(NEW YORK) — More than 33,000 people have died around the world as the amount of novel coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket, with the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases globally surpassing 713,000 on Sunday.
The number of cases has grown exponentially in a matter of weeks. Last Thursday, there were 500,000 cases worldwide, which was double the number of worldwide coronavirus cases from the week before.
The U.S. stood at more than 136,000 diagnosed coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 2,409 deaths in the country.
At least 148,000 people have recovered from the virus during this pandemic.
Here’s how the news developed Sunday. All times Eastern:
9:18 p.m.: LA Convention Center to be used as medical station
The Los Angeles Convention Center is being converted into a federal medical station to help relieve area hospitals, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced.
The effort is being led by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Guard.
The city is expected to experience a surge in coronavirus cases this week, the mayor said.
Los Angeles County had five new deaths since yesterday, bringing the countywide total to 37. Cases jumped by 332 to a new total of 2,136.
Los Angeles joins other cities that are converting large structures to overflow medical facilities, including New York City’s Jacob Javits Center and Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center.
7:03 p.m.: 15-minute coronavirus test is on the way
A new 15-minute coronavirus test is on its way to doctors’ offices and hospitals now, officials announced at Sunday’s White House Task Force briefing.
Adm. Brett Giroir said that Abbott Laboratories will be providing 50,000 of the tests per day, starting April 2.
Giroir said that “18,000 of these little toaster-sized machines” are in doctor’s offices and hospitals now.
He also said that the test is performed with a self-nose swab, unlike the less comfortable tests that require a swab to go far up the nasal passage.
As of the close of business Saturday, 894,000 coronavirus tests has been performed in the U.S., Giroir said.
6:12 p.m.: Trump extends U.S. coronavirus guidelines to April 30
President Trump officially reversed his call to reopen businesses by Easter and said he will extend the nation’s coronavirus social distancing guidelines to April 30.
“The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said at his daily briefing at the White House. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”
The guidelines cover work from home directives, travel limitations, business closures and other efforts to combat the virus. Trump said that his office will give more details about the new plans on Tuesday.
“We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery,” Trump said. “We think by June 1st, a lot of great things will be happening.”
The announcement came just days after the president said he hoped that Easter would be a celebration of the virus’ defeat.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the new extensions are a “wise and prudent decision.”
In the interim, Trump said that his public health advisers recommended against loosening social distancing restrictions in states or regions that haven’t been as hard hit by the virus, as had previously been discussed.
According to the data, up to 2.2 million people would die if nothing was being done to stem the virus, Trump said. Fauci has estimated that even with the measures being taken, it was possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. would die as a result of the virus.
Also during the briefing, Trump announced that two of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, Humana and Cigna, will be waving copays for anyone treated for the coronavirus.
He was also asked what people suffering financial hardship should do about paying rent with the first of the month approaching.
“I will tell you, I think landlords are going to take it easy,” he said. “We may put out a statement on that. I think a lot of people that are owed money are going to take it easy. They don’t sort of have a choice.”
Several cities and states have issued moratoriums on the eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 crisis.
5:25 p.m.: White House asks hospitals to send daily data updates
The White House is asking the nation’s private hospitals to send their coronavirus testing data to the federal government every day by 5 p.m.
The request came in a letter sent by Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Many of the hospitals already send the data to their state governments, but Pence said the CDC needs the data to “better understand disease patterns.”
“As you know, partnership is essential as we work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we are requesting your assistance with reporting data that is critical for epidemiological surveillance and public health decision making,” he wrote in the letter.
During a meeting with supply chain operators, President Trump also accused some hospitals of hoarding ventilators and other equipment.
“We have to release those ventilators, especially those hospitals that are never going to use them,” he said.
4:05 p.m.: Texas increases travel restrictions for more states
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state will mandate self-quarantine orders for travelers from several locations.
The state already ordered 14-day self-isolation for any traveler from New York City and New Orleans airports. Now the quarantine mandate will be issued for travelers from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, all California airports and all Washington state airports.
Non-commercial drivers from Louisiana who travel into Texas will also have to self-isolate.
3:32 p.m.: Country music artist Joe Diffie dies after coronavirus diagnosis
Grammy-winning country music star Joe Diffie died from COVID-19 complications, according to his representatives.
He was 61 years old.
Diffie rose to fame in the early 90s with several No. 1 singles including “Home,” “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” and “Third Rock from the Sun.” The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native also wrote songs for other country music artists including Tim McGraw, Conway Twitty and Jo Dee Messina.
3:30 p.m.: Stimulus money will be sent out ‘within three weeks’: Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Sunday that the direct checks to Americans from the $2 trillion stimulus plan will be deposited into bank accounts “within three weeks.”
For those who don’t have direct deposit on file with the IRS, a website will be created that will allow Americans to upload their information to receive their money. Mnuchin also urged companies to consider their laid-off employees and give them a second chance.
“Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that,” he said.
3:21 p.m.: Global COVID-19 cases surpass 700,000
The number of coronavirus cases around the world have reached over 710,000, according to Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. leads the world with 135,499 cases followed by Italy with 97,689 cases and China 82,122 cases, according to the data. Italy has the most COVID-19-related fatalities with 10,779 deaths, followed by Spain with 6,606 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
2:47 p.m.: Moscow orders lockdown starting Monday
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin issued an order that mandates all residents self-isolate starting Monday.
No one will be permitted to leave their homes except for traveling to work, buying groceries or medications, seeking medical care, taking a pet for a walk and throwing out garbage, according to the mayor’s office.
Residents who have to take their pets for a walk will only be permitted to go no more than 100 meters from their homes, the mayor’s office said.
2:43 p.m.: TSA screenings drop to lowest in decade
The number of people who passed through TSA screenings around the country was 184,027 on Saturday, the second consecutive day of screenings below 200,000, the agency said.
The number represents the lowest number of TSA screenings in over a decade. Nearly 2.2 million people passed through TSA screenings during the same day in 2019, according to the TSA.
Screenings have dropped every day for the last two weeks.
2:30 p.m.: Cuomo says New Yorkers ‘feel under attack’
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave some reassuring words to New Yorkers as the coronavirus outbreak has made them a target by other leaders who enforce strict rules against them.
This weekend, Gov. Gina Raimondo reversed an order that mandated only New York residents go into self-quarantine if they visited the state and President Donald Trump toyed with an idea that New York City to go into a quarantine. Cuomo said New Yorkers feel like they’re “under attack,” but reiterated that they are well in this crisis together.
“We have made it through far greater things. We are going to be OK,” he said. “We are strong. We have endurance, and we have stability. We know what we are doing.”
The governor said that the state health department did make some progress when it came to detecting COVID-19 cases. The health department has developed a less-intrusive coronavirus test that uses saliva and short nasal swab.
The test requires less PPE and will be ready for use as soon as next week, according to Cuomo.
1:20 p.m.: Deaths climb to 965 in New York
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the death toll in New York state climbed to 965 on Sunday, an increase of 237 from Saturday.
“I can’t say you are not going to see people pass away because they are. That is the nature of what we are dealing with and that is beyond our control,” Cuomo said at a news conference.
Based on the projections models, Dr. Howard Zucker, the state’s commissioner of public Health, said it appears the death toll in the state will rise into the thousands.
“I don’t know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away because remember who its attacking, it’s attacking the vulnerable, (people with) underlying illnesses etcetera,” Cuomo added.
The bulk of the deaths have occurred in New York City, where the death toll rose from 517 at 10 a.m. on Saturday to 678 at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to data from the city’s Health Department.
Cuomo also said that new hospitalizations in the state rose by 1,175 overnight while 3,572 patients were discharged.
A total of 172,000 people have been tested in the state for the coronavirus and more than 59,000 have tested positive with 8,503 hospitalized and 2,037 in intensive care units.
Cuomo also announced that he is extending his “New York Pause” program requiring nonessential state workers to stay home for another two weeks. The new deadline is April 15.
12 p.m.: Number of new coronavirus cases in Italy appears to be dropping
Italian health officials said at a news conference on Sunday that the number of deaths and the number of new coronavirus patients appears to be slowing, an indication that that hard-hit country is approaching or has reached its apex.
For the third straight day, Italy saw the number of daily deaths slightly decline. On Sunday, officials reported 756 new deaths compared to 889 on Saturday and 969 on Friday.
Italy still has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world at 10,779. But the percentage increase in the total number of new cases was the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy is now at 97,689, but the number of infected people in ICU decreased 5.2% on Sunday to 3,906.
10:50 a.m.: Dr. Fauci says US could see 100,000-200,000 deaths
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said it is possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. will die from the coronavirus
Fauci, who appeared on CNN Sunday morning, was asked about how many cases there will be in the U.S. and estimated there will be anywhere from one to two million cases.
The doctor noted that while his previous experience shows that modeling overshoots to show the best and worst case scenario, the “reality is somewhere in the middle.”
Fauci cautioned that the latest model projections are based on “various assumptions” and are “only as good or as accurate as your assumptions.”
“I’ve never seen a model of the diseases that I’ve dealt with where the worst case scenario actually came out,” Fauci said.
“We’re going to have millions of (confirmed coronavirus) cases,” he added. “But I just don’t think we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people.”
10:30 a.m.: Spain records 838 deaths in 24 hours
Public Health officials in Spain said that the country recorded 838 new coronavirus-related deaths in a 24-hour span between Saturday morning and Sunday morning. The total number of deaths in Spain from the pandemic has now grown to 6,528, making it second for the number of fatalities to Italy’s 10,023.
As of Sunday morning, there were nearly 79,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain, including 4,907 patients in intensive care units.
10:20 a.m.: Cat tests positive for coronavirus in Belgium
A cat in Belgium has tested positive for COVID-19 after its owner came down with the virus and was quarantined at home, officials said.
Describing it as an exceptional case, officials at the Liege Veterinary University Faculty said they tested the feline after it began to exhibit symptoms similar to humans who have contracted the virus, including respiratory problems, diarrhea and vomiting.
After conducting further research, the officials at the university said they are convinced that there is no evidence that an infected pet can be contagious for human beings but advised people to practice social distancing with their domesticated animals.
The cat has now fully recovered and is coronavirus free, and the owner is also doing well, officials said.
10 a.m.: ‘Biggest assistance package in history’ may not be enough, Kudlow says
While touting President Donald Trump’s signing of “the biggest assistance package in history,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow acknowledged the difficulty in knowing if the funds would be enough to meet the needs of the millions of Americans impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It may not be perfect, but I think it’s going to give a tremendous amount of resources to get us through what we still believe is going to be a question of weeks and months,” Kudlow said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.
Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus package on Friday, calling the bipartisan legislation a catalyst to “stabilize the economy.”
“It’s the largest mainstream financial assistance package in the history of the United States, so it’s hard to know if we could get everything, help everybody,” Kudlow said.
9:45: President approves disaster declarations for Oregon and Connecticut
The president approved disaster declarations for the states of Oregon and Connecticut late Saturday night, making the states eligible to receive more federal aid to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has already signed disaster declarations for numerous other states reeling from the growing number of confirmed virus cases, including New York, California, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana and Illinois.
9:21 a.m.: Louisiana governor says health care system could be overwhelmed by April
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said cases of novel coronavirus are expected to surge in Louisiana and overwhelm the state’s hospitals within a week.
“We remain on a trajectory, really to overwhelm our capacity to deliver health care by the end of the first week of April,” he said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
Edwards announced earlier Sunday that a 33-year-old staffer in his office, April Dunn, died due to complications from the coronavirus.
9 a.m. New Jersey governor responds to proposed travel restrictions
In response to a travel warning President Donald Trump said he was mulling for residents from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday on This Week that residents from his state were already not traveling much as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“A travel warning, we’re fine with,” Murphy said. “The fact of the matter is we are all in on flattening that curve, social distancing as aggressive as any states in America.”
Trump decided not to enforce any quarantine late Saturday night.
6:46 a.m.: UK lockdown will last ‘an extended period,’ senior minister says
Michael Gove, a senior U.K. Cabinet Minister, speaking for the government on the Sunday morning TV shows while the prime minister and health minister self-isolate due to testing positive for COVID-19 last week, refused to give a precise timetable for how long the country would be on lockdown.
Asked how long the U.K.’s lockdown will last, he said “I can’t make an accurate prediction, but everyone does have to prepare for an extended period.”
He added that the U.K.’s peak is “not a fixed point” in the calendar and timing depends how closely people follow the rules.
After Boris Johnson and a number of other MPs tested positive for the virus, Mr. Gove insisted the government had been doing everything to observe the social distancing advice.
“We’ve been doing everything we can to observe the advice. Within the House of Commons we’ve been trying to observe that advice.”
5:25 a.m.: King County, Washington, health officer warns patients could be detained if they defy isolation orders
Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County has signed an order and directive on March 28 making it mandatory for people with a positive COVID-19 test to follow isolation protocols at home or at a recovery facility. The directive requires everyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing) who has a test pending to stay quarantined.
Said Dr. Duchin: “Many steps we are taking as a community are helping to decrease the number of people who get sick, need hospital care and who die. However, we cannot stop the outbreak completely and our community will likely remain at risk for months to come. Through my health order and directive today, I am re-emphasizing the requirement for people who are infected with COVID-19 to follow our existing recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others in the community by staying isolated from others while ill, and to stay quarantined with symptoms while test results are pending. Each of us need to do whatever we can to prevent others from becoming ill. Everyone—young and old, whether you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or not—should stay home and avoid all non-essential contact with others.”
To protect the public, if an individual with active COVID-19 is not voluntarily remaining isolated, or if an individual who has COVID-19 symptoms with a test pending is not remaining self-quarantined, they may be subject to enforcement actions, which could include legal actions for involuntary detention.
4:25 a.m. Former MLB star Jim Edmonds went to the hospital for coronavirus testing
Former All-Star outfielder Jim Edmonds announced on his Instagram page that he went to the hospital to be tested for the coronavirus after displaying some symptoms.
The 49-year-old Edmonds sent a video update Saturday night on his Instagram Story saying he was back home after testing positive for pneumonia for the first time in his life, but was awaiting results of tests for the coronavirus.
“I’m just trying to rest up and get better,” Edmonds said, adding that he’d provide an update when he heard from doctors.
Earlier Saturday, Edmonds posted a photo of himself in a hospital room with a face mask covering his nose and mouth.
“Held off as long as I could,” he wrote on the post. “I thought I was tough enough to get through. This virus is no joke. #gethealthy.”
He said he was feeling “super sick” and added that he wasn’t “taking any chances because it’s so hard to get tested by the rules of the CDC.”
Edmonds played 17 seasons in the majors, mostly with the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals. He won eight Gold Glove awards, and finished with a .284 career batting average with 393 home runs and 1,199 RBIs. Edmonds also helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 2006. He also played for the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds late in his career before retiring in 2011.
2:05 a.m.: Louisiana governor announces passing of 33-year-old staffer
Governor John Bel Edwards announced the passing of 33-year old April Dunn who succumbed to complications from COVID-19. April was a dedicated staff member who served in the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs and a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.
Gov. Edwards issued the following statement:
“On behalf of Donna and my entire administration, it is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our dear April,” said Gov. Edwards. “She brightened everyone’s day with her smile, was a tremendous asset to our team and an inspiration to everyone who met her. She lived her life to the fullest and improved the lives of countless Louisianans with disabilities. April worked hard as an advocate for herself and other members of the disability community. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, and when I created the State as a Model Employer Taskforce, April told me how much she wanted to be part of it because of her struggles to find meaningful employment. I was proud to have an advocate like April on the task force and on my staff. She set a great example for how other businesses could make their workforce more inclusive. I ask the entire state to join us in prayer for April’s mother Joanette and her grandmother Gloria.”
11:22 p.m.: Zaandam will pass through Panama Canal
After initially being restricted from passing through the Panama Canal, the country has changed its tune and the cruise ship MS Zaandam will be allowed through.
There are more than 130 people on the ship suffering from “flu-like symptoms,” as well as two people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and four elderly passengers who have died.
The MS Rotterdam, owned by Holland America, like the Zaandam, was also waiting to transit the canal.
“We are aware of reported permission for both Zaandam and Rotterdam to transit the Panama Canal in the near future,” Holland American said in a statement at 11 p.m. Eastern time. “We greatly appreciate this consideration in the humanitarian interest of our guests and crew. This remains a dynamic situation, and we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities to finalize details.”
11:02 p.m.: 1st inmate dies in federal prison of COVID-19
An inmate has died from COVID-19 at FCI Oakdale in Oakdale, Louisiana, two sources told ABC News.
This is the first known death inside the Bureau of Prisons.
Patrick Jones, 49, was sentenced to 324 months in prison for or possession of 425 grams of crack cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a junior college, the BOP said in a press release.
Jones was the first inmate inside the BOP to test positive on March 19. He was placed on a ventilator one day later and he died Saturday.
Officials said he had preexisting conditions that contributed to his death.
10:15 p.m.: Knicks, Rangers owner tests positive
Madison Square Garden Company CEO James Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokesperson.
Dolan, 64, took over as CEO of Cablevision, the powerhouse cable company, from his father, Charles, but is most known in New York City for being owner of the NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s New York Rangers.
As chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, he oversees those teams as well as television station MSG Network and owns the world famous Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
Cablevision was sold in 2016 upon which time he left as CEO.
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