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Rural Health
News by Topic: Infectious diseases

Oct 22, 2020 - Rural areas across the U.S. experience a spike in COVID-19 infections, while small hospitals lack the capacity and resources to handle a surge of patients. As healthcare workers are exposed to the virus while out in the community, staffing becomes an issue, and larger hospitals do not have enough staffed ICU beds to handle transferred COVID patients.
Source: NPR
Oct 22, 2020 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the latest Provider Relief Fund (PRF) application period has been expanded to include provider applicants such as residential treatment facilities, chiropractors, and eye and vision providers that have not yet received distributions. Applications for Phase 3 funding will be accepted until November 6, 2020.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Oct 22, 2020 - Commentary discusses the important role that libraries play in providing Internet access in rural and low-income communities. Highlights a public library in Pottsboro, Texas that offers telehealth services to its patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as a blueprint for other rural libraries and community sites that could provide telehealth services.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 21, 2020 - Blog post discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problems rural hospitals face, especially as rural counties see infection rates rise. Highlights three critical building blocks for rural payment and delivery models: stability, including reliability of income and security that the funds are adequate; connectedness through telehealth support; and flexibility in allowing hospitals to tailor activities to local needs.
Source: American Hospital Association
Oct 21, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorizing qualified pharmacy technicians and State-authorized pharmacy interns to administer childhood vaccines, COVID-19 tests, and COVID-19 vaccines when made available. Includes requirements that must be satisfied to administer vaccines.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Oct 20, 2020 - Blog post from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) discusses the expansion of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to best harness its capabilities and reach populations with limited access to technology or need culturally tailored interventions. Highlights studies aimed at improving telehealth services in rural and underserved populations.
Source: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Oct 20, 2020 - A struggling rural hospital in Georgia is set to close in October after experiencing severe financial setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, joining 11 other facilities in rural parts of the U.S. that have closed since March 2020. Describes the pandemic's impact on hospitals across the country and discusses how federal stimulus relief packages and Medicaid expansion has helped keep facilities afloat.
Source: Time
Oct 19, 2020 - The Indian Health Service (IHS) is requesting tribal and urban programs submit comments on the IHS COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccination Draft Plan by October 21, 2020. Includes additional COVID-19 resources from other federal agencies.
Source: Indian Health Service
Oct 19, 2020 - Addresses the rise in domestic violence and abuse in rural America during the COVID-19 pandemic, with economic pressures and limited access to transportation contributing to the increase. Describes how social distancing requirements limits shelter capacity, discusses the potential long-term impacts on children exposed to domestic violence.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Oct 19, 2020 - Analyzes new COVID-19 cases from October 11-17, 2020, findings show COVID-19 continues to spread through rural America, with the total number of rural residents testing positive breaking 1 million. Includes an interactive map of new infections by county, a graph detailing the percent of counties in the red zone from August to October, and a list of rural red-zone counties by state.
Source: The Daily Yonder