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Surgeon General, Trump sound alarm as U.S. cases top 300,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Palm Sunday during coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Turin
A woman wearing a protective face mask prays in Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Turin, Italy, on Sunday.Massimo Pinca / Reuters

On Sunday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on U.S. governors who haven't issued statewide stay-at-home orders to at least "give us a week" of restrictions, as health officials warn of an accelerating rate of coronavirus cases and deaths. This week is going to be "our Pearl Harbor moment," Adams said.

The warning comes after President Donald Trump said "there will be a lot of death" as the U.S. faces its "toughest week" in the fight against the pandemic.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to 333,000 on Sunday, with the number of deaths at more than 9,000, according to NBC News' tally. Globally, the death toll is more than 65,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Governors plead for food stamp flexibility

Yvonne Knight, who has respiratory problems that make her especially vulnerable in the coronavirus pandemic, can't buy groceries online with her food stamps, even though each trip to the store is now a risky endeavor.

Going out to buy food terrifies the 38-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, but she is one of millions of people who receive food aid through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that can't be used in flexible ways. “Every time I go out, I put myself at risk — and other people,” said Knight, who lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Buying groceries online — which many Americans are doing to reduce how often they leave their homes — is only open to SNAP recipients in six U.S. states, and Pennsylvania is not one of them.

Now, state governments and food security activists across the country are imploring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make the program more flexible and easier to access at a time when so many people are losing their jobs and turning to the government for support.

Duran Duran's John Taylor reveals coronavirus recovery

John Taylor of Duran Duran, shown last year, said Sunday he is recovering from COVID-19.Amy Harris / Amy Harris/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Duran Duran bassist John Taylor took to Facebook on Sunday to reveal he had tested positive for coronavirus and is on the mend. Taylor was diagnosed with COVID-19 "three weeks ago" and has been self-quarantining.

"I am speaking out to answer to the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic, some of it entirely justified, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain," he wrote. "But I want to let you know that it isn't always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing."

The entertainment community has been rocked by the virus, having recently lost Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger, country star Joe Diffie and jazz musician Ellis Marsalis Jr., among others.

Stocks appear set to jump, with Dow futures up more than 500 points

U.S. stock futures rose Sunday night as Wall Street tried to recover from another decline last week while investors shook off rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 531 points higher, implying a gain of about 565 points at the Monday open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to Monday opening gains for the two indexes.

Last week, the major averages posted their third weekly decline in four. The Dow slid 2.7% while the S&P 500 lost 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite closed last week down 1.7%. Stocks are also deep in bear-market territory as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have virtually shut down the global economy and have dampened sentiment around corporate profits. 

Read the full story here. 

A thanks to those on the front lines

A handmade sign hangs outside a home in Oakland, California, on Sunday.Cyrus Farivar / NBC News

California county orders people to wear face coverings outside

Public health officials in Riverside County, California, made it mandatory Sunday for people who go outside to wear face coverings to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county's public health officer, said people could use bandanas, scarves and other items without visible holes in them to shield their faces. He cautioned against using industrial and surgical masks, saying they should be reserved for first responders.

The order came after 30 patients and staff members at a local nursing home tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to NBC Los Angeles. Two deputies have also died from the disease, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans on Friday to wear face coverings to keep people who may not be showing symptoms of the disease from spreading it to others.

American Airlines suspends more flights to NYC

American Airlines said Sunday that it is suspending more flights to three New York City-area airports in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the company said that while it had already "significantly" reduced travel to John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, demand for flights to the region is "evaporating."

Beginning Tuesday, American will operate a handful of flights between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Boston, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth and other cities, the company said, adding it will try to protect its 9,000 employees by operating these limited flights with crews based outside New York.

American is one of nine United States-based airlines that have suspended flights in response to the outbreak, according to an ongoing tally by TODAY.

After Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive, veterinary group says stay away from animals if you're sick

Nadia, a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York, has tested positive for the coronavirus.JULIE LARSEN MAHER / AP

A veterinary association said Sunday that a tiger’s positive COVID-19 test reinforced its guidelines that call for people infected with the disease to cut contact with animals.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said in a statement that until more is known about how the virus affects animals, ill pet owners should have others care for their dogs and cats.

The group added that there had been no reports of pets or livestock developing the disease in the United States. In other countries, four cats and dogs have tested positive for COVID-19, the association said.

Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, is believed to have contracted the virus from a person who had cared for her, officials at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory said Sunday. Six other big cats at the zoo are also showing symptoms, the lab said.

Texas to screen drivers from Louisiana to enforce two-week quarantine

Authorities in Texas will begin screening drivers traveling across state lines from hard-hit Louisiana to enforce a mandatory two-week quarantine, officials said Sunday.

The screening stations will be set up on high-volume, interstate roads and highways, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement. Drivers will be asked to fill out a form that includes personal information, as well as a “designated quarantine location.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order March 29 mandating the quarantine. Louisiana has recorded 477 coronavirus-related deaths and more than 13,000 confirmed cases. Texas has documented 127 deaths and roughly 6,800 cases.