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Coronavirus 2020 Outbreak: Latest Updates

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This article was updated on March 29, 2020, at 4:13 p.m. ET.

The United States now leads the world in cases of COVID-19. We'll provide the latest updates on coronavirus cases, government response, impacts to our daily life, and more.

What is the latest news?

Estimate: U.S. Could See Millions of Cases

March 29, 4:10 p.m.

Based on modeling, the U.S. could potentially have millions of cases of coronavirus and more than 100,000 deaths, the nation's top infectious disease expert said Sunday.

Anthony Fauci, MD, said on CNN's “State of the Union” that experts can't predict for sure how many cases and deaths the country will have. “We don't really have any firm idea,” Fauci said to host Jake Tapper.

“There are things called models. And when someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions. And the model is only as good and as accurate as your assumptions. And whenever the modelers come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle.”

“I mean, looking at what we're seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000” (deaths) and “millions of cases.”

Fauci added that he didn't think we needed to make a projection “when it's such a moving target, that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.”

“What we do know, Jake, is that we got a serious problem in New York, we have a serious problem in New Orleans, and we're going to be developing serious problems in other areas,” Fauci said.

His comments come as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States passed the 135,000 mark, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The country also has more than 2,000 deaths.

Worldwide, the number of cases has surged to more than 710,00 with more than 33,000 deaths.

First U.S. Infant Death Related to COVID-19

March 29, 10:05 a.m.

An infant in Chicago who tested positive for coronavirus is the first to die in the U.S. of causes related to the disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported Saturday.

“A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of death,” IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike, MD, said in a statement. “We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. If not to protect ourselves, but to protect those around us.”

Children have accounted for a smaller number of cases of COVID-19 as older adults and people with underlying conditions or compromised immunity are considered at higher risk of the disease.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that in China, children made up less than 1% of COVID-19 cases there. The study also reported one infant death there, in a 10-month old.

Early data from the CDC on U.S. cases found that 2% to 3% of hospitalizations from coronavirus were in children and teens under the age of 19.

CDC Issues Travel Advisory for 3 States

Updated March 29, 9:26 a.m.

The CDC has issued a “strong travel advisory” for three states in the New York metropolitan area -- the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States.

The advisory comes after President Donald Trump floated the idea of a quarantine on parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to stop people there from fleeing the area for other states.

After consulting with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and other officials, Trump tweeted that the quarantine wouldn't be necessary.

The advisory issued Saturday “urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.”

It doesn't apply to people in industries such as trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.

Speaking with reporters at the White House earlier on Saturday, Trump said Florida is having problems with New Yorkers who are traveling there.

“A lot of New Yorkers are going down,” Trump said. “We don't want that. Heavily infected.”

According to MarketWatch, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said the idea of a quarantine was “unworkable.”

In New York state alone there are more than 53,000 coronavirus cases and the death toll has passed 700, according toThe New York Times. New Jersey has more than 11,000 cases and 140 deaths.

Cuomo, however, said Saturday that the number of new hospitalizations in New York had dropped from 1,154 on Thursday to 847, signaling that perhaps stay-at-home orders were working.

FDA Authorizes Rapid-Result Coronavirus Test

March 28, 11:08 a.m.

The FDA has authorized a coronavirus test that the manufacturer says can tell if someone is infected with the virus within 5 minutes.

The test is meant to be used in places like a doctor's office, emergency room, or urgent care center. The test will provide results through a platform currently used by many of those locations for tests like flu and strep, instead of sending the throat or nasal swab to a lab for analysis.

The FDA's emergency use authorization (EUA), issued on Friday, does not mean that the FDA has approved the test, but that it is allowing its use because of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a news release, Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough in Illinois said the test can tell if a person has the coronavirus in as little as 5 minutes and tell if someone doesn't have the virus in 13 minutes.

A shortage of tests has hindered efforts to contain the virus in the U.S, which leads the world with more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19. Testing has been focused on priority groups, such as hospitalized patients and health care professionals with symptoms, according to CDC guidelines.

Abbott said it will make the tests available to health care providers next week and work with the government to send the tests to areas where they're most needed.

President Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill

March 27, 4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump signed into law a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package after the U.S. House voted Friday to approve it.

The bill includes direct payments to taxpayers of up to $1,200 per person and $500 for each child, with income limits deciding the amounts. It also includes nearly $400 billion to help small businesses, $250 billion to increase unemployment compensation, and hundreds of billions more for large corporations.

The bill also provides relief for the beleaguered U.S. health care system. According to the American Hospital Association, the bill:

  • Provides almost $127 billion to reimburse hospitals for coronavirus expenses, develop vaccines, and purchase supplies, among other things.
  • Creates an extra 20% Medicare payment to rural and urban inpatient hospitals with coronavirus patients.
  • Eliminates $8 billion in planned Medicaid cuts through the rest of this fiscal year, which ends Oct. 1, and for fiscal year 2021.
  • Aims to improve the supply chain for masks and drugs, among other items.
  • Should expand coverage for coronavirus testing and services.
  • Allows states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to extend coverage to uninsured Americans who would have been covered had expansion occurred.
  • Expands telehealth access in rural areas.

How many people have been diagnosed with the virus, and how many have died?

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 710,000 cases and 33,000 deaths worldwide. More than 148,000 people have also recovered. 

Italy, Spain and China have the most deaths. 

For the first time since the outbreak began in December, China -- once the epicenter of what would become a global pandemic -- reported no new domestic cases last week. The Chinese government is lifting the lockdown on Hubei Province and Wuhan, the capital, where the pandemic originated. There have been more than 81,000 cases in China and more than 3,200 deaths there. 

How many cases of COVID-19 are in the United States?

There are more than 135,000 cases in the U.S. of COVID-19 and more than 2,000 deaths, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University and The COVID Tracking Project. See a map of cases and deaths by state here

New York, Washington, and California are the states with the most deaths.

What travel restrictions are there?

The State Department has urged all U.S. citizens to avoid any international travel due to the global impact of the new coronavirus.

If you are currently overseas, the department wants you to come home, “unless [you] are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” according to a statement.

“Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice,” the agency says.

In addition, the State Department says it will not issue any new passports except for people with a “qualified life-or-death emergency and who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours.” The U.S. is banning all foreign travel to the United States from most of Europe for 30 days beginning midnight Friday, March 13.  American citizens are not included in the ban. 

The U.S. has also temporarily suspended nonessential travel to Mexico and Canada.

Kathleen Doheny, Ralph Ellis, and Jonathan Mintz contributed to this report.

 

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on January 24, 2020

Sources

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News conference, World Health Organization, Jan. 22, 2020.

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Orange County Health Care Agency.

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Bloomberg: "Airlines Cancel More Mainland China Flights to Counter Virus."

Riverside County Public Health Department.

BBC News.

Patch.com.

San Benito County Health and Human Services Agency.

Santa Clara County Public Health. 

MyNorthwest.com: "Snohomish County coronavirus patient discharged from hospital."

CNN: "Deadliest day for coronavirus as mainland China records 86 fatalities, while US announces first American death."

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