This Week in Coronavirus: May 28 to June 4

Every Friday, we’re recapping the past week in the coronavirus pandemic from our tracking, policy analysis, polling, and journalism.

This week saw protests across the country voicing outrage over how widespread racism in the United States impacts black lives. Structural and systemic racism have created longstanding disparities across economic and health indicators for Black Americans – including the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 in Black communities and other communities of color.  Data across states show that, in the majority of states reporting data, Black people account for a higher share of COVID-19-related deaths and cases compared to their share of the population. The resulting economic crisis has also had an unequal effect on people of color. Our head of Disparities Policy, Samantha Artiga, explains more in her conversation with Dan Diamond on Politico’s Pulse Check this week.

Total cases in the U.S. are still climbing, and this week increased by 149,000, bringing the cumulative total of cases past 1.8 million. Across 41 states reporting this data as of yesterday, 45% of deaths due to COVID-19 occurred in long-term care facilities.

Here are more of the latest coronavirus stats from KFF’s tracking resources:

Global Cases and Deaths: This week, total cases worldwide passed 6.6 million – with approximately 828,000 new confirmed cases added between May 28 and June 4. There were approximately 31,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide between May 28 and June 4.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed deaths in the U.S. surpassed 108,000 this week. There have been almost 1.9 million total confirmed cases in the U.S. There were approximately 150,000 new confirmed cases and 6,600 confirmed deaths in the United States between May 28 and June 4.

U.S. Tests: There have been over 18.6 million total COVID-19 tests with results in the United States —with more than 3 million since May 28. The seven-day rolling average rate positivity rate (between May 28 and June 4) was 4.9%. In the last seven days, 0.9% of the total U.S. population was tested.

State Reports of Long-Term Care Facility Cases and Deaths Related to COVID-19 (Includes Washington D.C.)

  • Data Reporting Status: 47 states are reporting COVID-19 data in long-term care facilities, 4 states are not reporting
  • Long-term care facilities with known cases: 8,782 (across 44 states)
  • Cases in long-term care facilities: 217,481 (across 43 states)
  • Deaths in long-term care facilities: 43,725 (in 40 states)
  • Long-term care facilities as a share of total state cases: 16% (across 43 states)
  • Long-term care facility deaths as a share of total state deaths: 45% (across 41 states)

State Social Distancing Actions (includes Washington D.C.):

  • Social Distancing: 51 states have eased at least one social distancing measure.
  • Stay At Home Order: Original stay at home order in place in 13 states, stay at home order eased or lifted in 32 states, no action in 6 states
  • Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers: Original traveler quarantine mandate in place in 11 states, traveler quarantine mandate eased or lifted in 14 states, no action in 26 states
  • Non-Essential Business Closures: Some or all non-essential businesses permitted to reopen (some with reduced capacity) in 46 states, no action in 5 states
  • Large Gatherings Ban: Original gathering ban/limit in place in 17 states, gathering/ban limit eased or lifted in 33 states, no action in 1 states
  • State-Mandated School Closures: Closed in 7 states, closed for school year in 36 states, recommended closure in 1 state, recommended closure for school year in 6 states, rescinded in 1 state
  • Restaurant Limits: Original restaurant closures still in place in 11 states, restaurants re-opened to dine-in service (some with reduced capacity) in 39 states, no action in 1 state
  • Primary Election Postponement: Postponement in 14 states, cancelled in 1 state, no postponement in 36 states
  • Emergency Declaration: There are emergency declarations in all 51 states.

State COVID-19 Health Policy Actions (Includes Washington D.C.)

  • Waive Cost Sharing for COVID-19 Treatment: 3 states require, state-insurer agreement in 3 states; no action in 45 states
  • Free Cost Vaccine When Available: 9 states require, state-insurer agreement in 1 state, no action in 41 states
  • States Requires Waiver of Prior Authorization Requirements: For COVID-19 testing only in 5 states, for COVID-19 testing and treatment in 6 states, no action in 40 states
  • Early Prescription Refills: State requires in 18 states, no action in 33 states
  • Premium Payment Grace Period: Grace period extended for all policies in 9 states, grace period extended for COVID-19 diagnosis/impacts only in 5 states, no action in 35 states, expired in 2 states
  • Marketplace Special Enrollment Period: Marketplace special enrollment period still active in 6 states, ended in 6 states, no special enrollment period in 39 states
  • Paid Sick Leave: 13 states enacted, 2 proposed, no action in 36 states

State Actions on Telehealth (Includes Washington D.C.)

38 states overall have taken mandatory action expanding access to telehealth services through private insurers, including:

  • New Requirements for Coverage of Telehealth Services: Parity with in-person services in 6 states, broad coverage of telehealth services in 6 states, limited coverage of telehealth services in 6 states, no action in 33 states
  • Waiving or Limiting Cost-Sharing for Telehealth Services: Waived for COVID-19 services only in 7 states, waived or limited for all services in 9 states, no action in 35 states
  • Reimbursement Parity for Telehealth and In-Person Services: Required for all services in 17 states, no action in 34 states
  • Require Expanded Options for Delivery of Telehealth Services: Yes in 35 states, for behavioral health services only in 1 state, no action in 15 states

Approved Medicaid State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Includes Washington D.C.)

  • Approved Section 1115 Waivers to Address COVID-19: 1 state (Washington) has an approved waiver
  • Approved Section 1135 Waivers: 51 states have approved waivers
  • Approved 1915 (c) Appendix K Waivers: 48 states have approved waivers
  • Approved State Plan Amendments (SPAs): 39 states have temporary changes approved under Medicaid or CHIP disaster relief SPAs, 1 state has an approved traditional SPA
  • Other State-Reported Medicaid Administrative Actions: 51 states report taking other administrative actions in their Medicaid programs to address COVID-19

Adults at Higher Risk of Serious Illness if Infected with Coronavirus: 38% of all U.S. adults are at risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus (92,560,223 total) due to their age (65 and over) or pre-existing medical condition. Of those at higher risk, 45% are at increased risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus due to their existing medical condition such as such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, uncontrolled asthma or obesity. Among nonelderly adults — low-income, American Indian/Alaska Native & Black adults have a higher risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus. In both cases – for race and household income – the higher risk of serious illness if infected with coronavirus is chiefly due to a higher prevalence of underlying health conditions and longstanding disparities in health care and other socio-economic factors.

 

This week’s posts in Coronavirus Policy Watch:  

  • Samantha Artiga Talks with Politico Pulse Check about the Pandemic and Protests on Racial Inequality (CPW Post)
  •  Health Disparities are a Symptom of Broader Social and Economic Inequities (CPW Post)

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Litigation Challenging Mandatory Stay at Home and Other Social Distancing Measures (Issue Brief)
  • Black Americans Fare Worse Compared to Those Who Are White Across a Majority of Selected Health Measures (Chart of the Week)
  • The COVID-19 Outbreak and Food Production Workers: Who is at Risk? (News ReleaseIssue Brief)
  • China Denies AP Report It Delayed Sharing Information On Novel Coronavirus With WHO (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)

Trackers

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Tear-Gassing Protesters During An Infectious Outbreak ‘A Recipe For Disaster’ (KHN)
  • Social Media Fears About Lack Of Coverage For Protest Injuries Are Overblown (KHN)
  • COVID-19 Overwhelms Border ICUs (KHN)
  • Montana’s Tribal Nations Preserve COVID Restrictions To Preserve Their Cultures (KHN)
  • Lost On The Frontline (KHNThe Guardian)
  • KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Protests And The Pandemic (Podcast)
  • Efforts To Curb Congenital Syphilis Falter In COVID’s Shadow (KHN)
  • Newsom Likes To ‘Go Big’ But Doesn’t Always Deliver (KHNHuff Post)
  • In Hard-Hit Areas, COVID’s Ripple Effects Strain Mental Health Care Systems (KHN)
  • Hype Collides With Science As FDA Tries To Rein In ‘Wild West’ of COVID Blood Tests (KHNLos Angeles Times)
  • Open (Your Wallet) Wide: Dentists Charge Extra For Infection Control (KHNNBC News)
  • ICUs Become A ‘Delirium Factory’ For COVID Patients (KHNCNN)
  • Hiring A Diverse Army To Track COVID-19 Amid Reopening (KHN)
  • Coronavirus Surprise: IRS Allows Midyear Insurance And FSA Changes (KHNNPR)
  • Judges Try To Balance Legal Rights And Courtroom Health (CHL)
  • Pandemic Presents New Hurdles, And Hope, For People Struggling With Addiction (KHNNPR)
  • ‘An Arm And A Leg’: The $7,000 COVID Test And Other Lessons From SEASON-19 (KHN)