Child Uninsurance Rate Dropped During Pandemic, Data Show

The drop — from 5.7% in 2019 to 5.4% in 2021 — is being described as a “small but significant drop,” equivalent to 200,000 more children with health insurance, Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families said.

Stateline: More children have taken out health insurance during the pandemic

The number of children without health insurance fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, likely the result of a regulation passed by Congress that prohibited states from barring anyone from Medicaid during the public health emergency. According to an analysis of new US Census Bureau data by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, the child non-insurance rate was 5.4% in 2021, compared to 5.7% in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit. (Ollow, 21.9.)

In other pandemic news –

The Washington Post: Nursing home understaffing among pandemic-damaged residents, House panel says

A special House panel examining the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic said it found anecdotal evidence of understaffing in care homes, leading to patient neglect and harm. At a hearing on Wednesday, the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis discussed some of its findings, including the response of major care home chains to complaints from staff and families. (Rowland, September 21)

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Becker’s Hospital Review: US healthcare workers are more emotionally drained amid pandemic, study says

According to a Sept. 21 analysis by JAMA Network Open, emotional exhaustion among US healthcare workers has worsened over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and threatens to jeopardize patient care. (Tucker, September 21)

Modern healthcare: COVID-19 testing at risk in 2020 due to FDA approval process

A report released Wednesday by the HHS office of the inspector general pointed to problems with test performance and said patients may have received inaccurate results. According to the report, the federal government needs to gather input from a variety of stakeholders and revise its strategy ahead of the next pandemic. (Goldman, September 21)

The Atlantic: Fauci speaks “The pandemic is over”

Days after President Joe Biden declared that “the pandemic is over,” Anthony Fauci addressed the president’s controversial remarks during an interview at the Atlantic Festival, an annual live event in Washington, DC: “He said we are in a lot better place considering the fulminating stage of the pandemic,” said Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser. “It really becomes semantics and how you want to shoot it.” (Stern, 9/21)

More on the spread of Covid —

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Des Moines Register: Iowa Department of Health reports 10,000. State COVID fatality

Iowa has passed another somber milestone. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 10,000 on Wednesday. State fatality where COVID-19 was either the underlying cause or a contributing factor. The state’s official death toll for the pandemic is now 10,051. (Weaver, September 21)

Fortune: Scientists were concerned about a certain variant this fall. They didn’t expect the offspring

Omicron-Spawn BA.2.75, dubbed “Centaurus,” appeared to be the COVID variant to keep an eye on this summer – one with the potential to wreak unprecedented havoc later in the year. … Instead, one of its children, BA.2.75.2, has surpassed it and eliminated it as a threat – but replaced it with a more formidable one. It’s one to keep an eye on this fall, says Dr. Raj Rajnarayanan, Associate Dean of Research and Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology campus in Jonesboro, Ark., and for more reasons than one. (Prater, 21.9.)

AP: The Danish Queen tests positive after the funeral of the British monarch

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the royal palace said on Wednesday. In a statement, the royal household said Margrethe, 82, who has been on the throne for 50 years, has quit her official duties after Tuesday night’s test. (21.09.)

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On vaccination and mask mandates –

The Hill: Federal judge strikes down Biden administration’s tab vaccine, mask mandate

A federal judge in Louisiana on Wednesday overturned a Biden administration mandate that requires employees at Head Start child care facilities to be vaccinated and wear masks. U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty has issued an injunction against federal agencies enforcing vaccination and mask requirements for Head Start. (Choi, September 21)

Los Angeles Times: California eases COVID-19 mask recommendations

In a fresh sign of improving coronavirus conditions, California will ease its mask-wearing recommendations for the first time in seven months. The state is largely rescinding its general recommendation that everyone — regardless of vaccination status — should mask up in indoor public spaces and businesses. These guidelines have been in effect since mid-February. (Lin II and money, September 21)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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