This Week in Coronavirus: April 17 to April 24

Every Friday we’ll recap our new coronavirus policy analysis, polling, and updates from the past week.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: This week, total cases worldwide passed 2.7 million – with approximately 556,000 new cases added between April 17 and April 23. There were approximately 47,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide between April 17 and April 23.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: There were approximately 200,000 new cases and 17,000 deaths in the United States between April 17 and April 23.

U.S. Tests: There have been 4,493,106 total COVID-19 tests with results in the United States — with over 1 million added since last week. 18% of the total tests were positive. There were 13.7 tests with results per 1000 people.

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.

States Easing Social Distancing Measures: Eight states – Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin – have eased some social distancing measures.

Statewide Actions to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (includes Washington D.C.):

  • Stay At Home Order: 42 statewide orders, 2 orders for high-risk groups only, other action in 1 state, no action in 6 states
  • Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers: 14 orders for all travelers, 1 order for all air travelers, 6 for travelers coming from certain states, other action in 1 state, no action in 29 states
  • Non-Essential Business Closures: 28 orders to close all non-essential businesses; 4 orders to close all non-essential retail businesses, 12 to close certain non-essential businesses, no action in 7 states
  • Large Gatherings Ban: All gatherings prohibited in 18 states, gatherings of 10+ people prohibited in 26 states, other actions in 4 states, no action in 3 states
  • State-Mandated School Closures: Closed in 15 states, closed for school year in 29 states, recommended closure in 1 state, recommended closure for school year in 6 states
  • Bar/Restaurant Limits: Closed except takeout/delivery in 45 states, limited on-site service in 4 states, other action in 1 state, no action in 1 state
  • Primary Election Postponement: Postponement in 15 states, no postponement in 36 states
  • Emergency Declaration: There are emergency declarations in all states and D.C.

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 6 states, for COVID-19 testing and treatment in 5 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 11 states, grace period extended for COVID-19 diagnosis/impacts only in 5 states, no action in 35 states
  • Marketplace Special Enrollment Period: Marketplace special enrollment period in 12 states, no special enrollment period in 39 states
  • Paid Sick Leave: 13 states enacted, 2 proposed, no action in 36 states

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

  • Approved Section 1115 Waivers to Address COVID-19: 1 state has an approved waiver
  • Approved Section 1135 Waivers: 51 states have approved waivers
  • Approved 1915 (c) Appendix K Waivers: 34 states have approved waivers
  • Approved State Plan Amendments (SPAs)*: 15 states have temporary changes approved under Medicaid 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

*The Disaster Relief SPA allows states to make temporary changes to their Medicaid state plans and address access and coverage issues during the COVID-19 emergency. States can also make changes through traditional SPAs and can implement changes under existing authority that do not require SPA approval. 


This week’s blog posts in Coronavirus Policy Watch:

  • Retirement Insecurity in the Time of COVID-19: The Next Shoe to Drop? (Blog)
  • Update on COVID-19 Funding for Hospitals and Other Providers (Blog)
  • Growing Data Underscore that Communities of Color are Being Harder Hit by COVID-19 (Blog)
  • Free Coronavirus Testing for Privately Insured Patients? (Blog)


The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

COVID-19 in the United States:

  • KFF Health Tracking Poll – Late April 2020: Coronavirus, Social Distancing, and Contact Tracing (News ReleasePoll Findings)
  • State Reporting of Cases and Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities (News ReleaseIssue Brief)
  • The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use (News ReleaseIssue Brief)
  • How Many Adults Are at Risk of Serious Illness If Infected with Coronavirus? Updated Data (Issue Brief)
  • COVID-19 and Workers at Risk: Examining the Long-Term Care Workforce (Issue Brief)
  • Urban and Rural Differences in Coronavirus Pandemic Preparedness (Issue Brief)
  • A Look at Online Platforms for Contraceptive and STI Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Data NoteNews Release)
  • Addressing the Justice-Involved Population in Coronavirus Response Efforts (News ReleaseIssue Brief)
  • The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and the COVID-19 Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: State Action to Limit Abortion Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Issue Brief)

Global COVID-19 Response:

  • Preparing for COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Leveraging U.S. Global Health Assets (Issue Brief)
  • Donor Funding for the Global Novel Coronavirus Response (Issue Brief)
  • KFF and Global Health Council Present a Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19 Response in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (Event)
  • World Food Programme Head Warns U.N. Security Council Of Looming ‘Hunger Pandemic’ Amid COVID-19 Threat; Global Network Against Food Crises Releases Annual Report (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)


  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of April 24, 2020 (Interactive)
  • State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus — Updated as of April 23, 2020 (Issue Brief)
  • Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 – Updated as of April 23, 3030 (Issue Brief)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Born Into A Pandemic: Virus Complicates Births For Moms And Babies (KHN)
  • Vaping, Opioid Addiction Accelerate Coronavirus Risks, Says NIDA Director (KHN)
  • Seniors With COVID-19 Show Unusual Symptoms, Doctors Say (KHNCNN)
  • Anti-Vaccine Activists Latch Onto Coronavirus To Bolster Their Movement (KHNLA Times)
  • Abbott’s Fast COVID Test Poses Safety Issues, Lab Workers Say (KHNDaily Beast)
  • KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Whom Do We Trust For COVID Info? (Podcast)
  • Coronavirus Crisis Opens Access To Online Opioid Addiction Treatment (KHNNPR)
  • Biden Says OSHA Isn’t Doing Enough To Protect Workers’ From COVID-19 (KHN)
  • The Other COVID Risks: How Race, Income, ZIP Code Influence Who Lives Or Dies (KHNUSA Today)
  • OSHA Probing Health Worker Deaths But Urges Inspectors To Spare The Penalties (KHN)
  • The Inside Story Of How The Bay Area Got Ahead Of The COVID-19 Crisis (KHNLos Angeles Times)
  • Lost On The Frontline (KHNThe Guardian)
  • Coronavirus Fuels Explosive Growth In Telehealth ― And Concern About Fraud (KHNFortune)
  • In The Middle Of The Country, A Hospital And Its Community Prepare For The Surge (KHNUSA Today)
  • ‘It Hurts Our Soul’: Nursing Home Workers Struggle With Thankless Position (KHNVisalia Times Delta)
  • Before ‘Tidal Wave’ Of Illness, Nursing Home Thought It Had COVID-19 Contained (KHNNPR)
  • In Fine Print, HHS Appears To Ban All Surprise Billing During The Pandemic (KHNNPR)
  • San Francisco Quick To Fight COVID-19, Slow To Help Homeless (KHN)
  • Amid Pandemic, FDA Seizes Cheaper Drugs From Canada (KHNMiami Herald)
  • ‘An Arm And A Leg’: Am I Protected If I Need COVID-19 Care? (KHN)
  • Listen: Pandemic Stresses Already Fragile Rural Health Care Systems (KHN1A)
  • Coronavirus Crisis Opens Access To Online Opioid Addiction Treatment (CHLNPR)
  • Listen: Battling The Coronavirus While Reopening The Economy (KHNWBUR)

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