More than 800,000 people worldwide -- including more than 164,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges.
Live updates for Tuesday, March 31, continue below:
Update 10:50 p.m. EDT March 31: Nearly 60 patients and staff members of a Southern California nursing home have tested positive for the coronavirus and two residents have died in what may be the state’s largest outbreak at a single facility, authorities said Tuesday.
While testing continues, Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation in Yucaipa has been told to assume that all of its patients have the COVID-19 virus, San Bernardino County Department of Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo said at a news conference.
The nursing home, which has some 90 beds, isn’t accepting new residents or discharging any and the facility has been closed to visitors under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s two-week-old stay-at-home order, Raymundo said.
Update 10:30 p.m. EDT March 31: With refrigerated morgue trucks parked on New York City’s streets to collect the surging number of dead, public health officials projected Tuesday that the coronavirus could ultimately kill more than 100,000 people across the U.S. Some states that have become hot spots warn they’re running low on ventilators, while two cruise ships pleaded for Florida to allow them to dock to carry off the sick and dead.
The number of U.S. deaths could range from 100,000 to 240,000 even if Americans continue to stay home and limit contact with others, experts predicted at a media briefing with President Donald Trump. But they said they hope the figure won’t soar that high if everyone does their part to prevent the virus from spreading.
“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” said Trump, who has extended social distancing guidelines to April 30. “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT March 31: New Mexico’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic increased to five with the case of a man in his 40s, as state officials on Tuesday said expanded testing will begin in an effort to target cases in which people have no symptoms.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the latest fatality, saying the total number of cases in the state increased to at least 315. About two dozen people remained hospitalized.
State health officials said the Bernalillo County man who died was found unresponsive at home last week. He had an underlying medical condition.
Update 6:15 p.m. EDT March 31: The White House on Tuesday projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. President Donald Trump called American efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus “a matter of life and death” and urged the public to heed his administration’s social distancing guidelines.
Trump called on Americans to brace themselves for a “rough two-week period” but predicted the country would soon see a “light at the end of the tunnel” of the global catastrophe that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and infected 170,000 more.
“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” Trump said. “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
The comments came after Trump announced Sunday that he was extending to April 30 the social distancing guidelines that urged Americans to cease social gatherings, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and more in a nationwide effort to stem the spread of the virus.
It was an abrupt reversal for Trump, who spent much of last week targeting April 12 as the day he wanted to see Americans “pack the pews” for Easter Sunday services.
Update 6 p.m. EDT March 31: President Trump said in a Tuesday press briefing that “this is going to be a rough two-week period. When you look at night the kind of death that has been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”
Update 4:15 p.m. EDT March 31: Stocks are down in subdued trading Tuesday, as Wall Street’s wraps up its worst quarter of performance since the 2008 financial crisis.
The S&P 500 is down in afternoon trading after flipping between modest losses and gains, pushing its loss for the first three months of the year to 20.2%. Trading was similarly shaky elsewhere earlier in the day: Global markets initially rose following a stronger-than-expected report on China’s economy, but momentum briefly stalled after the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus outbreak jumped in Spain. Major European indexes shook off the early slide and were headed higher.
The surge of coronavirus cases around the world has sent markets to breathtaking drops since mid-February, undercutting what had been a good start to the year. Markets rose early in the quarter, and the S&P 500 set a record with expectations that the economy was accelerating due to calming trade wars and low interest rates around the world.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil has dropped by roughly two thirds this quarter and hit its lowest price since 2002 on Monday on expectations of a dramatic drop in demand. The price turned a bit higher Tuesday. Germany’s DAX has lost a quarter of its value since the start of the year, and South Korean stocks dropped just over 20%.
The big question is if markets will get worse. At this point, no one knows.
Update 3:50 p.m. EDT March 31: Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said Tuesday that officials will investigate the firing of an Amazon employee who led a walkout of workers at the company’s Staten Island warehouse, according to multiple reports.
De Blasio said New York City’s Human Rights Commission would investigate the incident, The New York Times reported.
Fifteen Amazon employees walked off the job Monday in Staten Island after reports surfaced that other warehouse employees had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Reuters.
Update 3:35 p.m. EDT March 31: Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said the state had nearly 7,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Newsom said 6,932 coronavirus infections have been reported in the state, including 1,617 that were serious enough to require hospitalization. The governor said 657 of those hospitalized patients were admitted to intensive care units.
“Over the next few weeks we expect these numbers to increase,” Newsom said. “This disease can impact anyone. Stay home. Take this seriously.”
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT March 31: Health officials in Slovakia have reported the country’s first fatal case of COVID-19, according to The Guardian.
Officials have confirmed 363 coronavirus infections in the central European country, The Guardian reported.
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 31: Officials with the Ohio Department of Health have confirmed 2,199 COVID-19 cases in the state, according to WHIO-TV.
Of those, 585 involved patients who had to be hospitalized due to the viral infection, WHIO-TV reported. In Ohio, 55 people have died of the coronavirus.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT March 31: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine have revised a stay-at-home order issued for parts of the state to include several more counties as officials work to contain the spread of COVID-19, WPXI-TV reported.
The order will take effect at 8 p.m. and will continue through April 30, according to WPXI-TV.
Update 2:35 p.m. EDT March 31: Officials in Burundi announced the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the East African country on Tuesday, according to The Guardian.
Citing government officials, The Guardian reported the patients had been traveled outside of the country in recent days. One patient, identified only as a 56-year-old, had recently returned from Rwanda while the other, 42 years old, recently returned from Dubai.
Update 1:55 p.m. EDT March 31: Officials with JCPenney Company Inc. announced Tuesday that the company is extending its temporary store closures and furloughing most store hourly associates beginning April 2.
In a news release, company officials said the furloughs would affect “a significant portion of associates in the Company’s Home Office, Salt Lake City and Soho design offices ... along with its store salaried associates.”
“At JCPenney, we are making tough, prudent decisions to protect both the safety of our associates and the future of our company,” Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, said Tuesday in a news release. “We remain optimistic about JCPenney’s ability to weather this pandemic.”
The company announced March 20 that many employees working in JCPenney supply chain and logistics centers had been furloughed. Officials said the company would continue to pay full health benefits for furloughed employees, according to officials.
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT March 31: Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said Tuesday that his electric car company, Tesla Inc., has extra ventilators and offered to ship them to hospitals free-of-charge.
Musk said the “only requirement is that the (ventilators) are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse."
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT March 31: On the heels of a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package to help the United States rebound from the negative economic impact of the coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled that he would be ready to support an almost equal amount of spending to build new roads and bridges in the United States.
Mr. Trump cited low interest rates as one reason to spend extra money - a suggestion made by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve last week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well.
Update 12:55 p.m. EDT March 31: The death toll associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. topped 3,500 on Tuesday, eclipsing the death toll reported in China, The Associated Press reported.
Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and over 39,000 people have died, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Italy and Spain accounted for half the deaths, while the U.S. had around 3,550 by midday, eclipsing China’s official toll of about 3,300.
New York was the nation’s deadliest hot spot, with about 1,550 deaths statewide, the majority of them in New York City.
Update 12:45 p.m. EDT March 31: Officials in Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday announced 756 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total to 4,842, according to WPXI-TV.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health also reported 14 more deaths in the state. WPXI-TV reported the statewide coronavirus death toll was at 63 on Tuesday.
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT March 31: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a State Department official has died from the coronavirus, the first American fatality among the U.S. diplomatic corps from the pandemic.
Pompeo didn’t give details about the official who passed away or where the person contracted the disease. He said about four to five dozen State Department employees had tested positive for the virus, including locally employed staffers at a handful of the 220 U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.
On Monday, State Department health officials said at least two locally employed staff members had died from the virus.
Those officials said they were tracking 105 confirmed cases among the agency’s global workforce of about 75,000. Of those, 75 are overseas and 30 are at State Department offices in the United States in nine cities.
Update 12:30 p.m. EDT March 31: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said his brother, CNN reporter Chris Cuomo, “is going to be fine” after the journalist announced Tuesday that he’d been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“He’s young, in good shape, strong -- not as strong as he thinks -- but he will be fine,” Andrew Cuomo said during a news conference Tuesday.
The governor said that two weeks earlier, he told his younger brother that he could no longer have their elderly mother in his home. The governor said Chris Cuomo feared their mother would be lonely, but he heeded his brother’s advice.
Andrew Cuomo said if his younger brother hadn’t listened, their mother could have been exposed to the coronavirus.
“This virus is that insidious," the governor said.
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 31: Walmart officials said Tuesday that the company will begin checking employees’ temperatures and ask “some basic health screen questions” as they report to work amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be paid for reporting to work and asked to return home and seek medical treatment if necessary," Walmart President and CEO John Furner and Sam’s Club President and CEO Kath McLay said Tuesday in a joint statement.
"The associate will not be able to return to work until they are fever-free for at least three days.”
Officials said that over the next few weeks, Walmart plans to get infrared thermometers out to all of the company’s locations.
Update 12 p.m. EDT March 31: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said officials in the state have identified 75,794 cases of COVID-19, up 9,397 from the number of cases reported Monday.
The numbers include 10,929 cases that required patients to be hospitalized. Cuomo said 2,710 patients have been admitted to intensive care units while 4,975 have recovered and been discharged.
Cuomo noted that it remained unclear Tuesday when the coronavirus pandemic would end.
“I can say this, it’s not going to be soon,” Cuomo said. “So calibrate yourself and your expectations, so you are not disappointed every morning when you wake up."
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT March 31: Journalist Chris Cuomo of CNN announced Tuesday that he’s tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath,” Cuomo said in a Twitter post. “I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and Christina. That would make me feel worse than this illness!"
Cuomo said he will continue to report for CNN while self-quarantining in his basement.
“We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!” he wrote.
Update 11:30 a.m. EDT March 31: Officials with Southwest Airlines announced Tuesday that the company’s flight schedule is being cut by more than 40% due to low passenger demand amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a news release Tuesday, officials said about 2,000 flights were cut for each day between May 3 and June 5.
“The overall demand for travel remains fluid during this ongoing pandemic and we continue to evaluate further reductions," company officials said in the release.
Update 11:10 a.m. EDT March 31: President Donald Trump called Tuesday for a $2 trillion infrastructure bill days after he signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package to help Americans struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” Trump wrote in a tweet Tuesday morning. “It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!”
Update 11 a.m. EDT March 31: Officials in the United Kingdom announced 3,009 new reports of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 25,150.
Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced 381 new deaths Tuesday connected to the 2019 novel coronavirus. The new reports raise the death toll with COVID-19 in the U.K. to 1,789.
Update 10:55 a.m. EDT March 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN on Tuesday that the White House Coronavirus Task Force is in active discussions over whether to broaden the guidelines for when should people wear face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering urging Americans to wear face coverings in public to slow the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, The Washington Post reported Monday.
“When we get in a situation where we have enough masks, I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this recommendation of using masks,” Fauci said in an interview Tuesday morning with CNN. “We’re not there yet, but I think we’re close to coming to some determination.”
Fauci said officials were primarily concerned with ensuring health care providers have the equipment they need.
“You don’t want to take away masks from the health care providers who are in a real and present danger of getting infected. That would be the worst thing we do," Fauci said. “If we have them covered then you can look back and say, ‘Maybe we can broaden this.’”
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 31: A doctor who last week guided Russian President Vladimir Putin on a tour of the main hospital treating COVID-19 patients in Moscow has tested positive for coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, Denis Protsenko said that despite his diagnosis, he was “feeling pretty good.”
Protsenko, director of Hospital No. 40, was photographed shaking hands with Putin and standing near him during a meeting at the hospital March 24, Bloomberg News reported.
Update 10:15 a.m. EDT March 31: Health officials in North Carolina recorded 191 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning, bringing the state’s total to 1,498, WSOC-TV reported.
Officials have reported a total of eight deaths in the state due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, up two from the six reported deaths Monday.
Update 10:10 a.m. EDT March 31: Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are searching for dormitories, hotels and large, open spaces which can be converted into temporary hospitals amid fears of a hospital bed shortage because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite said Tuesday morning on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that officials were “looking right now at around 341 different facilities across the United States.”
“Our thought was, make it extremely simple,” Semonite said. “Find an existing facility that already has all the codes -- has heat, has water, has I.T., has parking lots -- and just put in whatever we can, like a hospital inside of that.”
Update 9:35 a.m. EDT March 31: Weeks after Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively gave $1 million to support food banks dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, the actors have made another large donation.
According to E! News, the power couple donated $400,000 total to four New York hospitals, including $100,000 each to NYU Hospital, Mount Sinai, Northern Westchester Hospital and Elmhurst Hospital.
“If you can give, these orgs need our help,” Lively wrote in an Instagram post March 16, after the couple donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
Update 8:40 a.m. EDT March 31: Researchers at the University of Washington and New York University are working to see if a decades-old drug used to treat malaria and lupus might be effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Hydroxychloroquine is commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. A stronger form, chloroquine, is used as an anti-malaria drug.
“There is an incredible need for methods of breaking community transmission,” said Dr. Ruanne Barnabas of the University of Washington, a principal investigator on the study. “It’s definitely the most urgent study I’ve ever worked on,” she said.
Update 8:25 a.m. EDT March 31: Officials in Sierra Leone on Tuesday announced the country’s first confirmed case of coronavirus, according to The Guardian.
The patient was identified as a 37-year-old man who arrived from France on March 16 and has been in isolation ever since, the newspaper reported.
“When I did my first coronavirus press conference, I said that it was not a matter of if, but when. Well, ‘when’ has come,” President Julius Maada Bio said, according to The Guardian.
Update 7:57 a.m. EDT March 31: Spain set a single-day record of 849 novel coronavirus-related deaths on Monday.
Meanwhile, 5,891 additional COVID-19 infections were diagnosed during the same 24-hour period, bringing the nationwide total to 99,417, resulting in 8,189 deaths to date.
Update 7:53 a.m. EDT March 31: President Alexander Lukashenko confirmed the first novel coronavirus-related death in Belarus on Tuesday, according to state TV.
The victim is identified as a 75-year-old male actor with other health problems who died in Vitebsk.
Update 7:37 a.m. EDT March 31: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 38,714 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the three months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 800,049 people worldwide.
• The United States has confirmed 164,610 confirmed cases, resulting in 3,170 deaths.
• Italy has reported 101,739 cases, resulting in 11,591 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 94,417 infections, resulting in 8,189 deaths.
• China has recorded 82,272 cases, resulting in 3,309 deaths.
• Germany has reported 67,051 cases, resulting in 650 deaths.
• France has confirmed 45,171 infections, resulting in 3,030 deaths.
• Iran has recorded 44,605 cases, resulting in 2,898 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 22,465 cases, resulting in 1,412 deaths.
• Switzerland has confirmed 15,922 cases, resulting in 359 deaths.
• Belgium has recorded 12,775 cases, resulting in 705 deaths.
Update 7:19 a.m. EDT March 31: For the first time since the global pandemic began, Chinese officials acknowledged Tuesday that asymptomatic patients have been excluded to date from China’s running tally of infected persons, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the Journal, China confirmed Tuesday that 1,541 people have been identified as asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus, noting that 205 of that figure only recently returned from overseas.
Update 7:09 a.m. EDT March 31: A 12-year-old girl has died from the novel coronavirus in Belgium, a spokeswoman for the Belgian Health ministry told CNN.
The spokeswoman said the unidentified girl died on Monday.
"This is an emotionally difficult moment because it affects a child and it also affects the medical and scientific community,” Emmanuel André, the Belgian government’s spokesperson for the coronavirus response, said on Belgian TV.
Update 6:48 a.m. EDT March 31: A spokesman for Iran’s health ministry has confirmed the country recorded 3,111 in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 44,606 infections.
Kianush Jahanpoor also told Iranian state television on Tuesday that an additional 141 virus-related deaths were also reported during the same period, bringing Iran’s death toll to 2,898.
Update 6:15 a.m. EDT March 31: In a tribute to medical workers battling the coronavirus, New York’s Empire State Building flashed red and white on Monday night to symbolize “America’s heartbeat,” The Washington Post reported.
Photos and videos of the attraction’s makeover flooded social media channels.
Update 6:08 a.m. EDT March 31: Vietnam’s government imposed strict social distancing measures on Tuesday expected to last for 15 days, including the prohibition of gatherings of more than two people.
To date, the country has confirmed 204 novel coronavirus cases, resulting in zero deaths.
Per the new restrictions, residents must remain in their homes except to buy food or medicine or to work in essential businesses and factories.
Update 2:27 a.m. EDT March 31: Following a solid week of debate and the filing of a National Rifle Association lawsuit, gun stores in Los Angeles are now considered essential services and will be allowed to continue operating amid a statewide stay-at-home order.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva initially ruled gun stores a nonessential business, but he has since backtracked following a contentious seven days, CNN reported.
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not order or recommend closure of businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition,” Villanueva said in a statement issued late Monday, adding, “Regardless of whether a business sells groceries, gasoline, firearms, or any other product or service, we encourage them to abide by all health and safety measures in place.”
Update 2:10 a.m. EDT March 31: India confirmed 227 additional novel coronavirus cases on Monday, marking its largest single-day spike since the pandemic began.
The latest figures bring India’s nationwide total to 1,251 cases, resulting in 32 deaths.
Update 2:05 a.m. EDT March 31: Beef processing at JBS USA in Souderton, Pennsylvania, has been scaled back after several senior managers developed flu-like symptoms, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The plant, located about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia, employs about 1,000 people and is expected to reduce beef processing operations for about two weeks.
Owned by Brazilian meat conglomerate JBS SA, the Pennsylvania facility is believed to be the largest beef plant east of Chicago, producing beef under the Moyer, 5 Star and Swift brands, the Journal reported.
Update 1:42 a.m. EDT March 31: Mexican officials declared a “health emergency” late Monday, announcing the “immediate suspension” of all non-essential activities as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the nation.
Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs, made the emergency declaration for the entire country, while Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced the immediate halting of all non-essential activities until April 30.
There are now 1,094 confirmed across Mexico, which have resulted in at least 28 deaths.
Update 12:39 a.m. EDT March 31: The United States recorded its deadliest day Monday with at least 574 COVID-19 fatalities confirmed, marking the nation’s highest single-day death toll since the novel coronavirus pandemic began.
By early Tuesday morning, the number of cases in the United States soared past 164,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 164,274 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 3,164 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation by wide margins, including the 101,739 reported in Italy and the 87,956 confirmed in China.
Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 1,218 – or more than one-third of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 217 in Washington state and 198 in New Jersey.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak with at least 66,497 confirmed cases – or roughly four times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 16,636 and Michigan with 6,498.
Four other states have now confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 5,763, including 135 deaths
• Massachusetts: 5,752, including 56 deaths
• Florida: 5,483, including 70 deaths
• Illinois: 5,057, including 73 deaths
Meanwhile, Washington, Pennsylvania and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 4,000 novel coronavirus infections; Georgia has confirmed slightly more than 3,000 cases; and Texas, Colorado and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.