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San Francisco Bay Area residents arrive at the coronavirus testing site in Hayward, California.


James Martin/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life across the globe. Health care systems scramble to control the virus and governments are instituting strict social distancing measures to try to flatten the curve. The situation is constantly evolving as COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, rapidly spreads. 

CNET has been tracking the outbreak since it was first traced to a novel coronavirus in early January. We have compiled answers basic questions, ways to protect yourself and others, where you can and can’t go in lockdown and advice for staying healthy and entertained during long periods at home. 

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak each day. 


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March 27

US hits 100,000 cases

After surpassing China on Thursday, the US now has more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases. According to tracking numbers from John Hopkins University, the US is sitting at around 101,657 cases as of 3:30 p.m. PT. Italy has overtaken China in the last 24 hours, at 86,498 cases compared with China’s 81,897.

Deaths in the US have topped 1,500, while deaths in Italy are at more than 9,000 and in China are almost 3,200. China is re-closing all of its theaters nationwide, according to Deadline.

Trump signs up GM and Boeing

President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to force General Motors to make ventilators, he said during a coronavirus task force briefing. It came after Trump tweeted earlier Friday that GM must “start making ventilators now.” After signing agreements with other private companies, Trump said there’ll be 100,000 more ventilators in the next 100 days — and said any excess units will be given globally to countries that need them most.

Boeing is also pitching in, and will make thousands of plastic face shields each week and supply three planes to carry supplies, Trump said.

US House passes $2 trillion stimulus package

The House of Representatives approved a $2 trillion relief bill meant to respond to economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The bill expands unemployment insurance, provides direct payments to many Americans and includes hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for businesses and for local and state governments. 

The bill was passed with bipartisan support by a voice vote. Trump signed the relief bill later Friday.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced. The 55-year-old has been displaying mild symptoms since Thursday, but will remain in charge of the government’s handling of the crisis, his office stated.

“I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus,” Johnson said in a tweet, which included his video tribute to the UK’s National Health Service. 

Within hours, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced his positive test.


March 26

Trump pushes new guidance as US tops global cases

The US now has the most coronavirus cases globally at around 82,400, surpassing China’s 81,700. Trump called it “a tribute to our testing.” The president said he spoke with the governors of all 50 states and US territories on his idea to classify counties as either low, medium and high risk in an effort to update guidance on social distancing. “Our country has to go back to work,” he said during a White House coronavirus task force briefing.

Trump also spoke to G20 world leaders, including Germany, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, India and Saudi Arabia, as well as organizations like the UN, European Commission, WHO, World Bank and the IMO, to discuss how each are dealing with the pandemic.

Initial jobless claims surpass anything in US history

Initial jobless claims in the US hit nearly 3.3 million for the week ending March 21, according to the US Department of Labor. 

“In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the Labor Department said. “This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982.”

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US Department of Labor

US crosses 1,000 deaths

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the US has reached 1,046, the John Hopkins University tracking site reported Thursday morning, and the number of cases has surpassed 69,000.

Worldwide, the number of deaths has hit 21,100 and the number of cases has topped 463,000.

March 25

US Senate passes $2 trillion stimulus package

The Senate passed a sweeping $2 trillion aid package 96-0 on Wednesday night. Four senators were absent because they have either tested positive for coronavirus or are self-isolating. The House may pass the legislation this week on a voice vote, allowing representatives to remain away from the Capitol as fears of infection rise. According to CBS News, the package includes:

  • Direct payments of $1,200 to most adults making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Each dependent child increases the amount by an $500. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.
  • $130 billion for hospitals.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars in loans for businesses and for local and state governments. 

Apple donates millions more masks worldwide

Apple CEO Tim Cook provided an update on the tech giant’s efforts to help the world through COVID-19, saying Apple has now “sourced, procured and is donating 10 million masks to the medical community in the United States.” This is in addition to “millions more” donated to the hardest hit European regions. “Our ops teams are helping to find and purchase masks from our supply chain in coordination with governments around the world,” Cook tweeted.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is making hand sanitizer and face shields, according to a report by CNBC.

1M Californians have filed for unemployment

1 million Californians have filed for unemployment in the last 12 days, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. He added California has now distributed 24.5 million N95 masks, and has ordered 100 million new masks. Newsom also secured commitments from Wells Fargo, Citi, JPMorgan and US Bank to waive mortgage payments for the next 90 days for people impacted by the coronavirus. Bank of America only agreed to a 30-day period.

Prince Charles tests positive, self-isolates in Scotland

Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokesperson for the royal family. He’s been “displaying mild symptoms” of COVID-19 but is otherwise in good health and working from home, his office said in a statement.

His wife, Camilla, has tested negative, and the couple is self-isolating at home in Scotland.

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Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus and is displaying “mild” COVID-19 symptoms.


Andrew Matthews-WPA Pool/Getty Images

“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks,” his office said.

Charles last saw his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on March 12, the BBC reported, but the 93-year-old British monarch “remains in good health.”


March 24

Senate, White House agree on $2 trillion stimulus package

US senators and the White House reached a deal to deliver a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package, according to The New York Times. The stimulus bill is the largest in US history and is expected to provide financial aid to individuals as well as struggling businesses. A Senate vote is expected Wednesday.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,” said Eric Ueland, White House legislative affairs director, at approximately 10 p.m. PT Tuesday. 

The legislation, according to The Washington Post, will send many American adults $1,200 and children around $500. It will also boost small businesses with a $367 billion loan program, and hospitals are set to receive $150 billion in funding.

India in total lockdown

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, ordered the entire country — 1.3 billion people in total — to stay home for 21 days starting March 25. The extreme measures were announced late Tuesday, with Modi stating that “the only option is social distancing, to remain away from each other. There is no way out to escape from coronavirus besides this.”

Worldwide cases are approaching 420,000, but India has so far reported just over 500 cases, with 10 deaths. 

Apple donates 9 million masks

Vice President Mike Pence said 9 million masks have now been donated by Apple. The remarks came during a White House briefing Tuesday afternoon, where Trump added that coming soon to hospitals around the nation are medical supplies including 8 million respirators, 14 million masks, 2.4 million face shields, 1.9 million surgical gowns, 13.5 million gloves and more than 4,000 ventilators. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said randomized tests are being done on a number of drugs, which are “queueing up to go to clinical trial.” 

Trump hopes to have US open by Easter

During a town hall hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he would love to have the US “opened up and raring to go by Easter,” which is on April 12. The president added that people will still have to practice social distancing, but reiterated that the cure cannot be worse than the problem. 

“I gave it two weeks and we’ll assess at that time,” said Trump, referencing his 15-day timeline to slow the spread. “But we have to open this country up.” 

Speaking further on the Easter plan during the White House briefing Tuesday afternoon, Trump conceded that some sections of the country may have to be opened one at a time.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed

The Olympic Games, originally set for this summer in Tokyo, have been postponed due to the coronavirus. In a joint statement Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee said the decision was made to protect athletes and everyone else involved in the sporting event. 

The Games will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but no later than summer 2021, said the IOC. The Olympic flame will remain in Japan, and event leaders say they hope it will serve as a “light at the end of the tunnel” for the world. 


March 23

Trump says America will be open for business ‘soon’

During a White House briefing, President Trump said the US “wasn’t built to be shut down,” and he is hoping local data can be used to advise areas of when they can “cautiously” resume normal activities. “America will be open for business a lot sooner than three or four months,” the president said. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said self-collected nasal swabbing is going to be made available later this week at clinics and drive-through sites. Birx added around 250,000 people have been tested in the last week.

Trump is also pushing an anti-malaria drug to be used in coronavirus tests, saying distribution of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, will begin tomorrow in New York City. It follows NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing Sunday the state will begin drug trials using 70,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of Chloroquine Tuesday.

Also during the press conference, Attorney General William Barr said people hoarding essential medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer will “hear a knock at the door.” New laws prohibit both hoarding and price gouging.

The UK is on lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a lockdown for the UK starting Monday night, with gatherings of more than two people banned unless they’re from the same household, and all non-essential stores and most public places closing. People are allowed to leave home only for essential shopping, medical needs, one form of exercise per day and travel to and from work only when absolutely necessary.

“From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home,” Johnson said. Visiting friends and family from other households is banned. Police have been given the power to enforce the new rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Five Florida spring breakers test positive

Five University of Tampa students have tested positive after traveling for spring break, the college tweeted. It comes after spring breakers in Florida were criticized last week for going ahead with their vacation plans and massing together at beaches despite social distancing guidelines and potential risk of contracting COVID-19.

Amazon to begin delivering test kits

Amazon will be delivering and picking up coronavirus test kits in Seattle, with the program part of the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) backed by the Gates Foundation. If a person tests positive after the test kit is analyzed, they will be contacted by a health care worker. “Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis must be a community effort and requires support from both the private and public sectors,” Kristen Helton, director of Amazon Care, said. “We … are eager to leverage Amazon Care’s infrastructure and logistics capabilities to support this local effort.”

US Surgeon general warns things will get worse

Dr. Jerome Adams, the US surgeon general, warned Monday that the coronavirus outbreak in the US will get worse before it gets better. “We really need everyone to understand this is serious, to lean into what they can do to flatten the curve,” Adams told CBS This Morning. He added that it will be awhile before “life gets back to normal” and stressed that Americans must ake steps “right now” to help stop the spread. 

Congressman with coronavirus hospitalized

Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, was hospitalized on Friday after experiencing a “severe shortness of breath.” McAdams said Sunday that  he’s feeling better and expects to be released once doctors determine it’s appropriate. In his message, the Democratic congressman also urged people to follow advice from the CDC and Utah Department of Health to stop the spread of the virus. 


March 22

Weinstein reportedly tests positive

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Deadline. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in March on sexual assault and rape charges and recently transferred to Wende Correctional Facility in New York. Deadline reports he has been placed in medical isolation, but public relations representatives of Weinstein have no knowledge of the positive diagnosis. 

GameStop backflips on decision to stay open

Days after defending its decision to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it was providing “essential retail,” video game giant GameStop is closing stores to customers. It will allow curb-side pickups and continue to handle online orders. 

“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, said in a press release announcing the change. “Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners.”  

Australian lockdown measures in place

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that stricter lockdown measures will now be enforced and that the country’s pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and other “nonessential” services will be shut from midday on Monday, March 23. Morrison also requested all Australians stay home unless travel is essential. 

“Those holidays that you may have been planning to take interstate over the school holidays are canceled,” Morrison noted in a press briefing on March 22.   

Australia’s states and territories have also begun closing borders and will enforce 14-day quarantines for any domestic travellers. South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all announced any incoming travellers would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival by air, land or sea. 

Another sport gets postponed: Australian Rules Football

In light of the new lockdown measures in Australia, the Australian Football League — the country’s preeminent professional sporting competition — has decided to postpone the season indefinitely. The AFL had planned to forge ahead with the first round of the season, playing in empty stadiums, but the new measures have made playing on untenable. 

Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, said it would be an understatement to call the coronavirus pandemic “the most serious threat to our game in 100 years.” At the earliest, the AFL will continue its season in June, but a decision on its fate will not be made until the end of April. 

Rand Paul tests positive

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, has tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet Sunday, Paul’s account revealed the results and is in quarantine. According to the tweet, Paul is “asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,” with a followup tweet noting that his staff has been operating remotely and that he “expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends.”

Paul is the first US senator to test positive for the virus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered quarantine after being told that a doctor who gave her a pneumonia vaccine Friday has tested positive for coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, Merkel was put into quarantine shortly after a press conference on Sunday where she announced some “new measures to curb the spread of the virus.” The country has added a ban on gatherings of more than two people in a bid to slow the pandemic. 


If you’re interested in coronavirus news from before March 22, CNET has been tracking the outbreak in real time here.

This article was originally posted on March 22 and is being constantly updated. 

source: cnet.com

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