♦ The tally of deaths due to coronavirus in Massachusetts climbed to 44 on Saturday, up from 35 on Friday, and the number of confirmed cases climbed to 4,257 up from 3,240.
♦ The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread across the United States with fatalities doubling to hit 2,000 in two days.
♦ President Trump backed away from calling for a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, instead directing Saturday night that a “strong Travel Advisory” be issued.
♦ On Wednesday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker extended the statewide closure of schools and non-emergency childcare programs until Monday, May 4. Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory Monday and ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses in the state. Here’s a list of what can stay open, and an FAQ on what you can and can’t do
♦ Trump signed into law Friday the largest economic relief package in US history, a $2 trillion infusion to steady the cratering economy.
Knicks owner, MSG chairman James Dolan has coronavirus
By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press
James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Knicks announced Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.
Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus.
As US coronavirus death toll surpasses 2,000, Trump retracts quarantine proposal for hard-hit New York metro area
By Colby Itkowitz and Marissa J. Lang, The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The United States reached a grim milestone Saturday, doubling the number of coronavirus-related deaths over two days to more than 2,000 people as the rate of infected Americans surpassed every country in the world.
New York remained the hardest hit, a devastating toll compounded Saturday by President Trump’s day-long dance over whether he’d order a federal quarantine of the New York metro region - a proposal he ultimately retracted.
The president spent most of the day teasing a travel restriction on the New York metro area, confounding public officials who were blindsided by the suggestion. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called the idea “preposterous” and equated it to imprisonment and “a declaration of war.”
Canadian PM’s wife has recovered from coronavirus illness
By Rob Gillies, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife said Saturday that she has recovered from being ill from COVID-19 disease caused by the new coronavirus.
“I am feeling so much better,” Sophie Gregoire Trudeau said in a statement on social media. She said she received the clearance from her doctor and Ottawa Public Health.
Trudeau’s office announced on March 12 that she had tested positive for the coronavirus after she fell ill upon returning from a trip to London.
In the midst of coronavirus, a rare moment of joy
By Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff
The small celebration that took place Thursday afternoon on a small patch of grass at Brookline's Griggs Park was not what you'd consider a typical wedding ceremony.
But then, these aren't typical times, and this isn't a typical story.
They met later in life — Elisheva Dan, a psychoanalyst, and Mara Weitzman, a fourth-grade teacher at the Charles River School in Dover. Last October, under the stars at a farm in Lincoln, they agreed to spend the rest of their lives together.
No dining in restaurants, but what about takeout lines?
By Laura Crimaldi, Globe Staff
As the first workweek under a stay-at-home advisory ended Friday evening with temperatures in the balmy low-60s, crowds descended on Revere Beach for fresh air, exercise, and takeout meals at places like the original Kelly’s Roast Beef.
But in a city where COVID-19 cases have surged by 700 percent since Monday, large groups of customers waiting for fish plates, lobster rolls, and roast beef sandwiches appeared to municipal officials like a recipe for a rapid virus spread.
Something had to give, and on Saturday, takeout service at Revere Beach restaurants became another victim of the pandemic.
‘I just don’t want her to wither away’: visiting Mom through an open window
By Evan Allen, Globe Staff
PEABODY — The window slid open, and it was all the three sisters could do not to run forward at once, to take the risk and break the rules for the simple joy of being close to their mother again.
Instead, as 86-year-old Jean Follett appeared from inside her assisted living home in a burst of pink sweater and surprised smile on Saturday morning, they stood still on the lawn in the chilly air, and let their voices close the distance between them.
While the world retreats from coronavirus, nature catches its breath
By David Abel, Globe Staff
It’s an antidote to the cooped up, post-COVID-19 world: a walk or run to get some sun and breathe the spring air.
And yes, it’s no illusion born of captivity, the air is actually fresher.
Pollution — in a remarkably short time — has abated. In the past few weeks, satellite measurements have found that emissions from cars, trucks, and airplanes have declined in metropolitan Boston by about 30 percent, while overall carbon emissions have fallen by an estimated 15 percent.
Unprecedented crisis is met with extraordinary resolve: Mass. residents united in support of coronavirus restrictions
While it has upended life in Massachusetts in a few short weeks, the novel coronavirus has also united residents both in fear of physical harm and financial loss, and in their resolve to follow the difficult isolation measures urged by public health officials, a new poll by Suffolk University and The Boston Globe found.
The survey reveals an extraordinary sense of shared purpose in the face of an unprecedented crisis, with Massachusetts residents nearly unanimous in their support for the severe restrictions that Governor Charlie Baker has imposed on life in the state to help slow the highly contagious virus.
Trump: No quarantine, but travel advisory for NY, CT and NJ
By Zeke Miller and Colleen Long, Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — President Trump backed away from calling for a quarantine for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, instead directing Saturday night that a “strong Travel Advisory” be issued to stem the spread of the outbreak.
After consulting with the White House task force leading the federal response and the governors of the three affected states, Trump said: "I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary."
Trump had told reporters earlier Friday that he had spoken with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, among others who wanted the federal government to restrict travel from the New York metropolitan area to their states.
US coronavirus-related deaths double in two days, reaching 2,000
By Kat Stafford and Martha Irvine, The Associated Press
The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread across the United States with fatalities doubling in two days and authorities saying Saturday that an infant who tested positive had died. It pummeled big cities like New York, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago, and made its way, too, into rural America as hotspots erupted in small Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens.
Tokyo Olympics Organizers Considering July 2021 for Opening Ceremony
By Tariq Panja, New York Times
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, will likely open on July 23, 2021, according to people familiar with the matter.
The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers last week bowed to widespread pressure among athletes, sports federations and national Olympic committees and agreed to postpone the games to 2021, but left the new date in question. The opening ceremony of the games had been scheduled for July 24.
Rhode Island to New Yorkers: If you come here, stay indoors
By Amanda Milkovits, Globe Staff
At a time when life and work and routines are changing every day, Rhode Islanders awoke Saturday to this: The sight of National Guardsmen, in camouflage and surgical masks, tracking down and corralling dangerous interlopers: New Yorkers.
On the orders of Governor Gina M. Raimondo, everyone escaping from the Big Apple to Little Rhody to avoid the coronavirus outbreak won’t get off easy: They have to self-quarantine for two weeks and provide personal contact information to the state Health Department.
Police in several cities test positive for coronavirus, stirring fears of spread among first responders
By Mark Berman, The Washington Post
The Boston Police Department announced Wednesday that three Boston police officers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing to four the number of officers in the department who have contracted the illness.
These officers are part of a mounting toll across the country as police officers and other first responders are falling ill with the coronavirus. Departments are now grappling with mounting infections in their own ranks as they navigate an extraordinary public health emergency.
Retired doctors in Italy are heading back into the fray to treat coronavirus patients
By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post
The retired doctor was at his countryside home in northern Italy, working in the vegetable garden, when his phone rang — an incoming call from his former boss. Their conversation was short. Then, Mario Cavazza, 67, went inside to inform his family about how his life was changing.
"I was called back to work," he told them.
All across Italy, in response to a pandemic that is surging too fast for the health system to cope, a legion of retired doctors and nurses is returning to hospitals. It’s a jarring, risky life reversal on a broad scale.
More than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in Mass., state health officials say
By John Hilliard and Jaclyn Reiss, Globe Staff
More than 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed Saturday, while the death toll from the contagion grew to 44, state health officials said.
Massachusetts now has 4,257 confirmed cases after the largest one-day increase since the outbreak began, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Nine new deaths attributed to the coronavirus were also reported. More than 35,000 people have been tested, an increase of more than 5,600 from Friday.
With not much of a playbook, here’s how local business leaders acted as the coronavirus crisis spread
By Jon Chesto and Shirley Leung, Globe Staff and Globe Columnist
The public health emergency that is COVID-19 is testing the mettle not only of political leaders but also the heads of organizations big and small. The financial decisions are urgent and pressing. Managing people, though, has emerged as a paramount concern as the stresses from working from home and the fear of illness threaten to overwhelm everyone.
Battling and recovering from the pandemic will leave an indelible mark on how we live and work. Here are some of the biggest lessons learned so far from leaders of local companies and institutions.
Virus’s long reach imposes a heart-wrenching isolation on all of us
By Evan Allen, Globe Staff
Usually, hospice doctor Jim Baker would sit at his patient’s bedside and take his hand. He would listen to his lungs, feel his abdomen, look into his eyes. Each touch would say: You’re not vulnerable here. I’m going to help you. I’m your doctor.
But on Wednesday, Baker had to calm his patient by phone. It was too dangerous to see him in person.
Italy’s death toll tops 10,000 in a Europe divided by virus
By Charlie Devereux and Alessandro Speciale, Bloomberg
Italy’s coronavirus death toll topped 10,000 and Spain posted record fatalities, signaling that lockdowns in Europe won’t be lifted anytime soon while its leaders split along economic fault lines.
Deaths in Italy slowed to 889 from a record 969 on Friday and the 5,974 new infections were similar to the previous day’s level. Spain suffered another 832 deaths. Almost 15,000 coronavirus victims — more than half the world’s total — have died in the two countries, which are in almost total lockdown except for essential errands such as buying food and medicine.
Officials emptying nursing homes across state to create COVID-19 recovery centers
By Robert Weisman and Tim Logan, Globe Staff
Massachusetts public health officials are working with hospitals and nursing homes to empty out close to a dozen skilled nursing facilities across the state to set up recovery centers for COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals.
In a central Massachusetts pilot program, officials on Saturday began moving 147 residents out of Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester and into a number of skilled nursing facilities nearby.
Coronavirus-related deaths in the UK surpass 1,000
By Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Another member of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet has developed symptoms of COVID-19, as the number of people with the coronavirus to die in the U.K. passed the 1,000 mark Saturday.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said he had symptoms of the disease and was self-isolating a day after the prime minister and Britain’s health secretary revealed they tested positive for the virus and were experiencing mild symptoms.
At Red Cross center, Gov. Baker urges blood donations to address severe shortage
By John Hilliard, Globe Staff
Governor Charlie Baker on Saturday urged healthy people to donate blood to address a severe shortage brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This really is a way for people to save lives," Baker said at a news conference held at a Red Cross donation center here. "It’s pretty much as simple as that.”
Trump says he’s considering New York, New Jersey quarantine
By Mario Parker, Bloomberg
The president said he’d rather not impose a quarantine on the region, but that the country may need it.
The quarantine would be for “two weeks on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” he said. It would “restrict travel, because they’re having problems down in Florida, a lot of New Yorkers going down, we don’t want that.”
Rhode Island records its first two deaths from the coronavirus
By Dan McGowan, Globe Staff
Two Rhode Island residents, both over age 70 and both with underlying medical conditions, are the first two deaths from a coronavirus infection in the state, health officials announced Saturday.
A person in their 80s died Friday night; the other, in their 70s, died Saturday.
Brazil’s Bolsonaro makes life-or-death coronavirus gamble
By David Biller, The Associated Press
Even as coronavirus cases mount in Latin America’s largest nation, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has staked out the most deliberately dismissive position of any major world leader, calling the pandemic a momentary, minor problem and saying strong measures to contain it are unnecessary.
Bolsonaro says his response to the disease matches that of President Donald Trump in the U.S., but the Brazilian leader has gone further, labeling the virus as “a little flu” and saying state governors’ aggressive measures to halt the disease were crimes.
Why does it seem the rich and famous get tested while others don’t? It’s complicated
By Kay Lazar and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
The alarming rise in the number of deaths and positive cases of COVID-19 has prompted a veritable race to get tested. Some celebrities, politicians, and top athletes, many with mild infections or no symptoms at all, have seemingly received tests and results in hours, while others have coughed and stressed for over a week. Discussion of this divide has bounced around virtual meeting rooms and burned across social media: Just how does a person qualify for a test and how long should they have to wait for results?
The answer: it depends.
Spain reports 832 coronavirus deaths in deadliest day yet
By Associated Press
Spain has seen its deadliest day yet during the coronavirus crisis with 832 deaths reported on Saturday for a total of 5,690 fatalities. Infections have increased by over 8,000 in 24 hours to reach a national total of 72,248.
Spain is approaching two weeks of its stay-at-home restrictions and store closings but its infections and deaths keep rising. On Friday, Spain reported a total of 64,059 cases and 4,858 deaths.
Coronavirus infections top 600,000 worldwide as officials brace for long fight ahead
By Associated Press
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide topped 600,000 on Saturday as new cases stacked up quickly in Europe and the United States and officials dug in for a long fight against the pandemic.
The latest landmark came only two days after the world passed half a million infections, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, showing that much work remains to be done to slow the spread of the virus. It showed more than 602,000 cases and a total of over 27,000 deaths.
Trump issues order to bring former troops back to active duty to assist in coronavirus response
By The Washington Post
President Donald Trump issued an order Friday night that permits the Pentagon to bring former U.S. troops and members of the National Guard and Reserve back to active duty to augment forces already involved in the U.S. military's response to the coronavirus pandemic, senior U.S. officials said.
Trump signed an executive order that allows Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to order units and individual members “and certain Individual Ready Reserve” members, Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement released just after midnight on Saturday morning. The Individual Ready Reserve comprises former active-duty and reserve service members, who are commonly considered out of the military and rarely recalled.
United Nations says 86 staff members have coronavirus
By Associated Press
The United Nations says 86 staff members around the world have reported cases of COVID-19.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said most of the infected staff members are in Europe, but there are also staffers in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the United States that have the coronavirus.
To try to reduce transmission, he said the vast majority of U.N. staffers are working from home.
Trump suggests he can gag inspector general for stimulus bailout program
By Charlie Savage, New York Times
WASHINGTON — When President Trump signed the $2 trillion economic stabilization package to respond to the coronavirus pandemic Friday, he undercut a crucial safeguard that Democrats insisted upon as a condition of agreeing to include a $500 billion corporate bailout fund.
In a signing statement released hours after Trump signed the bill in a televised ceremony in the Oval Office, the president suggested he had the power to decide what information a newly created inspector general intended to monitor the fund could share with Congress.
Biden backs nationwide shutdown to slow coronavirus
By Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg
Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden said Friday he would urge governors nationwide to close down all non-essential activities in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
“For the time being, I would, yes,” Biden said during a town hall on CNN. “You don’t know who doesn’t have the virus, so a lot of people walking around looking like they’re pretty healthy, and they may very well have the virus and transmit it.”
The former vice president added: “Why would we not err on the side of making sure we are not going to have a repeat?”
In the shadow of New York, New Jersey faces its own deepening crisis as coronavirus spreads
By Richard Morgan, Ben Guarino, Tim Craig and Devlin Barrett, The Washington Post
HOBOKEN, N.J. - At New Jersey's oldest hospital, the demands of fighting a pandemic threaten to overwhelm the city's medical resources - a frightening prospect confronting more communities as coronavirus burrows deeper into the United States.
With just 333 hospital beds for a commuter city of 55,000, Hoboken University Medical Center has less than a week before “we will not have the resources to save lives,” said Ravinder Bhalla, the city’s mayor.
Sometimes mocked as “Bro-boken” for its hordes of young professionals who cross the Hudson River every day to work in Manhattan, this town is bracing for the same onslaught of critically ill people now gripping New York.
‘Dreamers’ tell Supreme Court ending DACA during pandemic would be ‘catastrophic’
By Adam Liptak, New York Times
WASHINGTON — Aldo Martinez, a paramedic in Fort Myers, Florida, is one of about 27,000 young immigrants in the country illegally known as Dreamers who work in health care, many of them on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation that we have going on,” he said Friday, halfway through a 48-hour shift.
Martinez, 26, came to the United States from Mexico when he was 12, and he is able to work thanks to a program announced by President Barack Obama in 2012, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The Trump administration wants to end the program, and at a Supreme Court argument in November, a majority of the justices seemed inclined to let it.
Martinez said it would be foolish to take an army of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, researchers and other health care workers off the battlefield in the middle of a pandemic.
Plainridge employees to be furloughed without pay amid pandemic
By Jeremy C. Fox, Globe Correspondent
Employees at the Plainridge Park Casino will be out of work without pay starting April 1, while the parent company of the Plainville casino closes its 41 gambling establishments and furloughs about 26,000 workers nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from the company.
Plainridge Park has been closed since March 15 at the direction of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, but the parent company, Penn National Gaming, has pledged that employees will be paid through the end of March.
US cities have acute shortages of masks, test kits, ventilators as they face coronavirus threat
By Nick Miroff, Washington Post
Nearly 90 percent of US mayors who responded to a national survey on coronavirus preparedness said they lack sufficient tests kits, face masks, and other protective equipment for their emergency responders and medical workers, while 85 percent said they do not have enough ventilators for their hospitals — critical shortages that could lead cities and towns to be quickly overwhelmed should the virus spread through their communities.
The US Conference of Mayors survey, published Friday, was conducted from March 20 to March 24 and includes data from 213 US cities in 41 states and Puerto Rico, representing a combined population of 42 million. The shortages of essential items and equipment the cities are facing ‘‘has reached crisis proportions,’’ according to the report.
Two Reading Police Department employees test positive for COVID-19
By Adam Sennott, Globe Correspondent
Two employees at the Reading Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced Friday.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health notified the town’s health department of the diagnoses, the department said in a press release.
California has surge of virus cases that threatens hospitals
By Christopher Weber and Adam Beam, Associated Press
The surge of coronavirus cases in California that health officials have warned was coming has arrived and will worsen, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, while the mayor of Los Angeles warned that by early next week his city could see the kind of crush that has crippled New York.
“We are now seeing the spike that we were anticipating,” Newsom declared while standing in front of the 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship Mercy that arrived in the Port of Los Angeles. It will take non-virus patients to free up rooms at hospitals for infection cases.
Ginnie Mae plans disaster aid for virus-hit mortgage servicers
By Joe Light, Bloomberg News
A top US regulator is working to provide a lifeline for mortgage servicers stressed by the coronavirus pandemic through programs meant to address natural disasters.
To prepare for an expected wave of missed payments as borrowers deal with the economic fallout from the virus, Ginnie Mae is moving toward using relief programs normally implemented in the wake of hurricanes, floods, and other calamities, according to a Friday blog post.
For two epidemiologists, MGH becomes a makeshift wedding venue
By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff
Jen Andonian and Matt Shearer had it all planned: her burgundy floral dress, his matching checked tie. They live in Cambridge, but chose Ann Arbor, Mich., where they met as graduate students, for their simple courthouse wedding ceremony in March with immediate family. A reception for 75 guests would follow the next day at her parents’ lakeside restaurant.
Then the fast-moving coronavirus began spreading through the world — and the United States. Andonian and Shearer, both epidemiologists on the frontlines of COVID-19 — she at Massachusetts General Hospital, he at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security — knew they could not ignore the risk of a large celebration.
Harvard enacts worker protections, makes classes pass/fail
By Jeremy C. Fox, Globe Correspondent
Harvard University will continue paying staff and contract workers through May 28, officials said Friday, and will temporarily switch to pass/fail grading, as more Massachusetts colleges continue to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.
Boston University also said Friday that it would make pass/fail optional for most students. Provost Jean Morrison said in an e-mail to faculty and staff that BU students will receive letter grades this semester, but most will have the option of changing those grades to “credit” or “no credit” for some, all, or none of their classes.
Mass. public health commissioner tests positive for COVID-19
By Jeremy C. Fox, Globe Correspondent
The state’s public health commissioner, a leading figure in the response to the coronavirus epidemic, has tested positive for the virus, she said Friday evening.
Dr. Monica Bharel was tested Thursday night and received her results from the State Public Health Laboratory on Friday.
‘We take the dead from morning till night’
By Jason Horowitz, New York Times
The streets of Bergamo are empty. As in all of Italy, people can leave their homes only for food and medicine and work. The factories and shops and schools are closed. There is no more chatting on the corners or in the coffee bars.
But what won’t stop are the sirens.
A cry for help from inmates caught in a coronavirus outbreak in Bridgewater
He lives at the center of a coronavirus outbreak, one of the worst in Massachusetts.
But Glenn Christie doesn’t have the option of going into self-quarantine or even staying six feet away from other people. He’s under lockdown at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater in a 10-by-20 foot room with five other inmates who share communal toilets and showers.
IOC allowed an Olympic boxing qualifier in London to go on despite coronavirus warnings
By Tariq Panja, New York Times
At least seven people tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month after taking part in a London boxing tournament to qualify for the Tokyo Games, an event that was allowed to begin by the International Olympic Committee despite widespread cancellations and warnings about the pandemic.
Turkey’s boxing federation believes three of its boxers and a coach caught the coronavirus while attending the European qualifying tournament that started March 14. Croatian officials say two coaches and one boxer were infected at the same event, which was canceled after three days of competition — two with spectators present.
Mass General worker infections double in the past day as coronavirus impact felt across hospitals
By Patricia Wen, Globe Staff
Coronavirus infections continue their alarming rise among staff at major hospitals in the state, with Massachusetts General Hospital Friday reporting 89 workers sickened, more than double the day before.
Beth Israel Lahey, a 12-hospital system, had previously not released to the Globe any numbers on the degree of infections within its work force, but Friday reported 109 staffers affected by the pandemic. Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported 58 — seven more than the previous day, according to data updated daily by the Globe.
In state’s intense chase for protective equipment, coronavirus isn’t the only rival
In the span of several days, Marylou Sudders and a team of state officials confirmed two separate orders last week: one for hundreds of N95 respirator masks and another promising shipments of 35 ventilators to Massachusetts, every week, for the “foreseeable future," the state’s health and human services secretary said.
They represented victories, if relatively small ones compared to the millions of pieces of equipment the state is chasing. That is, until, it ran into a force seemingly as immovable as the novel coronavirus.
The crucial next frontier in coronavirus testing
By Andrew Joseph, STAT
Scientists are starting to roll out new blood tests for the coronavirus, a key development that, unlike the current diagnostic tests, will help pinpoint people who are immune and reveal the full scope of the pandemic.
The “serological” tests — which rely on drawn blood, not a nasal or throat swab — can identify people who were infected and have already recovered from COVID-19, including those who were never diagnosed, either because they didn’t feel particularly sick or they couldn’t get an initial test. Scientists expect those individuals will be safe from another infection for at least some time — so the tests could signal who could be prioritized to return to work or serve as a frontline health worker.
Turkey moves migrants from Greek border amid virus pandemic
By Suzan Fraser, Associated Press
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish authorities have evacuated thousands of migrants who had been waiting at the border with Greece, hoping to make their way into Europe, as a precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey’s interior minister said Friday.
Thousands of migrants had massed at a border crossing with European Union-member Greece after Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced last month that his country would no longer prevent refugees and other migrants wanting to travel to EU countries.
4 passengers dead, 2 test positive for COVID-19 on cruise ship stranded off the coast of Panama
By Hannah Sampson, Washington Post
Four passengers have died on a cruise ship that has been unable to find a port to disembark its passengers, operator Holland America Line said Friday. It is currently located off the coast of Panama with a plan to head to Fort Lauderdale.
People aboard the Zaandam cruise ship started reporting flu-like symptoms over the weekend. Two people on the ship have tested positive so far for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. According to the company, 138 people on the ship were sick as of early Friday - 53 guests and 85 crew.
For online teachers (and students), school is a work in progress
By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff
First-grade teacher Ellie Lyons started class promptly at 8:30 from her Brookline apartment. On the bedroom wall behind her, a neatly handwritten sign spelled out the agenda for discussion — starting with the day of the week and the weather. On the computer in front of her, 20 rambunctious 6- and 7-year-olds bounced within their separate cells of an online video conference.
“So, my friends, I really miss having morning meeting at school,” Lyons said, before asking for volunteers to answer what day of the week it was.
Spain in near-lockdown, on the verge of crisis
By Bloomberg News
The Spanish government warned citizens that the situation will get worse after the country suffered its deadliest day yet of the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez convened an emergency Cabinet meeting to try to chart a way out of the crisis rapidly engulfing the nation. The Health Ministry on Friday reported another 769 deaths, lifting the total number of fatalities to 4,858. Confirmed cases climbed to 64,059, with Spaniards near the end of the second week of a state of emergency set to last at least until April 11.
ESPN’s Doris Burke announces positive coronavirus diagnosis
By Chad Finn, Globe Staff
ESPN broadcaster Doris Burke revealed Thursday she has tested positive for COVID-19.
The former Providence College basketball star and respected NBA analyst told colleague Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast that she started feeling sick March 11.
UMass students to get refunds after coronavirus-driven closures
By Katie Lannan, State House News
University of Massachusetts president Marty Meehan and the chancellors of the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell UMass campuses announced Friday that they will adjust room, board, and parking fees in response to the coronavirus-driven closures of residence halls and the transition to online-only instruction.
Students should be notified of their cost adjustments by April 17, the UMass officials said. Adjustments will be applied to student accounts, and students will receive their net balance by direct deposit or check.
Mass. delegation calls on Trump administration to resume visa processing for international health care workers
By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff
The Massachusetts congressional delegation on Friday urged Trump administration officials to resume processing visas for foreign-born medical school students and health care workers as hospitals brace for a surge in coronavirus patients.
As part of his travel-related coronavirus restrictions, President Trump last week suspended all routine visa services around the world, a move that Massachusetts members of Congress said could prevent urgently needed workers — specifically medical residents and fellows — from traveling to the United States to report to jobs caring for sick patients.
Two seniors die from COVID-19 amid outbreak at Charlwell House in Norwood
Two seniors died at Norwood Hospital Friday morning after a coronavirus outbreak sickened more than 10 residents of Charlwell House Health & Rehabilitation Center, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Several of the Charlwell residents and at least one staffer have also been hospitalized with severe symptoms of the virus, the sources said. They said some have tested positive for the virus and some await test results.
Suddenly that grimy crowded subway car doesn’t look so bad
By Adam Vaccaro, Globe Staff
Lauren Margharita misses the Orange Line.
Yes, that Orange Line.
Time was, the Roslindale resident would jam onto a bus and then a packed subway car en route to her job as an administrator at Wentworth Institute of Technology. With the coronavirus shutting so much of Greater Boston and indeed the world, she’s been working at home, cooped up with three out-of-school teenagers. What she’s lacking is the personal downtime — the sort of buffer zone between work and home that a daily commute offers.
Pressley tests negative for COVID-19 after showing symptoms
By Alyssa Lukpat, Globe Correspondent
Representative Ayanna Pressley tested negative for COVID-19 after experiencing flu-like symptoms, the congresswoman said Friday.
Pressley said in a statement Friday she was at a high-risk for the novel coronavirus because she has asthma and was recently in contact with a colleague who contracted the virus. The Boston Democrat said she was treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I am, however still recovering from the flu, but feeling much better and continuing to work remotely with my team on COVID-19 response,” Pressley said in the statement.
Pressley’s spokeswoman said Wednesday that the congresswoman had sought treatment for flu-like symptoms and was awaiting test results for COVID-19. The spokeswoman did not say whether Pressley expected to miss any upcoming votes.
Several US lawmakers have been diagnosed with coronavirus in recent weeks, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Representative Seth Moulton said Wednesday he was experiencing symptoms but did not qualify for a COVID-19 test.
“My heart goes out to, and I continue to send prayers up for those battling this virus, and the surviving family members of those who have tragically already passed. I am grateful for the safe, compassionate and efficient response by healthcare providers at Massachusetts General Hospital,” Pressley said.
Red Sox grow part-time relief pool to $1.5 million, include Aramark vendors
By Michael Silverman, Globe Staff
The Red Sox decided that concessions workers at Fenway are part of the Red Sox family after all.
The 1,000-plus game-day employees of Aramark, the concessionaire sub-contracted by the team to sell hot dogs and beer, mix drinks, and keep suites stocked at Fenway Park will now be able to partake in an expanded pool of relief aid for game-day workers affected by the shuttering of the baseball season.
$2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package is signed into law by Trump
By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting swiftly in an extraordinary time, the House rushed President Donald Trump a $2.2 trillion rescue package Friday, tossing a life preserver to a U.S. economy and health care system left flailing by the coronavirus pandemic.
The House approved the sweeping measure by a voice vote, as strong majorities of both parties lined up behind the most colossal economic relief bill in the nation’s history. It will ship payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, bolster unemployment benefits, offer loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses large and small and flush billions more to states, local governments and the nation’s all but overwhelmed health care system.
GameStop to employees: wrap your hands in plastic bags and go back to work
By Katie Johnston, Globe Staff
This is how far a business is willing to go to generate revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.
GameStop, the video game retailer, sent employees in Massachusetts back to work on Friday — despite the statewide order shutting down all nonessential businesses. But instead of allowing customers inside, the store is doing curbside pickup, and employees have been given a set of specific and highly unusual instructions to let people pay at the door, according to a manager at a local store.
‘We’re going to have to figure out another way to pay the bills': Cash-strapped families hope coronavirus rescue arrives in time to pay the rent
By Liz Goodwin, Globe Staff
Standing under the fluorescent lights of her local Market Basket store near Tyngsborough, Tricia Riel agonized over a choice that would have been simple before coronavirus: whether to buy an $8 watermelon.
Money was extremely tight. She had just been laid off from her part-time job busing tables at an Olive Garden due to the outbreak, and her husband, Warren, an auto body shop worker, was let go a few weeks earlier. But her son, Cody, a sixth-grader who had spent days anxiously cooped up in their home, looked so excited about the idea during their trip to the grocery store last week.
Trump seeks to force General Motors to produce ventilators
By Associated Press
DETROIT (AP) — President Donald Trump issued an order Friday that seeks to force General Motors to produce ventilators for coronavirus patients under the Defense Production Act.
Trump said negotiations with General Motors had been productive, “but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”
Dow closes down more than 900 points after three-day rally
By Associated Press
The Dow closed down more than 900 points on Friday, or more than 4 percent. The drop came after a three-day rally.
Man in his 80s is Maine’s 1st coronavirus-related death
By Patrick Whittle, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A man in his 80s who lives in the southern part of Maine is the state's first coronavirus-related death, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.
The man was a resident of Cumberland County, the most populous county in the state and the center of the outbreak in Maine so far, according to the agency.
Opinion: Boston’s infectious disease specialists’ message to the public: Fighting coronavirus is a sprint — and a marathon
By Boston Infectious Disease Specialists
In hospitals across Greater Boston, efforts have intensified to confront the building wave of COVID-19 cases that are upon us: Respiratory illness clinics have sprouted up; staffing pools are beginning to struggle to keep pace with new COVID-19 inpatient units; physicians are combing the literature in search of new COVID-19 treatment data; and intensive care units that once had few COVID-19 patients are now filling with them. As the numbers rise, we are in a sprint to deal with the challenges facing us.
With most coronavirus cases in Africa, South Africa locks down
By Lynsey Chutel and Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — When the clock struck midnight Friday, South Africa, Africa’s most industrialized nation, ordered most of its 59 million people to stay at home for three weeks — the biggest and most restrictive action in the African continent to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The lockdown was precipitated by an alarming increase in confirmed coronavirus cases across the nation’s nine provinces. Three weeks after the first infection was discovered in South Africa, the country is now the epicenter of the outbreak in the continent, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases, double the cases in Egypt.
Report: MLB won’t start season until travel, gathering bans are lifted
By Ronald Blum, Associated Press
NEW YORK — Players agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball that would preserve service time in the event this season is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, a distinct possibility given the league reportedly will not play so long as travel restrictions or bans on mass gatherings are in place.
As part of the agreement approved by the union Thursday night, players will not challenge the loss of their salaries if no games are played.
New York’s staggering coronavirus outbreak, in five charts
On Friday, New York released the new number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths: 44,635 positive coronavirus cases as of Friday –– which is 7,377 more than Thursday –– and 519 deaths, up from 385 on Thursday.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, it’s only going to get worse.
Curing hospitals’ addiction to the fossil fuels that make people sick
By Nick Leiber
It’s noisy in the building systems control room at Boston Medical Center, the largest safety-net hospital and busiest emergency services operation in New England. Computers chime alerts, phones ring, and walkie-talkies crackle with updates about the systems that keep the air clean, the temperature consistent, and other functions needed for the well-being of thousands of patients and roughly 6,000 clinicians and other staff who work there. Planning for a large surge in COVID-19 cases adds an electric sense of urgency in the control room — and throughout the hospital.
Surf’s is Narragansett: Riders are social distancing themselves on the waves
By Stan Grossfeld, Globe Staff
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Peter Pan is giddy.
Business at his Narragansett Surf & Skate Shop is booming, the sky is clearing, the waves are building, and he’s going surfing.
The surfing legend’s real name is Peter Panagiotis, but nobody has called him that since a surfing announcer couldn’t pronounce his Greek last name at a 1967 tournament.
My 46-hour hunt for toilet paper
By Stacey Myers, Globe Staff
The post on the All About Franklin Facebook page on March 10 should have tipped me off: “BJ’s is out of toilet paper in case anyone wanted to know.”
But I just didn’t feel that sense of urgency. Not the kind that makes a person rush to stockpile milk, bread, batteries, and Charmin. I can hold on a little longer, I thought. I’d been through the Blizzard of ’78, nor’easters, and Y2K and had never ever seen a toilet paper shortage. Surely there’d be a few rolls somewhere.
6 voices from college: Alone in a dorm, what a coronavirus diagnosis feels like, and more
By Globe Staff
In their own voices, these students and staff talk about fearing for undocumented parents, missing graduation, and other personal stories.
8 songs to wash your hands by (that aren’t Happy Birthday)
By Jakob Menendez
To wash your hands for 20 seconds, the CDC-recommended minimum, experts have recommended vigorously scrubbing through two rounds of “Happy Birthday.” To mix up the soundtrack, try these hit songs from across four generations — each has a 20-second chorus, give or take a second.
Love in the time of COVID-19 brings wedding-bell blues
By Amanda Milkovits, Globe Staff
CRANSTON, R.I. -- Someday, Alana Smith and Joseph Dolle will exchange marriage vows and wedding rings.
Someday, their loved ones will be able to celebrate with them and toast the happy couple.
Someday, after 11 years together, Joe and Alana will be husband and wife.
That day was supposed to be today, March 27, 2020.
Raimondo says fines, arrests are on the table for those who violate self-quarantine rule; Coronavirus infections climb to 203
PROVIDENCE - Governor Gina Raimondo said Friday Rhode Island now has 203 confirmed coronavirus infections, after 38 more residents tested positive for the contagious disease.
Raimondo also said she intends to use the National Guard, State Police, and local law enforcement to enforce her mandatory self-quarantine rule for those traveling to Rhode Island from New York. She said law enforcement will go door-to-door in some coastal communities to remind people from New York that they must self-quarantine.
John Kerry, President Trump unite in criticizing Representative Thomas Massie on Twitter over tactic on coronavirus bill
By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff
Former Secretary of State John Kerry and President Trump were among an unlikely coalition of politicians to flog Representative Thomas Massie on Twitter Friday as he called for a recorded vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, forcing many members of the House to return to Washington, D.C.
The House was set to pass the legislation Friday by an overwhelming majority, and it sought to do so with a voice vote, which expedites the legislation. But under House rules, any member of the House can call for a recorded vote, requiring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ensure that a quorum of 216 members are present. Massie did so formally Friday afternoon.
Off Their Plate provides meals to health care workers on the coronavirus front lines
By Devra First, Globe Staff
With restaurants closed for dine-in business, the industry is suffering, and many people have lost their jobs. At the same time, workers on the front lines of the coronavirus don’t have time to prepare nutritious meals to help keep them going. A new organization, Off Their Plate, is working to address both problems.
It began when Natalie Guo, a medical student at Harvard who previously worked in business, reached out to local chefs Ken Oringer (Little Donkey, Toro, and more) and Tracy Chang (Pagu). The idea: Raise money to provide meals to health care workers, and pay cooks now out of work to make them.
Empty planes, all-night drives: Mass. delegation rushed back to D.C. to vote on coronavirus bill
By Victoria McGrane, Globe Staff
Some of them drove, some of them flew, but however they got there, the majority of the Massachusetts US House delegation rushed back to Washington on Thursday and Friday to help ensure passage of the $2.2 trillion rescue package aimed at shoring up the US economy roiled by the raging coronavirus pandemic.
House leaders of both parties had hoped to pass the bill by voice vote, negating the need for lawmakers to return to vote in person and thus avoid placing anyone’s health at risk. But concerns that Representative Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, would demand a recorded vote led leadership to call members back.
BU group looking for hand sanitizer donations to help homeless
By Caroline Enos, Globe Correspondent
A Boston University club is asking for donations of hand sanitizer to help keep Boston’s homeless healthy as the coronavirus continues to spread.
The club, Health Improvements Inc., has been collecting donations of hand sanitizer since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11.
Italy has deadliest day from coronavirus with 969 fatalities
By Jerrold Colten and John Follain, Bloomberg
Italy reported its highest number of deaths from the coronavirus, even as the number of new cases declined on Friday.
Fatalities from the disease shot up to 969, the most in a 24-hour period since the start of the outbreak.
Italy is 2nd country to pass Chinese coronavirus case total
By David Rising, Matt Sedensky, and Jill Lawless, Associated Press
LONDON — Deaths surged in Spain on Friday, troubling new outbreak sites bubbled in the United States, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first leader of a major country to test positive for the coronavirus that has sickened more than a half-million people worldwide.
Italy, with by far the most deaths from COVID-19, surpassed China and the United States to also record the most infections in the world. With numbers rising in the United States, though, the grim distinction could be temporary.
As coronavirus rages, doctors hit with cuts to compensation
By Rebecca Ostriker, Globe Staff
Doctors and other healthcare workers on the front lines of battling the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts are now being hit with cuts to their financial compensation.
The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center physicians’ group announced on Thursday that it is suspending employer contributions to the retirement plan for the group, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians, effective April 1.
New York coronavirus death toll hits more than 500; cases exceed 44,000
By Felicia Gans, Globe Staff
More than 500 people in New York have died from coronavirus, a jump of more than 100 deaths since Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
New York has 44,635 positive coronavirus cases as of Friday — 7,377 more than Thursday, the governor announced during his daily press conference. There have been 519 deaths, up from 385 on Thursday.
Hillel campus group goes digital, thanks to this Worcester college student
By Diti Kohli, Globe Correspondent
The world’s largest Jewish campus organization, Hillel has outposts at 550 North American colleges. Creating a digital version of the group in the face of mass coronavirus closures started almost “as a joke,” said Worcester college student Ari Hoffman. More than one week after he created it, though, the Zoom University Hillel Facebook group already exceeds 11,000 members.
“People can connect while they’re away from their Hillels at their schools," said Hoffman, a junior economics major at Clark University.
MSPCA donates personal protective equipment to Mass. General, other local hospitals
By Caroline Enos, Globe Correspondent
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will donate masks, gowns, and other personal protective equipment to help protect medical workers at local hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, MSPCA spokesman Rob Halpin said.
MSPCA will bring 300 isolation gowns, 200 chemo plus gowns, 13 pairs of safety glasses, 220 N95 respirators, 24 face shields, and 2,100 surgical masks from its Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston to Massachusetts General Hospital Friday afternoon, Halpin said.
Baker asks all travelers arriving in Mass. to self-quarantine
Massachusetts effectively closed its doors to tourists and many travelers Friday, as Governor Charlie Baker urged anyone arriving from out-of-state to self-quarantine for two weeks — the latest attempt to curb the spread of a pandemic that has now killed nearly three dozen people here.
In normal times, Massachusetts’ vibrant tourism industry thrives on out-of-state visitors. But these are not normal times. The state’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the severe respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, surged 34 percent to 3,240 on Friday. The 823 new cases represent the largest single-day total to date. The state also announced 10 new deaths, mostly among people in their 80s and 90s.
The late Larry Rasky, Boston PR pro and confidant of Biden, had coronavirus at time of death, family says
The family of the late Larry Rasky, a top Boston public relations executive and confidant of Joe Biden who died Sunday at the age of 69, confirmed Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Will Rasky, his son, broke the news in a statement released by Rasky Partners, his father’s firm.
“On Thursday night, we learned that my dad, Larry Rasky, tested positive for COVID-19,” Will Rasky said. "My dad had other underlying health conditions that medical professionals urge us to keep in mind. Our family, Larry’s colleagues, and others had already taken precautions in advance of learning the result, and we continue to follow all public health guidance. Not being able to gather with family and friends has made mourning Larry’s death all the more difficult, so the impact of the pandemic was already felt. That said, Larry’s spirit and legacy have kept us all tied together.”
Lexington biotech and Sanofi plan to work together on coronavirus vaccine
By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff
Lexington-based biotech Translate Bio and the vaccines unit of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said Friday they will collaborate on developing a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the latest in a series of such efforts involving Massachusetts drug makers.
Mass. income tax filing deadline extended to July 15
In an effort to relieve the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts will extend the state income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, officials said Friday.
The Baker administration said the delay is automatic and taxpayers don’t have to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief.
Isolation to stop the spread of coronavirus makes sense. But why is it still so hard to stay inside?
By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
It didn’t take long for the memes to start.
“AMERICA, EVERY WEEKEND: I just wanna Netflix and Chill, lol.
THE WEEKEND EVERYONE NEEDS TO STAY INSIDE: It’s my God-given right to go outside and lick whatever I want.”
As governments across the world urged, advised, and eventually ordered people to stay home and away from others to avoid transmitting the coronavirus, many people did stay inside. But enough didn’t, and though they probably didn’t lick whatever they wanted, they certainly didn’t practice social distancing.
Americans want medical marijuana dispensaries deemed ‘essential’ amid coronavirus outbreak, poll finds
By Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment
A majority of Americans believe that medical marijuana dispensaries should be kept open as “essential services” amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.
The survey asked simply: “Do you believe medical marijuana dispensaries should or should not be considered essential services?”
Fifty-three percent said the cannabis providers should be regarded as essential, 26 percent said they shouldn’t, and 21 percent said they didn’t know.
Stuck inside during coronavirus outbreak, many are using the downtime to tap into new and old skills
By Steve Annear, Globe Staff
It’s becoming increasingly clear that we are in this for the long haul.
In the interest of public safety, the rules around what we can or can’t do, who we can or can’t see, and where we can or can’t go are getting stricter by the daily press conference, as the novel coronavirus continues to rapidly spread.
Realizing that, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be resigned to hanging out indoors, people are tapping into new talents that they otherwise wouldn’t have time to explore under normal circumstances.
They’re learning new languages, or signing up for virtual gym classes. Dormant baking sheets and forgotten cookbooks are reemerging. At the same time, others are rediscovering passion projects they’d long ago abandoned, or broadening their horizons when it comes to their favorite hobbies.
The realities of coronavirus ‘super-spreading’
By Rebecca Ostriker, Globe Staff
More than a century ago, Mary Mallon, a New York cook, was suspected of transmitting typhoid fever to 51 people, earning her the notorious nickname Typhoid Mary.
At the Biogen leadership meeting in Boston last month, a different kind of infection spread with lightning speed, leading to at least 99 coronavirus cases in Massachusetts and more around the world.
What do they have in common? They’re both classic examples of what epidemiologists call “super-spreading.” And the phenomenon has major implications for the way the current coronavirus pandemic is playing out.
People are largely following the coronavirus rules — but will that self-control last?
By Naomi Martin, Globe Staff
The streets are empty as residents hunker down. When people do venture out, most dutifully walk 6 feet from others.
For now, people are largely heeding the state’s stay-at-home restrictions and social-distancing guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus. But how long can people in a nation that prizes personal freedoms be expected to comply with the measures? What if this drags on for months, or, as top epidemiologists project, the rules are relaxed and reimposed intermittently when new outbreaks emerge until drugs or a vaccine become available possibly in a year?
Nobody can say for sure. But experts told the Globe that most people are likely to struggle with the rules in the long run — unless they know their actions truly make an impact.
The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country. Here’s how we got there
The US passed China on Thursday night in confirmed cases of coronavirus, a dubious distinction as the virus continues to rage across the world. How did we get here? The charts below offer a look at how spread in the US compared to other countries that have been similarly hard-hit by the pandemic. These graphics provide a sobering look of what’s transpired so far, and a warning of what may still come.
As coronavirus spreads, undocumented immigrants are losing jobs with no financial safety net
As coronavirus spreads, undocumented immigrants are losing their jobs, and thar could be bad for all of usic, the most vulnerable were once again invisible: Not a penny will go to millions of undocumented immigrants, many of whotm work in the hardest-hit industries of restaurants, hospitality, and retail.
They are the hourly employees who work as cooks and dishwashers, cleaners and clerks. They are among the more than 250,000 unauthorized immigrants in Massachusetts who account for about 5 percent of the labor force, according to data from the Pew Research Center.
These immigrants typically pay taxes but don’t qualify for stimulus checks or unemployment benefits, which are reserved for US citizens and those legally authorized to work in the US.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
By Jill Lawless and Pan Pylas, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first leader of a major nation to contract COVID-19, but he insisted Friday that he remains in charge of the U.K.’s response to the outbreak.
Johnson, 55, said he was tested Thursday on the advice of the chief medical officer after showing “mild symptoms, of a temperature and a persistent cough.
Trump touts ‘very good’ talk with Xi as US cases surpass China
By Karen Leigh, Bloomberg
President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping pledged in a phone call to cooperate in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, signaling a fresh detente between the two countries after weeks of rising tensions.
“Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet,” Trump tweeted Friday. “China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!”
Barcelona to reduce payroll during coronavirus stoppage
By Associated Press
Barcelona will reduce the salaries of its players amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Spanish club said late Thursday that its executive board decided to temporarily suspend player contracts, which leads to a “proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts.”
Washington set to deliver $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill
By Associated Press
With rare bipartisanship and speed, Washington is about to deliver massive, unprecedented legislation to speed help to people and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic takes a devastating toll on the U.S. economy and health care system.
The House is set to pass the sprawling $2.2 trillion measure on Friday morning after an extraordinary 96-0 Senate vote late Wednesday. President Donald Trump marveled at the unanimity Thursday and is eager to sign the package into law.
South Africa has 1st coronavirus deaths as lockdown begins
By Associated Press
A shaken South Africa on Friday announced its first two deaths from the coronavirus as the country’s cases rose above 1,000 and a three-week lockdown began, with some police screaming at the homeless on emptying streets.
The health minister said the deaths occurred in Western Cape province, home of Cape Town. South Africa has the most virus cases in Africa, with the total across the continent now above 3,200.
US equity futures slip after three-day rally
By Bloomberg News
U.S. equity futures dropped after the first three-day rally in American stocks since mid-February, while Treasuries advanced as investors take stock of strengthening stimulus efforts across the globe.
S&P 500 futures retreated after the index surged over 6% Thursday. European contracts fluctuated. The dollar headed for its biggest weekly fall since 2009, with central banks sharply boosting the provision of greenbacks.
In Iran, false belief a poison fights coronavirus kills hundreds
By Associated Press
Iranian media reports nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 1,000 sickened so far by ingesting methanol across the Islamic Republic, where drinking alcohol is banned and where those who do rely on bootleggers. It comes as fake remedies spread across social media in Iran, where people remain deeply suspicious of the government after it downplayed the crisis for days before it overwhelmed the country.