- The White House is conducting temperature checks.
- Carnival, other cruise lines to stop sailing for 30 days.
- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a package to help pay for testing and other aid.
- Apple is temporarily closing stores outside of China.
- More than a dozen states are closing all public schools, affecting millions of students.
U.S. President Donald Trump said in a news conference Saturday morning that he is considering domestic travel restrictions and is working with states that might be affected.
“If you don’t have to travel I wouldn’t do it,” Trump said.
When a reported asked if the White House is considering domestic travel restrictions, Trump replied: “Yes, specifically from certain areas, yes we are.”
He didn’t name which areas those might be but said officials were working with states that could be impacted.
Everyone in the briefing room, including Trump, had their temperatures checked before entering as part of a new move by the White House to monitor those who come in close contact with the president.
New York reported its first death from COVID-19 Saturday morning, as more than a dozen states moved to closed all public schools in the coming days, the Department of Defense ordered military personnel and their families in the U.S. not to travel and four more major cruise lines suspended operations as the global pandemic grips the nation.
“I am saddened to report the COVID19-related death of an 82-year-old woman in NYC who had a pre-existing respiratory disease (emphysema),” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter. “I extend my condolences to her family during this challenging time.”
New York is one of the state’s hardest hit by the outbreak of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The state has at least 421 confirmed cases, according to the New York Times. Fifty people in the state were hospitalized, with 13 in intensive care as of Friday afternoon.
The state opened a drive-through testing center Friday in New Rochelle, a New York City suburb that is the epicenter of the state’s outbreak.
At least 147,000 people have been sickened by the COVID-19 worldwide and more than 5,500 have died as of Saturday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus dashboard. At least 2,174 have tested positive in the U.S., where there have been at least 49 deaths, including one announced Friday night in Florida.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Health officials say most people infected will have mild sickness, but the elderly and those with underlying health issues are at higher risk of severe illness.
-With U.S. troops and their families stationed overseas already on virtual lockdown, the Pentagon on Friday ordered servicemembers in the U.S. not to travel outside of their local areas. The ban means families who were set to move to new duty stations or troops who were to travel for training will hold in place until at least May 11. The DOD also instituted a hiring freeze for civilian employees.
-Four more major cruise lines are suspending operations, USA Today reported. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Celebrity all announced on Friday that they are suspending cruises to and from U.S. ports for 30 days. Other cruise lines, including Disney, had already made similar announcements. “CLIA cruise line members are voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the U.S. as we work to address this public health crisis,” Kelly Craighead, CLIA president and CEO in a statement. “This is an unprecedented situation.”
-Schools in at least 14 states – Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin – are shutting down. The start dates and length of time for the closures vary, but most are for at least two weeks. Dozens of districts in other states are also canceling classes, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest in the nation, and the Houston Independent School District. The closures stand to affect millions of students and have officials scrambling to figure out how to feed those who rely on school nutrition programs, and have left parents trying to juggle work and childcare.
-The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center in Florida will be closed starting Monday until further notice. The center has exhibits and tours related to NASA’s adjacent John F. Kennedy Space Center, but operates independently from the launch complex. SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from the space center Sunday morning as part of its ongoing resupply missions to the International Space Station.
-Early Saturday morning, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an aid package that will allow Americans to receive free testing, sick pay and food through federal programs, according to the Associated Press.
-Three people who visited Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida last week have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Washington Post.
-Apple announced its closing all of its stores worldwide outside of China until March 27. Stores in China were previously closed but have reopened.
-Trump declared a national emergency over the new coronavirus on Friday, freeing up billions of dollars to fight the global pandemic in the United States. The president also announced several efforts to boost testing.
-Officials in Spain planned to announce Saturday that the country will follow Italy’s lead and institute a nationwide lockdown, allowing people only to leave their homes only for certain reasons, including to buy food and medicine and go to work, hospitals and banks, the AP reported. All schools, universities, restaurants, bars and hotels will also be closed down.
-At least 17,660 people have been sickened in Italy, the largest outbreak outside of mainland China. More than 1,200 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The entire country remains on lockdown.
-More than 12,000 people have tested postive for COVID-19 in Iran, where at least 611 people have died. It’s the third largest outbreak worldwide behind China and Italy.
-Korea, Spain, Germany and France are the other largest outbreaks outside of China.
-In all, the virus has spread to at least 147 countries and regions.
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