This Week in Coronavirus: July 10 to July 16

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

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.

While children are at less risk for serious illness from COVID-19, teachers and other adult staff in schools face a higher risk. One KFF analysis finds about 1.5 million teachers (24% of all teachers) are either age 65 years or older or have health conditions that place them at higher risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. The CDC has noted that those 65 years or older are among those at greater risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19.

But school isn’t the only risk factor to consider. A second KFF analysis this week finds that over 3 million adults age 65 or older live in households with school-aged children. The data also show that older people of color are significantly more likely to live with a school-aged child compared to White people.

Adults at risk of serious illness from coronavirus if kids go back to school in person

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide approached 14 million between July 10 and July 16 – with an increase of approximately 1.5 million new confirmed cases. There were also approximately 35,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide between July 10 and July 16, bringing the total to nearly 590,000 confirmed deaths.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 3.5 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 450,000 confirmed cases between July 10 and July 16. Over 5,000 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total to over 138,000 confirmed deaths in the U.S.

U.S. Tests: There have been over 43 million total COVID-19 tests with results in the U.S. In the past 7 days, 1.6% of the total U.S. population was tested.

Race/Ethnicity Data: Black individuals made up a higher share of cases/deaths compared to their share of the population in 30 of 48 states reporting cases and 33 of 44 states reporting deaths. In 6 states (KS, WI, MO, MI, TN, and IL) 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 37 of 45 states reporting cases. In 7 states (KY, TN, IA, WI, NE, SD, and MN), Hispanic peoples’ share of cases was more than 4 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.

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 under age 65 and 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.

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: 11,644 (across 44 states)
  • Cases in long-term care facilities: 283,973 (across 43 states)
  • Deaths in long-term care facilities: 56,143 (in 42 states)
  • Long-term care facilities as a share of total state cases: 12% (across 43 states)
  • Long-term care facility deaths as a share of total state deaths: 44% (across 42 states)

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

  • Status of reopening: Proceeding in 23 states, paused in 7 states, new restrictions in 14 states, reopened in 7 states
  • Stay At Home Order: Original stay at home order in 1 state, stay at home order eased or lifted in 44 states, no action in 6 states
  • Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers: Original traveler quarantine mandate in place in 9 states, new traveler quarantine mandate in place in 3 states, traveler quarantine mandate eased or lifted in 16 states, no action in 23 states
  • Non-Essential Business Closures: Some or all non-essential businesses permitted to reopen (some with reduced capacity) in 43 states, new business closures or limits in 3 states, no action in 5 states
  • Large Gatherings Ban: Original gathering ban/limit in place in 5 states, gathering/ban limit expanded or lifted in 39 states, new gathering/ban limit in place in 6 states, no action in 1 state
  • Restaurant Limits: Restaurants reopened to dine-in service in 46 states, newly closed to dine-in service in 1 state, new capacity limits in 3 states, no action in 1 state
  • Bar Closures: Closed in 9 states, reopened in 31 states, newly closed in 9 states, new service limits in 2 states
  • Face Covering Requirement: Required for general public in 26 states, required for certain employees in 16 states, allows local officials to require them for general public in 5 states, no action in 6 states
  • Primary Election Postponement: Postponement in 15 states, 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 16 states, expired requirements in 2 states, no action in 33 states
  • Premium Payment Grace Period: Grace period extended for all policies in 2 states, grace period extended for COVID-19 diagnosis/impacts only in 4 states, expired in 10 states, no action in 35 states
  • Marketplace Special Enrollment Period: Marketplace special enrollment period still active in 5 states, ended in 8 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.)

  • 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 8 states, expired in 1 state, 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: 4 states (HI, NC, NH, WA) have approved waivers
  • Approved Section 1135 Waivers: 51 states have approved waivers
  • Approved 1915 (c) Appendix K Waivers: 50 states have approved waivers
  • Approved State Plan Amendments (SPAs): 47 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

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Updated: Limitations of the Program for Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Raise Concerns (Coronavirus Policy Watch)
  • Millions of Seniors Live In Households with School-Age Children (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • How Many Teachers Are at Risk of Serious Illness If Infected with Coronavirus? (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • Data Note: Growth in Medicaid MCO Enrollment during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Data Note)
  • COVID-19 Test Prices and Payment Policy (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • Updated: How Could the Price of Remdesivir Impact Medicare Spending for COVID-19 Patients? (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of July 17 (Interactive)
  • Updated: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • Updated: Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Issue Brief)
  • U.N. Raises COVID-19 Appeal To $10.3B; International Community Must Do More To Address Pandemic, Reach SDGs, U.N. Officials Say (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • A Coronavirus Vaccine: Where Does It Stand? (KHN, PolitiFact)
  • Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes Fly Free as Health Departments Focus on Coronavirus (KHN, AP)
  • Why Doctors Keep Monitoring Kids Who Recover From Mysterious COVID-Linked Illness (KHN, NPR)
  • As Coronavirus Patients Skew Younger, Tracing Task Seems All But Impossible (CHL)
  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci (KHN)
  • Lost on the Frontline (KHN, The Guardian)
  • Montana Rodeo Goes On, Bucking Fears on Fort Peck Reservation (KHN, Daily Beast)
  • Next Showdown in Congress: Protecting Workers vs. Protecting Employers in the Pandemic (KHN)
  • Families of Health Workers Killed by COVID Fight for Denied Workers’ Comp Benefits (KHN, Daily Beast)
  • Conspiracy Theories Aside, Here’s What Contact Tracers Really Do (KHN, NPR)
  • California School Districts Grope for Sensible Reopening Plans (KHN)
  • You Can See Friends and Relatives During the Pandemic Surge — But Do It Carefully (KHN)
  • Lost on the Frontline (KHN, The Guardian)
  • States Allow In-Person Nursing Home Visits As Families Charge Residents Die ‘Of Broken Hearts’ (KHN, CNN)