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2.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 40(9): 1491-1500, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398944

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic precipitated an unemployment crisis in the US that surpassed the Great Recession of 2007-09 within the first three months of the pandemic. This article builds on the limited early evidence of the relationship between the pandemic and health insurance coverage, using county-level unemployment and Medicaid enrollment data from North Carolina, a large state that did not expand Medicaid. We used linear and county fixed effects models to assess this relationship, accounting for county-level social vulnerability, physical and virtual access to Medicaid enrollment, and COVID-19 case burden. Using data from January 2018 through August 2020, we estimated that the passthrough rate-the share of unemployed people who gained Medicaid coverage-was approximately 15 percent statewide but higher in more socially vulnerable counties. This low passthrough rate during a period of increased unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic means that Medicaid was unable to completely fulfill its countercyclical role, in which it grows to meet greater need during periods of widespread economic hardship, because of North Carolina's stringent Medicaid eligibility criteria. Working toward greater adoption of Medicaid expansion may help ensure that the US is better prepared for the next crisis by ensuring access to health insurance coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , Humans , Insurance Coverage , North Carolina , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Unemployment , United States
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(28): 991-996, 2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311471

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) and Hispanic persons in the United States (1,2). In North Carolina during January-September 2020, deaths from COVID-19 were 1.6 times higher among Black persons than among non-Hispanic White persons (3), and the rate of COVID-19 cases among Hispanic persons was 2.3 times higher than that among non-Hispanic persons (4). During December 14, 2020-April 6, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) monitored the proportion of Black and Hispanic persons* aged ≥16 years who received COVID-19 vaccinations, relative to the population proportions of these groups. On January 14, 2021, NCDHHS implemented a multipronged strategy to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations among Black and Hispanic persons. This included mapping communities with larger population proportions of persons aged ≥65 years among these groups, increasing vaccine allocations to providers serving these communities, setting expectations that the share of vaccines administered to Black and Hispanic persons matched or exceeded population proportions, and facilitating community partnerships. From December 14, 2020-January 3, 2021 to March 29-April 6, 2021, the proportion of vaccines administered to Black persons increased from 9.2% to 18.7%, and the proportion administered to Hispanic persons increased from 3.9% to 9.9%, approaching the population proportion aged ≥16 years of these groups (22.3% and 8.0%, respectively). Vaccinating communities most affected by COVID-19 is a national priority (5). Public health officials could use U.S. Census tract-level mapping to guide vaccine allocation, promote shared accountability for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with vaccine providers through data sharing, and facilitate community partnerships to support vaccine access and promote equity in vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , /statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Care Rationing/methods , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Middle Aged , North Carolina/epidemiology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
4.
J Adolesc Health ; 68(4): 683-685, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157451

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To examine the pandemic response plans of institutes of higher education (i.e., colleges and universities), including COVID-19 prevention, enforcement, and testing strategies. METHOD: Data from the largest public (n = 50) and private (n = 50) US institutes of higher education were collected from October 30 to November 20, 2020. RESULTS: Most institutes of higher education (n = 93) offered some in-person teaching in the Fall 2020 semester; most adopted masking (100%) and physical distancing (99%) mandates. Other preventive strategies included on-campus housing de-densification (58%), classroom de-densification (61%), mandated COVID-19-related training (39%), and behavioral compacts (43%). Testing strategies included entry testing (65%), testing at regular intervals (32%), population sample testing (46%), and exit testing (15%). More private than public institutes implemented intercollegiate athletics bans, behavioral compacts, and suspension clauses for noncompliance. CONCLUSIONS: Variability in COVID-19 prevention and testing strategies highlights the need for national recommendations and the equitable distribution of sufficient pandemic response resources to institutes of higher education.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Universities , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Sports , United States
8.
N C Med J ; 82(1): 50-56, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006790

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in large-scale school closures in an effort to reduce the spread of disease. This article reviews the potential impact of COVID-19-related school closures on the health of children in North Carolina, with particular attention to the impact of school closures on drivers of child health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Child Health , Humans , North Carolina , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
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