Health Care

Overnight Health Care: States reimpose extensive COVID-19 restrictions

Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care. 

COVID cases are still rising, and some governors are taking more dramatic steps to curb the spread. Meanwhile, Joe Biden is prepping to roll back Trump’s anti- abortion rules.

States reimpose extensive COVID-19 restrictions

Three states are set to reimpose some of the most extensive coronavirus-related restrictions amid a nationwide spike of infections and hospitalizations.

Where: Oregon, New Mexico and Vermont have decided to take differing levels of drastic action, in recognition of the fact that COVID-19 is spreading uncontrolled across the country.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Friday announced a two week long “freeze” that will close certain businesses and dramatically reduce capacity of indoor spaces.

Brown’s plan, which will begin next Wednesday, will limit all bars and restaurants to takeout only, close all gyms, prohibit indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than six people from two different households, cap capacity at grocery stores and pharmacies at 75 percent, and allow churches and faith groups to accommodate indoor crowds of no more than 25 people, or 50 people outside.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is going even further.

The state is going to hit the “reset” button, Lujan Grisham said. From Nov. 16 through Nov. 30, all non-essential businesses will be closed, and residents are being urged to stay at home

Essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, child care facilities and more, will be forced to “minimize operations and in-person staffing to the greatest extent possible,” although they may remain open.

The lone GOP: In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott is one of the lone Republican governors reimposing harsh restrictions. Effective at 10 p.m. Saturday, the state is prohibiting multiple-household gatherings, both inside and outside. All restaurants have to close in-person dining at 10 p.m., and must provide seated dining service only to no more than one household per table.

Read more here.

 

Biden public health advisers reject national ‘lockdown’

Two public health experts advising President-elect Joe Biden on COVID-19 rejected the idea of “lockdowns” like those seen in the spring to bring down rising case numbers.

Those lockdowns also led to skyrocketing unemployment as businesses were closed down.

Celine Gounder, who sits on Biden’s COVID-19 task force, said on CNBC Friday the panel supports “targeted” closures of businesses that are actually leading to the spread of the virus, including indoor dining. 

“Really the consensus is that we need a more nuanced approach. We’ve learned a lot since the spring, and we can be much more targeted geographically, and we can also be more targeted in terms of what we close,” she said. 

“I think what we need to be tightening up right now is indoor dining, going to bars, indoor gyms, that sort of thing and we can really keep schools for example open much longer if we tighten up the areas where we’re most likely to see spread.” 

Context: Still, NYC and other cities are considering closing down schools, even as evidence shows they are not the major source of spread. 

Read more here.

 

Two Democrats urge CDC to reimpose ‘no-sail’ order after outbreak on Caribbean cruise

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday to reinstate the “no-sail” order on cruise ships amid an outbreak on the first cruise to debark in months. 

At least five passengers aboard the ship tested positive on SeaDream 1, which left Barbados on Saturday and had traveled to Saint Vincent, Canouan Island and Tobago Cays. 

According to Gene Sloan, a reporter who was on the ship, all passengers had to test negative several days before boarding and again on the day of boarding. Another round of testing was conducted Wednesday when the passengers tested positive.

In a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield, the Democratic lawmakers said the development is “not surprising” and “reaffirms the need to exercise extreme caution before sending passengers and crew back out to sea on cruises.”

The CDC first barred cruise sailing in mid-March and renewed the order in April and July. It lifted the order in October to allow “simulation cruises” to sail in the U.S. and introduced a phased approach for resuming cruises. 

Read more here.

 

Newsom says he shouldn’t have attended 12-person party amid pandemic

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday acknowledged he should not have attended a 12-person birthday party amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Newsom and his wife attended a birthday party for his adviser Jason Kinney last week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The governor had discouraged these types of gatherings during the pandemic.

“While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner,” the governor said in a statement shared with The Hill.

California’s current coronavirus guidelines prohibit gatherings that include more than three households, according to the Chronicle. Gatherings must also be held outside and should last no longer than two hours. 

California on Thursday became the second state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases, following Texas. The same day, the U.S. recorded more than 152,000 new cases, surpassing a daily increase of 150,000 for the first time since the pandemic hit. 

Read more here

Biden set to roll back Trump rules on abortion

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to roll back several of the Trump administration’s changes to sexual and reproductive health programs, undoing a large portion of the president’s executive actions on abortion and women’s health.

Abortion rights and women’s health care advocates anticipate the Biden administration will act swiftly to reverse a myriad of Trump-era rules including ones that allow more employers to opt out of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate and ban the use of federal family planning dollars for domestic and foreign organizations that provide or promote abortions.

“We think many of these issues actually could be addressed day one, in an executive order that explicitly talks about the new administration’s commitment to sexual reproductive health care,” said Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy for Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

“I think that this is a great victory but we know that we are going to have a lot of work to do because it’s not just about undoing the harm of the last four years, but really making sure that we’re moving the ball forward and advancing health care through really bold changes.”

Read more here.

 

What we’re reading: 

More than 130 Secret Service officers are said to be infected with coronavirus or quarantining in wake of Trump’s campaign travel (The Washington Post)

CDC: One Maine wedding cased 7 deaths, 177 COVID-19 cases (Business Insider)   

Think Obamacare Health Plans Cost a Lot? That’s Not Always True (New York Times

 

State by state: 

California, Oregon and Washington issue Covid travel advisory urging 14-day quarantine (CNBC)

‘Just not enough people’: Missouri health care workers face fatigue as COVID surges (Missouri Independent

California Is 2nd State To Surpass 1 Million Coronavirus Cases (NPR)

Tags Doris Matsui Gavin Newsom Joe Biden Kate Brown Michelle Lujan Grisham

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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