What We're Reading: Walgreens to Open Primary Care Clinics; Reopening of NYC Schools; Pandemic Toll on Puerto Rico

July 9, 2020
AJMC Staff

Walgreens announces it will be opening 500 to 700 in-store primary care clinics within the next 5 years; the mayor of New York City unveils plans for reopening the largest school system in the country; the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic takes a toll on Puerto Rico, the region with the highest poverty rate in the United States.

Walgreens to Introduce In-Store Primary Care Clinics

Pharmacy chain Walgreens struck a deal with VillageMD to open doctor offices in 500 to 700 stores within the next 5 years, CNBC reports. The primary care clinics will take up about a quarter of the stores’ average space, and more than half will be opened in areas with underserved populations with a shortage of health professionals. VilliageMD will staff and run the centers, while Walgreens plans to invest $1 billion in equity in the company over the next 3 years. The announcement comes as the pharmacy chain closed hundreds of stores and laid off employees in an effort to expand its focus on providing medical care.

New York City Will Partially Reopen Schools in the Fall

New York City schools plan to offer a mix of in-person classes and online learning during the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, according to Reuters. The nation’s largest school system plans on having children attend in-person school 2 to 3 days a week, as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic prevents all of its 1.1 million students from returning in person at once. The “blended learning” approach aims to minimize in-person interactions and allow social distancing between students, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Families can also opt into full-time online learning should they feel uncomfortable sending their children to school in person.

Puerto Rico Faces Pandemic’s Economic Toll

Earthquakes and hurricanes have wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico in the past, but the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the tourism industry on the island, resulting in one of the country’s worst economic hits, The New York Times reports. The latest estimates put the total of confirmed infections on the island at 8714, with 157 deaths. Despite recommendations from the CDC to frequently wash one’s hands to prevent COVID-19 transmission, a severe drought has made it so parts of the island will only have running water every other day. The island also has the highest poverty rate in the country.