This Week in Coronavirus: September 18 to September 24

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

The United States surpassed the grim milestone of 200,000 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 this week and is on the verge of 7 million total cases. However, a KHN article reporting on California’s death totals in the first five months of the pandemic suggests that about 5,000 “excess” deaths not attributed to COVID-19 – an unusually high number — could be partially due to an undercount of officially reported COVID-19 related deaths.

With the school year underway and localities taking varying approaches to school attendance, a new KFF brief examines not only the published studies on COVID-19 risks for children, but also broader health and economic impacts the pandemic has had on them and their families.

As the country awaits a vaccine and Americans worry about political pressure leading to premature approval of one, a KHN article examines the safety monitoring board that will be making these critical decisions.

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

Global Cases and Deaths: Total cases worldwide surpassed 32 million this week – with an increase of approximately 2 million new confirmed cases in the past seven days. There were approximately 35,700 new confirmed deaths worldwide, bringing the total to nearly 981,800 confirmed deaths.

U.S. Cases and Deaths: Total confirmed cases in the U.S. neared 7 million this week. There was an approximate increase of 303,200 confirmed cases between September 18 and September 24. Approximately 5,200 confirmed deaths in the past week brought the total in the United States to approximately 202,800.

State Reports of Long-Term Care Facility Cases and Deaths Related to COVID-19 (Includes Washington D.C.) as of 9/17

  • Data Reporting Status: 47 states are reporting COVID-19 data in long-term care facilities
  • Long-term care facilities with known cases: 19,909 (across 47 states)
  • Cases in long-term care facilities: 496,708 (across 46 states)
  • Deaths in long-term care facilities: 80,006 (in 47 states)
  • Long-term care facility cases as a share of total state cases: 8% (across 46 states)
  • Long-term care facility deaths as a share of total state deaths: 41% (across 47 states)

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

Extensions: IA, HI, NM, TX, UT, WI

Rollbacks: IL, IN, MD, NM, ND, OH, OR, PA, VT

The latest KFF COVID-19 resources:

  • Children’s Health and Well Being During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Issue Brief)
  • Medicaid Maintenance of Eligibility (MOE) Requirements: Issues to Watch When They End (Issue Brief)
  • Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker: Approved State Actions to Address COVID-19 (Issue Brief)
  • Updated: COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker – Updated as of September 24 (Interactive)
  • Updated: State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (Interactive)
  • At U.N., China, Russia, U.S. Spar Over Pandemic Responses; African Nations Call For Fiscal Support; Guterres Urges Nations To Cooperate On COVID-19, Climate Change (KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report)

The latest KHN COVID-19 stories:

  • Signs of an ‘October Vaccine Surprise’ Alarm Career Scientists (KHN, NBC)
  • Rural Hospitals Teeter on Financial Cliff as COVID Medicare Loans Come Due (KHN, NPR)
  • Battle Rages Inside Hospitals Over How COVID Strikes and Kills (KHN, The Guardian)
  • California’s Deadliest Spring in 20 Years Suggests COVID Undercount (KHN)
  • Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day, Researchers Say (KHN)
  • Native Americans Feel Double Pain of COVID and Fires ‘Gobbling Up the Ground’ (KHN, Seattle Times)
  • ‘An Arm and a Leg’: A Primer on Persisting in Difficult and Uncertain Times (KHN)
  • Lost on the Frontline: New This Week (The Guardian)
  • These Secret Safety Panels Will Pick the COVID Vaccine Winners (KHN, NBC)
  • In Los Angeles, Latinos Hit Hard By Pandemic’s Economic Storm (KHN, NPR)
  • A Fair to Remember: County Fairs Weigh Risk of Outbreak Against Financial Ruin (KHN)
  • How Families Are Keeping Halloween From Turning Into a COVID Nightmare (KHN)
  • California Expands Privacy Protection to Public Health Workers Amid Threats (KHN)

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