Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, March 25
Meteorologist Kevin Coskern updates you on the latest COVID-19 facts, and Bill Wadell explains how schools are still able to help families in need of lunches.
The latest current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports from late February and March, listed in eastern time.
The new coronavirus, and COVID-19, the disease it causes, surfaced in late 2019, and by mid-March had become a full-blown crisis worldwide. The global death toll climbed above 6,000 by March 15, just a few days after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in the United States. By the final week of March, global confirmed cases surpassed 500,000, the death toll exceeded 20,000 and cases were reported in at least 190 countries and regions.
On March 26, cases in the U.S. surged past 82,000 as the nation eclipsed both Italy and China for most confirmed cases.
As testing increased, the crisis escalated and particularly in the U.S. which the World Health Organization (WHO) warned could become the new epicenter of the pandemic. On March 25 the U.S. reported more than 200 fatalities, the most in one day since the pandemic began as the nation's the death toll went over 1,000.
On March 11, the WHO officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. This is the first pandemic in 11 years, according to the CDC.
After weeks of spreading through the U.S., the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 65,000 and more than 1,000 deaths were blamed on the illness.
Weather and its potential impact on how the virus that causes COVID-19 behaves has remained a consistent focus since the outbreak erupted and experts are divided over what impact, if any, warmer weather will have on the spread of the outbreak.
Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has said that warm weather will "probably not" slow down the spread, at least not significantly.
And Michael Osterholm, the director of Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) echoed that sentiment and cautioned that the world is only in the beginning stages of the outbreak. "This is a coronavirus winter," he cautioned, saying he expects the outbreak to go on for six months or more. Both Lipsitch's and Osterholm's positions came in March and stand in opposition to some previous analysis.
In early February, Hong Kong University pathology professor John Nicholls said he expected the virus to "burn itself out" by around May because of increased sunlight, higher temperatures and more humidity, according to a leaked transcript of a private conference call in early February.
In mid-March, Nicholls told AccuWeather that new research of a lab-grown copy of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness, shows "In cold environments, there is longer virus survival than warm ones." He also warned that "human factors" associated with the virus "are more unpredictable."
The CDC has cautioned that not enough is known about the virus to say for sure that weather will affect the spread, but a spokesperson said, "I’m happy to hope that it [the threat] goes down as the weather warms up."
As experts work toward a better understanding, the world shudders in fear of the unknown, a worry that has rocked global financial markets, leading to daily volatility in the U.S. stock markets.
March 25, 9:32 p.m.
COVID-19 could become a seasonal illness. That was one of the major takeaways Wednesday at a briefing from the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed the possibility of COVID-19 seasonality. “Would this possibly become a seasonal cyclic thing? I’ve always indicated to you that I think it very well might,” Fauci told reporters. "What we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere and southern African and southern hemisphere countries is that we’re having cases appearing as they go into their winter season," Fauci said. "If in fact they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle around a second time."
Weather's impact on the velocity of the viral spread has been a consistent point of interest since the earliest days of the outbreak. Some research has suggested that higher temperatures and humidity levels slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Other experts have surmised that increased ultraviolet light from the sun as summer approaches could help stamp out the virus. But not all infectious disease experts and epidemiologists are convinced warmer weather and increased sunlight will make a difference. Within hours of Fauci's remarks, the U.S. reached a bleak milestone: 1,000 COVID-19 fatalities.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, watches as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
March 25, 8:45 p.m.
Golf goes on despite the COVID-19 outbreak. The Associated Press reports that despite many of the travel and gathering restrictions imposed around the country, some golf courses remain open. In fact, weather is usually what has golfers at Washtenaw Golf Club in Michigan worried about this time of year. Nowadays, it's a global pandemic that's a concern. In North Carolina, one golfer told the AP that hitting the links is "a needed distraction." He lamented that there are no sports on TV and said golf fills the void. For now. In states like New Jersey, courses have been closed down and that's left some golfers to figure out a creative way to work on their swing while social distancing.
March 25, 8:12 p.m.
What is it like to live in lockdown, quarantined in one of the world’s coronavirus hot spots? Daniel Qin, a 30-year-old who lives in Beijing, found himself near the epicenter of the pandemic as it ran rampant through Asia. “At the beginning, definitely a lot of confusion, you don’t know what or how long this is going to be, you have a sense, like, this apocalyptic feeling, how long is this going to be?" he told AccuWeather in an exclusive interview.
To get through the difficult times isolated from the world, Qin has some recommendations. “I think tips for people is try to stay home as much as possible, wash your hands a lot and really well, and stay connected with family and friends without physical contact … Talking to friends and family a lot really, really helped us to get through the situation.” After the weeks in quarantine, Qin remains optimistic, and is spreading his optimism to those around the world. “We can get through this ... I know that we’re all working together in this … It’s OK to feel fearful but the important thing is not to stay in fear. If we just take the precautions and try to avoid crowds, we can beat this."
March 25, 6:55 p.m.
Colorado has become the latest state to issue an order telling residents to stay at home. Gov. Jared Polis announced the order on Wednesday afternoon, saying that it will go into effect Thursday at 6 a.m. MDT and will continue through April 11. Colorado has tested 8,064 people, confirmed 1,086 cases of COVID-19 and reported 19 fatalities.
March 25, 6:40 p.m.
A recent AccuWeather analysis explored the possible impact of UV rays on the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by examining the per capita infection rates of the Iceland and Australia, countries that differ drastically in population size and climate. As of Tuesday, Iceland was among the world's highest rates of confirmed coronavirus cases per capita at 0.177 percent, with 648 cases from a population of 364,260 while Australia’s confirmed infected rate was just 0.0083 percent – 2,044 cases from a population of 25.4 million people.
March 25, 5:39 p.m.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little has issued a stay-home order, following guidance given to him by the state’s public health experts. “ALL residents of Idaho must self-isolate and stay and work from home as much as possible, unless you work in healthcare, public safety or an identified “essential business” as defined in order,” the order stated. Idaho has fewer than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and is one of 20 states to order residents to stay at home.
March 25, 4:19 p.m.
President Trump signed an executive order this week making it a crime to hoard needed medical and health supplies. The order comes at a time when hospital workers around the country are reporting a shortage of personnel protective equipment that is needed to safeguard them in the fight against the coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, the Justice Department has already launched investigations into people who are hoarding supplies and price gouging.
March 25, 2:51 p.m.
Global COVID-19 death toll surpasses 20,000 as Italy reports 683 new fatalities. For comparison, during the 2003 SARS outbreak, 774 people died worldwide, while the CDC estimates that 151,700-575,400 died from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic during the first year the virus circulated. There are over 450,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world. The U.S. is now reporting over 60,000 cases with more than 30,000 of those in New York state, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
March 25, 2:40 p.m.
This is a sterilization chamber, one of several no-nonsense methods Indonesian officials are using to fight the spread of COVID-19. This image released Tuesday by The Associated Press shows a woman being disinfected in a sterilization chamber at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there are 579 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 49 deaths. The Jakarta Post reported that the administration has also used drones to spray disinfectant across the city and photos have emerged of large devices that look like water cannons shooting liquid disinfectant around Jakarta. The chamber, it would seem, is an improvement upon how officials were disinfecting arriving air passengers earlier on in the outbreak.
A woman stands inside a sterilization chamber set up at the arrival hall of Juanda International Airport amid new coronavirus outbreak, in Surabaya, Indonesia, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. (AP Photo)
March 25, 2:12 p.m.
Louisiana is becoming a new hot spot for COVID-19 in the U.S. As of midday Wednesday, 1,795 cases had been confirmed across the state, just a few hundred less than Washington (2,469) and California (2,634). With the rise of cases comes a rising death toll, with Louisiana now reporting 65 fatalities, the third-most in the county after Washington (123) and New York (285).
Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a statewide Major Disaster Declaration in response to the increase of coronavirus cases across Louisiana. “Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Louisiana, we have overwhelmed our stocks of key resources and supplies for hospitals, first responders and emergency managers,” Edwards said in the declaration. “This declaration should allow for additional resources from the federal government and provide us with more tools and equipment to treat the sick and increase our hospital capacity,"
March 25, 1:26 p.m.
Merriam-Webster has responded to the ongoing coronavirus crisis by adding new words and revised definitions to its dictionary. The terms COVID-19 and coronavirus are two new entries in the dictionary. Important acronyms such as SARS (“severe acute respiratory syndrome”) have also been added. In addition, the terms social distancing and self-quarantine now have new, revised definitions. The dictionary's aim is to help the public make informed decisions and be aware of the current situation.
March 25, 12:50 p.m.
"If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying." Those were the now infamous words of one spring breaker last week in Miami who shrugged off the order of social distancing as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened. The comments went viral and sparked outrage online. Now, the man who made those comments, identified by the Cincinnati Enquirer as Brady Sluder from Milford, Ohio, has issued an apology.
"I would like to sincerely apologize for the insensitive comment I made in regards to COVID-19 while on spring break. I wasn't aware of the severity of my actions and comments. I'd like to take this time to own up to the mistakes I've made and apologize to the people I've offended," Sluder wrote in an Instagram post on Monday.
March 25, 12:39 p.m.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering closing parks and playgrounds around New York City in an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. City officials have already made plans to close some streets in the area. Cuomo also mentioned that hospital rates are higher than projected, but are slowing down, suggesting density controls may be working. New York continues to soar in infections with over 30,000 cases and nearly 300 deaths. Cuomo also said the state needs 30,000 ventilators but only has 11,000 available to them.
March 25, 12:18 p.m.
A teenager with no preexisting conditions in California who tested positive for coronavirus has died. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said on Tuesday that the teen was killed by septic shock that was potentially caused by coronavirus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement that although the teen was tested positive for coronavirus, it is still investigating if something else led to his death. The teen's father also tested positive for COVID-19.
March 25, 11:50 a.m.
Pink eye could be a symptom of COVID-19. The American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) warned eye doctors this week that patients who have pink eye, or conjunctivitis, along with a fever and respiratory symptoms could represent cases of COVID-19. The AAO also suggested the possibility that the virus can be transmitted through aerosol contact with the conjunctiva.
March 25, 10:37 a.m.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used a weather analogy to describe the United States' current economic situation. Bernanke told CNBC Wednesday morning that he expects a "very sharp" recession but if there isn't too much damage done to the workforce then the country could see a "fairly quick rebound."
“This is a very different animal from the Great Depression” which he told CNBC “came from human problems, monetary and financial shocks. This is has some of the same feel, some of the feel of panic, some of the feel of volatility that you’re talking about. It’s much closer to a major snowstorm or a natural disaster than a classic 1930s-style depression.”
March 25, 10:16 a.m.
Anyone who recently left the New York City area is being asked to self quarantine for at least 14 days, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of White House's coronavirus task force. Birx cited the rapid increase in the number of cases in the city as a the primary reason. "We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area," Birx said, adding that about 60 percent of all new cases in the U.S. are coming out of the metro area. More than 15,500 cases have been confirmed in the city alone.
March 25, 9:10 a.m.
Prince Charles, the 71-year-old heir to the British throne, tested positive for coronavirus, as confirmed by a statement from the Royal Family on Wednesday morning. The Prince of Wales is the son of Queen Elizabeth II, who has tested negative for the virus. Charles’ wife Camilla also tested negative and the couple is self-isolating at their home.
March 25, 7:36 a.m.
The White House and Congress reached agreement on a historic $2 trillion relief package to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the Senate would pass the legislation on Wednesday. "At last, we have a deal," McConnell said.
The relief package is the largest in U.S. history and is vital to combating the economic downturn the country has experienced since the onslaught of the pandemic. The bill brings financial aid directly to Americans, expands unemployment benefits and includes a $367 billion program to help small businesses, the Associated Press reported. "It is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity," Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democatic leader from New York, said. "We fought to send much-needed resources to fight coronavirus and to put people and workers first."
March 25, 6:44 a.m.
On Wednesday, Spain's Health Ministry announced another spike in fatalities for the battered country, pushing the total to 3,434. That total surpasses China for second most COVID-19 deaths in the world, trailing only Italy.
Here are the latest updated worldwide numbers compiled by researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 428,405
Total deaths: 19,120
Total recoveries: 109,926
Reporting by Lauren Fox, John Murphy, Brian Lada, Mark Puleo, Maria Antonieta Valery Gil, Kevin Byrne, Chaffin Mitchell, Adriana Navarro, Dexter Henry, Bill Wadell, Jonathan Petramala, and Monica Danielle
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