(WJW/AP) – The billions of tax dollars headed for hospitals and states as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus response bill won’t solve the critical shortage of protective gowns, gloves and masks.
According to the Associated Press, there aren’t enough supplies to buy. With the current system, hospitals, state governments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bid against each other for supplies and drive up prices.
That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for an Ohio company to sterilize masks is so crucial. Battelle’s labs can sterilize up to 80,000 masks per day.
Each mask can also be decontaminated about 20 times without damaging its quality.
An average of 20 percent of Ohio’s coronavirus cases are healthcare workers.
It is not confirmed if those positive tests came because they did not have personal protective equipment (PPE).
8:05 p.m update:
WASHINGTON (AP)— Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says a New Jersey Army National Guardsman is the first U.S. service member to pass away because of the new coronavirus.
The guardsman died on Saturday, according to the Pentagon. The person had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized since March 21.
“This is a stinging loss for our military community,” Esper says in a release, “and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community. The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
7:45 p.m. update:
WASHINGTON (AP)— Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says the U.S. has tested more than 1 million samples for the coronavirus — a number he says exceeds that of any other country.
It wasn’t clear if that figure represented actual patients or samples processed. With a population of over 330 million, 1 million patients tested would represent about one-third of one percent of all Americans.
By comparison, South Korea has tested roughly twice as many people as a percentage of its population.
Public health experts have estimated the U.S. should be testing between 100,000 and 150,000 patients daily to track and contain the virus.
Azar said the U.S. is testing “nearly 100,000 samples per day.”
7:30 p.m. update:
(AP)– The NCAA will permit spring sport athletes who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility. The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to give college athletes who compete in spring sports such as baseball, softball and lacrosse a way to get back the season they lost, but did not guarantee financial aid. Winter sports were not included in that decision as council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or most of their regular seasons were completed.
6 p.m. update:
(AP)– Ford is repurposing an auto parts factory west of Detroit to start building simple ventilators to treat coronavirus patients.
The automaker says that starting the week of April 20, it expects to produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days. The plant in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, would have the ability to build 30,000 per month after that.
Ford also is working with GE Healthcare to quickly double production of a more sophisticated ventilator at a factory in Madison, Wisconsin.
The ventilators to be built in Michigan are a designed by Airon Corp. Ford says they work on air pressure, not electricity, and can handle the needs of most COVID-19 patients.
5:30 p.m. update:
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Wells, a neuroscientist in the academic hotbed of Cambridge, Mass., was searching for a way to help battle the coronavirus when he decided to create his own. Wells began circulating a national database of scientists willing to use the skills and materials at their fingertips to contribute, however possible, and his list of volunteers now tops 7,000. Although testing capacity for the virus is strained right now for reasons beyond qualified individuals to conduct those tests, Wells and those working with him have identified other acute needs — and have already shared their scientist cavalry’s information with qualified groups in a dozen states.
4:15 p.m. update:
NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s governor has put out an urgent plea for medical volunteers as coronavirus deaths in New York City mount and hospitals buckle in what authorities say could be a preview of what other cities across the U.S. could soon face. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says, “Please come help us in New York now. We need relief.” He made the plea Monday as the number of dead in New York State climbed past 1,200, with most of those victims dying in New York City.
4 p.m. update:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has ordered an additional 8,000 ventilators, with delivery of the first 1,400 by early May. The $84.4 million order was placed with several suppliers under existing Defense Logistics Agency contracts.
A Pentagon spokesman, Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Andrews, identified the four suppliers as Zoll, Combat Medical, Hamilton Medical, and VyAire. Andrews said delivery locations will be prioritized by FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services. These are in addition to the 2,000 ventilators that the Pentagon previously said it would make available to FEMA from Defense Department stockpiles.
3:30 p.m. update:
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials have arrested the pastor of a megachurch after detectives say he held two Sunday services with hundreds of people and violated a safer-at-home order in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. According to jail records, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne turned himself in to authorities Monday afternoon in Hernando County, where he lives. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says he told church leaders of the danger they are putting themselves and their congregation in by not maintaining appropriate social distancing. The county and governor’s orders require gatherings be fewer than 10 people to limit the spread of COVID-19. A live stream of Sunday’s three-and-a-half-hour church service showed scores of congregants.
1 p.m. update:
ROME (AP) — Italy is seeing a continued slowdown in the rate of its new confirmed coronavirus cases while registering a record number of people cured as it enters its third week into a nationwide lockdown.
Another 812 people died in the last day, bringing Italy’s toll to 11,591 and maintaining its position as the country with the most dead.
Overall, Italy added 4,050 new infections Monday, bringing its official total to 101,739 and keeping its place as the European epicenter of the pandemic and second only to the U.S. Epidemiologists say the real number of Italy’s caseload, however, is as much as five to 10 times more than the official number, but that those cases aren’t being counted because Italy is only testing people with severe symptoms. Of those infected, 14,620 have been declared cured, including a record 1,590 in the past day.
- 43% of U.S. cases are in New York
- New York has also tested more people than anywhere in the country
- USNS Comfort arrives in New York
- Prince Charles has ended his isolation period after testing positive for coronavirus
- Authorities in Spain say 12,298 health workers have tested positive for coronavirus
- The price of oil fell 6% to $20 a barrel
- President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force will hold a briefing at 5 p.m.
- Cuyahoga County reports 4 deaths, ages range from 70 to 91
- Tokyo Olympics will open July 2021
- Navy Hospital ship USNS Comfort is set to arrive in New York Harbor Monday with medical supplies to help the city overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients
- President Trump thanked the FDA for Battelle mask-cleaning approval in a tweet
- Oil briefly traded below $20 a barrel for the first time since 2002
- Britain’s health service is asking airline cabin crew from EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic who were laid off to work in temporary hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients
- EasyJet announced Monday it was grounding all of its flights due to coronavirus
- Spain has become the third country to surpass China in coronavirus infections after the United States and Italy
- Spain reports more than 85,100 cases, a rise of 8% from the previous day
- US deaths have passed 2,500
- Ohio’s death toll stands at 29
- There are more than 143,000 cases in America
- There are 724,000 cases around the world
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, says the U.S. could see more than 100,000 deaths