What you need to know today about the virus outbreak


Weekdays at 12 p.m. PST, we’ll be streaming the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak utilizing our newsrooms across the country. If you miss the live report, you’ll be able to see a replay minutes after the stream ends.

When students return to school after a lengthy pandemic-induced absence, the consensus is they will have lost significant academic ground.

Still unresolved for governments and educators are the questions of how — or even whether — teachers should try to make up for lost learning.

Some have proposed holding evening or Saturday classes. A Maryland senator has proposed school year-round. In California, the governor has suggested the next school year could begin as soon as July.

But any remediation plans will be complicated by social distancing mandates that may require smaller class sizes and budget cuts that appear imminent because of falling local and state revenues.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Wednesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic.


— Advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to safely reopen businesses and institutions in the midst of the pandemic included detailed instructive guidance and some more restrictive measures than the plan released by the White House last month. The guidance, which was obtained by The Associated Press and shelved by Trump administration officials, also offered recommendations to help communities decide when to shut facilities down again during future flare-ups of the virus.

— Counterfeit face masks that provide inadequate COVID-19 protection have been distributed to frontline health care workers across the country. An Associated Press investigation tracked the masks to a U.S.-certified factory in China where legitimate medical masks are made.

— A poll points to a partisan divide over whether restricting in-person religious services violates religious freedom. The nation’s houses of worship are weighing how and when to resume in-person gatherings as some areas of the country ease their coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

— The coronavirus pandemic has threatened to throw foster children into even greater turmoil. The social restrictions imposed to control the virus’s spread have isolated them from adult supervisors and friends and made it harder to move on to new lives — either with biological or adoptive families, or as newly independent adults.

— New Zealand reported zero new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the second day in a row without any new cases and the fourth day since early last week. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was encouraging news as the country prepared to ease many of its lockdown restrictions.

— Authorities in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic first broke out, are planning to test all 11 million residents in the next 10 days, Chinese media reported. The order came after the discovery last weekend of a cluster of six infected people at a residential compound in the city, the first new cases in more than a month.

— Even with 20,000 dead, there’s a debate among headstrong New Yorkers over just when and where it is necessary to wear a mask. The state’s governor has ordered masks for anyone out in public who can’t stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with them. Only children younger than 2 and people with a medical excuse are exempt. Yet New Yorkers have adopted their own interpretations of when masks are required.



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.

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.



— 54: Southern Africa’s tiny mountain kingdom of Lesotho has confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19, making it the last of 54 African countries to report the disease. Lesotho’s health ministry said one person who recently arrived in the country had tested positive but was not showing signs of being ill.


— MAKING A DIFFERENCE: With no baseball to cover, Boston Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo suddenly had a lot of spare time and a nagging desire to help those affected by the pandemic. So he began auctioning off signed baseball cards and pictures he accumulated as an autograph-hawking teen and raised more than $57,000 for charities like the Greater Boston Food Bank.

— PLAY BALL: A person familiar with the results of poll of NBA players taken by their union says there would be “overwhelming” support for any plan for the season resuming in a safe way amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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