27 million people likely lost health coverage; $100B for hospitals, medical providers in new relief proposal — 6 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,370,016 COVID-19 cases and 82,389 related deaths, as of 8 a.m. CDT May 13. Globally, there have been 4,283,885 reported cases and 292,619 deaths, while 1,504,429 have recovered.

Six updates: 

1. An estimated 27 million Americans have lost employer-based health coverage during the pandemic, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The estimate includes Americans who lost their employer-based health insurance and those whose family member lost their job and accompanying insurance. KFF estimates that 12.7 million people — nearly half of those who recently lost coverage — are eligible for Medicaid. Another 8.4 million are eligible for ACA marketplace subsidies. KFF also projects that 19 million people will switch to coverage offered by their partner's employer.

2. The U.S. will avoid using Aventa-M ventilators from Russia after they were cited as the possible cause for two hospital fires in Moscow and St. Petersburg, CNBC reports. The Federal Emergency Management Agency told CNBC May 12 that it would not use the ventilators potentially linked to a fire in a St. Petersburg hospital that killed five COVID-19 patients, along with a May 9 fire in a Moscow hospital that killed one. In early April, Russia had sent some Aventa-M ventilators to the U.S. during a scramble for medical equipment. Russia has suspended the use of the ventilators and an investigation has been launched.

3. About 25 million more Americans left their homes daily last week compared to the past month and a half, according to an analysis of cell phone data by The New York Times. The estimates were made using data from Cuebiq, a location analysis company. The data comes from a representative sample of about 15 million smartphone users who have shared their location data with certain apps. The proportion of people staying home dropped in nearly every part of the nation, according to the analysis. Last week, the national share of U.S. residents staying home was 36.1 percent, or about 119 million people. This is compared to data from March 20 to April 30, when 43.8 percent of people (about 144 million) stayed home.

4. Democrats have unveiled a $3 trillion relief package that includes nearly $100 billion in grants for hospitals and medical providers, and $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other measures to monitor the spread of the virus, according to The Hill.

5. Johns Hopkins is offering a free contact tracing course to all Americans. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore developed the online course in collaboration with billionaire Michael Bloomberg's charity Bloomberg Philanthropies. The course will teach tracers how to interview COVID-19 patients, find close contacts who might have been exposed and provide the close contacts with advice and support for self-quarantine. It launched May 11 and takes six hours to complete.

6. More than 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since March, according to research cited by The Washington Post. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University; Boston-based Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago surveyed more than 5,800 small businesses from May 9-11. About 41.4 percent of businesses said they were temporarily closed, and 1.8 percent said they were permanently closed due to the pandemic.  

An estimated 27 million Americans have lost employer-based health coverage during the pandemic, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The estimate includes Americans who lost their employer-based health insurance and those whose family member lost their job and accompanying insurance. KFF estimates that 12.7 million people — nearly half of those who recently lost coverage — are eligible for Medicaid. Another 8.4 million are eligible for ACA marketplace subsidies. KFF also projects that 19 million people will switch to coverage offered by their partner's employer.
 

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