Week Newsletter 39

12/29-01/04 Updates

Surge Capacity Issues

Military health care workers are being deployed to help overwhelmed health care systems in California and throughout the US. Military health care workers are being deployed to help overwhelmed health care systems in California and throughout the US. 

As excess deaths overwhelm health care systems across the US, “last responders”—health care professionals responsible for the bodies of the deceased—are preparing for the weeks to come and refrigerated morgues are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Surge Capacity Issues

(01/04/21) ‘Last Responders’ Brace for Surge in COVID Deaths Across US
This article from Kaiser Health News discusses how health care workers and others responsible for taking care of the bodies of those who have died from COVID-19 are bracing for more deaths in the weeks to come. Refrigerated morgues have become increasingly commonplace as excess deaths overwhelm health care systems across the United States.

(12/31/20) US Sets Daily Coronavirus Death Record for Second Straight Day
As 2020 comes to a close, December remains as the single deadliest month thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the month with the most new infections and hospitalizations.

(12/30/20) 75 Air Force, Army Healthcare Workers Headed to California Hospitals
Health care workers from the Air Force and Army are being deployed to hospitals in California as the state deals with overwhelming surges in COVID-19 cases. Beyond California, health care providers in the military are also being deployed to treat COVID-19 patients in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Navajo Nation.

See More Surge Capacity Issues Resources

Long-term Care

In Ohio, more than half of staff at long-term care facilities are refusing to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Long-term Care

(12/31/20) Ohio Gov: 60 Percent of Nursing Home Staff Elected Not to Take COVID-19 Vaccine
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recently announced that a majority of staff in long-term care facilities in Ohio have refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Ohio does not require these health care workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but strongly encourages it.

See More Long-term Care Resources

Health Workforce Safety

An outbreak of COVID-19 among hospital staff in California has infected at least 44 workers.

Health care workers throughout the US are refusing COVID-19 vaccines, in some areas as many as 50% declining vaccination.

Health Workforce Safety

(01/04/21) 44 Kaiser Hospital Staff Members Infected in COVID-19 Outbreak, 1 Worker Dies
An outbreak of COVID-19 among staff members at the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in California has resulted in at least one death thus far. Officials believe a holiday-themed inflatable costume may be linked to accidental spread of the virus among staff.

(01/03/20) Large Numbers of Health Care and Frontline Workers Are Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine
Many health care workers throughout the United States are declining to be vaccinated for COVID-19, with some places reporting more than 50% of workers refusing. Although currently not required in most states and federally, there is a chance vaccination will be mandated if sufficient numbers of vaccinations to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19 do not occur.

See More Health Workforce Safety Resources

State Workforce Strategies

With legislative sessions in most states set to begin, recommendations come for legislative models to reduce health care costs in the era of COVID-19.

California is allowing hospitals to override legal limits on nursing workloads by as much as 50% in order to meet demand of COVID-19 patients.

State Workforce Strategies

(01/04/20) Supporting Health Care Competition in the Era of COVID-19: 3 Legislative Models for States
This post to the Health Affairs blog provides some recommendations for states to target legislation to improve competition and bring down costs in the era of COVID-19. These recommendations include bans on anticompetitive provider contract clauses, implementing certification of public advantage laws, and modifying scope-of-practice laws for providers.

(12/30/20) California Is Overriding Its Limits on Nurse Workloads as COVID-19 Surges
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in California, nurses are being required to take on as many as 50% more patients at a time. California is the only state that has mandated limits on nursing workloads, but these limits have been waived in order to meet the demands of COVID-19.

See More State Workforce Strategies Resources