What We’re Reading: Tracking COVID-19; Fauci Urges Greater Safety Measures; Health Care Cost Burden Among Insured

A look into the US cities hardest hit by cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Anthony Fauci, MD, urges Americans to double down on health precautions amid COVID-19 surges; a study spotlights risk of high health care costs among the insured.

Tracking Places Hardest Hit by COVID-19

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to impact communities throughout the United States, a piece by The New York Times spotlights US cities that might be considered the most trouble-prone when it comes to infection. Focusing on Minot, North Dakota, a city of 47,000, schools are continuing to proceed in person and indoor dining remains available, all while officials from Trinity Hospital stress that their 35-bed floor dedicated to treating patients with the virus may warrant expansion, as other large hospitals in the state are full and unable to help.

Fauci Urges Americans to Double Down on Safety Measures Amid Surge

Reported by The Hill, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, MD, urged Americans to double down on health precautions, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, as cases of COVID-19 surge nationwide. Speaking on “Good Morning America,” Fauci said that even as temperatures become colder during the winter season, Americans should try as best as possible to do things outdoors rather than indoors, as well as washing hands frequently.

High Health Care Costs Among Those With Health Insurance

An article by NPR spotlighted findings from a study published in JAMA indicating that those with health insurance are still at risk of being subject to high health care costs. Although the Affordable Care Act led to significant gains in insurance coverage, researchers of the study found that 11 million Americans experienced "catastrophic medical expenses" in 2017, which is a term coined by the World Health Organization to represent health care spending of more than 40% of a person's income after food and housing costs. Privately insured individuals were found to represent more than half of those cases.