COVID-19 Daily Update: March 28, 2020

President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrive to speak in front of the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 28, 2020. The ship is departing for New York to assist hospitals responding to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky).

President Trump sends off the Red Cross Naval Ship “Comfort” from Norfolk VA

The president professing his “profound gratitude” to the crew of the USNS Comfort as they head to NYC to help with urgent care patients…NOT for Coronavirus patients. Those who have the virus will be at hospitals on land. The goal is to open up beds for those with the virus

The president said work that was supposed to take 4 weeks to finish up the ship was done in just 4 days and will begin treating patients on Tuesday.

Trump says the sister ship the USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles, California yesterday.  The ships have 12 ORs, 1,000 hospital beds, 4 ERs, a Pharmacy and more.  “We will stop at nothing to protect the health of NY’ers and the health of the people of our country in their hour of need”, Trump said.

The President also says he’s now “considering” quarantine of the NY metro area, including NJ and Connecticut.  The move, if it happens, wouldn’t impact truckers or trade.  Democratic Gov. Andrews Cuomo of New York says he “doesn’t even know what that means,” and says the subject never came up in a conversation he had with Trump earlier Saturday. Trump says it would be for a “short period of time if we do it at all.”

U.S. coronavirus cases now exceed 100,000

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including over 44,000 cases in New York, 8,800 in New Jersey and 4,500 in California. The U.S. is now the epicenter of the pandemic, which has resulted in over 26,000 deaths worldwide.

NY Governor Postpones Primary Day

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s presidential primary election will be postponed from April 28 until June 23 amid coronavirus fears.

“I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said Saturday during a news conference. He also extended the state’s tax filing deadline to July 15.

Over 52,000 people have been confirmed to have Covid-19 across New York, Cuomo said. The state has tested a total of 155, 934 people.

The US surpassed Italy and China this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world with more than 102,963 known cases, according to CNN’s tally. At least 1,590 people have died in the US, with at least 402 of those deaths reported on Friday alone.

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Michigan, providing additional money to help the state address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration announced by the White House on Saturday follows a back-and-forth between Trump and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has criticized the Trump administration for its slow response to the pandemic, saying “we cannot weather this alone.”

The U.S. surgeon general said Friday that Detroit, a national “hot spot” for cases of the new coronavirus, will worsen next week. More than 3,600 people in Michigan were confirmed to have COVID-19 Friday. At least 92 have died, most from the three counties in the Detroit area, according to state officials.

Detroit has recorded 28 deaths and 1,166 cases, according to the city’s health department.

Detroit Doctor Worries that city is another hotspot for the virus.

“At this time, the trajectory of Detroit is unfortunately even more steep than that of New York,” Chopra said. “This is off the charts,” says Dr. Teena Chopra, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology at the Detroit Medical Center

Like many health systems across Detroit, the DMC says it has been “seriously impacted” by resource and capacity issues related to COVID-19 patients. It is working to mitigate capacity issues by shuffling patients from hospital to hospital within its system.

“It seems like a tsunami,” Chopra said. “That’s how it feels on the front lines.”

Chopra says Detroit is in a unique situation because it has a high-risk population, battling numerous underlying health issues already. Chopra, who has worked in Detroit for more than 15 years, says many patients have ailments like asthma, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension which could be causing a higher chance of COVID-19 transmissions and infections.

 Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has issued a statewide order for people to stay at home as part the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Kelly issued the stay-at-home order for the state’s roughly 2.9 million residents after local officials in Kansas’ most populous counties issued their own versions within the past week. More than 2.1 million residents were already under or facing stay-at-home orders.

Kansas has had more than 200 cases of the virus, including four people who died. Kansas is now one of nearly two dozen states to issue stay-at-home orders. The Kansas order starts Monday. It lasts through April 19.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s administration is asking for donations of protective equipment.

The donations can be dropped off at Salvation Army drop boxes next to New Orleans Fire Department stations. Items being accepted include masks, gloves, disposable medical gowns, goggles and face shields.

“Like many places around the world, orders of PPE equipment made back in November 2019 have yet to be filled and our supply is running low. Any additional equipment the public can donate at this time will help keep our first responders safe and out on the streets,” New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Collin Arnold said.

New Orleans is one of the nation’s hot spots for coronavirus.

Italy’s COVID-19 deaths are down slightly from the previous day.

Civil Protection officials said there were 889 deaths in a 24-hour period ending Saturday evening in the country, where intensive care units have been overwhelmed at the heart of the outbreak in the north. That compares to 969 a day earlier, which was a one-day high in the country which has the world’s highest number of deaths of persons with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The day-to-day rise in new cases was just under 6,000, about the same as the previous day’s figure. Overall, Italy has at least 92,472 cases of COVID-19 and days ago surpassed the total of China, where the outbreak began in early 2020.

The current national lock-down decree expires on April 3, but health experts have said the need to try to contain contagion in the outbreak will likely last weeks beyond that.

NRA sues California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials over gun store closures

The National Rifle Association and other gun owner groups are suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other officials after gun stores were deemed non-essential businesses and ordered to close during a statewide stay-at-home order to curb coronavirus infections.

The lawsuit seeks to have gun stores declared essential businesses. It was filed Friday by the NRA, a Los Angeles-area gun retailer, and other gun owner groups in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

In addition to Newsom, other defendants listed in the suit include California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

The suit came after Villanueva announced Thursday that due to Newsom’s executive order, all gun and ammunition stores in Los Angeles County are not considered essential businesses and must close to the general public.

Newsom’s order allows grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and other businesses to remain open during the stay-at-home order, but forces the closure of others considered non-essential.

The lawsuit filed by the NRA and other gun owner groups claims the executive order violates gun owners of their Second Amendment rights.

Shop sells ‘hundreds’ of doughnuts starring Dr. Fauci’s face

An upstate New York doughnut shop is featuring the likeness of the doctor leading the country’s battle with coronavirus on its sweet treats.

Donuts Delite in Rochester began selling hundreds of doughnuts with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s face, surrounded by white frosting and topped off with patriotic sprinkles.

The exclusive treats have been selling “like crazy” since the store put them on display Monday, according to Nick Semeraro, franchisee of the café.

The shop’s decision was inspired by the 79-year-old doctor’s straightforward communication style and calm demeanor while he’s been advising millions of Americans amid a pandemic.

The infectious disease expert has served as an adviser to every president since Ronald Reagan and President Donald Trump has coined him as a star on his administration’s coronavirus task force.

Therefore, putting Fauci’s face smack down in the middle of a doughnut felt like an obvious choice for Semeraro.

“We’re watching the news like everyone else,” Semeraro told the Democrat & Chronicle on Thursday. “He’s on TV giving us the facts; you’ve got to respect that. We’re bipartisan, we stay neutral, but you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due.”

In addition, the shop hopes this new addition to their menu brings “light to a humbling experience,” Semeraro said, and some cheer to customers, “even if it’s just while you’re wolfing down that doughnut.”

What You Can Do to Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy

  • Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Followpublic health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

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