Virus briefing: Jobless up, gas prices down. Catch up on impact of the pandemic nationwide.
Government officials have raced to contain the COVID-19 virus with ever-expanding circles of social isolation, as schools close and shelter-in-place orders sweep across the nation.
Officials may be hard-pressed to enforce the new rule, relying on social compacts to keep everyone safe. A divide appears to be emerging between those who stringently practice self-isolation and those who are still trying to go about some semblance of a normal life (see full story below).
Meanwhile, the contagion of fear and uncertainty about a global pandemic infected the economy in ways that seemed unfathomable just a month ago. Among developments overnight:
China’s National Health Commission on Thursday reported no new domestic cases of coronavirus for the first time since the global health pandemic began.As businesses temporarily shuttered, the Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged last week by 70,000.Gas prices are falling — most likely because few of us are traveling. The price of a gallon of gasoline has hit 99 cents at a station in Kentucky.Walmart and other stores will host “senior shopping” events for customers aged 60 and older who are more likely to suffer serious cases of COVID-19.According to early research, an old malaria drug called chloroquine might also work for the new coronavirus.The Dow was down about another 2% in early trading. The New York Stock Exchange says it will temporarily close its iconic trading floor and transact business electronically beginning Monday as a precautionary step amid the coronavirius outbreak. American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s and above — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, a new CDC report shows.The U.S. government’s little-known Strategic National Stockpile has medical supplies stashed around the nation, but faces being overwhelmed by demand during the coronavirus outbreak.The pandemic has had an unexpected side effect in Venice—due to no boat traffic, the normally cloudy canals have transformed into water crystal clear enough to see fish swimming below.Seven Middle Eastern countries suspended all commercial flights. Worldwide, airlines are losing billions.
For full reports on developments in the past 24 hours, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for maps tracking spread, a guide to coping, 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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