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Covid-19: The Latest | Florida

Covid-19: The Latest

Everything you need to know in one place. Stay updated on all the latest Covid-19 news as it impacts those with lupus from resources, news, and programming. We will be keeping you updated and provide virtual programming to get you through these unprecedented times. You are not alone.

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We know how difficult these unprecedented times are for all of you living with lupus and your loved ones. We are committed to walking by your side every step of the way. We will use this page, social media and emails to keep in constant contact. In times like this, it is even more important than ever that we come together as a community. We are working on developing virtual programs and content to keep everyone informed, connected, and even having some fun while relieving some stress and loneliness through these difficult times. If you need answers, we will be here to provide them. Things are changing all around us but one thing that will remain the same, together we will get through it.

We are here. Always. 

Updated:  4/8/2020 5:50 pm
Coronavirus & Lupus: Q&A
LFA Tackles Hydroxychloroquine Shortages for Treating Lupus

The Lupus Foundation of America is leading efforts to tackle the shortage of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) that developed after reports these drugs might be effective for treating people seriously ill with COVID-19. Pat Wildman, Lupus Foundation of America Vice President for Advocacy & Government Relations, gives a status report on the Foundation's actions to date to ensure a supply of these drugs for people with lupus.

Q&A with Dr. Ashira Blazer
 
 

Dr. Alisha Blazer, a Rheumatologist at New York University's Langone Medical Center, and a member of the Lupus Foundation of America's multidisciplinary expert Medical-Scientific Advisory Council provides the answers to the most-asked questions about lupus and coronavirus. This update was recorded on March 20, 2020.

Latest Covid-19 & Lupus News
Are People with Lupus Protected Against COVID-19?

There is no evidence that taking hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is effective in preventing a person from contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19). People with lupus should follow the guidance of their doctor and the safety guidelines being issued by the CDC.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease — that means that the immune system is dysfunctional and attacks ones healthy tissue. This can make the immune system less effective at fighting infections. Medications that suppress the immune system — which people with lupus often take — can also limit their body’s ability to respond to infections. As a result, people with lupus are less able to fight off bacteria and viruses, like COVID-19. When people with lupus do get sick their illness may also trigger a lupus flare. People with lupus may also have other conditions that put them at higher risk for serious illness from coronavirus such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and a weakened immune system.

Read More!

Frequently asked questions: Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Lupus

Our Health Educator Network—health-care professionals and lupus specialists who provide individualized answers—have seen their inquires triple in the last week. The following are questions they’ve been frequently asked and their answers. Read more.

Take Action:Tell Congress to ensure access to life-saving medications for people with lupus!

Our advocacy efforts worked so well last week, the Congressional Lupus and Arthritis Caucuses now have a letter to the White House Coronavirus Task Force urging them to address this issue and ensure access to these drugs for people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

We need your help again to get us one step closer to securing vital medications for the lupus and arthritis communities. Reach out to your Representative and ask that they sign on to this letter!

Join our #WithoutMyHCQ campaign and help us safeguard these life-saving medications for people with lupus by reaching out to your members of Congress now to ensure people with lupus can access the medications they need. 

 

Global Experts Agree: Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) Must Be Protected for People with Lupus

Read the statement issued by the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance.

Tips for refilling your hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) prescription

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), people who have been prescribed hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) to treat their lupus and other autoimmune diseases are experiencing difficulties getting their prescriptions filled.

Here are some tips on what to do if you have a prescription for hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.  

State Action on Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine Access

The Lupus Foundation of America is working tirelessly to ensure that people with lupus are able to access these medications, and last week partnered with the Arthritis Foundation to send a letter to each state's Board of Pharmacy urging them to take action to protect access to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Importantly, the letter was delivered to other key stakeholders, including each U.S. state's governor, major health plans, national retail pharmacies, and the trade associations who represent these organizations as well as those representing pharmacists and health professionals.

To date, the Florida Board of Pharmacy has not issued any publicly-available guidance related to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. We will continue to take action and we will keep you informed.  

LFA Receiving Positive Responses from Key Stakeholders Impacting Hydroxychlorquine Supply during Coronavirus Pandemic

We have received positive responses from federal and state officials and other key stakeholders, including the manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, state boards of pharmacy, health plans, pharmacies and pharmacists, and physicians – all of who can play a role in helping to ensure people with lupus have access to the medications they need. Read more.

FDA issues emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine amid coronavirus pandemic

Late yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for coronavirus COVID-19 treatment. Read the latest on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine usage for Covid-19.

State Pharmacy Boards Urged to Ensure Availability of Critical Lupus Medicines

The Lupus Foundation of America in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation are urging state pharmacy boards and other important stakeholders involved with the drug supply chain to take immediate action to ensure the availability of hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and chloroquine (Aralen) for people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Read the letter here

COVID-19 Q & A with Dr. Alisha Blazer, Rheumatologist

Dr. Alisha Blazer, Rheumatologist at New York University's Langone Medical Center, and a member of the Lupus Foundation of America's multidisciplinary expert Medical-Scientific Advisory Council provides the answers to the most-asked questions about lupus and coronavirusThis update was recorded on March 20, 2020.

Coronavirus and Lupus (3/17)

The CDC has recommended that people with serious underlying health conditions stay home and avoid other people as much as possible through March 30, 2020. Lupus is a serious underlying health condition that could lead to a compromised immune system. Read more.

Florida Covid-19 Resources
Daily updates from the Florida Department of Health

The latest news in the state of Florida on Covid-19 can be found here.

Resources for Floridians Impacted by Coronavirus Pandemic

List of resources for Floridians who have been impacted by coronavirus pandemic.

 

Virtual Programs & Events
Support Groups

We know these are scary times but please also know you are not alone. Although our in-person support groups are suspended until further notice we will be here for you every step of the way. Find out how. 

Teleconferences

Don't miss the opportunity to learn from some of the world's leading lupus experts from the comfort and privacy of your home. Participate in several or just the one that most interests you. Learn more.

Talk About It Series

#TalkAboutIt is our new Q&A series where we feature lupus warriors, health care professionals, caregivers and other experts in their field. 

No one should fight alone... so let's talk about it!

 

Florida's 2nd Annual #100kChallenge Virtual Walk: May 1-31

Take a step in the month of May for the over 100,000 Floridians living with lupus. 

 

Financial Resources & Healthcare Coverage
New Resources Identified to Access Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

The Lupus Foundation of America has been working to address the shortage of hydroxychloroquine for lupus patients. In addition to advocating for people with lupus to state and federal governments, state boards of pharmacy, and drug manufacturers, we have been working to identify pharmacies that have supplies of hydroxychloroquine that can be accessed by people with lupus. If you have exhausted your efforts to get your prescription refilled including utilizing our recent tips, here are some additional options.

Medicare to Allow Home Infusions for Benlysta, Other Medications

For the first time, people with lupus on Medicare will be able to receive infusions of Benlysta at home and will not be required to go to a physician’s office or another facility to get their infusions. Read more.

Medicare to cover telehealth costs during coronavirus pandemic

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency, doctors and other health care providers can use telehealth services to treat COVID-19 for Medicare patients. 

 

Benlysta Resources

GSK Nurse Call Center

  • Call 877-423-6597
  • Trained nurses are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM- 8 PM ET and can answer questions about products.
  • Note, nurses will direct patients to their physician for any medical advice related to disease, treatment or referrals. 

Additional Patient Inquiries: Contact your provider or pharmacy directly. If additional information is needed, visit GSK For You or contact the GSK Response Center at 888-825-5249 Monday- Friday, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET

 

Health Care Professional Inquiries: Contact GSK Medical Information: https://www.gskusmedicalaffairs.com/ or call 877-475-6448 (Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM ET) for medical information. Product-specific information is only available to healthcare providers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping Safely
Restaurant Food Delivery

Delivery companies like GrubHub, Postmates and UberEats are offering no-contact delivery to your home from your favorite restaurants. Some are even offering free delivery.

Stores offering special shopping hours for those most at-risk

Some stores like Target (each Wednesday they have reserved the first hour of shopping to support vulnerable guests including the elderly and guests with underlying health conditions) are offering special shopping hours for elderly and those at-risk like lupus patients. Check out stores near you and their policies. 

 

Drugstores Offer Safe Services

Stores such as Walgreens and CVS are offering new services to help minimize your exposure to risks such as Rx delivery, drive-thru shopping, and social distancing support including pharmacy/video chat. 

 

 

 

Finding Joy
Host a virtual movie night with friends and family

Netflix Party is a gathering of a groups of friends or family where you can get together virtually and watch your favorite Netflix titles on your computers at the same time. Grab your popcorn and enjoy movie night! The extension also comes with a chat room, so you can share your reactions to the programs as you watch.

 

33 national park tours you can explore virtually

Here are 33 National Park Tours you can take virtually from your home. 

 

 

Get in the right headspace through meditation

With masses of people stuck at home amid coronavirus, the popular meditation and mindfulness app, Headspace, is offering free content to help manage stress and anxiety. 

Stream the Northern Lights Live from Home

Live cam located underneath the aurora oval at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Churchill, Manitoba. Other live streams are available on their website explore.org.  

 

See them here. 

A Low Impact Exercise Routine for Lupus

If pain or fatigue-or both- have you struggling just to get through the day, working out is likely the last thing on your mind. But exercise, especially gentle strength training, can improve some lupus symptoms. Read more here. 

 

54 free online courses from the best colleges in the US!

Online learning sites like Coursera and edX are offering free and low-priced courses taught by instructors from the best universities in the country. Learn more about them here.

 

Virtual Play Dates
Have an astronaut in space read your children (and you) a book

Story Time from Space - While in space, astronauts are videotaping themselves reading these books to the children of Earth.

At-home learning resources to keep kids learning (and occupied)

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these links for reading, math, and educational games. 

Scholastics Learn At Home

TumbleBooks 

ABCya!

Starfall 

20 screen-free things to do with your kids indoors when school is closed

Staying indoors to keep safe and healthy is imperative but it doesn’t have to be boring or detrimental. After your children have finished with their e-learning tasks, click here to see what you could do with them.

Noticias Actualizadas Sobre el Lupus y Coronavirus
Preguntas frecuentes: coronavirus (COVID-19) y lupus

Lea algunas de las preguntas mas frecuentes del coronavirus y lupus. 

Pasos para ayudar a las personas con lupus prevenir el coronavirus (COVID-19)

Le instamos a que siga estas recomendaciones de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC) para proteger su salud y reducir su riesgo de infección. Lea mas aqui.

Consejos sobre cómo rellenar su receta de hidroxicloroquina (Plaquenil)

Aquí hay algunos consejos sobre qué hacer si usted tiene una receta para la hidroxicloroquina o cloroquina. 

El Lupus y Coronavirus

Encuentre toda la informacion y noticias actualizadas sobre el coronavirus y el lupus incluso las preguntas y respuestas sobre la Hidroxicloroquina (Plaquenil) y el Coronavirus (COVID-19) :

http://ow.ly/iZXG50yUmcw

Que Significa el Coronavirus Para Las Personas Con Lupus

Lea algunos consejos de la Fundacion Americana de Lupus Lupus  sobre cómo las personas con lupus pueden mantenerse sanos en medio de las preocupaciones sobre el coronavirus.

 

Preguntas y respuestas sobre la Hidroxicloroquina y el Coronavirus

Esto es parte de nuestra cobertura continua del coronavirus y cómo afecta a quienes viven con lupus. Lea mas aqui.

El Coronavirus, el Estrés y la Salud Mental

Lea mas informacion sobre como manejar el estres y la salud mental en estos tiempos de incertidumbre.