In this issue, we highlight some of our best advice and resources for covering the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, from keeping nursing home residents safe to debunking conspiracy theories (and doesn’t it seem as if there’s a new one each week?)
As school leaders and parents grapple with questions about school reopening this fall, a key measure to consider is the community transmission rate of COVID-19, say two educators and an infectious disease specialist.
When states and cities are reporting that more than 5% of COVID-19 tests are positive, the transmission rate is high enough that schools could become hot spots for community outbreaks, they said. Continue reading
As you write about the continuing back and forth over the how and when — and if — it will be safe to reopen schools for on-site classes next month, journalists might ask these questions:
- What do case counts in children and teens look like in your area?
- Are they growing every day?
- If so, how fast?
- Are the children symptomatic?
- And are their teachers, administrators, family members and friends getting sick?
In California, for example, case counts among those 17 and younger have been climbing, from 1.3% of the state’s case counts on April 7 (222) to 3.4% on May 7 (2,181) to 8.3% as of Saturday (July 11), (26,652). Continue reading
When Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, announced June 4 that she and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were unveiling COVID-19 data for all the nation’s nursing homes that get federal payment, I thought, “Wow!”
These days, how states are reporting their nursing home COVID cases is varied and random. So this new “unprecedented” federal dataset, “constitutes the backbone of a national COVID-19 virus surveillance system,” Verma said. Continue reading
Despite a recent GAO report detailing persistent infection control violations at nursing homes throughout the United States, many states are waiving liability for these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, at least 20 states have issued executive orders or enacted legislation temporarily absolving long-term care and assisted living facilities unless “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” can be proven. Continue reading
For more than a year, Atlanta-based freelance journalist and AHCJ member Max Blau investigated the troublesome health care delivery in jails across his state.
He filed records requests, conducted tough interviews and weaved together a series about his findings — all while reporting and writing other stories at the same time to pay his bills. Continue reading