COVID-19 has managed to bring the world to its knees. As this article goes to publish, there are now 185,067 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide, and 7,330 deaths.
Mainland China still stands as the country with the most single cases and mortalities (81,058 cases, 3,226 deaths), with Italy (27,980 cases, 2,158 deaths), and Iran (14,991 cases, 853 deaths) rounding out the top three of countries most affected by virus, which started in Wuhan, Hubei province in December 2019.
Spain is especially feeling the wrath of COVID-19, as its number of new cases rose to 11,178 on Tuesday, increasing by more than 2,000 from a previous tally of 9,161 on Monday. The Spanish government has now nationalized all of its hospitals and health care providers in an effort to thwart the virus’ spread.
Monday, March 16, 2020
U.S. Cases Surpass 4,000
On Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases in America spiked beyond 4,000, and the death toll near now nears 100 (currently at 85). New York (now 967 confirmed cases) has overtaken Washington (904 confirmed) as the state with the most infected citizens, although Washington has still had by far the most deaths (48). Other states with more than 100 confirmed cases include: California (557); Massachusetts (197); New Jersey (178); Colorado (160); Florida (155); Louisiana (136); Georgia (121); and Illinois (105). West Virginia is the only U.S. state with no confirmed cases as of yet.
Bay Area Locks Down
Six Bay Area counties were ordered to “shelter in place” on Monday – the strictest measure of its kind in the U.S. thus far. The directive requires that everyone remains inside their homes as much possible for the next three weeks. It includes all residents of San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties – a population of more than 6.7 million.
Volatility on Wall Street Continues
The Dow recorded its worst one-day point plummet in history on Monday – dropping 2,997 points, or 12.9%. The S&P 500 plunged 12%, its worst day since 1987. According to the VIX metric, a gauge of stock market volatility, the COVID-triggered mayhem surpasses what the market experienced during the 2008 financial crisis. Despite showing an uptick on Tuesday morning, President Trump acknowledged in a Monday afternoon press conference that the nation “may be” heading toward a new recession – however, the President also predicted growth would rebound strongly.
Dow has worst point drop in history, plunging 3,000 points as Trump warned American life might not return to normal until August https://t.co/KeDpkgJflK pic.twitter.com/ctgU2tLyoF
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 16, 2020
Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Opens with Initial Doses
U.S. researchers administered the first shots of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, code named mRNA-1273, on Monday to a woman from Seattle. Jennifer Haller, 43, said before receiving the vaccination, “We all feel so helpless. This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something.” Haller is one of 45 volunteers who will ultimately receive two doses, one month apart. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health cautioned that even if the research is successful, a vaccine would not be available to the public use for another 12 to 18 months.
NY, NJ, Connecticut Shutter Non-Essential Businesses
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
On Monday, 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.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy urges residents to stay home after 8p, activates the National Guard for a “whole range” of coronavirus related roles. https://t.co/UE4cA6p7nH pic.twitter.com/H7p9fjRyze
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 17, 2020
Another Movie Star Infected
Actor Idris Elba disclosed to the world that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday morning. The star of “Luther” said that feels “OK” and so far isn’t presenting any symptoms. Elba has been isolated since last Friday after being exposed to someone who tested positive.
This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing 👊🏾👊🏾 No panic. pic.twitter.com/Lg7HVMZglZ
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) March 16, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government agencies are reported 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.”
- 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.
- The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to zero percent and purchased $700 billion in bonds and securities in an attempt to stabilize the economy.
- 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.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
- The White House announced on Saturday that the U.S. has added the United Kingdom and Ireland to its European travel ban list.
- 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.
- 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
- President Trump declared a national state of emergency by invoking the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistant Act, which will deploy technical, and logistical assistance and frees up $50 billion in federal resources to combat the virus.
- The 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed.
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.
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.