The U.S. death toll from coronavirus reached 25 Tuesday afternoon. The U.S. case count is over 750 – up from 600 last night. (A permanent note with these numbers: We only know if someone has the virus if they test positive. There are likely more people who have the illness who have not been tested.)
Italy's death toll is now more than 630 – the largest single-day jump in that number – with more than 10,000 confirmed cases. Italy made a historic decision to lock down its 60 million citizens, effectively turning the country into a testing ground for virus control in a democracy.
New York created a one-mile containment zone in New Rochelle. There are more than 170 cases in the state and more than half are in the county where New Rochelle is located. It's not quite a lock down, but schools, places of worship and other places where people gather will be closed for 14 days, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The virus is posing an unprecedented challenge to the 2020 elections. Not only are all three men running for president at high risk for contracting the illness (all being in their 70s), state parties are scrambling to prevent spread during the primary season. Should you lick that mail-in ballot? Maybe dab it with a wet cloth instead.
More and more schools and universities are effectively closing their campuses. Ohio State University announced it has suspended face-to-face instruction until at least March 30, after the state's first three cases were confirmed Monday.
President Trump met with Senate Republicans about a potential economic relief package, but the meeting ended without a plan. Republicans seem to agree that they want to flood the economy with cash, but there's little agreement on how to do it. Meanwhile, Democrats are devising their own plan.
After the meeting, Trump told reporters that coronavirus “will go away, just stay calm.” Experts, on the other hand, worry about how fast this virus spreads, and have compared it to the global outbreak of influenza in 1957.
Most Americans say businesses should offer sick pay, but at least a dozen states, including Florida and much of the Southeast, have laws against medical leave. In other places, companies sidestep the requirement to give sick pay by hiring people as contractors, not full-time employees. Health experts say social distancing is critical to control the spread – but people won't stay home from work if they can't get paid.