Day: May 14, 2020

In Reversal, Kansas Will Count All Positive COVID Cases, Even Asymptomatic Ones

Kansas leaders will include asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in their assessments of virus trends as they evaluate when to take further steps to ease stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures.

The move represents a reversal after NPR station KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, reported last week that the state was omitting these cases from its data, painting an overly optimistic picture of the outbreak. Kansas had instead looked at “symptom onset” data — a metric that by definition excludes people who test positive for the coronavirus but don’t develop symptoms.

The policy change was enacted Monday, said a spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Kansas entered the first phase of the state’s “reopening” plan last week, allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer people and letting libraries and child care facilities reopen. Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said in a news conference last week that leaders would take

Read More

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: What’s In The Next Round Of COVID-19 Relief?

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

House Democrats are moving ahead with another round of COVID-19 relief, including additional funding for state Medicaid programs, an open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans, and money to pay premiums for newly unemployed Americans to continue on their employer health coverage. Republicans, however, say the Democrats’ bill goes too far.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of the virus in the White House complex — including a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence ― has complicated the Trump administration’s efforts to press for a broader opening of the economy even while the illness continues to spread.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The House Democrats’ newest COVID relief bill would double what the federal
Read More

Under COVID Cloud, Prisons In Rural America Threaten To Choke Rural Hospitals

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept into Montana, it spread into the Marias Heritage Center assisted living facility, then flowed into the nearby 21-bed hospital.

Toole County quickly became the state’s hot spot for COVID-19 deaths, with more than four times the infection rate of all other counties and the most recorded deaths in the state. Six of the state’s 16 COVID deaths through Tuesday have occurred here.

But another danger loomed: What if it got into the prison, less than 4 miles away from the hospital and assisted living facility? The county was nearly overwhelmed as it was. Across rural America, prisons and jails sit in places like Toole County that have minimal intensive care unit beds and ventilators and few additional medical resources. Many hospitals there were strained before the pandemic.

This rural, 5,000-person county tucked under the Canadian border might not have seemed like a breeding ground for

Read More

Trump’s Comparison Of COVID-19 Death Rates In Germany, US Is Wrong

Following weeks of criticism over his administration’s COVID-19 response, President Donald Trump pulled out new statistics to claim the nation is actually among the best in the world in fighting the lethal coronavirus.  

Read More