Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 25-30 million people are caught in the middle of the coronavirus economy — they’re unable to work from home but also face a high risk of severe infection.

Why it matters: The impossible choice between lives and livelihoods falls mainly to lower-wage workers in service industries.

By the numbers: According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data published before the pandemic hit, slightly more than two-thirds of American workers cannot work virtually.

  • There are 38 million workers who are at risk of severe illness due to COVID because of underlying health conditions.
  • Another 12 million high-risk adults are not working, but live with someone who is.
  • That means roughly 25 to 30 million high risk workers cannot work virtually.
  • The number may be an under-estimate because pre-existing conditions are more prevalent among lower-income people, who are less likely to be able to work at home.

Between the lines: If you work for any number of public-facing small businesses — an auto body shop or a dry cleaner or a pizza place — your boss will need you back at work for the business to function, but interaction with customers will likely increase your risk of infection.

  • Many of these same workers also will rely on public transportation to get to work.

What’s next: The Trump administration is considering a back-to-work bonus, which could put more money in vulnerable workers’ pockets while also making them feel more pressure to return to work as soon as possible,

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Sep 25, 2020 - Health

Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants to operate at full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

Graham hopes his panel will approve Amy Coney Barrett by late October

Chair Lindsey Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox News Saturday he expects confirmation hearings on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court to start Oct. 12 and for his panel to approve her by Oct. 26.

Why it matters: That would mean the final confirmation vote could take place on the Senate floor before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Texas city declares disaster after brain-eating amoeba found in water supply

Characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Texas authorities have issued a warning amid concerns that the water supply in the southeast of the state may contain the brain-eating amoeba naegleria fowleri following the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Details: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a "do not use" water alert Friday for eight cities, along with the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections centers and the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport. This was later lifted for all places but one, Lake Jackson, which issued a disaster declaration Saturday.