The Latest On COVID-19

On March 11 the World Health Organization declared the spread of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is the official name for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

For the latest guidance and information, we strongly recommend relying on the following for accurate information:

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, runny nose, cough and breathing trouble. Most individuals develop mild reactions to the virus. Some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. 

The Fuji-Q Highland amusement park near Tokyo has an unorthodox request for its roller coaster riders.

"Please scream inside your heart," and not out loud, the park is asking. The unusual ask is meant to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

While some may be skeptical that it's possible to quietly ride a roller coaster, a promotional video from Fuji-Q proves that it can be done.

HM Treasury / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

As new COVID-19 cases continue to climb across Iowa, the state has seen an increase in demand for testing, but getting access to a coronavirus test for some Iowans isn't always as simple as just requesting one.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Donna Joe says her adult daughters had all kinds of advice to keep her safe. They signed up the 64-year-old retired civil engineer for online grocery delivery, shipped sanitizer to her home in Marietta, Ga., and checked in regularly to make sure she was following the latest protocols.

Joe says she missed being with her six grandchildren, though, and when her son invited her over, she jumped at the chance. But she waited until after the visit to tell her daughters.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the world – and humanity is failing because of a lack of leadership and unity, the head of the World Health Organization declared in a passionate speech Thursday.

Want to social-distance in style this fall? Couturiers at Viktor & Rolf — known for campy, high-concept looks — are introducing a fall collection they're describing as "three wardrobes for three mindsets in extraordinary times of change." Those three mindsets: Anxiety, Confusion and a hopeful ending with Love.

Ohio state Rep. Nino Vitale is urging his constituents not to get tested for the coronavirus, flouting advice from health officials — and from another Republican lawmaker, Gov. Mike DeWine.

"This is what happens when people go crazy and get tested," Vitale wrote on Facebook this week. "STOP GETTING TESTED!"

The coronavirus pandemic has been a stark reminder "that things can change in a minute — and so you've got to be prepared," says Sunita Puri, medical director for palliative care at the Keck Medical Center at the University of Southern California. One of the ways to do this is to decide what sorts of treatments you would want (or not want) in the case you became critically ill — and then document those wishes and share them with loved ones.

Updated at 8:44 a.m. ET

From airlines to paper mills, the job news is grim, and there are growing signs it won't be getting better anytime soon. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported nearly 2.4 million new applications for state and federal unemployment benefits last week.

Two crises collided this spring in Michigan. The state was already under a coronavirus lockdown when a catastrophic storm hit and a pair of dams failed, flooding the city of Midland.

The local hospital, MidMichigan Medical Center — Midland, hired a disaster recovery company to clean up the mess, including a water-logged basement and morgue. More than 100 workers — many of them recent immigrants — were brought from as far away as Texas and Florida. Bellaliz Gonzalez was one of them.

Jeanne Norris is a teacher, the wife of a teacher and the mother of an 8-year-old in St. Louis. She'd love to send her son back to school in August. But, she says, "I feel like my government and my fellow citizens have put me in a position where it's not really in the best interests of our family."

Norris has a long list of reasons why. She says she has taught in buildings where ventilation systems are outdated and malfunctioning, and even soap for hand-washing is in short supply.

A group representing Brazilian journalists says it will file suit against the country's president, Jair Bolsonaro, after he took off a protective mask as he spoke with reporters about his COVID-19 diagnosis.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said on Wednesday that the city's schools will open in the fall, but with a mix of in-person and remote learning options.

A week before the Texas Republican Party's in-person convention was set to draw thousands to Houston, city officials have hit the brakes.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event on Wednesday, citing safety concerns as the coronavirus continues its record-breaking spread in the region.

Katie Peikes / IPR

It’s a warm and humid summer night in late June in Correctionville. Girls and boys and playing softball and baseball in the small rural western Iowa town. Families have spaced out on the bleachers to watch. Some crowd behind the fence at home plate in lawn chairs. 

There will be no fall sports in the Ivy League this year, officials announced on Wednesday.

This is the latest in a series of coronavirus-related disruptions in the sports world, but the first Division I conference to cancel fall football plans.

The list of places where a masked worker from the Census Bureau may be knocking on front doors later this month is getting longer.

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the air travel industry is becoming clearer, as United Airlines announced on Wednesday that it may need to cut its U.S.-based workforce nearly in half when federal payroll funding runs out in October.

On Wednesday, the Chicago-based airline notified 36,000 employees, about 45% of the company's domestic employees, that they may lose their jobs on or after Oct. 1, the earliest date that airlines that received government-funded payroll grants can eliminate jobs under the terms of the CARES Act.

Two major international golf competitions, the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, have announced that they are postponing their event dates by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers say they rescheduled the Ryder Cup because it was not clear fans would be able to attend safely this year.

President Trump is acknowledging that he may have to temper his expectations, adamant at times, that his acceptance speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention should be a big event in front of thousands of people.

"We're very flexible," Trump said when asked during an interview Tuesday with Gray Television whether he may not have as big a gathering next month as he's planned on to celebrate his renomination to lead the GOP presidential ticket.

President Trump issued a forceful call this week for America's K-12 schools to reopen full time for all children in the fall, suggesting that Democrats want to keep schools closed ahead of the November election and even threatening to cut off federal funding to schools if they don't fully reopen (something he cannot do). In this push, the administration has a powerful ally: the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The curfew in Serbia appears to have ended before it could even begin.

Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

In the latest move from the Trump administration to push for states to reopen schools this fall, Vice President Pence couched guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen schools, saying it shouldn't be used as a "barrier" to students returning to classrooms.

The U.S. has reported more than 3 million coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning, with all but a handful of states struggling to control outbreaks of COVID-19. One million of those cases have been confirmed over the past month — part of a wave of infection that began after many states started to reopen their economies in May.

Trends often start in New York. The latest: quitting the city and moving to the suburbs.

If not quite an exodus, the pandemic has sent enough New Yorkers to the exits to shake up the area's housing market. Longtime real estate agent Susan Horowitz says she has never seen anything like it. She describes the frantic, hypercompetitive bidding in the suburb of Montclair, N.J., as a "blood sport."

"We are seeing 20 offers on houses. We are seeing things going 30% over the asking price. It's kind of insane," Horowitz says.

Just two days after federal officials barred international students from attending U.S. colleges that go online-only this fall, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made their objections clear. They sued the U.S. government in federal court Wednesday, seeking to have the U.S. Immigration Customs And Enforcement policy reversed and declared unlawful.

Simge Topaloğlu was using group chats to commiserate with friends about the uncertainty of being an international student in America long before almost all of college life went remote in the spring.

As travel bans were made and modified under the Trump administration, the online rumor mill churned.

"Someone hears something through the grapevine, like: 'a friend of mine said this,' 'maybe this is going to happen,' " said Topaloğlu, who is entering her third year seeking her doctorate in psychology at Harvard University.

Ina Park has been in a monogamous marriage for more than 15 years, but she feels like she has been having one safe sex conversation after another these days.

There was the time she and some close friends spent a few hours together without wearing masks, and she later realized she needed to ask: "Are you seeing other people?"

Or the time when she got a text from the mother of her son's friend. The mom suggested letting the boys play basketball together at her home, which led to detailed negotiations about risk tolerance, boundaries and types of protection.

The pandemic, a bad economy, police killings and a fight for racial equality: It's a lot of take in. For some, music has been a way to cope and try to make sense of it all and that is the premise behind the Morning Edition Song Project, in which we asked musicians to write and perform an original song about this moment.

A growing number of governors and mayors are working to slow the spread of the coronavirus by requiring people to wear masks in public places.

Experts say these public health rules will reduce the risk of people getting sick. But some local police and sheriffs are refusing to enforce the rules.

"COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it's getting worse," warned Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, when he announced his state's mask mandate ahead of the July Fourth weekend.

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