A Houston auction house that offered to sell more than 750,000 medical face masks and other health-care equipment at inflated prices amid the coronavirus outbreak was accused of deceptive trade practices in a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
"Ming Lin, who has worked at the hospital for 17 years and became a local cause célèbre for his pleas for more safety equipment and more urgent measures to protect staff, was informed of his termination as he was preparing for a shift at the hospital Friday afternoon, he said....
"Lin said supervisors threatened his employment more than a week ago after he spoke to reporters and made social media posts accusing PeaceHealth of a lack of urgency to protect health care workers from the virus.
"Lin said he was told to take down his social media posts about the hospital but refused.
"He continued to post daily updates on Facebook after shifts at the emergency room, although many of his posts had shifted away from hospital practices to efforts to help secure more protective equipment for hospital workers.
"Specifically, Lin had written that PeaceHealth St. Joseph refused to screen all patients outside the hospital, rather than in an often-crowded emergency room waiting area where the virus could easily spread. Two emergency department workers, who both asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, told The Times they shared Lin’s concerns about the possible spread of infection because of that practice.
"Lin and other doctors have also persistently complained about the availability of testing approved by PeaceHealth, even as testing capacity ramps up in Washington state.
"Hospital administrators this week announced a series of protective measures, such as temperature screening of staff entering the building, plans to enhance separation of staff from infected patients, and the availability of tents to conduct outside screening if deemed necessary.
"Lin and other hospital staff noted that most or all of these measures came after Lin’s treatises prompted a community outcry. Meanwhile, Lin maintains the measures fail to meet standards set by other regional hospitals and even smaller health care facilities.
"PeaceHealth St. Joseph is the only emergency facility for some 250,000 people in the state’s northwest corner." ... See MoreSee Less
An emergency room physician has been fired after he publicly decried what he called a lack of protective measures against the novel coronavirus at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. The hospital is the only emergency facility for some 250,000 people...
“While the Governor may have the power to suspend some state laws and regulations to address this medical emergency, she cannot suspend the Constitution,” Rhode Island ACLU executive director Steven Brown said in a statement. “Under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car and interrogate the driver, no matter how laudable the goal of the stop may be.” ... See MoreSee Less
Rhode Island police began stopping cars with New York plates Friday. On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.
"The social distancing and shelter in place orders do not directly affect custody orders, so you should expect to follow your current custody arrangement. But if you believe sending your child to your ex’s home would put your child’s health or safety at risk, you should speak to your child’s other parent and try to agree on a modified custody plan. If that fails, you’ll need to contact a local family law attorney and/or see if you can obtain an emergency temporary child custody order from your local family court...."
"...If your ex has flouted social distancing rules or works in a high-risk work environment, and you’re worried about your vulnerable or immunocompromised child getting COVID-19, speak with your child’s pediatrician for advice. You can ask your ex to modify your custody schedule on a temporary basis, and propose alternatives such as:postponing in-person visits for a period of time (depending on what your child’s doctor says) scheduling daily phone calls and/or “virtual visits” using FaceTime or Zoom having your ex come by in-person to say hello, but keep a safe distance from your child if your child’s doctor thinks this is safe (some family members are visiting vulnerable relatives through windows while talking on the phone) and/or sending letters, postcards, and text messages. And if your ex is currently sick with a cold or flu, speak to your child’s doctor right away—postponing visits may be the most reasonable course of action. It goes without saying that if your child's other parent has tested positive for COVID-19, he or she will be hospitalized and/or asked to self-quarantine, and visits will have to be postponed.
"If your child’s other parent refuses to engage with you or follow medical advice, and you believe your child’s health is at risk by visiting the other parent, you should contact a local family law attorney right away. A letter from your lawyer may be enough to encourage your ex to agree to a modified custody plan. If your ex still refuses, then you (or your attorney) will need to ask a family court judge for an emergency temporary custody order.
Custody decisions in every state—including emergency requests—are made by considering the child’s best interests. If, for example, a custodial parent is following strict precautions to keep a high-risk child safe from COVID-19, like self-isolation and working from home, while the other parent continues to visit public places or must work outside of the home, a judge may find that it’s in the child’s best interests to postpone, limit, or restrict visits with the noncustodial parent for a period of time.
Most federal and state courthouses have temporarily closed for non-essential cases in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. For example, on March 16, 2020, the Superior Court of California, for the County of Marin issued an order stating that it would be closed for all non-essential matters through April 7, 2020.
However, Family Law courtrooms remain open for “emergency restraining orders and other emergency orders.” These emergency hearings can also be held by phone. Check with your attorney or local court website to see if your courthouse remains opens for emergency custody issues.
Across the country, tenants and their advocates are demanding a moratorium on evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, adjusting their tactics on a daily basis to stop visits to crowded courthouses and prevent homelessness.