January 3, 2022 / Health

The current wave of COVID-19 cases is the biggest to hit Georgia yet, and metro Atlanta is leading the surge.Gallery

In the last few weeks, the number of COVID cases rose by 153%, hospital admissions rose 62%, and deaths from COVID rose 27% according to Amber Schmidtke’s latest COVID Digest. Additionally, the number of positive PCR tests rose from 5.7% to 32.6%. Cases and hospitalizations are rising for all age groups, but individuals aged 18-29 have had the sharpest increase in cases and hospitalizations. Metro Atlanta leads the current surge in cases whereas previous surges, such as the Delta wave in August-September 2021, had a greater proportional effect on rural areas. The current surge has been exacerbated by individuals gathering to celebrate the holidays, and cases are expected to continue increasing throughout January. This will likely strain hospitals which are already struggling due to lack of staffing.

Takeaway: Stronger public health measures, including improved vaccination and booster rates, will be necessary to curb the current rise in COVID-19 cases.

November 17, 2021 / Health, Mental Health

Over 2,000 Georgians died of drug overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic.Insight

Recently, the US government announced that deaths due to drug overdose surpassed 100,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the largest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12 month period. It is estimated that 19 in 100,000 people in Georgia died from an overdose, ranking the state 39th in overdose death rate. The Appalachian region suffered from the highest rate of overdose deaths (Washington Post).

Takeaway: It is necessary to increase access to overdose antidotes as well as improve substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.

March 5, 2021 / Aging, Health, Policy

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Based on the covid-19’s impact and national demographic and demand trends, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) urges leaders to consider the following principles in policymaking:

  • People want to age safely in their homes and communities.
  • Health happens in the home and community.
  • We are only as strong as our caregivers.
  • Community infrastructure is a critical component of healthy aging.
  • We are all stakeholders in an aging nation.
December 22, 2020 / Health, Mental Health

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According to a regional tracker, the percent of telehealth diagnoses for mental health conditions is more than three times higher than the same time last year, likely due to both increased demand for MH services and increased supply/accessibility of telehealth options. (FAIR Health)

October 28, 2020 / Health, Policy

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Tennessee hospitals are seeing significantly fewer covid patients from counties with mask mandates [study] (Vanderbilt School of Medicine)

October 2, 2020 / Health, Hispanic, Mental Health

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The Hispanic community has particular physical health, mental health, and economic risks due to low access to healthcare, increased exposure, and stigma. Affordable and quality programs designed with this community are needed. [PDF] (American Psychiatric Association)

August 21, 2020 / Education, Health, Mental Health, Workforce

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Access to computers and internet supports (1) virtual learning, (2) job seeking and workforce development, and (3) access to telemedicine and mental health services (Mental Health America of Georgia)

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