WNC COVID-19 Regional Report - July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Thursday, July 2, 2020
This week’s report highlights COVID-19 trends, identified risks for pregnant women, updated data on COVID-19 inequities, and new resources and training opportunities for providers and patients.
Monitoring Trends
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Souce: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
Key Observations this Week

New confirmed COVID-19 cases are still trending upward at concerning rates across the U.S. and closer to home here in North Carolina.

  • The U.S. continued to break records with more than 40,000 daily cases several days this week
  • Numerous states have seen a record number of new cases this past week including North Carolina with 1,843 cases on Wednesday and a total of 66,513 cases to date
  • This past week, 18 NC counties reported more than 1,000 cases each
  • On Monday, 908 NC residents were hospitalized, approaching last week’s record of 915

In response to rising COVID-19 fatalities in congregate living settings, NCDHHS has announced a new initiative to make testing available to all residents and staff in North Carolina’s 400+ skilled nursing facilities.

Pregnant Women May Have Increased Risk for COVID-19
On June 26, the CDC published a study that shows pregnant women may be at increased risk for severe illness associated with COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women of childbearing age. In this study, pregnant patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were 1.5 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and 1.7 times more likely to receive mechanical ventilation.

Data also indicated that Hispanic and Black women may be disproportionately affected by the virus during pregnancy. These findings suggest that providers should emphasize prevention measures for pregnant women.
COVID-19 Perpetuates Health Inequities
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Health inequities highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic have been a driving force behind Buncombe County’s recent declaration that racism is a public health crisis. COVID-19 inequities here in North Carolina and across the nation place the greatest burden on Black Americans. National race and ethnicity data reveal

  • 1 in 1,500 Black Americans has died
  • 1 in 2,300 Indigenous Americans has died
  • 1 in 3,200 Latino Americans has died
  • 1 in 3,600 White Americans has died

We still do not have an accurate estimate of the depth of racial inequities as data on race are missing for 48% of COVID-19 cases and 9% of deaths across the nation. Here in North Carolina, data on race are missing for 32% of cases, and data on ethnicity are missing for 34% of cases. This information is crucial for the development of equity-based prevention and relief efforts to eliminate disparities.

North Carolina Receives More Support for Mental Health Crisis Services
NCDHHS has been awarded $1.5 million in federal funds to expand crisis counseling services with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who have been the hardest hit by COVID-19. The new funding will support the Hope4NC Helpline and will be used to hire community health workers and peer support specialists from these communities to provide culturally competent support and linkage to care.
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The Hope4NC Helpline 1-855-587-3463 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
COVID-19 Practice Support Tip Sheets

For more practice support resources, please see MAHEC’s COVID-19 Regional Response Guidance.

Library Guide: Personal Protective Equipment
The MAHEC Practice Support Guide for COVID-19 contains a wealth of curated resources to support you and your practice/organization. This week, we highlight our COVID-19 PPE Guide. In it, you’ll find tip sheets and resources for preserving and obtaining PPE, N95 fit testing, information for patients on face coverings and their effectiveness, and more.  N95 Mask.png
NEW Resources to Help You Serve Your Patients

Provider Resources

Health Inequities and Social Support

Patient Education

NEW & Ongoing COVID-19 Virtual Trainings & Support
NAM Leadership Consortium: Culture and Inclusiveness Action Collaborative Webinar
Tuesday, July 7 from 1 to 4 pm

NCDHHS COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition
Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm
Click link above and select “add to distribution list” to receive weekly meeting invitations

Virtual Support Group for WNC Healthcare Workers
Thursdays at 7:00 pm

NC AHEC COVID-19 Webinars
Daily with morning, afternoon, and evening sessions and archived webinars

Free Counseling and Healing Sessions, virtual support for healthcare providers and their families
June 26June 19June 12June 5
May 29May 22May 15May 8May 1
April 24April 17April 10

If you would like to receive this weekly report, please email Sam.Blankenship@mahec.net to be added to our distribution list. 
Regional Response Partners
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