Americans face dramatic limits on public life as schools, theme parks, events shut down

The crisis continues to unfold across the globe as the World Health Organization uses the term "pandemic" for the first time.
Medical workers at Kaiser Permanente French Campus test a patient for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at a drive-thru testing facility in San Francisco on March 12, 2020.
Medical workers at Kaiser Permanente French Campus test a patient for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at a drive-thru testing facility in San Francisco on Thursday.Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images

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The United States on Thursday surpassed 1,600 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to 41. Kansas reported its first death Thursday.

Wall Street recorded historic losses as fears intensified over the economic fallout from the pandemic, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by 10 percent, and the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both down by 9 percent.

It was the worst point drop ever for the Dow and its worst performance since the market crash in 1987.

Disruptions in the sports world continued, with March Madness canceled, the suspension of MLB's spring training and a pause on the National Hockey League season.

Health and government officials continue to call for the end of large gatherings, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suspended public gatherings worldwide, the Smithsonian announced it will close indefinitely all museums in Washington, D.C. and New York City and Broadway theaters canceled performances through April 12.

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Oregon, Michigan latest to order statewide school closures

Oregon’s governor on Thursday night ordered the closure of K-12 schools statewide until the end of month, citing health concerns and staffing problems related to the novel coronavirus.

Michigan’s governor Thursday night ordered all public school buildings closed to students starting Monday until April 5 in what she said was a move to slow the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

Earlier Thursday, Maryland’s governor said all public schools in the state would be closed starting Monday through March 27. Ohio's governor also announced a similar move set to begin  at the end of the school day Monday and lasts through April 3.

Jet Blue: Passenger who didn’t tell airline test was pending is now banned

JetBlue said Thursday that a passenger who arrived at a Florida airport reportedly as a positive coronavirus case didn’t tell anyone at the airline that a test was pending.

The airline identified the plane that landed Wednesday evening as Flight 253.

That is the plane that NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach reported landed at Palm Beach International Airport from JKF in New York with a passenger who tested positive for COVID-19. That person is isolated, and people who were near the passenger are being asked to self-monitor for symptoms.

"In reviewing last night’s event, we determined the customer boarded our flight knowing he was awaiting results for a coronavirus test without disclosing it to anyone at JetBlue,” airline communications manager Derek Dombrowski said in a statement.

The airline is asking that anyone who is feeling unwell, thinks they have the coronavirus, or is awaiting testing to avoid travel. “Last night’s event put our crewmembers, customers, and federal and local officials in an unsettling situation that could have easily been avoided, and as such, this customer will not be permitted to fly on JetBlue in the future,” Dombrowski said.

NBA games on hold for at least 30 days

The National Basketball Association said Thursday that games will be on hold for at least 30 days.  

“We intend to resume the season, if and when it becomes safe for all concerned,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a letter to fans posted online

The suspension was announced after a player for the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Roundup of coronavirus coverage

Why wearing a face mask is encouraged in Asia, but shunned in the U.S. [Time]

For seniors, the college season's sudden end is a uniquely brutal heartbreak [Sports Illustrated]

'It's corona time': TikTok helps teens cope with the coronavirus pandemic [The Guardian]

The tickets home were $5,000. They paid it. [The New York Times]

American Airlines to reduce, suspend some flights

American Airlines will reduce international capacity this summer in response to customer demand amid the coronavirus outbreak, the airline said Thursday. It is also suspending some flights from some U.S. airports to Europe.

The changes will reduce international capacity for the summer season by 34 percent, the airline said.

The announcement comes after President Donald Trump said Wednesday that travel would be restricted from most of Europe for 30 days, although there are exceptions.

The airline will continue to operate flights to and from Europe for up to seven days to give people a chance to return home. But flights between Charlotte, North Carolina, Philadelphia, and Raleigh/Durham, also in North Carolina, to some European destinations would be suspended.

PGA cancels Players Championship

Alaska identifies first case

Officials in Alaska have identified the state’s first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus illness COVID-19 and said that the person is a foreign national “transiting through” the state.

“It was just a matter of time” before Alaska saw its first case, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said at a press conference.

The positive test will be sent to the CDC for confirmation. The person knew about coronavirus and had been self-monitoring, and as soon as he developed symptoms he notified officials, Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer of Alaska, said. He self-isolated the entire time.

Tom Hanks offers update from isolation: Taking it one day at a time

Read the full story here.