Latest Morning Briefing Stories
After a dip in 2018, the number of Americans who died of opioid overdoses rose back up in 2019 to a record 71,000, according to CDC data. Preliminary numbers forecast that 2020 could be even worse.
Developments in the coronavirus pandemic are reported out of Texas, Nebraska, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Missouri.
Over 36,000 positive tests for the coronavirus were confirmed Wednesday in just four states alone: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.
District Superintendent Austin Beutner said he couldn’t protect the students and teachers in the nation’s second largest school district and his efforts to get federal help have gone largely unanswered. School-opening updates come from Virginia, North Dakota, Oregon and other states, as well.
The outbreak in Billings at Canyon Creek Memory Care, where eight residents have died and almost are all infected, illustrates the need to adopt common-sense preventive measures. News on testing is on the slowness of getting results, and comes from California, Maine and Georgia, as well.
As job loss jeopardizes health coverage for millions of people, advocates say the administration should do more to publicize the availability of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or health plans being sold on marketplaces. Meanwhile, the administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court asking that Arkansas’ Medicaid work requirements be reinstated.
The abrupt reversal came a little more than a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an edict that left educational leaders scrambling and prompted immediate lawsuits.
While recent attention has focused on hot spots like Texas, Florida and Arizona, cases are starting to soar in other states like Oklahoma and Nevada as well. In total, over 62,000 Americans were reported sick Tuesday — another record. Death rates also continue to climb.
A temporary hold on Georgia’s 2019 “heartbeat” abortion law was ruled permanent by a federal judge Monday. In a separate case, another federal judge put a temporary block on a similar measure, just signed by Tennessee’s governor. Both state laws would have effectively prohibited the procedure at six weeks of pregnancy.
The strictest orders will be put back in place in the hardest-hit counties, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Monday. Included in the shutdown orders are restaurants, bars, churches, theaters, gyms, hair stylists and more.
Social distancing urged by health officials to stave off the virus may lead to other health problems for some people with depression and anxiety. At the same time, new data looks at the toll in Black and Hispanic areas, and some communities are reaching out to minority neighborhoods to inform residents about efforts to stop the infections; plus other developments in the fight the coronavirus.
The Trump administration is pressuring localities to restart school to help get the country back to normal. But public health officials urge a more cautious approach, and local officials are looking for answers.
The use of Gilead Sciences’s antiviral drug expands worldwide as more results from testing are announced. High hopes for the drug are tempered by shortages.
Though “there’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach to everything,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urges educators to make plans based on current CDC guidelines for safely reopening schools. “There’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous,” DeVos said.
Florida’s Sunday report of 15,299 new coronavirus cases broke the largest single-day increase of any state. The previous mark of 12,274 came from New York on April 4.
Confirmed fatalities in New York City have slowly receded since the daily peak of 597 reported on April 7.
Public health experts had warned that the big surge in cases in the South and West would reverse the downward trend in U.S. mortality rates. Total cases in the nation now top 3.3 million.
The Mississippi statehouse is closed for two weeks after 26 lawmakers and at least 10 employees tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, in Ohio, the state House of Representatives has returned to work-from-home status.
Issues like longer wait times and supply shortages are becoming apparent in many areas. In related news: Wyoming will test all prisoners for COVID-19.
Other health care companies in the news: Oscar, Sutter Health, Teladoc Health and United Hospital Fund.