Camila Domonoske

Marcie was at work at a Ford plant when she got a text warning her she might have been exposed to the coronavirus. It wasn't a sure thing — she was a few steps removed from the confirmed positive case. But it was worrying.

"So am I supposed to leave work? Technically I could be positive and not know it," said Marcie, who didn't want her last name used because she's worried about retribution for talking about the plant. "But, you know, a lot of people just can't do that. Can't just get up and go. We depend on the forty hours."

Across America, buildings are opening back up — offices, schools, theaters, stores, restaurants — even as evidence mounts that the coronavirus can circulate through the air in a closed indoor space.

That means a lot of business owners and facility managers are calling up people like Dennis Knight, the founder of Whole Buildings Systems in Charleston, S.C., asking what they can do to make sure their building doesn't spread the virus.

Updated at 5:53 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently took an unusual step of encouraging people to drive alone — the exact opposite of what cities have urged people to do for years.

Avery Hoppa's job is practically pandemic-proof: She's a nurse who does triage over the phone. So her work is still necessary, and the transition to working from her home in Hanover, N.H., was smooth. Her husband, a biologist at Dartmouth College, had a slightly bigger adjustment to make when classes went virtual.

They're both still employed, and Hoppa says she feels "so incredibly grateful" about that during this massive economic crisis. Her family has been able to do things like buy a new car and get a good deal on it.

Over the past few months, cities have had to deal with tremendous challenges — fighting a pandemic, preserving essential services, protecting their own workers, coping with devastating budget cuts.

One thing local officials didn't have to worry about was traffic, as the pandemic emptied city streets.

But that's about to change.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Some city streets have undergone a remarkable transformation during this pandemic. They've become walkways or bike paths. As NPR's Camila Domonoske reports, some of these changes could stick.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday

Cars didn't change much between March and May. But the factories where they're assembled are shifting dramatically.

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Auto giant General Motors will build 30,000 medical ventilators for the national stockpile, at a cost of $489.4 million, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global scramble for essential medical supplies like masks, gloves, gowns and ventilators. In the panic, governments have imposed or considered new barriers to trade, trying to protect their own access to scarce supplies.

Not all Americans can stay home during the pandemic.

Millions of essential workers are showing up for their jobs at warehouses, food processing plants, delivery trucks and grocery checkout lines. Work that is often low-paid, and comes with few protections, is now suddenly much more dangerous.

America has a new appreciation for these workers. Bill Osborn, a dairy clerk at a Giant in La Plata, Md., says he never used to be thanked for his job. Ever.

But now that has changed.

By the middle of March, the problem was undeniable: America didn't have enough ventilators for the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the next two weeks, U.S. manufacturers worked frantically to boost output in an effort that has been compared to the mobilization of industry during World War II. Medical companies paired up with automakers to increase their production to previously unthinkable levels.

Ford Motor Co. plans to build simple medical ventilators at a components plant in Michigan and says it hopes to produce 50,000 of the devices over the next three months. Ventilators have been in short supply as the coronavirus pandemic grows in New York City and other hot spots around the country.

Hospitals and medical workers across the country are issuing desperate pleas for donations of respirators, to protect the doctors and nurses who are exposed to the coronavirus as they fight to save lives. The country faces an alarming shortage of the protective equipment.

The medical community is sounding increasingly urgent alarms about shortages of masks, gloves and ventilators — essential supplies in the fight against the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, President Trump has issued contradictory statements about whether his administration is ordering private companies to ramp up production of those items.

Updated at 3:04 p.m. ET

We've seen pictures of people lining up at grocery stores, Costco and other retailers looking for essential supplies as the coronavirus crisis deepens. Sure, hand sanitizer, spray disinfectant and cleaners are among the most popular items sought out by panicked shoppers. But they're also buying a lot more oat milk and canned goods.

Kimberly-Clark has issued a voluntary recall of some U by Kotex tampons, after a "quality-related defect" caused the tampons to come apart inside of consumers' bodies, leaving pieces behind after the tampon was removed.

The problematic tampons have pushed users to "seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body," the personal care company says. "There also have been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

As the remains of former President George H.W. Bush lie in state at the U.S. Capitol, LGBTQ activists and some journalists have been calling attention to his mixed legacy on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which was raging during his administration.

Bush died at the age of 94, on the eve of World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has traced an ongoing E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in the Central Coastal region of California.

Lettuce from other parts of the U.S. and Mexico is safe to eat, the CDC says. However, if you're not sure where your romaine lettuce came from, err on the side of caution and throw it out, health experts say.

A total of 43 people in 12 states have been infected in this outbreak. No deaths have been reported.

Cut Caesar salad off the menu this week: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a multistate E. coli outbreak is underway, and romaine lettuce is to blame.

Thirty-two people are sick, including 13 who were hospitalized; no deaths have been reported. An additional 18 people were sickened in Canada.

Evidence points toward romaine lettuce as the likely source, but the CDC can't get more specific than that.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Dr. Leana Wen, the health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, has been named the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

It will be the first time in nearly five decades that a doctor is the head of Planned Parenthood, according to the organization. She's replacing longtime President Cecile Richards, who announced in January that she would be stepping down.

A hospital in Texas has cut ties with a nurse who apparently posted about a young patient with the measles in a Facebook group dedicated to "anti-vaxxers," people who reject the scientific evidence of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Screenshots show a self-identified nurse saying the sick child's symptoms helped her understand why people vaccinate their children, but that "I'll continue along my little non-vax journey with no regrets."

James Harrison, an Australian man whose blood contains a rare antibody that can create a treatment that saves babies' lives, has donated plasma one last time.

Harrison, 81, is now over the age limit for donors — in fact, he hit the cap months ago.

But the Australian Red Cross Blood Service let him donate one last time on Friday. The service estimates that over the course of his life, he has helped save some 2.4 million babies.

A "computer algorithm failure" in the U.K. kept hundreds of thousands of women from getting notified it was time for a mammogram, potentially shortening the lives of up to 270 women, the National Health Service says.

The U.K. sends letters to women who are due for breast screening, according to British national guidelines, which call for exams every 3 years for women age 50-70. Because of the computer glitch, an estimated 450,000 women in England around the age of 70 did not receive their mammogram invitation.

Reuters has published an extensive report into the killing of 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar in September, pulling from photographs and eyewitness accounts to describe how villagers and paramilitary forces killed the men execution-style and buried them in one grave.

The investigation made headlines long before it was published.

Simon Bramhall, the British surgeon who branded his initials onto patients' livers during transplant surgeries at least twice, has been ordered to do 120 hours of community service and pay £10,000 (more than $13,600).

Bramhall pleaded guilty in December to two counts of assault for branding his patients.

Dunkin' Donuts has removed all artificial dyes from its doughnuts, nearly one year ahead of schedule, as the company continues to work to find replacements for synthetic coloring in its other menu items.

Rick Golden, Manager of Donut Excellence for Dunkin' Brands, announced the news on Thursday, saying that "bright, colorful confections" are a hallmark of Dunkin's doughnut lineup. The colors will remain, but the artificial colorings will be gone.

The liver is a fascinating thing.

If you want to read a thought-provoking story about the liver, you might like to learn about the challenges of building a fairer system for allocating access to liver transplants.

Or the history of efforts to grow "liverettes" in petri dishes.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

CVS is preparing to buy the health insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion, the companies say.

Dogs shower their owners with affection and demand walks on a regular basis. And according to medical researchers, a corresponding link between dog ownership and heart health — previously called "probable" by experts — is supported by Swedish data.

An examination of Sweden's national records — spanning more than 3.4 million people and 12 years — found that registered dog owners had a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The U.S. military's restrictions on covering abortions can create logistical, emotional, career and health challenges for service members who become pregnant, according to a newly released study.

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