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Cuomo looks to ‘enlist’ nurses in Covid-19 fight

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CUOMO LOOKS TO ‘ENLIST’ NURSES IN CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE — POLITICO’s Shannon Young and Marie J. French: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking all registered nurses in New York to “enlist” in the state’s effort to expand its surge capacity to combat the spread of coronavirus. Cuomo announced an emergency executive action on Monday that could ultimately send nurses registered in the state, including those working for insurance companies, to hospitals and new temporary health care facilities to treat the growing number of Covid-19 cases. … Cuomo added that the state's Department of Financial Services is reaching out to insurance companies about the health care professionals they employ.

— New York Health Plan Association President and CEO Eric Linzer said “health plans have been doing their part to assist the state, the health care system and patients in response to the public health crisis resulting from the coronavirus.”

Sign up for POLITICO Nightly: Coronavirus Special Edition, your daily update on how the illness is affecting politics, markets, public health and more.

MEDICAL WORKERS FEAR BECOMING COVID-19 PATIENTS — POLITICO’s Amanda Eisenberg: Medical workers on the front lines of New York City's growing coronavirus emergency are sounding the alarm that without more equipment and stricter protocols they’ll soon be the ones in need of treatment. The city is now the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S., with 12,339 residents infected and about 17 percent of those cases hospitalized as of Monday morning. The number of hospitalizations is expected to peak within the next 40 days, though hospitals are already down to their last weeks of personal protective equipment to keep medical professionals from contracting the infectious disease. Medical professionals who spoke with POLITICO asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, and in some cases, to avoid getting caught breaking non-disclosure agreements.

— New York City Council Member Mark Levine, meanwhile, believes he has contracted the coronavirus, he announced on Twitter, but said he would not be seeking a test as the city encourages otherwise healthy people to avoid testing.

SENATE LOOKS TO RECONVENE FOR BUDGET THURSDAY — POLITICO’s Anna Gronewold: The earliest the state Senate could call members back to Albany for budget votes is Thursday, a spokesperson said today. The Senate's leaders are looking into how the chamber's 63 members might be able to vote remotely to pass the budget due March 31, but so far they’re planning an in-person showing, spokesperson Mike Murphy said.

… The Assembly has not yet determined a schedule for the week, according to spokesperson Mike Whyland. At least two members have tested positive for the coronavirus.

— Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes has quietly introduced a resolution that would change the way her chamber votes during a declared state or national emergency, POLITICO's Bill Mahoney reports.

DOH TO BEGIN EXPERIMENTAL DRUG, SERUM THERAPIES — Shannon reports: The state Department of Health will begin testing an experimental drug combination therapy and a plasma serum as potential treatments for Covid-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. The governor told reporters that the FDA has given DOH approval to test anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine with an antibiotic, zithromax, as a treatment for New Yorkers with serious cases of the coronavirus beginning on Tuesday. The FDA is also letting New York begin testing as early as this week on a convalescent serum from individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus that can be used to help current patients build up their immunity to the virus.

Odds and Ends

CORONAVIRUS COUNT — There were 20,875 confirmed cases in New York as of Monday afternoon.

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DO YOU WORK FOR A HOSPITAL? Tell us what you're seeing.

NOW WE KNOW — Less than a third of Americans have jobs that they can do from home, according to federal data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute. And, “the ability to work from home differs enormously by race and ethnicity.”

SHARE ME: Like this newsletter? Share it with your friends.

TODAY’S TIP — Put some sunscreen on and pretend like you’re at the beach, Indoor Voices suggests.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW Amanda @aeis17, Shannon @ShannonYoung413 and Dan @DanCGoldberg on Twitter. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @samjsutton.

STUDY THIS — New research suggests that the loss of a person’s senses of smell and/or taste could be signs that they are infected with coronavirus, doctors around the world are warning.

Around New York

PARTY ZERO — The New York Times reports: “About 50 guests gathered on March 5 at a home in the stately suburb of Westport, Conn., to toast the hostess on her 40th birthday and greet old friends, including one visiting from South Africa. They shared reminiscences, a lavish buffet and, unknown to anyone, the coronavirus.”

CHEF’S KISS — New Yorkers are swarming famed Italian restaurant Carbone for takeaway dinner to the point that the NYPD needed to get involved to promote social distancing.

ON NOTICE — The Times Union reports: “A critical care nurse at the state's Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island was handed a personnel notification this week that ordered her to document any unscheduled time off. The document was delivered to her a day after she and another hospital staffer were interviewed on national television by MSNBC about the shortage of protective equipment for workers in hospitals and health care facilities.”

LAID OFF — The owner of Strand Bookstore says the East Village bookseller has laid off most of its staff after being forced to close due to the coronavirus outbreak, the New York Post reports.

GROWING CHAOS — “New York City has become an epicenter of the [coronavirus] crisis, with more than ninety-six hundred confirmed cases as of Sunday, and hospitals are struggling to keep pace,” The New Yorker reports.

Pharma Report

TESTING — Reuters reports: “Scientists at Britain’s Oxford University have started a clinical trial to investigate the effects of an HIV medicine and a steroid drug in UK patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 caused by the new coronavirus.”

DON’T DO THAT — The Nigerian Center for Disease Control is warning people against poisoning themselves with chloroquine after President Donald Trump suggested it may be a cure for coronavirus, Vice News reports.

What We're Reading

STALL — POLITICO’s Marianne Levine and Sarah Ferris: The Senate reached a critical pressure point on Monday as Democrats tanked another procedural vote while they negotiate a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue package.

'HOW ARE YOU MANAGING TO NOT GET FIRED?' — Science Magazine has an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci that asks the one question on everyone’s mind: How has he managed to hang on despite contradicting President Donald Trump’s rhetoric around the coronavirus pandemic?

WHCA TOO — POLITICO’s Myah Ward: The White House Correspondents Association on Monday said a reporter who was at the White House multiple times over the last two weeks is suspected to have coronavirus.

YOU’RE FIRED — Reuters reports: “Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China.”

BACK TO THE 1950S? — “One of the most striking effects of the coronavirus will be to send many couples back to the 1950s. Across the world, women’s independence will be a silent victim of the pandemic,” according to The Atlantic

NO BIG DEAL — Survivalists, homesteaders and others known as “doomsday preppers” aren’t that worried by coronavirus, The Boston Globe reports.

DETECTION RINGS — Emergency medical workers in San Francisco will wear rings that track their temperature and vital signs as part of a study that seek to identify early onset of coronavirus, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up on the New York Health Care Morning Newsletter page.

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