Coronavirus Live Updates: Millions Locked Down in California as Barriers Rise Worldwide


More than seven million residents in the San Francisco Bay Area have been ordered to confine themselves to their homes, joining the ranks of Italy, Spain, France and China.

“It’s bad,” President Trump conceded, as financial markets tanked and economists warned of a steep recession that might already be underway.

“We are at war,” President Emmanuel Macron of France told his people.

The enemy is invisible and insidious, gathering strength from the bonds of human connection. So public health officials were asking people the world over to sever those ties.

While nations, states and localities offered differing restrictions with varying degrees of enforcement, the message was coalescing around a simple if daunting challenge: Keep your distance.

In the United States, the Trump administration warned against gatherings of more than 10 people, and to work from home if possible and avoid unnecessary travel. Bars and restaurants should be avoided, or closed in areas where the virus was rapidly spreading, officials said.

The guidelines apply for the next 15 days, but President Trump warned that the restrictions could grow more stringent and last well into summer. While the rate of infections has declined steeply in China, for instance, many of the harsh restrictions on movement there are still in place after more than six weeks.

The stepped-up action in the United States was driven, in part, by a report compiled by British researchers warning that 2.2 million people could die in the country in the absence of strong action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of the virus.

New Jersey residents have been asked not to leave their homes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. A curfew is being considered for New York City.

In Italy, the scale of the epidemic is evident in the bodies left behind. With the oldest population in Europe, the country has suffered more than 2,100 deaths, and hospitals and morgues are inundated.

The European Union proposed a 30-day shutdown of nonessential travel into the bloc from other countries — an urgent attempt to keep internal borders as open as possible to promote European solidarity. But on Tuesday, nations within the bloc continued to close themselves off from their neighbors.

Across Europe, as the number of cases steadily climbs and nations impose ever more stringent restrictions on movement, many countries are racing to bolster their health care systems and promising billions of dollars in assistance to help businesses and individuals.

After yet another devastating day on Wall Street on Monday, the Asian markets stabilized on Tuesday. But fears that the crisis could lead to a recession grew darker.

The price of oil fell below $30 a barrel, its lowest level in four years.

The scale of the crisis in the Middle East remained shrouded in mystery. The virus has ravaged Iran and spread widely across a region torn by war, divided by religion and often paralyzed by political turmoil.

Around the world, around 180,000 cases have been reported. More than 7,000 people have died. But more than 80,000 people have recovered.

And on Tuesday morning, the family of the actor Tom Hanks said that he and his wife had been discharged from the hospital and were now recovering from the infection in self-quarantine.

It was clear on Monday that most of the American economy was grinding to a halt, and would remain that way for months, because of the coronavirus outbreak and the sweeping steps being taken to try to halt it.

When the White House warned all Americans to avoid restaurants and bars and not to gather in groups of more than 10, it left unanswered the question of precisely what individuals and local governments should do, or how business owners and workers might survive financially, at a time when vast sections of the economy were ceasing to function.

On Wall Street, brokers and analysts were acting as if an economic collapse were inevitable, despite the Federal Reserve’s emergency moves on Sunday night to stoke economic growth through an aggressive bond-buying program. The S&P 500 fell nearly 12 percent on Monday and global oil prices slid below $30 a barrel, a four-year low.

“We’re calling the recession,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “We have the three elements to make that call — a profound, pervasive and persistent contraction in economic activity.”

Business groups, local and state leaders and a growing chorus of lawmakers and economists begging the federal government to spend trillions of dollars to pay workers to stay home and funnel money to companies struggling with an abrupt end to consumer activity.

The administration floated several ideas for helping industry without conveying a clear plan. After the main trade group for airlines suggested a $50 billion bailout, Mr. Trump’s chief economist, Larry Kudlow, said, “We don’t see the airlines failing, but if they get into a cash crunch we’re going to try to help them.”

Employers and employees are torn between fears of being exposed to the virus and fears of running out of money to pay for food and electricity. And government officials are left with the unhappy task of shutting down businesses that provide wages for large swaths of their communities.

In Washington, lawmakers are working on a new fiscal stimulus package that could help workers and companies weather the storm — even as a previous package that the House passed last week still waits for Senate approval. Other businesses besides airlines are pushing for loans or direct government grants to fill the void of lost sales.

Residents of seven counties in Northern California were ordered to “shelter in place” for three weeks beginning on Tuesday to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They have been told to stay at home except for essential reasons, including buying food and caring for a pet.

The measures are the most restrictive in the country and were part of a broader call for Americans to limit their interactions with one another.

Though relatively few Americans have been tested for the coronavirus, more than 4,400 people have tested positive, and at least 86 have died.

The message from officials was that the virus would continue to spread. Scientists tracking the virus’s spread reported that for every confirmed case, there are most likely another five to 10 people with undetected infections.

California, America’s most populous state, with an economy bigger than the United Kingdom’s, has been remarkably resilient since the Great Recession, powered by technology, agriculture and Hollywood. No one knows how far the mounting toll from the virus will climb, but California is already one of the hardest-hit states, and stands as one of the places with the most to lose.

The shelter-in-place order foes into effect on Tuesday and is expected to disrupt life for millions of residents in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. The city of Berkeley also issued the same order.

The actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been released from an Australian hospital and will remain in self-isolation after being treated for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, their son said in a video statement on Monday.

“They’re still self-quarantined obviously, but they’re feeling a lot better so that’s a relief,” their son Chet Hanks said in a video posted on Instagram.

Mr. Hanks and his wife, Ms. Wilson, both 63, said they had tested positive for the coronavirus last Wednesday. Mr. Hanks was in Australia filming a movie about the life of Elvis Presley.

Mr. Hanks, known for star-making turns in films like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Forrest Gump,” is the most prominent celebrity known to have contracted the virus.

“We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” Mr. Hanks said last week. “We Hankses will be tested, observed and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”

Since then, a slew of public figures have said they have tested positive for the virus, including the actor Idris Elba and Masoumeh Ebtekar, an Iranian vice president.

A representative for the couple said they would remain in self-quarantine at a rented home in the northeastern state of Queensland.

Australia has experienced a rapid uptick in coronavirus cases. As of Tuesday, 375 people had tested positive including Peter Dutton, the country’s minister for home affairs.

Infighting, turf wars and a president more concerned with the stock market and media coverage than policy have defined the Trump White House. They have also defined how it has handled a pandemic.

The White House culture that President Trump has fostered for more than three years has shaped his administration’s response to a deadly pandemic that is upending his presidency and the rest of the country.

It all explains how Mr. Trump could announce he was dismissing his acting chief of staff as the crisis grew more severe, creating even less clarity in an already fractured chain of command. And it was a major factor in the president’s reluctance to even acknowledge a looming crisis, for fear of rattling the financial markets that serve as his political weather vane.

Mr. Trump has refused repeated warnings to rely on experts, or to neutralize some of the power held by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in favor of a traditional staff structure. He has rarely fully empowered people in the jobs they hold.

“Part of this is President Trump being Donald J. Trump, the same guy he’s always been, and part of it is a government he has now molded in his image, rather than having a government as it has traditionally been, to serve the chief executive, and to serve the job of governing the country,” said David Lapan, a former spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon, and a former aide of one of Mr. Trump’s previous chiefs of staff, John F. Kelly.

In New York on Tuesday, parents scrambled to find child care after the shutdown of the city public school system. Bar and restaurant owners worried about how they would survive what could be weeks or even months of being closed. And, as in the rest of the nation, people were still reeling from the swift changes to their daily lives braced for what officials said would be harder days to come.

“It’s very stressful,” said one mother, Ava Davis, from Brooklyn, who works for the New York City Housing Authority and has four children. She is also helping raise three of her sister’s children.

“I’m trying to figure out how that goes, who’s gonna be at home watching the kids, who’s gonna pay the bills,” Ms. Davis, 44, said.

For government officials, it was a two-front battle: slowing the spread of the virus — New York City was considering a curfew, echoing New Jersey, where residents have been asked not to leave their homes from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. — and getting hospitals ready for a likely a surge in patients needing urgent care.

Mayor Bill de Blasio that New York City was rushing to add more hospital beds in the next few weeks.

By canceling elective surgeries and dismissing patients from hospitals more quickly, the city could free up about 7,000 patient beds, the mayor said. Another 1,200 to 1,300 beds could be added by taking over unused space in hospitals and converting a newly built nursing home in Brooklyn that was not yet occupied.

There are many misunderstandings about social distancing. Can you leave your home? Can you go to the grocery store? We compiled some helpful hints about how to keep safe.

Over the past week, Greece has closed schools, cafes, bars and restaurants. When Greeks scrambled to the country’s beaches, the government closed them too. It will shut most shops from Wednesday.

But for days, leaders of the Greek Orthodox resisted calls to suspend services. So the government was forced to take action, despite the risks of challenging a powerful institution that is deeply tied to the nation’s sense of itself.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said there was no choice. “The protection of public health requires clear decisions,” he wrote on Twitter.

Four deaths have been attributed to coronavirus in Greece. The number of confirmed infections on Monday stood at 352, with cases centered in Athens.

Beyond the capital, there have been growing concerns over a possible coronavirus outbreak at camps on the five Aegean Islands that host some 50,000 migrants in intensely overcrowded conditions.

A 6-year-old girl died on Monday when a fire broke out at the notoriously cramped Moria camp on Lesbos.

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, called for the evacuation of those living in the camps where whole families are packed tightly into confined quarters.

The international medical humanitarian organization warned that lack of adequate sanitation and limited medical care made the risk of the virus spreading extremely high.

For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not take place on the first Saturday in May.

The Derby, the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, became the latest marquee sporting event forced to postpone because of the deepening coronavirus pandemic.

Tonya Abeln, a spokeswoman for Churchill Downs, said in an email on Monday night that the race would not go ahead as scheduled. The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky., where the race is held, reported that it would be rescheduled for Sept. 5.

The race, which touts itself as the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” regularly draws more than 150,000 spectators to the track.

Elsewhere in sports, the N.B.A., the N.H.L. and Major League Baseball have all suspended play, and the N.C.A.A. canceled all of its championships.

Racetracks across the country have been shuttered to the public, but races are still being run and bets are still being welcomed. According to The Courier-Journal, the Derby and the weeks of celebration that surround it infuse the region with about $400 million yearly.

In 1945, the Kentucky Derby was held on June 9, about a month after the government lifted a ban on horse racing that it put in place because of World War II. The only other year the race did not take place on the first Saturday in May was in 1901.

Last year’s Derby, the 145th, ended in controversy after a 21-minute video review. Although Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, the horse was ultimately disqualified for impeding an opponent. Instead, Country House was declared the victor at 65-1 odds.

Nearly two months after a coronavirus outbreak in central China escalated into a national emergency, the country’s daily count of new, local infections has approached tantalizingly close to zero.

Just one new locally originated infection was reported on Monday, according to the Chinese National Health Commission’s daily update of new coronavirus cases. The new cases was in Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

An additional 20 new cases were also recorded in China on Monday among travelers arriving from abroad.

Over the past two weeks, the daily count of infections in China has consistently fallen since the government implemented drastic measures to…


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