Kaiser Health News covers health care in the Midwest out of our bureau in St. Louis.

Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus

The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.

At-Home Care Designed For COVID Likely Here To Stay At Cleveland Hospital

A public hospital in Cleveland has been trying to keep COVID patients out of its beds. It tried a number of innovations for developing better communication — even better relationships — with patients. Officials think this groundwork helped keep the outbreak at bay — and should be the new business model going forward.

Searching For Safety: Where Children Hide When Gunfire Is All Too Common

The overall crime rate has dropped during the pandemic, but unfortunately gun violence has not. In St. Louis, at least 11 children have been killed by gunfire so far this year. Living in neighborhoods with frequent violence has forced some families to improvise ways to keep their children safe, even in the place they are supposed to be most secure: their home. The stress of growing up in these conditions could lead to chronic health problems into adulthood.