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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Business News, Updates

Business News, Updates


Doctors are reportedly hoarding trial coronavirus drugs by issuing prescriptions for themselves

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:58 AM PDT

A pharmacist counts prescription drugs at the at the CentreTown Pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Chris WattieReuters

Doctors around the country are hoarding prescription drugs that could be used to treat the coronavirus for themselves, according to a report by The New York Times' Ellen Gabler

The doctors are writing prescriptions for themselves and family members for drugs like chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and remdesivir, which are used to treat illnesses like HIV and malaria. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How China, the US, and Europe are using robots to replace and help humans fight coronavirus by delivering groceries, sanitizing hospitals, and monitoring patients

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:58 AM PDT

2020 03 17T142530Z_1120194708_RC2QLF9GSIHV_RTRMADP_3_HEALTH CORONAVIRUS INDIA ROBOTS.JPGREUTERS/Sivaram V

  • The coronavirus outbreak that originated in China has killed more than 17,000 people worldwide and infected more than 398,000, according to recent totals.
  • The virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has spread to 169 countries, and the majority of infections and deaths are now outside of China.
  • As the outbreak spreads, robots are being used to disinfect, take temperatures, and even prepare food.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Around the world, robots are being used to minimize the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by taking on cleaning and food preparation jobs that are considered dangerous for humans. 

The worldwide death toll of the coronavirus disease that originated in Wuhan, China, is now more than 17,000, and the virus has infected more than 398,000 people. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared it a pandemic. The virus has disrupted travel worldwide, leading to flight cancellations, quarantines, and other breakdowns in movement and supply chains.

Take a look at some of the clever ways robots are used around the world to slow the spread of the coronavirus and help healthcare workers.

In Wuhan, where the outbreak started, a robot spraying disinfectant moves through a residential area of the city.

China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider



Volunteers refilled the robot with disinfectant on March 3.

China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

Workers on scooters control the robot.

REUTERS


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: A 3D printer company is creating medical face shields for doctors and nurses fighting coronavirus — here's how it works

An ER doctor who survived Ebola shares the harrowing reality of the coronavirus pandemic and levels a stark warning

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:57 AM PDT

Dr Craig SpencerSpencer Platt/Getty Images

  • On Twitter, Dr. Craig Spencer shared what a day in the life of an emergency room doctor is like amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • His day starts around 6:30 a.m. brewing coffee — enough for the whole day — and ends with him stripping down in the hallway before taking a shower and reuniting with his family. 
  • "I survived Ebola. I fear #COVIDー19."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Dr. Craig Spencer starts his day ordinarily enough.

At 6:30 a.m., he brews coffee, enough to last him the whole day. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Trump said he wants the US to ease coronavirus restrictions and be 'raring to go by Easter,' which goes against the advice of his own experts

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:56 AM PDT

trump coronavirus press briefingREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

  • President Donald Trump said he wants to have the US "opened up and just raring to go by Easter" in terms of easing coronavirus restrictions. 
  • Easter is on April 12, just 19 days away.
  • This goes against the advice of top public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who on Friday warned the US will need at least several more weeks of self-isolation.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled he wants to ease up on coronavirus guidelines in a matter of weeks, even as his top experts have warned it could take months for life to go back to normal. 

"I would to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter," Trump said during a Fox News town hall at the White House. Easter is on April 12 and just 19 days ago. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How to update the Zoom app on your computer in 3 easy steps

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:56 AM PDT

zoom video conferencing app computerPREMIO STOCK/Shutterstock

  • You can easily update the Zoom app on your desktop, or check to see if you are due for an update.
  • To do so, you'll have to access your profile menu in the top-right corner of your screen.
  • A pop-up will inform you if you are up-to-date, and if not Zoom will automatically begin the latest version download.
  • You'll want to make sure you are using the latest version of Zoom to avoid any issues with your video conferences, especially if you use the app frequently.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

While your phone should automatically download updates, you may need to manually check on the desktop Zoom app.

To do so, you'll have to access the app's profile menu, which is found in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Delta's credit rating slashed to junk as coronavirus paralyzes the airline industry

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:50 AM PDT

FILE PHOTO: People line up at the Delta Air Lines ticketing desk inside Terminal 2E at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, after the U.S. banned travel from Europe, as France grapples with an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 12, 2020.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File PhotoReuters

  • S&P Global Ratings slashed Delta Air Lines' long-term rating to junk status Tuesday, citing weaker traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • "While the company is reducing its capacity and some associated costs, and will benefit from the steep decline in oil prices, we expect these supporting factors to be more than offset by its much weaker traffic," S&P analyst Betsy Snyder wrote in the Tuesday report.
  • Delta's ratings remain on CreditWatch, according to the report. S&P expects airline traffic to recover this year and continue to improve in 2021. 
  • Watch Delta trade live on Markets Insider.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

Delta Air Lines' long-term rating was slashed to junk status as the airline industry struggles with slow traffic amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Tuesday, S&P Global Ratings lowered Delta Airlines' long-term rating to BB from BBB-, saying that the company's credit metrics are deteriorating faster than the agency expected as the industry deals with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: A big-money investor in juggernauts like Facebook and Netflix breaks down the '3rd wave' firms that are leading the next round of tech disruption

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India's Prime Minister has put the country's 1.3 billion people on lockdown: 'It will have a huge economic cost but this is necessary for saving human lives'

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:50 AM PDT

india coronavirus 1Sanjay Kanojia/AFP via Getty Images

  • India has reported 519 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is putting the entire nation — more than 1.3 billion people — on lockdown for 21 days starting Wednesday.
  • Experts fear that testing rates in India are being kept low to prevent panic and to keep healthcare costs down. But that may hide the true scope of the outbreak.
  • India faces several hurdles in its fight against COVID-19, including high population density, lack of hygiene, and insufficient healthcare funding.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

India, the world's second-most populous country, is going into lockdown in a bid to ward off the coronavirus pandemic. 

Home to more than 1.3 billion people, India has reported 519 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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8 businesses whose leaders have slashed their salaries to $0 as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on industries around the world

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:49 AM PDT

NYC Times Square Rain CoronavirusCarlo Allegri/Reuters

There are now over 46,200 reported coronavirus cases in the US. 

The outbreak has created an unprecedented challenge to the economy. Many parts of the economy shut down virtually overnight, causing a wave of job losses and a plummeting stock market

Companies across the country are grappling with the sudden financial stress caused by the pandemic and taking measures to mitigate the inevitable blow it will have on business. 

Leaders from some of the companies most affected by the pandemic, particularly airlines, are forfeiting their paychecks as the pandemic worsens. These leaders include the co-founders of Lyft and the president of Marriott. Yahoo Finance also reported on the trend of business leaders taking paycuts.

Keep reading for the full list.

Delta Air Lines

Reuters

On March 13, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian sent out a memo to all Delta employees updating them on how COVID-19 is impacting the company and the steps being taken to "protect the financial position of the company."

Bastian said Delta would offer voluntary short-term, unpaid leaves and institute an immediate hiring freeze. He also announced in the memo that he would be giving up 100% of his salary for the next six months.



Alaska Air Group

David McNew / Getty Images

In a memo released on March 16, Alaska Air Group — the parent company of Alaska Airlines — laid out an update on its financial and operational outlook amid the pandemic. These included offering employees unpaid leaves of absences for 30, 60 and 90 day timeframes and freezing hiring except for essential roles.

In addition, the memo said that as of March 7, CEO Brad Tilden and President Ben Minicucci had reduced their base salary to zero. 

 



United Airlines

ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a memo that was sent out to United employees on March 15, CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby laid out pandemic responses including schedule reductions, a hiring freeze, and introducing a voluntary leave program.

In addition, Munoz and Kirby reduced their salaries to zero through June.




See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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'Job one has to be save lives': Cuomo implores Trump not to rush toward reopening the economy at the expense of human life

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:45 AM PDT

coronavirus us new york governor andrew cuomoBennett Raglin/Getty Images

  • As President Donald Trump signaled he wants to reopen the US economy amid a pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday urged him not to put a dollar sign on human life. 
  • "No American is going to say, 'accelerate the economy at the cost of human life.' Because no American is going to say how much a life is worth," Cuomo said during a press conference on coronavirus. 
  • New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday pleaded with President Donald Trump to not rush toward reopening the economy and risk human lives amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump has expressed impatience with the stringent measures taken to quell the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Nonessential businesses have been shuttered and entire cities have been virtually shutdown to ensure the virus doesn't spread like wildfire.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Toilets on the Navy's newest aircraft carriers clog frequently, and fixing them costs $400,000 a flush

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:43 AM PDT

USS Gerald R FordU.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan Litzenberger

  • The toilets on the Navy's newest aircraft carriers clog frequently, and it costs $400,000-a-flush to fix them, according to a new government watchdog report.
  • The Navy installed new toilet and sewage systems on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and the newer first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford.
  • To address unexpected and frequent clogs, the Navy found it needs to acid-flush the Bush's and Ford's sewage system on a regular basis, the Government Accountability Office reported.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The toilets on the Navy's newest aircraft carriers clog frequently, and it costs $400,000 a flush to fix them, according to a new government watchdog report.

During a review of Navy shipbuilding programs by the Government Accountability Office, 150 systemic maintenance problems were identified.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: The toilet isn't the dirtiest place in your home

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The CDC is advising cities like San Francisco to leave people living on the streets during coronavirus outbreaks if shelters cannot meet social distancing guidance

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:43 AM PDT

Homeless San FranciscoJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • San Francisco has taken steps to protect its homeless community in the face of the coronavirus outbreak in the city.
  • Among them is the aim to temporarily house those who have tested positive for the virus in unoccupied rooms in hotels across the city.
  • New guidelines from the CDC advise not to move people off the streets unless they would be able to social distance when in the makeshift shelters.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, continues to spread, the nation's most vulnerable residents are even more at risk of contracting the contagious virus.

San Francisco has taken steps to protect its homeless community, like searching for temporary housing in the city's unoccupied hotels to get people infected with the virus off the streets and setting up handwashing stations near homeless encampments.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.

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SEE ALSO: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than half the state's population could contract the coronavirus in the next 8 weeks

Netflix has renewed 'Love is Blind' for at least 2 more seasons and its creator wants 'many seasons in many countries and languages'

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:41 AM PDT

love is blindNetflix

  • "Love Is Blind," which Netflix renewed for seasons two and three on Tuesday, has regularly been near the top of Netflix's lists of its most popular titles in the US.
  • LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield said in a recent note that the show illustrates "the power of Netflix to have an impact in the reality-TV genre that has long been dominated by broadcast TV."
  • Series creator Chris Coelen told Business Insider that Netflix was his first call when he came up with the idea because he felt it could resonate with Netflix's users across the globe.
  • "I think there should be many seasons in many countries and languages," he said.
  • Netflix has experimented with an extended rollout for its recent reality shows, and its unscripted series boss Brandon Riegg told Business Insider that it would be "more proactive in identifying certain shows" for the release model in the future.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

This story was originally published on March 12 and has been updated to reflect the "Love Is Blind" seasons two and three renewal.

Netflix has ramped up its push into reality television in a big way with recent hits, particularly the romance reality series "Love Is Blind."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Pence says the White House isn't considering a nationwide lockdown to halt coronavirus

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:37 AM PDT

mike penceERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

  • Vice President Mike Pence said the White House was not considering a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Countries like the U.K. and India have taken these drastic steps in order to decrease transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Several states have ordered their residents to stay at home, or closed non-essential businesses, to prevent people from gathering.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As countries like the U.K. and India impose nationwide lockdowns to slow the transmission of the novel coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump administration was not considering such an option.

"I can tell you that at no point has the White House Coronavirus Task Force discussed a nationwide lockdown," Pence said during a Tuesday town hall interview with Fox News.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best essential oil diffusers

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:37 AM PDT

  • An essential oil diffuser can help create a calm, healing, or stimulating environment.
  • With tons of water reservoir capacities, styles, and dispersing methods, your oil diffuser selection should depend on the room size and type of mood you want to create.
  • Our pick for best oil diffuser overall, the Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser, has a sleek handcrafted porcelain design, decent BPA-free reservoir, and an optional-use light feature.

Scents have a wide-reaching impact on our daily lives.

According to research from the National Institute of Health, certain smells act as emotional gateways, affecting our moods, stress levels, sleep cycles, interpersonal relationships, and decision-making skills. And while scent-triggers can be pretty idiosyncratic (maybe you love the smell of bug spray because it brings up fond memories of summer camp, but it makes everyone around you gag), people within a culture often share common associations with particular scents (citrus smells are widely thought of as energizing, for example). 

With that in mind, an essential oil diffuser can be used to stimulate the olfactory system for everything from creative work to calming sleep. An aromatherapist can help you find the right oils for the office, bedroom, and anywhere else you might need an emotional nudge. 

Before you buy an oil diffuser, it's good to familiarize yourself with the three types of dispersing methods as well as several important features.

  1. Ultrasonic diffusers: These diffusers use a high-frequency vibration to disperse an oil and water mixture. A good choice for enclosed areas with low humidity, these appliances act as both humidifiers and oil diffusers.
  2. Nebulizing diffusers: Requiring no heat or water, these diffusers disperse just essential oils. They produce a more potent scent but use much more oil than other types of diffusers.
  3. Evaporative diffusers: Essential oils are placed on a filter and circulated by a fan. No water is required.

Once you've settled on a diffusing method, the choices are nearly endless when it comes to features like settings, coverage area, and aesthetic appeal. Some things to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Automatic shutoff: This feature prevents damage if an ultrasonic diffuser runs dry.
  • Lighting: Many models have an LED light feature. Read carefully to determine the color of the light and whether it can be manually controlled if you don't want it on all the time.
  • Intensity: Are the diffuser settings continuous, intermittent, or both? Nebulizing diffusers produce a stronger output than other models.
  • Capacity and Coverage: If you choose an ultrasonic diffuser the water capacity can range from around three to 32 ounces. The larger the capacity, the more square footage it will cover. 
  • Timers: A timer can help you control short or continuous runs and prevent damage if the diffuser is accidentally left on too long.
  • Aesthetics: Ceramic, wood, glass, plastic—essential oil diffusers are available to fit every type of decor.

To help you find the best essential oil diffuser, I have tested many different models and considered ease of use, price, and efficiency. 

Here are the best essential oil diffusers: 

The best essential oil diffuser overall

Urban Outfitters

The Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser is quiet, has several settings, and the sleek porcelain vessel looks great in any decor.

I must admit that the first thing that attracted me to the Vitruvi Essential Oil Diffuser was the sleek, sophisticated exterior. The matte ceramic finish is hand-milled to look like stone, and shoppers can choose between charcoal, white, black, and terracotta. I also liked the size and shape. The tall narrow design (seven inches tall and approximately three and one-half inches wide) doesn't take up much space but still holds over three ounces of water.

After adding water and drops of essential oil, it was the operational functions that sold me on the diffuser. It runs quietly with only an occasional gurgle and produces a steady three-hour continuous mist. When I use the intermittent setting, it operates for over seven hours with enough power to cover more than 500 square feet. I first used the recommended Vitruvi essential oils set that comes with lavender, eucalyptus, frankincense, grapefruit, and spruce (grapefruit is my favorite). 

With a one-year warranty, the customer service staff is helpful with any questions. Cleaning, which is important to smooth operation, is simple for both the outside vessel and the interior where all of the plastic components are BPA free.

The diffuser includes a built-in warm white light that can be used as a nightlight or turned off completely. With a five-foot-long cord, the diffuser can be tucked into many spaces. It turns off automatically when the cycle is over or when the water runs dry.

Pros: Sophisticated design, small footprint, multiple settings, automatic shut-off, easy to clean, one year warranty

Cons: Porcelain exterior can break if the unit is dropped



The best essential oil diffuser for small rooms

Stadler Form

Small but powerful, the Stadler Form Jasmine Aroma Diffuser is perfect for office spaces and small rooms.

Leave it to the Swiss designer Fabian Zimmerli to create a discreet essential oil diffuser like the Stadler Form Jasmine. The simple bowl shape, which is just three-and-a-half inches high with a diameter of slightly more than five inches, is perfect for adding aromatherapy to small spaces. With a choice of black, titanium, red, or white, you're sure to find one to complement your decor.

I tested the Jasmine in my office because I need a stimulating scent to keep my brain at top performance while working. With a 100 ml capacity, I was able to go several days before I had to do a water refill. The diffuser only operates in cycles that are 10 minutes on/20 minutes, but that keeps the fine mist and scent at a pleasant level.

While it has an on/off switch for the end of the workday, there is an automatic shut-off function to prevent damage if I forget. The exterior is made of polypropylene plastic for durability and easy cleaning. The diffuser comes with a one-year warranty and customer service is readily available.

The diffuser runs extremely quietly and it does not leave an oily film on my work area. While I don't find this to be a problem, the LED lights are quite bright when the diffuser is operating. That might be an issue if you are using it in a small bedroom.

Pros: Small, efficient water use, quiet, easy to clean

Cons: Does not run continuously, LED lights are really bright



The best essential oil diffuser for large rooms

Amazon

With one of the largest water tanks on the market, the Asakuki Smart Wi-Fi Essential Oil Diffuser covers lots of square footage with plenty of fun bells and whistles.

If you love high-tech gadgets and an essential oil diffuser that can put on a show, then the Asakuki Smart Wi-Fi Essential Oil Diffuser is the one for you.

We have an open floor plan in our living area so I was drawn to the 500 ml water capacity of the Asakuki diffuser to help humidify and scent the large space. My sons were impressed that I found an essential oil diffuser that can be controlled with an app and responds to Amazon's Alexa voice controls. Not only can I control the flow of the mist, but I can adjust the brightness and color of the LED lights with my phone. My two-year-old grandson thinks I'm a magician as I change the color from red to green to blue with my voice.

The Wi-Fi controls were simple to set up and if Wi-Fi goes down the diffuser can still be controlled manually when connected to an electrical outlet. Futuristic in design, the plastic components are BPA-free and the wood grain base complements contemporary decor.

After I set up the diffuser, it ran for around 16 hours before needing to be refilled. Once I found the perfect location and plugged it in, I just used the included cup to add water so I didn't have to haul the diffuser back and forth to the kitchen.

Pros: Large water tank capacity, Wi-Fi compatible, Amazon Alexa compatible, moderately priced, seven mood lighting choices, quiet operation, multiple mist settings

Cons: Wi-Fi instructions can be difficult for some to master, lights may be too bright for sleeping




See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Fed's cannonball into bond markets drove $1 billion into the world's biggest credit ETF in a single day

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:34 AM PDT

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell arrives to speak to reporters after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates in an emergency move designed to shield the world's largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus, in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueReuters


Investors chased newly optimistic corporate credit bets on Monday after the Federal Reserve announced plans to buy up bonds and credit exchange-traded funds.

The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF took in $1.06 billion as traders looked to outpace the central bank's purchases and ride a surge in credit health, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The world's biggest credit ETF ended the day up roughly 7.4%.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Nantucket has one hospital, 14 beds, and a shortage of doctors — and wealthy city-dwellers are still flocking to their summer homes on the tiny island to wait out the pandemic

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:29 AM PDT

nantucket coronavirusJohn Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

  • Residents of Nantucket are begging wealthy East Coast city-dwellers to stop flocking to their second homes on the island to wait out the coronavirus pandemic, Caroline Kitchener reported for The Lily, a product of The Washington Post.
  • Nantucket is a tiny island of about 11,300 full-time residents 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts that's known as a popular summer vacation spot.
  • It has one hospital with 14 beds, three ventilators, and a shortage of doctors, according to the hospital's CEO.
  • Nantucket's local hospital, as well as the Massachusetts governor, have asked part-time residents to stay away because a surge of coronavirus cases could overwhelm the hospital. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Wealthy East Coast urbanites are flocking to their second homes in Nantucket, a tiny island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, to wait out the coronavirus pandemic, Caroline Kitchener reported for The Lily.

Locals have noticed the influx in the form of a line of private jets at the airport, and BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes from New York and Connecticut, according to the report.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The coronavirus is preventing medical students from getting hands-on training in hospitals. Frustrated future doctors are looking for new ways to help.

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:28 AM PDT

2020 03 19T115228Z_1980210791_RC2ZMF94P6GF_RTRMADP_3_HEALTH CORONAVIRUS ITALY HOSPITAL.JPGFlavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

  • Medical schools around the US have told their third- and fourth-year students, who typically do clinical rotations in hospitals, to stay home amid the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges, or AAMC, issued guidance last week to temporarily suspend clinical rotations for students. So far, over 165 schools have done that, according to a student-crowdsourced spreadsheet reviewed by Business Insider.
  • AAMC's chief medical education officer, Dr. Alison Whelan, told Business Insider that educators are working to create new curriculum for these students, which may range from virtual learning to manning phone lines for hospitals to help disseminate accurate information about COVID-19.
  • Some students are taking steps to help healthcare workers, such as babysitting their kids or running errands.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Typically, third and fourth year medical students get on-hands training at hospitals, where they learn directly under physicians.

But the coronavirus, which has disrupted virtually every industry in the US, has halted that training, leaving students anxious to help healthcare workers, and without an immediate way to continue their education.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The vast majority of recently surveyed employees at McDonald's, Subway, and Pizza Hut report a lack of access to paid sick leave. A closer look at some of the nation's top retailers and food giants paints an overall grim picture.

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:27 AM PDT

Mcdonald's.JPGCarl Recine/Reuters

  • Four in 10 hourly workers don't have access to paid sick leave, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a disturbing fact given the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 
  • The Shift Project — a project by the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco — surveyed service workers from employers like McDonald's and Target between 2018 and 2019. 
  • A sometimes significant percent of those workers reported not having access to paid sick leave, according to project's researchers. 
  • Now some companies are adjusting their policies, for example, allowing their workers to quarantine for 14 days if they contracts the virus, in addition to others.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the US, many Americans who don't have access to paid sick leave or who have access but feel pressured not to take it, are left with an impossible choice: go to work and potentially contract the virus, or stay home and risk losing their job. 

Four in 10 hourly workers don't have access to paid sick leave, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the workers most at risk for contracting the virus include service-sector workers, such as those in the food, retail, and hospitality industries, according to Labor Department data that tracks jobs that involve close proximity to others.  

A closer look at some of the nation's top retailers and food giants revealed a variety of responses, but paints an overall grim picture. Some 99% of workers surveyed at the restaurant Waffle House, for example, reported not having access to paid sick leave, according to The Shift Project

The Shift Project is an effort by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, to collect more data on workers in the service industry. Since 2016, its leaders have collected surveys twice a year from thousands of service-industry employees, including workers at McDonald's, Dunkin', Kohl's, and Walmart.  

Researchers looked at the largest service-sector employers by number of employees, using information from ReferenceUSA, a data and research company. They then asked about 388 workers from each company if they believe they receive paid sick leave from their employer. Data was collected by The Shift Project between February, 2018 and November 2019. It is possible that permanent company policies may have changed since then. 

While several large retailers, including McDonald's and Restaurant Brands International, which is the parent company of Burger King, have adjusted their policies in light of the pandemic, many of the changes are either temporary, apply to corporate-owned stores (and not franchises), or apply only if someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19, not if they are simply feeling unwell. Updates to company policy related to the novel coronavirus have been included below. All companies were contacted for request for comment. Most did not reply.

These are the largest service-sector employers where many respondents said they don't believe they have access to paid sick leave, based on data from 2018 and 2019.

About 78% of McDonald's workers surveyed reported not having access to paid sick leave.

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

The company employs approximately 518,000 workers in the US.

McDonald's has offered five days of paid time off to hourly workers in company-owned stores since 2015, according to CNBC. The company recently announced that employees at company-owned US locations will receive pay if asked to quarantine for 14 days.



About 27% of Walmart workers surveyed reported not having access to paid sick leave.

Reuters

The company employs approximately 347,000 workers in the US. 

Walmart has made several changes to its policy. On March 9, the company  announced that it would waive its attendance policy through the end of April as part of a new emergency leave policy. Employees can now take unpaid leave if they feel unable to work or uncomfortable coming to work, Business Insider's Irene Jiang reports.

"Walmart employees who contract the virus will receive 'up to two weeks of pay,' the company said in the memo. After two weeks, hourly associates who aren't able to return to work are eligible for up to 26 weeks in pay," Jiang writes.



About 70% of Kroger employees surveyed reported not having access to paid sick leave.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

The company employs approximately 189,000 workers in the US.

Kroger recently announced that it will provide a one-time bonus to every hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, and customer service associate, amounting to $300 for every full-time associate and $150 for every part-time associate. The company also expanded its COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines to include paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited healthcare professional, according to a statement sent to Business Insider.

"We believe that by expanding our emergency leave guidelines, more of our associates can feel certain knowing that if their health is affected by or if they experience symptoms of COVID-19, they will be supported while they stay at home and recover," Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer, said in part in a statement shared with Business Insider. 




See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The UK is transforming a huge London conference venue into a coronavirus hospital capable of treating 4,000 COVID-19 patients

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:21 AM PDT

Matt HancockREUTERS/Henry Nicholls

  • The UK government is turning a huge London venue into a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients.
  • The ExCeL Centre in east London will become the "Nightingale Hospital," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday.
  • The hospital will be split into two wards and will be able to treat 4,000 patients
  • Hancock revealed that nearly 12,000 retired health professionals had returned to work to help the NHS.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The UK is turning a huge conference venue in central London into a temporary hospital capable of treating 4,000 coronavirus patients, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Tuesday.

In a press conference today, Hancock confirmed reports that Boris Johnson's government would be turning the ExCeL Centre in east London into a temporary critical care unit called the "Nightingale Hospital."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Burger King's biggest franchisee is cutting wages as fast-food workers demand hazard pay during the coronavirus pandemic

Posted: 24 Mar 2020 10:18 AM PDT

burger king employeeAP Photo/Jeff Roberson

  • Burger King's biggest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group, is cutting employees' pay by 10% amid the coronavirus outbreak, affecting everyone from executives to workers at its 1,000-plus fast-food locations. 
  • Some fast-food workers have argued they deserve hazard pay as stores remain open during the coronavirus outbreak and companies such as Target, Costco, and Amazon give workers raises. 
  • "I'd rather that we just closed for a little while until things get figured out," an employee at a Carrols-owned Burger King told Business Insider. "Never have I felt a company has committed more injustice than today." 
  • A Carrols representative confirmed that the 10% pay cut applied to everyone at the company, from in-store workers and cashiers to executives. A Burger King representative did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Burger King's biggest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group, is cutting workers' wages by 10% amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

Carrols, which operates roughly 1,034 Burger King and 65 Popeyes locations, emailed employees on Monday to inform them of the pay cuts. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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