live updates Coronavirus updates: Trump extends shutdown, Fauci warns 200k could die Download the free app

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President Trump has extended the nationwide shutdown of thousands of businesses until April 30, prolonging social distancing measures in a bid to curtail the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic. Mr. Trump says the rate of new infections in the country is expected to "peak" in about two weeks, but he believes the U.S. will be "well on its way to recovery" by June 1.

While endorsing Mr. Trump's decision to prolong the economic pain to slow the disease, the nation's top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci says COVID-19 could still claim between 100,000 and 200,000 American lives.

As of Monday morning, the U.S. death toll was over 2,500. More than 143,000 people have tested positive in the U.S. — almost a fifth of the roughly 723,000 cases worldwide. Doctors and nurses in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, and elsewhere, continue to face shortages of vital protective equipment and ICU beds.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned the disease is spreading "like fire through dry grass" at senior care facilities across the country.

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

New Updates

Co-writer of "I Love Rock and Roll" dies of coronavirus complications

Alan Merrill — who co-wrote the song "I Love Rock and Roll" that became a signature hit for fellow rocker Joan Jett — died Sunday in New York of complications from the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 69.

Laura Merrill said on her Facebook account that he died in the morning.

"I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out. He seemed peaceful and as I left there was still a glimmer of hope that he wouldn't be a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen," she wrote. "By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone."

Merrill said her father was in good spirits recently. "He played down the 'cold' he thought he had," she said. "I've made a million jokes about the 'Rona' and how it'll "getcha"… boy do I feel stupid."


As thick as thieves daddy. You were more than a father…you were one of my best friends. We spoke EVERYDAY. We’ve…

Posted by Laura Merrill on Monday, March 30, 2020

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Governor lauds FDA for approving wide use of Ohio firm's face mask sterilization system

Ohio's governor said Sunday that federal regulators had cleared the way for wide use of a Columbus-based company's services to sterilize the vital N95 masks that are in short supply around the country.

Battelle, a private research lab, says its process, which involves the use of hydrogen peroxide under pressure, can refurbish a single mask up to 20 times before the mask has to be discarded.

Governor Mike DeWine thanked the Food and Drug Administration and President Trump for hurriedly granting the company approval "to sterilize masks without a daily limit," saying the move "will save lives!"

The @US_FDA authorization will allow @Battelle to sterilize masks without a daily limit. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is capable of decontaminating up to 80,000 respirator masks per system each day. This will save lives! #InThisTogetherOhio

— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 30, 2020

DeWine had called it reckless that Battelle was onlyauthorized by the FDA to sterilize 10,000 per day until Sunday. The company has said it can handle up to 80,000 masks per day and that it is working to set up sterilization systems in other parts of the country.


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Instacart workers set to go on strike over coronavirus concerns

A possible strike by Instacart workers highlights the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the grocery delivery business, where workers are worried about their safety as they try to meet a surge in demand for online groceries.

A group called the Gig Workers Collective is calling for a nationwide walk-out Monday. They've been asking Instacart to provide workers with hazard pay and protective gear, among other demands. Instacart said Sunday it would soon provide workers with a new hand sanitizer upon request and outlined changes to its tip system. The group said the measures were too little too late.

While some workers say they intend to join the strike for at least a day — or have stopped filling orders already for fear of getting the virus — other, newer workers are content to have a paying job at a time of mass layoffs in other industries.

The San Francisco-based delivery app is trying to hire 300,000 more workers — more than doubling its workforce — to fulfill orders it says have surged by 150% year-over year in the past weeks.

Associated Press

By Tucker Reals

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Twitter removes tweets by Brazilian president questioning virus quarantines

Two tweets by Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus were removed Sunday, on the grounds that they violated the social network's rules.

The far-right leader had posted several videos in which he flouted his government's social distancing guidelines by mixing with supporters on the streets of Brasilia and urging them to keep the economy going.

Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down.


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U.S. counties with no coronavirus cases largely rural, and poor

As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows. Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that 1,297 counties have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of 3,142 counties nationwide.

Of the counties without positive tests, 85% are in rural areas — from predominantly white communities in Appalachia and the Great Plains to majority Hispanic and Native American stretches of the American Southwest — that generally have less everyday contact between people that can help transmit the virus.

At the same time, counties with zero positive tests for COVID-19 have a higher median age and higher proportion of people older than 60 — the most vulnerable to severe effects of the virus — and far fewer intensive care beds should they fall sick. Median household income is lower, too, potentially limiting health care options.

– Associated Press

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Oklahoma governor orders anyone traveling from 6 states to self quarantine

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Sunday issued an executive order requiring anyone traveling to the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington state to self quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

The order comes one day after the CDC issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Texas Governor Gregg Abbott issued a similar order Sunday, requiring anyone driving to Texas from Louisiana or flying to Texas from Miami, Detroit, Chicago, California or Washington state. Abbott had already ordered those traveling to Texas from New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days beginning March 26.

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Already struggling farmers hit hard by coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has deeply affected America's farmers, who were already facing financial hardships, worsened by a trade war and labor shortages.

In the heart of Dallas, Bonton Farms planted roots in an often-forgotten neighborhood that's long been a food desert with no grocery store nearby. Daron Babcock started the small urban farm and 40-acre extension to solve a health crisis in the region.

"We have over double the rate of cancer, double the rate of stroke, double the rate of heart disease, double the rate of diabetes and double the rate of childhood obesity than the county we're in," he explained.

The farm provides fresh fruits and vegetables for the community and restaurants across north Texas. However, their two years of successful growth has become stunted by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

"Just day one, when they announced they were gonna quarantine, business dropped 90%," Babcock told CBS News.

Read more here.

Already struggling farmers hit hard by coronavirus

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