Trump tells Americans to avoid restaurants, schools

Virus Outbreak Washington
A traveler talks with a security officer at Washington Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation's capital. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump said that the coronavirus task force of his administration updated its guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak, which recommends all Americans, including young and healthy to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, should homeschool children avoid restaurants, schools, bars and stop discretionary travel.

“It’s important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience mild symptoms,” Trump said on Monday ”they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it indeed, putting countless others in harm’s way.”

The administration later clarified that the measures are in effect for 15 days and may change after that time.

Many states already made similar guidelines mandatory. As people avoid restaurants, they can order food from home.

South Carolina’s first death brings U.S. toll to 85

On Thursday, South Carolina’s health department confirmed the first death related to COVID-19. The patient was elderly resident of a nursing home.

The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a statement “DHEC is working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent spread.”

The coronavirus has been spread in 49 of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as well as Puerto Rico.

As of Monday night, there have been 4,424 including 85 deaths across the U.S., according to that count, which includes presumptive positive and confirmed cases, people who have recovered and those repatriated from outside the country.

Nordstrom to temporarily close all stores

On Monday, Nordstrom announced that all of its stores will be closed for two weeks for the health and safety of customers and employees, which will be into effect on Tuesday.

Its websites will remain open and customers can buy goods from there. The company ensured that employees will receive pay and benefits.

“We realize the impact a closure can have on our store employees, and this is not a decision we made lightly,” Nordstrom said.

According to the Nordstrom website, it has 117 full-line stores in the U.S. and Canada and also has 250 Nordstrom Rack stores among other businesses.

Several big companies including Apple also announced temporary closures. On Monday, cosmetics and beauty chain Sephora also announced it would close all stores in the United States and Canada starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will be last until April 3.

New York Times staffer tests positive

In a note to staff, the New York Times’s publisher and executive editor confirmed that an employee of the newspaper has tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

Executive editor Dean Baquet and publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote in the note that the staff member has not been hospitalized and is in self-quarantine, recovering at home.

The authority of the newspaper informed all the individuals who were in close proximity to the staff and been in contact with each and asked them to monitor their health and self-quarantine.

Universal to stream newly released movies

Universal Pictures has said that it will stream some newly released movies as many people are staying home and scores of movie theaters are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The company has confirmed that it will stream “Trolls World Tour” on-demand through a range of services including Amazon, Apple, Amazon, Fandango, Google and others.

The movie is scheduled to release in theaters on April 10.

Besides that, the movies that are currently on theatrical release, including “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” and “Emma,” will cost $19.99 and will be available for a 48-hour rental period.

Disney+ to release “Frozen 2” on Sunday — three months earlier than scheduled.

Companies offer help with missed payments, disconnections

As the threat of economic hardship looms along with the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, some of the largest companies are waiving late fees, forgiving missed payments and expanding services.

More than 100 municipal water and utility companies said they won’t shut off water service for late payments. Many utility companies also have suspended shut-offs for nonpayment as the virus continues to disrupt daily life.

A group of broadband and telecommunications companies said that they are not going to postpone the termination of services for the next 60 days for customers unable to pay their bills, while credit card companies said they are offering relief programs.

Doctors and nurses are more vulnerable to the virus

The novel coronavirus seems to hit health care workers harder than it does other sufferers, but it remains unclear what is the reason behind it, an expert said Monday.

While talking to a US media, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said: “We know the high mortality in older people, but for reasons that we don’t understand front-line health care workers are at great risk for serious illness despite their younger age.”

“There’s nothing more destabilizing than health care workers falling ill”, Dr. Hotez told.

He said it will take time to determine what is making them sicker than other patients.

The doctor’s words came following a weekend in which two doctors have been suffering from the coronavirus were in critical condition: a 70-year-old in Patterson, New Jersey and a Washington physician in his 40s.

American College of Emergency Physicians (AEPC) said, it is not certain whether the Washington doctor contracted the illness through work or community spread, but he complied with all relevant protocols.