For the ninth week in a row, COVID-19 infection and death rates in rural locations have continued to fall, hitting lows that have not been seen in 9 months. Since their peak during the second full week of January, new weekly cases have dropped by 83%. The number of weekly deaths has fallen by two-thirds during the same period. For more information, please visit the link below!
On , March 11th, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan as a COVID-19 stimulus package into law. The American Rescue Plan will distribute more than $130 billion to local governments, including almost $9 billion for rural county governments, plus additional funds for the cities located in those counties. Additionally, The American Rescue Plan will provide funds to each of the nation’s 3,143 county-level governments, plus more than 26,000 municipalities. To read more, click the link below!
The FDA approved immediate emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for COVID-19. While this is the third vaccine to combat the novel virus first documented in late 2019, it does differ than its counterparts by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNtech in several ways: it only requires 1 dose, it has a different efficacy, it provides quicker protection, it is easier to handle and store, and it is made using a different technology. Click the link below to read more!
In the midst of this global pandemic, a more silent enemy is creeping in, taking the form of burn out and mental health fatigue. One ysytem of hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and long-term care facilities based in Central Minnesota, CentraCare has developed programs in the form of a cmprehensive webpage that offers ” virtual presentation detailing symptoms of chronic stress, fliers detailing the importance of “emotional PPE,” daily 15-minute “wellness reset” meetings, spiritual care support, free mental health video visits with behavioral health providers, virtual guided meditations focused on finding balance, and mini-presentations on self-care during stressful times”.
A coliseum in Dalhart, Texas and some dedicated healthcare workers are setting the pace for vaccine distribution in rural counties and surrounding areas. Braving the cold temperatures and the wind chill, this community worked together to administer over a thousand doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine by Pfizer in just over 6 hours. With the help of the local fire and police department , the clinic ran smoothly and socially distanced for both doses of the vaccine.
Meet the newest member of the residency program: Manny the Model! The residency program has been gifted a new central line training model by the Southwest Va. GME Consortium. This model provides extremely realistic anatomy of the upper thorax and neck in order to help residents to skills and confidence to comfortably progress to live patients. Manny will help with both blind and ultrasound-guided placement and cannot wait to work with all our residents!
The inauguration of a new president is the story that has dominated headlines this past week. Top of mind for much of the country are questions surrounding what will be different under this new administration. The Daily Yonder has worked with some rural health community leaders to better understand what they expect and hope to see under President Biden. Click the link below to read what they had to say.
With all of the buzz around the approval of the vaccines for COVID-19 from Moderna and Pfizer, the next question naturally how to get the vaccine to those that are most susceptible to the virus. As it stands currently, the federal government will lean on pharmacies to help distribute vaccines as soon as they become available, however a new study shows that nearly a third of rural counties in the US do not have a pharmacy that is connected to a network that can participate in the federal COVID-19 vaccination program. This study, done by the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy and Analysis states that 750 of the nearly 2000 nonmetropolitan countries do not have a pharmacy listed in the HHS vaccine distribution partnership. The populations of these counties account for nearly 13% of the total rural population, which is nearly 5.6 million people. Currently there is not a fix to mitigate this challenge.
Governor Ralph Northam laid out the state’s three-phased plan for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccines. After months of news limited to tales of the tragedy this virus is causing for the country, this plan comes as good news. There are two companies preparing to roll out their vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, both of which say their vaccine is 95% effective. In the first phase of the distribution plan, Virginia will receive 70,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and will distribute them to health care workers on the front lines of fighting this virus and residents of long-term care facilities. A more detailed plan of who will get vaccines first will be created by the Virginia Hospitals and Health Association and the Virginia Disaster Medical Advisory Committee.