Health & Human Services

Firefighters Push for Inclusion in First Phase of Covid-19 Vaccines

States are finalizing their vaccine distribution plans, which will determine which critical workers and high-risk people are first in line for a coronavirus vaccination.

How Social Work is Changing in the Covid Era

COMMENTARY | The pandemic has forced the entire social work industry to rapidly evolve and adapt to a virtual environment.

Food Banks See Higher Demand Than Usual Before Thanksgiving

Officials fear food insecurity will worsen even more if federal programs adopted during the pandemic are allowed to expire.

Poll: Most Americans Changing Thanksgiving Plans, Leery of Travel

But airports still saw significant traffic in recent days. The survey findings come as public health officials worry the holiday season could inflame already troublesome coronavirus trends.

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New Tools Help State and Local Governments Battle Ransomware, Other Big Disasters

When governments find themselves being ransomed, their choices are typically to pay, which will undercut their ability to deliver key services to their communities due to budget restrictions, or not pay, resulting in the immediate inability to serve their communities and the loss of key data that will inevitably plague them for years afterwards.

Rural Areas Send Their Sickest Patients to Cities, Straining Hospitals

Critically ill rural patients are often sent to city hospitals for high-level treatment and, as their numbers grow, some urban hospitals are buckling under the added strain.

Biden Likely to Help States Increase Health Care Access

More support expected for insurance navigators, Medicaid expansion.

Don’t Eat Inside a Restaurant

The risk of catching the coronavirus is much higher indoors.

The High Cost of a Looming Eviction Wave

With millions of people behind on rent, there could be a lot of evictions this winter. A new report suggests the cost of these evictions on the social safety net could be astronomical.

States’ Face-Covering Mandates Leave Gaps in Protection

Not all masks provide the same level of protection, but state guidelines often fail to spell out exactly what is allowed and what is not.

More Crucial Than Ever, EMS Agencies Are Short Staffed and Overworked

COMMENTARY | Adequately staffing emergency medical services has been a problem for some time, potentially putting lives at stake. The pandemic threatens to make shortages worse.

The End of the Pandemic Is Now in Sight

A year of scientific uncertainty is over. Two vaccines look like they will work, and more should follow.

Rural Public Health Staff Strained by Covid Surge, Public Backlash

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Two Minnesota state senators switch from Democratic caucus to independents, citing polarization … Plans for historic dam removal moving ahead … Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor?

Ahead of Thanksgiving, Cities See Surge in Demand for Covid Tests

Leaders in San Francisco warned the city’s testing capacity is being overrun by people looking to travel, and urged people to just stay home.

Hospitals Can’t Go on Like This

Twenty-two percent of American hospitals don’t have enough workers right now.

Patients Struggle to Find Prescription Opioids After New York Tax Drives Out Suppliers

The tax was touted as a way to punish major drugmakers for their role in the opioid epidemic and generate funding for treatment programs. But to avoid paying, scores of manufacturers and wholesalers stopped selling opioids in New York.

GOP Lawsuits Restrain Governors’ COVID-19 Actions

In most states, judges have tossed out the lawsuits or sided with governors.

North Carolina Will Help Test College Students for Covid-19 Ahead of Holidays

The state will distribute more than 74,000 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests to colleges and universities.

Ohio Bans Dancing at Weddings to Curb Covid-19 Spread

The state is implementing new restrictions on weddings and other events as cases swell and as more coronavirus infections are being linked to social and family gatherings.

In One State, a $100 Million Push to Keep the Heating on This Winter

Minnesota is encouraging residents to take advantage of more than $100 million in grants to pay for their heating bills. Several other states, cities, and counties are doing the same.

Rapid Testing Is Less Accurate Than the Government Wants to Admit

Rapid antigen testing is a mess. The federal government pushed it out without a plan, and then spent weeks denying problems with false positives.