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TALKING POINTS

CVS to hire 50,000 people to deal with coronavirus fallout

Associated Press

PHARMACIES

CVS to hire 50,000 to deal with coronavirus fallout

CVS Health Corp. said it plans to hire 50,000 people in full-time, part-time, and temporary jobs to tackle surging demand for drugstore services and health goods during the US coronavirus outbreak. The drugstore chain said it plans to hire store workers, delivery drivers, distribution center workers, and customer service employees. CVS and other pharmacies are inundated with people stocking up on medications, health, and household items. Prescription delivery is up nearly 300 percent since CVS waived fees earlier this month, CVS spokesman T.J. Crawford said in an e-mail. CVS isn’t alone. Rival drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Sunday said it plans to hire more than 9,500 people, while Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 100,000, and Walmart Inc. 150,000. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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GASOLINE

$1 a gallon gas in Kentucky as cars stay in driveways

London, Ky., has become the first US city to see pump prices fall below $1 a gallon as coronavirus-related lockdowns halt transit across the country — and it won’t be the last. Several others are poised to join the club in the coming days as the pandemic crushes fuel demand and sends the economy to the brink of a recession. While cheap fuel usually spurs gas-guzzling Americans to hit the highways, the latest downturn in prices portends dark times ahead. Nationwide, pump prices are headed for depths not seen since the Great Recession. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

REMOTE WORK

People work longer when they work from home, data show

As many people across the globe move to working remotely to slow the spread of coronavirus, they’re also starting to work a longer day. Those in the United States have logged on for an additional three hours per day compared to patterns seen before March 11 — a 40 percent jump — according to data from virtual private network service provider NordVPN Teams. In Britain, France, Spain, and Canada, the working day has extended by an average of two hours, with many people starting work earlier than usual. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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INTERNATIONAL

Russia says McDonald’s is an essential business

Russia named McDonald’s Corp. a systemically important business as the government tripled the number of such companies to help brace for a possible recession, according to the Vedomosti newspaper. Ikea was also among foreign firms deemed vital to the economy after a government commission expanded the list to 600 companies from about 200 previously, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing a copy of the list. Russia is trying to shore up some of its biggest employers and essential services as the economy is rocked by the twin shocks of coronavirus and the collapse of oil prices. Crude has been hobbled by falling demand and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, sending the ruble down 23 percent this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Philips to boost production of ventilators

Philips is ramping up production of ventilators to double output within the next eight weeks and is targeting a four-fold increase by the third quarter to meet demand from hospitals overwhelmed by patients suffering from severe forms of Covid-19. The most-needed products are vital sign monitors, portable ventilators, and medical equipment to treat a range of respiratory conditions, the Dutch company said in a statement late Sunday. It’s hiring more employees, adding lines, and increasing shifts to ensure manufacturing continues around the clock. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Fiat Chrysler using plant in China to make face masks

Fiat Chrysler is using an auto plant in China to make a million face masks a month to donate to first responders and health care providers in the United States, chief executive Mike Manley said in an e-mail to employees. Conversion of the plant began Monday and Fiat expects to start production in the coming weeks, Manley said in the e-mail. A spokeswoman said that making the masks at a China plant that is up and running is the fastest way to get much-needed supplies to health workers in the United States. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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FOOD DELIVERY

Legacy pizza and wing chains get a boost from virus-related deliveries

Decades-old pizza and chicken-wing chains are seeing a revival thanks to confined US consumers. Exhausted parents and bored 20-somethings are turning to older restaurant chains like Papa John’s International Inc. and Wingstop Inc. for delivery and takeout in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that’s forced people to stay at home. Brands that were flagging last year are now hiring as fast as they can. Papa John’s on Monday said it’s adding 20,000 workers who can interview and potentially even start that same day. Domino’s Pizza Inc. is hiring, too. Domino’s last week said it’s looking for 1,000 new workers across 100 stores in the Chicago area, which last weekend was ordered to shelter in place by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

AVIATION

Air Canada to lay off more than 5,000 flight attendants

Air Canada is laying off more than 5,000 flight attendants as the country’s largest airline cuts routes amid plunging demand. The Montreal-based carrier is laying off about 3,600 employees, plus 1,549 flight attendants at its low-cost subsidiary Rouge, according to Wesley Lesosky, head of the Air Canada component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The layoffs will take effect by April and affect roughly 60 percent of flight attendants. Air Canada says it will suspend most of its international and US flights by March 31. The carrier says employees will be returned to active duty status once flights resume. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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CRIMINAL

Imprisoned Harvey Weinstein tested positive for coronavirus

Harvey Weinstein tested positive for the coronavirus at a state prison in New York while serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault, the head of the state correctional officers union said Monday. The 68-year-old former film producer, who was hospitalized with heart issues in recent weeks, was diagnosed and quarantined just days after being transferred to the state’s maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo. Weinstein was previously locked up at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex, which has had a spate of coronavirus cases.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS

REMOTE WORK

Zoom stock continues to soar

Zoom Video Communications Inc. shares jumped for a sixth straight session on Monday, as investors continued to bet that the teleconferencing company would be one of the rare winners from the coronavirus pandemic. Shares spiked as much as 22 percent, trading almost twice its daily average volume, in their biggest one-day percentage gain since June 2019. The stock is up more than 40 percent over the six days, and it has more than doubled this year, with recent gains coming on signs of higher usage. — BLOOMBERG NEWS