Day: May 4, 2020

Always The Bridesmaid, Public Health Rarely Spotlighted Until It’s Too Late

The U.S. is in the midst of both a public health crisis and a health care crisis. Yet most people aren’t aware these are two distinct things. And the response for each is going to be crucial.

If you’re not a health professional of some stripe, you might not realize that the nation’s public health system operates in large part separately from the system that provides most people’s medical care.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a former deputy commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration and now vice dean at the school of public health at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, distinguishes the health care

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Testing In California Still A Frustrating Patchwork Of Haves And Have-Nots

Months into the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, widespread diagnostic testing still isn’t available, and California offers a sobering view of the dysfunction blocking the way.

It’s hard to overstate how uneven the access to critical test kits remains in the nation’s largest state. Even as some Southern California counties are opening drive-thru sites to make testing available to any resident who wants it, a rural northern county is testing raw sewage to determine whether the coronavirus has infiltrated its communities.

County to county, city to city — even hospital to hospital within a city — testing capacity varies widely, as does the definition of who qualifies for testing.

Testing deserts, stemming from an overwhelmed supply chain and a disjointed public health system, have

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COVID-Plagued California Nursing Homes Often Had Problems In Past

When Jorge Newbery finally got through to his 95-year-old mother, Jennifer, on a video call April 18, she could barely talk or move and her eyes couldn’t focus.

It was the first time he had seen her since California nursing homes shut their doors to visitors a month earlier. Immediately after the video chat, Newbery called the front desk in a panic.

“I said, ‘You gotta get her out, you gotta call 911,’” he recalled. “She’s looking like she’s about to die.”

Newbery’s mother was living at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica, one of 198 nursing homes in California where at least one patient had contracted the coronavirus as of April 28, public health records show. The outbreak at the Rehabilitation Center has been worse than most, with 12 employees and 24 patients infected, including nine fatalities, according to the Los Angeles County health department.

The Rehabilitation Center shares

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