Policy Watch

Quick-hitting policy analysis, polling, and updates on the key issues facing the country in 2020.

It’s Back-to-School amid COVID-19, and Mothers Especially Are Feeling the Strain

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, KFF has been tracking the firsthand experiences of people and how they’re coping with the virus and the changes it has brought about in their lives. Parents face a unique set of challenges as they attempt to balance the needs of their children – especially their schooling – with their own concerns about work, finances, and health. With the new school year approaching, the July KFF Tracking Poll explored parents’ concerns and preferences related to school reopening decisions. This new analysis finds a gender gap in parents’ worries and their views on schools returning for in-person instruction, as well as the reported toll of coronavirus-related stress on their mental health and wellbeing.

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Last Week in Coronavirus: July 24 to July 30

During the 28th week since the first coronavirus case appeared in the United States we also entered the final 100 days of a presidential election campaign that’s increasingly influenced by this pandemic.

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Drew Altman: The Pandemic is Boosting the Public’s View of Doctors

In this Axios column, Drew Altman looks at how the heroic performance of the nation’s doctors on the frontlines of coronavirus care and effective communication by many physician scientists on television, is shifting the public’s views, with twice as many Americans now saying doctors put people ahead of profits than they did in earlier KFF polling.

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This Week in Coronavirus: July 17 to July 23

At almost 27 weeks since the first coronavirus case appeared in the United States, we have reached 4 million cumulative cases — only 15 days since crossing 3 million. While cases are climbing at increasing rates and the economy continues to suffer, the debate around the safety and feasibility of reopening schools for in-person instruction continued this week as state and local officials released their decisions around in person or online learning and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its own guidance on reopening schools.

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Drew Altman: Hotspot States See More COVID Cases in Nursing Homes

In his Axios column, Drew Altman discusses new data on the surge of new infections in long-term care facilities in COVID-19 hotspots. The dominant narrative about the Sunbelt surge in new cases is that the infected population is younger, but he says that’s not the whole story. There is also a spike in cases in long-term care facilities, especially in Florida and Texas.
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This Week in Coronavirus: July 10 to July 16

The United States continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases this week, and yesterday crossed another disturbing threshold: over 77,000 new cases were confirmed on Thursday. With many schools scheduled to begin the new academic year next month, parents, school staff and government officials have been heavily engaged this week in the debate around the safety and feasibility of in-person teaching.

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