CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus Live Updates: Read The Latest About The COVID-19 Outbreak

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects across the world.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

There are more than 1 million confirmed cases of the virus worldwide, and more than 54,000 people have died from it. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.) 

U.S. Withholding N95 Masks, Turning Away Canadians On Cruises Sparks Outrage On Social Media — 4/6/20, 8:53 a.m. ET

In light of the news that President Donald Trump pressured manufacturer 3M to stop exporting N95 masks to Canada, Canadians are reminding the U.S. what kind of country Canada has always been when its neighbor needed help.

“Dear America,” reads one of the messages flooding Twitter. “On 9/11 we were there for you. In Afghanistan, we were there for you. We’re here for you now. We’ll be here for you in the future. Even if you don’t send us the masks.”

— Sima Shakeri

Trump: Passengers On Coronavirus-Stricken Ships Allowed To Disembark — 4/6/20, 8:51 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump on Monday said that passengers on two cruise ships infected with the new coronavirus have been allowed to disembark once they receive medical treatment onboard.

Trump, who shared the news on Twitter, said the decision was made for “humanitarian reasons” and that the passengers will be “under strict supervision.”

“People were dying & no other countries would allow them to dock!” he tweeted.

The president did not specify which cruise ships had received the approval, though two Holland America ships, the Zaandam and Rotterdam, were given permission last week to dock in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after an initial refusal from the state governor. It was reported over the weekend that the passengers were allowed to leave the ship.

― Nina Golgowski

The pace of Spain’s coronavirus deaths slowed again on Monday as 637 patients died overnight, taking the total to 13,055. Though Spain has the second-highest death toll in the world after Italy, the number of deaths each day has been falling since Thursday’s peak of 950, according to health ministry figures.

HuffPost Spain reports (in Spanish) that admissions to ICU are also stabilizing, with the increase of patients just 1% higher than the previous day.

The Spanish government announced today plans to widen testing to include people without symptoms as a first step towards slowly easing the lockdown in the nation. Spain has been in lockdown since March 14 and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the weekend that would remain in place until April 26.

— James Martin

Patients Eager To Participate In Coronavirus Drug Trials — 4/06/2020, 5:50 a.m.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health is expanding its study of remdesivir as patients rush to join the trials. The experimental drug has shown promise against some other types of coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, when tested on animals early on in the course of the illness. The drug’s maker, Gilead Sciences, is also expanding its trials of the drug, AP reports.

“There’s so much anxiety about the disease that the patients are quite interested” and no one offered the chance has refused, said Dr. Arun Sanyal, the study leader at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

— Liza Hearon

UK Prime Minister To Remain In Hospital ‘As Long As Needed’ — 4/6/20, 4:30 a.m. ET

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has spent the night in hospital after he was admitted for tests as his coronavirus symptoms persist.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said he will stay for “as long as needed” in the London hospital where he was taken as a “precautionary step” on the advice of his doctor – rather than as an emergency.

Johnson, 55, tested positive for the virus 10 days ago, and had been in self-isolation inside his Downing Street flat since.

The news came Sunday, just an hour after the Queen delivered a message of hope to the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “we will overcome it” although we “may have more still to endure.”

Read more on HuffPost U.K.

— Francesca Syrett

NYC Tiger Tests Positive For COVID-19, Zoo Says — 4/5/20, 5:05 p.m.

A Malayan tiger at New York City’s Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, zoo officials said.

The 4-year-old female named Nadia is among seven big cats that have developed a dry cough at the park. The other animals showing symptoms are Nadia’s sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions. All are expected to recover, the park said.

“We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus,” the park said in a statement.

—Nina Golgowski

Ousted Navy Captain Tests Positive For Virus: Report — 4/5/20, 1 p.m.

The U.S. Navy captain who was removed from command of a coronavirus-stricken warship after writing a letter for help has tested positive for COVID-19, reported The New York Times, citing two people close to him.

Capt. Brett Crozier began exhibiting symptoms of the disease before his ouster on Thursday, reported the Times.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said he lost confidence in Crozier after Crozier sent a letter on an unclassified email system to at least 20 people, including Navy officials, that outlined the organization’s failure to quickly remove sailors from the ship.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended Crozier’s removal during an appearance CNN’s “State Of The Union” on Sunday.

“I’m pleased to report that over half of the ship has been tested and only 155 sailors have come up positive,” Esper said.

— Hayley Miller

Number Of Deaths Dropping In New York, Governor Says — 4/5/20, 12:30 p.m.

The number of coronavirus-linked deaths and hospitalizations in New York has been dropping “for the first time” in recent days, though it’s “too early to tell” what significance that data holds, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said.

“By the data, we could be ether very near the apex or the apex could be a plateau and we could be on that plateau right now,” Cuomo said during a news conference. “We won’t know until we see the next few days.”

The hospital discharge rate is “way up,” he said, adding that New York now has enough hospital beds to treat the number of anticipated COVID-19 patients but still needs additional ventilators and health care workers.

“The coronavirus is truly vicious,” Cuomo said. “It’s an effective killer.”

—Hayley Miller

The Pentagon will issue a directive Sunday regarding the use of face coverings in public by members of the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We want to take every measure to protect our troops,” Esper said. Adding that some social distancing measures are not always possible for some service members, he said, “So we have to take other measures. ... We are going to move toward face coverings.” 

President Donald Trump on Friday announced new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urges Americans to wear cloth face coverings in public to help curb the spread of the virus. He said, however, that he is “choosing not to do it.”

― Hayley Miller 

Iran will ease some of its social distancing restrictions on April 11 and allow some “low-risk” business activity to resume, even as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to climb within its borders, Bloomberg reported.

“Ill-wishers and anti-revolutionaries say that people have to choose between their health or economic activities, but this is completely false,” President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said Sunday, adding that “economic activities, production and health protocols” can coexist. The “low-risk” businesses include printing houses, clothing stores and book shops, reported CNN.

Iran has been one of the countries hardest hit by the virus. The country reported over 2,400 additional confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed number to more than 58,000. There have been at least 3,600 deaths linked to the virus in Iran ― 151 of which were reported in the last 24 hours, according to CNN.

In the U.S., President Donald Trump periodically has floated the idea of loosening social distancing measures and reopening the economy. Late Last month he set a potential target date of Easter Sunday, April 12, but public health experts on the White House coronavirus task force reportedly convinced him to keep the restrictions in place, warning that millions of Americans could die if he didn’t. Still, on Saturday he talked of opening things back up, saying, “We don’t want to be doing this for months and months.”

― Hayley Miller

 

Longtime NFL Kicker Tom Dempsey Dies Of Complications From Coronavirus — 04/05/2020; 4:51 a.m. ET

Tom Dempsey, a legendary NFL placekicker who set a league field goal record that stood for more than four decades, died Saturday of complications from the novel coronavirus, his family confirmed to The Times-Picayune. He was 73.

Dempsey, who played in the NFL from 1969 to 1979, famously scored a 63-yard field goal for the New Orleans Saints against the Detroit Lions in 1970. That record-breaking kick wasn’t equaled until 1998 and was only surpassed in 2013 by Denver Broncos’ Matt Prater.

According to the Times-Picayune, Dempsey contracted the coronavirus last month in a retirement home in New Orleans. At least 15 residents at the home have died from the virus to date, the paper reported.

― Dominique Mosbergen

Another Coronavirus-Stricken Cruise Ship Docks In Florida — 04/05/2020; 4:18 a.m. ET

The Coral Princess cruise ship docked on Saturday at Florida’s Port Miami with two fatalities on board and several people sickened from COVID-19.

Princess Cruises, which operates the vessel, said Thursday that at least a dozen people on the Coral Princess had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two people later died onboard the ship. Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Saturday that they’d succumbed to the virus.

As CNN noted, it remains unclear when the 1,020 guests and 878 crew members on board the Coral Princess will be allowed to disembark from the vessel. But Gimenez said some of those who are critically ill will be allowed to leave the ship first to seek treatment.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Andrew Cuomo: China Sending 1,000 Ventilators To New York — 4/4/20, 3:50 p.m. ET

The Chinese government is facilitating the shipment of 1,000 ventilators to the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

The ventilators are expected to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport the same day. The state of Oregon is also donating an additional 140 ventilators to New York.

“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said at a press conference.

“Also, the state of Oregon contacted us and is going to send 140 ventilators, which is, I can tell you, just astonishing and unexpected,” Cuomo said. “And I want to thank Gov. [Kate] Brown, I want to thank all of the people in the state of Oregon for their thoughtfulness.”

As New York scrambles to set up makeshift morgues to deal with the growing number of dead bodies, Cuomo says the state is expecting to hit its peak of the crisis in the coming week. Read more.

— Carla H. Russo

New York State One Week From Coronavirus Apex, Gov. Says — 4/4/20, 12 p.m. ET

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said at his daily press briefing Saturday that he believed the beleaguered state was around one week from the apex of its coronavirus crisis — that is, the day it will see the highest number of cases requiring hospitalization. The apex represents the biggest strain on the health care system, which is racing to amass enough personal protective equipment for staff along with enough ventilators for the neediest patients.

“Our reading of the projections is that we’re somewhere in this seven-day range” from the apex, Cuomo said Saturday.

He added a sobering fact: “We’re not yet ready for the apex, either.”

Cuomo announced that a shipment of 1,000 ventilators from China is set to arrive in New York City on Saturday, thanking the Chinese government along with Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma and others for the assistance.

Preliminary evidence out of Seattle — which has seen infection rates decrease in the last week — suggests that strict containment strategies are working. Authorities, however, are not yet claiming any victories.

— Sara Boboltz

Canadian City Reassigns Parks Staff To Growing Food — 4/4/20, 11:17 a.m. ET 

The city of Victoria on Canada’s West Coast has voted to grow more food like kale to increase local food security amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It is expanding an urban food production program by temporarily reassigning some parks department staff to grow 50,000 to 75,000 seedlings to give to residents in May and June.

“These are extraordinary times and they do call for extraordinary measures,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. She referenced city measures taken during the Great Depression when potatoes were grown for an orphanage and seniors’ homes. Read more at HuffPost Canada.

— Zi-Ann Lum

Spain’s Death Toll Falls For Second Day In A Row ― 4/4/20, 8:03 a.m. ET

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 11,744 on Saturday from 10,935 the previous day, the Health Ministry said on Saturday, though it was the second straight second day in which the daily number of new deaths had fallen. A total of 809 people died from the disease over the past 24 hours, down from 932 in the previous period, the figures showed. The total number of registered infections rose to 124,736 on Saturday from 117,710 on Friday, the ministry said.

― Reuters

CDC Advises Everyone To Wear Masks In Public — 4/3/20, 7:25 p.m. ET

New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines advise people to wear a mask at all times while out in public in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

But don’t rush out to buy a mask — leave the N-95s and other surgical masks for health care workers who desperately need them. Here’s how to make your own mask at home.

The CDC emphasized that wearing a mask outdoors is not a substitute for other important measures that people should continue doing, including social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Read more.

— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Disney Reschedules ‘Mulan’ To July, ‘Black Widow’ To November — 4/3/20, 4:20 p.m. ET

In a sign that Hollywood expects movie theaters to potentially turn the lights back on by early summer, Disney still plans to release its next Pixar film “Soul” on June 19 and is rescheduling the release of its live-action remake of “Mulan” to July 24, part of a series of new release dates announced Friday.

“Mulan” was supposed to premiere last month, but the studio postponed it indefinitely — like many of Hollywood’s forthcoming movies — as theaters across much of the world shut down. Marvel’s “Black Widow” will now open on Nov. 6 instead of in May. The reshuffled schedule has created a domino effect for other movies further into the future. For instance, Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” will now open on Oct. 16, since “Mulan” is taking its place. Several of Marvel’s movies are also trading places: “The Eternals,” which was supposed to open on Nov. 6, is now postponed until Feb. 12, 2021, replacing “Shang-Chi,” which will now open on May 7, 2021.  

And continuing the trend of studios making films available on-demand or streaming in lieu of running in theaters, Disney’s “Artemis Fowl” adaptation will now premiere on Disney Plus. 

— Marina Fang

Supreme Court Cancels Oral Arguments In April — 4/3/20, 4 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has postponed all oral arguments scheduled for the month of April, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The court’s press office said it would consider “rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of the term, if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time.”

The announcement did not specify how the court would be finishing the rest of the term.

“The Court will consider a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the Courtroom before the end of the Term,” the statement read.

The Supreme Court had already postponed around 20 cases in March. 

— Carla H. Russo

California Governor Says Nearly 7,000 Hotel Rooms Secured To Help House Homeless — 4/3/2020, 3:40 p.m. ET 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said at a press conference that over 6,800 hotel rooms were now in the state’s possession, and his administration is aiming to get 15,000 in this “first phase” of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now working to get homeless people to those sites to “relieve the stress” on the homeless shelter system, in which it’s nearly impossible to practice social distancing.

Calling homelessness “the crisis that predated the current crisis,” Newsom said that over a dozen homeless people across the state have tested positive for COVID-19 so far — and “that’s an undercount.” One homeless person died from the virus in Santa Clara last month. 

“This was the crisis we needed to address before the COVID-19 crisis ― and we’re not walking away,” Newsom said. About one-quarter of the nation’s 500,000 homeless people reside in California. 

In San Francisco, where one homeless person in a shelter was confirmed positive for coronavirus on Thursday, homeless advocates protested by driving cars with signs around downtown on Friday morning, demanding the city “open vacant hotels immediately” for homeless residents.

Mayor London Breed said at a press conference Friday that San Francisco was reserving hotel rooms for homeless people who test positive for COVID-19, to isolate them so they don’t spread it to others. The city wants to preserve hotel rooms for an “expected surge” in needed hospital beds, and for health workers who may need to isolate if symptomatic. The mayor said the city plans to use some rooms to house the homeless people most vulnerable to severe outcomes, including those over 60, with underlying health conditions, and living on the streets. 

“We know there are a lot of frustrations and emotions attached to what we know is a real homeless problem in our city,” Breed said. “We are not going to be able to solve our homeless crisis in this city with this crisis.” 

Pointing to public health professionals’ recommendations for use of hotel rooms, as well as the issue of staffing these to support homeless residents, the mayor added: “This is more complicated than opening up every hotel room in San Francisco. If that were possible we would do it in a heartbeat.”

—Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Canada’s Indigenous Communities Left To Fend For Themselves — 4/3/20, 2:40 p.m. ET

Indigenous communities in Canada have warned they’re not ready for an outbreak of coronavirus, as government ministers acknowledge that it’s not a matter of if, but when, the virus enters First Nations, Inuit or Metis communities.

Indigenous Peoples in Canada are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 because of long-standing issues such as higher levels of poverty, poor and overcrowded housing, limited access to health care and other statistical inadequacies.

Most of the 634 First Nations in Canada are now shutting their borders and blocking entrances to their reserves in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “I’m calling it out, we aren’t ready,” Manitoba Assembly of First Nations regional chief Kevin Hart told HuffPost Canada. 

Justin Trudeau’s government is dividing up an $82 billion coronavirus relief package and putting aside $305 million to help First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. So far 152 people have died from coronavirus in Canada. 

Read more.

—Brandi Morin

Pandemic Ends Nearly 10 Years Of Consistent Job Growth In The U.S. — 4/3/20, 8:52 a.m. ET

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the U.S. economy lost jobs in the month of March, ending a record-breaking streak of job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate climbed to 4.4%, after a 50-year low of 3.5%.

The actual unemployment rate and number of job losses are even higher because the BLS report does not include the data from the past two weeks, when more and more businesses have shut down and laid off employees. Nearly 10 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits during this period.

— Marina Fang

Prince Charles Opens New London Hospital Via Video Link  — 4/3/20, 7:20 a.m. ET

Prince Charles has officially opened a new 4,000-bed temporary hospital at a London exhibition center, after himself being diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. The National Health Service Nightingale Hospital has been built to treat coronavirus patients at the ExCel center in east London.

Speaking from his home in Scotland via video link, the prince paid tribute to workers who built the facility and frontline workers across the UK who are caring for those hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The Nightingale, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, will need an army of up to 16,000 staff in clinical and ancillary roles to keep it running.

“It is, without doubt, a spectacular and almost unbelievable feat of work in every sense, from its speed of construction – in just nine days as we’ve heard – to its size and the skills of those who have created it. An example, if ever one was needed, of how the impossible could be made possible and how we can achieve the unthinkable through human will and ingenuity,” Charles said.

— James Martin

Miami Mayor Urges Trump To Shut Airport To ‘Hotspot’ Flights — 4/3/20 — 6:30 a.m. ET

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to suspend all flights from international and domestic “COVID-19 hotspots” to Miami International Airport in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“I have personally witnessed its speed, its spread, and its lethality among my residents in Miami, and now in the state of Florida,” Suarez wrote in an open letter to the president that he shared on Twitter.

— Lee Moran

Australian Prime Minister Tells Visitors To ‘Go Home’ — 4/3/20, 4:45 a.m. ET

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told international visitors in Australia it’s time they returned to their usual place of residence. “As lovely as it is to have visitors to Australia, it is time – as it has been for some while – to make your way home,” the prime minister said in a press conference Friday.

His comments come as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy remained coy when asked if he believes the coronavirus statistics coming out of China and the U.S. “The only numbers I have total faith in are the Australian numbers,” he told media. “I’m certainly not confident that even the numbers out of the U.S. aren’t much higher than being reported because nobody else in the world has been doing testing like we have.”

At least 5,307 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Australia and 28 people have died. Read more on HuffPost Australia 

— Francesca Syrett 

New York Says Javits Center Will Begin Treating Coronavirus Patients ― 4/2/20, 6:03 p.m. ET

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the temporary hospital facility at the Javits Center will start treating COVID-19 patients, a change from the facility’s original plan to treat non-coronavirus illnesses spilling over from other hospitals.

“As we all know the growing coronavirus cases are threatening the capacity of our hospital system,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-COVID patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds. However, the number of COVID positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept COVID positive patients.”

President Donald Trump confirmed at his Thursday briefing that he granted Cuomo’s request to convert the 2,500-bed alternate care facility into a hospital that would take in coronavirus patients. The facility is being run by the U.S. Army.

“The federal government is doing a lot of things it wasn’t anticipating it would do,” Trump said at the briefing.

― Sanjana Karanth

FDA Approves First Coronavirus Antibodies Test In U.S. — 4/2/20, 5:56 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first test for coronavirus antibodies in the U.S., the agency announced Thursday.

Unlike other coronavirus tests that search for fragments of viral genes that would indicate an ongoing infection, the antibody test can detect whether a patient has ever had exposure to the coronavirus, which would potentially give that person some immunity. Experts expect the test will help them identify people who’ve caught the virus but didn’t experience any of its telltale signs.

“If we don’t know the asymptomatic or mild cases, we won’t know if it’s killing a sizable fraction of the people who have it, or only people who have underlying conditions or are very unlucky,” Dr. Carl Bergstrom, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Washington in Seattle, told The New York Times.

— Lydia O’Connor

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