The covid pandemic drove major changes to Montana health policies, including the permanent expansion of telehealth regulations, a pullback on local public health officials’ authority and the easing of vaccination requirements for workers and students.
Health provider conflicts, fraud and access disparity temper the covid telehealth revolution.
Legislators in statehouses across the U.S. face the dual challenge of budgeting in a covid-crippled economy while planning for the pandemic’s long-term effects on mental health and substance abuse services.
Republican Greg Gianforte said that he will encourage people to wear masks and wear one himself when he’s sworn in as governor, but that he trusts Montana residents to make the right health decisions for themselves.
As coronavirus cases surge, state officials can’t afford to wait for a new president to take office before taking action. But some governors’ initiatives seem to be little more than policy tweaks or symbolic gestures.
As the pandemic continues to cast shadows on everyday life, some candidates for governor are talking about everything except the specifics of how they would manage COVID-19 into the future.
Thousands of firefighters from across the U.S. have converged on the West as the wildfire season enters its peak. The inherently dangerous job now carries the additional risk of COVID-19 transmission, and fire managers are adapting their plans for crowded fire camps in the hope of preventing outbreaks that could sideline crews and weaken the nation’s firefighting infrastructure.
With COVID-19 tests bogged down in backlogs, some states that relied on private laboratories, such as Quest Diagnostics, are trying to adapt as caseloads rise.