After weeks of resistance, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday to stem the spread of coronavirus, reversing a previous position that left closures up to local officials.
The state has reported nearly 7,000 confirmed cases and 86 deaths.
In Connecticut, a 6-week-old baby who died at a Hartford hospital is thought to be one of the youngest deaths linked to coronavirus. Gov. Ned Lamont said the newborn was brought to the facility last week and couldn’t be revived.
And in Guam, 93 sailors aboard the USS Teddy Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19. Nearly a quarter of the more than 4,000 crew members on the ship have been tested, and nearly half of those results have been reported. The vast majority are negative.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not doing — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 2 Coronavirus news.
New York cancels spring break, orders remote learning to continue
The New York education department has canceled spring break for all public school districts in the state, ordering remote learning to continue during the scheduled time off.
“Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020, and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time,” the education department said in a statement.
In New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, public schools have been shuttered through at least April 20. Spring break was scheduled to take place between April 9 and April 17; it will now only span April 9 and April 10, covering part of Passover and Good Friday.
The move was made to help keep families at home and avoid the spread of the coronavirus, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said in a video posted on Tuesday night.
Sounds of our time? People around the world share recordings during coronavirus lockdowns
Birds chirping in New York City, rainfall in India and clapping for health care workers in Belfast — those are just a few of the sounds collected on a website that is crowdsourcing audio of the coronavirus lockdowns from across the globe.
Cities and Memories, run by U.K.-based sound artist Stuart Fowkes, is undertaking a global collaborative project to document a unique social moment and has received contributions from people staying home in more than 70 countries.
"The world hasn’t sounded quite like this during our lifetimes," writes Fawkes on the site. "Whether it’s something simple like less traffic, or how you can hear more birdsong and wildlife, through to how people are coming together through song and music."
The project has sparked interest online with #StayHomeSounds garnering support and organizers urging people to submit their recordings but cautioning avid listeners not to defy lockdown rules to go outside.
For China's overworked IT professionals, coronavirus lockdown means longer days
For Chinese information technology workers who already had to grapple with punishing work schedules, coronavirus lockdowns across the country have meant increased workloads, higher expectations from bosses and colleagues and ever more blurred boundaries between work and personal life.
China's IT industry already had a notorious "996" work culture, in which people work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. But some describe the current working-from-home mode as closer to "007" — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And the extra overtime is unpaid.
Swedish airline crews retrain to help hospitals fight coronavirus
Airline crews in Sweden, grounded by the coronavirus outbreak, are training in basic hospital duties to help plug gaps in the Swedish healthcare system, Reuters reports.
Cabin crew from the crisis-hit Scandinavian airline SAS, are learning new skills such as sterilizing equipment, making hospital beds and providing information to patients and their relatives.
Sweden is among the few European countries that has defied lockdown trends but healthcare officials in Stockholm have scrambled to set up a temporary hospital in a convention center and warned of a lack of staff and safety equipment to meet the crisis.
New London hospital opens to treat thousands of COVID-19 patients
Putin works from home after possible coronavirus exposure
Russian President Vladimir Putin is now practicing social distancing and working remotely after a doctor who met with him last week tested positive for coronavirus, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Dr. Denis Protsenko met Putin for a tour of the Kummunarka Hospital, Moscow's main coronavirus treatment center. On Tuesday, he said had tested positive for coronavirus and was working remotely from his isolated office.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters said that Putin would conduct his first teleconference meeting Wednesday afternoon, and that the meeting would be live streamed for all to see.
Humanitarian bodies push for protection of refugees, stateless during crisis
International humanitarian organizations warned that the health of refugees, migrants and stateless people must be protected during the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
As countries close down borders, migrants and refugees must be ensured equal access to health services and be included in national responses to COVID-19, the United Nations' refugee agency, the World Health Organization and the International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday.
The organizations said that unsanitary conditions in overcrowded camps, makeshift shelters and detention centers, is a cause for worry.
Spain sets grim record for daily death toll as cases top 100,000
Spain reached two grim milestones on Wednesday as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections passed 100,000, and the number of deaths in one day reached a new high, the Health Ministry reported.
The spike of 864 fatalities has brought the country's death toll to 9,053, while the total confirmed cases have risen to 102,136. Spain's death toll is second highest in the world following Italy, while the number of people infected is behind only the U.S. and Italy.
The rate of new infections had slowed from the previous day, suggesting that the spread of the virus is stabilizing.
Loss of smell, taste strong predictors for COVID-19, U.K. researchers find
The loss of smell and taste has been reported by as many as 59 percent of coronavirus patients in the United Kingdom, signaling it could be a strong predictor of the disease, according to research by King's College London.
The findings shared with NBC News on Wednesday are based on data submitted between March 24 and 29 to a tracking app launched by the university to better understand COVID-19. Loss of smell and taste has been increasingly reported by patients worldwide, but are not yet considered key symptoms by the World Health Organization pending more evidence.
Other indicators of the virus include tiredness and fatigue that was reported by 53 percent of people, a persistent cough among nearly 29 percent of respondents, shortness of breath among 28 percent of respondents and fever among 10.5 percent of respondents.
Strong social distancing on display at Japan's Defense Ministry
Saudi Arabia urges Muslim pilgrims to put off making plans for Hajj
Saudi Arabia has told Muslim pilgrims around the world to hold off on making arrangements to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage, set to take place in July, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread.
"Saudi Arabia cares for the health of all Muslims coming to the Kingdom therefore we have asked Islamic countries not to issue Hajj contracts yet until the situation becomes clear," the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah tweeted on Tuesday.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca last year attracted about 2.5 million people from countries around the world.