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Rural Health
News by Topic: Infectious diseases

Nov 4, 2020 - Notice of a final rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to ensure the integrity of Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. P-EBT benefits are supplemental allotments for households with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced price school meals, but the covered child care facility is closed or has reduced attendance or hours or one or more schools in the area of the covered child care facility are closed or have reduced attendance or hours in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This final rule is effective November 4, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 3, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates by county between October 25-31, 2020. Describes that rural counties set a new record for infections for the sixth consecutive week, with 3 out of 4 rural counties on the red-zone list. Summarizes data for the month of October, when 389,000 rural Americans tested positive for the virus.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Nov 2, 2020 - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a request for information to gather broad public input on the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research. The Strategic Plan provides a framework to improve basic understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and to develop the necessary tools and approaches to better prevent, diagnose, and treat this disease. Comments are due by December 7, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Nov 2, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced five Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations (ATLAS) sites in select Walmart stores have resumed clinical services to Veterans in rural areas. ATLAS sites offer services that do not require hands-on exams, providing timely and convenient care to Veterans living in rural areas or with limited internet access.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Oct 31, 2020 - Podcast interview with Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO of Scotland County Hospital in rural Missouri describes the impact of COVID-19 on his facility and staff. Discusses how staffing is his biggest worry heading into the winter as rural hospitals are typically under-staffed and the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.
Source: NPR
Oct 30, 2020 - Documents COVID-19's impact on rural areas in Montana, featuring a hospital in Billings that has expanded to three COVID-19 units to treat critical patients from across the state. As infections rise, healthcare facilities reach capacity and worry about staffing, describes the stress healthcare workers are under.
Source: NBC News
Oct 30, 2020 - Notice of an interim final rule from the Department of Defense temporarily modifying the TRICARE regulation by adding coverage for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)-sponsored clinical trials for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. This interim final rule is effective October 30, 2020. Comments are due by November 30, 2020.
Source: Federal Register
Oct 29, 2020 - Provides an overview of a study that found the suicide rate among young people in rural areas is higher and increasing faster than urban youth, but young people in rural areas have less access to mental health treatment than their urban counterparts. Describes how COVID-19 has negatively impacted mental health.
Source: Washington State University
Oct 29, 2020 - As larger hospitals in Texas fill with coronavirus patients, small rural hospitals are unable to transfer their most gravely ill patients to receive higher levels of care. With staff falling sick from COVID-19 and limited hospital capacity, rural hospital executives worry that their facilities will be unable to provide care during an emergency.
Source: Texas Tribune
Oct 27, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between October 18-24, 2020. Findings show that rural counties had a record number of cases, making it the fifth consecutive week that rural counties have seen a record-setting increase in infections. Includes an interactive map of new infections for each U.S. county, as well as additional findings.
Source: The Daily Yonder