Bipartisan COVID aid package deal? Plus, the state of mental health in teens during the pandemic, and more

Here’s a look at today’s COVID news for March 31.

Bipartisan $10 billion Covid-19 aid package deal struck ‘in principle’

Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney said Thursday that Republicans have struck an “agreement in principle” with Democrats on a $10 billion package to help US efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, a breakthrough that could pave the way for new funds to help the United States’ response efforts amid growing fears that critical resources are being depleted.

Romney, the lead GOP negotiator, told reporters the plan is “entirely balanced by offsets.” He said the bill text still needs to be drafted and there needs to be a cost estimate from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office before the Senate can vote on the matter. Read more here:

Will the pandemic’s end actually be bad for some?

When the end of the COVID-19 pandemic comes, it could create major disruptions for a cumbersome U.S. health care system made more generous, flexible and up-to-date technologically through a raft of temporary emergency measures.

Winding down those policies could begin as early as the summer. That could force an estimated 15 million Medicaid recipients to find new sources of coverage, require congressional action to preserve broad telehealth access for Medicare enrollees, and scramble special COVID-19 rules and payment policies for hospitals, doctors and insurers. There are also questions about how emergency use approvals for COVID-19 treatments will be handled. Read more here:

The results of rent relief in 2021

The federal government’s emergency rental assistance program helped prevent more than one million evictions last year.

An estimated 1.36 million renters avoided an eviction filing in 2021 as a result of the government’s unprecedented $46.5 billion rent relief program and other protections, according to a recent analysis by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab published earlier this month. Read more here:

Mental health of US teens declined during pandemic

Mental health concerns among high school students in the United States were exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to survey results published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There have been significant increases in high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, considering suicide or attempting suicide over the past decade — and findings from the new CDC survey suggest youth mental health was even worse during the pandemic. Read more here:


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