This Week in Coronavirus: October 16 to October 22

Here’s our recap of the past week in the coronavirus pandemic from our tracking, policy analysis, polling, and journalism.

Yesterday the U.S. hit its fourth highest daily total on the number of reported coronavirus cases with approximately 71,700. Through the 22nd of each month of the pandemic, October now has the second highest total number of cases, second to July only.

KFF’s October health tracking poll finds that two-thirds of the public are worried that they or their family will get sick from the coronavirus, which is up 13 percentage points since April. Through mid-October of this year, The U.S. has a higher coronavirus mortality rate than many of its peer countries, with the coronavirus ranking as the nation’s third-leading cause of death, behind only heart disease and cancer.

As the government and public health officials press forward via Operation Warp Speed on identifying a successful vaccine, a new brief examines the challenges for what comes next—successful distribution to the American people. The brief looks at the issues of funding, supply and monitoring, and the role of all levels of government. It also looks at larger related health policy issues of insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs, racial and ethnic disparities and the challenge of building public confidence in a vaccine.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide is over 41 million this week – with an increase of approximately 2.8 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were approximately 39,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide and the total confirmed deaths is over 1.1 million.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 8.4 million this week. There was an increase of roughly 428,000 confirmed cases between October 16 and October 22. Approximately 5,300 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to approximately 223,000.

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

Extensions: IA, NC

Rollbacks: HI, MD, NY

New Restrictions: IL, NM, NY

New Face Mask Requirement: MS

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine Across the U.S. – A Look at Key Issues (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • KFF Health Tracking Poll: COVID-19 in the U.S. (News Release, Report)
  • Webinar: How Might the Pandemic Affect Health Premiums, Utilization, and Outcomes in 2021 and Beyond? (Archived Recording)
  • The Pandemic’s Effect on the Widening Gap in Mortality Rate between the U.S. and Peer Countries (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • U.S. Global Funding for COVID-19 by Country and Region (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of October 23 (Interactive)
  • Updated: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Can Ordinary COVID Patients Get the Trump Treatment? It’s OK to Ask (KHN, NBC News)
  • Bridging the Miles — And the Pandemic — Teledentistry Makes Some Dentists Wince (KHN, Fortune)
  • Older COVID Patients Battle ‘Brain Fog,’ Weakness and Emotional Turmoil (KHN, CNN)
  • Despite Pandemic Threat, Gubernatorial Hopefuls Avoid COVID Nitty-Gritty (KHN, Bozeman Daily Chronicle)
  • Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database (KHN, The Guardian)
  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: A Little Good News and Some Bad on COVID-19 (KHN)
  • Analysis: Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here’s How to Save Them. And Us. (KHN, New York Times)
  • Travel on Thanksgiving? Pass the COVID (KHN, MinnPost)
  • Trump Says He Saved 2 Million Lives From COVID. Really? (KHN, PolitiFact)

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