Coronavirus headlines: Nevada to close casinos, businesses and ban dining out


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

11:45 p.m. update:

BEIJING (AP) — Major Asian stock markets are higher after Wall Street rallied on President Donald Trump’s promise to prop up the economy through the coronavirus outbreak. The White House’s proposal could approach $1 trillion. Market benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong all advanced. Australia and smaller Asian markets were mixed. A growing number of investors sees a U.S. recession as likely if not already here. The Federal Reserve also announced its latest emergency move to get markets running more smoothly. Analysts say the measures are a good start but investors need to see the number of infections slow before markets can find a bottom.

11 p.m. update:

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered a monthlong closure of casinos and other non-essential businesses like bars, movie theaters and gyms, to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. He’s also telling restaurants to close their dining rooms and only offer takeout or delivery. The Democratic governor’s order Tuesday night follows similar moves by more than 10 other governors as states scramble to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Sisolak’s order gave thousands of businesses a little more than two days prepare. The governor’s order follows an order the mayor of Reno issued Monday night.  Though a number of casinos started to close their doors this week, the governor’s sweeping order shutters Nevada’s main industry, anchored by glitzy casinos lining the Las Vegas Strip.

8:55 p.m. update:

(AP)– Facebook says a bug in its anti-spam system is blocking the publication of links to news stories about the coronavirus. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, said on Twitter Tuesday that the company is working on fixing the problem. Users are complaining about links to news stories about school closings and other information related to the virus outbreak being blocked by the company’s automated system. Rosen said the problems are unrelated to any changes to its content moderator workforce. The company reportedly sent its human moderators home this week. 

8:30 p.m. update:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s governor says most of the state’s schools will likely remain closed for the rest of the school year because of the new coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that nearly all the state’s schools have already shut down as the most populous state tries to stop the spread of the virus, and the rest will soon. He says there are more than 6 million children out of school. The state has applied for a federal waiver that means children would not have to face academic tests once they eventually return to school.

7:25 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve has put in motion two emergency lending programs that were last deployed in response to the 2008 financial crisis, aiming to ease the flow of credit to businesses and households struggling amid the viral outbreak. Both are intended to ensure banks and large companies can access the cash they need. This, even as financial markets seize up because Wall Street is growing increasingly convinced the economy is entering a recession. That gloomy outlook leads financial institutions to pull back on lending, pushing up short-term interest rates. Funds borrowed from the Fed can then be used to lend more widely to households and businesses. 

7 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The death toll in the U.S. from the new coronavirus passed the 100 mark on Tuesday after Washington state reported six new fatalities, bringing the country’s total to 103.

Washington leads the nation in deaths, with 54. Thirty of those deaths were connected with a nursing home in a Seattle suburb.

New York on Tuesday reported more confirmed cases than Washington state for the first time. New York has topped 1,300 cases, while Washington was just over 1,000.

6:15 p.m. update:

CHARLESTON, WV (WJW) — There are now confirmed cases of the coronavirus in all 50 states.

This comes after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced at a news conference Tuesday that the state had its first case of coronavirus.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, the state currently has 14 tests pending.

5:20 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is already helping combat the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and is weighing what more it might do, including deploying hospital ships.  But the military faces limits. Its health care system is geared more toward handling combat casualties than infectious diseases. And there are logistical and legal concerns about expanding the military’s role in civilian affairs, such as tasking it with enforcing quarantines. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he is considering activating National Guard and Reserve units at the federal level, as needed, to help states with planning, logistics and medical support.

5:15 p.m. update:

NEW YORK (AP) — Grocers big and small are hiring more workers, paying overtime and limiting purchases on certain high demand items as they scramble to restock shelves that have been wiped out by panic shopping in response to the global viral pandemic. Amazon said Tuesday that it will only accept shipments from suppliers of cleaning equipment, medical supplies and household goods at its warehouses for the next three weeks to fill surging demand. Many grocers are also limiting purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup. And companies like Walmart and Wegman’s are curbing store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves. 

1:30 p.m.

(WJW)– Lorain City Hall is closed to the public after a Lorain police officer tested positive for coronavirus. According to a release, the officer was active in multiple floors of the building. Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley instructed all city employees to stay home if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms.

11:15 a.m. update

WASHINGTON (AP) — In its latest emergency action, the Federal Reserve is establishing a lending facility to buy short-term loans from banks and companies to ease the flow of credit as the economy grinds to a halt from the viral outbreak.

The Fed announced Tuesday that it’s reviving a program it first used during the 2008 financial crisis to unclog a short-term lending market for what is known as “commercial paper.” Large businesses issue commercial paper to raise cash to meet payrolls and cover other short-term costs.

10:30 a.m. update

(AP) The UFC has postponed its next three scheduled events through April 11, finally giving up on President Dana White’s plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The UFC will not hold its show scheduled for Saturday, which was initially slated to be held in a full arena in London. The UFC also won’t hold shows scheduled for March 28 and April 11.

“It’s just impossible,” White said on ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner. “We can’t do it.”

9:15 a.m. update

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is proposing a roughly $850 billion emergency stimulus to address the economic cost of the new coronavirus. The request will be outlined to Senate Republicans Tuesday and will aim to provide relief for small businesses and the airline industry and include a massive tax cut for wage-earners.

Two people familiar with the request described it to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

The White House hopes the measure will pass this week, as the administration scrambled to contain the economic fallout of the severe disruptions to American life from the outbreak.

7:45 a.m. update

6:15 a.m. update

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares rebounded in Europe and Asia on Tuesday after a brutal sell-off that gave the U.S. stock market its worst loss in over 30 years, with many economies grinding to a standstill in hopes of containing the spread of the coronavirus.

6 a.m. update

(CNN) — Two weeks ago, keeping at a distance from other Americans was merely a suggestion. Now, after US coronavirus cases jumped by more than 3,000 over six days, at least a dozen city and state leaders have turned those suggestions into orders.

Public health officials say the US has reached a tipping point — warning that if residents don’t take the call to action seriously, the country may be faced with a scenario similar to the one facing Italy. The European country went on total lockdown last week and has been hit harder than any other country in the region, with at least 24,747 cases of coronavirus and 1,809 deaths.

“We have the same number of cases that Italy had two weeks ago. We have a choice to make,” US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said. “Do we want to really lean into social distancing and mitigation strategies and flatten the curve or do we just want to keep going on with business as usual and end up being Italy?”

This week has already brought a sharp increase in both US cases and deaths.

On Sunday evening, there were 3,349 cases of coronavirus in the US. That number jumped by more than 1,000 in about 24 hours. The number of deaths climbed by more than 20 in that time frame.

Throughout the day on Monday, orders for an altered American reality poured in as cases across the US reached 4,466 and 87 people had died.

In Ohio

As of Tuesday morning in Ohio, there were 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Fourteen people were hospitalized.  The ages of the patients range from as young as 14 years old to 86 years old.

Here is the breakdown of counties: Belmont (2), Butler (6), Cuyahoga (24), Franklin (3), Geauga (1), Lorain (3), Lucas (1), Medina (2), Stark (3), Summit (2), Trumbull (2), Tuscarawas (1).

Social distancing, a preventative measure encouraged by health and government officials, is altering the way people in the US eat, work, study and socialize.

  • Today’s primary election has been postponed; the primary will be moved to June 2 and voting by mail will continue until then.
  • Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that all bars and restaurants had to close by 9 p.m. on Sunday due to the coronavirus outbreak. Delivery and carry out will still be allowed.
  • All Ohio K-12 schools will be on an extended spring break, beginning Monday and lasting until April 3. Many Ohio colleges are closing university housing and moving to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester as concern over the coronavirus rises.
  • He recommended moving it to June in light of new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control on Sunday which recommended no gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.
  • Monday, DeWine ordered the following closures: fitness centers, gyms, bowling alleys, public rec centers, movie theaters, indoor water parks, and trampoline parks. 
Map based on state departments of health as of March 15.

‘No more than 10 people,’ government says

The orders came the same day the federal government released a new set of guidelines for the next 15 days to fight the spread of the virus. One part of those guidelines: steering clear of groups with more than 10 people.

As President Donald Trump announced the recommendations from the White House, the Dow saw its worst point drop in history. Trump said the country “may” be headed toward a recession but said he was instead focused on fighting off the coronavirus.

The guidelines also urged Americans to avoid eating and drinking at bars and restaurants and to instead opt for drive-through, pick-up or delivery options.

“We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it, and that’s what we are,” Trump said Monday evening.

How long will it last?

In the government news conference Monday, Trump said the country’s new normal may last until July or August.

Guidance from health officials gives some insight on how long the outbreaks may substantially affect the country.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sunday recommended no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks.

The CDC also said last week closing schools for eight weeks or more may have a great impact on curbing spread of the virus, compared to two and four-week closures.

Meanwhile, a novel coronavirus vaccine trial in the US gave a dose to its first participant, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Monday.

The study aims to enroll a total of 45 healthy adults over a six-week time frame. Each participant will receive two injections about a month apart in varying doses.

It’s meant to establish that the vaccine is safe and induces a desired response from participants’ immune systems. Proving that the vaccine is effective in preventing infection from the coronavirus, however, will require follow-up studies involving many more participants, which will take many more months, experts say.

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