44,000 Americans hospitalized; Medicare, Medicaid to cover COVID-19 vaccines with emergency authorization — 5 updates

More than 44,000 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Oct. 27, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. This figure is up an estimated 46 percent from one month ago, reports The New York Times. 

Four more updates:

1. The nation's seven-day rolling average topped 70,000 cases for the first time Oct. 27, reports The Washington Post.

2. Americans covered by Medicare or Medicaid likely won't have to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an expected rule from the Trump administration cited by Politico. Under the anticipated rule, Medicare and Medicaid will cover vaccines that get FDA emergency use authorization, four people familiar with the proposal told Politico.  

3. COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising faster in counties that don't have mask mandates, according to a study from Nashville-based Vanderbilt University. Researchers analyzed COVID-19 hospitalization data in Tennessee through Oct. 23 and found that as the percentage of patients in mask-requirement counties increases, hospitalizations decrease. The study notes that nearly every region has seen hospitalizations rise since early October, though the growth is most dramatic in hospitals that draw a large percentage of patients from areas without mask mandates. 

4. Washington, Nevada and Oregon joined California's vaccine safety workgroup, which will rely on independent experts to assess the safety and efficacy of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine before it's distributed.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 8,779,993
Deaths: 226,733
Recovered: 3,487,666

Counts reflect data available as of 8:15 a.m. CDT Oct. 28.

More articles on public health:
Some COVID-19 survivors may have antibodies that attack body instead of virus
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 28
COVID-19 antibodies wane over time; herd immunity may be hard to achieve, study finds

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