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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Testing Cost Varies Widely; Phone App Might Aid Tracing

KHN Morning Briefing

The Journal Of General Internal Medicine reports less than 10% of tests cost insurers more than $306, but some bills were as high as $14,750. News is on fast turnarounds for employers, rapid antigen tests, the UK’s shortage of tests during a second wave and more.

Indoor Maine Wedding Is Linked To Seven Deaths

KHN Morning Briefing

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said, “The virus favors gatherings.” Other COVID news is on loneliness, herd immunity, flu season and more.

Azar Reportedly Reversed FDA Chief On Testing Policy; Schumer Calls For Him To Go

KHN Morning Briefing

Politico reports that HHS Secretary Alex Azar revoked the FDA’s ability to check the quality of COVID-19 tests developed by individual labs for their own use, over objections from FDA chief Stephen Hahn. The growing reports of turmoil at HHS prompted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to call for Azar’s immediate resignation.

Caputo Apologizes To HHS Team For False Accusations, Keeps Job For Now

KHN Morning Briefing

Reports emerge of the closed-door apologies HHS spokesman Michael Caputo made to his boss, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, and other agency colleagues following controversial and unfounded remarks he made on Facebook. Caputo was not fired but could take medical leave.

Kids, Teens Who Died Of COVID Fell In Similar Risk Patterns As Adults

KHN Morning Briefing

Just like adults, an underlying health condition can leave young people more vulnerable to a severe case of COVID-19, according to a CDC report looking into 121 fatal coronavirus cases in people below the age of 21. Racial disparities were found as well, with two-thirds of the cases among Black and Hispanic youth.

Surveillance Failure: COVID Spread Undetected In US For Weeks, New Report Finds

KHN Morning Briefing

Washington was hit by a strain from China, while a strain from Europe infected parts of New York and Connecticut. A different report looks at how inadequate monitoring of travelers in January impacted U.S. spread. Other news is on testing in underserved communities and different types of testing and tracing, as well.

Kaiser Permanente Is First Health System To Win Carbon-Neutral Status

KHN Morning Briefing

The health insurance company is not affiliated with Kaiser Health News (KHN) or KFF. Other health systems in the news include UnitedHealthcare, Lifespan, Care New England, Northwestern Medicine, Palos Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Atlantic Health and CentraState Healthcare.

At Least 800 Nurses, Hundreds Of Health Care Workers Strike In Chicago

KHN Morning Briefing

They’re calling for safer working conditions and better pay. The strike, which is scheduled to last seven days, was supposed to include about 1,300 nurses, but a Cook County judge ruled that 525 nurses couldn’t join because it would endanger patients’ safety.