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 surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

Des Moines Public Schools never resumed classes after spring break last spring. Now the district plans to split students into groups that would spend part of the week at school and part of the week learning remotely.
John Pemble / IPR file

At Clarke Community Schools in Osceola, Iowa, Superintendent Steve Seid has an idea of how to rearrange things in school so students can come back safely in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Desks will be spread out as much as possible. Students will be sent to the restroom one-at-a-time. Lunch periods and class dismissals will be staggered to keep people from cramming into hallways and cafeterias all at once.

Buses are still a puzzle, though. Students ride the bus to school from all across the county. Seid isn’t sure how to manage that while observing social distancing.

Dr. Basim Ali graduated at the top of his medical school class in Pakistan and landed a residency at a renowned teaching hospital in Texas, where he'll be on the front lines of one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S.

"There's obviously some degree of anxiety about what that's going to be like," Ali said by phone from Karachi before coming here. "But there's also this understanding that this is what we signed up for."

Gov. Gavin Newsom is ordering 19 counties to shift many business operations outdoors or close them immediately, citing a sharp spike in new coronavirus cases. The state recorded nearly 6,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the governor said.

Voters in Oklahoma narrowly approved a ballot measure Tuesday night to expand Medicaid to eligible adults who need health insurance. Oklahoma is now the 37th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; coverage will begin a year from now, on July 1, 2021.

Based on the final unofficial count, the measure passed with just over a 6,000-vote margin — less than one full percentage point.

Tony Webster / Flickr Creative Commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The University of Iowa is facing steep budget cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, as are institutions across the country. The school is grappling with how to create an on-campus experience that will attract students to return in August, while protecting public health. Some faculty within the school’s largest college are raising concerns over how budget cuts are being handled, and how administrators are planning to reopen this fall.

New York City is delaying plans to open restaurants and bars to indoor dining, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

De Blasio said at a press conference that while the city had planned to allow indoor service in the near future, the rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the United States has led it to take caution.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday that demands an "immediate cessation of hostilities" in conflict zones around the world, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. It is the first resolution related to the coronavirus that the council has passed.

The text calls for "all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days" to allow for delivery of humanitarian assistance and medical evacuations.

Mary Maxon was out raking hay on her tractor yesterday morning when a beep on her phone alerted her to the good news. The arts organization she runs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota had just been awarded a $50,000 grant through the CARES Act.

Coronavirus cases are spiking sharply in Iraq amid a shortage of supplies that has resulted in protesters storming an oxygen cylinder factory and relatives of patients seizing oxygen canisters in hospitals.

"This is a war against the coronavirus and we have lost the war," says an Iraqi official who has been briefed on the government's response to the pandemic.

Shakira Najera Chilel feels like she's faced death before.

As a transgender woman, she dealt with violence and harassment back home in Guatemala and on her journey through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. She arrived last year and has been detained at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona ever since.

"Now I find myself face-to-face with death again; that's how I feel," she said in a phone interview from inside the detention center. "Because you can either be a survivor or die from COVID-19."

Abbas has worked in this Kabul cemetery for more than a decade, since he moved to the Afghan capital for work. He's sometimes called to dig quickly to bury the victims of militant attacks. But the last six weeks are the busiest he's ever seen.

"People bring their dead during the day and during the night," says Abbas, who like many Afghans, has only one name. He believes the cause of death is COVID-19.

It's hard enough for any museum trying to reopen right now, but children's museums face especially tough challenges. (Especially those with names like Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum, the Hands On! Discovery Center in Gray, Tenn., and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in Michigan.)

For more than two years since their wedding day, Albert Akhmetov and his wife have lived on separate continents.

Albert lives in Dallas and his wife Natalia in Kosovo. He immigrated to the United States from Russia through the diversity lottery visa program almost three years ago, and the couple married in Russia after meeting when he was visiting family there. They are waiting on her application for a green card to join him in the U.S.

Updated 8:15 p.m. ET

How severe is the spread of COVID-19 in your community? If you're confused, you're not alone. Though state and local dashboards provide lots of numbers, from case counts to deaths, it's often unclear how to interpret them — and hard to compare them to other places.

A strange thing happened this spring.

As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.

"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.

Vice President Pence wore a face mask to a public briefing on Tuesday where the message from the surgeon general and others was clear: Americans should to do the same while in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Pence appeared at the U.S. Health Service Commission Corps headquarters in Rockville, Md., joined by other members of the White House's coronavirus task force, including Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

The vice president and others removed their masks only when delivering remarks.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are instructing travelers from several additional states with increasing coronavirus numbers to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, according to a statement from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

The announcement came Tuesday and followed an earlier travel advisory from those three states, all of which have regions considered part of the New York City metro area.

European passenger-jet maker Airbus announced Tuesday that it will cut 15,000 jobs over the next year, as the airline industry faces unprecedented losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airbus, which employs about 135,000 people worldwide, has seen a 40% drop in its business since the spread of the coronavirus.

Hospitals in Texas are inundated by coronavirus patients. On Monday, the state reported almost 6,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19. That's a record, as cases spike following the state's reopening of bars, restaurants and stores in early May. Because of this latest surge, Texas Gov.

Mississippi is seeing a sharp uptick in new coronavirus cases. The state is reporting double the number of new cases that it was seeing just two weeks ago. The average number of new cases each day this week is just over 600. And on June 25, the state reported more than 1,000 cases in a single day for the first time.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took direct aim at President Trump on Tuesday, saying that Trump, who once called himself a "wartime president" taking on the coronavirus pandemic, seems to have now "surrendered."

"Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together in the face of this ... 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered," Biden said in prepared remarks.

Jacksonville, Fla., is now requiring people to wear face masks while indoors and in public spaces where they can't stay 6 feet away from other people, hoping to slow a spike in coronavirus cases.

"Every person over the age of six (6) who is in a public space shall wear a face mask or covering when not able to engage in social distancing," the mandate states.

For more than two decades as an internist at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Danielle Ofri has seen her share of medical errors. She warns that they are far more common than many people realize — especially as hospitals treat a rapid influx of COVID-19 patients.

"I don't think we'll ever know what number, in terms of cause of death, is [due to] medical error — but it's not small," she says.

South Korea has acknowledged it is permanently keeping data on patients from a previous virus epidemic, worrying privacy advocates that the government is sidestepping legal safeguards protecting personal information.

U.S. travelers won't be among those allowed to visit the European Union when the bloc begins opening its external borders on July 1. EU ambassadors endorsed a list of 15 travel partners on Tuesday, including South Korea, Japan and, with a caveat, China. Those countries were hit early by the pandemic but have been able to bring the coronavirus under control.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can't predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, "it's going to be very disturbing."

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