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Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

May 13, 2021 - Notice of interim final rule with comment period from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services revising the infection control requirements the long-term care (LTC) facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs-IID) must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This interim final rule aims to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections by requiring COVID-19 vaccine education for LTC facility residents, ICF-IID clients, and staff serving both populations, and by requiring that COVID-19 vaccines be offered to all residents, clients, and staff when available. This interim final rule also requires LTC facilities to report the COVID-19 vaccination status of residents and staff to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This rule is effective May 21, 2021. Comments are due by June 12, 2021.
Source: Federal Register
May 13, 2021 - After struggling to source Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cherokee Nation used a portion of its CARES Act funding to create its own facilities to manufacture PPE. Discusses how the facilities will create jobs for members of the Cherokee communities and help to fill the shortage of PPE across the country.
Source: The Daily Yonder
May 12, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced efforts to support COVID-19 vaccination of migratory and seasonal agricultural workers including workers in the food sector. Actions include using a data-driven approach to target key regions, utilization of the Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program, and partnering with jurisdictions to reach migratory and seasonal agricultural workers.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration
May 12, 2021 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with $9.95 million to support rural COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Funding will be used by Land-grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System in delivering immunizations and education to the communities they serve.
Source: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
May 11, 2021 - The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $40 million in emergency home visiting funds to states, territories, and the District of Columbia to support children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program. Funds will be used to provide emergency supplies, technology to participate in virtual home visits, and training for home visitors on emergency preparedness and response planning.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
May 11, 2021 - Analyzes new COVID-19 infection and death rates between May 2-8, 2021, finding a 12 percent decrease of infections and 14 percent decrease in deaths in rural counties. Includes an interactive map of COVID infection rates by U.S. county, charts detailing weekly rates of infections and deaths since June, and additional findings.
Source: The Daily Yonder
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

Last Updated: 5/13/2021