Photo: John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services yesterday issued new temporary rules that will allow hospitals to expand their capacity during the coronavirus epidemic.

Between the lines: These new flexibilities are designed to allow health care workers to treat more patients than the system is built for, and to help separate patients with the coronavirus from those without it.

Details: The rules allow facilities ranging from ambulatory surgical centers to convention centers to be repurposed to respond to the pandemic.

  • Ambulatory centers can, for example, be used to provide cancer or trauma care that would normally be performed in hospitals, thus protecting these patients from coronavirus exposure.
  • Non-hospital sites can be used to treat or quarantine patients, allowing hospitals to convert buildings like hotels or gymnasiums into care sites.
  • Hospitals and labs can test for the coronavirus in patients' homes or in community-based settings outside of hospitals, and hospital emergency departments can test and screen patients for COVID-19 at drive-through or off-campus sites.
  • Hospitals are also given new flexibilities that will allow them to rapidly expand their workforce.

Go deeper: What health care is getting out of the stimulus package

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 20,014,574 — Total deaths: 734,755 — Total recoveries — 12,222,744Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 5,089,416 — Total deaths: 163,425 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."