Coronavirus

This illustration reveals the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Find the latest WUWM and NPR coverage on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, here.

See the most recent Wisconsin and Milwaukee County numbers.

People who've tested positive for COVID-19 have a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Most people develop mild symptoms. But some people, usually with pre-existing medical conditions, may develop more serious illness. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after contact with someone who has COVID-19, believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There's currently no vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 infection. The CDC has shared some tips to prepare your home for community transmission of the disease. To protect yourself, health officials recommend you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

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The coronavirus outbreak has already led Georgia and Louisiana to postpone upcoming primary elections, but leaders in four states — Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio — that vote on Tuesday say they will continue as planned.

Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET

U.S. stock indexes fell sharply Monday, a day after the Federal Reserve aggressively cut interest rates to near zero in a bid to stop the economy from crashing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2,997.20 points, or about 13%, as coronavirus measures rapidly expanded. The S&P 500 index lost nearly 12%.

The Dow, which closed at 20,188.52, has lost 31.7% since its record high Feb. 12 as the market plunges deeper into bear territory after an 11-year winning streak.

Updated 8:20 p.m. ET

The Senate reconvened Monday afternoon with a growing sense of urgency to act on pending legislation, and a growing realization that Congress will have to take dramatic, ongoing action to blunt the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to the nation.

"The Senate is committed to meeting these uncertain times with bold and bipartisan solutions," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the floor Monday. "It's what we're going to keep doing in the days and weeks ahead."

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has taken some dramatic steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.  Chair Ben Wikler says the party is following guidance from health officials to practice social distancing, so it's replacing its traditional door-to-door canvassing operation with a digital model ahead of the April 7 spring election and presidential primary.  

Updated at 9:11 p.m. ET

With the number of cases worldwide of the novel coronavirus surpassing 150,000, with some 6,000 deaths, governments across the globe continue their struggle to contain the pandemic. Their hope is to limit the number of new infections, while treating those individuals suffering from COVID-19 and isolating others whose symptoms are not as severe but who might spread the disease.

Here's a snapshot by region of what is happening as of midday Monday:

Europe

Updated at 1:55 a.m. ET Monday

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

Maayan Silver

Election and other government officials in Milwaukee indicated Sunday that the April 7 presidential primary and spring election are currently going forward in Wisconsin. 

Mayor Tom Barrett says officials are planning around the coronavirus pandemic and have several changes already in place. He says this election is about “preparedness." He wants people to know where and how to vote while minimizing their exposure to coronavirus. 

Emily Files / WUWM

Wisconsin parents and children are adjusting to a new reality — kids staying at home with no school for at least three weeks. To slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tony Evers ordered all K-12 schools closed starting Wednesday through April 6. Many schools are closing earlier, starting Monday.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET on Monday

European shares dropped more than 8% on Monday, led by losses in Italy and France, the two countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic that has girdled the globe in recent weeks, infecting tens of thousands of people, severing supply chains and slowing commerce as people are forced to stay home.

In early trading, Italy's FTSE MIB, France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX were all down more than 8%, with London's FTSE 100 just behind, dropping more than 7%.

Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin / CDC

For more up-to-date information, read WUWM's March 18 post.

Updated Monday 1:52 p.m. CT

As the coronavirus outbreak continues across the U.S., the White House has told federal agencies and executive departments to suspend all work travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

The White House Office of Management and Budget issued new guidance on Saturday telling federal workers that "only mission-critical travel is recommended at this time."

The White House is also encouraging agencies to hold meetings by phone or video-conference whenever they can.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

States hit hardest by the spread of coronavirus will see drive-through and walk-through testing sites set up this week, the White House said on Sunday, a shift that will provide more information about how widely the virus has spread across the country.

The sites each will be able to screen 2,000 to 4,000 people per day, with priority given to health care workers, first responders and people age 65 and older with respiratory symptoms and fevers above 99.6 degrees.

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET Sunday

Airline passengers returning to the U.S. were confronted with snaking lines causing hours-long delays and confusion at airports around the country starting Saturday as a result of required medical screenings now in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Updated Monday at 2 p.m. ET to reflect new guidance on play dates during school closures. This is an evolving story and guidance from health authorities is evolving quickly.

Never before have workers telecommuted on such a broad scale. Millions of people are trying to work from home — if they can, of course. Life Kit wants to help WFH work for you, especially if you're doing so for the first time.

The way the world says hello is changing. Quickly.

In lieu of the germ-rich exchange of the handshake, alternative salutations are taking hold.

In Tanzania, President John Magufuli introduced a low-touch greeting when he met with the opposition leader from Zanzibar Seif Sharif Hamad, reports Eyder Peralta, NPR's correspondent in east Africa. It takes the form of a catchy, two-part salute, using both hands and feet.

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