COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: National Updates and Early Evidence on the Second Wave

Evidence from the initial coronavirus outbreaks within the United States has shown that the fate of nursing home residents is tightly linked to the severity of the virus within the nursing home’s state. With a “second wave” of COVID-19 in many southern states and a host of policy changes, it is worth investigating whether the evidence suggests this vulnerable group is now better protected.

The Evolving Opioid Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across our country and claimed more than 100,000 lives in a few short months, the opioid epidemic, which dates back to at least the early 2000s, has received less attention. But the toll of the opioid crisis in the United States remains enormous by any measure.

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: Understanding State-Level Variation

Nursing homes have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently released data show that the severity of outbreaks in these facilities has varied substantially across the United States. Some have argued that policy decisions have driven the variation in outcomes observed in nursing homes, while a competing theory is that nursing home outbreaks largely mirror the surrounding area.

COVID-19 and Nursing Homes: Examining New National Data

The first widely reported COVID-19 deaths in the United States were nursing home patients in Washington State on February 28. Numerous accounts of similar outbreaks soon followed, including 47 deaths at a nursing home in Minnesota (as of April 30), 54 deaths at a nursing home in Massachusetts (as of May 4), and 81 deaths at a facility in New Jersey (as of May 27).

Efforts to Combat E-Cigarette Misuse Could Backfire

Recent news about e-cigarette misuse has fueled both public misperception and policy responses that are likely to have unintended consequences. As the US vaping market continues to evolve, policymakers face the tricky challenge of safeguarding the potential for positive public health outcomes from e-cigarettes, which offer a lower-risk alternative to traditional cigarettes, while ensuring reasonable protections against youth use.