COVID-19 Update: Five Things You Need to Know

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(TMU) — News about the novel coronavirus spreading throughout the United States and across the world is developing rapidly.

It can be difficult and overwhelming to keep up with everything happening so we’ve sifted through hundreds of articles and pulled out what we feel are the most important developments of the last 24 hours so you don’t have to.

Here are five huge developments that you need to know about the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus.

🦠 The Latest COVID-19 Updates You Need to Know! 🦠

Posted by Emma Leigh on Thursday, March 5, 2020

New Cases Across the US, Yale Professor Warns of ‘Explosion’ of Cases

Yale professor, radiologist, and healthcare management expert Howard Forman warns, “There is absolutely going to be an explosion in the number of identified cases. But how fast that number increases is highly dependent on how fast we can test.” Forman said that testing for coronavirus is an integral part in controlling the spread, adding that the U.S is not doing enough and efforts thus far have been “woefully inadequate.

King County, Washington has encouraged its 2.2 million residents to stay home for the next three weeks. The county that includes the city of Seattle, is suggesting that anyone over the age of 60 stay indoors, that people telecommute rather than physically go into work, and that residents refrain from licking their mail-in ballots for the upcoming March 10 primary. 

Placer County, California declared a local health emergency after reporting a second confirmed case of the virus. The newest case was traced to a Grand Princess cruise ship that had departed San Francisco in mid-February. While the patient had been reported to be “critically ill,” it was later confirmed that the elderly man passed away.

This latest death brings the U.S. official death count to eleven, according to the La Times.

The Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to arrive off the coast of San Francisco on Thursday as the CDC investigates a “small cluster” of coronavirus cases associated with its previous voyage. California’s Governor said in a Wednesday press conference that the ship will be held off the coast and not allowed to dock.

Los Angeles County, California also declared a state of emergency as six new cases of the virus were confirmed on Tuesday night.  

NBC reported that a CDC contractor tasked with screening passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) just tested positive for the virus.

California Governor Newson has now declared a state of emergency for the entire state of California after the state confirmed a total of 53 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon. Newsome said in a statement, “The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus. This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.

More than 8,000 people are being monitored in California, according to the Independent.

A New Hampshire hospital worker became the state’s first case on Monday and was ordered to self-isolate. However, the patient who was confirmed to be infected defied orders and instead attended a local event. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement, “The first patient, despite having been directed to self-isolate, attended an invitation-only private event on Friday.” Healthcare works warned all attendees at the event that took place in Vermont to “follow the recommended 14-day self-isolation.”

New Jersey has announced its first COVID-19 case. The patient, a male in his 30s, has been hospitalized since March 3.

And in New York, 1,000 people have been told to self-quarantine following new cases in Westchester, New York.

The U.S military has confirmed two new cases of the virus found in relatives of troops in South Korea. At the same time South Korea has declared what it is calling a “special care zone” around a second city hit by the virus.

Wuhan Seafood Market Reportedly Demolished as Virus Spreads

The Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, China thought to be ground zero for the deadly outbreak of COVID-19 has reportedly been demolished two months after it was shuttered. According to a Lancet study, 66 percent of patients suffering from the virus in Wuhan hospitals as of early January had been exposed to the market. Conflicting reports about the market’s involvement in the outbreak continue to emerge.

Australia has banned travels from South Korea and instituted enhanced screenings of visitors from Italy in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He also indicated there would be a ban on travers from China and Iran.

According to India Today, at least 15 Italian have tested positive while visiting other countries. 

In Israel, around 100,000 people are currently in quarantine. During a press conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We have to understand, we are in the midst of a global epidemic, the most dangerous of these epidemics in the last 100 years.”

Iraq has reported the country’s first two confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the BBC.

Researchers Identify Two Different Strains of COVID-19

As what Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn is now calling a “worldwide pandemic” grows, researchers have identified two different strains of the virus. One strain is reportedly less aggressive than the other. According to the study, 30 percent of strains studied were the aggressive type. Researches say the aggressive virus began to decrease in prevalence in early 2020.

China has reported that a 36-year-old recovered COVID-19 patient fell ill five days after recovering and being discharged from the hospital and died. It is unclear which strain of the virus he had.

Global Panic Buying Continues

Panic buying across the world continues as people prepare for possible quarantine and shortages of goods. On Wednesday, Australia’s biggest supermarket chain announced a limit on the amount of toilet paper that could be purchased. Woolworths said, “to ensure more customers have access to the products,” customers would be limited to four packs of toilet paper per person. The chain has also moved hand sanitizers behind the service counter and has placed a limit of two per person.

Across social media, Americans are sharing stories of finding empty store shelves but online retailers are also feeling the stress of panic buying. Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, and Walmart have all been overwhelmed by the increase in orders and are expecting delivery delays. Social media users have reported dousing items they’ve ordering online in products like Lysol before opening.

Amidst the increase in buying, the World Health Organization suggested that contaminated money may be spreading the virus that remains on surfaces for days and suggested people use “contactless payment methods” instead.

Schools and Offices Closing Across the World

Italy’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 79 as the country orders all classrooms throughout the country to close until mid-March. Italy also plans to close theaters and ban public events across the country, according to Yahoo.

Almost 300 million students throughout the world are home from school this week.

Greece is the latest country to close schools and universities as well as cancel large public gatherings.

Despite recording the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the United States, Washington officials have not yet ordered schools to close in the state. King County health officer Jeffrey Duchin acknowledged the need to “keep our society functioning, our businesses functioning and schools functioning.” Duchin said schools in county will close only after there is a confirmed case associated with that school.

However, Facebook Inc. has decided to close its Seattle office after a contractor was diagnosed.

Check out yesterday’s update and video if you missed it, look for our next article summarizing recent developments, and be sure to follow @COVID19report on Telegram.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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