As the second wave of the Coronavirus prepares to hit the United States, it begs the question of whether or not each state has made adequate preparations. The southern states have been working hard to make the next few months as comfortable as possible for their citizens with special emphasis on their medical professionals. Here’s a look at what they’ve been working on.
In order to learn more about the virus, many states have announced funding to increase the number of contact tracers they employ. There are some officials who have made the decision to double their initial contact tracing teams. Additionally, instead of symptom- based testing, many southern states have opted for a more proactive approach. An article written by Rachel Treisman for npr.org states, “The new testing strategy prioritizes the elderly, members of low-income and at-risk communities, symptomatic individuals, certain front-line workers and anyone with known COVID-19 exposure.”
Many southern states have also committed billions of dollars to purchasing and stocking PPE for all medical personnel. An article written by Andy Sher for govtech.com states, “Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama governments have collectively committed nearly a quarter billion dollars to medical equipment and supplies in their responses to the coronavirus pandemic, public records show.” They’re not the only states who have recognized the need to allocate more funding for equipment. These items will help keep medical professionals safe and also make it easier for them to perform their jobs. At a time when we’re relying so heavily on the healthcare system, it’s important to make sure each facet of the system has the basic supplies they need.
Many states are allowing recently retired medical workers to reenter the workforce if they have a desire to. That act has taken some of the strain off of current healthcare employees. In order to assist them further, there are a couple states who have decided to use funds from Medicaid in order to increase the weekly take home pay for those in the medical field. Many states have also offered workman’s comp to medical workers who are infected by Covid-19 while on the job. This takes a financial burden off of those fighting on the front lines of the virus. Additionally, most southern states have expanded their welfare programs and made applying and receiving benefits a much simpler process that can be done online. They’ve also partnered with online retailers so people who receive food stamps can shop online with their EBT cards. This will reduce the need for people to physically enter stores. Many states have also allocated funds to provide relief for those who are on the verge of foreclosure or eviction due to the virus.
The southern states are doing their best to protect themselves against Covid-19. The safety precautions they’re taking coupled with the medical and financial relief they’re implementing brings hope that the second wave of the virus wont take such a heavy toll.