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Medical workers prepare to test people in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Doctors, nurses and other health care workers are afraid for their health — and in some cases their lives — as the mounting coronavirus outbreak closes in on a health care system that doesn't have enough equipment and overworks its people.

What they're saying: "It's a mess, and there's no help," Alan Roth, a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York, said last week. "We have been left out to dry."

The big picture: Dwindling supplies of face masks, gowns and necessary hospital equipment continue to worry health care workers in areas where the coronavirus cases have spiked.

  • Chuck Fox, a gastroenterologist in Atlanta, said on a conference call that a doctor at a nearby hospital had been using the same N95 mask for two straight weeks and was intermittently disinfecting it with Clorox wipes.
  • Roseann Farris, a critical care nurse at Watson Community Hospital in California, is worried that her hospital, which has not seen a surge yet, will run out of supplies. She and her colleagues walked out this week, urging hospital administrators to explain how they plan to replenish their stockpile.

The worries extend well beyond doctors and nurses.

  • Hospital technicians, therapists, janitors and other service staff feel especially neglected and worry about contracting the virus, the Center for Public Integrity reports.
  • A former home health therapist in New York tells Axios that his company told employees to persuade patients to continue getting home care, even if the patients were concerned about the coronavirus. Many of those patients are older and have several medical conditions, and thus are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, the person said.

What to watch: Health care workers are starting to die more frequently. Whether that trend continues will depend on how well hospitals and the system at large protects them.

Go deeper: Health care workers in the calm before the storm

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
6 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.