Some states move to ban mass gatherings due to COVID-19

Experts say most people recover in a matter of weeks.

Posted: Mar 11, 2020 7:16 AM
Updated: Mar 11, 2020 10:46 AM

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Governors and other leaders scrambling to slow the spread of the coronavirus stepped up bans on large public gatherings and a rapidly expanding list of universities moved classes online, as the U.S. government's top infectious-disease expert Wednesday warned that the worst is yet to come.

With cases in the U.S. now topping 1,000 and the number of deaths climbing to 31, lawmakers and health officials set up containment zones and sought to limit contact with those who might be infected.

“I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allegy and Infectious Diseases, said on Capitol Hill.

As for how much worse, Fauci said that would depend on the ability of the U.S. to curtail the influx of travelers carrying the disease and state and community efforts to contain the outbreak.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear urged churches across the state to cancel services.

“I don't believe that whether you go to church during this period of time is a test of faith," he said. “I believe God gives us wisdom to protect each other and we should do that."

In hard-hit Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee was expected Wednesday to ban gatherings of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area, home to some 4 million people. The Seattle area accounts for about two-thirds of the nation's coronavirus deaths, including at least 19 from the same suburban nursing home.

Schools and houses of worship were shuttered in the New York City suburb of New Rochelle, epicenter of the nation's biggest known cluster of cases, with over 100. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he intends to send the National Guard to help scrub public spaces and deliver food, though no troops appeared to be in place Wednesday morning.

UCLA, Yale and Stanford was among the universities announcing plans to send students home and hold classes remotely.

Chicago canceled its St. Patrick's Day parade, and the Coachella music festival that draws tens of thousands to the California desert near Palm Springs every April was postponed. One of the biggest resort operators in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International, said it would close buffets at all of its Las Vegas Strip casinos.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Most people recover in a matter of weeks, as has happened with the majority of those infected in China.

For those in the middle of a quarantine, it's an anxious time waiting for the threat to pass.

Judy Aqua, who is in her 60s, is quarantining herself at home in New Rochelle after possibly being exposed to someone with the virus.

“People are really afraid to go to the supermarket. They’re afraid to go to the cleaner,” she said. When her husband made a recent run to a post office, she told him to wear gloves.

Santa Clara County in California, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, has banned all gatherings of 1,000 people or more. The ban in Washington state would apply to sporting events such as Seattle Mariners baseball, according to a person who was familiar with the decision but wasn't authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

It could be just the beginning of disruptions to sports: Some college games will be played without fans in Ohio and California, and the NCAA said it will make decisions in the coming days about its men's and women's basketball tournaments. Two conferences banned fans from their championships, and the Ivy League canceled its basketball tournaments altogether.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency as cases statewide jumped by 51 to 92. Of that number, 70 are now connected to a meeting held last month by biotech company Biogen at a hotel in downtown Boston.

A woman from suburban Houston flew home from Italy after testing positive, and now everyone on the two flights she took could be at risk. Health officials urged passengers to quarantine themselves.

Some airport workers are also dealing with the outbreak, with several Transportation Security Administration officers at the San Jose airport testing positive. All TSA employees who had contact with them over the past 14 days are being quarantined at home, the agency said.

In Oakland, California, restless passengers on a coronavirus-struck cruise ship awaited their turn to disembark. By Tuesday night, Princess Cruises said about 1,400 of the 3,500 people on board had gotten off, and efforts were underway to move them to quarantine in their home countries or at military bases in California, Texas and Georgia.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the state's nearly 40 million residents to avoid sporting events, concerts and other large gatherings and strongly warned the elderly to stay away from cruise ships.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40163

Reported Deaths: 1528
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12867789
Ramsey5066230
Dakota252494
Stearns244819
Anoka2328111
Nobles16766
Olmsted119617
Washington119040
Mower9722
Rice8628
Scott8034
Clay59838
Kandiyohi5841
Blue Earth5352
Wright5055
Carver4331
Todd4022
Sherburne3405
Lyon3312
Freeborn3020
Watonwan2420
Steele2401
Benton2283
St. Louis20316
Nicollet18712
Martin1715
Cottonwood1380
Goodhue1378
Winona13315
Le Sueur1171
Pine1110
Crow Wing10812
Chisago1031
Otter Tail1021
McLeod960
Dodge930
Carlton890
Polk863
Unassigned8438
Chippewa791
Isanti780
Waseca730
Itasca6812
Douglas670
Murray670
Pipestone664
Meeker621
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson570
Sibley562
Pennington530
Beltrami410
Brown392
Renville372
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha340
Rock310
Yellow Medicine310
Fillmore300
Houston290
Swift251
Grant220
Norman210
Redwood210
Wilkin213
Cass192
Roseau190
Big Stone170
Koochiching171
Kanabec161
Wadena160
Aitkin150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Clearwater100
Mahnomen101
Hubbard80
Stevens80
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33162

Reported Deaths: 740
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6990182
Woodbury328243
Black Hawk239759
Buena Vista172711
Johnson13848
Linn134183
Dallas133031
Marshall106819
Scott92610
Dubuque83422
Story8254
Pottawattamie78012
Wapello71231
Muscatine68344
Crawford6793
Sioux4930
Tama47829
Wright3891
Louisa36313
Plymouth3365
Jasper33217
Warren3001
Dickinson2853
Webster2844
Washington2489
Cerro Gordo2231
Hamilton1931
Boone1601
Clay1431
Clarke1403
Allamakee1354
Clinton1211
Mahaska11817
Shelby1180
Poweshiek1088
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1041
Bremer1027
Franklin990
Des Moines952
Emmet920
Henry903
Hardin880
Cedar851
Cherokee811
Taylor810
Monona770
Marion750
Floyd742
Benton721
Guthrie724
Jones680
Sac650
Osceola640
Iowa621
Jefferson620
Buchanan611
Butler602
Humboldt591
Calhoun582
Hancock571
Harrison560
Delaware541
Fayette540
Lee542
Madison512
Monroe517
Jackson480
Lyon480
Clayton473
Mills460
Palo Alto460
Mitchell430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Grundy420
Kossuth390
Howard370
Union370
Lucas324
Winnebago310
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass270
Ida230
Unassigned220
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Worth210
Keokuk201
Page200
Adair160
Audubon161
Ringgold151
Decatur120
Montgomery112
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
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