Virus update: Don’t bother buying masks, and other things to know about COVID-19 spread

The United States’ top doctor has one simple request: Stop buying face masks to ward off coronavirus COVID-19. It doesn’t work.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams’ message, posted to Twitter, was a response to face mask shortages as people stocked up due to coronavirus concerns. “Seriously people,” he tweeted. “STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Washing your hands, staying home when sick and other “everyday preventive actions” are the best protections, Adams said. He urged people to get a flu shot, as fewer flu patients means more resources to fight the coronavirus.

Here’s what else has unfolded in the last 24 hours:

President Trump tweeted that the U.S. would begin screening travelers arriving from high-risk countries.The U.S. recorded its first death from the virus. The governor of Washington declared a state of emergency Saturday after a man died there of COVID-19. More than 50 people in a nursing facility are sick and being tested for the virus.About 60 patients in United States have been confirmed with coronavirus.Trump banned travel to U.S. from Iran. A State Department advisory urged Americans not to travel to the Lombard and Veneto regions of Italy hit by COVID-19. Trump is ‘thinking about’ possibly closing US border with Mexico to guard against COVID-19 spread. Two people have tested positive in Mexico.Vice President Mike Pence said some COVID-19 patients in US are in intensive care units, but says overall infection risk to Americans is lowAnother person in Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the third suspected case in the state after two confirmed patients.Elsewhere, an Iran Health Ministry spokesman said 54 dead amid 978 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the Islamic Republic. Italian authorities reported coronavirus cases are up to 1,128, including 29 deaths. Virus fears closed France’s Louvre Museum.

For deeper coverage of the latest developments, select from the stories below. Scroll further for a gallery and live updates from verified social media.

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