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Quick Updates on the Coronavirus Outbreak

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We hear your concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and want to help keep you informed. Follow The Mighty News account for more about the outbreak. We’ll post when there is something to share, so check back for updates.

Updated on Monday, March 16

Cities around the world close non-essential services: From Paris to New York City to Madrid to Hoboken, cities across the country close restaurants, theaters, schools and other non-essential services to help limit the spread of coronavirus. Per CDC guidelines released Sunday, gatherings of 50 people or more should be canceled for the next eight weeks. 

• Elective medical services canceled: Around the country, medical procedures from elective to “non-essential” surgeries are being canceled. The U.S. surgeon general said limiting procedures can help hospitals prevent the virus from spreading in medical facilities. 

• Updates from the White House: Over the weekend, Trump announced he tested negative for coronavirus. The federal reserve also slashed interest rates to near 0. During a press conference on Monday, the administration shared that the new CDC guidance is to limit in-person gatherings to less than 10 people. 

• Few Americans have been tested: So far, only about 4,000 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus. Scientists predict that for every confirmed case, there are about five to 10 unconfirmed ones.  

Countries close their borders: The Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia closed their borders. Germany will partially close its borders and Canada will close its borders to all non-citizens minus U.S. residents. The U.S. will now also prohibit British and Irish residents from entering the U.S. 

• More stars tests positive: Idris Elba shares he tested positive for the coronavirus. “Look we live in a divided world right now…but now is a time for solidarity. Now is a time for thinking about each other,” Elba said in a video sharing his diagnosis. Actor Kristofer Hivju who played Tormund Giantsbane on “Game of Thrones” also tested positive. 

Friday, March 13

• How real people feel: Here’s what Mighties like you have to say about the coronavirus outbreak.

• How is coronavirus treated?: Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. However, there are some treatments doctors are using to reduce symptoms. 

• Trump declares coronavirus a “national emergency”: During a press conference, Trump called the outbreak a national emergency, granted up to $50 billion federal funds to fight it and outlined new policies for getting tested.

• A new way to get tested?: Based on the information provided during Trump’s conference, Google will build a website where people can screen their symptoms. People with symptoms will be directed to a drive-thru testing site nearest them, some will be located at Walmart, Target and Walgreens parking lots. Those tests will then be sent to labs and the results available online. 

• Updates for older adults: Seema Verma of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said nursing homes will restrict all visitors and nonessential personnel. 

• A start to financial relief: Student loan interest will be waived, according to Trump. Companies including Amazon, Apple, Box, DoorDash, Facebook, Google, Instacart, Microsoft, Lyft, Postmates, Slack, Twitter, and Uber offer paid leave to hourly or contract workers who develop the virus. 

• What the science says: People can spread the virus before they are symptomatic and even after their symptoms resolve. The virus can also live on certain surfaces for anywhere from hours to days. 

• Louisiana pauses primary: In addition to closing schools until April 13, Louisiana will delay its primary election until June 20. Elections in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio will continue as planned. 

• Cruiselines pause services: Cruises cancel trips for the next 30 days given how quickly disease can spread in close quarters. 

• Coronavirus in Spain: The country declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory lockdowns.

• Stay safe this weekend: One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from COVD-19 is to practice social distancing. By limiting the number of people you have contact with, even casually wa

Thursday, March 12 

• State governors try to limit social interactions: In New York, Broadway shows and other events and spaces housing 500 people or more are closed. California is closing events for 250 people or more, including Disneyland

• Schools go online: Colleges across the country are closing their classrooms and offering remote classes instead. U.S. students in study abroad programs are being sent back home. Ohio is closing all schools and placing students on a three-week extended spring break

• Professional sports suspended: Major league basketball, baseball and hockey are all suspended. 

• Notable figures test positive or self-isolate: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia. Justin Trudeau and other politicians in Canada are self-isolating after coming in contact with either people who have the virus or appear to have the virus. 

• Travel bans and limits: Trump announced a travel ban barring Europeans from entering the U.S. This excludes people in the U.K. as well as U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The CDC advises canceling trips, especially cruises and limiting public transportation.

• The U.S. government takes action: The House of Representatives is planning to vote on a bill in response to COVID-19 on Thursday while the Senate canceled its recess to hash out a response. Congress disagrees on the best course of action. 

• It’s still difficult to get tested: The U.S. is still struggling to test for COVID-19. As of March 10, the U.S. tested just under 10,000 people, and many people have reported obstacles trying to get tested. 

• Updates from around the world: Italy tightened its lockdown restrictions to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. In China, officials believe the peak of the infection has passed and they’ve seen a decline in new cases. Other countries are also taking measures to limit the spread. 

• What you can do now: Limit social interactions as much as possible, wash your hands and avoid touching your face. If you have symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, contact your doctor, local emergency room or state health department. If you have mild symptoms, you may be asked to self-isolate at home.

Concerned about coronavirus? Stay safe using the tips from these articles:

Originally published: March 12, 2020
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