Coronavirus headlines: US Marine stationed at Pentagon tests positive

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8:50 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP)— A U.S. Marine has become the first person stationed at the Pentagon to test positive for coronavirus.

The Marine has been in isolation at home since March 13, when a member of his immediate family began to show symptoms. The Pentagon said his workspace has been cleaned and a contact investigation is underway.

Two other defense workers who had visited the Pentagon have tested positive, but they were not assigned to the building.

8 p.m. update:

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago’s plan to reserve at least 1,000 hotel rooms for coronavirus patients through partnerships with five hotels is the first such strategy unveiled in the U.S. But it’s unlikely to be the last. Government officials nationwide are searching for ways to relieve pressure on hospitals that are concerned about reserving space and equipment for people with severe symptoms of COVID-19. In Chicago, hotel workers won’t interact with patients but they will get training on cleaning linens and handling food or trash. City officials say the rooms are intended for people with mild symptoms who could spread the virus by returning home. 

7 p.m. update:

NEW YORK (AP) — Just days after New York leaders ordered people to stay home, authorities are mobilizing to head off a potential public health disaster in the big city. New York has emerged as the nation’s coronavirus hot spot. A makeshift morgue has been set up outside Bellevue Hospital, and the city’s police have been told to patrol nearly empty streets to enforce social distancing. Public health officials are hunting down beds and medical equipment and putting out a call for more doctors and nurses for fear the number of sick will explode in a matter of weeks, overwhelming hospitals the way the virus did in Italy and Spain. 

5:20 p.m. update:

LOS ANGELES (AP)— Los Angeles County officials say they no longer are including a 17-year-old boy in the tally of coronavirus deaths until they do more to determine his precise cause of death.

The county’s public health director, Barbara Ferrer, said Wednesday that she’s asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the death of the youth from the desert city of Lancaster.

She said that while the child did test positive for the coronavirus, there were “extenuating circumstances that pointed to an alternative diagnosis as well.”

The death is no longer being counted among LA County’s 13 total fatalities from the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom chided county officials, calling the backtrack a reminder that “in this moment it’s not just speed, it’s accuracy that must be front and center.”

A report last week by the CDC found no coronavirus deaths in the U.S. among people 19 and under.

4:45 p.m. update:

BERLIN (AP) — The U.S. Army Europe says it has delivered medical supplies and equipment to help fight the new coronavirus in Italy’s hard-hit region of Lombardy.

The move, which was part of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s humanitarian assistance program, saw the 405th Army Field Support Brigade deliver hospital beds, mattresses, adjustable IV poles and other supplies from the U.S. Army Camp Darby in Livorno, Italy.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Army Europe’s commanding general, Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, said the effort demonstrated “the U.S commitment to our NATO ally and the people of Italy during this crisis.”

4 p.m. update:

(CNN) — US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has signed an order freezing the movements of all US troops overseas for 60 days due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to three defense officials.

It means all US service members overseas or currently scheduled to deploy from the US will stay in their current locations for the next 60 days.

The freeze-in-place order will affect 90,000 expected scheduled deployments, including both troops scheduled to return home and troops scheduled to deploy overseas. There will be several exceptions including for naval vessels scheduled to return to the US.

1:15 p.m. update:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New unemployment benefit claims are rising to levels unseen in recent U.S. history as a result of coronavirus concerns. States have reported receiving tens of thousands of new claims for unemployment insurance last week. Officials figures are to be released Thursday, and some economists project that new claims could reach 3 million nationwide. Some laid-off workers have encountered delays in filing claims because of overloaded websites and phone systems. Some states are warning that it could take longer than the normal two to three weeks to receive unemployment payments because of the sudden surge in claims. 

TORONTO (AP)— Canada announced Wednesday it is imposing mandatory self-isolation for those returning to the country under the Quarantine Act. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said on Twitter that the government is making it mandatory to better protect Canada’s most vulnerable. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the requirement will begin at midnight Wednesday and last for 14 days.

11:30 a.m.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says they have 140K cases coming into hospitals with 53K beds available, according to FOX 5
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell orders all NFL team facilities closed for 2 weeks
  • (AP) — Stocks are wobbling in tentative trading Wednesday as a historic, worldwide rally downshifts dramatically after just a day.

10:30 a.m.

  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH will update Ohio’s cases at 2 p.m. Wednesday
  • The FDA says it is expediting clinical trials of blood plasma treatments for coronavirus patients who are critical

9:30 a.m.

  • The Cuyahoga County Health Department reports 2 people have died from coronavirus
  • The age range of cases in the county are from 14 to 91
  • The county is not identifying the age or gender of the persons who died
  • (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns says his mother is hospitalized and in a medically-induced coma after contracting the new coronavirus
  • 71-year-old Jackson Browne tells Rolling Stone he’s tested positive for coronavirus

7:30 a.m.

  • (AP) — Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
  • Dr. Acton reports of the 564 coronavirus cases in Ohio, 16% are healthcare workers
  • 25% of Ohio’s coronavirus cases are hospitalized, with 11% in intensive care

5:30 a.m.

  • The White House and Senate have agreed on an historic $2 trillion package
  • There are more than 424,000 coronavirus cases around the world
  • America has 55,200+ cases and 800+ deaths (Map of U.S. cases below)
  • Ohio is reporting 8 deaths and 564 cases
  • Waffle House closes 20% of its restaurants
  • (AP) — Shares have advanced in Asia after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to its best day since 1933.
  • (AP) — Pakistan has halted all domestic passenger flights to stop the spread of the coronavirus
  • 1.3 billion people in India are on lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus
  • South Africa is preparing to go on lockdown Friday after a surge in coronavirus cases
Map based on CNN stats as of March 25,2020.

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