This Week in Coronavirus: October 23 to October 29

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

The U.S. added over a half million cases and about 5,600 deaths this week.

Issues related to voting during the coronavirus pandemic have been a story during the primaries and now the general election season. KHN published stories this week on how people who are hospitalized can still vote in many parts of the country and efforts in North Carolina to help long-term care facility residents vote.

Also released this week is an analysis showing nursing homes with a relatively high share of Black or Hispanic residents are more likely to have had a resident die of COVID-19 than homes with lower shares of such residents, adding to studies and stories throughout the year showing communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide are approximately 45 million this week – with an increase of over 3.3 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were almost 44,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide and the total for confirmed deaths is nearing 1.2 million.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. is on the verge of reaching 9 million this week. There was an increase of roughly 536,100 confirmed cases between October 22 and October 29. Approximately 5,600 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to approximately 228,700.

Race/Ethnicity Data: Black individuals made up a higher share of cases/deaths compared to their share of the population in 40 of 50 states reporting cases and 33 of 48 states reporting deaths. In 10 states (MI, MO, PA, WI, KS, MN, RI, NH, ME and VT) 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 44 of 46 states reporting cases. In 5 states (NH, NC, OR, PA, and WA), 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.) that went into effect this week:

Extensions: CT, FL, GA, MA, NJ, OK, RI, SC

New Restrictions: HI, ID, IL

Face Mask Requirement: MS

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Nursing Homes (News Release, Issue Brief)
  • Trump, Health Advisers Split On COVID-19 Response; VP Pence Absent From Pandemic Planning Calls For Over 1 Month (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of October 29 (Interactive)
  • State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Issue Brief)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Scientists Warn Americans Are Expecting Too Much From a Vaccine (KHN, NBC News)
  • For Each Critically Ill COVID Patient, a Family Is Suffering, Too (KHN, Washington Post)
  • Telemedicine or In-Person Visit? Pros and Cons (KHN, US News)
  • COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains (KHN, Billings Gazette)
  • Verily’s COVID Testing Program Halted in San Francisco and Oakland (KHN, LA Times)
  • Lost on the Frontline: Explore the Database (KHN, The Guardian)
  • Readers and Tweeters Shed Light on Vaccine Trials and Bias in Health Care (KHN)
  • Hospital Bills for Uninsured COVID Patients Are Covered, but No One Tells Them (KHN, NPR)
  • Democrats Link GOP Challengers to Trump’s COVID Record, Efforts to Undo Obamacare (KHN)
  • Why State Mask Stockpiling Orders Are Hurting Nursing Homes, Small Providers (KHN, NBC News)
  • KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: As Cases Spike, White House Declares Pandemic Over (KHN)
  • Despite COVID Concerns, Teams Venture Into Nursing Homes to Get Out the Vote (KHN, Charlotte News & Observer)

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.