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Photo: John Paraskevas/Newsday RM/Getty Images

In cities and states with sharp spikes in novel coronavirus cases, officials are restricting testing to health care workers and those who have been hospitalized — signaling a new phase in the pandemic response, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The advisory shows the spread of COVID-19 is overwhelming parts of the American health care system, the Post writes. The U.S. isn't familiar with making trade-offs between the "individual and societal good," given its wealth and advanced health care system.

  • While, a test result may be reassuring for some individuals with mild symptoms, the resources used to perform the test could be redirected to possibly save another life.

What they're saying: The new messaging indicates that more people can get tested, but those with mild symptoms should avoid doing so and practice social distancing.

  • The other side: Health experts' warnings come as the Trump administration announces millions of test kits and drive-through sites are becoming more widely available.

The state of play: Cases of COVID-19 are spiking in California, New York, Washington state and other U.S. communities. Health officials are focused on conserving masks, ventilators and hospital beds.

  • Los Angeles County health officials recommended on Thursday that physicians avoid testing patients as a containment strategy. They instead suggested patients should be tested only if a positive result could change their treatment plan.
    • The department “is shifting from a strategy of case containment to slowing disease transmission and averting excess morbidity and mortality,” the Post writes citing a letter from LA County health officials
  • Sacramento officials have ordered residents to stay home except for essential activities.
  • Washington state medical workers have resorted to using makeshift protective gear from Home Depot and craft stores. Officials are limiting testing to health care workers, individuals with severe symptoms and those at a high risk.

The bottom line: "As the flu season recedes, people with cough and fever will increasingly just have to presume they have covid19," the Post writes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
44 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.