The COVID-19 Pandemic (BREAKING): New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to Shutter Bars, Restaurants, and Movie Theaters; New Jersey Issues Curfew; and more

BREAKING:

Governors in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have mutually decided to shut down bars, restaurants, and movie theaters in an attempt to curb the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in the metro area. There are now 950 cases of coronavirus in New York – up from 729 on Sunday. New Jersey and Connecticut have 98 and 26 confirmed cases, respectively.

“Our primary goal right now is to slow the spread of this virus so that the wave of new infections doesn’t crash our health care system, and everyone agrees social distancing is the best way to do that,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “This is not a war that can be won alone, which is why New York is partnering with our neighboring states to implement a uniform standard that not only keeps our people safe but also prevents ‘state shopping’ where residents of one state travel to another and vice versa.”

New Jersey Issues Curfew

Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. that restricts travel for all NJ residents, making NJ the first U.S. state to do so. “All non-essential and non-emergency travel in Jersey is strongly discouraged beginning tonight at 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. each day,” Murphy said. “This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everybody to be home, not out.”

DocWire News will continue to provide breaking updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, continues to wreak havoc on the world. According to a John Hopkins University resource center, which collates numbers from World Health Organization (WHO) and other sources, there are currently 169,387 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and the virus has claimed the lives of 6,513 people as of today. COVID-19 has a foothold on every continent except Antartica.

Although mainland China remains the country with the most cases, there are overall now more people infected outside of China, especially in Italy – which on Sunday reported 368 deaths from the novel coronavirus – bringing the country’s death toll to a staggering 1,809 while the number of confirmed cases increased to 24,747 from 21,157 on Sunday.

France is also struggling to slow the pandemic – despite measures taken to reduce community spread – including a government shutdown on bars and restaurants around the country. France’s top health official, Jerome Salomon, told France Inter Radio that: “A lot of people have not understood that they need to stay at home, and this low level at which people have adhered means that we are not succeeding in curbing the outbreak of the epidemic.”

Here’s a rundown of all major COVID-19 stories which occurred over the weekend.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

U.S. Cases Skyrocketing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government agencies are reporting that there are over 3,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., and 69 deaths. “For a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States, said” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.”

Nation’s Largest School System Closes

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday that the city will close its public school system through at least April 20 and possibly for the remainder of the year in the hopes of combating the spread of COVID-19. The NYC school system stands as the nation’s largest – comprised of nearly 1,900 public schools and over 1.1 million children – who will now stay home for a minimum of one month amid mounting pressure on the Mayor from city residents, council members and New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Fed Slashes Interest Rates to Zero

In an attempt to stabilize turbulence in financial markets and boost the economy, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to zero percent on Sunday and will purchase $700 billion in bonds and securities. “The actions we have announced today will help American families and businesses in our entire economy weather this difficult period, and will foster a more vigorous return to normal once the disruptions from the current coronavirus abate,” said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell,” said Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell during a media call.

 

Large Gatherings? No Go, Says CDC

The CDC laid out new guidelines on Sunday strongly urging Americans to cancel or postpone any in-person events that consist of 50 people or more. Moreover, they recommend that events “of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.” They added that this recommendation is an attempt to mitigate the introduction of COVID-19 into new communities while allaying the spread in communities already affected by the virus.

 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

U.S. Extends Travel Ban

The White House announced on Saturday that the U.S. has added the United Kingdom and Ireland to its European travel ban list. Under the restrictions, American citizens and green card holders are permitted to return home to the U.S. via designated airports, but will be subject to screening and quarantine protocols. President Trump is urging all Americans to not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Trump Tests Negative

President Trump tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, according to the president’s personal physician. The President took the test after having direct contact with three people who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Walmart and Other Retailers Cut Hours

Beginning Sunday, Walmart reduced its operating hours at all stories and Neighborhood Markets until further notice. This change only affects 24-hour stores, as any Walmart which had already been operating with reduced hours will continue to do so. Apple also announced that it will close all its retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27, while Nike decided to temporarily close all its stores in the U.S. for a period of 12 days.

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020

  • Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, and the large urban school districts of Seattle and San Francisco are shut down all K-12 schools in an attempt to slow COVID-19’s spread.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,352 points on Thursday following President Trump’s announced 30-day travel ban on visitors from European countries.
  • The NCAA decided to cancel the 2020 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this year.
  • The National Hockey League (NHL) paused the remainder of the 2019-2020 season, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Thursday.
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to suspend Spring Training and games and delay the start of the 2020 regular season, according to baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr.
  • Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell became the second player to test positive.
  • Disneyland announced on the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park through the end of March. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort also announced temporary closures beginning on March 14.
  • The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Therefore, the Prime Minister vowed to keep himself and his wife in isolation for 14 days.

Cancellations/Postponements: Among the many COVID-19 cancellations/postponements, Chicago decided to postpone its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and many Broadway shows, as well as off-Broadway productions have announced cancellations.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

  • WHO officially characterizes COVID-19 as a pandemic.
  • President Trump addresses the nation and announces a temporary travel ban from 26 countries in Europe over the next 30 days (effective Friday, March 13 at midnight).
  • The NBA suspends its 2019-2020 regular season after Utah Jazz player, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Oscar-winning movie star Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, both test positive for COVID-19 while on set in Australia.

DocWire News will provide breaking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as they become available.