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Coronavirus forces a scramble and stricter measures to curb its spread

03/16/2020 By and


Late Friday, the White House declared a state of national emergency to address the coronavirus’ spread, and over the weekend in cities across the nation, people responded with a resolve to cancel events, call off school and curb their typical daily activities. Instead they prepared for self-imposed stays at home and stocked up on staple items, leaving many grocery stores with bare shelves for items like toilet paper, soap, sanitizer and pasta.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday he wants a 14-day national shutdown imposed to prevent the virus’ spread, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, hit 64 — with more than 3,700 cases of infection reported, the AP said. The news service’s worldwide figures stood at 6,500 dead and nearly 170,000 people infected.

The U.S. travel restrictions expanded to the UK and Ireland, and many Americans flooded back into the U.S. over the weekend to face long lines at airports that kept many people waiting to clear customs, which instituted health checks before citizens could re-enter the country.

The Federal Reserve on Sunday tried to bolster the negative effects on the economy and slashed interest rates to near zero.

Scenes of people out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday and into the night spurred a public backlash, with mayors in Chicago and New York putting restrictions on bars and restaurants, closing them to dine-in patrons but letting them fill take-out or delivery orders. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also ordered nightclubs, movie theaters and other entertainment venues closed, according to the AP, which also published the map below showing where COVID-19 appears in the U.S.

(Click map to enlarge)

For more on the coronavirus response, see these headlines:

Coronavirus Response