This Week in Coronavirus: August 14 to August 20

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

With the Democratic National Convention held this week and the Republican National Convention scheduled for next, the 2020 general election season is officially kicking off and brings an even greater focus on the country’s coronavirus pandemic response as a campaign issue. KFF’s survey research team wrote a Policy Watch post analyzing voters’ increasingly negative opinions of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, with the caveat that the President continues to garner strong support among his base of Republican voters – even those living in areas disproportionately impacted by the virus.

KFF traditionally produces content on where the candidates stand on the key health policy issues facing the country. This election year is no different, but the global pandemic has overshadowed other key issues that may have had more attention. The new slideshow, Health Care and the 2020 Presidential Election, compares President Trump’s record and former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposals on several issues, including the slide below on the COVID-19 response.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide surpassed 22 million this week – with an increase of approximately 1.8 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were also approximately 43,500 new confirmed deaths worldwide, bringing the total to nearly 794,000 confirmed deaths.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. reached nearly 5.6 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 325,000 confirmed cases between August 14 and August 20. Over 7,000 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to over 174,000.

Race/Ethnicity Data: As of August 17, Black individuals made up a higher share of cases/deaths compared to their share of the population in 31 of 49 states reporting cases and 32 of 46 states reporting deaths. In 6 states (MI, MO, IL, WI, KS, and ME) the share of COVID-19 related deaths among Black people was at least two times higher than their share of the total population. Hispanic individuals made up a higher share of cases compared to their share of the total population in 36 of 46 states reporting cases. In 5 states (NE, WI, MN, NH and SD), Hispanic peoples’ share of cases was more than 3 times their share of the population. COVID-19 continues to have a sharp, disproportionate impact on American Indian/Alaska Native as well as Asian people in some states.

State Reports of Long-Term Care Facility Cases and Deaths Related to COVID-19 as of Aug. 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: 15,566 (across 45 states)
  • Cases in long-term care facilities: 391,397 (across 44 states)
  • Deaths in long-term care facilities: 70,649 (in 45 states)
  • Long-term care facilities as a share of total state cases: 8% (across 44 states)
  • Long-term care facility deaths as a share of total state deaths: 43% (across 45 states)

State Social Distancing Actions (includes Washington D.C.) that went into effect this week:

  • Face Mask Requirements
    – Enhanced requirements: CT, GA, MS
    • Social Distancing Measures
    – Extended: GA, HI, FL, MS, NV
    – Paused: No states
    – Rolled back: NY
    – New restrictions: IL, OR

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Racial Disparities in COVID-19: Key Findings from Available Data and Analysis (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • Voters Are Souring on President Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus, with Implications for November (Policy Watch Post)
  • Health and Financial Risks for Noncitizen Immigrants due to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: A Look at Online Platforms for Contraceptive and STI Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • Cost-Sharing Waivers and Premium Relief by Private Plans in Response to COVID-19 (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • Updated: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of August 21 (Interactive)
  • Updated: Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Issue Brief)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • As Georgia Reopened, Officials Knew of Severe Shortage of PPE for Health Workers (KHN, The Daily Beast)
  • COVID Testing Choke Points (KHN)
  • Politics Slows Flow of US Pandemic Relief Funds to Public Health Agencies (KHN, AP)
  • PPE Shortage Could Last Years Without Strategic Plan, Experts Warn (KHN, The Guardian)
  • Teen Artist’s Portraits Help Frame Sacrifice of Health Care Workers Lost to COVID (KHN, Washington Post)
  • Trust, Fear and Solidarity Will Determine the Success of a COVID Vaccine (KHN, Daily Beast)
  • With COVID Vaccine Trial, Rural Oregon Clinic Steps Onto World Stage (KHN, The Oregonian)
  • Isolation, Disruption and Confusion: Coping With Dementia During a Pandemic (KHN, Los Angeles Times)
  • Democratic Convention, Night 1: Hitting Trump Team on Pandemic Preparedness (KHN)
  • Swab, Spit, Stay Home? College Coronavirus Testing Plans Are All Over the Map (KHN, NPR)
  • COVID Plans Put to Test as Firefighters Crowd Camps for Peak Wildfire Season (KHN, Time)
  • California’s Data Failures Stymie Efforts to Curb the Virus (KHN)
  • Deadly Mix: How Bars Are Fueling COVID-19 Outbreaks (KHN, NPR)
  • Scam Alert: Things a COVID Contact Tracer Wouldn’t Say (KHN, NPR)
  • DeSantis Says COVID Is a Lower Risk for School-Aged Kids Than Flu (KHN, PolitiFact)

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.