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COVID-19, State Efforts

State Spotlight July 25, 2020

Published On July 25, 2020

By: Joanna Dornfeld

New resources to help you manage during the COVID crisis.

Public Opinion About Reopening Schools and Wearing Masks Evolves

Americans are feeling a mix of emotions related to the pandemic. Opinions are changing rapidly during this tumultuous time as individuals and families are worried about their own health and the health of their loved ones. They also are concerned about their financial security as the pandemic rages in many parts of the country and the unemployment rate ticks back up. USofCare is monitoring public opinion data from a variety of sources to share the most pressing information to inform policy makers’ decision-making.

  • Many public opinion surveys over the past several weeks have focused on the reopening of schools, day cares, and colleges/universities.
    • A Morning Consult/Politico poll (July 10-12) found that 53% of participants said they are somewhat or strongly opposed to fully reopening day cares or K-12 schools, while 50% said they are opposed to fully reopening colleges or universities.
    • The majority of the public—including parents—trust state and local government leaders over President Trump to handle reopening of schools, according to a Navigator poll conducted July 9-13.
    • The Navigator poll also found that the majority of Americans oppose reopening schools in the fall because of the risks of exposure to the virus, and nearly two-in-three parents say that schools should be among the last to reopen.
    • In addition, as case counts have increased, support for reopening schools has declined significantly, dropping from a net of +14 in early June to -12 in early July. Only 20% of Americans support fully reopening schools in the fall, while most Americans want a partial reopening (42%) in which students attend a few days a week and remote learn a few days per week, or to delay reopening at all (30%), in which students remote learn everyday.
  • Most Americans are continuing to embrace ways to protect themselves from the pandemic.
    • Mask-wearing is at an all-time high, with 62% of Americans reporting wearing a mask all the time when leaving home and 23% reporting wearing a mask sometimes. Among the 38% who do not wear a mask at all times when out of the home, 32% report being turned away from entry into an establishment, and 21% report being told by another person to put on a mask. [Axios-Ipsos]
    • However, Americans report the lowest level of self-quarantining since the start of the outbreak. Only 19% of Americans reported self-quarantining last week, though many (78%) are concerned about a second wave. [NBC News/SurveyMonkey]
    • Americans continue to respond positively to survey questions about social distancing. Given the choice between the two options, respondents said that we should continue to social distance for as long as needed even if it means damage to the economy (76%) over stopping social distancing to help the economy even if it means spread of coronavirus (16%), according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll.

USofCare Webinar: Realities of Eldercare During COVID-19


  • Rebekah Alexander – USofCare Voices of Real Life; Assistant Director, Yale Alumni Fund
  • Alexandra Drane – USofCare Entrepreneurs Council; CEO & Co-Founder Rebel Health/ARCHANGELS
  • Nick Loporcaro – USofCare Entrepreneurs Council; CEO Landmark Health
  • Megan O’Reilly – Vice President of Government Affairs AARP

Hosted by:

  • Natalie Davis – Managing Director, USofCare
  • Nancy LeaMond – Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer, AARP

We’ve witnessed the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable populations including those with chronic conditions and the elderly. In this webinar, brought to you with support from AARP, we will bring expert perspectives to our audience through the lens of provider, advocates, and caregiver.

Join us on Thursday, July 30 at 2pm ET for Realities of Eldercare During COVID-19, an interactive Q&A webinar. Sponsored by AARP.

USofCare Continues to Advocate for Contact Tracing – Congressional Sign-on Letter of Business, Medical and Service Groups

“Our commitment to the public health of our communities and the nation requires people to feel safe enough to resume economic, educational, religious, and social activities. It will be difficult to get to that point if we are unable to ensure the safety of people across the country.” Read the letter here.

The letter supports USofCare’s updated recommendations for what Congress should prioritize in the upcoming COVID relief package including $500 billion for state and local governments as well as $75 billion for contact tracing, testing and isolation efforts across the country. These recommendations are built from USofCare’s comprehensive set of federal recommendations released in April, informed by our Board and Founder’s Council, the private sector advisors serving on our Entrepreneurs Council, our work listening to people across the country and guided by public opinion research. Many of our proposals were included in the pandemic response legislation passed earlier this year. Click here to learn more about all of our July recommendations to Congress.

Other USofCare Resources:

USofCare Board Members Dr. Bill Frist and Dr. Rhonda Medows Outline Recommendations for Reducing Racial Health Disparities in COVID-19

Yesterday, in Morning Consult,  USofCare Board Members Dr.  Bill Frist and Dr. Rhonda Medows outlined six actions policymakers at the state and federal level, health care providers, health systems, and health insurers should undertake to break the chain of health disparities amplified by COVID:

  1. Outreach with communities of color: Provide COVID prevention outreach and care resources for communities of color now before the next wave of illness. 
  2. Increase COVID tests in local communities now. We are pleased to see numerous nonprofits, cities and states stepping up to offer free COVID-19 testing at many protest locations. More local testing should continue in the upcoming weeks.
  3. Ensure there are enough community-built contact tracing programs that better meet the needs of people of color. 
  4. Confirm improved local health care access, including Telehealth. 
  5. Provide antiviral drugs (once proven effective) equitably to all patients in need. 
  6. Commit to prioritizing future vaccine use for those at greater risk of higher mortality.

Click here to read the entire op ed.

Research Continues: Input Needed to Determine Best Practices for Off-Site COVID-19 Testing

Safe and efficient testing is essential to support mitigation and suppression of the Coronavirus to levels low enough to safely open public life again. A significant portion of COVID testing occurs in off-site testing centers set up by medical facilities, public health departments, and private organizations. To support off-site COVID-19 testing centers in this period of rapid change, the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and Qualidigm have been leading a national effort since March to identify and disseminate considerations for off-site testing. Share what has worked well for your off-site testing center with others. Reach out to NRHI at [email protected].

Phase I of their research that focused on 1) Leaders and partners; 2) Staff protection; 3) Testing capacity and follow-up process for results; 4) Patients demographics; and 5) Test reimbursement. The major considerations have been organized in an easy-to-follow infographic. A summary of the findings has been approved for publication in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation and the full report will be released in conjunction with publication.

Phase II research includes a longitudinal analysis of sites described in Phase I, as well as interviews with public health departments, sites carrying out testing in highly impacted locations (jails and long term care facilities), those serving vulnerable populations, high risk workplaces, and private testing sites such as pharmacies. Some of the key research questions for this phase address access to testing among vulnerable populations, as well as the alignment of OSCTCs with public health entities, community-based organizations, and other health systems to effectively address the testing needs, limitations, and considerations across the population. Considerations will be updated to include emerging themes, such as coverage and reimbursement, determining which type of test to use, and considerations for workplace testing. Share what has worked well for your off-site testing center with others. Please, reach out to NHRI at [email protected].

US Digital Response – Volunteers Solving Government Tech Problems

As state leaders continue to wrestle with managing their ongoing response to the pandemic, many continue to feel the strain of aging state IT infrastructure. US Digital Response is a group of experienced, pro bono technologists who work with governments responding to the COVID-19 crisis to help deliver critical services to the people. So far they have partnered with 60 governments and nonprofit partners and staffed 150 projects with USDR volunteers. Projects include supporting Unemployment Systems, matching hospital staffing shortages with qualified workers and helping homebound people get meals. They are nonpartisan, fast and free. Learn more about how you can get help from US Digital Response.

United States of Care COVID Rapid Response for State Leaders

USofCare’s mission to ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care has never been more important than in the current public health crisis. We have been providing immediate support for state and federal government and public response needs, leveraging our expertise (including our Board and Founder’s Council), capacity, network and resources to support effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams of USofCare’s staff are researching and responding to incoming requests, which can be sent to [email protected].