Coronavirus update: US sports on hold, large gatherings banned, and more you need to know about pandemic consequences

So this is where we are: Major League Baseball’s opening day postponed. Broadway and Hollywood grinding to a halt. Universities from Harvard to UCLA telling students to stay away. Most travelers from Europe banned. Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s embodiment of everyday American-ness, felled by the new virus. And the speaker of the House of Representatives taking this question Thursday morning: “How prepared is Congress to work from home?”

Words and phrases used intermittently in recent days began coming at Americans in a dizzying fusillade: Canceled. Postponed. Scrapped. Stay home. Don’t come in. Don’t embrace. Don’t shake hands. Social distancing. Unprecedented. Crisis.

Here’s a rundown of developments in recent hours:

The NCAA cancelled men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments amid coronavirus fears. The National Hockey League suspended its season, but hopes to resume at play at later date. And Major League Baseball delayed opening day by at least two weeks, suspending its spring training schedule.Stocks plummeted again as travel bans and virus-related shutdowns escalated; the Dow lost more than 2,300 points, or 10%. European stocks index ended the day with its biggest loss on record. The New York Fed said it will step up purchases of Treasury securities, boosting markets.Broadway theaters plan to suspend performances through April 12. New York banned all gatherings of 500 people or more in an attempt to contain virus. The Connecticut governor barred gatherings of 250 people or more to slow spread of virus.Italy’s coronavirus death toll tops 1,000 as Europe becomes new center of the world’s pandemic.

For full reports on developments in the past 24 hours, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for graphics charting the virus and live updates from verified social media accounts.

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

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.

Congress’ attending physician told staff there could be as many as 70 million to 100 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. over time. That’s on par with other estimates. A Harvard official has estimated that 20% to 60% of adults will get the virus, noting it’s “a pretty wide range.”

Graphics: Virus impact deepens worldwide

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