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Throughout the pandemic, rural health care facilities have been overwhelmed, and an already strained workforce is partly to blame. According to Brad Gibbens, acting director of the Center for Rural Health at UND, workforce is the most important policy issue in rural health, especially nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says it's as valuable and necessary as visiting a parent.
If you vape and test positive for COVID, you're more likely to get symptoms than people who don't light up. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to a Mayo Clinic expert who studied COVID's impact on people who use e-cigarettes.
Canadian researchers recently reported how a Halifax pandemic response to a shelter outbreak provided "safe supply" of substances to persons experiencing homelessness. The effort saw few adverse events, high rates of adherence during 14-day seclusion in hotels.

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The seven-day rolling average positive test rate remained at 23.7% on Friday.
In the Northeast, which saw some of the highest case loads during the latest surge, infections are down 36% week-over-week. The drop was more modest at the national level, with the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases falling 1% as of Wednesday, according to the Reuters tally.
The week of Jan. 13 Beltrami county recorded 558 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, but Megan Heuer, the county’s Public Health director, says the number of cases in the community is likely even higher.
The seven-day rolling average positive test rate reached 23.7%.
When the days get shorter, some people's moods get darker. A short bout of the winter blues may be normal, but if those feelings last longer than a couple of weeks, you may be dealing with seasonal affective disorder. In this "Health Fusion" column, Viv Williams shares tips that may help you prevent this from of depression from driving your bus.
When given early, lab-engineered antibody infusions have reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations among persons at high risk. Previous versions of these treatments do not appear to work against the omicron variant, however. Replacement products are in short supply, with providers given a few dozen treatments weekly while managing hundreds of new patients.

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After dipping slightly in late December, the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 started to grow again amid a wave of new cases driven by the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus.
While you snooze, your brain stays busy and alert. It pays attention to unfamiliar voices. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares details of emerging research about how your brain keeps working while you count sheep.
The state has reached 11,000 deaths from the virus.

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