COVID-19 Resource Center

The latest information from MIEC regarding COVID-19

MIEC was created to serve its membership’s needs for medical professional liability risk and we will continue to do just that – in normal times and extraordinarily challenging times like these. Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11th, 2020, we have worked to provide our policyholders resources and flexibility to assist them in their practice. All MIEC services are available to policyholders as our staff continues to actively support the needs of our membership while working from remote locations, in line with various shelter in place directives.

In response to this crisis, MIEC has implemented and announced flexibility in our premium payment options and addressed coverage concerns as it pertains to the scope of practice and the use of telemedicine.  In addition, we have developed a dedicated resource center to help you identify the best resources for quickly changing information regarding COVID-19.

We will continually assess this fluid situation and evaluate additional measures and resources as needed. Please check back for updates and new information.

MIEC Resources & Updates:

5/18 – Reopening Medical Practices after COVID-19: What to Consider

5/16 – FAQs: COVID-19 Informed Consent

4/3 – 60 Day Grace Period for Premium Payments

3/31 – Message from MIEC Board: Scope of Practice amid COVID-19

3/15 – Underwriting approval waived for telemedicine during COVID-19 pandemic

3/13 – Practicing during a pandemic

 

COVID-19 Resources & Guidelines:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Non-Emergent, Elective Medical Services, and Treatment Recommendations

American Medical Association AMA Code of Medical Ethics: Guidance in a pandemic and 4/9/20 National Physician Town Hall

American College of Physicians COVID-19 Information for Internists

American College of Surgeons COVID-19 and Surgery and Clinical Issues and Guidance

American Academy of Dermatology Managing your practice through the COVID-19 outbreak

American Academy of Family Physicians COVID Resource and Guidance for Family Physicians on Preventive and Non-Urgent Care

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Resources to Address Coronavirus Disease 2019

American Academy of Neurology COVID Neurology Resource Center

American Academy of Ophthalmology Coronavirus and Eye Care

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons COVID-19 Member Resource Center

American Academy of Pediatrics Critical Updates on COVID-19 and Clinical Guidance

American Association of Neurological Surgeons COVID-19 Information Hub

American College of Cardiology COVID-19 Hub and COVID-19 Clinical Guidance for Global Cardiovascular Clinicians

American College of Emergency Physicians COVID-19 page

American College of Gastroenterology COVID-19 and GI and Joint GI Society Message on COVID-19

American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology COVID-19 resource and COVID-19 FAQs for Obstetrician-Gynecologists, Obstetrics

American Psychiatric Association Coronavirus Resources and Practice Guidance for COVID-19

American Society of Addiction Medicine COVID-19 Resources

American Society of Anesthesiologists COVID-19 Information

American Society of Clinical Oncology Coronavirus Resources and COVID-19 Provider & Practice Information

American Society of Nephrology COVID information

American Urological Association COVID -19 Information Center

Society of Critical Care Medicine Guidelines on the Management of Critically Ill Adults with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Society for Vascular Surgery COVID-19 Resources for Members

Cardiology Anticoagulation Guidance Emerging for Severe COVID-19

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Association COVID-19 Resource Center

 

Telehealth Law & Regulation Changes:

HHS suspended HIPAA security rule requirements that may have otherwise limited the technology used for telehealth visits. As a result, providers are free to use non-public facing applications such as FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc., to conduct telehealth visits. They should not use public-facing applications such as Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, etc.

For further guidance from the HHS on HIPAA in the setting of COVID-19, see here.

The DEA now allows registered practitioners to issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, based on a telemedicine evaluation that is conducted by videoconferencing.  This temporary allowance has been extended to X-waivered prescribers of buprenorphine, who can prescribe the medication for opioid use disorder based on a videoconferencing or telephone evaluation.

For DEA guidelines on prescribing controlled substances during the COVID-19 crisis, see here.

Medicare dramatically expanded the telehealth services for which it will pay.  More information can be found in the Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet.

Many states are temporarily waiving licensure requirements.  See the Federation of State Medical Boards States Waiving In-State Licensure Requirements for Telehealth in Response to COVID-19.

On April 3 the Governor of California issued an Executive Order relating to telehealth services.  The Order suspended regulations around the implementation of telehealth, such as required informed consent, requirements around the disclosure of PHI, technology and security requirements.  The Order specifically applies to behavioral and mental health services, in addition to all other types of medical care delivered by telehealth.

In Hawaii, several laws and regulations have been suspended or modified through Executive Order during the COVID crisis:

Physicians practicing telehealth may issue prescriptions for controlled substances, effective March 23 (Suspended law: HRS § 329-41(a)(8); all other provisions of HRS § 329 continue to be in effect).

Physicians may practice telehealth without an in-person consultation or a prior existing physician-patient relationship. This also applies to out-of-state physicians, osteopathic physicians, and physician assistants. Effective March 29 (Suspended law: HRS § 453-1.3).

Out-of-state physicians and nurses may dispense controlled substances without first registering with Hawaii’s electronic prescription accountability system, so long as they have a current and active license in another jurisdiction. Effective March 29 (Suspended laws: HRS §§329-32(a), 329-33(a), 329-38.2, and 329-101(b)).

The Idaho Telehealth Access Act provides that physicians providing telehealth will obtain patient consent and will abide by HIPAA and HITECH.  A legislative change to the Telehealth Access Act, which goes into effect on 7/1/20, removes the requirement that telehealth encounters include a dual audio/visual component.

On March 25 the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare issued a statement advising that Idaho Medicaid would not sanction providers for using telehealth technology that would otherwise be noncompliant with the HIPAA rules around telehealth technology.

Alaska does not have a specific telehealth consent requirement, but the state does require that physicians apply to the Telemedicine Business Registry before providing telehealth services.  The state has eased this process during the COVID-19 public health emergency; a qualified provider simply needs to submit an application to the Registry before engaging in telehealth services.

**Please note that MIEC’s coverage is limited to your principal state of practice, and there are other conditions of telehealth coverage.  See MIEC’s Underwriting Approval Waived For Telemedicine During COVID-19 Pandemic for more information.

 

Liability Protection for COVID-19 Responders:

CARES Act

On March 27 the President signed into law HR 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  In addition to offering economic relief, the CARES Act provides immunity from liability for health care professionals who provide volunteer medical services relating to the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of COVID-19 during the public health emergency.  This law, however, does not apply to paid health care providers.

 

PREP Act

On March 10 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) Act to provide immunity to liability for activities related to “medical countermeasures” against COVID-19. The declaration, which is effective retroactively to February 4, 2020, provides liability immunity to covered individuals and entities “against any claim of loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from the manufacture, distribution, administration, or use of medical countermeasures.”  The Covered Countermeasure must be a qualified or epidemic product, or security countermeasure, or a drug, biologic or device authorized for emergency use.  Claims arising from Covered Countermeasures would be paid through the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).  See here for more details.

 

VPA

The Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) of 1997 provides liability protection to physician volunteers who provide services for nonprofit or government entities.  There is no requirement for a public health or national emergency to be present for these protections to apply.

 

Future Legislation

In an effort to encourage physicians from all medical specialties to assist in direct care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, Senator Bob Sasse (R-NE) introduced a bill that would grant broad legal immunity for those health care providers who provide testing or treatment outside of their specialties to patients with COVID-19 during the national health emergency.

The Medical Professional Liability Association (MPLA) has also been advocating for various liability protections for health care providers, both related and unrelated to COVID-19.  More information can be found here.

On 3/11/20 Gov. Dunleavy declared a public health disaster emergency in the State of Alaska.

In Alaska, AS 09.65.091 (Civil Liability for Responding to Disaster) Provides liability protection to any person who provides services during a declared state of emergency at the request of a governmental agency. The immunity covers all but intentional/reckless/or grossly negligent acts. While the Alaska Healthcare community has actively been responding to the crisis, there has not been a formal public mandate or request made by the department that would trigger such protection.

Ideally, governments should develop approaches to formally identify when immunities may/should apply to bolster the community’s response to the crisis.  However, in the early phases of pandemic emergencies, it might not be feasible for governments and health-care facilities to immediately and officially activate their mass casualty response plans.  In such cases, we suggest clinicians and health-care entities that provide mass casualty response services take a more proactive measure and to collaborate with local governments.

Alaska has also passed HB29.  AS 21.42.422 (Telehealth Insurance Mandate) became effective March 17, 2020. While this statute is not an immunity, this legislation permanently expands the telehealth insurance mandate (previously limited to mental health services) to include medical services. No in-person visit is required prior to using telehealth services and so new patients are eligible for telehealth services. The Division of Insurance also notified insurers that the statutes does not require health care providers to use a particular technology platform in order to have telehealth services covered. Health care providers also have additional flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide services through alternative communication means through the suspension of penalties under HIPAA.

Good Samaritan Protection:

The statutes central to physician Good Samaritan immunity are Business & Professions Code §§2395 and 2396 which read as follows:

“No licensee (physician), who in good faith renders emergency care at the scene of the emergency, shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care… (Section 2395.) No licensee (physician), who in good faith upon the request of another person so licensed, renders emergency medical care to a person for medical complication arising from prior care by another person so licensed, shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such licensed person in rendering such emergency care.” (Section 2396.)

Generally speaking, immunity applies when all of the following are true:

  1. The defendant is a licensed physician or podiatrist;
  2. The defendant “renders emergency medical care” either at the scene of an emergency, or at the request of another physician “for medical complications arising from” another physician’s prior medical care. No limitation is placed on where the care may be provided or on what may be considered “emergency medical care.” Further, the complication does not have to be unforeseen to be an emergency. (Perkins v. Howard (1991) 232 Cal.App.3d 708.) “As we read section 2396, it protects the physician who responds in good faith irrespective of whether the treating physician who called for assistance could have or should have anticipated the situation which created the emergency and the need for assistance”;
  3. The defendant must act in the “good faith” belief that he or she is responding to an emergency, a purely subjective standard; and
  4. The defendant must not have a pre-existing duty of professional care to the patient, either as a result of an existing physician-patient relationship, a prior agreement to provide coverage or as an owner of the health facility in which the emergency arises. (The patient, however, does not have to be a complete stranger and a past physician-patient relationship will not preclude application of the Good Samaritan Immunity. (Id. at 718.))

“Any physician or surgeon (whether licensed in this state or any other state), hospital, pharmacist, respiratory care practitioner, nurse or dentist who renders services during any state of war emergency, a state of emergency, or a local emergency, at the express or implied request of any responsible state or local official or agency shall have no liability for any injury sustained by any person by reason of those services, regardless of how or under what circumstances or by what cause those injuries are sustained; provided, however, that the immunity herein granted shall not apply in the event of a willful act or omission.” (Government Code §8659; see also Business & Professions Code §900(e).)

Physician Immunity for Medical Care Given During an Emergency:

Any physician or surgeon (whether licensed in this state or any other state), hospital, pharmacist, respiratory care practitioner, nurse or dentist who renders services during any state of war emergency, a state of emergency, or a local emergency, at the express or implied request of any responsible state or local official or agency shall have no liability for any injury sustained by any person by reason of those services, regardless of how or under what circumstances or by what cause those injuries are sustained; provided, however, that the immunity herein granted shall not apply in the event of a willful act or omission. (Government Code §8659; see also Business & Professions Code §900(e).)

Under the California Emergency Services Act, any physician or licensed health care provider who renders a service during any state of war, emergency, state of emergency or local emergency at the request of a local official shall have no liability for any injuries sustained in connection with the physician’s services (except in the event of a willful act or omission). (Government Code §8659.) The circumstances under which this immunity applies have been specifically extended to local health emergencies in connection with the spread of contagious or communicable diseases. (Health & Safety Code §101085(c).)

Volunteer and Disaster Service Worker Immunities:

In addition to the physician-specific immunity, the California Emergency Act also provides privileges and immunities to disaster service workers and volunteers who are enrolled or registered with Cal OES or any disaster council, or unregistered persons “impressed” into service during a state of war emergency, a state of emergency, or a local emergency.

These volunteers have the same degree of responsibility but are granted the same immunities as officers and employees of the state. (Government Code §8657.) Disaster service workers can be tasked with “Medical and Environmental Health” duties. Those duties can include:

  • Staffing casualty stations;
  • Establishing and operating medical and public health field units;
  • Assisting in hospitals, out-patient clinics, and other medical and public health installations;
  • Maintaining or restoring environmental sanitation;
  • Assisting in preserving the safety of food, milk and water and preventing the spread of disease; and
  • Performing laboratory analysis to detect the presence and minimize the effects of nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological or other hazardous agents. (19 C.C.R. §2572.1(j).)

Disaster service workers who are performing disaster services during a state of war emergency, a state of emergency, or a local emergency under the California Emergency Services Act are immune from liability for civil damages for personal injury to or death of any person or damage to property resulting from any act or omission while performing disaster services, except in the event of a willful act or omission. (Civil Code §1714.5(b).) In August 2009, the language of this statutory immunity was amended to clarify that, while performing disaster services, disaster immunities apply anywhere within any jurisdiction covered by such emergency. Therefore, it does not matter where the services are rendered as long as they are disaster related services under the Act. Disaster service workers are considered to be performing disaster services when they are acting within the scope of the disaster service worker’s responsibilities under the authority of the governmental emergency organization (state, city, county, district, or other local governmental or public agency) which is authorized pursuant to the Act. (Civil Code §1714.5(c), (d).) Thus, if a disaster service worker is providing medical or nonmedical care or triage decisions, and that care or those decisions fall within the scope of the disaster service worker’s responsibilities, they are immune from liability for the extent of time that a state of emergency exists.

(Source:  California Physician’s Legal Handbook, California Medical Association 2019.)

Also, see CMA’s FAQ regarding liability protections for volunteer physicians during a state of emergency.

California Health Corps:

On 3/30/20 Governor Newsome announced a new initiative to expand California’s health care workforce and recruit health care professionals to address the COVID-19 surge.  Healthcare professionals who are licensed in California can apply to join the California Health Corps and receive payment and professional liability coverage for COVID-related work.

Executive Orders:

While several Executive Orders have been signed by Governor Newsome relating to COVID-19, none expressly confer immunity for civil liability for COVID-19 responders.

On 4/3/20 Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-43-20 expanding liability protections to medical providers using telehealth, as they amplify the use of video chats and similar applications to provide routine and non-emergency medical appointments in an effort to minimize patient exposure to COVID-19.

On 4/16/20 Gov. David Ige issued Executive Order No. 20-05, which does the following:

  • Directs health care professionals, volunteers, and facilities to “render assistance” in assistance of Hawaii’s response to the COVID-19 disaster. For healthcare professionals, this means providing services, assistance, or support at a health care facility in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, or working under the direction of HIEMA or HDOH pursuant to the Emergency Proclamations.
  • Immunizes health care professionals, volunteers, and facilities from civil liability while they are engaged in the course of rendering assistance to the State by providing health care services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Immunity does not apply to willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

Attorney Arthur Roeca, Esq. provided a summary (PDF) of Governor Ige’s Emergency Proclamations and Executive Orders regarding COVID-19 as of 4/6/20.

Pertinent laws that may additionally confer liability protection to COVID-19 responders are as follows: 

Immunity for health care providers and volunteers.

Hawaii’s emergency management statute contains a provision which may be interpreted to provide immunity for health care workers and volunteers during times of emergency. The following is general information outlining provider protections when delivering medical care in the case of a mass casualty event and disaster:

Definition:  "Disaster condition" is defined as a sudden catastrophic event that overwhelms natural order and causes loss of property or life. It exceeds or disrupts the capabilities of available medical resources to receive and provide medical care within a community. The definition of "mass casualty event:" a number of casualties generated more or less simultaneously, that exceed the ability to provide usual medical care, including but not limited to an airplane crash, collapsed building, bombing, or hurricane. [HRS §321-23.3(f)] 

Volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel.

(a)  All volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel including: physicians, physician assistants, psychologists, nurses, emergency medical technicians, social works, mobile intensive care technicians and pharmacists, licensed in Hawaii or who are employed by a health care facility, are deemed state or county employees while engaged in emergency response to a mass casualty event or disaster condition, or who are in mass casualty and disaster management training. They shall have the powers, duties, rights, and privileges of such as they perform the duties prescribed by or under the authority of the governor or a county.

(b)  For the purposes of this section of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, any physician or physician assistant licensed in the State, who have privileges and credentials at public or private health care facilities licensed in the State, shall be deemed credentialed with the same medical staff privileges at other hospitals for the purpose of rendering medical care during a mass casualty or disaster condition.

(c) This paragraph defines financial reimbursement to personnel or dependents in case of death or injury while performing their emergency medical disaster duties.

(d)  Except in cases of willful misconduct, the State, any county, or any volunteer emergency medical disaster response personnel engaged in the emergency response to a mass casualty event or disaster condition pursuant to this section (including volunteers whose services are accepted by any authorized person), shall not be liable for the death of or injury to persons, or for damage to property, as a result of any act or omission in the course of rendering professional medical care under a mass casualty or disaster condition.

(e)  A physician assistant licensed in Hawaii or licensed or authorized to practice in any other United States jurisdiction, or who is credentialed as a physician assistant by a federal employer, responding to a need for medical care created by a public emergency or a state or local disaster, may provide medical care that he/she can normally provide without physician supervision, pursuant to chapter 453, or with appropriate physician supervision; provided that:

  1. Any physician who supervises a physician assistant under these emergency conditions is not required to meet the requirements set forth in chapter 453 for a supervising physician; and,
  2. No physician who supervises a physician assistant voluntarily and gratuitously providing emergency care pursuant to this subsection shall be liable for civil damages for any personal injuries which result from acts or omissions by the physician assistant providing emergency care. [ HRS §321-23.3(a)-(e)] 

Under HRS Title 10. Public Safety and Internal Security, Chapter 127A. Emergency Management, Section 127A-9 Immunities; rights: Persons engaged in emergency management functions pursuant to this chapter, including volunteers whose services are accepted by any authorized person, shall not be civilly liable for the death of or injury to persons, or property damage, as a result of any act or omission in the course of the employment or duties under this chapter except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

Title 36 – Civil Remedies and Defenses and Special Proceedings, Chapter 662D. Volunteer Service; Immunity, §662D-2(a) - Scope of immunity.

A volunteer shall be immune from civil liability of any act or omission resulting in damage or injury if: The volunteer was acting in good faith and within the scope of his/her official functions and duties for a nonprofit organization, a nonprofit corporation, a hospital, or a governmental entity and the damage or injury was caused by the volunteer's negligent conduct. The nonprofit organization, nonprofit corporation, or hospital, the entity for which the volunteer was acting either has a general liability policy in force, both at the time of injury and at the time the claim is made against the entity with minimum coverage in an amount of no less than $200,000 per occurrence and $500,000 aggregate; or has total assets, exclusive of grants and allocations, of less than $50,000.

Exception to liability under HRS §663-1.5(a)-(h).

(a) Any person who in good faith renders emergency care, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, at the scene of an accident or emergency to a victim of the accident or emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from the person's acts or omissions, except for such damages as may result from the person's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.

(b)  No act or omission of any rescue team [defined below] or physician working in direct communication with a rescue team operating in conjunction with a hospital or an authorized emergency vehicle of the hospital or the State or county, while attempting to resuscitate any person who is in immediate danger of loss of life, shall impose any liability upon the rescue team, the physicians, or the owners or operators of such hospital or authorized emergency vehicle, if good faith is exercised.

This section shall not relieve the owners or operators of the hospital or authorized emergency vehicle of any other duty imposed upon them by law for the designation and training of members of a rescue team or provisions regarding maintenance of equipment to be used by the rescue team, or any damages resulting from gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.

(c)  Any physician or physician assistant licensed to practice under the laws of Hawaii or any other state, who in good faith renders emergency medical care in a hospital to a person in immediate danger of loss of life, without remuneration or expectation of remuneration, shall not be liable for any civil damages, if the physician or physician assistant exercises that standard of care expected of similar physicians or physician assistants under similar circumstances. Any physician who supervises a physician assistant providing emergency medical care pursuant to this section shall not be required to meet the requirements set forth in chapter 453 regarding supervising physicians. . . .

(f) Any physician or physician assistant who administers an automated external defibrillator program without remuneration or expectation of remuneration shall not be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission involving the use of an automated external defibrillator, except as may result from the physician's or physician assistant's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.

(g) This section shall not relieve any person, physician, physician assistant, or employer of:

  1. Any other duty imposed by law regarding the designation and training of persons or employees;
  2. Any other duty imposed by provisions regarding the maintenance of equipment to be used for resuscitation; or
  3. Liability for any damages resulting from gross negligence, or wanton acts or omissions.

Definitions:  "Good faith" includes, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed. "Rescue team" is a special group of physicians, basic life support personnel, advanced life support personnel, surgeons, nurses, volunteers, or employees of the owners or operators of the hospital or authorized emergency vehicle who have been trained in basic or advanced life support and have been designated by the owners or operators of the hospital or authorized emergency vehicle to attempt to provide such support and resuscitate persons who are in immediate danger of loss of life in cases of emergency.

Governor Little has paused a number of administrative rules during the COVID-19 state of emergency, including:

  • Increased telehealth access
  • Easing of licensure restrictions for out-of-state physicians, medical students, retired/inactive physicians, and other medical providers
  • Easing of administrative and supervisory requirements for Physician Assistants

Full details are available at the Board of Medicine website: https://bom.idaho.gov/BOMPortal/Home.aspx

Immunities for Idaho physicians during COVID-19

To date, no special immunities have been enacted for physicians practicing during the COVID-19 state of emergency in Idaho providing immunity against civil actions related to medical care may apply, to a limited extent:

  1. “Good Samaritan” immunity: Persons rendering first aid or medical care at the scene of an accident are immune from civil liability unless care is rendered in a grossly negligent manner. The immunity exists until the person receiving aid is delivered to a hospital, placed in the care of an ambulance attendant, or delivered to the office of any person who treats ill or injured persons.
  2. “Charity Care” immunity: This applies when practitioners provide medical care with no expectation of payment. However, in order for immunity to apply, patients must first sign a waiver explaining that the care is to be rendered with no expectation of payment and that the medical practitioner will be granted immunity.

 

Cybersecurity and COVID-19 Scams: Cyber education for MIEC members and their staff

Cybersecurity experts warn, “Cybercriminals are using the coronavirus outbreak to deploy dangerous malware including ransomware on your organization.”

As more of MIEC members and their staff are working from home, Patient Safety & Risk Management offers the following cyber education from cyber specialists. Please share this article with staff and colleagues.

Definition: Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data including login credentials, social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account information, and more. Phishing happens when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity or acquaintance, tricks a victim into opening an email, instant messaging or text message by clicking on a malicious link, attachment, or entering data into a fake login page.

 

Basic phishing precautions:

  1. Time sent: Look closely at the time the unexpected email was sent. Emails forwarded during the early morning hours are suspect.
  2. URL: Don’t simply look at the name on the email. Do you recognize the sender’s email address? Are there errors in the URL? If yes, do not respond.
  3. People copied on the email: Do you know all the people included in the email? If not, contact the sender and confirm the email was intentional.
  4. Don’t respond to emails or texts which include a sense of urgency or threats. Is the message trying to scare you into doing something? Reach out to a known resource to confirm the email is legitimate.
  5. Don’t trust any email that asks for personal information.
  6. Be wary of phone call (“vishing”) scams. Protect yourself by setting up a caller ID app, never give out personal information (e.g., credit card, social security number), and don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.

Be aware of the following COVID-19 emails*:

  • Any coronavirus-related email with an attachment or link should be treated as highly suspicious. Do not open an attachment or link. Instead first verify that the email was intentionally sent by contacting the sender.
  • Never give out company credentials in response to a coronavirus-related or any suspect email.
  • Be extremely skeptical about emails allegedly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) or experts publicizing the latest coronavirus information. The emails may look authentic, but beware. Common scams relate to potential vaccines, other cures, prepaid tests, local infection maps, etc.
  • Treat any email related to potential government checks as suspect. Scams include senders asking for your Social Security number, bank information, and pre-payment or fees to collect a check.
  • Always research a charity before donating money.
  • Don't visit untrusted websites related to COVID-19. There has been a significant rise in COVID-19-related websites that are either stealing visitors’ information or infecting them with malware. Use only trusted websites for reliable information on COVID-19 such as www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov.

*Source

 

Guidance on Reopening Practices and Financial Assistance:

 

Practice Preparedness with MIEC Partners: