Scott Horsley, NPR discussed on Morning Edition

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Update you're welcome NPR chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley has been with us throughout this day all right let's talk about testing after weeks of delays and shortages officials now say that nearly two million corona virus tests will be available and labs across the country will be able to test thousands of people a day starting this week the White House also said this will include drive through and walk through testing sites set up in the hardest hit states but this is also the same White House the promised millions of test kits weeks ago and was forced to admit that there was a supply shortage so how and where can people get tested for the coronavirus and peers global health and development correspondent Jason Beaubien joins us now to help answer that question hi Jason Hey good morning so where are these new tests going to come from where they going I mean how are they going to get to where they need to go you know in it's going to be different in different places some of it is going to be sort of put on top of what it is already been rolled out in some states but we are expecting to see testing popping up in parking lots all of walmarts and Walgreens and people having the ability to go online find out where a particular testing site is make an appointment go in and and get tested the government is saying however that they really are gonna try to prioritize this for first responders health care workers and the elderly particularly the elderly who are showing either some symptoms or have some underlying conditions initially they do know that there's a huge pent up demand for testing all they want to make sure that that the people who really need it the most get access to it but it is this entirely new model that they're gonna try to roll out to get testing to thousands and thousands of people after you know last week the only be able to test out a few thousand people a day the idea here is that each individual location could do two to four thousand people a day right which is still we should say south Korea's been testing fifteen thousand people a day so the United States is way behind on this way behind playing though what difference this is going to make when we talk about flattening the curve so to speak so you know in terms of attacking this outbreak in in this country if you don't know where the the flare ups are happening you can't really put the resources they are you can't isolate people you you're gonna have people still wandering around who are infectious so by testing you can really identify where the hot spots are up try to get those people if the care that they need and and get people isolated also make people more careful in those particular places so knowing exactly what's happening with the spread of this outbreak it is one of the the keys that will come out of more testing at least that is the hope again they're starting to roll this out the equipment is gonna start moving out it could still they're saying they're going to do this this week you know it might not be till the end of the week that we really are getting set this thing up and running okay so we've been talking a lot about how US hospitals are really vulnerable they just don't have the capacity to deal with this pandemic what are you hearing right now from folks on the ground hearing at hospitals that they are very concerned about getting inundated with patients and that's part of the reason that they're trying to to do this testing in parking lots to the testing part of it can be outside of the hospital to the hospital can focus on actually helping treat the people who are actually sick hospitals are also very worried about the amount of protective equipment that they have on on hand and with the different have enough in the coming days if they do get thousands and thousands of people showing up at emergency rooms all across the country with with this this disease so that's a big concern for them we also heard that US Surgeon General announced in recent days that hospitals surgeons because should think about canceling elective surgeries so just another another change afoot and here's Jason Beaubien we appreciate it you're welcome just a few days ago it's still seemed fine to go to restaurants now several states say it's not Illinois governor JB Pritzker explained why he put out a statewide order I tried earlier this week to appeal to everyone's good judgment to stay home to avoid bars not to congregate in crowds it's unfortunate that many people didn't take that seriously the time for persuasion and public appeals is over the time for action is here a bit of frustration there same in New York City and Ohio Washington state Massachusetts Kate Grossman is a senior editor with member station WBEZ in Chicago and I guess you won't be eating out today I will today well but starting tonight I will definitely not locating out okay was there some specific event that made the governor act well there sure was this was clearly prompted by early St Patrick's day celebrations here in Chicago over the weekend in particular on Saturday afternoon and into the evening this is the you know the big weekend this was a big weekend before St Patrick's day and it is famous in Chicago for partying and the governor Saad took the big crowds and on Saturday he I'm you know tried to say I am appealing to your good judgment please don't do that but by Sunday he said I'm not playing anymore and we're shutting down how much trouble are restaurant owners and their employees and now well there's a deep deep concern we had our reporter out yesterday at a group of chefs got together to listen to the press conference where the governor announced this news of the closing for dine in customers and we have this picture of them congregated with their heads all hanging low as they're listening to the press conference you know it's it's gonna be pretty devastating you know they're talking about you know closing down this to to be you know take out and drive through but you know we have an alderman for example Chicago who owns a longstanding restaurant here and he said eighty percent of his revenue is dine in customers so I think that's pretty common so there's a really deep concern about how this will impact them although I'm glad you're specifying this is a ban on dine in customers that means the restaurant can stay open they can serve to people are doing take out is that right that's right they can do what they're calling curbside pickup and they can do drive through so so hopefully they'll still have some staff and they're obviously in in their kitchens making food this must be part of a wider shut down the schools are closed in Chicago right I that's right well effective I am tomorrow morning no school for two weeks in not just in Chicago but the whole state of Illinois so how quiet have the streets better are they going to be getting in Chicago in the next couple of days well you know it's funny so I was the corona virus editor this weekend and I was furiously up my computer and working all weekend and then I went out for a walk and they were actually like tons of people outside kind of acting normal and I thought wow how are you acting normal things are so crazy but the people of people are definitely you know social distancing and staying at home but it was a sunny day yesterday people are we're outside you know I sensed in Washington DC that maybe people are getting out for a final weekend before things really close down maybe that's what's happening in Chicago too yeah I would imagine people are getting getting some sunshine cholesterol okay thanks so.

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