Female Nurse with Mask

Covid-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes Hit Record High

The latest surge of coronavirus cases is fueling a record number of nursing home outbreaks, as the virus is spreading quickly inside long-term care facilities in the Midwest and the Great Plains while also re-emerging in facilities swamped by the first wave of the virus.

More than 1,300 nursing homes across the U.S. reported having three or more confirmed Covid-19 cases during the first week of November — the highest number ever reported in a single week, according to an NBC News analysis of federal data. The figure does not include outbreaks at assisted living facilities, which the federal government does not track.

Many of the new nursing home infections are emerging in the Midwestern states where the virus is besieging the broader community, including Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, which reported some of the country’s biggest weekly increases in suspected and confirmed cases among residents, the data showed. (Facilities report suspected cases when residents exhibit Covid-19 symptoms but have yet to receive positive test results.)

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Man Depressed

Experts Say Pandemic is Taking A Toll on Mental Health

COVID-19 isn’t the only crisis sweeping the country right now. Mental health problems like anxiety and depression are exacerbated by this never-ending year.

Job losses, coronavirus concerns, political turmoil, racial tensions, and natural disasters are piling onto the worries that 2020 has brought forth to society.

Currently, mental health experts are preparing for the busy holiday season helping stressed-out clients.

“We’ve seen COVID-19 basically impact the entire spectrum of adults to children everything from play therapy all the way to our senior population,” said Dr. Christopher Taylor, founder of Taylor Counseling Group, one of the largest counseling groups in Dallas-Fort Worth. “We look at the pandemic more as a change agent, an accelerant of bringing on an awareness of therapy that’s been bubbling up underneath the surface for quite some time.”

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3D Brain

6 Golden Rules To Reduce Your Risk of Having A Stroke

When it comes to living a long, healthy life, many of us believe it’s luck of the drawer. Lifestyle factors can play a big part though – particularly with conditions like stroke.

Research on the prevention of strokes suggests 80% of strokes could be prevented through healthy lifestyle changes. Despite this, stroke is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK, according to the Stroke Association. It’s also a leading cause of disability, as almost two thirds of stroke survivors are left with a disability.

Although you can’t change some risk factors – like your age and genetics – making some simple lifestyle changes really could prevent many strokes. We asked experts to share some golden rules for avoiding stroke…

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Health Insurance

Employers Start Sending Workers Shopping For Health Coverage

A federal rule change last year stoked this new approach. It allows employers to reimburse workers for coverage they bought without paying a tax penalty.

The concept sends employees to individual insurance markets where they can find more choices for coverage. It also protects employers from huge annual cost spikes. But it’s a big change for workers who are used to having their employer give them benefit choices every year.

This new approach — known as an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement or ICHRA — started with coverage plans for this year. More workers will likely see them offered this fall during their company’s annual sign-up window for 2021 coverage.

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Nationwide Coronavirus Surge Pushes Hospitals To The Edge

Los Angeles — More than 85,000 Americans are hospitalized with the coronavirus, setting a new record for the 14th consecutive day, according to figures from the COVID Tracking Project. A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 1,000 hospitals across the country are now critically short on staff. These include hospitals like Stormont Vail in Topeka, Kansas, which is now filled to capacity with more than 100 COVID-19 patients.

“What is worrying to me is two weeks from now Thanksgiving and having a lot of cases that will end up coming to us, or to other hospitals, and there’s no beds,” said Dr. Hassan Taha, with Stormont Vail Health

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Doctor wearing Mask

Government, Health Officials Renew Call For Statewide Mask Mandate

Officials from local government and health care organizations on Friday renewed a call for Gov. Mike Parson to institute a statewide face mask mandate as hospitals’ COVID-19 units see peak levels of patients.

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said City Council is unanimous in its support for such an order. He spoke at a livestreamed news conference, where officials said a statewide mandate also is favored by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Greene County, CoxHealth, Mercy Springfield Communities and the Missouri Foundation for Health.

McClure commended Parson for recently issuing a statewide public health warning – with safety recommendations – and extending Missouri’s state of emergency. However, he said stricter action is needed.

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GoodRx Co-CEO: We Are Happy Amazon is Joining Online Health Care Space

Amazon Pharmacy offers wide transparency on medication information, home delivery, and price comparison to help patients find the most savings.

GoodRx Co-CEO Doug Hirsch told FOX Business’ Liz Claman that he is not concerned about Amazon entering the pharmacy business.

“GoodRx actually is not a pharmacy. We don’t put pills in bottles and sell them. We work with pharmacies including Amazon,” Hirsch said on The Claman Countdown Tuesday. “So we’re very happy that Amazon’s in the space.”

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Medicine Pills

Merck To Pay $425M For Biotech To Get Covid-19 Drug, But Says Manufacturing Will Be A Challenge

The drug giant Merck said Monday it would purchase Rockville, Md.-based OncoImmune for $425 million in cash to obtain the company’s treatment for patients hospitalized with severe and critical Covid-19.

In an interview with STAT, Merck’s head of research and development, Roger Perlmutter, said that clinical trials for the treatment, CD24Fc, were encouraging but that manufacturing could prove a challenge. Still, he said, he hopes that, if proven safe and effective, it will be possible to make the medicine in useful quantities in the first half of 2021.

Stroke Patient Virtual Care

LeadingAge20: Improve Telehealth for Senior Care in 5 Steps

Safety measures to keep older adults sheltered in place have been critical during COVID-19. The need for ongoing medical care, however, hasn’t stopped.

Telehealth in senior care residences was a growing topic of discussion last year at LeadingAge’s annual conference, but the practice is now essential, industry panelists at the organization’s 2020 virtual gathering said.

A federal relaxation of HIPAA rules and expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage has made it simpler for seniors to get care from a distance and avoid high-risk spaces such as hospitals.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Poll: 1 in 3 Parents Pick Holiday Gathering Over COVID Safety

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the United States and the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving on Thursday, families are faced with a challenging choice.

Do they skip family gatherings and the usual way they celebrate their traditions? Or do they risk bringing the novel coronavirus to their extended family of loved ones?

In a new nationwide poll of 1,443 parents, about one in three said the benefits of gathering with families for the holidays outweighed the risk of spreading the virus.

The annual C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health revealed that parents with at least one child aged 12 or under were wrestling with competing priorities.

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