Coronavirus update: The ‘ground zero’ for U.S. outbreaks, plus the latest on efforts contain the pandemic

Burgeoning coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes in Washington, Illinois, New Jersey and elsewhere are laying bare the industry’s long-running problems, including a struggle to control infections and a staffing crisis that relies on poorly paid aides who can’t afford to stay home sick.

Since a coronavirus outbreak began that has killed 35 people at the Life Care Center nursing home near Seattle, at least 15 more have died and dozens of others have been infected at such long-term care facilities across the nation.

“Nursing homes would always have been ground zero, but given we already have huge staffing shortages, this will be magnified. It could be worse for today’s nursing homes than ever,” said David Grabowski, Harvard Medical School professor.

Among other emerging trends this weekend:

The outbreak poses unprecedented challenges for charities and nonprofit groups that rely on donations. The American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage and the Girl Scouts’ annual cookie sales have been disrupted.US Olympic leaders face a growing rebellion after the USA Track and Field and USA Swimming called for a postponement of the summer games in Tokyo.Americans traveling or living abroad are finding it difficult to get home as nations close borders to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Factories are offering to retool to make equipment and supplies to fight the virus — but the effort may take too long to help with medical gear shortages.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, a guide to coping, maps tracking virus spread, and more.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate fever and cough. It can cause more severe illness including pneumonia for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

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