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COVID-19 Update | Monday, March 30 (PM)

March 30, 2020


  • The President mentioned during tonight’s press conference that U.S. companies have developed 20 emergency testing options, including Abbot’s new 5-minute test.
  • President Trump also referenced a new process that has been developed by Battelle that is now in use in New York that allows masks to be sterilized and reused. The President did not offer details on what kind of masks this applies to.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are waving a number of regulatory requirements and allowing for more flexibility including:
    • Allowing treatment sites outside hospital walls to allow for patient separation and increased capacity at facilities such as surgical centers that have halted elective procedures and could provide certain hospital functions.
    • Allowing for hospitals to increase services provided to healthcare workers including childcare and laundry services.
    • Allowing advanced payments for healthcare providers experiencing cashflow issues.
    • Paying for labs to travel to locations and test individuals who cannot leave their house to get tested.
  • The President mentioned that current guidelines on quarantine and social distancing will remain in place and may even become more stringent.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration today published a notice that it would allow pilots and flights engineers to fly with expired medical certificates through June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Glenn Fine, the Acting Inspector General for the Department of Defense has been nominated to lead the newly created committee to oversee implementation of the $2 trillion CARES Act. The panel includes other inspectors general from Federal agencies and is meant to “promote transparency and support oversight” of the massive disaster response legislation.

Other News

  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis commented today that a Holland America ship headed to South Florida should not be allowed to dock with sick patients on board. Nearly 200 passengers and crew members on the Zaandam have reported flu-like symptoms. Four passengers have died and two have tested positive for the coronavirus, the company said Friday. DeSantis said that medical treatment would occur on the ship with federal coordination.
  • Macy’s department store today announced plans to furlough 130,000 employees. The chain told staff it will continue to cover 100% of its employees’ health care premiums at least through May.
  • Ford and GE Healthcare have partnered and announced they will produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days in a factory in Michigan. Specifically, they will be producing GE/Airon Model A-E ventilators. Together, the companies say they’ll make 1,500 ventilators by the end of April, ramping up to 12,000 by the end of May and 50,000 by July 4. After that, they expect to be able to manufacture 30,000 a month.
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines has extended the suspension of their fleet through May 10, 2020 with plans to relaunch cruise operations with embarkations May 11, 2020.
  • Following moves by the governors of Maryland and Virginia, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a “stay at home” order today, directing residents to stay in their homes except for getting food and other essential household goods, obtaining medical care, traveling to perform “essential” work and a few other exceptions, including outside recreation.
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