The American Red Cross put out a call for blood donations, the Kentucky Derby was delayed to September, and Ohioans were not going to the polls Tuesday as the coronavirus once again dominated the global landscape.
President Donald Trump urged all Americans to remain vigilant – stay at home as much as possible; limit gatherings to 10 people and only when necessary – for at least two more weeks.
"We have to fight that invisible enemy, i guess unknown, but we are getting to know it quickly," President Trump said Tuesday. "One day we will be standing up here and be saying 'well, we won.'"
Voting was taking place in Arizona, Florida and Illinois. And the up-and-down Dow, overwhelmingly down in recent days, rose more than 500 points. But the roll call of massive isolation zones continued to grow, and the nation was slowly absorbing Trump's warning that restrictions could stretch into July or August.
The U.S. death toll hit 91, and there are more than 5,100 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. More cases are expected in the coming days as the government ramps up testing. Worldwide, more than 7,500 people have been killed by the virus.
Stocks show gains after darkest day
U.S. stocks rose Tuesday after the Trump administration said it planned financial support for an airline industry devastated by a drop in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The gains following the market's worst sell-off in more than three decades on Monday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 surged 5% overnight, triggering a trading halt but later gave back most of those gains. That came hours after both averages suffered their worst day since the “Black Monday” stock market crash of 1987.
– Jessica Menton
Americans don't trust Trump on coronavirus
Americans overwhelmingly don't believe hearing from President Trump about the coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government's response to it is declining sharply, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. Just 46% of Americans now say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, down from 61% in February. And 37% of Americans now say they had a good amount or a great deal of trust in what they're hearing from the president, while 60% say they had not very much or no trust at all in what he's saying. The poll of 853 adults was conducted Friday and Saturday – before Trump's latest press conference.
Blood shortages: 2,700 Red Cross blood drives canceled
The American Red Cross said almost 2,700 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in around 86,000 fewer blood donations.There is not any evidence that the coronavirus can spread through blood transfusion, the organization said. The Red Cross said it has implemented new safety measures for donor and staff members including temperature checks, hand sanitizer, enhanced disinfecting processes and bed spacing to follow social distancing practices. T
"One of the most important things people can do right now during this public health emergency is to give blood,” Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, said in a statement. "If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate as soon as possible.”
– Morgan Hines
Scratched: Kentucky Derby delayed until September
First it was the major sports leagues. Now the Kentucky Derby is saying goodbye to spring. The iconic race, scheduled for May 2, was postponed until Sept. 5, Churchill Downs announced. It's the first time in three-quarters of a century the "run for the roses" won't be held on the first Saturday in May. That delay was blamed on World War II.
The men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments and the Masters golf tournament are among major spring sports events now shelved. Professional basketball, baseball and hockey leagues also have suspended their seasons. The other two Triple Crown races also are in play. NBC "is in talks" to move the Preakness to September and the Belmont to early October, Churchill Downs vice president Nick Zangari said.
– Jason Frakes, Louisville Courier Journal
Students, parents face new reality: No school for awhile
At least 70% of America's schools have shut down, and a nationwide shutdown looks increasingly to be a case of when, rather than if. It's also becoming clear the nation's schools could be closed not just for a couple weeks, but for months or the entire rest of the school year. President Donald Trump on Monday called for limiting gatherings of people to no more than 10 for the next 15 days and suggested school-age students take classes from home. He also said the new normal could last deep into summer. School districts across the nation are scrambling to set up online learning where feasible.
"Nobody is taking the bull by the horns and saying, 'This is what we're doing or should be doing,' " said Dan Domenech, head of the American Association of School Superintendents. "We need more guidance."
- Erin Richards
Lockdowns, layoffs sweep nation
San Francisco was among places where residents were ordered to "shelter in place" for the next three weeks. People are expected to stay indoors until April 7 unless traveling for essential reasons, like visiting the grocery store or pharmacy. Other counties around the country, including some in Pennsylvania and Colorado, face similar restrictions.
The economic impact is starting to be felt by thousands, as laid-off workers scramble to figure out a backup plan for paying bills after losing their jobs almost overnight. The stock market was rattled, the Dow dropping nearly 3,000 points.
Thirty-seven states have closed schools, and Trump's administration is encouraging kids to take classes from home wherever possible. Even more states and cities are closing bars and restaurants, but allowing takeout and delivery service in an effort to help keep businesses afloat.
The administration did shoot down a rumor circulating the internet about any possible mandated national quarantine and curfew.
As Dow Jones plummets, US workers scramble to figure out 'Plan B'
The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a positive opening of more than 700 points. This hours after it plunged 2,997 points Monday, its biggest drop of all time, eclipsing the 2,352-point fall it had on Thursday. This happened despite the Federal Reserve's emergency action to cushion the economy from a pandemic that is shutting down global business and travel.
Monday’s 12% drop for the S&P 500 means it has fallen nearly 30% since setting a record less than a month ago, and it’s at its lowest point since the end of 2018. Losses accelerated in the last half hour of trading after Trump said the economy may be headed for a recession. In San Francisco, tour guide Manuel Gomez, 49, saw a group cancel, and Alberto Sensores, 60, cleaned windows to stay busy at an empty restaurant near heavily touristed Pier 39. Both only have savings to last them 10 to 15 days.
“I have no Plan B,” Gomez said.
– Jessica Menton, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
In LA, concern for homeless, jail inmates
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said officers are favoring citations over arrests, and the jail population has been trimmed by more than 600 because inmates are considered "vulnerable" to the virus. None of the more than 16,000 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus, he said, but 35 have exhibited symptoms and been quarantined.
Villanueva also said outreach to the county's estimated 59,000 homeless people has been stepped up: "Our biggest threat actually is the homeless population," he said. "You have the river beds, all the homeless encampments under the bridges, along skid row. Those are the biggest threat because of the sanitary conditions and people who are resistant to seeking aid when it is obvious that they should."
No Ohio primary because of 'health emergency'; other states march on
Polling locations opened across Florida and Illinois and Arizona but remained dark in Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine's administration ordered polls closed as a "health emergency," a decision not made final until early Tuesday when the Ohio Supreme Court denied a legal challenge to DeWine's order. DeWine said voters would face an "unacceptable health risk" of contracting coronavirus.
The states that did hold primaries promised social distancing and warned that some polling place would not be open. In Arizona, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said the decision to allow the vote was made in consultation with health officials.
"What it all comes down to is that we have no guarantee there will not be a safer time to hold this election in the near future," she said.
– Rick Rouan, The Columbus Dispatch; Stephanie Innes, Arizona Republic
Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson discharged from Australian hospital
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have left an Australian hospital, five days after they were admitted and tested positive for coronavirus, their son Chet Hanks said. "Quick update on my folks: They're out of the hospital. They're still self-quarantined obviously, but they're feeling a lot better, so that's a relief," Chet Hanks said in a video posted to his official Instagram account. USA TODAY has reached out to Hanks' and Wilson's representatives for more information.
Queensland state’s health department would not comment on media reports that the 63-year-old celebrities had been discharged from the Gold Coast University Hospital to self-isolate in a rented house.
- Hannah Yasharoff
McDonald's closes dining rooms, play areas amid coronavirus crisis
The McDonald's fast-food chain will shut down seating areas at all of its company-owned outlets throughout the U.S., limiting sales to walk-in takeout, drive-thru and delivery service. Play areas will also be closed.
Though the move only currently applies to restaurants McDonald's corporately owns, the company expects many of its franchisees to follow suit. That is likely to mean large swaths of McDonald's restaurants – of which there are roughly 13,800 in the U.S. – will operate as drive-thru only.
"Franchisees are strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures while keeping the needs of their people and communities at the center of their decisions,'' McDonald's said.
– Charisse Jones
California Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for all bars and restaurants to close
As part of what he called an “aggressive, but necessary” step to stem the transmission of the novel coronavirus across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night said restaurants should be closed for seated dining and should open only for drive-thru, pick-up or other delivery options.
The guidance is an about-face from one day earlier, when Newsom said bars should close but restaurants could stay open. On Sunday, he recommended that restaurants reduce maximum occupancy by half to provide an opportunity for social distancing.
Also in California, the state legislature suspended work until at least April 13, shortly after approving up to $1 billion in new spending on Monday to combat the outbreak. It is believed to be the first unexpected work stoppage in the California Legislature in 158 years, according to Alex Vassar, an unofficial legislative historian at the California State Library.
– Rebecca Plevin, Palm Springs (Calif.) Desert Sun
San Francisco Bay Area counties ordered to shelter-in-place
In the most restrictive measure yet by local governments, officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties on Monday issued a shelter-in-place mandate affecting nearly 7 million people.
The order, effective Tuesday, says residents must stay inside for three weeks and venture out only for necessities. The order affects the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa, as well as the city of Berkeley.
People should work from home unless they provide essential services such as public safety, sanitation and health care.
“The most important thing you can do is remain home as much as possible,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed posted on Twitter. “There is no need to rush out for food or supplies, as these stores will remain open.”
Residents can still go outside to perform essential functions, such as obtaining services or supplies for the household, and they're also allowed to go exercise and take pets out as long as they maintain a social distance of at least six feet.
– Gabrielle Canon
Orangetheory, SoulCycle and other gyms close across the country
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the closure of fitness clubs across the nation, with popular clubs — from Orangetheory, SoulCycle, Gold's Gym and Equinox — announcing closures Monday.
Some cities and states are instituting across-the-board closings of gyms and fitness centers as part of temporary shutdowns of restaurants, theaters and other places people gather.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday announced gyms and fitness centers in the city would be shut down until March 31. On Monday, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced gyms would close in those states that evening.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based Orangetheory announced it was closing its franchise-owned high-intensity training locations nationwide at end of classes Monday, and asking independent owners to follow suit. In a letter to members, CEO David Long and president David Carney said the closure "is not a decision we made lightly."
'Big Brother Germany' cast has no idea coronavirus is happening
The world is reeling over the coronavirus outbreak that grew into a global pandemic, but the sequestered cast of "Big Brother Germany" probably is unaware of the size and extent of its spread.
Fourteen men and women competing on Germany's equivalent of "Big Brother" have been cut off from news and current events since entering the competition on Feb. 6, when the coronavirus story was focused on a section of mainland China.
The contestants, restricted to a "Big Brother" house where they are under constant surveillance, have no idea how dire the situation has become worldwide.
"Big Brother Germany" broadcaster Sat.1 defended its decision to keep the contestants in the dark to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (via Google Translator): "Of course, the residents will be informed if there is reason to do so."
– Cydney Henderson