Elderly woman alone in wheelchair at long-term care facility
Sluggish start could force mandatory ‘universal testing’ at long-term care facilities

The Delaware public health director said Tuesday that the state is considering making coronavirus testing mandatory at long-term care facilities, after a voluntary universal testing plan got few takers. Since her announcement, about three-quarters of facilities have signaled their interest in participating. Concerns including legal conflicts of interest and unclear testing procedures reportedly made many facilities wary.

Stylized illustration of the caduceus, a winged staff with two snakes entwined traditionally associated with healing
Medicaid providers at the end of the line for federal coronavirus funding

State Medicaid directors say that without immediate funding, many of the health facilities that serve Medicaid patients, a population including millions of people with disabilities, could close permanently. More than half of the $100 billion Congress authorized in March to support health care providers has already been allocated, with most going to hospitals, doctors and other facilities that serve Medicare patients.

a pair of twin girls playing a game at a table
Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence

A Swedish study of identical and fraternal twins, in which at least one of every pair was on the autism spectrum, found that the contribution of genetics and environmental factors to a person’s likelihood of having autism has held steady over several decades. This suggests that the uptick in autism prevalence may be due to improvements in diagnosis and community education. The research team next plans to study several environmental factors in isolation that have previously been linked to increased risk of autism.

Interior of Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children
Experts address virus during Nemours virtual town hall

Children with developmental disabilities, epilepsy, diabetes and obesity may be more susceptible to an inflammatory illness apparently linked to COVID-19 exposure, Nemours medical professionals said during an online Q&A session. Information is still being gathered on the condition, symptoms of which include abdominal pain, nausea, lethargy and rash. Speakers also addressed mental health warning signs and the unique stresses faced by members of racial minorities during the pandemic.