Samara Heisz/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed at least 12,021 people in the United States.
The U.S. has more cases than any other country, with over 383,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Worldwide, more than 1.4 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 80,759 of them have died since the virus emerged in China in December. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.
Italy has the world's highest death toll -- over 17,000.
Today's biggest developments:
- New York death toll sees largest single-day jump
- UK prime minister is 'stable' in ICU
- China reports no new deaths for 1st time since January
Here's how the story is developing Tuesday. All times Eastern:
7:27 p.m.: Florida sees spike in cases, deaths
Florida saw a jump in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths over the last 24 hours, according to the state's health department.
About 1,118 people were diagnosed in the past day, with the total number of COVID-19 patients rising to 14,747, the health department said. There were 42 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, which represented a 16.5% jump in deaths, according to the health department data.
A total of 296 Florida residents have died from the disease, the health department said.
6:20 p.m.: Trump, Fauci acknowledge larger share of cases in minority communities
President Donald Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, acknowledged that data shows minorities have higher rates of coronavirus infections.
Fauci said higher rates of pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma within black and minority communities were a factor, as well as their higher use of public transportation.
"We are very concerned about that. It is very sad. There is nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid complications," Fauci said.
Trump said the White House would release data on coronavirus cases by race shortly.
6:15 p.m.: NYPD announces 14th death
Nearly a fifth of New York Police Department members called out sick as the force lost another member to the coronavirus, police officials said.
The NYPD had 7,060 uniformed members, about 19% of the force, call in sick on Tuesday. The department said 2,006 uniformed members and 338 civilian members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Ava Walker, a communications technician and 20-year veteran of the force, died March 31. Walker is the 14th NYPD member lost to the virus.
6:00 p.m.: 110,000 ventilators to be shipped out by end of June: President
President Donald Trump said the federal government will be sending 110,000 ventilators to states over the next few months.
"We have 8,675 ventilators right now in stock ready to move," he said during this daily press briefing. "In addition to the 8,675 ventilators, we have 2,200 arriving on April 13. We have 5,500 arriving on May 4."
The remaining ventilators will be shipped out throughout May and June, according to the president.
Trump added that 1.87 million coronavirus tests have been conducted so far in the country.
4:20 p.m.: Early signs curve starting to flatten in Louisiana, governor says
In Louisiana, hard-hit by the pandemic, the death toll reached 582 Tuesday -- but there are early signs that the curves is starting to flatten, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
The number of people on ventilators decreased from 552 on Monday to 519 on Tuesday, which the governor said he thinks "reflects improvements on the way we are dispensing medical care."
Over 16,000 people in the state have now been diagnosed with coronavirus. Louisiana is now first in the nation per capita for testing, the governor said.
Edwards said all parishes have received personal protective equipment and that Apple has sent Louisiana 400,000 masks.
The New Orleans area is not expected to run out of ventilators or hospital beds in the next two weeks, he said.
2:55 p.m.: France's COVID-19 death toll tops 10,000
With 1,417 new fatalities, France's COVID-19 death toll has now reached 10,328, Health Ministry Director Jerome Salomon said.
The daily death toll is appearing to spike because authorities are now recording fatalities that had occurred outside hospitals and previously were unknown. Out of the newly reported 1,417 deaths, 607 occurred in hospitals in the last day, while the other fatalities were previously unreported deaths outside hospitals.
Meanwhile, Paris is now banning residents from jogging and other outdoor exercise between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in an effort to improve social distancing.
Jogging will still be permitted at night.
France's total number of diagnosed cases is now over 78,000.
1:20 p.m.: NJ state, county parks close as cases top 44,000
In New Jersey, 1,232 people have died from the coronavirus, a number Gov. Phil Murphy called "almost unfathomable."
The state has a total of 44,416 confirmed cases, Murphy said Tuesday.
While there are signs the curve may be flattening, Murphy stressed, "We cannot be happy with only reaching a plateau. We need to keep strong ... to see that curve begin to fall and ultimately get to zero."
Coronavirus death toll in US likely worse than numbers say
Murphy said he's closing all state and county parks in an effort to enforce social distancing.
"Don't think that I take this action lightly," he said. "We must not just flatten this curve, we must crush this curve."
12:32 p.m.: UK death toll climbs over 6,000; prime minister in 'good spirits'
United Kingdom's coronavirus death toll climbed to 6,159 as of Monday night, marking a massive daily leap.
As of Sunday night, the death toll was at 5,373, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Over 55,000 people in the U.K. have tested positive for coronavirus, including Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, as well as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Johnson, 55, has been in an intensive care unit at a London hospital since Monday.
He was "stable" and in "good spirits" Tuesday morning, according to a statement from his official residence and office, 10 Downing Street.
The statement noted that Johnson is receiving "standard" oxygen treatment while in the ICU and is breathing without any other assistance.
"He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support," Downing Street said.
The prime minister has been hospitalized since Sunday evening due to "persistent symptoms" of the coronavirus. He was transferred to the ICU Monday after his conditioned "worsened," according to Downing Street.
11:25 a.m.: New York death toll sees largest single-day jump
New York -- the state hit hardest by the pandemic -- saw its largest single-day death toll jump from Monday to Tuesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 731 people lost their lives in the state in the last 24 hours, bringing New York's total number of coronavirus fatalities to 5,489.
Over 138,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
However, the three-day hospitalization rate in New York is moving down, a sign the state is reaching a plateau.
"It still depends on what we do," Cuomo warned Tuesday. "This is not an act of God ... it's an act of what society actually does."
Cuomo compared the coronavirus pandemic to the 1918 flu pandemic which he said peaked in New York for six months, killing about 30,000 people in the state.
"They didn't react the way we did and they didn't know what we know today," he said.
10:15 a.m.: Nation’s largest Gothic cathedral to be converted to hospital
The nation’s largest Gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is being converted this Holy Week into a temporary field hospital.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is in New York City -- the U.S. city hit hardest by the pandemic.
Beds and medical supplies are in the process of being moved into the Cathedral in an effort to lessen the pressure on New York City’s overburdened health care system.
The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III, dean of the Cathedral, said, "The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is stepping up now, as we always have, to help support our diverse and beloved community and the community of doctors, nurses, and volunteers risking their health and well-being in the service of the people of New York City in our hour of need."
9:47 a.m.: TSA screenings reach 'lowest since the days after Sept. 11'
U.S. plane travel has plunged to "the lowest since the days after Sept. 11," a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson told ABC News.
TSA screenings reached another record low Monday with only 108,310 travelers passing through checkpoints nationwide.
On the same weekday last year, TSA screened 2,384,091 passengers.
8:23 a.m.: UK prime minister is 'stable' in ICU
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was "stable" and in "good spirits" on Tuesday morning after spending a night in the intensive care unit of a London hospital, according to a statement from his official residence and office, 10 Downing Street.
The statement noted that Johnson is receiving "standard" oxygen treatment while in the ICU and is breathing without any other assistance.
"He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support," Downing Street said. "The prime minister has not had a pneumonia diagnosis."
Johnson, 55, has been hospitalized at St. Thomas' Hospital in central London since Sunday evening due to "persistent symptoms" of novel coronavirus infection. He was transferred to the ICU on Monday afternoon after his conditioned "worsened," according to Downing Street.
7:30 a.m.: 'There is a light at the end of this tunnel,' US Surgeon General says
While still maintaining that this will be a difficult week for Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday that he feels "a lot more optimistic" as he reassured citizens "there is a light at the end of this tunnel."
"I absolutely believe this is going to be an incredibly sad and an incredibly hard week for our country, but we've had tough times in this country before and we always come out stronger," Adams told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on Good Morning America.
"The good news is that when you look at Italy, when you look at Spain, when you look at Washington and California, and even New York and New Jersey, they have truly started to flatten their curves," he added. "They've seen cases level off and start to come down, and that's what I want people to understand -- that it's going to be a hard and tough week, but the American people have the power to change the trajectory of this epidemic if we come together like we have after past tragedies in this country."
Adams said the latest data shows U.S. states like Washington and California have successfully flattened the curves of their outbreaks "because they were aggressively mitigating from the start."
"The most important thing for the American people now is to really focus on these 30-days-to-slow-the-spread guidelines because we have proof that they work," he said. "But we need you all to cooperate, we need you to continue doing your part -- and most people actually are. Over 90% of the country is actually doing the right thing right now."
As of Tuesday morning, eight U.S. states have still not issued or announced stay-at-home orders. Adams said the federal government doesn't really have "a good mechanism" to enforce stay-at-home orders as much as state authorities do.
"We're working with governors, talking with them every single day, working with states to give them the information they need to make the right choices," he said. "And that's really what this comes down to, it's got to happen at the community level."
Whenever the country does start to reopen, Adams said it'll still be a "different normal" than what Americans are used to. There will be a greater sense of normalcy once testing becomes more widely available, a vaccine and therapeutics are approved, and there's a strong public health infrastructure in place, he said.
"But I want the American people to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel," Adams added, "and we feel confident that if we keep doing the right thing for the rest of this month, that we can start to slowly reopen in some places."
7:09 a.m.: France has not yet peaked, health minister warns
The number of patients hospitalized in intensive care for the novel coronavirus in France has been steadily decreasing for the past five days. But French Health Minister Olivier Veran warned Tuesday that the country has not yet reached the peak of its outbreak.
"We are still in a worsening phase of the pandemic," Véran told French broadcaster BFM TV, adding that the nationwide lockdown would last as long as necessary.
Almost 99,000 people across France have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly 9,000 of them have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Close to 30,000 patients infected with the novel coronavirus are currently hospitalized, according to the French health ministry.
6:25 a.m.: Positive cases top 10,000 in Africa
At least 10,075 people across Africa have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to figures released Tuesday by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, 487 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died.
The Northern Africa region has, by far, the largest cluster of cases on the continent, with 4,485 confirmed infections. However, with 1,686 positive cases, South Africa now has the highest national total, surpassing that of both Algeria and Egypt, according to the Africa CDC.
5:05 a.m.: Japan declares state of emergency for seven prefectures
Japan on Tuesday declared a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the order in a brief televised statement, saying the country's outbreak was threatening to gravely impact people's lives and the economy.
The declaration, effective through May 6, empowers governors of the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka to take more preventative measures, such as requesting citizens to stay home, calling for businesses to close as well as shuttering schools and other public facilities. Supermarkets and other essential businesses are allowed to remain open.
However, the declaration is not expected to lead to drastic urban lockdowns like the ones seen in Europe as Japan's post-World War II constitution limits the central government's powers.
At least 3,906 people in Japan have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 92 of them have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. The Japanese government has admitted that infection routes cannot be traced in an increasing number of cases.
3:30 a.m.: China reports no new deaths for first time since January
China on Tuesday reported zero new deaths from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
China's National Health Commission recorded 32 new cases of confirmed infections across the mainland, all of which were imported from abroad, as well as 30 new asymptomatic cases. However, it's the first time the country has reported no new deaths since the commission began publishing daily figures in late January.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong has seen its number of confirmed infections more than double in recent weeks. The Chinese special administrative region on Tuesday reported 1,331 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the National Health Commission.
The very first cases of COVID-19 were detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December before the disease spread around the globe.
Since then, a total of 81,740 people on the Chinese mainland have been diagnosed with the disease and 3,331 of them have died, according to the National Health Commission.
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Dane County Sheriff's Office(MADISON, Wisc.) -- A judge in Madison, Wisconsin, has set $1 million bail for two teenagers charged with the execution-style murders of a respected doctor and an education coach.
During the early morning hours of March 31, two joggers came upon the bodies of Dr. Beth Potter and her husband, Robin Carre, lying off the roadway in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum and covered in blood, police said. A witness told the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department that they had heard a series of gunshots after 11 p.m. the night before.
Carre, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene as Potter, 52, was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died. Both were shot in the head and were left for dead in their house clothes with no shoes, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators conducted several interviews that led them to arrest and charge Khari Sanford, the boyfriend of the couple's adopted daughter, and Sanford's friend Ali'Jah Larrue with two counts of first-degree murder. Sanford and Larrue made their court appearance on Tuesday via video conference, where a plea was not entered for the felony charges.
The day before the couple was murdered, Potter confided in a friend that they had moved her adopted daughter, Miriam Potter Carre, and Sanford into an Airbnb because they weren't abiding by the rules of COVID-19 social distancing, according to the criminal complaint.
Potter, a doctor at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, had a greater risk of infection because of medications she was taking, and she was concerned about the teenagers going in and out of the house, the complaint said.
"You don’t care about me," Potter Carre allegedly told her mother as they were being moved out.
Police say when they questioned Potter Carre about the night of March 30, she told them that she had stayed at the rental property with Sanford and that she had fallen asleep after watching a movie. But traffic cameras captured her parents' van driving by the crime scene, and a forensic search of Potter Carre's cell phone showed that she was not with Sanford at that time, according to the criminal complaint.
Potter Carre allegedly told police that she loved her boyfriend and was extremely loyal to him. Dane County Prosecutors did not respond to a request for comment on whether Potter Carre was implicated in her parents' death.
When police caught up with Larrue, he told them that he was friends and classmates with Sanford and Potter Carre.
Larrue allegedly told police that before schools were closed due to the pandemic, he had overheard Sanford and Potter Carre talking in ceramics class about getting money from her parents, who "were rich," according to the criminal complaint.
Sanford allegedly identified Larrue as an accomplice who, in turn, gave police permission to analyze his phone activity, according to the criminal complaint.
Sanford's attorneys, Diana Maria Van Rybroek and Crystal Vera, declined to comment on the case Tuesday evening. Requests for comment from Larrue's attorney were not returned. Sanford and Larrue's next court date is April 16.
The families of Potter and Carre are anticipating establishing a memorial fund to provide resources for community activities that were important to the couple, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health website.
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Derek Brumby/iStock(NEW YORK) -- West Virginia is the last state in the country to record a positive case of COVID-19, and the state's percentage of positive tests is among the lowest in the nation.
Residents, however, are still concerned about the virus.
“We have that elderly population," Chris Lawrence, morning host of 580 WCHS radio in Charleston, told ABC’s Cheri Preston on ABC Audio’s “Perspective” podcast.
"We're not the healthiest state in the country, obviously, a lot of people here smoke, a lot of people here suffer from black lung," Lawrence said. "Elderly folks that worked in the coal mines are now retired and they already have a lot of respiratory issues. And that is exactly the kind of folks that are most at risk with this COVID-19 virus. And there is a real fear that if it were to get out of control here in West Virginia that we could lose a lot of our population.”
As of Sunday there were fewer than 350 cases in the state, and reported deaths related to COVID-19 were till in single digits.
Although rural hospitals can face challenges in combating the virus, Lawrence said medical equipment and hospital beds have not been an issue so far in the mostly-rural state.
But "that’s not saying it won’t be in the future,” he said.
Right now, West Virginia is hoping its residents just practice good hygiene and social distancing.
"I think the biggest concern here has just been keeping people away from one another,” he said.
Lawrence joked that there is no better place to socially distance than West Virginia, with its mountainous terrain and plethora of hiking trails. But he said that's made the state attractive to people from beyond its borders.
“Governor [Jim] Justice made that clear this week [when] he closed down all of the state park campgrounds and all private campgrounds, because we were finding that a lot of folks from some of the larger metropolitan areas were coming into West Virginia to ride this out until this is over," Lawrence said.
"Nobody is really invited to come in and enjoy it," said Lawrence, "but for those of us who are some of the chosen few that get to live here ... getting out, doing it, taking a hike, walking on our mountains, is one of the most enjoyable ways ever to socially isolate from everyone else.”
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motortion/iStock(NEW YORK) -- As more than 1,300 New York City first responders return to work after recovering from the novel coronavirus or calling out sick with symptoms of the virus, they're responding to a rapid increase in 911 calls for cardiac arrest, the FDNY said on Tuesday.
The city's firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT) are responding to "a record numbers of calls, and they continue to meet this unprecedented challenge head on,” said Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro. "I am incredibly proud of the men and women of this department who are demonstrating every single day throughout this pandemic why they are known as the best and the bravest."
Nearly 500 members of the FDNY have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak was detected in New York State on March 1.
As of Monday, more than 138,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for the virus, according to the state's Department of Health. More than half of the positive COVID-19 patients in New York State are located within the five boroughs, deemed the epicenter of the health crisis.
The city's density has contributed to the spread of the virus, according to health experts. With 27,000 people per square mile, the city is the densest metropolitan area in the U.S.
The FDNY has experienced a 50% increase in daily calls as well as a huge increase in cardiac-related calls, the department said.
A year ago -- during the same time frame of March 20 to April 5 -- the FDNY responded to an average of 54 to 74 cardiac arrest calls per day, with 22 to 32 deaths.
Now on average it’s 300 cardiac calls a day, with well over 200 deaths.
While it's not always clear if those who die from cardiac arrest have the coronavirus, the CDC has issued updated guidance for certifying deaths due to COVID-19 -- protocols similar to those in place for pneumonia and influenza.
According to the new directives, if a patient has died from pneumonia, for example, but also tested positive for COVID-19, someone is required to specify whether COVID-19 played a role in the death and whether it was actually the underlying, primary cause.
The U.S. has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than any other country, with almost 380,000 people diagnosed with the virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
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ABC News(CHICAGO) -- A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request from R. Kelly to be temporarily released from a Chicago jail over fears that the R&B singer risks contracting coronavirus while locked up.
U.S District Court Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York denied the 53-year-old Kelly's motion for bail, ruling the Grammy-winning entertainer failed to establish that he is in a high-risk category to contract the virus, which has killed at least 118 people in Chicago and infected more than 5,000.
"While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release," Donnelly wrote in her ruling.
In an effort to blunt the spread of coronavirus in federal prisons, U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued a March 26 directive to Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal to reduce the number of inmates in the prison system by transferring non-violent, at-risk inmates to home confinement based on a thorough case-by-case analysis.
Donnelly noted that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where Kelly is being held pending trial.
Kelly is being held without bail at the facility on a 13-count indictment, including charges of child pornography, the sexual exploitation of children, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and coercion or enticement of a female. The singer is also facing federal charges in New York, including one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sexual trafficking across state lines.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges filed against him both in New York and in Chicago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize people 65 or older or with underlying health conditions as those most vulnerable to catch the virus.
"The defendant is 53 years old, twelve years younger than the cohort of “older adults” defined by the CDC as at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19," Donnelly's ruling reads.
"Although the defendant has had surgery during his incarceration, he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness. Moreover, officials in Chicago have advised the government that doctors have completed all treatment for the defendant’s recent operation."
The type of surgery Kelly recently underwent was redacted from the court records.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion recommending Donnelly deny Kelly's request, cautioning that "if released, there is a risk that the defendant will flee and that the defendant will obstruct, attempt to obstruct, threaten, intimidate or attempt to threaten or intimidate one or more prospective witnesses."
While Kelly made the same request for temporary release to a federal judge in Chicago, that pending decision appears moot because Kelly would need approval from both courts before he could be granted bail.
In October, Donnelly ordered Kelly, whose full name is Robert Kelly, to be held without bail after the judge agreed with prosecutors that freeing him would create a risk of him fleeing or tampering with witnesses. She set a May 18 trial date for the New York case.
"The defendant here has not demonstrated an analogous change in circumstances that would alter the Court’s conclusion that he is a flight risk and that he poses danger to the community, particularly to prospective witnesses," Donnelly concluded in her ruling Tuesday.
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iStock/onlyyouqj(WASHINGTON) -- An ABC News joint investigation with its owned television stations sheds new light on the likely flow of the coronavirus from global hotspots into the U.S. and provides a glimpse the toll the virus has taken on some of the first Americans to interact with international travelers: airport workers.
From December through March, as the outbreak ravaged China, more than 3,200 flights left the Asian nation on direct routes to at least 20 cities across the U.S., according to an ABC News analysis of more than 20 million flight records obtained from the tracking service Flightradar-24.
While it is unclear the precise number of passengers into the U.S. who were infected with the coronavirus, medical experts told ABC News such a huge pool of people virtually assures that a number had the highly contagious disease.
“In the case of coronavirus, you have the interface of a virus that spreads this quickly,” Dr. John Brownstein, an epidemiologist at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and ABC News contributor said.
Brownstein said that such massive travel meant that the flow of the virus into the U.S. and other countries probably came quickly after it began spreading quickly in China. “So our view is that even as early as January, we were seeing introductions of cases happening globally and specifically in the U.S.," he said.
According to travel data previously obtained by ABC News, those flights translate to more than 761,000 Chinese nationals entering the U.S. and Americans returning home from the People’s Republic during that critical period.
The analysis of every individual flight record shows that more than 1,000 flights went to Los Angeles and nearly 500 each landed in San Francisco and New York – all three among the eventual hot spots of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. More than 100 flights from China arrived in each of six other American cities: Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J.
The flow of these passengers into these key cities, offer a window on how the virus may have quickly spread across the U.S.
Among the flights were 50 direct from Wuhan, the Chinese metropolis where the outbreak is believed to have started. Twenty-seven of those flights went to San Francisco and 23 to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The last flights from Wuhan came in early February, when the Trump Administration imposed restrictions on flights from China to the U.S.
But this new passenger and travel data obtained by ABC News revealed by the time the president took his action – which administration officials say saved lives – some of the damage had already been done.
The first coronavirus case in the U.S. was reported in Washington state in late January, before cases followed days later in Arizona and California. In each of those cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the infected individuals had been in Wuhan recently.
But the spread of the virus person-to-person domestically since has made tracing the origin of particular outbreaks in many American cities more difficult.
"The United States banned travel to China 12 days after the world heard there was an outbreak of severe pneumonia in Wuhan. ... The problem was, it was too late," said Dr. Todd Ellerin, chief of Infectious Disease at South Shore Health and an ABC News consultant. "Even though there had only been 12 confirmed cases in the U.S. on the day President Trump announces the travel ban, the reality was there were many more unconfirmed cases."
The flights from China weren’t the only ones coming from airports in international hotspots for the COVID-19 outbreak. ABC News also analyzed thousands more flights during the period from Italy and Spain, which had the highest numbers of cases outside the U.S. by the end of March.
From December through March 30, 353,000 foreign nationals and Americans entered the U.S. from Italy. Another 456,547 came from Spain.
“Clearly, some portion of those were infected either with mild symptoms or asymptomatic. We were seeding this epidemic in many places, but flying blind because we weren't doing the adequate testing that was needed,” Brownstein said.
More than 1,400 direct flights from Italy landed in U.S. cities from December to March, including more than 500 in February and March as that country was becoming an international focal point for the worldwide pandemic. Another 2,255 flights from Spain landed in U.S. cities.
The federal government shut down most flights from Europe in mid-March, but by then hundreds of flights from Italy had gone into New York and Miami. Nearly 100 of the Italy-to-Miami flights happened over six weeks in February and early March before the U.S. imposed restrictions. March’s flights from Italy also went to large airports in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Newark, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio.
Also in March, more than 400 flights left Spain for 12 American cities. Close to half of those flights landed at two New York City region airports: JFK and Newark Liberty. More than 100 went to Miami. Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles each took in at least two dozen direct flights from Spain in March.
The flights directly from China, Italy and Spain reached at least 15 states. Additionally, during the same period, the cities that took in at least 100 flights from China, Italy and Spain were the starting point for flights to every state in the country -- potentially exasperating the domestic spread.
And there is evidence that the travel flow may have had direct impact on the country’s airport personnel.
More than 320 Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection personnel have tested positive for coronavirus, according to data obtained by ABC News. The number of affected airport security workers corresponds with hotspots, though it's unclear if the workers contracted the virus from their duties or from other person-to-person contact.
Of the Customs and Border protection personnel that tested positive, 52, were from New York ports of entry, 20 were from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports and facilities, 10 from Los Angeles work sites and 10 from New Jersey.
The analysis of international flights excluded more than 1,000 routes by cargo haulers and hundreds of additional flights into Alaska, where it could not be determined with certainty whether the flights – mostly from China - carried cargo, passengers or both.
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WZZM(DETROIT, Michigan) -- The coronavirus pandemic may be forcing millions to adjust to stay-at-home orders, but for Orel Borgesca, this isn’t the first global health crisis she’s had to endure.
The soon to be 103-year-old was just a few months old when the deadly "Spanish Flu" outbreak engulfed the globe in 1918, infecting a third of world’s population and killing at least 50 million people. While she’s doesn’t remember the pandemic personally, Borgesca says she will never forget the vivid tales from relatives.
"My mother’s brother and his wife had no children and in the epidemic they let husbands stay with them like my dad ... unfortunately my aunt caught the flu, and she died from it," Borgeson said.
Now more than a century later, Borgenson carries those memories with her and is taking precautions to protect herself during the coronavirus health crisis. She’s self-quarantining at her Michigan home with daughter Bonnie to stay safe.
"I’ve been doing a lot of knitting, reading and playing Scrabble with my daughter," Borgeson said. “I have strong faith, and I still believe God is in charge, and this is all going to come out alright.”
Borgeson said that other family members come by to visit through her living room window.
The centenarian turns 103 next Tuesday, so a few neighbors got together to visit Borgeson from a safe distance and celebrate with “Happy Birthday” signs and decorations for her yard.
Borgenson said that her birthday wish is "for this [pandemic] to be over."
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iStock/asiandelight(OAKDALE, La.) -- Having served nearly half of a 30-year federal term for a non-violent drug conviction, Patrick Jones poured his heart out in a letter to a judge, pleading that his sentence be reduced and to free him to be father to who he described as his straying 16-year-old son. Locked up in a federal prison in Louisiana, he wrote of his wish for a second chance to prove to the boy and society that he was more than just inmate No. 83582-180.
"It is just a number to be forgotten in time," the 49-year-old Jones wrote Oct. 15 in a letter from the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana. "But Mr. Patrick Estell Jones is a very good person. Caring, hardworking, free and clean of drugs and a lot smarter now, with a balanced outlook on life."
Now, Jones will never get the chance to prove his mettle.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Michael Carvajal and Oakdale prison Warden Rodney Myers accusing them and Attorney General William Barr of not moving fast enough to save the lives of Jones and four other inmates from what may be the worst coronavirus outbreak in the federal penitentiary system, according to BOP's data.
The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Louisiana, requests the expedited release of at-risk prisoners at Oakdale, warning that "given the exponential spread of COVID-19, there is no time to spare."
"Imagine if someone sick with COVID-19 came into your home and sealed the doors and windows behind them," the federal lawsuit reads. "That is what the Oakdale federal detention centers have just done to the over 1,800 human beings currently detained there, where a COVID-19 outbreak is rampant, social distancing is impossible and no one detained can leave.”
Up to 30 inmates and staff at Oakdale have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said.
While BOP officials declined to comment on the ACLU lawsuit, they released a statement saying they increased the number of prisoners released to home confinement in March by 40% and that prison case managers are “urgently reviewing all inmates to determine which ones meet the criteria established by the attorney general."
'We have to move with dispatch'
Barr issued a directive to Carvajal on March 26, just two days before Jones died, to reduce the number of inmates in the prison by transferring non-violent, at-risk inmates to home confinement based on a thorough case-by-case analysis.
The ACLU lawsuit, filed on behalf of prisoners with underlying conditions at Oakdale, notes that all the deaths came in the days after Barr's directive was issued.
By Friday, as the pandemic penetrated prison walls across the country, Barr issued another memo to Carvajal, expressing urgency in getting prisoners out of harm's way.
"We are experiencing significant levels of infection at several of our facilities," Barr wrote. "We have to move with dispatch in using home confinement, where appropriate, to move vulnerable inmates out of these institutions."
On Monday, Barr advised in a memorandum to the country's 94 U.S. attorneys that they should consider "the medical risks associated with individuals being remanded into federal custody during the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Even with the extensive precautions we are currently taking, each time a new person is added to a jail, it presents at least some risk to the personnel who operate that facility and to the people incarcerated therein," Barr's memorandum reads.
Somil Trivedi, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, said that while the Department of Justice appears to have recognized the urgent humanitarian and public health crisis in prisons, she is "deeply concerned that relief is coming too slowly."
"We must act now to avoid the worst-case scenario here," Trivedi said in a statement.
Jones fit the criterion of an at-risk inmate at Oakdale eligible to be released to home confinement. A Bureau of Prisons' statement said Jones had "long-term, preexisting medical conditions which the CDC lists as risk factors for developing more severe COVID-19 disease."
On March 28, Jones became the nation's first federal inmate to die from coronavirus, his demise coming about a month after his latest request for early release was rejected.
Jones was arrested on Jan. 31, 2007, when police raided his apartment in Temple, Texas, and seized 19 grams of crack cocaine and 21 grams of powder cocaine. A jury found him guilty of possession with intent to distribute at least 5 grams of crack, but because Jones' apartment was within 1,000 feet of a junior college, Jones was hit with an enhanced sentence of 30 years.
In November, Jones sought a reduced sentence under the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2018 to reduce the federal prison population by cutting the sentences of inmates convicted of non-violent crimes and giving them a second chance to be productive members of society.
Despite a judge agreeing that Jones was technically eligible for a reduced sentenced under the First Step Act, federal prosecutors recommended his request be rejected, according to court documents.
"The Court specifically took into account the nature and circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history and characteristics, and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant," U.S. District Court Judge Alan Albright wrote in his Feb. 26 ruling. "Jones is a career offender with multiple prior offenses and a history of recidivating each time he is placed on parole."
'He tried for 12 years to get anyone to pay attention'
In his letter, Jones asked for the opportunity to be a "productive member of society" and to finally be a good father to his now 16-year-old son, adding that he feared his boy was straying into the same trouble path that landed him in prison.
"I have not seen him since he was 3 years old," Jones wrote. "When I have had a chance to talk to him over the phone, it's effective and he's okay for a while, but mistreatment and bad influences take him off his intended course of life ...
"I feel that my conviction and sentence was also a punishment that my child had to endure also and there are no words for how remorseful I am," he added. "Years of 'I am sorry' don't seem to justify the absence of a father or the chance of having purpose in life by raising my child."
He went on to tell the judge that he had nearly completed the requirements to receive his high school equivalency diploma, or GED, and that he had learned to be a baker, a cook and other skills "that I can be contributing to society and my community."
In his petition to the court, Jones' lawyers also pointed out that Jones’ conduct in prison "has been almost wholly favorable," that he exhibited a "solid work history" and had paid off the $1,000 fine imposed as part of his sentencing.
"It's sad," Alison Looman, an attorney who represented Jones pro bono in a 2016 failed petition for clemency, told ABC News of Jones' death. "I know that when we filed our clemency petition we thought that if he were charged today his sentence would have been at least 10 years less."
Looman said she received a letter from Jones on Feb. 27.
"I wrote him back on March 13. I actually asked him to take care of himself," Looman said. "I tried to make sure he was doing OK. I knew that coronavirus was going to be a thing at the prison. He wrote me back and said he was fine."
She wrote Jones again on March 20, a day after he had been taken to a hospital complaining of a persistent cough, according to a federal Bureau of Prisons' statement.
Jones' health rapidly deteriorated and he was placed on a ventilator before he died, according to the BOP statement.
Looman said she can't help but speculate that the denial of Jones' petition for a reduced sentence broke his spirit.
"I have wondered if that factored in," Looman said. "He tried for 12 years to get anyone to pay attention to what seemed like a relatively unjust sentence and a week before he got very ill he had just learned that once again he wasn’t successful. I just wonder if it was frustrating to hear yet again that he had been turned down."
Jones ended his letter to the judge by sharing his desire to find his son -- whom he said had recently fathered a child of his own -- and "put him on the a track where a child his age needs to be."
"I ask that I be judged wisely of sound heart and soul by the honorable heart, mind and soul of the wise one whom God has blessed and given his will to judge," he wrote. "Thank you very much for your time and concern."
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Inner_Vision/iStock(NEW YORK) -- If you're looking for something cool to watch while staying at home amid the coronavirus, turn off the TV on Tuesday and look up at the sky.
A supermoon will grace the skies on April 7.
Supermoons occur several times a year when the moon becomes closest to Earth in orbit. This one will be the largest and is named the "Pink Moon" -- although the name won't actually reflect the color stargazers will see.
According to NASA, the Maine Farmer’s Almanac published "Indian" names for the moons in the 1930s. The Almanac refers to the April full moon, or the first full moon in spring, as the "pink moon." This name comes from herb moss pink, which is one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring.
Despite the name, the moon will appear a golden or yellowish color and fade to a bright white due to optical effect on the atmosphere, according to NASA.
The best time to marvel at the moon will be around 10:35 p.m. to midnight Eastern Standard Time, though the moon will be visible through the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The next and final supermoon of the year will occur on May 7.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
DougSchneiderPhoto(NEW YORK) -- When a Bronx, New York, man was sentenced to 364 days on Rikers Island for causing the death of a father of two with a single punch, the victim's younger sister, LaTor Scott, thought that was the last her family would have to deal with her brother's killer.
Now, the man who threw the punch that killed her brother has been released without completing his sentence, as jail officials releases offenders -- some of them convicted of violent crimes -- in an effort to fight the novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, that was first detected inside the facility on March 18.
The virus entered the walls of Rikers Island, one of the world's largest correctional facilities, infecting inmates, correction officers and staffers by the dozen. Officials with the Department of Corrections (DOC), the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), and the city's prosecutors' offices worked together to release as many detainees as possible in order to prevent the spread.
The five district attorneys and the special narcotics prosecutor agreed to release individuals because of their age, health conditions, the nature of their charged crime or the length of their remaining sentence.
However, in a March 30 joint letter sent to New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOC's Commissioner Cynthia Braunn on behalf of the city's prosecutors, they voiced their concerns over what they said was the haphazard selection process and release of inmates over their objections.
"As the crisis rapidly evolved, however, city public health experts scanned the entire jailed population, no matter the reason for incarceration, prioritizing those who meet public health criteria for heightened medical vulnerabilities," wrote Elizabeth Glazer, the director of MOCJ, in response to the prosecutors.
Glazer responded on behalf of DOC as the supervisor of criminal justice policies across the city. MOCJ also "develops and implements strategies across city agencies and partners to enhance public safety, reduce unnecessary incarceration, and increase fairness," according to the city's website.
"At the same time, we want to make clear that the categories of those proposed for release have, in some instances, included individuals who pose a high risk to public safety," the prosecutors wrote.
One of those inmates was Jimmy Rosario, convicted after a jury trial for the third-degree assault of Troy Scott, the brother of LaTor Scott, on June 22, 2019. Troy Scott, 40 of Alabama, was in town for one of his sisters' baby shower when he got into an altercation with 36-year-old Rosario.
Rosario punched Scott in the face outside of a chicken restaurant on Prospect Avenue in Morrisiana, Bronx.
Troy Scott fell backward on the pavement, hit his head and died at a nearby hospital, prosecutors said. Rosario was arrested a week later and charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault.
After a jury convicted Rosario, the judge sentenced him on Oct. 28, 2019 to a maximum of 364 days on Rikers Island.
"I just want to say that I’m sorry... I did not mean for this to happen, all right?" said Rosario during his sentencing, to the New York Daily News reported.
Rosario was credited with the time he already served on Rikers Island while awaiting trial, meaning he was expected to serve another six months to complete the judge's sentence.
Yet, on Mar. 26, Rosario was released by jail officials in an effort to decrease the population as the coronavirus continued to spread. Attempts to reach Rosario for comment were not successful.
Troy Scott's younger sister, LaTor Scott found out on the news that inmates were getting released due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Nobody contacted us ... the prosecutor on my brother's case didn't even know he (Rosario) was getting out," said LaTor Scott, 38.
LaTor Scott said she reached out to other crime victim families, whom she befriended after her brother's death, and were upset because the inmate on their cases were also released without their knowledge.
"I logged on to the inmate website, plugged his name in and saw that he was released -- so that's how we found out," said LaTor Scott.
"I think is kind of crazy that they are doing this without notifying families," said LaTor Scott, a retired Army veteran. "The guy who did this to my brother, he lives a few blocks away so we are bound to possibly run into him. We live in the same neighborhood. My mother was nervous."
LaTor Scott said her real concern was that Rosario still had three more months of his sentence left and he was released without getting put on probation until his official release date.
"It was like you're free to go... to let him get out even extra early, that's just a double slap in our faces," said LaTor Scott, who says she has to figure out how to tell her brother's son and daughter that their father's killer is free. "It goes to show you that the justice system is flawed, it's real flawed."
Another offender released early is John Bartee.
Bartee, 45, was arrested for beating the mother of his child on three separate occasions in 2018. One of those attacks in July 2018 resulted in the retina of the woman's right eye being detached, according to the criminal complaint. He was convicted after a jury trial and sentenced on Nov. 14, 2019 to a year on Rikers Island for misdemeanor third-degree assault and second-degree harassment charges.
Bartee was released Mar. 26.
The Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark objected to inmates like Bartee and Rosario being released before they served their full sentences.
"My duty is to protect the public, and the victims and survivors who remain vulnerable knowing that many of the individuals who were incarcerated are returning to the community," Clark said in a statement issued on March 30.
"The authority to release city sentenced people rests with the DOC commissioner," said Colby Hamilton, a spokesman for MOCJ.
ABC News attempted to reach Bartee for comment, but has yet to receive a response. Bartee's trial attorney told ABC News on Tuesday that his former client is in the process of appealing the conviction.
"We are concerned that the evaluation of eligibility for release appears to give little consideration to the housing, supervision and support-service needs of the individuals who are being returned to their communities: needs that, if not addressed, will only compound the possible health, safety and other risks, both to the communities and to the individuals at issue," according to the prosecutors' letter.
As over 1000 people were released from Rikers Island, neither MOCJ nor DOC publicized a plan for them upon release until after the prosecutors spoke out.
Those still serving city sentences -- up to a year -- will serve the rest of their bid at home and are monitored daily with phone check-ins by the DOC's Supervised Release program. "Because they are still under the custody of the Department of Corrections even while finishing their sentence at home, they can be required to return to custody at any time," Glazer wrote.
Before release, inmates are seen by a doctor and if they show "serious" symptoms of COVID-19 they are transferred to the hospital.
As of Friday, the population of Rikers Island shrunk to a little over 4,200 inmates and 239 inmates have contracted the coronavirus since March 18.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adelola Tinubu/Released(NEW YORK) -- A crew member aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently in isolation aboard the ship that is currently docked in New York City, according to a U.S. Navy statement.
The news comes on the same day that the hospital ship was designated to begin treating COVID-19 patients in New York City, a reversal from the earlier policy that it could only treat patients not infected with the coronavirus.
"There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients," according to the Navy statement. "The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crewmembers and patients on board."
"The crew member had no contact with patients," the statement said.
Because the crew member did not come into contact with patients, it is highly likely that the crew member was asyptomatic when the Comfort left its homeport of Norfolk, Virginia, on March 28.
Other crew members who had contact with the crew member have tested negative for the virus, said a Navy official. But the official added that out of an abundance caution they will remain in isolation for several days regardless of the test results.
On Monday, President Donald Trump approved the hospital ship's transition to treat coronavirus patients due in large part to the small number of non-coronavirus patients the ship has treated during its week in New York City while civilian hospitals were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.
"Taking on more patients as quickly as possible is critical to helping the city of New York during this pandemic crisis," said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet. "We listened to the feedback from area health professionals and the community and believe this is the best way we can help our fellow Americans."
The field hospital at the Javits Center will be the military's primary facility for COVID-19 patients, but beginning immediately, the Comfort will accept trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their coronavirus status.
To minimize the risk to the ship's crew, they will be kept apart from the medical staff aboard the Comfort to prevent any inadvertent exposure of the virus.
And in a further step to prevent exposure, some of the ship's medical personnel -- who will be in contact with COVID-19 patients -- will be moved to a local hotel. That will reduce the number of personnel staying in the ship's berthing areas and improve social distancing.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Kiyoshi Tanno/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration has taken the historic step of designating a white supremacist group as a global terrorist organization, sanctioning a Russian organization and three of its leaders Monday.
The new designation is an escalation in tactics, giving the U.S. government increased enforcement tools against what experts have warned is a growing threat -- white supremacist groups recruiting violent individuals across international borders to train and conduct attacks -- but one that President Donald Trump has at times downplayed.
"Today's designations send an unmistakable message that the United States will not hesitate to use our sanctions authorities aggressively and that we are prepared to target any foreign terrorist group, regardless of ideology, that threatens our citizens, our interests abroad or our allies," said the State Department's top counter terrorism official, Ambassador Nathan Sales.
The white nationalist group, known as the Russian Imperial Movement, or RIM, has provided paramilitary training to neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and recruited from overseas, especially Europeans, but reportedly including some Americans as well, according to Sales.
Among other plots, two Swedish men were recruited by RIM, brought to St. Petersburg for 11 days of paramilitary training, including weapons use, hand-to-hand combat, and "woodland and urban assault," per Sales. Months later, the two men returned to Sweden and conducted two bombings outside a cafe and a migrant center in Gothenburg, with a third attempted bombing failing to detonate.
Sales wouldn't preview any other designations of white supremacists, but said the administration "will not hesitate to aggressively use" the same authority to sanction other similar groups that incite, facilitate, direct, or plan attacks, including, in RIM's case, by providing training.
The designations also target three of RIM's leaders -- Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariev and Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov -- and will allow the Treasury Department to freeze any of their or the organization's assets moving through the U.S. financial system. The Homeland Security Department will also be granted broader authority to deny entry to the U.S. to individuals with ties to RIM.
"We've seen what RIM-trained terrorists can do in Europe, and we want to make sure that RIM is not able -- or any terrorist group is not able -- to accomplish something similar here in the United States. ... (Designating RIM) enables us to better protect our borders, to keep these terrorists out of our country and to deny them resources they may use to plan additional training that could harm our interests," Sales said, while declining to say what kind of assets the group has that the U.S. could seize.
The designation doesn't allow the Justice Department to bring charges against Americans who provide material support to RIM, but Sales said that U.S. law enforcement has other authorities to go after any of its supporters, referring questions on possible prosecutions to the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Sales wouldn't say what contact the Trump administration had with the Russian government ahead of the announcement or whether Vladimir Putin's government has been helpful in combating white supremacist terrorism. Instead, he called on Moscow and all governments to use their own authorities to deny violent actors' ability to travel and their access to the international financial system.
Senior U.S. officials have been warning for years now that the threat of racially or ethnically motivated terrorism is growing. That includes white supremacist violence in the U.S., where an anti-immigrant gunman killed 20 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
In January, U.S. law enforcement also arrested seven alleged members of "The Base," a militant neo-Nazi group that advocates for a "violent insurgency" to incite a race war, overthrow the U.S. government and create a white nationalist state.
"We are starting to see racially motivated violent extremists connecting with like-minded individuals overseas online," FBI Director Christopher Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee in November. "In some instances, we have seen some folks travel overseas to train," particularly in eastern Europe.
Sales warned Monday that even when not in direct communication, these groups and individuals inspire each other, including how the El Paso shooter said he was motivated by an attack months earlier in Christchurch, New Zealand, where a white supremacist killed 49 people at a mosque.
After the El Paso shooting, Trump called for all Americans to "condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy." But the president has also downplayed the threat of white supremacist violence, saying after the Christchurch shooting that the issue is "a small group of people that have very, very serious problems."
Trump has also drawn criticism for proposing a ban on all Muslims to the U.S., not immediately rejecting the support of David Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard, during his campaign, and saying there were "very fine people on both sides" after the August 2017 clash between white nationalists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
narvikk/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed at least 10,524 people in the United States.
The U.S. has by far the most cases, with more than 364,000 diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
More than 1.3 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the disease and over 73,900 of them have died. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.
Italy has the highest death toll in the world -- more than 16,500.
Here's how the story developed Monday. All times Eastern:
11:57 p.m.: Boston institutes curfew to increase social distancing
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is recommending a 9 p.m. curfew for residents as coronavirus cases climb in the city.
The new guidelines, which affect all city residents except essential workers, recommend staying at home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"That gives people a clear guideline to help them plan their day, make good choices and avoid crowded situations," Walsh said. "We have seen too many unnecessary trips in the evening, and social distancing problems."
Walsh is also asking residents to wear a cloth mask on their face while they are outside their homes, and he has closed all recreational sports facilities in Boston's city parks.
Boston had 259 new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Sunday, the city's largest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
“That’s what a surge looks like and we are still at the beginning of the surge," Walsh said.
As of Sunday, the city had 1,877 total cases and 15 coronavirus-related deaths.
7:22 p.m.: NYPD loses another member to coronavirus
The NYPD announced it lost another of its members to the coronavirus on Sunday, as the nation's hardest-hit city continues its battle against the pandemic.
Auxiliary Police Officer Ramon Roman was assigned to the 72nd Precinct in Brooklyn and was a 10-year veteran of the force.
His passing marks the 13th NYPD member to die from the virus since the pandemic began.
As of Monday evening, 1,935 of the NYPD's 38,000 uniformed officers, as well as 293 NYPD civilian employees, have tested positive, according to the department.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted that 200 members who tested positive have recovered and been cleared to work. That figure includes an officer from a Manhattan precinct who was one of the first to recover.
According to reports, at least two dozen police officers have died from the virus nationwide.
5:32 p.m.: USNS Comfort to treat COVID-19 patients
The Navy ship USNS Comfort, sent to New York City to treat non-coronavirus patients, will now treat those suffering from coronavirus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was informed of the change after speaking with President Trump.
At his afternoon press briefing, Trump confirmed that Cuomo had asked that the ship be reassigned for COVID-19 patients, and that he had approved the change.
The president said the ship will be now treating COVID-19 patients from both New York and neighboring New Jersey.
The ship was originally deployed to New York to handle the overflow of non COVID-19 cases from area hospitals, but there have been only a small number of such cases since the ship arrived.
"This means 1,000 additional beds staffed by federal personnel. This will provide much-needed relief to our over stressed hospital systems," Cuomo tweeted.
5:10 p.m.: First New York City inmate dies from coronavirus
An inmate of a New York City jail is the first detained person in the city to die of the coronavirus, according to the New York City Department of Corrections.
The unnamed inmate died Sunday, 10 days after being admitted to Bellevue Hospital, a department spokesperson said. The department has taken additional steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among inmates and corrections employees, including mandating face coverings for everyone in their facilities.
Corrections employees are also given health screenings before they enter a facility, according to the department.
"We continue to follow guidance from national, state, and local public health authorities, and are taking extensive steps every hour of every day to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities," the spokesperson said in a statement.
Nationwide, at least half a dozen federal prison inmates have died from the coronavirus.
3:38 p.m.: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson taken to intensive care
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, who was hospitalized Sunday night after contracting the novel coronavirus, has been taken to intensive care after his condition worsened Monday afternoon, according to Downing Street.
Johnson asked Dominic Raab, the secretary of state for foreign affairs, to deputize for him when necessary, Downing Street said.
Earlier Monday, Johnson said he went to the hospital for "some routine tests" as his symptoms persisted.
"I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe," Johnson tweeted.
A spokesman for the prime minister's office announced in a statement on Sunday night that Johnson had a high fever and was admitted to a London hospital on the advice of his doctor, not in an emergency.
"This is a precautionary step," the spokesman said at the time, "as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus."
3:10 p.m.: Michigan running 'dangerously low' on personal protective equipment
In Michigan -- one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic -- health care workers are "running dangerously low" on personal protective equipment (PPE), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned.
"At Beaumont Hospital, we have less than three days until N95 masks run out. At Henry Ford Health System, we have less than four days. And at the Detroit Medical Center, less than 10 days," Whitmer said Monday. "At all three health systems, there are less than three days until face shields run out and less than six days until surgical gowns run out."
She said that data doesn't include private donations going straight to the hospitals.
Whitmer said state officials are "doing everything we can as the state level to secure more personal protection equipment."
She said FEMA has sent 400 ventilators, 2 million gloves and 1.1 million surgical masks, and plans to ship 1 million more N95 masks this week.
As of Sunday, over 15,000 had tested positive and 617 had died in Michigan.
Eighty percent of the state's cases are in three counties in the Detroit area.
2:50 p.m.: New Jersey sees decline in new case growth rate
New Jersey's death toll from the coronavirus has now climbed to 1,003, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.
The Garden State has a total of 41,090 people diagnosed with the virus.
But Murphy tweeted, "we’re seeing a DECLINE in the growth rate of new cases, from 24% day-over-day on March 30th, to roughly 12% today."
"Our efforts #FlattenTheCurve are STARTING TO PAY OFF," he said. "Our job now is to keep flattening it to the point where our day-over-day increase is ZERO."
Murphy stressed, "if we keep up with our current practices, we can get through the peak with the hospital beds that we’re preparing."
But added, "if we relax our social distancing, our health care system will be overrun with a surge FOUR TIMES what it could be. That would be literally disastrous."
"This isn’t over -- not by a long shot," the governor warned.
Murphy said he is signing an executive order to allow retired public employees to return to work without impacting pension status.
2:27 p.m.: Wis. governor suspends in-person voting for Tuesday's primary
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed an executive order Monday suspending in-person voting for Tuesday's election, a striking move after the governor resisted taking unilateral action for weeks leading up to the contest. Evers' order calls for moving in-person voting to June 9.
This comes after the Republican-controlled state legislature Monday morning, in a slight to Evers, adjourned a special session he called to make changes to the election.
After Evers' order, the two top Republicans, Wisconsin House Speaker Robin Vos and state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, said they were "immediately challenging this executive order in the Wisconsin state Supreme Court."
1:26 p.m.: Louisiana deaths increase by 38%
In hard-hit Louisiana, statewide deaths jumped 38.3% over the weekend. Louisiana now has a total of 512 fatalities, according to the state's Department of Health.
The number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases made a 44.3% leap over the weekend, now at a total of 10,297 in the state.
Of those hospitalized in Louisiana, 31.1% of the patients are on ventilators, according to the Health Department.
Among the coronavirus-related deaths was a baby girl born prematurely because her mother was on a ventilator and needed oxygen, Dr. William "Beau" Clark of the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office told ABC News.
It is not clear if the baby was infected with the coronavirus, Dr. Clark said.
Only two of Louisiana's 64 parishes have zero confirmed cases.
"It is absolutely critical that you avoid close contact with others," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted Monday.
"It is going to take all of us doing our part and being good neighbors to help flatten the curve and slow the spread," Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted.
12:32 p.m.: New York state death toll reaches 4,758
In New York -- the state hit hardest by the pandemic -- the death toll has reached 4,758, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, though he said the rate of death has been "effectively flat for two days."
New York has the highest death toll in the U.S. by far.
More than 130,000 people in New York state have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Cuomo said the total number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and daily intubations are down, which "suggest a possible flattening of the curve."
While New York may have reached the apex of coronavirus infections, the governor added, what happens next "still depends on what we do."
If the state is plateauing, it is because social distancing is working so that must continue, said Cuomo.
Also, the state's health care system "is at maximum capacity today," according to the governor. "The staff cannot work any harder. And staying at this level is problematic."
"There's also a real danger in getting overconfident too quickly. This is an enemy we have underestimated from day one and we have paid the price dearly," Cuomo said.
Schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed until April 29, Cuomo said.
Cuomo lectured those who congregated in New York City's squares and parks this weekend and said he's increasing the maximum fine to $1000 for violating the social distancing protocol.
"Now is not the time to be lax. It is a mistake," the governor said.
"If I can't convince you to show discipline for yourself," Cuomo said, then do it for others, like the health care workers "putting their lives on the line."
11:55 a.m.: Another 439 deaths in UK in 24 hours
At least 5,373 patients in the United Kingdom have died from the coronavirus, as of Sunday night. That marks an increase of 439 deaths in 24 hours, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Over 51,000 people in the United Kingdom have tested positive for COVID-19, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.
11:43 a.m.: Masters rescheduled for November
The Masters plans to reschedule 2020's April tournament for Nov. 9 to 15.
"We want to emphasize that our future plans are incumbent upon favorable counsel and direction from health officials," Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, said in a statement Monday. "Provided that occurs and we can conduct the 2020 Masters, we intend to invite those professionals and amateurs who would have qualified for our original April date and welcome all existing ticket holders to enjoy the excitement of Masters week."
9:48 a.m.: Spain sees infection rate drop in 'almost all regions'
The novel coronavirus outbreak in Spain appears to be slowing down as the number of new infections drops in "almost all regions," a health ministry official said.
"The growth rate of the pandemic is decreasing in almost all regions," Maria Jose Sierra, with the Spanish Ministry of Health's emergency committee, said in a virtual press briefing Monday.
Sierra cautioned that it will take a few days to "confirm this tendency."
Monday's data from the Spanish health ministry shows that 637 people died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours -- the lowest daily toll, percentage-wise, since early March -- bringing the nationwide death toll to 13,055. The country also reported 4,273 new cases, bringing the nationwide total to 135,032.
Spain has the second-highest national tally of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world, behind the United States, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Sierra said around 19,400 health workers in Spain have been infected with the novel coronavirus, accounting for nearly 15% of the total number of cases.
Over the weekend, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that he would ask parliament to extend the country's state of emergency by two more weeks, taking the lockdown on mobility until April 26.
"Flattening the curve was our first objective. We’re getting close. But I ask everyone for sacrifice and resistance," Sanchez said in a televised address. "The next objective is to reduce infections even more until the number of new contagions is lower than the number of people recovering each day."
Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, warned Americans that this will be the "peak week" of the novel coronavirus outbreak for some states and cities.
"For parts of the country, particularly New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Detroit, this week is going to be the peak week," Giroir told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday on Good Morning America.
"It's going to be the peak hospitalization, peak ICU week and, unfortunately, peak death week," he added. "But that doesn't mean we're over this week. There are other parts of the country that will peak a little bit later, like New Orleans. So we have to be very, very serious about what's happening this week, next week, the following weeks -- do the physical distancing, wear the masks, that's how we're going to defeat this virus."
Giroir, a medical doctor and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said the country has "come a long way" in ramping up its COVID-19 testing capacity.
"As of yesterday we've conducted at least 1.67 million tests, and we don't even get information from all of the laboratory-derived tests. These are the ones that are in the hospitals that don't really report up through the system," he said. "We'll do about a million tests this week, and that's plenty enough tests for the people who really need it in the priority groups -- those who are hospitalized, health care workers, elderly."
Giroir said they are also working on scaling up serologic testing, more commonly known as an antibody test, which only requires a drop of blood and sniffs out virus antibodies. The test can't detect whether an individual presently has the virus, but it can tell if they already had it or had been exposed to it at some point in the past because their immune system has developed antibodies to fight it.
"That's very important as we think about reopening the country and the economy," Giroir said, "because if you have had the virus and you have an immune response to it, in all probability you are immune and safe from the virus."
Giroir said he's "very optimistic" that the country will soon have "tens of millions" of serologic tests, potentially by May.
"There are several that are going through the FDA right now," he added.
6:42 a.m.: State of emergency looms in Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he intends to declare a state of emergency over the country's novel coronavirus outbreak amid a recent surge in infections.
During a press conference Monday, Abe said he was making final arrangements for the declaration and would announce it as soon as Tuesday. The order would last for about a month and would apply to seven prefectures that includes major cities such as Tokyo, which has seen a jump in new infections in recent days.
The extent of the emergency measures were not fully known Monday, but the declaration would give prefectural governors the power to ask people to stay home. Local media reports say public transportation and supermarkets would remain open.
As of Monday, at least 3,654 people in Japan have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and 85 of them have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The Japanese government has admitted that infection routes cannot be traced in an increasing number of cases.
The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo issued a stark warning to Americans in Japan on Friday, saying those who wish to return should do so now or risk being stuck there "for an indefinite period."
"For U.S. citizens now in Japan, if you plan to return to the United States, we recommend that you arrange for an immediate departure. Failure to do so could mean staying abroad for an indefinite period," the embassy said in the alert. "As compared to the number of positive cases and hospitalizations in the United States and Europe, the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Japan remains relatively low. The Japanese Government’s decision to not test broadly makes it difficult to accurately assess the COVID-19 prevalence rate."
3 a.m.: US Forces Japan declares public health emergency
The commander of the United States Forces Japan on Monday announced a public health emergency for the Kanto Plain "due to the steady increase" of novel coronavirus infections in nearby Tokyo.
The declaration, which will remain in effect through May 5, gives commanders the authority to enforce compliance of health protection measures on those who live and work on all U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine installations and facilities located on the Kanto Plain, the largest lowland in Japan that covers more than half of the eastern Kanto region, including Tokyo.
"Protecting the health and safety of everyone associated with U.S. Forces Japan is my number one priority," Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, U.S. Forces Japan commander, said in a statement Monday. "I cannot underscore enough the importance of personal responsibility at a time like this. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires the entire team -- service members, civilians, families, and our Japanese partners."
The announcement comes as the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Japanese capital have jumped in recent days, from 78 on March 31 to 143 on Sunday, according to data published on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's website.
Last month, an active duty member of the U.S. Forces Japan tested positive for COVID-19.
In total, 1,033 people have tested positive for the disease in Tokyo and 30 of them have died, according to the government's website. A count kept by Johns Hopkins University show's Japan's nationwide tally is up to 3,654 diagnosed cases and 85 deaths.
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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The rising death toll from coronavirus in New York has city leaders contemplating temporary mass burials for patients who die from the infection.
“If we need to do temporary burials to be able to tie this over, to pass the crisis, and then to work with each family on their appropriate arrangements, we have the ability to do that,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
A document from the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and obtained by ABC News outlines surge capacity plans in the event that the city runs out of refrigerated space for deceased persons. According to the plan, “the need for temporary interment on Hart Island may arise.” The report also makes it clear that the deceased would be buried individually in caskets, and that temporary interment or burial is not to be confused with a final burial.
Hart Island, located off City Island in the Bronx, serves as the city’s public cemetery. Run by the Department of Correction, the island is the final resting place for over 1 million individuals, with an estimated 30,000-50,000 burial plots remaining.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner report also mentions the use of the Department of Defense’s “temporary mass interment method,” which calls for laying bodies in caskets lengthwise, up to 10 at a time, to avoid stacking bodies and to minimize digging.
The 688-page document does not reference possible usage of NYC parks for temporary burial, a contingency controversially suggested by City Council member Mark Levine on Twitter and then to ABC News.
“We are running out of freezer space. We will find a NYC park and put people in trenches 10 in a line. It will be dignified and it will be orderly,” said Levine, who also chairs the council's health committee.
In a series of tweets early Monday, Levine reported that a typical hospital morgue might hold 15 bodies, and the refrigerated trailers that are now a common sight outside most city hospitals hold around 100 bodies. Levine stressed that the goal of the contingency plan is to “avoid scenes like those in Italy, where the military was forced to collect bodies from churches and even off the streets.”
Mayor de Blasio adamantly denied reports that first surfaced from Levine’s tweets, with his spokesperson telling ABC News, “We are NOT currently planning to use local parks as burial grounds. We are exploring using Hart Island for temporary burials, if the need grows.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also weighed in at his daily press briefing, confirming that he’d heard the “wild rumors” and added that he would not support the idea.
As hospital and city morgues continue to fill, families of coronavirus victims are also facing shortages in available funeral homes. In contrast to the first responders who are in need of personal protective equipment, these last responders need one thing: space.
Funeral directors told ABC News that the usual process for dealing with the deceased — including hospital morgues, the freezer trucks, the funeral homes and cemeteries -- is being critically stressed with the spike in coronavirus-related deaths. As Levine put it, the “death system is overwhelmed.”
According to the New York State Funeral Directors Association, there are approximately 350 funeral homes in the New York City area, including Westchester County and Long Island. “There definitely are some operating at capacity right now, especially those in the Brooklyn and Queens area,” their spokesperson told ABC News
At Kearns Funeral Home in Queens, not far from hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital, owner Patrick Kearns is a fourth-generation funeral director who normally serves about 35 families a month. Last month alone Kearns said his his funeral home served 80 families, and he said he's been forced to turn some families away.
"Right now I have no choice," he said. "It’s going to become an issue and the city will need to assist these hospitals in storing and holding people until the funeral homes can catch up."
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iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- West Coast lawmakers are lending a helping hand to New York and other states that are in desperate need of ventilators as the novel coronavirus spreads.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he would be donating 500 devices to the national stockpile to meet demand in New York, which has over 130,000 cases and nearly 17,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly warned that the state hospitals would run out of ventilators as the number of hospitalizations surges.
Even though California has 13,438 coronavirus cases and 2,398 COVID-19-related hospitalizations as of Monday, Newsom said he recognized that New York had a bigger battle ahead.
"We still have a long road ahead of us in the Golden State – and we’re aggressively preparing for a surge – but we can’t turn our back on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now," Newsom said in a statement.
California's donation comes after Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state announced they would share their supplies.
On Saturday, Brown said she donated 140 ventilators because Oregon was "in a better position" with its coronavirus cases. As of Monday, Oregon has 1,068 cases and 258 hospitalizations, according to data from the Oregon State Health Department.
"New York needs more ventilators, and we are answering their call for help," Brown tweeted.
Cuomo thanked Brown during his daily briefing on Saturday.
"I know Gov. Brown and she is a kind person, but it's also smart from the point of view of Oregon," he said. "Why? Because we're all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus."
On Sunday, Inslee said he was returning 400 ventilators to the national stockpile and those machines would be redistributed to New York and other states. Washington had 7,984 confirmed cases as of Monday, according to its health department.
"I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks," he said in a statement.
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