COVID-19 Live Updates
The most recent updates on the coronavirus situation.
March 16, 2020
With the recent outbreak gaining momentum, keeping up with COVID-19’s trajectory can be helpful and informative. Updates will be coming regularly throughout the days in the coming weeks.
Update: L.A. Teen Becomes the Youngest Reported COVID-19 Death
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the number of confirmed cases in Missouri has now risen to 227, and deaths now stand at 5. Testing criteria for COVID-19 has now been loosened to accommodate the rising number of cases. Food stamp benefits are also being raised for eligible Missouri households.
The New York Times relayed New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s claim that New York’s case count is doubling every three days. This creates concern that New York’s curve will not be flattened, and their peak may come as quickly as two to three weeks. This backs the reported 25,665 cases and 157 deaths in the state.
From the same source, a person under the age of 18 passed away today as a result of contracting COVID-19. The Los Angeles County teen is currently considered the youngest person in the U.S. to die from the virus. It is currently unclear whether they had preexisting health conditions.
Nationwide, President Trump announced that the deadline to obtain identification that complies with the Real ID law has now been pushed back, as reported by USA Today. A new deadline has not yet been announced. Not having a Real ID, which initially had to be obtained by Oct. 1 of this year, would have prevented citizens from boarding U.S. flights in the future.
Update: Fourth Missouri Death Due to COVID-19 Is Woman in Her 30s
A St. Louis woman in her 30s has become the fourth person to see fatal results after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She had not done any recent traveling, and how she contracted the disease is still unknown. However, Dr. Fredrick Echols, the city’s health director, said that it is too early to declare a case of community-spread. Being that she is the youngest death in Missouri by a considerable margin, Echols deemed her relative youth as “a cause for concern”. She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, but no further details about her or her previous health conditions have been released.
At 3 p.m., Governor Mike Parson gave a live COVID-19 update on facebook. He announced today that the state Capitol in Jefferson City, as well as other state buildings will be closed to all but essential personnel. This will go into effect on Tuesday, and last until April 6.
CNN has shared that the Olympic committees for both Canada and Australia have announced that they will not be sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns that come with the coronavirus outbreak. President Trump tweeted that he will leave the decision regarding American athletes to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
CNN has also reported that the stimulus vote is unlikely to occur tonight. With little progress in negotiations, the list of differences has shortened, but not disappeared.
Update: All Mandatory Missouri State Tests Cancelled
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Missouri DESE has canceled all required statewide testing. Additionally, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, gatherings have now been limited to 10 people or less by executive order from St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, as the number of cases in Missouri has reportedly increased to 28. The White House is now asking Americans to not travel outside U.S. borders under any circumstance, reports the Chicago Tribune, and to return home if they are currently elsewhere or find refuge in the country in which they are currently residing.
Update: Gov. Mike Parson Issues Stay-at-Home Order
This afternoon, Gov. Mike Parson issued a stay-at-home order for all Mo. residents. The order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 23 until 12:01 a.m. on April 6 unless extended by the director of Mo. Department of Health and Senior Services. Schools will remain closed in this time frame. Visits to nursing homes, retirement homes and long-term care facilities will be prohibited, with exceptions for those providing critical assistance. All Missouri residents shall avoid eating at restaurants, bars and food courts, but delivery, drive-through and take-out will still be allowed. Lastly, all Missouri residents shall avoid gatherings of 10 or more people for the duration of this time period. Missouri residents will still be allowed to go to grocery stores, gas stations, banks and parks provided they take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of germs to others.
Update: Missouri Has First Death Due To COVID-19
Missouri reported the first death from the coronavirus today, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The victim was in their late 60’s, recently traveled internationally and was a resident in Columbia. Additionally, the first St. Charles County case has been reported by KSDK 5 and the number of cases in Missouri has risen to 24. ABC reports that the United Kingdom has officially closed all schools for further notice, and two Senate members, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ben McAdams, both tested positive for the virus. The United States has announced it is closing its northern border with Canada for the time being. Additionally, for the first time since the outbreak began, Wuhan, China has reported no new domestic cases.
Update: St. Charles County Sees First COVID-19 Death
In a KMOV4 update, St. Charles County saw its first death related to COVID-19. A man in his 70s was hospitalized for the virus, and passed away Monday evening.
CNN shared that Wuhan, the city in China most associated with being the focal point of early COVID-19 concerns, will have it’s lockdown lifted on April 8. Many parts of Hubei, the Providence which Wuhan is the capital of, will lift their lockdowns on Wednesday. This appears to be a pivotal point in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in China. Today they reported one new case of the virus, a significant reduction from the thousands of new cases daily that were being reported during the height of the epidemic.
Also today, ESPN reported that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed until 2021. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach announced that the Summer Olympics will still be called Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima. This is the first time an Olympic date has been altered for any reason other than war.
Update: President Trump signs $2 trillion spending bill
According to The Washington Post, the House of Representatives passed an emergency spending bill in hopes of helping the coronavirus pandemic which has been signed into law by President Trump. This bill entails direct cash payments of $1,200 or $2,400 based off of one’s income and provides $500 for each child an adult is responsible for. And according to NBCNews, this bill does much more than provide households with direct deposits. This bill will also provide loans for small businesses that are eligible for assistance and provide financial aid to corporations struggling through COVID-19’s effects.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this $2 trillion emergency spending bill might not be enough. Missouri alone now has 669 people who have tested positive and nine reported deaths. There are 24 cases in St. Charles County and 212 in St. Louis County and city.
Update: COVID-19 Has Reached All 50 States
According to Fox 9, all 50 states now reportedly have cases of the coronavirus as of yesterday, with West Virginia reporting it’s first. The total in the U.S. has now been brought to 7,553 and the number of deaths has been brought to 117, with 106 recoveries, according to the CDC. Missouri Governor Mike Parsons has suspended April elections to June, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. According to NBC, Dow Jones has dropped 1,600 points after trading stopped for the 4th time in 2 weeks. This puts them at 19, 576 points, the lowest they have been at since President Donald Trump’s inauguration 3 years ago. President Trump has also invoked the Defense Production Act in order to induce a higher degree of production from private American companies to fight COVID-19, reports The Chicago Tribune.
Update: FHSD releases schedule for e-learning
FHSD has put out a schedule to be used by teachers and students once online learning begins on Monday, March 30. Teachers planning to give online lectures or schedule online assignments should adhere to this schedule, in which each class will occur twice weekly. Mondays and Thursdays will consist of first, third, fifth, and seventh periods from 9:00-3:00.
Each class will be 70 minutes long, with a 10-minute break between each class and a 60-minute break between third and fifth hour. Tuesdays and Fridays will follow the same time frame as the Monday/Thursday schedule, but will instead consist of second hour, a time slot for office hours, fourth hour, and sixth hour.
Wednesdays will be reserved for office hours and student consultation from 9:00 to 11:30. This schedule will be in effect for the entirety of the online learning break, unless changed by the district. Along with the April 24 extension of online learning comes many questions about events scheduled to happen within that time frame. The 4.0 luncheon was canceled, but there are still some events to look forward to. Prom is rescheduled for May 15, and other options will be evaluated if that date is not a possibility. Graduation practice will also be held on May 15.
Dr. Arnel will be in contact with Family Arena to discuss alternative dates should June 6 not be a feasible date. Practices for all sports will continue to be prohibited until students return to school, and cannot happen throughout the entirety of online learning. The earliest date games can be held is May 5 (as students need 14 practices), but is subject to change depending on whether any more extensions of online learning are added.
There will be food handouts next Tuesday, March 31, at FHC and then the Food Market at the Burbes Building next Wednesday, April 1. If you know of a family that is facing a tough time now have them contact Cindy Rielmann at Cindy.Rielmann@fhsdschools.org
Update: Stimulus Bill Blocked Once Again
CNBC reported that the bill to fund the White House’s stimulus proposal has once again been blocked, failing to earn enough votes in a Senate procedural head count Sunday evening. Despite this, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has relayed his confidence that a final deal will be made in the next round of voting today.
According to KCTV 5 News, while the death toll of COVID-19 in Missouri remains at three, the number of confirmed cases of the virus had jumped to 128, 38 more cases than reported on Sunday afternoon. Five of these cases have been tied to a suburban St. Louis preschool. Their health officials reported that St. Louis County, home to 55 of the reported 128 cases, shows evidence of “community-spread,” where origin cannot be traced.
Update: Online Learning Continued Through April 24
Anchorage Daily News announces that Alaskan state officials have out into effect a mandate requiring all people entering the state from “outside” to self quarantine for 14 days. Hawaii and Florida, two tourist-heavy states, have also requested that travelers refrain from visiting for a month. In particular, people from New York — a state that has seen drastic growth in confirmed cases over the past few weeks. However, The New York Times has reported that with the practice of social distancing, the state is seeing potential signs of flattening the curve. On Sunday, projections showed hospitalization rates to double every two days. Now, projections have lengthened the time that hospitalization doubles to approximately 4.7 days.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates that there are now 356 reported cases of COVID-19 in Missouri, and a total of 8 deaths.
With the number of confirmed cases across the state and the globe still rising rapidly, the Francis Howell School District has also made the decision to continue at-home learning now until April 24.
Update: Number of Missouri COVID-19 cases spikes by 300 in one day
Today, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that since yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased by 300 people, leaving the state with a total of 1,327 people ill with the virus. The St. Charles County Department of Public Health has released that 95 of these positive cases have been in our county, including three deaths. This is all despite the precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease in our state which Governor Mike Parson issued on March 21st. His orders promoted social distancing in many ways, including prohibiting gatherings of ten or more individuals. However, many health organizations and local politicians are calling for orders that Missouri residents stay home except in exceptional cases to better protect citizens from the disease.
Update: Trump Says To Avoid Groups of More Than Ten
President Donald Trump is now urging citizens to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10, and to refrain from using bars and restaurants, ABC reports. Though apparently national quarantine is not being considered, six counties in San Francisco have had citizens ordered to hunker down in their homes. Additionally, the EU entrance and Schengen area will be closed, according to French President Emmanuel Macron and Canada will be closing its borders to all those excluding diplomats, airplane personnel, family and American citizens.
The May SAT has also been canceled by the College Board, and the death toll in Italy today has officially surpassed 2,000. Its total number of cases has reached 27,980.
The stock markets also suffered today, with Dow Jones taking a 12.94 percent dive, and S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping by 11.99 percent and 12.32 percent respectively. ABC reports that this is the worst drop in history since 1987.
Update: First Saint Louis City COVID-19 Case
According to KFVS 12, St. Louis City reports its first case of the coronavirus. Mayor Lyda Krewson says that the disease is not believed to have spread, as the 20-something person self-reported and self-quarantined upon developing symptoms. Additionally, a Saint Louis University student, recently returned home from studying abroad, has tested positive for COVID-19, making them the eighth Missourian to have a confirmed case. Of the 215 people in Missouri that have been tested, 204 have come back negative.
Update: 7 More Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Missouri
With the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 now up to 15 in Missouri, the state is now taking many precautions to prevent the virus spreading further. Missouri Governor Mike Parson tweeted that all Missouri Casinos will be closed starting at midnight Tuesday, and continuing through March 30, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. It is for the same reasons that the presidential primary, which was supposed to take place Tuesday in Ohio, has been postponed. The other three states whose primaries were set for that same day (Arizona, Illinois and Florida) carried out voting as initially planned.
To aid in the transportation of tools needed to aid those affected by the virus, the Missouri Department of Transportation has waived some weight limitations for motor carriers. Private and for-hire carriers can now haul up to 10% more than their licensed weight on Missouri highways while carrying supplies & equipment.
CNBC reported that the White House plans to send checks directly to Americans as part of a stimulus proposal worth more than $850 billion. They plan for this to go into effect as soon as two weeks.
According to USA Today , as of yesterday, 5 states have now closed their bars and restaurants in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey have banned all gatherings of more than 50 people, according to CNN . This comes after the CDC issued an official recommendation that gatherings should consist of no more than 50 people. According to the Chicago Tribune, 21 sates have had school closures for at least two weeks. Deaths world wide have hit 6,500, and 61 (according to ABC) in the United States. Cases world wide have hit 164, 837 according to WHO in the U.S have hit 3,602 according to The New York Times.
Information may have changed from time of publication.