(NEW YORK) — A growing pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected hundreds of thousands of people around the world, spreading to every continent except Antartica since emerging in China back in December.
Data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University shows there are a total of 339,259 diagnosed cases of the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, known officially as COVID-19. China, Italy and the United States have the highest national totals, respectively. At least 14,706 people have died so far, prompting many countries to impose travel restrictions, close borders, and shut schools and businesses.
The number of U.S. cases has topped 35,000, spanning across every state as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. At least 471 of those patients have died. Millions of U.S. residents have been ordered to stay at home in an effort to contain the disease.
Here’s the latest on the developing situation Monday. All times Eastern:
4:09 a.m. Florida closes all state parks
Florida is closing all of its state parks to the public due to the coronavirus crisis.
At the direction of the governor and to successfully uphold social distancing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said it will close all state parks to the public, effective Monday. The Sunshine State is home to nearly 200 state parks and trails.
A notice on the Florida State Parks website said the Department of Environmental Protection “has taken many measures to continue providing resource recreation at our state parks during this time, such as limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity at parks with high visitation.”
“Unfortunately,” the notice continued, “this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
There are more than 1,000 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus in Florida, and at least 13 of those patients have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
3:42 a.m. U.S. Secret Service employee tests positive
A U.S. Secret Service employee is in quarantine after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the agency confirmed in a statement late Sunday night.
“The Secret Service has conducted a comprehensive contact trace assessment and determined that the employee has not had contact with any Secret Service employee or protectee for nearly three weeks,” the agency said.
Further information about the employee’s identity was not provided due to privacy considerations.
3:00 a.m. Japan to begin quarantining all visitors from the US
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that his country will require a 14-day quarantine to all visitors from the United States amid an escalating number of coronavirus infections around the globe.
The quarantine requirement includes Japanese and American citizens and will go into effect Thursday until the end of April. The move comes after Japan raised its travel advisory for the United States, urging Japanese citizens not to make nonessential trips to the nation.
Abe said the new requirement is in line with containment measures taken by other countries, including the United States, which has reported a surge in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Japan appears to have successfully slowed the spread of the virus on its soil, with just 1,101 diagnosed cases as of Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Still, Abe said a decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, slated to kick off on July 24, “may become inevitable” if the pandemic makes it impossible to hold the event safety.
The International Olympic Committee’s executive board has announced a plan to analyze the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision that could include the option to postpone, although the board emphasized that it has no current plans to outright cancel the games. A number of Olympic athletes have called on organizers to postpone or cancel the games due to the pandemic.
“If it is difficult to hold in a complete way, a decision of postponement would be unavoidable,” Japan’s prime minister said at a press conference Monday.
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