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Rural Health
News by Topic: Infectious diseases

May 11, 2021 - Describes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of farmers and ranchers in rural Colorado and identifies challenges to mental healthcare, such as stigma and lack of services. Highlights efforts and legislation to improve mental health services offered to rural residents and destigmatize mental health needs and resources.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 10, 2021 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will hold a virtual meeting on May 12, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern. The agenda will include discussions on the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12-15 years of age. Includes information on how to submit public comments or request permission to make a public comment during the meeting. Registration is not required and the meeting is open to the public, available online via a live webcast.
Source: Federal Register
May 7, 2021 - Provides overview of a report that examined the importance of reliable access to high-speed internet in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report identifies an increase in broadband use between 2019 and 2020 due to more people working from home and utilizing telehealth.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 6, 2021 - Discusses the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program that provides extension agencies with grants to promote COVID-19 vaccination information in rural areas. Highlights the Purdue Extension office in Indiana which focuses on providing vaccine information to its Latino community, and the Primary Health Network in Pennsylvania which focuses on addressing vaccine hesitancy and building trust.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 6, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force will hold a virtual public meeting on May 28, 2021, from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Eastern. The purpose of this meeting is to consider interim recommendations specific to discrimination and xenophobia. The confirmed time and agenda will be published on the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force website.
Source: Federal Register
May 5, 2021 - Describes ongoing challenges faced by community pharmacies, including those serving rural areas, that have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares examples of how some rural community pharmacies are trying to adapt and stay in operation.
Source: Kaiser Health News
May 5, 2021 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection rates between April 25-May 1, 2021, finding a decline in the number of new infections but an increase in COVID-related deaths. Includes an interactive map of all U.S. counties' infection rates. Details the distribution of rural COVID-19 hotspots and rural vaccination efforts across the country.
May 4, 2021 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released the first of two grant opportunities, totaling $250 million, to develop and support a community-based workforce consisting of community outreach workers, community health workers, social support specialists, and others that will lend their trusted voices to share and promote vaccine information. Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan will be used to increase COVID-19 confidence and address barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved areas. A second opportunity will be released soon and will focus on smaller community-based organizations.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 4, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of nearly $1 billion to strengthen the COVID-19 response in rural communities. Funds provided by the American Rescue Plan will be used to increase the number of vaccines sent to rural communities, expand COVID-19 testing and prevention services, and increase vaccine confidence by empowering local, trusted voices to assist with vaccine outreach and promotion efforts.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 4, 2021 - Discusses the Biden Administration's next steps in their vaccination campaign that includes enrolling family medicine physicians, pediatricians, and others to be able to give COVID-19 vaccines. Provider enrollment priority is based on the social vulnerability index from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shares the results of a survey of rural hospital executives on COVID-19 vaccination rates among healthcare workers. Includes profiles of two rural hospitals, one with more success getting staff vaccinated than the other.
Source: NPR