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In response to rising COVID-19 cases, California, Connecticut, and New Mexico will require health care workers to receive a vaccine booster shot.

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As part of its final report and implementation plan, the Presidential Health Equity Task Force highlighted several states and communities that are improving equitable health care, including California's efforts to expand broadband services, the Cherokee Nation's vaccination efforts, and more.

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Colorado reactivates its statewide crisis standards of care related to health care workforce staffing, and the state health department approves booster vaccines for all eligible adults. California's Department of Public Health encourages providers to offer booster shots to adults.

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Arkansas governor holds town halls after state lawmakers deny exceptions to a law prohibiting government agencies from mandating mask use. California will require school staff to be fully vaccinated or tested weekly. Texas asks hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures.

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Many governors are taking renewed action to combat COVID-19 as the delta variant spreads. Some states have renewed their public health emergency declarations, while others are mandating vaccinations for certain state workers. However, nine states have enacted laws prohibiting vaccine mandates.

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Six states — Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington — are experiencing a frequency of COVID-19 variants, first identified in Brazil and South Africa, greater than 10 percent. FDA recommends providers in these states use only the REGEN-COV monoclonal antibody for treatment.

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In response to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for fully vaccinated people, several states, including Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, have lifted their statewide mask mandates.

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In response to COVID-19 surges, California issued an order to preserve resources and ensure hospitals can care for critically ill patients. Most states adopt Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for prioritization of vaccines, but 14 states modified the guidelines.

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The CDC data tracker shows COVID-19 vaccine rollout has varied significantly across the country. While Connecticut, New Hampshire, and South Dakota have administered at least 60 percent for their available vaccine doses, Arizona and Georgia have not yet administered 20 percent of their vaccines.

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state-action

The California Department of Health released new guidance strongly recommending weekly COVID-19 screening and testing for general acute care hospital staff. California and Oregon are buying entire hotels to support homeless and vulnerable communities.

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state-action

As the country works to expand COVID-19 through testing, every state has submitted a testing strategy to the federal government. Most state plans prioritize vulnerable populations and offer testing for uninsured individuals.

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state-action

With community partnerships already underway through California's Whole Person Care initiative — part of its Section 1115 Medicaid waiver — localities in California found it easier to reach vulnerable communities at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

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California prepares for wildfire season by securing personal protective equipment, hiring more firefighters, and implementing new shelter guidance in light of COVID-19. CDC highlights efforts in Michigan and Texas to use medical operations coordination cells and relief hospitals.

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state-action

Illinois is the first state to extend Medicaid coverage to low-income residents ages 65 and older, regardless of immigration status, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania heightened security measures to protect staff and providers against the spread of COVID-19.

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As the public health emergency continues, states make unexpected budgetary decisions that could significantly affect health care. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released an executive order stating hospitals are not allowed to discharge patients to nursing homes unless they test negative for COVID-19.

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In addition to efforts targeting surprise medical bills, governors are asking the administration to allow Medicaid retainer payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the administration has approved Section 1135 waivers for 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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state-action

Federal guidance details how states can request ventilators; states regulate distribution of chloroquine and hydoxychloroquine and take steps to ensure housing stability.

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California recently became the first state to release data on wholesale acquisition cost increases for prescription drugs.

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The expansion, which takes effect in 2020, applies to low-income residents ages 19 to 25, regardless of immigration status. The state estimates more than 100,000 undocumented young adults will be eligible for the expanded coverage.

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California’s newly-elected governor signed an executive order to establish a single-payer prescription drug purchasing system. The Supreme Court strikes down Maryland’s anti-pricing gouging law as the state legislature considers creating a prescription drug affordability board.

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