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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The health care system cut 42,500 jobs in March as the coronavirus epidemic forced providers to delay an array of nonurgent procedures and doctor visits, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The big picture: Almost all of the lost jobs came in medical offices and other outpatient settings, but many people who are fighting the coronavirus in hospitals are seeing cutbacks, too.

Driving the news: 96% of the axed health care jobs in March are on the outpatient side. Those are places like dentists' offices, physicians' clinics, speech therapy and vision centers. Hospitals did not net any job losses, according to BLS.

  • The federal government told health care providers to put off visits or procedures that weren't necessary — so it's logical that outpatient areas are the main source of job loss.

Yes, but: Hospital workers, including clinicians who could be treating coronavirus patients, have not been immune to furloughs and layoffs.

  • Bon Secours Mercy Health, a multistate, tax-exempt hospital system, furloughed all staff who are not involved with COVID-19 care. The system sat on a $4 billion "operating reserve" fund as of December.
  • ER staffing firms, including Envision Healthcare, are cutting pay and benefits of their workers, ProPublica reported.
  • A small Kentucky hospital furloughed a quarter of its staff, highlighting the acute financial pressures that small and safety-net hospitals face.
  • Some of the laid-off health care workers are outpatient physician assistants, who are trained as generalists and can be repurposed to help out in hospitals if more states relax physician supervision guidelines, said Jonathan Sobel, a physician assistant director at Northwell Health in New York.

Go deeper: Health care's hiring boom may not help the coronavirus outbreak, since most new jobs are administrative.

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.