Coronavirus live updates: US leads world with over 82,000 coronavirus cases

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 23,600 people around the world, including at least 1,178 people in the United States.

Worldwide, there are more than 526,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, spanning every continent except Antarctica, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At least 122,000 people around the world have recovered.

With more than 82,000 diagnosed cases, the U.S has the highest national total, ahead of Italy and China.

5:37 p.m.: US leads world with over 82,000 coronavirus cases

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any nation in the world, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

There were 82,404 confirmed cases throughout the country, which is 622 more than China, where the outbreak began.

The total number of deaths from the virus in the country was 1,178, according to the data.

Italy leads the world with 8,215 COVID-19 fatalities, followed by Spain, which had 4,154, according to John Hopkins.

4:28 p.m.: Sen. Klobuchar’s husband released from hospital

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who recently dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, said her husband, John Bessler, is recovering from coronavirus.

Bessler was released from the hospital after suffering from pneumonia and low oxygen, Klobuchar said Thursday.

“He took a good turn, was just released and is now recovering at home,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Thanks to those who cared for him and for all front line health care workers.”

Klobuchar said her husband, who is 52, has no preexisting conditions and was “very healthy” prior to falling ill with the virus. She has not suffered any symptoms and therefore wasn’t tested.

4:15 p.m.: 17-year-old dies in Louisiana

A 17-year-old with coronavirus has died in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the teenager had underlying health conditions.

The teen is one of 83 people who have died in the state.

The virus has infiltrated 53 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, the governor said.

As the state reels from the growing epidemic, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he and his wife are giving $5 million to organizations to help Louisiana “communities get through this tough time.”

Brees said on Instagram he’s partnering with organizations “to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.”

4 p.m.: Travelers from some spots must self-quarantine when entering Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered travelers from some of the areas hit hardest by coronavirus — New Orleans, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering Texas.

The order applies to people traveling by air. Travelers could face criminal charges if they don’t comply with the order.

3:40 p.m.: United employee dies after contracting COVID-19

A United employee based out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey has died after contracting COVID-19, according to the airline.

“The thoughts of the entire United family are with his loved ones,” the airline said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 68 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19. TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the agency will begin to allow employees to wear N95 masks on a voluntary basis.

3:00 p.m.: Italy’s death toll climbs to 8,165

Hard-hit Italy has reached a death toll of 8,165, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

Italy’s death toll is nearly double Spain’s, which has the second most fatalities. Spain is followed by China, Iran and France.

Italy’s number of diagnosed cases has now topped 80,000, according to the Civil Protection Agency.

But over 10,000 have recovered in Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins data. Among the recovered was an 86-year-old woman who was released from the hospital Tuesday after seven weeks.

2:28 p.m.: 2 Grand Princess passengers die from coronavirus

Two male passengers who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and were being housed at Travis Air Force Base in California have died from coronavirus complications, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Both passengers were on board the Grand Princess cruise ship and were transferred to medical facilities immediately after developing symptoms, the department said.

 2:08 p.m.: AG urges federal prisons to explore releasing more inmates to early home confinement

Amid concerns of the potentially devastating effects that a COVID-19 outbreak could have within the walls of the nation’s prisons, Attorney General William Barr said he has issued new recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons to explore releasing certain at-risk prisoners to home confinement to reduce the prison population.

Of the 146,000 inmates serving time in federal prison facilities, one-third are considered to have preexisting medical conditions and roughly 10,000 are over the age of 60, Barr said at a news conference on Thursday.

“You want to make sure that our institutions don’t become petri dishes and it spreads rapidly through a particular institution. But we have the protocols that are designed to stop it and we are using all the tools we have to protect the inmates,” Barr said.

Among those tools “will be identifying vulnerable prisoners who would make more sense to allow to go home to finish their confinement,” he said.

Anyone who would be considered eligible for release to home confinement would have to quarantine for 14 days, he said.

In a phone interview with ABC News after the news conference, Barr stressed that there would be significant limits on what would make prisoners eligible for release to home confinement, noting that they could not be convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses — which makes up roughly 40% of the over-60 population.  

1:42 p.m.: Drew Brees gives $5 million to Louisiana

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he and his wife are giving $5 million to Louisiana organizations to help “our communities get through this tough time.”

Diagnosed coronavirus cases have jumped to 2,305 in Louisiana. At least 83 people in the state have died.

Brees said on Instagram he’s partnering with organizations “to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need.”

1:14 p.m.: China temporarily bars all foreign nationals from entering country

China’s Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that as of March 28, all foreign nationals, including those with valid visas and residence permits, will be temporarily barred from entering the country.

Diplomats and flight crew are exempt.

1:01 p.m.: Columbia medical students can graduate early to help with pandemic

Columbia University will let medical students graduate early so they can help with the coronavirus response efforts in New York, university officials told ABC News.

The decision from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center comes after New York University announced the unprecedented decision to graduate its fourth-year students early. NYU said its commitment was in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive to get more physicians into the health system quickly.

12:40 p.m.: Chicago shuts down Lakefront Trail

Chicago’s popular Lakefront Trail was shut down on Thursday, blocking access to the extensive trail and park, after too many people congregated and violated social distancing guidelines, said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago Police said they will start issuing $500 citations for those violating social distancing guidelines and will arrest repeat offenders.

12:20 p.m.: ‘REAL ID’ deadline pushed back to October 2021

The deadline to apply for the new federally mandated “REAL ID,” which will be required for anyone trying to fly from U.S. airports, has been extended by a year due to closures at the Department of Motor Vehicles as a result of the coronavirus, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday.

The original deadline was Oct. 1, 2020, and it’s now pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021.

12:04 p.m.: Stimulus bill ‘failed to meet the governmental need,’ Cuomo says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Congress’ $2 trillion stimulus bill has “failed to meet the governmental need.”

Out of the total stimulus bill, New York state gets $5 billion for COVID-19 expenses, which Cuomo said does not help with lost revenue to the state.

“I’m disappointed,” Cuomo said on Thursday. “I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless. Emotion is a luxury. And we don’t have the luxury at this time of being emotional about what they [Congress] did. When this is over, I promise you I’m going to give them a piece of my mind.”

“This was the time [for Congress] to put politics aside,” Cuomo said. “Now is a time to actually step up, do the right thing, and do your job. And they haven’t as far as I’m concerned, especially when it comes to the governmental need.”

New York has become the nation’s epicenter of the pandemic. The state has seen 385 deaths from COVID-19 and that number is expected to continue to rise, Cuomo said.

Over 37,000 New Yorkers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 5,000 of those people are in the hospital, he said.

As of Wednesday, New York was performing 25% of the COVID-19 testing nationwide, according to the governor.

11:18 a.m.: New record low for domestic plane travel

As domestic airline travel continues to plunge, the TSA screened its lowest number of passengers in over a decade on Wednesday.

There were 239,234 travelers screened by the TSA on Wednesday, compared to 2,273,811 travelers on the same weekday last year.

10:24 a.m.: Tufts University to hold its 1st virtual commencement

Tufts University will hold its first virtual commencement ceremony.

“In light of the unprecedented public health crisis we are currently facing, we will be unable to bring our graduates together physically to celebrate all that they have accomplished,” the university said in a statement. “Though we unfortunately cannot be together in person, we will celebrate the class of 2020 on May 17.”

9:06 a.m.: Spain’s death toll climbs over 4,000

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus has now climbed to 4,089 after another 655 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, according to Spain’s Health Ministry.

Spain now has the second-highest number of deaths, following Italy.

The nation has 56,188 diagnosed cases, including 3,679 people who are in the intensive care unit, according to Spain’s Health Ministry.

Spain is fourth in the number of diagnosed cases, behind China, Italy and the U.S.

8:42 a.m.: Member of NYC hospital nursing staff dies from coronavirus

A member of the nursing staff at New York City’s Mount Sinai Health System has died from the coronavirus, according to the hospital.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff,” Mount Sinai said in a statement. “Today, we lost another hero – a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.”


We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff. Today, we lost another hero – a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.

— Mount Sinai Health System (@MountSinaiNYC) March 26, 2020


7:40 a.m.: Prince Charles still working in self-isolation, royal source says

Charles, Prince of Wales, is working at his desk as usual while self-isolating at his estate in Scotland, a royal source told ABC News.

The source said Charles has received hundreds of get well soon wishes sent to his official royal residence in London, Clarence House.

A Clarence House spokesman confirmed in a statement Wednesday that Charles had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and “has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health.”

His wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has tested negative for the virus, according to the spokesman. The couple is currently self-isolating at Birkhall, their private residence in Scotland.

Charles, 71, is the first child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is the heir apparent to the British throne.

6:32 a.m.: Russia grounds all international flights over coronavirus

The Russian government has ordered the grounding of all international flights as part of new measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia’s civil aviation agency Rosaviatsiya will halt “regular and charter air flights from Russian airports to and from foreign countries,” with the exception of flights evacuating Russian citizens from abroad, according to the decree published Thursday on the government’s website.

The new travel restriction comes into force at midnight on Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 840 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus in Russia, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

5:27 a.m.: Nearly 90% of the world’s student population is out of school due to pandemic

More than 1.5 billion students are not attending schools and universities because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest figures from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Governments across the globe have closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the outbreak. More than 160 countries have implemented nationwide school closure, impacting over 87 percent of the world’s student population, according to UNESCO monitoring.

Several other nations have implemented localized school closures and, should those become nationwide, millions more students would be affected, UNESCO warned.

3:30 a.m.: Diagnosed cases approach half a million worldwide

The number of diagnosed cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus will likely reach half a million in the coming days, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

China still has the highest tally with more than 81,000 diagnosed cases, but Italy isn’t far behind with over 74,000. The U.S. count is approaching 70,000.

Meanwhile, the global death toll topped 21,000 on Thursday, with Italy and Spain as the two worst-affected countries.

A third of the world’s population is under some kind of coronavirus-related movement restrictions as governments scramble to contain the spread of the disease.

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