This Week in Coronavirus: July 31 to August 6

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

The United States remains among the world’s leaders in daily new case reports as the country’s total cases approaches 5 million with over 160,000 deaths. In the midst of this reality, the school year is beginning across the country with decisions about in-person attendance versus virtual learning continuing to roll in. The total number of deaths per day are now over 1000, reaching 1500 and 1800 on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

As cases continue to climb, this week’s Chart of the Week compares the United States’ per capita case rate to those of other countries that have opened their schools for in-person attendance and finds a big disparity with the United States having a much higher rate of community spread.

Most parents prefer opening schools later to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, with two-thirds of mothers and half of fathers preferring such delays. Some members of KFF’s polling team wrote about this gender gap and how mothers are reporting more strain due to stress from the pandemic.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide approached 20 million between July 30 and August 6 – with an increase of approximately 1.8 million new confirmed cases. There were also approximately 40,800 new confirmed deaths worldwide during the period, bringing the total to nearly 715,000 confirmed deaths.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. approached 5 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 388,600 confirmed cases between July 31 and August 6. About 7,300 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total to over 160,000 confirmed deaths in the U.S.

Race/Ethnicity Data: Black individuals made up a higher share of cases/deaths compared to their share of the population in 32 of 49 states reporting cases and 33 of 44 states reporting deaths as of August 3. In 7 states (MI, TN, MO, IL, 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 35 of 46 states reporting cases. In 6 states (NE, WI, IA, MN, TN, 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 Social Distancing Actions (includes Washington D.C.) going into effect this week:

  • Face Mask Requirements
    • New requirements: VT, WI
    • Enhanced requirements: MS, NM, WY
  • Social Distancing Measures
    • Extended: GA, MS, NH, NJ, NM, OK, RI, WV, WI, WY
    • Paused: No states
    • Rolled back: RI
    • New restrictions: NJ, OH, OR, SC, MI, NC, VA, WA

    The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

    • Drew Altman: The Pandemic is Boosting the Public’s View of Doctors (Axios Column)
    • Public’s Views of Doctors, Nurses, Insurance Companies, and Drug Companies Survey (Poll Finding)
    • Key Questions About Nursing Home Regulation and Oversight in the Wake of COVID-19 (Issue Brief)
    • The Critical Care Workforce and COVID-19: A State-by-State Analysis (Issue Brief)
    • It’s Back-to-School amid COVID-19, and Mothers Especially Are Feeling the Strain (Policy Watch Post)
    • Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments for COVID-19 Revenue Loss: Time to Repay? (Issue Brief)
    • The Veterans Health Administration’s Role During the COVID-19 Response (Issue Brief)
    • Updated: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of August 7 (Interactive)
    • Updated: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)

    The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

    • Fauci Unfazed as Scientists Rely on Unproven Methods to Create COVID Vaccines (KHN, Scientific American)
    • Avoiding Care During the Pandemic Could Mean Life or Death (KHN, Los Angeles Times)
    • With Caveats, Hopeful News for Preschools Planning Young Kids’ Return (CHL, Los Angeles Times)
    • Pandemic’s Bumps and Backlash Shape Montana Race Poised to Steer US Senate (KHN)
    • What Seniors Can Expect as Their New Normal in a Post-Vaccine World (KHN, USA Today)
    • Maryland County Pledges Investigation of Health Worker’s Coronavirus Death (KHN, AP)
    • Get the Data: Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus (KHN)
    • When Green Means Stop: How Safety Messages Got So Muddled (KHN, NPR)
    • Don’t Count on Lower Premiums Despite Pandemic-Driven Boon for Insurers (KHN)
    • KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Republicans in COVID Disarray (KHN)
    • California GOP Consultant Rues ‘Big Mistake’ That Led to Family’s COVID Infections (KHN)
    • Forced Sports Timeout Puts Squeeze on College Coffers, Scholarships and Towns (CHL, Time)
    • Don’t Fall for This Video: Hydroxychloroquine Is Not a COVID-19 Cure (KHN, PolitiFact)
    • Could Labs That Test Livestock Ease COVID Testing Backlog for People? Well … Maybe. (KHN, PolitiFact)
    • Health Care Workers of Color Nearly Twice as Likely as Whites to Get COVID-19 (KHN, The Guardian)
    • Test Sites Quickly Attract Thousands for COVID-19 Vaccine Study (KHN, Miami Herald)
    • America’s Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID Vaccine (KHN, CNN)
    • Your Favorite Store or Restaurant Is Open. How Do You Know It’s OK to Go In? (KHN, US News)
    • In Rural Missouri, Latinos Learn to Contain and Cope With the Coronavirus (KHN, NPR)
    • Pandemic Hampers Reopening of Joint Replacement Gold Mine (CHL, Fortune)

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