Updated: May 13
As more states enact strict stay-at-home orders to slow the community spread of COVID-19, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will be tested for coronavirus, Pence announced Saturday.The announcement comes after a staffer for Vice President tested positive for COVID-19The vice president also said coronavirus testing is expanding rapidly across the country and that 195,000 Americans who are symptomatic have been tested.There are at least 275 deaths and over 19,900 confirmed cases in the U.S. Worldwide, the death toll has topped 11,900, with at least 4,000 deaths in Italy, the country that has witnessed the most deaths. There are more than 287,000 confirmed cases around the globe, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard.At the White House's coronavirus task force's Saturday briefing, Trump and Pence continued to encourage Americans to stay home.“Every American has a role to play in defending our nation from this invisible, horrible enemy," Trump said. "Stay at home and save lives.”
States are taking their own measures to slow the spread of the virus.Illinois plans to require residents to stay home as much as possible, aside from meeting their basic needs, starting Saturday evening. New York plans to ban all nonessential travel beginning Sunday evening, following California's lead, which began Friday. Connecticut and Oregon were preparing to do the same.Our live blog on the coronavirus is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news. More headlines: Should you cancel my wedding or honeymoon because of coronavirus? Yes, experts say.For those who survived polio, coronavirus is eerily familiar.But ultimately, 'science won'. Coronavirus travel restrictions around the world: A country-by-country list.Small colleges were already on the brink. Now, coronavirus threatens their existence. 'Vital and urgent':Inside New York City's difficult quest to obtain coronavirus testing kits.While you're stuck at home, here are 15 things to keep you entertained.Some cruise ships are still roaming the seas
While many major cruise operators are idling their fleets in response to the coronavirus pandemic, some ships are still at sea or trying to find a port as they deal with fears that passengers or crew may have become infected with COVID-19.On Saturday, the Costa Luminosa cruise ship, which had at least three confirmed cases of coronavirus aboard, continued its disembarkation process in Savona, Italy. The ship has been allowed to dock despite the country being in a state of lockdown, issued on March 9.Across the globe, in Sydney, Australia, passengers on the Ruby Princess, including approximately 570 Americans, disembarked Thursday. The cruise line announced Friday four people, including three guests and a crew member, who had traveled on the ship, tested positive for COVID-19. The guests have since been advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.Senators to reconvene on stimulus package that includes $1,200 checksRepublican and Democratic senators were reconvening Saturday, extending marathon negotiations from Friday on a stimulus package that did not produce a deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had set midnight Friday as the deadline for an agreement.McConnell's plan, which was released in full on Thursday, would, among other provisions, send direct payments of $1,200 to individuals and provide assistance to businesses affected by the coronavirus.
The Republican from Kentucky aims to pass the bill by Monday.– Nicholas WuGet daily coronavirus updates in your inbox: Sign up for Daily Briefing Connecticut, Oregon tell residents to stay home
The governors of Connecticut and Oregon are telling residents to stay home."I am directing Oregonians tonight to stay home to stay healthy. Social distancing done well and done early can save lives," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a press conference on Friday. Brown called the directive "both an order and a public awareness campaign."Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said on Twitter Friday that he was working with the governor and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury to draft the specifics of the order over the weekend. "This is not a lockdown," Wheeler said in the post. "This is a 'stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out' order."In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday announced an executive order directing all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to, effective Monday at 8 p.m. Further guidance for businesses would be released over the weekend, he said.Stocks post worst week since financial crisis U.S. stocks dropped Friday, capping their worst week since the height of the financial crisis as investors remained jittery about the direction of the economy despite hopes for government and central bank action to combat the coronavirus pandemic.The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 913.21 points to close at 19,173.98, falling back below 20,000 after wild price swings over the past week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 4.3% to end at 2,304.92. The Nasdaq Composite lost 3.8% to close at 6,879.52.For the week, the Dow dropped more than 17%, its worst one-week percentage drop since October 2008.– Jessica Menton Officials look to malaria drug, experimental antivirals as COVID-19 therapies President Donald Trump said this week that the malaria drug chloroquine and the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir are being tested as possible COVID-19 therapies and could slow the epidemic."It could have a very positive effect, or a positive effect, maybe not very, but maybe positive," Trump said. "It’s very, very exciting."There is no current treatment for the virus beyond supportive care that generally includes IV liquids, oxygen, fever reducers and pain killers.Chloroquine as been in use since 1944 to fight malaria and has antiviral effects. Researchers believe it may interfere with the ability of the new virus to fuse to cell walls and infect them.Remdesivir is an antiviral drug used to treat the Ebola virus and is known to be effective against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), both coronaviruses with similarities to SARS-CoV-2. It is an experimental drug developed a decade ago by Gilead Sciences, a California-based biotech firm.– Elizabeth Weise and Ken Alltucker More coronavirus news and information you need to know:
Need an uplift? This crew held a mid-flight graduation for students after coronavirus shuttered their school. States can cancel standardized tests because of coronavirus school closings Why the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time for reeling Appalachian Kentucky.Stranded Americans seek US help amid global lockdown: 'We are abandoned.'Pennsylvania eases nurse licensing rules to fill the ranks Pennsylvania is suspending some administrative rules for nurses, like temporarily extending license expiration dates, to ensure that nurses are available to provide care during the outbreak. Pennsylvania's Department of State said Saturday that it is also waiving associated license fees."We are taking this action to ensure that Pennsylvania has plenty of nurses available to treat patients and that these nurses do not have to worry about renewing their licenses while responding to COVID-19," Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said in a statement.She said the moves would also allow more than 14,000 nurse practitioners to be more flexible in meeting public-health needs.The changes also will allow nursing school graduates who meet certain requirements to immediately apply for a graduate permit so they can assist in the COVID-19 response. The permit authorizes graduate nurses to practice under supervision of a registered nurse until they can take the examinations.Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 news: Get the Coronavirus Watch in your inbox US-Mexico border will close for nonessential travel
The U.S.-Mexico border will be closed to nonessential travel to further help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Trump announced Friday."As we did with Canada, we're also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend nonessential travel," Trump said. "These new rules and procedures will not impede lawful trade and commerce." Trump said that Mexico is also suspending air travel from Europe.The expected announcement follows the closure of the border between the U.S. and Canada to nonessential travel, which was announced Wednesday. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the closure would happen at midnight Friday.– David Oliver Tax Day deadline moved back
The IRS will postpone the April 15 tax deadline by 90 days for millions of individuals who owe $1 million or less and corporations that owe $10 million or less, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.To be sure, Americans still have to meet the April 15 deadline if they are expecting a refund or are requesting a six-month extension, but they can defer payment for up to 90 days beyond that."We encourage those Americans who can file their taxes to continue to file their taxes on April 15 because for many Americans, you will get tax refunds and we don't want you to lose out on those tax refunds," Mnuchin said. "We want you to make sure you get them.""All you have to do is file your taxes," Mnuchin said. "You'll automatically not get charged interest and penalties."– Jessica Menton
Illinois governor issues stay-at-home order for entire state Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday announced a "stay-at-home" order that will begin Saturday and last until at least April 7.Residents will still be allowed to go to the grocery store, walk their dogs and do all essential tasks. All non-essential businesses must close, and all people who can work from home must do so, Pritzker said.All Illinois schools will stay closed until April 8. Illinois is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens to set up drive-thru testing sites in the hardest hit areas, state officials said.Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the order "is not a lockdown or martial law." Pharmacies, grocery stories and clinics will not close. Airports will be open and garbage will be collected.How many cases of coronavirus in US?
The United States had more than 19,600 cases of coronavirus as of Saturday morning and at least 260 deaths.More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY: We've been flooded with thousands of reader questions on coronavirus. We're answering them, like is it safe to order carry-out food? Coronavirus separation can't keep loving husband from serenading his 'sweet Ann''Complete chaos': How the pandemic is upending the criminal justice system.Coronavirus hits everyone's livelihood - including adult nightclub workers across the US.Student loans: Borrowers can suspend payments for 60 days without interest
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