Some U.S. hospitals temporarily cutting staff as coronavirus crisis worsens
In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, many hospitals across the U.S. are suddenly losing revenue. In some cases that means staff are being furloughed, right as the pandemic is worsening.
In Florida, at Miami-Dade County’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, executives say they’re taking pay cuts, and other employees are being asked to go on temporary furloughs due to the financial strain.
“We were required to take time off; we were required to take our personal leave time,” said RN case manager Angela Freshly Fairchild, who was surprised to receive an email saying she would be mandated to take a week off in the middle of the crisis.
“I couldn’t understand it, because all around the country they are asking for nurses right now,” said Fairchild.
Read more here about how the ripple effects of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic are hitting hospitals around the country.
Small Georgia town’s mayor lambastes governor’s “reckless mandate” to reopen beach
A small coastal city in Georgia that thrives on tourism closed its beach, fearing carefree crowds of teenagers and college students posed too great a risk for spreading the new coronavirus. Two weeks later, the state’s governor has reversed that decision, saying people weathering the outbreak need fresh air and exercise.
The clash has thrust tiny Tybee Island into a thorny debate that keeps cropping up during the coronavirus pandemic: How much can officials curtail freedoms during the crisis? And should those calls be made at the federal, state or local level?
Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions, sworn in barely three months ago, has taken on Gov. Brian Kemp after state officials on Friday reopened the beach in this community of 3,100 people.
The change resulted from the Republican governor’s order that people statewide should “shelter in place” — that is, they should stay home unless working jobs deemed essential, seeking medical care, shopping for groceries, or other exceptions including exercising outdoors. It also invalidated any restrictions already imposed by local governments if they went beyond the governor’s limits.
That meant a unanimous decision by Tybee Island’s city council to close its beach was suddenly overridden, and Sessions said the governor’s office declined to reconsider the “reckless mandate” when asked.
Improvements in hard-hit Italy and Spain as U.K.’s COVID-19-postitive leader hospitalized for tests
Conditions appear to be improving in the two hardest-hit European countries, with Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll declining for two weeks and Spain reporting fewer deaths on each of the last three days.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was still in a London hospital for tests Monday morning after more than a week of persistent fever following a positive COVID-19 test. But as CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata reports, officials say Johnson is still in charge.
Johnson has faced harsh criticism for acting too slowly against the virus. Just one month ago he was still shaking hands enthusiastically. But now the wrath of the virus has taken hold in Britain, which has just seen its three deadliest days yet.
With Johnson in the hospital, the U.K. Foreign Secretary was to chair the daily crisis briefing on Monday, but Downing Street said the prime minister was still in relatively good shape and would likely return to his office soon.
Patients rushing to join studies of promising coronavirus drug remdesivir
The new coronavirus made Dr. Jag Singh a patient at his own hospital. His alarm grew as he saw an X-ray of his pneumonia-choked lungs and colleagues asked his wishes about life support while wheeling him into Massachusetts General’s Intensive Care Unit.
When they offered him a chance to help test remdesivir, an experimental drug that’s shown promise against some other coronaviruses, it “did not even cross my mind once to say ‘no,”‘ said Singh, a heart specialist.
Coronavirus patients around the world have been rushing to join remdesivir studies that opened in hospitals in the last few weeks.
Interest has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is expanding its study, which has nearly reached its initial goal of 440 patients. The drug’s maker, California-based Gilead Sciences, is quickly ramping up its own studies, too.
Japan to go under national state of emergency as COVID-19 outbreak grows
In what was seen as a long-awaited bow to the inevitable, Japanese Prime Minister Abe has announced he will declare a national state of emergency over the growing coronavirus epidemic in the country. To take effect Tuesday, the action will cover most of Japan’s densely populated metro areas — Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa; and Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka to the west.
The seven jurisdictions have a combined population of 55.9 million — accounting for about one out of every two Japanese residents.
Local governors, the Japan Medical Association and others have been urging a shutdown, warning that waiting for cases to spike risked the collapse of the national health care system.
“We need your cooperation to prevent an explosive surge,” Abe said Monday evening, appealing to residents for calm and making a point of saying Japan’s shutdown would be far less heavy-handed than lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe.
Most of the measures being taken are “requests” for restraint. Residents are asked to work from home and leave only for essential reasons. Department stores, coffee shops and retail chains had already started to voluntarily shut down in recent days, as Tokyo’s case numbers continued to rise at an alarming clip.
Civil liberties protections in Japan don’t allow authorities to issue jail terms or fines for non-compliance, so a heavy dose of peer pressure and the weight of the emergency declaration are being deployed instead.
Relatively unscathed by COVID-19, Jordan looking at ways to bring economy back to life
After more than two weeks with his country under strict lockdown, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has asked his ministers to look into ways to gradually bring the country’s economy back to work.
“No one in the world has an ideal solution to combat the effects of the coronavirus. This requires us to be more flexible and fast in adapting to the changes,” the king was quoted as saying.
The tough, early measures imposed in Jordan appear to have paid off: Jordan’s Ministry of Health has confirmed only 345 cases in the country, and 110 of those patients have already recovered. Only five COVID-19-related deaths have been reported. The numbers are way below Jordan’s neighboring countries.
“Protecting Jordan from the pandemic requires efforts sustained over a long period,” economic analyst Jawad Abbassi told CBS News.
“To be able to do that effectively the government needs revenues,” he said, urging Jordan’s leaders to “look at this as a marathon and not as short sprint.”
Another death among passengers from cruise ship docked in Miami
Authorities say 14 people have been taken to hospitals from a cruise ship that docked in Florida with coronavirus victims aboard and that one of them has died. Two fatalities were reported earlier aboard the Coral Princess, which docked Saturday in Miami. The ship had more than 1,000 passengers and nearly 900 crew members.
Authorities didn’t immediately disclose whether any of the 14 people removed for immediate medical attention had confirmed coronavirus links.
The Princess Cruises line ship began disembarking fit passengers cleared for charter flights Sunday. The cruise line said it was delayed by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy preventing passengers from being placed on commercial flights.
Anyone with symptoms of the disease or recovering from it was being kept on the ship until medically cleared.
– Associated Press
2020 Democrats adapt campaigns to coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus crisis has thrown a wrench into the campaign plans for 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.
But the candidates and their campaign staff are still working on ways to get their messages across at a time when large social gatherings are banned. Watch Ed O’Keefe’s full report in the video below.
Trump warns “toughest week” coming, but “things will start changing for the better”
President Trump and Vice President Pence voiced optimism Sunday about the coronavirus pandemic, saying the number of new cases reported daily in the country appears to be leveling off.
“The U.S. will reach a horrific point in terms of death, but it will be a point where things will start changing for the better,” Mr. Trump said.
The president said that by Tuesday, 3,000 military and public health workers will have been deployed across the country. He said the U.S. has conducted and received results of more than 1.6 million coronavirus tests, and that work is ramping up on potential drugs to treat the disease.
New Jersey has become a hot zone, Mr. Trump said, noting that the fatality rate in New York has dropped, which “maybe a good sign.”
Read more here.