COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.
The virus has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide and continues to spread at a rapid pace.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern.)
New York City Restaurants To Be Takeout And Delivery Only Starting Tuesday 3/15/20, 10:20 p.m. ET
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all restaurants, bars and cafes in the city would be limited to food takeout and delivery only starting Tuesday morning. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues will be closed, he added.
This is not a decision I make lightly, de Blasio said in a statement. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.
BREAKING: Responding with a “war time mentality,” New York City Mayor @BilldeBlasio says tomorrow he will sign an executive order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery. Order goes into effect 3/17/20 at 9am. #COVID19pic.twitter.com/BVrXrQL7ni
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 16, 2020
Canadas 2nd Biggest Province Orders Shutdown Of Nonessential Businesses 3/15/20, 10:10 pm ET
The province of Quebec has issued an unprecedented directive for nonessential services to close.
In other countries, [the number] was exponential. It could be exponential here, Premier François Legault said. What we are doing will save lives.
Most recreational spaces in the province, including movie theaters, arcades, waterparks, ski hills, bars and gyms, will be closed. The directive does not include office towers or stores yet. Essential services will stay open.
Restaurants are being allowed to operate at 50% capacity, and clients are seated with an empty table between them. Takeout locations are not being restricted. The coronavirus has infiltrated Canada with 300 confirmed cases across eight provinces.
MGM Resorts International Announces Temporary Closure Of Las Vegas Hotels And Casinos 3/15/20, 9:55 p.m. ET
MGM Resorts International said it will suspend operations at its Las Vegas properties, effective Tuesday. Casinos are set to close Monday, followed by hotel operations.
The company is the biggest resort owner on the Las Vegas Strip and operates more than 15 businesses there. It had previously announced Friday that it would temporarily close buffet restaurants, clubs, fitness centers and spas.
Jim Murren, the chairman and CEO of MGM resorts, said in a statement that despite implementing measures to increase cleanliness, it had become apparent that ceasing operations was necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
As the coronavirus pandemic has intensified in the United States over the past week, the people of MGM Resorts have worked to try to find a way to continue delivering high quality hospitality and entertainment experiences for our guests while keeping our employees doing the jobs they love in a safe environment, he said in the statement. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.
A date for reopening has not been set, but the venues are declining reservations from now until May 1.
CDC Advises Cancellation Of All Events With 50 Or More People Throughout U.S. 3/15/20, 7:45 p.m. ET
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the organizers of large events and gatherings to cancel or postpone any meeting of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, effective immediately.
The agency released updated guidance on Sunday as infections continued to grow around the United States and governors, including those in Ohio and Illinois, began restricting where people can go in an effort to inhibit the spread of the virus.
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities, the CDC said. Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
The CDC said the recommendations do not apply to schools, colleges or businesses, and said that the types of events that should be canceled include weddings, concerts, parades and sporting events.
This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus, it said. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
Illinois And Ohio Order All Bars And Restaurants To Close Statewide 3/15/20, 4:18 p.m. ET
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said they are ordering all bars and restaurants in their states to close to the public to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
DeWine said bars and restaurants in Ohio will close starting Sunday night. Illinois bars and restaurants will close starting Monday night.
This is a very, very crucial time, DeWine said, adding that he knows the decision will impact small businesses but that the closures are necessary. Delay means more people will die. Literally every day we delay, the data clearly shows more people will die.
Delivery and carryout in Ohio is still allowed. Illinois is working with restaurant owners and food delivery services statewide to see if restaurants can safely keep their kitchens open so that they can continue delivering food to peoples homes, according to Pritzker.
The time for persuasion and public appeals is over. The time for action is here. This is not a joke, Pritzker said. No one is immune to this, and you have an obligation to act in the best interests of all the people in this state.
D.C. Mayor Effectively Shuts Down Bar Scene, Nightclubs 3/15/20, 3:30 p.m. ET
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced new restrictions on restaurants and bars in the nations capital, likely resulting in the temporary closing of many small businesses in the city.
The government is prohibiting the use of bar seating and service to standing patrons, and allowing no more than 250 people inside a restaurant or bar at one time, with a limit of six people per table. All tables must be six feet apart in compliance with the citys ban on mass gatherings. All venues listed as nightclubs and multi-purpose facilities must suspend operations.
New Hampshire Is Latest State To Announce Statewide School Closures 3/15/20 1:30 p.m. ET
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced hes directing all K-12 schools in the state to close and transition to remote instruction beginning Monday through Friday, April 3.
More than a dozen states, including Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania, have temporarily closed schools over COVID-19 concerns.
NY Gov. Asks Private Businesses To Voluntarily Close 3/15/20, 1:15 p.m. ET
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has asked private businesses, including restaurants and gyms, across the state to voluntarily close.
Reducing density is both a social responsibility & will help protect workforces, Cuomo tweeted Sunday. If businesses dont voluntarily cooperate, we will consider mandatory measures.
He also called on all nonessential state employees in Rockland County, Westchester County, New York City and Long Island to work from home beginning Monday.
Minnesota To Close Schools For 8 Days 3/15/20, 11:15 a.m. ET
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed an executive order to close all K-12 schools in the state, from Wednesday to Friday, March 27. There are at least 35 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state.
Closing schools is never an easy decision, but we need to make sure we have plans in place to educate and feed our kids regardless of whats to come, Walz said during a news conference on Sunday.
Schools will provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers during the hiatus, reported The Star Tribune.
Ohio Governor Says Schools Could Remain Closed For Months 3/15/20, 10:35 a.m. ET
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) told CNN that it would not surprise him if schools in his state remained closed through the end of the academic year.
Im just going by what medical experts are telling us, he said. This may not peak until the latter part of April or May. So weve informed the superintendents while weve closed schools for three weeks, that the odds are that this is going to go on for a lot longer.
The odds are “this is going to go on a lot longer and it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year, Ohio @GovMikeDeWine says about the long-term impact of the coronavirus. #CNNSOTUpic.twitter.com/i0luWcQVzX
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 15, 2020
Long Lines At Airports As New Travel Rule Takes Effect 3/15/20, 8:30 a.m. ET
Travelers reported chaos and massive lines at U.S. airports over the weekend as the Trump administrations new restrictions on European travel began to take effect.
Trump on Wednesday announced a travel ban on 26 European countries over COVID-19 concerns. The new rule went into effect Friday just before midnight. On Saturday, the administration announced it was adding the U.K. and Ireland to the list of travel-restricted countries. The latest restrictions will go into effect Monday at midnight ET. American citizens, legal permanent residents and their family members under the age of 21 are allowed to return to the U.S.
One American said she waited in line for seven hours to get through Customs at OHare International Airport in Chicago, reported The New York Times.
Another reported a three-hour wait time at Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport.
This is customs at DFW. Current wait time over 3 hours.Coughing and sneezing… pic.twitter.com/TyFeYthKUG
— Jeffrey Barnett (@holajefe) March 14, 2020
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted that the department is aware of long lines due to increased medical screening requirements.
Right now we are working to add additional screening capacity and working with the airlines to expedite the process, Wolf wrote. I understand this is very stressful. In these unprecedented times, we ask for your patience. It currently takes ~60 seconds for medical professionals to screen each passenger. We will be increasing capacity but the health and safety of the American public is first & foremost.
Lululemon, Nike, Wegmans Make Changes 3/15/20, 7:30 a.m. ET
More businesses are temporarily changing their store hours or closing their doors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Nike announced Sunday that its closing its stores across the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand beginning Monday through March 27. Workers will still be paid in full during the hiatus, CNBC reported.
Starting Monday, Lululemon stores will operate on limited hours from noon to 6 p.m. local time. All H-E-B stores and Publix stores are now closing at 8 p.m. local time. Wegmans is halting 24-hour service in the Northeast to allow stores to clean and restock overnight.
Vatican Says All Holy Week Events Will Be Held Without Visitors 3/15/20, 5:35 a.m. ET
In a move described as unprecedented in modern times, the Vatican said Sunday that all of Pope Francis Holy Week events, including on Easter Sunday, would not involve public participation over COVID-19 concerns.
The events, however, will be aired online and on TV.
Australia and New Zealand Impose 14-Day Self-Isolation On All Incoming Travelers 3/15/20, 4:05 a.m. ET
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that the country would impose 14-day self-isolation on all international travelers, including citizens and permanent residents. Cruise ships from foreign ports would also be banned for 30 days, Morrison said.
Neighboring New Zealand announced similar measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 on Saturday. The country said it would require arriving travelers to self-isolate for two weeks, and it also banned all foreign cruise ships.
Urban Outfitters, Walmart, Apple Make Changes 3/14/20, 8:25 p.m. ET
The retail world is starting to react, altering hours and closing stores in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep shelves stocked for those who need supplies.
Apple announced Friday that all of its stores outside of Greater China would be closed until March 27. Urban Outfitters tweeted today that its stores would be closed until further notice. Both Apple and UO said workers would be paid throughout the closures.
Walmart announced that starting Sunday, it would only open its stores from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. so associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing.
Trump Doctor Says President Tested Negative 3/14/20, 7:59 p.m. ET
In a memo sent by the White House on Saturday, Trumps doctor said he received confirmation that the presidents COVID-19 test was negative, adding that Trump was symptom free.
Read more here.
Wife Of Spains Prime Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus 3/14/20, 7:10 p.m. ET
Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez, has tested positive for coronavirus, the government of Spain confirmed late Saturday.
People close to the prime minister were tested for the virus. The prime minister and his wife are both feeling well and staying in La Moncloa, Spains equivalent of the White House.
Monaco Shuts Down Restaurants, Theaters And All Other Nonessential Businesses 3/14/20, 6:55 p.m. ET
The government of Monaco announced that as of midnight Saturday, all nonessential commercial businesses will close in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus pandemic. While supermarkets, banks and pharmacies will stay open, restaurants, theaters, clubs and more will have to close.
The move follows a similar announcement from neighboring France earlier Saturday.
Georgia Is Delaying Its Primary Amid Spread of Coronavirus 3/14/20, 6:30 p.m. ET
Georgia election officials have decided to postpone the upcoming presidential primary in the state from March 24 to May 19 amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. This follows Louisianas announcement on Friday, when it became the first state to delay its primary due to coronavirus.
A Guide To Social Distancing 3/14/20, 5 p.m. ET
Researchers are working on a vaccine for COVID-19, but they dont expect to see one for at least another year. Thats why public health officials are calling on everyone to practice social distancing in order to stem the spread of the virus. For most of us, that means simply keeping away from other people while maintaining exceptional personal hygiene as much as possible in order to break the chain of transmission.
So, should you cancel your domestic flights? Probably, unless its essential and you cant find an alternate means (such as a car) and you definitely shouldnt take the risk if youre elderly or immunocompromised.
What about using public transportation? Is it safe to eat out, or go to the gym? Head here for the answers.
Mexico Cancels School Classes For A Month Amid Coronavirus 3/14/20, 4:45 p.m. ET
In Mexico, the secretary of education announced that all public schools will suspend classes for a month, from March 20 to April 20, as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus.
New York City Reports First Coronavirus Death 3/14/20, 1:40 p.m. ET
Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the first death from COVID-19 in New York City in a press conference on Saturday. An 82-year-old woman died in Brooklyn she had an underlying health condition.
The mayor said there were 183 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the city, adding that undeniably those at greater risk were older people and those with serious medical conditions.
De Blasio said it was a moral imperative for New Yorkers to protect those most vulnerable, and even for people who want to visit older relatives, If youre sick, its not the time. Call them, get on FaceTime, whatever else. … We dont want to leave them alone.
He also called for people to share supplies with others who may be running low, saying it is a wartime dynamic and people have to look out for each other.
President Donald Trump Says He Was Tested For COVID-19 3/14/20, 12:59 p.m. ET
The president told reporters on Saturday that he took a test the previous evening for COVID-19, after individuals who had been near him tested positive. Trump said he would find out the results in a day or two, but that his temperature was totally normal.
The news that he took the test was a surprise, since just before midnight the White House physician sent out a memo saying a test was not necessary.The White House is now giving temperature checks to individuals who come in close contact with the president or Vice President Mike Pence.
White House Widens European Travel Ban To Include U.K., Ireland 3/14/20, 12:50 p.m. ET
Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. would be expanding its preventive travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland effective at midnight, Monday night, in addition to the countries in Europes Schengen Area that are already affected.
American citizens are not subject to the travel ban, which aims to help authorities contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Schools Are Serving To-Go Lunches As Coronavirus Closures Leave Students Without Meals They Count On 3/14/20, 12:25 p.m. ET
School districts from Fairfax, Virginia, to San Francisco, California, will be distributing meals for students families to pick up, amid widespread school closures implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
For many low-income families, the sudden, unexpected absence of school meals for their kids would create an additional expense they cant afford. In California, 60% of public school students are on free or reduced lunch plans, according to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and in some districts like Merced, that number reaches up to 80% of students.
Scammers Are Exploiting Coronavirus Outbreak 3/14/20, 11:42 a.m. ET
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, some scammers are spreading dangerous information and conservative outlets like Newsmax are helping them do it, HuffPosts Jesselyn Cook reports.
Spain To Go On Lockdown: Reports 3/14/20, 9:50 a.m. ET
Spanish media reported Saturday that Spains government will announce that it is placing tight restrictions on movement for the nation of 46 million people while declaring a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. Read more here.
Edinburgh Marathon Is Postponed 3/14/20, 9:01 a.m. ET
Organizers have postponed the Edinburgh Marathon that was set to take place in the Scottish capital on May 24. Race director Neil Kilgour said a new date is expected to be announced on Monday.
Triathlon World Body Suspends All Events 3/14/20, 8:39 a.m. ET
The International Triathlon Union has suspended all activity until April 30 including all events in the World Triathlon and Continental calendars due to the coronavirus outbreak, the governing body said on Saturday. All world rankings, Olympic qualification rankings, paratriathlon rankings and Paralympic qualification rankings will be frozen from Monday as a result, it added.
Budget Airline Cancels All Flights To Spain 3/14/20, 8:36 a.m. ET
British budget airline Jet2.com canceled all of its flights to Spain on Saturday after the country declared a state of emergency due to the spread of coronavirus. We have taken the decision to cancel all flights to mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands with immediate effect, the airline, which is owned by leisure operator Dart Group, said in a statement. Jet2.com is Britains third-biggest airline in terms of passenger numbers, behind easyJet and British Airways.
Chinese Billionaire Donates 2 Million Masks To Europe 3/14/20, 8:35 a.m. ET
Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has pledged to donate 2 million protective masks for distribution across Europe, with a first consignment arriving in Belgium late on Friday. A cargo plane loaded with 500,000 masks and other medical supplies such as test kits landed at Liege Airport. The consignment will be sent to Italy. Ma has also said he will donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and 1 million masks to the United States, while urging international cooperation to fight the health crisis.
Seville Cancels Holy Week Processions 3/14/20, 8:12 a.m. ET
The southern Spanish city of Seville has canceled its Holy Week processions, which were due to begin on Apr. 5. Mayor Juan Espadas Cejas announced the news on Twitter Saturday morning, calling it the most difficult decision I have taken in my five years in the role.
Apple Shuts All Stores Outside China 3/14/20, 7:25 a.m. ET
Apple is closing all its stores outside China until Mar. 27. The company is also committing $15 million to help with worldwide recovery, CEO Tim Cook announced.
In our workplaces and communities, we must do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Apple will be temporarily closing all stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and committing $15M to help with worldwide recovery. https://t.co/ArdMA43cFJ
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 14, 2020
Apples stores inside China, meanwhile, have now reopened. Read Cooks full statement here.
House Passes Bipartisan Coronavirus Relief Bill 3/14/20, 2:03 a.m. ET
After multiple moments of near-collapse and a week of negotiation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the House passed a bipartisan bill early Saturday to deal with some of the potential financial fallout for families affected by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The bill passed the House, 363-40, just after midnight on Saturday, with 223 Democrats and 140 Republicans in support, and zero Democrats and 40 Republicans opposed. Independent Justin Amash of Michigan was the only member to vote present, over concerns that lawmakers didnt have enough time to read the legislation.
Read the full details here.
Matt Fuller and Arthur Delaney
Pentagon Bans Most Domestic Travel For Department Of Defense3/13/20, 11:39 p.m. ET
In a dramatic move, the Pentagon is banning most domestic travel for military service members and Defense Department personnel until May 11.
The restriction is necessary to preserve force readiness and to help stem the spread of coronavirus, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist said in a memo released Friday. All DoD military personnel will stop movement while this memorandum is in effect. In addition, DoD civilian personnel and DoD family members, whose transportation is government-funded, will also stop movement, the memo says.
Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis only for humanitarian reasons or extreme hardship. It goes into effect Monday.
Verily Has To Correct Trumps Claims About A Coronavirus Testing Site 3/13/20, 8:45 p.m. ET
Verily, which is also under Googles parent company, Alphabet, had to issue a correction to Trumps address on Friday in which he said Google was developing a website to help Americans determine if they need to be tested for the coronavirus.
In reality, Verily is developing the program, and its just rolling it out in the San Francisco Bay Area for now.
Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time, a statement from the company said.
No Visits To Federal Prisons, Immigration Centers For Next 30 Days 3/13/20, 8:20 p.m. ET
Amid the growing threat of the coronavirus in the U.S., inmates at all federal correctional facilities will no longer be allowed visits from family or attorneys for the next 30 days. The move is meant as a precaution, as no federal inmates or Bureau of Prisons staff members have tested positives for COVID-19 so far.
Similarly, Immigration and Customs Enforcement also said it would temporarily suspend social visits at detention facilities across the U.S. Officials said no detainees had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Advocates have called for vulnerable populations among immigrant detainees to be released as their deportation cases move through the court system.
The Bachelorette Postpones Production 3/13/20, 8:04 p.m. ET
Production on ABCs upcoming season of The Bachelorette has been postponed, Warner Bros. Television Group said in a statement Friday.
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our productions, but the health and safety of our employees, casts and crews remains our top priority, read the statement.
The new season, starring past Bachelor contestant Clare Crawley, was previously scheduled to begin filming in the Los Angeles area on Friday.
Netflix Stops Production On Shows 3/13/20, 7:58 p.m. ET
Netflix announced that its shutting down production on all its shows in the U.S. and Canada for at least two weeks, citing government restrictions and health/safety precautions.
The news comes shortly after Warner Bros. announced it was suspending production on more than 70 shows.
Major Cruise Companies Suspend Voyages Amid Coronavirus Pandemic 3/13/20, 7:45 p.m. ET
Cruise companies Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruises joined Carnivals Princess Cruises in temporarily suspending their operations.
Princess Cruises made headlines starting last month when hundreds of passengers on its Diamond Princess ship were quarantined off the coast of Japan amid a COVID-19 outbreak onboard. Earlier this week, another one of its ships, the Grand Princess, docked in Oakland, California, after 21 people onboard tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As the ship has unloaded almost all of its passengers over the past few days, more people have tested positive, according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, but it is not yet known how many.
Ellen DeGeneres Show Suspending Production 3/13/20, 7:43 p.m. ET
Ellen DeGeneres announced that shes suspending production of her show until March 30.
We just want to take every precaution to ensure that we do our part to keep everyone healthy, she tweeted. I love you guys, and cant wait to come back. Im already bored.
Trump Declares National Emergency, Fails To Take Responsibility For Disastrous Response And Testing Delays 3/13/20 4:42 p.m.
Trump announced a national emergency to accelerate the U.S. governments response to the pandemic. But he spent much of the announcement praising his widely criticized response, and defiantly said I dont take responsibility for delays in testing for the virus. He also paraded a line-up of corporate executives from companies like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Quest Diagnostics, who are partnering with the government to provide tests showing that the private sector is shouldering much of the burden of responding to the public health crisis.
Read more here.
Canada Plans Financial Help For Citizens, Rolls Out New Travel Measures 3/13/20, 2:50 p.m. ET
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave an update on his condition today, and laid out new measures the government is taking in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
On my doctors recommendation, I will remain in self-isolation for 14 days. I want to be clear, I have no symptoms and Im feeling good, and technology allows me to work from home, Trudeau said.
He told reporters that the government is recommending Canadians cancel or postpone all non-essential travel outside the country, and said that Canada will be limiting the number of airports that will receive international overseas flights.
He also promised a significant fiscal stimulus package, the details of which will emerge in the next few days.
Read more here.
States With March 17 Primaries Plan To Proceed With Voting 3/13/20 2:16 p.m. ET
Officials in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio all of which are holding primaries this coming Tuesday said they do not plan to delay their elections.
Americans have participated in elections during challenging times in the past, the secretaries of state said in a joint statement, and based on the best information we have from public health officials, we are confident that voters in our states can safely and securely cast their ballots in this election.
The decision stands in contrast to Louisiana, where officials just decided to postpone their April 4 primary until June 20.
Louisiana Is First State To Postpone Primary 3/13/20 1:30 p.m. ET
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced that the state is postponing its April 4 primary until June 20. Officials are also postponing the states May 9 general election until July 25.
It is the first state to move an election in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision, Adroin said, has been made out of an absolute abundance of caution for Louisianas voters, voting officials and the general public as a whole.
The Eiffel Tower Is Closing 3/13/20, 1:17 p.m. ET
Joining the growing number of global tourist attractions closing, the Eiffel Tower in Paris will be closed starting tonight for an indeterminate period.
Dans le contexte de lépidémie de #COVID19 et des mesures gouvernementales annoncées aujourdhui, la #tourEiffel sera fermée au public dès ce soir 21h, pour une durée indéterminée. #Covid19#Coronaviruspic.twitter.com/vWDlhB5AuP
— La tour Eiffel (@LaTourEiffel) March 13, 2020
HuffPost France is keeping a running list (in French) of what is now closed under the countrys new ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.
Europe Now Epicenter Of Global Pandemic 3/13/20, 1 p.m. ET
The head of the World Health Organization says Europe, not China, is now the epicenter of the worlds coronavirus pandemic.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that more cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.
He noted that 5,000 people have lost their lives, a tragic milestone.
He said Europe now has more reported virus cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.
HuffPost UK reported that the U.K. has recorded its largest day-over-day increase since the outbreak began.
Read more here.
More U.S. School Closures 3/13/20, 12:05 p.m. ET
The number of states and municipalities announcing school closures keeps rising as American authorities try to stem the outbreak. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the country, announced Friday that it would close on Monday along with the San Diego Unified School District. Together, the schools serve 750,000 students.
Previously, schools in Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C., all announced closures. Some, like Ohio, are tacking on extra time to their scheduled spring breaks, which could help limit disruptions for students and families.
At least 18,700 schools are currently closed or scheduled to close soon, according to Education Week, affecting some 8 million students.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Says His Coronavirus Test Is Negative 3/13/20, 11:53 a.m. ET
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on social media that he has tested negative for coronavirus. The post came hours after reports from one Brazilian news outlet said Bolsonaro had tested positive in a preliminary test, but that the far-right leader was awaiting the results of a second exam. Shortly after those reports, Bolsonaros son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, said in a tweet that his fathers results had not been completed.
– HFA/SABIN atestam negativo para o COVID-19 o Sr. Pres. da República Jair Bolsonaro. pic.twitter.com/iL3YPGPGXA
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) March 13, 2020
Bolsonaro was tested after his press secretary, Fabio Wajngarten, tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning to Brazil from Florida, where Bolsonaro, Wajngarten and a host of Brazilian government officials met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-A-Lago.
Canadas Parliament Suspended 3/13/20, 10:42 a.m. ET
All of Canadas federal political parties have agreed to suspend Parliament until April 20. The government will still have the authority to spend public funds during the break to respond to the escalating crisis.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently in self-isolation after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for COVID-19.
Read more here.
Boston Marathon Postponed Until September 3/13/20 10:35 a.m. ET
The Boston Marathon has been moved from April 20 to Sept. 14, organizers said after Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) declared a state of emergency. Marathon runners and volunteers will receive additional information in the coming days. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, further details will be forthcoming.
The 124th Boston Marathon has been postponed – the @BAA understands the city’s decision that the marathon cannot be held on April 20, and we offer our full support to take all efforts to postpone until September 14, 2020. Read more: https://t.co/CsnHNKOAZzpic.twitter.com/eBEGDM18FT
— Boston Marathon (@bostonmarathon) March 13, 2020
Masters Tournament Postponed 3/13/20, 10:17 a.m. ET
Professional golfs first major tournament of the year, the Masters, will be held at some later date.
Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Womens Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, said organizers of the tournament at the Augusta National Club in Georgia. Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
“Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone @TheMasters, @anwagolf and @DriveChipPutt National Finals.”
Full details at https://t.co/FX2AN1MLsYpic.twitter.com/Z2DjS5TYdG
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
Spain Set To Declare State Of Emergency 3/13/20, 9:20 a.m. ET
Spains government will declare a state of emergency later today over the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports.
The country has already ordered its first mandatory lockdown, confining over 60,000 people to four towns as infections for coronavirus increase sharply.Spain had more than 3,800 cases as of Friday morning and at least 84 deaths. Madrid, the capital, has nearly 2,000 cases alone, many linked to nursing homes.
La Sexta television said the government would announce the first of three stages of a state of emergency, which is expected to last around 15 days.HuffPost Spain reports (in Spanish) that the move could prohibit the free movement of people in the country, and would be just the third time such a measure has been introduced since Spain became a democracy.
France Bans Gatherings Of More Than 100 People 3/13/20, 8:59 a.m. ET
France, which already closed its schools, is now banning events of more than 100 people, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced in a television interview.
Pour ralentir la circulation du #covid_19 sur tout le territoire, les rassemblements de plus de 100 personnes ne seront pas autorisés. #Le13Hpic.twitter.com/RyuAeL2BcK
— Edouard Philippe (@EPhilippePM) March 13, 2020
Premier League Soccer Suspended Until April 3 3/13/20, 7:10 a.m. ET
The Premier League and English Football League have suspended all soccer games until April 3 as social-distancing measures to tackle coronavirus are ramping up in the U.K.
Football leagues across Europe have either been suspended or ordered to play behind closed doors, but U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that although similar measures could come be put in place, it would not happen immediately.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus on Thursday night. The teams match on Saturday against Brighton has been postponed. Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi is also confirmed to have contracted the virus.
HuffPost U.K. has more from London.
Japan Enacts Controversial Emergency Law 3/13/20, 7 a.m. ET
Japans parliament enacted a law Friday that would allow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency if the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the country.
The law is controversial because it can severely limit civil rights. It allows Abe to order legally binding school closures, confiscate private property to build medical facilities, order shipments of emergency supplies and take other measures related to the outbreak.
Government officials said there is no immediate plan to declare a state of emergency, but Abe is expected to make a decision based on experts latest evaluation of the outbreak.
Japan has 675 confirmed cases, not including 697 others from a quarantined cruise ship.
HuffPost Japan has reported (in Japanese) on how the new law could impact everyday life.
France Closes All Education Facilities 3/13/20, 6:50 a.m. ET
President Emmanuel Macron has announced France will close all creches, schools and universities starting next week.
Describing the outbreak as Frances biggest public health crisis in a century, Macron also urged employers to let staff work from home, and said that the elderly and people with health conditions should stay indoors.
He said, however, that municipal elections scheduled for this weekend should go ahead.
HuffPost France reports (in French) that the decision comes after Macron had said as recently as March 6 that closing schools was not tenable.
Catholic Churches In Rome Ordered Closed In Unprecedented Move 3/13/20, 6 a.m. ET
Romes Catholic churches have been ordered closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, in a move believed to be unprecedented in modern times.
The decree by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis vicar for the Rome archdiocese, will remain in effect until at least April 3.
Previously, only masses had been canceled because of the outbreak. The decree also dispenses Catholics in the archdiocese from their obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
HuffPost Italy has a report (in Italian) on everything that is now closed under strict new rules in the country.
Australian Minister Tests Positive For Virus, Days After Meeting With Ivanka Trump 3/13/20, 5 a.m. ET
Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, a senior member of government, has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a statement. His diagnosis comes just days after meeting with presidential adviser Ivanka Trump in Washington D.C, and being photographed next to her.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a ban on non-essential mass gatherings of 500 people in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, effective Monday.
Australia has recorded 156 infections and three deaths from the disease but authorities expect this to increase rapidly in the coming weeks with the arrival of the southern hemisphere winter.
Read more at HuffPost Australia.
Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta Tests Positive For Coronavirus 3/12/20, 10:08 p.m. ET
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Premier League soccer club.
The British club announced that it closed its London Colney training center after discovering Arteta received a positive test result Thursday evening. The coach said he took the test after feeling unwell but will be at work as soon as Im allowed.
Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines, the club said in a statement. We expect this to be a significant number of people from Colney, including the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from our Hale End Academy which we have also temporarily closed as a precaution.
After Arsenals announcement, the Premier League said it will hold an emergency club meeting about future matches.
Wife Of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Tests Positive For COVID-19 3/12/20 – 10:01 p.m. ET
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of the Canadian prime minister, confirmed she has COVID-19 after returning from a speaking engagement in London.
Although Im experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of the virus, I will be back on my feet soon, she said in a statement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains in self-isolation.
Disney Expands Closures 3/12/20, 8:35 p.m. ET
Disney announced Thursday night that its expanding closures to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida; Disneyland Paris Resort; and the Disney Cruise Line.
The parks last day will be this Sunday, and new cruise departures are suspended starting Saturday.
Both decisions are in effect until at least the end of March.
The announcement follows one earlier Thursday that Disney was closing both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California, starting March 14.
Some Washington State Schools Ordered To Close 3/12/20, 8:15 p.m. ET
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) ordered all K-12 schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties to close until at least April 27.
The order applies to public and private schools, both of which have until Tuesday to close.
King County is home to Seattle, which holds the states largest school district. Its superintendent, Denise Juneau, said schools had already been preparing for such an event.
Our staff has been in deep planning and ongoing discussions every day as the coronavirus crisis has evolved, so weve already got a solid plan in place, she said in a statement. This is an extraordinary time and it calls for extraordinary measures.
Late Night Shows Going Off The Air 3/12/20, 8:02 p.m. ET
The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers are suspending production amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The two NBC shows wont be back on until at least March 30.
Miami Beach Declares Spring Break Canceled 3/12/20, 7:43 p.m. ET
Officials in Floridas Miami Beach have said spring break is essentially over as they suspend permits for concerts and an LGBTQ festival in the area known for attracting young visitors and college students.
Venues in Miami Beach are either canceling events or shutting down altogether in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mayor Dan Gelber.
The city will not issue permits for spring break concerts or for the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade scheduled for next month.
Though public beaches are still open, Gelber says that to the extent that anyone can declare spring break is over, it is over this year.
The announcement is part of the citys state-of-emergency declaration signed earlier Thursday.
Universal Studios Hollywood Closes To Help Contain Coronavirus Spread 3/12/20, 7:03 p.m. ET
Universal Studios Hollywood has announced that the California theme park will close to the public from Saturday until March 28 in order to help contain the spread of coronavirus.
Out of an abundance of caution and in response to the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health, Universal Studios Hollywood will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 14, a spokesperson told Variety. We will provide timely updates as conditions evolve.
The park is in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County, with most of it situated on an unincorporated county parcel called Universal City. The company said Universal CityWalk will remain open, and Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, appears to still be open.
The decision comes after Disneyland in Anaheim announced it is shutting down starting Saturday for the rest of the month as the coronavirus pandemic persists. With nearly 30,000 employees, Disneyland is the largest employer in Orange County.
All Smithsonian Museums In D.C. And NYC To Close To The Public 3/12/20, 6:40 p.m. ET
All Smithsonian museums in the District of Columbia and New York City, as well as the National Zoo, will close to the public beginning Saturday as a public health precaution due to COVID-19, the Smithsonian said Thursday.
The health and safety of Smithsonian visitors, staff and volunteers is a top priority. We are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and maintain ongoing communication with local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control, the institution said in a statement. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a re-opening date at this time and will provide updates on a week-to-week basis on our websites.
Earlier Thursday, the Smithsonian postponed or canceled all public events through May 3 in light of the virus.
Disneyland Goes Dark 3/12/20, 5:32 p.m. ET
Disney announced Thursday afternoon that it is shutting down its Anaheim, California, park effective Saturday through the end of the month out of caution. The companys decision comes on the heels of an executive order from the California governors office that allows people who lose work due to the coronavirus outbreak to collect unemployment benefits sooner than they would normally be allowed.
Disney World in Florida, however, will remain open for now.
4 Officials, Including Lindsey Graham, Self-Quarantine After Bolsonaro Aide Tests Positive 3/12/20, 5:30 p.m. ET
Four government officials have announced they are self-quarantining after meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaros press secretary, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The officials include Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez.
The senators said they are self-quarantining after being at President Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida with the Brazilian delegation and Trump last weekend. The mayors said they are self-quarantining after meeting with Bolsonaro and the infected aide earlier this week.
The aide, Fabio Wajngarten, was tested Wednesday and confirmed positive on Thursday. Bolsonaro has undergone testing for the novel coronavirus, of which the results will be known on Friday.
Ontario Public Schools To Close For 2 Weeks 3/12/20, 4:50 p.m.
The province of Ontario in Canada just announced it will be closing all public schools for two weeks following March Break, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. Schools will be closed until April 5.
The decision will affect approximately 2 million students, as well as their caregivers.
We recognize the significant impact this decision will have on families, students, schools, as well as the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep people safe, said Premier Doug Ford in a joint statement with his ministers of health and education.
March Madness Canceled Amid Coronavirus Panic 3/12/20, 4:22 p.m. ET
The NCAA announced it will cancel its March Madness basketball tournaments over growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities, the NCAA said in a statement Thursday.
The announcement comes after the NBA said Wednesday it was suspending its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19. The NHL and MLB followed suit in suspending operations Thursday.
The mens NCAA tournament was going to begin on March 17, while the womens tournament was going to begin on March 20.
MLB Makes It Official 3/12/20, 3:38 p.m. ET
Major League Baseball joins other major sports leagues in suspending operations. The new season, originally scheduled to begin March 26, will start two weeks later, and the rest of spring training is canceled.
Here Are The Latest Images Showing How The World Is Responding To Coronavirus 3/12/20, 3:10 p.m. ET
Abandoned public places, empty grocery stores and extreme sanitation are visible in photos from around the globe. See the photos here.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Tested For Coronavirus 3/12/20, 3:00 p.m. ET
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro underwent testing for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the Brazilian government said, after one of his top press aides tested positive for COVID-19.
Fabio Wajngarten, the press aide, was tested Wednesday, just days after he, Bolsonaro and other Brazilian government officials met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Trumps Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. The Brazilian government announced Wajngartens positive result Thursday morning.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, a member of Brazils congress and the presidents son, also underwent a test, as did first lady of Brazil Michelle Bolsonaro. Prior to the Florida visit, Eduardo Bolsonaro attended the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, where at least one other attendee tested positive for COVID-19.
The results of their tests will be known on Friday, the Brazilian government has said.
It is unknown whether other high-ranking members of the Brazilian government who traveled with Bolsonaro have been tested. Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, who is in Washington on Thursday, canceled planned meetings with U.S. officials, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported.
When Home Isnt A Safe Place 3/12/20, 2:44 p.m. ET
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the globe, the biggest piece of advice coming from public health officials is to practice social distancing. Work from home. Avoid public transportation and crowds. This guidance is complicated for domestic violence victims, who face unique danger from inside their own homes.
Lights Out On Broadway 3/12/20, 2:27 p.m. ET
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a statewide ban on most public gatherings of more than 500 people, which includes New York Citys Broadway. City officials and theater owners had previously been reluctant to go dark, given the economic impact of shutting down one of the citys major industries and attractions.
More Major Sports Leagues Follow The NBAs Lead 3/12/20, 2:07 p.m. ET
Just in the last half hour, the National Hockey League announced they will also suspend operations. Major League Baseball is expected to do so as well. The MLB is in the midst of spring training, and the NHL is in the middle of its season, with the suspension beginning with tonights games. Earlier Thursday, Major League Soccer also announced a 30-day suspension.
Metropolitan Museum Of Art Closing Friday Until Further Notice 3/12/20, 1:36 p.m. ET
New York Citys Metropolitan Museum of Art will close Friday to undertake a thorough cleaning, after two employees showed symptoms of COVID-19 and the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow across the city. (The employees have not been confirmed to have the new coronavirus.) Museum officials said they will announce next steps early next week.
The MET is the most prominent U.S. museum so far to completely close in response to the pandemic. A number of other museums across the U.S. have either closed or cut back on public events and programming. Earlier Thursday, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington said public events were canceled through May 3, but museums and the National Zoo remain open for now.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended many large-scale cultural events with global impact, particularly as many cities and municipalities have recommended cutting back on public gatherings. Just in the last 24 hours, the NCAA announced all March Madness games will be held with no fans present; the NBA suspended its season until further notice after players tested positive for COVID-19; and several Hollywood blockbusters postponed their release dates as global box-office attendance has decreased. More cancelations and postponements are likely to follow. Were keeping track of them here.
Britains Boris Johnson: Many More Families Will Lose Loved Ones Before Their Time 3/12/20, 1:20 p.m. ET
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was moving to the delay stage of the public health crisis. This is the worst public health crisis for a generation, he said in a press conference. He and his scientific advisers said people with mild symptoms should self-isolate at home, and special care needed to be taken to protect the elderly as the disease is particularly dangerous to them. In the UK, there are 596 confirmed cases and 10 people have died from the virus. Read more from HuffPost U.K.s Ned Simons here.
Democratic Presidential Debate Moved To Washington, D.C. 3/12/20 12:45 p.m. ET
The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that the highly anticipated one-on-one Democratic primary debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will take place in Washington, D.C., on Sunday instead of in Arizona as originally planned.
The move was made out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel due to the growing coronavirus outbreak. The event will now take place in a studio and will no longer feature a live audience.
In addition, the DNC announced that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos would no longer be moderating the debate because he was in proximity to someone who was in direct contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus. lia Calderón of Univision will moderate the debate in his place, the DNC said.
Nancy Pelosi Says People Should Refrain From All Physical Contact With Others 3/12/20, 11:35 a.m. ET
During a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday, the House speaker urged Americans against using the elbow bump as an alternative greeting in social interactions, stating that it is better not to have contact at all.
Forget any physical contact or greetings. Bow in an Eastern style, she told reporters.
Ireland, Denmark Go Into Lockdown 3/12/20, 7:40 a.m. ET
Irish premier Leo Varadkar announced that schools, colleges and childcare facilities in Ireland will close until March 29 as a result of the outbreak. He made the announcement from Washington, D.C., where he is participating in bilateral meetings with President Trump.
Denmark also went into lockdown, with Prime Minister Mette Fredericksen saying that schools and universities are closed and some public sector workers will be sent home. She urged that all events with more than 100 people be canceled.
China Says Coronavirus Has Passed Its Peak 3/12/20, 6:50 a.m.
Chinas National Health Commission said that the country has passed the peak of the disease, with eight new infections in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Its the first time the number of new daily infections in the province has been less than 10. Businesses are reopening slowly as authorities reassess travel restrictions, Reuters reported.
Trump Tries To Clarify Travel Ban, European Stocks Fall 3/12/20, 6:11 a.m.
In a follow-up tweet to his earlier remarks, Trump said that the travel ban applied to people, not goods, and trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe.
Trumps reassurances didnt seem to make a difference to European stock markets, which tanked on the travel ban news. European bourses fell around 6% in morning trading, and S&P futures slid 5%, which is the maximum drop allowed outside of trading hours.
Stocks are cratering on the presidents remarks from the White House, an economist from MUFG Bank told the Financial Times.
The downturn in European stocks followed heavy losses in Asian markets. Japans Nikkei index closed 4.4% lower, and Australias S&P/ASX 200 closed 7.36% lower.
All of this points to another rough day for U.S. stocks when the market opens.
Several States Ban Large Events To Contain Coronavirus Spread 3/12/20, 2:43 a.m.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced late Wednesday that all non-essential gatherings involving 250 or more people would be prohibited in his state to slow the spread of COVID-19. Newsoms decision follows similar bans instituted in Oregon and Washington.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said earlier Wednesday that he too planned on issuing a statewide ban on large events.
State Department Urges Americans To Reconsider All International Travel 3/11/20, 11:54 p.m.
U.S. citizens have been urged by the State Department to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19, according to an agency health advisory released Wednesday night.
Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions, the advisory said. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.
The State Departments recommendation came hours after President Trump announced a 30-day ban of most travel between the U.S. and Europe. That prohibition, however, does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, nor to travel to the United Kingdom.
All The News Breaks 3/11/20, 10:26 p.m.
A slew of news related to coronavirus broke within the last hour.
President Donald Trump announced all travel from Europe, with the exception of the United Kingdom, would be banned for 30 days. He also announced some planned financial measures to help combat the viruss negative effects on the economy but failed to address a lack of available testing across the U.S.
As Trump was delivering his remarks, the NBA announced it would suspend the season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. That confirmation came after a game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was postponed with fans already in the arena awaiting tip-off.
Actor Tom Hanks also released a statement tonight confirming he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had both tested positive for coronavirus. The married couple are currently in Australia, where they were tested after feeling a bit tired and like we had colds.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.