Week 18 Newsletter

August 11th 2020 Updates

Surge Capacity Strategies
A recent survey found that the US contact tracing workforce is falling short of projected numbers and has not significantly grown since mid-June.

Nearly half of all low-income communities in the US have no intensive care unit beds. With COVID-19 cases continuing to surge, this could limit access to care for critically ill patients.

Surge Capacity Resources
(08/07/20) Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not
This article/podcast examines the fact that the US contact tracing workforce continues to fall short of projected need. NPR’s recent survey of all 50 states, completed in collaboration with John Hopkins Center for Health Security, found the national workforce has not grown significantly since mid June.

(08/03/20) Nearly Half of Low-income Communities Have No ICU Beds in Their Area
An article covering a recent study published in Health Affairs which shows that nearly half of low-income communities in the United States have no intensive care unit beds. With COVID-19 threatening the critical care capacity of most of the nation, this could lead to significant issues dealing with surge capacity throughout the United States.

Telehealth is becoming an increasingly important part of health service delivery. However, access to telehealth services is a major concern for older adults. Policymakers are considering strategies to make telehealth a more viable option for those in need of telehealth services.
Telehealth Resources

(08/03/20) Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
An article featured in The New York Times recapping how telehealth has been used since the beginning of the pandemic, with many asking for the regulatory changes made to be maintained beyond the pandemic.

(08/03/20) COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Telehealth Boom, but Older Adults Can’t Connect
An article that examines how older patients are having difficulty accessing telehealth services during the pandemic due to inability to connect to necessary technology or unreadiness to use it, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco published in JAMA.

(07/31/20) Trump Administration Aims to Keep Telehealth Revolution Here to Stay
An opinion article in USA Today that addresses the barriers to telehealth and what strategies are needed to make telehealth more accessible such as regulatory reform and statutory changes in Congress.

Long-term Care
As the death toll continues to rise in nursing homes, urgent action and fundamental reforms are needed in order to protect long-term care patients and staff.
Long-term Care Resources

(08/07/20) The Pandemic Proves It: We Have to Reimagine Nursing Home Care From the Ground Up
An opinion article that argues that as the death toll continues to rise in nursing homes during the pandemic, that urgent action and fundamental reforms must be enacted to protect long-term patients and staff.

(08/03/20) Key Questions About Nursing Home Regulation and Oversight in the Wake of COVID-19
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation investigating the impact of regulation and oversight of nursing homes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As reports are becoming available it is evident that the majority of nursing homes met the needs of infection control, however nursing home quality of care has been raised as a significant issue.

Health Workforce Safety
A recent study found health care workers who are ethnic minorities to be at least 5 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites. The reuse of personal protective equipment was also found to be related to increased risk of infection.
Health Workforce Safety Resources

(07/31/20) Risk of COVID-19 Among Front-line Health-care Workers and the General Community: A Prospective Cohort Study
A new study of health care workers in the United Kingdom and the United States found higher risk of COVID-19 infection among health care workers when compared to the general public. The study also found that black, asian, and other minority ethnicity health care workers were at least five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 when compared to non-Hispanic white individuals, and that reuse of personal protective equipment is related to increased risk of infection.