRANTS.GOV.

    Applicants can find general information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV at www.fta.dot.gov/​howtoapply, along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. (2) Content where can i buy prednisone and Form of Application Submission a. Proposal Submission A complete proposal submission consists of at least two forms. 1.

    The SF-424 Mandatory Form (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV) and where can i buy prednisone 2. The supplemental form for the FY 2020 COVID-19 Demonstration Program (downloadable from GRANTS.GOV), which is available on FTA's website at (placeholder for FTA COVID-19 Demonstration Program). The application must include responses to all sections where can i buy prednisone of the SF-424 mandatory form and the supplemental form unless a section is indicated as optional. FTA will use the information on the supplemental form to determine applicant and project eligibility for the program and to evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part E of this notice. FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF-424 submission.

    FTA encourages applicants to consider submitting a single supplemental where can i buy prednisone form that includes multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF-424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project budgets, or excerpts from relevant planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed. Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc., may be requested in varying degrees of detail on where can i buy prednisone both the SF-424 form and supplemental form. Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms.

    If applicants copy information into the supplemental form from another source, they should verify that the supplemental form has fully captured pasted text and that it has not truncated the text due to character limits built into the form. Applicants should use where can i buy prednisone both the “Check Package for Errors” and the “Validate Form” validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields. Applicants should also ensure that the Federal and local amounts specified are consistent. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the where can i buy prednisone R.O.U.T.E.S.

    Initiative, the Department encourages applicants to consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. B. Application Content The SF-424 Mandatory Form and the supplemental form will prompt applicants for the required information, including. I. Applicant Name ii.

    Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number iii. Key contact information (contact name, address, email address, and phone number) iv. Congressional district(s) where project will take place v. Project Information (title, executive summary, and type) vi. A detailed description of the need for the project vii.

    A detailed description of how the project will support the Program objectives viii. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost shares ix. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the applicant x. A detailed project budget xi. Details on the local matching funds xii.

    A detailed project timeline xiii. Whether the project impacts an Opportunity Zone (3) Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant is required to. (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting an application. (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application. And (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA.

    These requirements do not apply if the applicant. (1) Is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c). Or (2) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

    All applicants must provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM may take as little as 3-5 business days, but there can be unexpected steps or delays. For example, the applicant may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number. FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, to complete all steps. For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov.

    (4) Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on November 2, 2020. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have caused either GRANTS.GOV or FTA systems to reject the submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not within the applicant's control.

    Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV. (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV. And (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV.

    If the applicant does not receive confirmation of successful validation or receives a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is Start Printed Page 63656a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants may still be required to update their registration before submitting an application.

    Registration in SAM is renewed annually and persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. (5) Funding Restrictions Funds may be used for post-award expenditures only. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse projects for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to the date of project award announcements. (6) Other Submission Requirements FTA encourages applicants to identify scaled funding options in case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the program and meets all relevant program requirements.

    The applicant must provide a clear explanation of how a reduced award would affect the project budget and scope. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not the applicant provides a scalable option. E. Application Review Information (1) Project Evaluation Criteria Addressing the deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the R.O.U.T.E.S.

    Initiative, the Department will consider how the project will address the challenges faced by rural areas. In addition, the Department will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this Notice in accordance with the President's September 2, 2020 memorandum, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that Are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities, consistent with guidance from the Office of Management and Budget and the Attorney General and with all applicable laws. FTA will evaluate proposals submitted according to the following criteria. (a) Project Innovation and Impact. (b) Project Approach.

    (c) National Applicability. (d) Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer. And (e) Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity. FTA encourages each applicant to demonstrate how a project supports all criteria with the most relevant information the applicant can provide, regardless of whether such information has been specifically requested or identified in this notice. A.

    Project Innovation and Impact i. Effectiveness of the project in achieving and demonstrating the specific objectives of this program. Ii. Demonstration of benefits in addressing the needs of the transit agency and industry and impacts to infrastructure, equipment, transit workforce, and riders. Iii.

    Degree of improvement over current and existing technologies, designs, and/or practices applicable to the transit industry. B. Project Approach i. Quality of the project approach such as existing partnerships, collaboration strategies and level of commitment of the project partners. Ii.

    Proposal is realistic in its approach to fulfill the milestones/deliverables, schedule and goals. C. National Applicability i. Degree to which the project could be replicated by other transit agencies regionally or nationally. Ii.

    Ability to evaluate technologies, designs and/or practices in a wide variety of conditions and locales. Iii. Degree to which the technology, designs and/or practices can be replicated by other transportation modes. D. Commercialization and/or Knowledge Transfer i.

    Demonstrates a realistic plan for moving the results of the project into the transit marketplace (patents, conferences, articles in trade magazines, webinar, site visits, etc.). Ii. How the project team plans to work with the industry on improving best practices, guidance and/or standards, if applicable. Iii. Demonstrate a clear understanding and robust approach to data collection, access and management.

    E. Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity Capacity of the applicant and any partners to successfully execute the project effort. There should be no outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant that would make this a high-risk project. (2) Review and Selection Process An FTA technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the published project evaluation criteria. Members of the technical evaluation committee will rate the applications and may seek clarification about any statement in an application.

    The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection and amount of funding for each project after consideration of the findings of the technical evaluation committee. Geographic diversity, diversity of the project type, the amount of local match to be provided, and the applicant's receipt and management of other Federal transit funds may be considered in FTA's award decisions. Prior fare payment innovation efforts may receive priority consideration. The FTA Administrator will consider the following key DOT objectives. A.

    Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing models to attract non-Federal sources of investment. B. Whether the project is located in or supports public transportation service in a qualified opportunity zone designated pursuant to 26.U.S.C. 1400Z-1. And c.

    The extent to which the project addresses challenges specific to the provision of rural public transportation. (3) FAPIIS Review Prior to making a grant award, FTA is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) accessible through SAM. An applicant may review and comment on information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered. FTA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205 Federal Awarding Agency Review of Risk Posed by Applicants. F.

    Federal Award Administration Information (1) Federal Award Notices FTA will announce the final project selections on the FTA website. Project recipients should contact their FTA Regional Office for additional information regarding allocations for Start Printed Page 63657projects. At the time project selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects before announcement. There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount, but FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible.

    FTA only will consider proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities. Due to funding limitations, projects selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. (2) Administrative and National Policy Requirements a. Pre-Award Authority FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection.

    FTA does not provide pre-award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected, and there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award authority, see the FY 2020 Apportionments Notice published on June 3, 2020, at https://www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2020-06-03/​pdf/​2020-11946.pdf. b. Grant Requirements Selected applicants will submit a grant application through FTA's electronic grant management system and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements for research project (insert Circular name). All competitive grants, regardless of award amount, will be subject to the Congressional notification and release process.

    FTA emphasizes that third-party procurement applies to all funding awards, as described in FTA Circular 4220.1F, “Third Party Contracting Guidance.” However, FTA may approve applications that include a specifically identified partnering organization(s) (2 CFR 200.302(f)). When included, the application, budget, and budget narrative should provide a clear understanding of how the selection of these organizations is critical for the project and give sufficient detail about the costs involved. C. Planning FTA encourages applicants to engage the appropriate State Departments of Transportation, Regional Transportation Planning Organizations, or Metropolitan Planning Organizations in areas to be served by the project funds available under this program. D.

    Standard Assurances The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file.

    E. Free Speech and Religious Liberty In connection with any program or activity conducted with or benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, recipients of funds must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, without limitation, the Constitution of the United States. Statutory, regulatory, and public policy requirements, including without limitation, those protecting free speech, religious liberty, public welfare, the environment, and prohibiting discrimination. The conditions of performance, non-discrimination requirements, and other assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with regulations of the Department of Transportation. And applicable Federal financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget.

    In complying with these requirements, recipients must ensure that no concession agreements are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech or other activities protected by the First Amendment. If the Department determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to reimburse any expended award funds. (3) Reporting The post-award reporting requirements include submission of the Federal Financial Report (FFR) and Milestone Progress Report in TrAMS. An evaluation of the grant will occur at various points in the demonstration process and at the end of the project. In addition, FTA is responsible for producing an Annual Report to Congress that compiles evaluation of selected projects, including an evaluation of the performance measures identified by the applicants.

    All applicants must develop an evaluation plan to measure the success or failure of their projects and describe any plans for broad-based implementation of successful projects. FTA may request data and reports to support the evaluation and Annual Report. A. Independent Evaluation To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the impacts and implications of each proposed COVID-19 Research Demonstration Program, projects funded under this announcement will require the recipient to conduct a third party independent evaluation of their project. Recipients will be required to contract with a third party independent evaluator to assist in developing an evaluation plan, and collecting, storing and managing data required to fulfill the evaluation requirement.

    No more than 10 percent of the Federal share of the project may be used to hire the third-party independent evaluator and the inclusion of a third-party independent evaluation should be described in the grant application. If the project duration is more than two years, an interim evaluation report would need to be submitted to FTA, otherwise the evaluation report should be included as part of the final project report. B. COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program Evaluation Projects funded under this announcement will be required to establish a set of performance metrics set by the third-party independent evaluator and shared with FTA. G.

    Federal Awarding Agency Contacts Information For questions about applying, please contact Jamel El-Hamri email. Jamel.El-Hamri@dot.gov phone. 202-366-8985. A TDD is available at 1-800-877-8339 (TDDFIRS). To ensure that applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly with questions, rather than through intermediaries or third parties.Start Printed Page 63658 FTA staff also may conduct briefings on the competitive grants selection and award process upon request.

    Start Signature K. Jane Williams, Deputy Administrator. End Signature End Supplemental Information [FR Doc. 2020-22316 Filed 10-7-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 4910-57-P.

    Getting a cold while on prednisone

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    Side effects of prednisone in kids

    COVID-19 has evolved rapidly into a pandemic with global side effects of prednisone in kids impacts. However, as the pandemic has developed, it has become increasingly evident that the risks of COVID-19, both in terms of infection rates and particularly of severe complications, are not equal side effects of prednisone in kids across all members of society. While general risk factors for hospital admission with COVID-19 infection include age, male sex and specific comorbidities (eg, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes), there is increasing evidence that people identifying with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groupsi have disproportionately higher risks of being adversely affected by COVID-19 in the UK and the USA. The ethnic disparities include overall numbers of cases, as well as the relative numbers of critical care admissions and deaths.1In the area of mental side effects of prednisone in kids health, for people from BAME groups, even before the current pandemic there were already significant mental health inequalities.2 These inequalities have been increased by the pandemic in several ways.

    The constraints of quarantine have made access to traditional face-to-face support from mental health services more difficult in general. This difficulty will increase pre-existing inequalities where there are challenges to engaging people in care and in providing side effects of prednisone in kids early access to services. The restrictions may also reduce the flexibility of care offers, given the need for social isolation, limiting non-essential travel and closure of routine clinics. The service impacts side effects of prednisone in kids are compounded by constraints on the use of non-traditional or alternative routes to care and support.In addition, there is growing evidence of specific mental health consequences from significant COVID-19 infection, with increased rates of not only post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, but also specific neuropsychiatric symptoms.3 Given the higher risks of mental illnesses and complex care needs among ethnic minorities and also in deprived inner city areas, COVID-19 seems to deliver a double blow.

    Physical and mental health vulnerabilities are inextricably linked, especially as a significant proportion of healthcare workers (including in mental health services) in the UK are from BAME groups.Focusing on mental health, there is very little COVID-19-specific guidance on the needs of patients in the BAME group. The risk to staff in general healthcare (including mental healthcare) is a particular concern, and in response, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and NHS England have produced a report on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in mental healthcare settings, with guidance on assessment and management of risk side effects of prednisone in kids using an associated risk assessment tool for staff.4 5However, there is little formal guidance for the busy clinician in balancing different risks for individual mental health patients and treating appropriately. Thus, for example, an inpatient clinician may want to know whether a patient who is older, has additional comorbidities and is from an ethnic background, should be started on one antipsychotic medication or another, or whether treatments such as vitamin D prophylaxis or treatment and venous thromboembolism prevention should be started earlier in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. While syntheses of the existing guidelines are available about COVID-19 and mental health,6 7 there is nothing specific about the healthcare needs of patients from ethnic minorities during the pandemic.To fill this gap, we propose three core actions that may help:Ensure side effects of prednisone in kids good information and psychoeducation packages are made available to those with English as a second language, and ensure health beliefs and knowledge are based on the best evidence available.

    Address culturally grounded explanatory models and illness perceptions to allay fears and worry, and ensure timely access to testing and care if needed.Maintain levels of service, flexibility in care packages, and personal relationships with patients and carers from ethnic minority backgrounds in order to continue existing care and to identify changes needed to respond to side effects of prednisone in kids worsening of mental health.Consider modifications to existing interventions such as psychological therapies and pharmacotherapy. Have a high index of suspicion to take into account emerging physical health problems and the greater risk of serious consequences of COVID-19 in ethnic minority people with pre-existing chronic conditions and vulnerability factors.These actions are based on clinical common sense, but guidance in this area should be provided on the basis of good evidence. There has already been a call for side effects of prednisone in kids urgent research in the area of COVID-19 and mental health8 and also a clear need for specific research focusing on the post-COVID-19 mental health needs of people from the BAME group. Research also needs to recognise the diverse range of different people, with different needs and vulnerabilities, who are grouped under the multidimensional term BAME, including people from different generations, first-time migrants, people from Africa, India, the Caribbean and, more recently, migrants from Eastern Europe.

    Application of a race equality impact assessment to all research questions and methodology has recently been proposed as a first step in this process.2 At this early stage, the guidance for assessing risks of COVID-19 for health professionals side effects of prednisone in kids is also useful for patients, until more refined decision support and prediction tools are developed. A recent Public Health England report on ethnic minorities and COVID-199 recommends better recording of ethnicity data in health and social care, and goes further to suggest this should also apply to death certificates. Furthermore, the report recommends more participatory and experience-based research to understand causes and consequences of pre-existing multimorbidity and COVID-19 infection, integrated care systems that work well for susceptible and marginalised groups, culturally competent health promotion, prevention side effects of prednisone in kids and occupational risk assessments, and recovery strategies to mitigate the risks of widening inequalities as we come out of restrictions.Primary data collection will need to cover not only hospital admissions but also data from primary care, linking information on mental health, COVID-19 and ethnicity. We already have research and specific guidance emerging on other risk factors, such as age and gender.

    Now we also need to side effects of prednisone in kids focus on an equally important aspect of vulnerability. As clinicians, we need to balance the relative risks for each of our patients, so that we can act promptly and proactively in response to their individual needs.10 For this, we need evidence-based guidance to ensure we are balancing every risk appropriately and without bias.Footnotei While we have used the term ‘people identifying with BAME groups’, we recognise that this is a multidimensional group and includes vast differences in culture, identity, heritage and histories contained within this abbreviated term..

    COVID-19 has evolved rapidly into a pandemic with global where can i buy prednisone impacts. However, as where can i buy prednisone the pandemic has developed, it has become increasingly evident that the risks of COVID-19, both in terms of infection rates and particularly of severe complications, are not equal across all members of society. While general risk factors for hospital admission with COVID-19 infection include age, male sex and specific comorbidities (eg, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes), there is increasing evidence that people identifying with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groupsi have disproportionately higher risks of being adversely affected by COVID-19 in the UK and the USA.

    The ethnic disparities include overall numbers of cases, as well as the relative numbers of where can i buy prednisone critical care admissions and deaths.1In the area of mental health, for people from BAME groups, even before the current pandemic there were already significant mental health inequalities.2 These inequalities have been increased by the pandemic in several ways. The constraints of quarantine have made access to traditional face-to-face support from mental health services more difficult in general. This difficulty will increase pre-existing where can i buy prednisone inequalities where there are challenges to engaging people in care and in providing early access to services.

    The restrictions may also reduce the flexibility of care offers, given the need for social isolation, limiting non-essential travel and closure of routine clinics. The service impacts are compounded by constraints on the use of non-traditional or alternative routes to care and support.In addition, there is growing evidence of specific mental health consequences from significant COVID-19 infection, with increased rates of not only where can i buy prednisone post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, but also specific neuropsychiatric symptoms.3 Given the higher risks of mental illnesses and complex care needs among ethnic minorities and also in deprived inner city areas, COVID-19 seems to deliver a double blow. Physical and mental health vulnerabilities are inextricably linked, especially as a significant proportion of healthcare workers (including in mental health services) in the UK are from BAME groups.Focusing on mental health, there is very little COVID-19-specific guidance on the needs of patients in the BAME group.

    The risk to staff in general healthcare where can i buy prednisone (including mental healthcare) is a particular concern, and in response, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and NHS England have produced a report on the impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in mental healthcare settings, with guidance on assessment and management of risk using an associated risk assessment tool for staff.4 5However, there is little formal guidance for the busy clinician in balancing different risks for individual mental health patients and treating appropriately. Thus, for example, an inpatient clinician may want to know whether a patient who is older, has additional comorbidities and is from an ethnic background, should be started on one antipsychotic medication or another, or whether treatments such as vitamin D prophylaxis or treatment and venous thromboembolism prevention should be started earlier in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. While syntheses of the existing guidelines are available about COVID-19 and mental health,6 7 there is nothing specific about the healthcare needs of patients from ethnic minorities during the pandemic.To fill this gap, we propose three core actions that may help:Ensure good information and psychoeducation packages are made available to those with English as a second language, and ensure health beliefs and knowledge are where can i buy prednisone based on the best evidence available.

    Address culturally grounded explanatory models and illness perceptions to allay fears and worry, and ensure timely access to testing and care where can i buy prednisone if needed.Maintain levels of service, flexibility in care packages, and personal relationships with patients and carers from ethnic minority backgrounds in order to continue existing care and to identify changes needed to respond to worsening of mental health.Consider modifications to existing interventions such as psychological therapies and pharmacotherapy. Have a high index of suspicion to take into account emerging physical health problems and the greater risk of serious consequences of COVID-19 in ethnic minority people with pre-existing chronic conditions and vulnerability factors.These actions are based on clinical common sense, but guidance in this area should be provided on the basis of good evidence. There has already been a where can i buy prednisone call for urgent research in the area of COVID-19 and mental health8 and also a clear need for specific research focusing on the post-COVID-19 mental health needs of people from the BAME group.

    Research also needs to recognise the diverse range of different people, with different needs and vulnerabilities, who are grouped under the multidimensional term BAME, including people from different generations, first-time migrants, people from Africa, India, the Caribbean and, more recently, migrants from Eastern Europe. Application of a race equality impact assessment to all research questions and methodology has recently been proposed as a first step in this process.2 At this early stage, where can i buy prednisone the guidance for assessing risks of COVID-19 for health professionals is also useful for patients, until more refined decision support and prediction tools are developed. A recent Public Health England report on ethnic minorities and COVID-199 recommends better recording of ethnicity data in health and social care, and goes further to suggest this should also apply to death certificates.

    Furthermore, the report recommends more participatory and experience-based research to understand causes and consequences of pre-existing multimorbidity and COVID-19 infection, integrated care systems that work well for susceptible and marginalised groups, culturally competent health promotion, prevention and occupational risk assessments, and recovery strategies to mitigate the risks of widening inequalities as we come out of restrictions.Primary data collection will need to cover not only hospital admissions but also data from where can i buy prednisone primary care, linking information on mental health, COVID-19 and ethnicity. We already have research and specific guidance emerging on other risk factors, such as age and gender. Now we also need to focus on an equally important aspect of where can i buy prednisone vulnerability.

    As clinicians, we need to balance the relative risks for each of our patients, so that we can act promptly and proactively in response to their individual needs.10 For this, we need evidence-based guidance to ensure we are balancing every risk appropriately and without bias.Footnotei While we have used the term ‘people identifying with BAME groups’, we recognise that this is a multidimensional group and includes vast differences in culture, identity, heritage and histories contained within this abbreviated term..

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    As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home health agencies often dexamethasone vs prednisone replace primary care providers. The average age of residents living in rural counties is seven years older than in urban counties, and this gap is growing. The need for home health agencies serving the elderly in rural areas will continue to grow over the coming decades.Rural home health agencies face unique challenges. Low concentrations of people are dispersed over large geographic areas leading to long dexamethasone vs prednisone travel times for workers to drive to clients’ homes.

    Agencies in rural areas also have difficulties recruiting and maintaining a workforce. Due to these difficulties, agencies may not be able to serve all rural beneficiaries, initiate care on time, or deliver all covered services.Congress has supported measures to encourage dexamethasone vs prednisone home health agencies to work in rural areas since the 1980s by using rural add-on payments. A rural add-on is a percentage increase on top of per visit and episode-of-care payments. When a home health aide works in a rural county, Medicare pays their home dexamethasone vs prednisone health agency a standard fee plus a rural add-on.

    With a 5% add-on, Medicare would pay $67.78 for an aide home visit in a city and $71.17 for the same care in a rural area.Home health care workers serve a particularly important role in rural areas. As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home health agencies often replace primary care providers.Rural add-on payments have fluctuated based on Congressional budgets and political priorities. From 2003 to 2019, the amount dexamethasone vs prednisone Medicare paid agencies changed eight times. For instance, the add-on dropped from 10% to nothing in April 2003.

    Then, in April 2004, Congress set the rural add-on to 5%.The variation in payments created a dexamethasone vs prednisone natural experiment for researchers. Tracy Mroz and colleagues assessed how rural add-ons affected the supply of home health agencies in rural areas. They asked if the number of agencies in urban and rural counties varied depending on the presence and dollar amount of rural add-ons between 2002 and 2018. Though rural add-ons have been in place for over 30 years, researchers had not previously investigated dexamethasone vs prednisone their effect on the availability of home healthcare.The researchers found that rural areas adjacent to urban areas were not affected by rural add-ons.

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    Under the new system, counties with low population densities and low home health use will receive the greatest rural add-on payments. These payments aim to increase and maintain the availability of care in the most vulnerable rural home health markets. Time will tell if this approach gives sufficient incentive to ensure access to quality care in the nation’s most dexamethasone vs prednisone isolated areas.Photo via Getty ImagesStart Preamble Correction In proposed rule document 2020-13792 beginning on page 39408 in the issue of Tuesday, June 30, 2020, make the following correction. On page 39408, in the first column, in the DATES section, “August 31, 2020” should read “August 24, 2020”.

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    Over 12,000 home health agencies served 5 million disabled and where can i buy prednisone older Americans in 2018. Home health aides help their clients with the tasks of daily living, like eating and showering, as well as with clinical tasks, like taking blood pressure and leading physical therapy exercises. Medicare relies on home health care services because they help patients discharged from the hospital and skilled nursing facilities recover but at a much lower cost where can i buy prednisone. Together, Medicare and Medicaid make up 76% of all home health spending.Home health care workers serve a particularly important role in rural areas.

    As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home where can i buy prednisone health agencies often replace primary care providers. The average age of residents living in rural counties is seven years older than in urban counties, and this gap is growing. The need for home health agencies serving the elderly in rural areas will continue to grow over the coming decades.Rural home health agencies face unique challenges. Low concentrations of where can i buy prednisone people are dispersed over large geographic areas leading to long travel times for workers to drive to clients’ homes.

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    With a 5% add-on, Medicare would pay $67.78 for an aide home visit in a city and $71.17 for the same care in a rural area.Home health care workers serve a particularly important role in rural areas. As rural areas lose physicians and hospitals, home health agencies often replace primary care providers.Rural add-on payments have fluctuated based on Congressional budgets and political priorities. From 2003 to 2019, the amount Medicare where can i buy prednisone paid agencies changed eight times. For instance, the add-on dropped from 10% to nothing in April 2003.

    Then, in April 2004, Congress set the rural add-on where can i buy prednisone to 5%.The variation in payments created a natural experiment for researchers. Tracy Mroz and colleagues assessed how rural add-ons affected the supply of home health agencies in rural areas. They asked if the number of agencies in urban and rural counties varied depending on the presence and dollar amount of rural add-ons between 2002 and 2018. Though rural add-ons have been in place for over 30 years, researchers had not previously investigated their effect on the availability of home healthcare.The researchers found that where can i buy prednisone rural areas adjacent to urban areas were not affected by rural add-ons.

    They had similar supply to urban areas whether or not add-ons were in place. In contrast, isolated rural areas were affected where can i buy prednisone substantially by add-ons. Without add-ons, the number of agencies in isolated rural areas lagged behind those in urban areas. When the add-ons were at least 5%, where can i buy prednisone the availability of home health in isolated rural areas was comparable to urban areas.In 2020, Congress implemented a system of payment reform that reimburses home health agencies in rural counties by population density and home health use.

    Under the new system, counties with low population densities and low home health use will receive the greatest rural add-on payments. These payments aim to increase and maintain the availability of care in the most vulnerable rural home health markets. Time will tell where can i buy prednisone if this approach gives sufficient incentive to ensure access to quality care in the nation’s most isolated areas.Photo via Getty ImagesStart Preamble Correction In proposed rule document 2020-13792 beginning on page 39408 in the issue of Tuesday, June 30, 2020, make the following correction. On page 39408, in the first column, in the DATES section, “August 31, 2020” should read “August 24, 2020”.

    End Preamble [FR where can i buy prednisone Doc. C1-2020-13792 Filed 7-17-20. 8:45 am]BILLING CODE 1301-00-D.

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