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

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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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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.

Death toll in New York City approaching 2,500

About 2,500 New Yorkers have died from complications connected to COVID-19, City Hall reported on Sunday. 

The virus-related death toll stood at 2,472 as of 5 p.m., according to the Health Department's nightly report.

That newest figure marks 218 more fatalities from the death toll of 2,254 reported 24 hours earlier.

California pastor resigns from city council as church's communion plan draws criticism

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A church pastor resigned from the local city council Sunday after coming under criticism for holding communion on Palm Sunday despite coronavirus stay-at-home rules.

Rob McCoy, senior pastor at Godspeak Cavalry Church in Thousand Oaks, California, said in a video posted to the church's website that he would hold the communion even though it's not listed as an essential service.

"We want to respect social distancing. We want to respect everything that’s requested of us, but we still want to have access to what is a sacrament," McCoy said in the video. "We will not violate a single CDC ordinance. No one is going to touch anything. No one is going to handshake, no one is going to hug."

He was elected to the Thousand Oaks City Council in 2015.

Philadelphia economy hit hard, over 1 million file for unemployment in Pennsylvania

With 25 hotels closed, nine major conventions cancelled, and dozens of restaurants closed or scaling back due to the spread of coronavirus, Philadelphia — which leans heavily on the tourism and hospitality industries — is seeing a loss of $163 million.

While some of the hotels are being used to house medical staff and the Liacouras Center is switching out its sporting events and concerts for temporary hospital beds, the workers typically employed in the hospitality industry — nearly 200,000 people in the region — are unable to work from home, instead faced with sudden lay-offs and some losing their health insurance. 

“Basically I’m on hold until all of this is over,” former bartender Tina Bolger told NBC News. She worked at the Philadelphia airport until last week, when she was laid off and told her health insurance expired as of April 1. She’s since had to file for unemployment, the check only amounting to half of what she’d normally make.

Pennsylvania is ranked second in the nation when it comes to unemployment claims, with more than one million in the state filing. 

Scotland's top medical officer resigns after flouting stay-home rules

Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned Sunday after she failed to follow her government’s coronavirus stay-at-home rules.

The resignation came after a local newspaper published photos of Dr. Catherine Calderwood at her second home in the coastal town of Fife. Calderwood had warned Scots that they should only leave home for essential travel.

Before her resignation, Scotland’s Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone, issued a warning to Calderhead, saying that police officers were putting themselves in harm's way to explain and enforce the rules the government had put in place. “Individuals must not make personal exemptions,” he said.

In a statement, Calderhead apologized for not following the rules and said she didn’t want to distract from the government’s response. "It is with a heavy heart that I resign as Chief Medical Officer," she said.

Queen Elizabeth II calls for 'good-humored resolve' as coronavirus deaths rise in U.K.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II urged her subjects to show the same “self-discipline” and “quiet good-humored resolve” that characterized previous generations in a rare address to the nation about the coronavirus epidemic on Sunday.

The monarch acknowledged the grief, financial difficulties and “enormous changes to the daily lives” felt by many families during “a time of disruption” in a pre-recorded televised address meant to rally the nation.

Read the full story here. 

Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for coronavirus and six other big cats are showing symptoms, the zoo said in a statement.

Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, along with her sister, two Amur tigers and three African lions "had developed a dry cough," the zoo said. All seven animals are expected to make a full recovery, and seem to only be experiencing some decrease in appetite.

"We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," the zoo said, adding the test result was confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

The cats were infected by "a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms," the zoo said.

Other big cats are not showing symptoms and the zoo said it has put "appropriate preventive measures" in place for the staff caring for the sick animals.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson taken to hospital due to persistent coronavirus symptoms

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to the hospital for tests on Sunday, more than a week after he tested positive for coronavirus

Johnson's doctor advised he be taken to a hospital since Johnson experienced persistent symptoms ten days after testing positive, according to a statement from Number 10 Downing Street. His office insisted this was a precautionary measure. 

“The Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives," the prime minister's statement said. 

The news of Johnson's hospital visit comes a day after his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, said on Twitter that she was in recovery after a week of being bedridden with symptoms. Symonds said she was not tested for the virus.