Coronavirus live updates: NJ testing site reaches capacity before it opens – National News


Samara Heisz/iStock(NEW YORK) — A growing pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected hundreds of thousands of people around the world, spreading to every continent except Antartica since emerging in China back in December.

There are more than 350,000 diagnosed cases of the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, known officially as COVID-19, data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University shows.

More than 15,000 people have died so far, prompting many countries to impose travel restrictions, close borders, and shut schools and businesses.

The number of U.S. cases has topped 35,000, spanning across every state as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. At least 471 of those patients have died. Millions of U.S. residents have been ordered to stay at home in an effort to contain the disease.

Here’s the latest on the developing situation Monday. All times Eastern:

9:20 a.m. New Jersey testing site reaches capacity before it opens

In northern New Jersey, hit hard by the outbreak, a testing site at Bergen County Community College reached capacity even before it opened Monday morning, reported ABC New York station WABC-TV.

8:39 a.m. One doctor’s plea for supplies

A Massachusetts emergency room doctor, who made a sharp-worded appeal on Facebook for the need for protective gear, told ABC News he’s since received a number of donated supplies.

“Since that post went out, people have been showing up in our ER, donating whatever they have, people have been making masks,” Dr. Josh Lerner, who works at the Leominster campus of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, said in an interview Monday on Good Morning America.

“People are dropping off food, any type of personal protective equipment. Painters, contractors are giving us their supplies. A neighbor of mine dropped off a box of N95 masks this morning, left it on my porch,” Lerner continued. “So we are being heard by the American people.”

But Lerner said it’s unclear how long the supplies will last as his emergency room starts to see an influx in acute cases of patients sickened with the novel coronavirus disease.

“I think something to keep in mind is that, for any one patient, there are multiple health care workers who are at the bedside,” he said. “We could be talking about many, many supplies being used at any one time at the bedside. And so, at this moment, I don’t know how many more days of supplies we have, but we are sort of using them as judiciously as possible.”

Lerner called on the U.S. government as well as leaders at the local, state and federal levels to “work together” rather than “debate with one another.”

“We as an entire nation need to come together to fight this,” he said.

7:48 a.m. Spain reports 462 deaths in past 24 hours

Spain’s health ministry on Monday reported 462 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

The country’s death toll from COVID-19 has now topped 2,000. Spain has the third-highest number of recorded deaths in the outbreak, following China and Italy.

With nearly 30,000 diagnosed cases, Spain is behind the United States and Italy in the highest national total outside China.

5:39 a.m. Wuhan, China, reports no new cases for five straight days

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, has reported no new confirmed cases for the past five days.

The city is still considered a high-risk zone but signs of life are reappearing on the streets as authorities begin to relax some of the strict measures that were put in place. Road checkpoints are being removed and some private vehicles have returned to the streets. The city’s subway system remains shut down but has begun trial runs as health workers disinfect the subway cars and stations.

City leaders met Monday to discuss scheduling the resumption of work and production. Monday marks two months since Chinese authorities placed Wuhan on lockdown as the virus spread like wildfire throughout the city and the greater Hubei province.

“The meeting emphasized the need to make overall plans to restore economic and social order, and actively and steadily promote orderly resumption of work and production,” the Wuhan government said in a statement Monday. “It is necessary to speed up the resumption of production and industrial enterprises, the return of stores and supermarkets as soon as possible, the orderly restoration of public transportation, the safe and orderly movement of personnel, and the guarantee of resumption of production and market.”

4:09 a.m. Florida closes all state parks

Florida is closing all of its state parks to the public due to the coronavirus crisis.

At the direction of the governor and to successfully uphold social distancing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said it will close all state parks to the public, effective Monday. The Sunshine State is home to nearly 200 state parks and trails.

A notice on the Florida State Parks website said the Department of Environmental Protection “has taken many measures to continue providing resource recreation at our state parks during this time, such as limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity at parks with high visitation.”

“Unfortunately,” the notice continued, “this has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

There are more than 1,000 diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus in Florida, and at least 13 of those patients have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

3:42 a.m. U.S. Secret Service employee tests positive

A U.S. Secret Service employee is in quarantine after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the agency confirmed in a statement late Sunday night.

“The Secret Service has conducted a comprehensive contact trace assessment and determined that the employee has not had contact with any Secret Service employee or protectee for nearly three weeks,” the agency said.

Further information about the employee’s identity was not provided due to privacy considerations.

3:00 a.m. Japan to begin quarantining all visitors from the US

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that his country will require a 14-day quarantine to all visitors from the United States amid an escalating number of coronavirus infections around the globe.

The quarantine requirement includes Japanese and American citizens and will go into effect Thursday until the end of April. The move comes after Japan raised its travel advisory for the United States, urging Japanese citizens not to make nonessential trips to the nation.

Abe said the new requirement is in line with containment measures taken by other countries, including the United States, which has reported a surge in new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

Japan appears to have successfully slowed the spread of the virus on its soil, with just 1,101 diagnosed cases as of Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Still, Abe said a decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, slated to kick off on July 24, “may become inevitable” if the pandemic makes it impossible to hold the event safety.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board has announced a plan to analyze the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision that could include the option to postpone, although the board emphasized that it has no current plans to outright cancel the games. A number of Olympic athletes have called on organizers to postpone or cancel the games due to the pandemic.

“If it is difficult to hold in a complete way, a decision of postponement would be unavoidable,” Japan’s prime minister said at a press conference Monday.
 
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