This Week in Coronavirus: October 9 to October 15

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

This week a joint project between KFF and ESPN’s The Undefeated explores the public’s views and experiences on the topics of health care, racial discrimination, and the coronavirus pandemic, with a special focus on Black adults. Half of Black adults say they would “definitely” or “probably” get a coronavirus vaccine available for free and deemed safe by scientists, compared to 61% of Hispanic adults and 65% of White adults. KFF President Drew Altman discusses how systemic racism had led to striking levels of reluctance to get a COVID-19 vaccine among Black Americans in an Axios column.

The national survey also explored the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people of color. Half of Black adults and 57% of Hispanic adults say someone in their household lost a job, was furloughed, or had their hours or income reduced due to the pandemic, compared to 42% of White adults. Two-thirds of Black adults think the federal government would be taking stronger action to fight the pandemic if White people were getting sick and dying from the coronavirus at higher rates than people of color.


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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide reached 36.3 million this week – with an increase of approximately 2.4 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were nearly 39,000 new confirmed deaths worldwide and the total confirmed deaths is over 1 million.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. surpassed 7.9 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 373,800 confirmed cases between October 9 and October 15. Approximately 4,900 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to approximately 217,700.

Race/Ethnicity Data: Hispanic individuals made up a higher share of cases compared to their share of the total population in 44 of 46 states reporting cases and 13 of 47 states reporting deaths. In 7 states (NH, NC, NE, OR, WA, VA, and PA), 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.  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 34 of 48 states reporting deaths. In 6 states (MI, MO, 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.

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

Extensions: AR, CO, GA, HI, IN, MN, SC, VT, WY

New Restrictions: ND

Rollbacks: CA, ME, ND, TX, WI, WV

Enhanced Face Mask Order: ME


The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • KFF/The Undefeated Survey on Race and Health (Survey, News Release)
  • Black Americans are more skeptical of a coronavirus vaccine (Axios Column)
  • Health Insurer Financial Performance Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • Half of Older Adults in Worse Health Have Reported Anxiety or Depression During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Chart of the Week)
  • Upcoming Webinar: How Might the Pandemic Affect Health Premiums, Utilization, and Outcomes in 2021 and Beyond? (Webinar)
  • COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of October 15 (Interactive)
  • State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • World Bank Approves $12B In Financing To Help Developing Countries Procure, Distribute Coronavirus Vaccines, Tests, Treatments; Mexico Signs With 3 Companies To Purchase Potential Vaccines (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)Updated: Analysis of Recent National Trends in Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment (Issue Brief)
  • Pandemic Disproportionately Impacting Poor, Most Vulnerable Populations, U.N. SG Warns Ahead Of International Day For The Eradication Of Poverty (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)


The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Sleepless Nights, Hair Loss and Cracked Teeth: Pandemic Stress Takes Its Toll (KHN, NPR)
  • Musicians Improvise Masks for Wind Instruments to Keep the Band Together (KHN, Gatehouse Media)
  • Most Home Health Aides ‘Can’t Afford Not to Work’ — Even When Lacking PPE (KHN, The Guardian)
  • No, the WHO Didn’t Change Its Lockdown Stance or ‘Admit’ Trump Was Right (KHN, PolitiFact)
  • Making Money Off Masks, COVID-Spawned Chain Store Aims to Become Obsolete (KHN, NY Times)
  • KHN Wins Edward R. Murrow Award (RTDNA)
  • Black Doctors Work to Make Coronavirus Testing More Equitable (KHN, NPR/WHYY)
  • COVID Crackdowns at Work Have Saved Black and Latino Lives, LA Officials Say (CHL, LAist)
  • With Senate Control at Stake, Trump and COVID Haunt Ernst’s Fight to Keep Her Seat (KHN)
  • COVID Takes Challenge of Tracking Infectious College Students to New Level (KHN, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • COVID Stalks Montana Town Already Saddled With Asbestos Disease (KHN, NPR)
  • Pence Said Biden Copied Trump’s Pandemic Response Plan. Pants on Fire! (KHN, PolitiFact)
  • Easier-to-Use Coronavirus Saliva Tests Start to Catch On (KHN, Los Angeles Times)

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