Coronavirus

As COVID-19 continues to spread, doctors and nurses are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

When Dr. Judy Salerno, who is in her 60s, got word that the New York State health department was looking for retired physicians to volunteer in the coronavirus crisis, she didn't hesitate.

"As I look to what's ahead for New York City, where I live, I'm thinking that if I can use my skills in some way that I will be helpful, I will step up," she says.

Updated at 2:20 a.m. ET

The Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced early Wednesday that the White House and Senate had reached a deal for an unprecedented $2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up individuals, businesses and the nation's health care system amid the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland made the announcement at about 1 a.m. ET.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal," Ueland said.

Updated at 5:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

President Trump has requested test kits from South Korea to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

According to a readout from the Blue House, as the presidential office here is known, a 23-minute phone call with President Moon Jae-in was initiated at the "urgent request" of Trump.

The Food and Drug Administration gave an experimental medicine called remdesivir to treat COVID-19 what's called orphan drug status on Monday.

To qualify for an orphan designation, drug companies must show that their product will treat a population of fewer than 200,000 patients or that it would be unprofitable.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced $100 million in supplemental funding for community health centers to support the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Health centers are playing a critical role," says James Macrae, associate administrator at the federal Bureau for Primary Health Care.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis is ordering anyone flying into Florida from the New York Tri-State Area where there's a high prevalance of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The latest update from the Florida Department of Health shows the number of people in the state who have tested positive for COVID-19 is 1,227.

The 6 p.m. update said that 18 people had died from coronavirus - four more than Monday morning. However, the Department of Health corrected the figure shortly before 11 p.m., saying 17 people had died.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is trying to knock down a series of rumors and falsehoods that have been spreading along with the coronavirus pandemic.

It launched a page on its website called Coronavirus Rumor Control to fight the misinformation as officials work to assure the public there is, in fact, no "national quarantine," nor has FEMA deployed "military assets."

"No, FEMA does not have military assets," the site notes.

yellow and orange microscope imaging of the coronavirus cell.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Florida's attorney general is announcing an investigation into a report that Norwegian Cruise Lines downplayed the risks of the new coronavirus in “misleading” sales pitches provided by managers.

stethoscope and calculator stock photo resting on medicare application paperwork.
iStock

Federal law enforcement is warning that scam artists are preying on older people's fears by peddling fake tests for the coronavirus to Medicare recipients.

nurse checking patient's pulse.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Ron DeSantis is being asked to allow advanced practice registered nurses to immediately begin practicing independently of physicians and to not have to wait until July 1 when a new law takes effect.

UF To Launch Coronavirus Testing, Research

Mar 24, 2020
coronavirus computer image.
istock

The University of Florida will for a limited time begin offering coronavirus testing this week, including tests for asymptomatic elderly residents as part of research into the quickly spreading virus, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced during an appearance Monday at The Villages.

Florida's State Workers Worry As Telecommuting Lags

Mar 24, 2020

As Florida adjusts to an unprecedented public health emergency, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has lagged in implementing work-from-home policies for state workers.

As COVID-19 continued to spread, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order prohibiting any unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency medical procedures in Florida.

But dentists, like other medical professionals, are still able to see patients in critical condition at this time.

The restaurant industry has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many other states, Governor Ron DeSantis recently issued an executive order that blocks Florida restaurants from serving food in their dining rooms.

WUSF will be providing the latest news and information on coronavirus in Tampa Bay and across the state. Here are the latest developments:

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented demands for help on virtually every government service in Florida. At the top of the list is the state unemployment assistance program, which is widely regarded as one of the stingiest of any state. 

Local farmers are struggling to cope with changes brought on by Covid-19. For some, business is booming, but for others, the outbreak is a nightmare.

Governor Ron DeSantis says anyone flying into Florida from corona virus “hots spots” in New York or New Jersey will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. He says after governors in those states issued orders requiring people to stay home, many  started leaving for Florida. He calls it the “water balloon effect.”

The Florida Department of Health is now allowing medical marijuana patients to use telehealth to check in with their doctors. 

First, Herine Baron panicked, cried and hoped her COVID-19 test would come back negative. Soon, though, the ER nurse at Jackson North Medical Center in Miami-Dade County was lying in a hospital bed with a positive diagnosis and an ice pack on her forehead to try and break her fever. Baron is chronicling her illness with COVID-19 in a series of YouTube videos that have gotten more than 130,000 views. 

While many workers on the First Coast, especially those in the hospitality industry, are finding themselves suddenly struggling; a handful of the largest retailers are upping wages and hiring.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

The state is sending paramedics to long-term care facilities to randomly test asymptomatic staff and residents for COVID-19.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

On Monday evening, President Trump stressed what he called the need to reopen America for business even as he said the government also would continue tackling the spiraling coronavirus pandemic.

The White House's team will make an assessment after next week as to how effective social distancing and other mitigation measures have been in stifling the spread of the virus, said Vice President Pence.

The University of Florida Health Shands Hospital and the state are running a new COVID-19 testing site that could determine how prevalent the disease is among asymptomatic people.

CDC Coronavirus Testing Decision Likely To Haunt Nation For Months To Come

Mar 23, 2020
Dan DeLong for Kaiser Health News

As the novel coronavirus snaked its way across the globe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in early February distributed 200 test kits it had produced to more than 100 public health labs run by states and counties nationwide.

coronavirus daily podcast logo
NPR

NPR's latest, most vital reporting, features, and interviews about the coronavirus pandemic are avaialble in one place.  Coronavirus Daily , a new 10-minute podcast hosted by Kelly McEvers of Embedded, will cover all the ways COVID-19 is affecting our daily lives - from public health and personal finances to the global economy, politics, society and culture.

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