What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
President Donald Trump is bracing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people. Trump extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April, bowing to public health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic.
It was a stark shift in tone by the president, who only days ago mused about the country reopening and being ″raring to go″ in time for Easter.
Global infections now total more than 720,000. And more than 34,000 people have died around the world.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Sunday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— The U.S. surpassed 125,000 cases, and about 43% of those are in New York state. Testing is one reason. Doctors can’t detect an infection if they don’t look for it, and New York has been doing more testing than anywhere else in the country.
— An exclusive data analysis from AP finds that more than a third of counties across the U.S. still haven’t reported a positive test result for infection across what are predominantly poor, rural areas.
— State and local leaders are struggling to navigate inconsistent federal guidance and fierce political tribalism that is complicating their responses to the coronavirus outbreak.
— Probing questions are being asked in Japan about the sudden rise in Tokyo’s virus cases and the government’s strong actions immediately after the Olympic postponement. Did Japan understate the extent of its outbreak and delay enforcement of social distancing measures while clinging to the hope the Olympics would start in July as scheduled?
— The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s gam es. Tokyo organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. That is almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. The IOC and Japanese organizers last week postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
Misinformation overload: How to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
IN OTHER NEWS:
LIFE UNDERWATER: Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from above-water worries to focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down.
TELL ME HOW TO WASH: Elmo, Rooster and Cookie Monster are doing their part to help keep kids safe during the pandemic. The beloved Sesame Street characters are featured in some of four new animated public service spots reminding young fans to take care while doing such things as washing hands and sneezing.