ISSUE 74 | August 14, 2020
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Luzerne County has high rate of ventilator hospitalizations
The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council has released a report reviewing the pre-pandemic use of ventilators by hospitals in each of the state’s counties.

According to the report, the share of residents who needed ventilators in Luzerne County is larger than the proportion at the state level.

The report also found that men, older patients, and Black patients were likeliest to require ventilators. 

PA offers new guidance for reopening schools during pandemic
Pennsylvania health and education officials have provided new guidance to help school districts determine how to move forward with the next year of instruction.

The officials recommend that districts make decisions based partly on the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests throughout the last week and the rate of positive tests per 100,000 county residents.

By these measures, Luzerne County has had a “moderate” level of transmission.  

State may seek federal loan to pay jobless benefits
The federal government’s $600-per-week unemployment benefit recently expired.

A new plan from the Trump administration would replace it with a $400 benefit, while requiring state governments to provide one quarter of that amount.

Governor Tom Wolf’s administration is hoping to receive a loan from the U.S. Department of Labor to help meet this new financial burden. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Healthcare workers of color nearly twice as likely to contract COVID-19
A new study from Harvard Medical School has found that healthcare workers of color are significantly more likely than their white colleagues to care for patients with COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, and report using inadequate protective equipment.

A senior author said that the study highlights the issue of structural racism in the front lines of healthcare. 

Millions of Americans in danger of eviction 
Housing experts are concerned that the expiration of state and federal eviction moratoriums throughout the country is putting more than 30 million Americans in danger of losing their homes.

The close of the federal government’s expanded unemployment compensation program has worsened this situation.

Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition has pointed out that mass evictions and homelessness could result in another health crisis as well as an economic problem. 

Schools implement strategies to support college completion in the age of COVID-19
College completion rates were low before the pandemic, due to factors such as cost and a shortage of academic advisors.

The health and economic challenges associated with the coronavirus will likely make degree completion even more difficult for students.

Schools throughout the country have begun implementing financial assistance and student support programs to mitigate this issue.

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