Read AMA Morning Rounds®’ most popular stories in medicine and public health from the week of March 26, 2021–April 2, 2021.

Reuters (3/26, Chander) reported, “More young adults in the United States reported feeling anxious or depressed during the past six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fewer people reported getting the help they needed, according to a U.S. government study released on Friday.” According to the story, “the percentage of adults under age 30 with recent symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder rose significantly about five months after the U.S. imposed COVID-19 related lockdowns, and reported rising deaths from the fast-spreading virus.” Specifically, “Between August 2020 and February 2021, this number went up to 41.5% from 36.4%, as did the percentage of such people reporting that they needed, but did not receive, mental health counseling.”

Newsweek (3/27, Fearnow) reported that the study was published Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Bloomberg (3/29, Wingrove) reports President Biden introduced his “90-90” plan, under which 90% of adults in the U.S. will be eligible for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine “by April 19, and 90% of the nation will live within five miles of a vaccination site as his administration more than doubles the number of participating pharmacies.” However, after President Biden celebrated the progress made by the U.S. in its vaccination campaign, he “quickly shifted his remarks to the recent rise in cases and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that some states’ decisions to relax public-health rules has jeopardized the nation’s recovery.” President Biden said, “With vaccines, there’s hope, which is a very good thing, to state the obvious. But people are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing. We’re giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains, and as much as we’re doing, America, it’s time to do even more.”

Politico (3/29, Owermohle) reports that under the 90-90 plan, “nearly 40,000 pharmacies across the country will be on board to deliver vaccine doses compared to 17,000 earlier.” The vaccination program includes 21 pharmacy chains and the Biden administration “will also expand its program for mass vaccination sites, adding 12 more to the 21 existing hubs.”

USA Today (3/30, Weintraub) reports federal health officials and epidemiologists say they are worried the U.S. is facing a fourth wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections. According to CDC data, average daily cases are up 10% compared to a week earlier, and hospitalizations and deaths are increasing as well.

The Hill (3/30, Wilson) reports the U.S. “has reported an average of 65,000 new cases in the last seven days, according to” CDC data, an increase from around “10,000 cases per day since the most recent nadir two weeks ago.” The Hill adds, “Those figures are well below the January apex of the third wave of infections, when a quarter-million people a day were testing positive for the virus.”

The AP (3/31, Johnson) reports, “The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll,” the CDC said Wednesday. The coronavirus “caused approximately 375,000 deaths, and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer.”

The Hill (3/31, Sullivan) reports, “The figures highlight the stunning death toll from the virus, and one that has climbed even higher this year. There are currently over 547,000 deaths from the virus, according to the CDC.”

CNN (3/31, Howard) reports that “the data also showed that, overall, death rates were highest among the Black and Native American or Alaska Native communities, adults age[d] 85 and older and men.” And specifically, the COVID-19 death rate “was highest among Hispanics, according to the CDC report.”

The AP (4/1, Miller) reports the Biden Administration has launched “a coalition of community, religious and celebrity partners to promote COVID-19 shots in hard-hit communities.” The “We Can Do This” campaign will feature “television and social media ads,” but will also be driven by “a community corps of public health, athletic, faith and other groups to spread the word about the safety and efficacy of the three approved vaccines.” The coalition includes the American Medical Association and other medical groups.

AMA Morning Rounds news coverage is developed in affiliation with Bulletin Healthcare LLC. Subscribe to Morning Rounds Daily.

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