The number of Americans under virtual lockdown grew Saturday to over 80 million, with New Jersey joining the list of states issuing a stay-at-home order or other sweeping mandates to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
“We must flatten the curve and ensure residents are practicing social distancing," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said, adding, “Even with this order in effect … life in New Jersey does not have to come to a complete standstill.”
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New Jersey's stay-at-home order applies to nearly all of its 9 million residents. It comes after Illinois issued a similar mandate Friday for its 13 million residents and following California's stay-at-home order for its population of 40 million.
In New York, with a population of over 19 million, the governor has ordered that all nonessential businesses keep their workers home. Pennsylvania's governor has also ordered that all businesses that are not "life-sustaining" close.
New York also announced Saturday that the number of coronavirus cases there now tops 10,000.
Most cases in New York City are of people under 50
Most people who have tested positive for coronavirus in New York City are younger than 50, according to figures released by the city Saturday.
This does not reflect the ages of those who have died, only people confirmed to be infected with the virus.
Overall, 57 percent of those who have tested positive in the city are 49 or younger. People 18 to 49 years old make up the majority, 54 percent, the city said. The next largest group are those age 50 to 64, who account for 23 percent of positive test results so far.
The accounting reflects data known to the city through 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Coronavirus briefly halts flights to all NYC-area and Philadelphia airports
Flights to all New York City-area and Philadelphia airports were briefly halted Saturday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The agency temporarily grounded flights after it said Saturday that an air traffic controller trainee tested positive for the coronavirus. The trainee worked out of the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island.
The number of coronavirus cases in New York state increased by more than 3,000 and now tops 10,000. New York City alone has 6,211 cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
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10d ago / 7:14 PM UTC
White House won't say when healthcare workers can expect to have additional supplies
The White House did not provide a concrete timeline Saturday about when healthcare professionals can expect to have much-needed supplies, such as masks and ventilators.
Vice President Mike Pence told reporters at a press briefing that “companies would be producing millions of masks within a matter of weeks” and said that President Donald Trump “expanded liability protections to industrial masks so that they could now be used in hospitals.”
Trump, Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force were asked by reporters when healthcare workers could expect to have the supplies. No one was able to provide a timeline.
Trump instead criticized reporters and insisted that, despite having been in office for over three years now, any slow response or lack of preparedness was because of a broken system he inherited.
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10d ago / 7:07 PM UTC
'What do we have to lose?': Trump continues to promote untested drug treatments for coronavirus
President Donald Trump insisted Saturday that there was cause for optimism about drug therapies for coronavirus, despite caution from his top government scientists that the treatments’ effectiveness was not proven.
“Look, I feel, as the expression goes: what do we have to lose?,” Trump said, making the case for offering different drugs, which he also tweeted about earlier in the day, that have been used in other countries to combat the coronavirus but have not been proven to work in any controlled studies.
"I feel very confident. I've seen things that surprise me frankly,” Trump said, speaking at a press briefing at the White House.
Trump’s director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, reminded the public during the same briefing that there is not evidence to claim that the drugs work.
“Many of the things that you hear out here are what I had called anecdotal reports. They may be true, but they are anecdotal,” Fauci said. “The president is talking about hope for people.”
WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence said he and his wife, Karen Pence, would get tested for the coronavirus Saturday afternoon after a member of Pence's staff tested positive for the virus Friday night.
“I am pleased to report he's doing well,” Pence said of the staffer. “He had mild cold-like symptoms for about a day and a half. He has not been to the White House since Monday. Neither the President nor I had direct contact with that staff person."
Pence said that both him and his wife felt fine and were not displaying any symptoms.
But given his “unique position” as vice president and as head of the White House’s coronavirus task force, Pence said he would go ahead and get tested.
NYC: Only test those that are hospitalized as protective equipment 'extremely limited'
New York City's hospitals are sounding the alarm about a critical lack of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and are limiting tests of COVID-19 to those that are hospitalized in the "epicenter" of the coronavirus outbreak and to stop testing outpatients, documents obtained by NBC News show.
NBC News has reviewed a letter from NYU Medical Langone Hospital which says that the capacity to test for COVID-19 at labs in the region remains "critically limited."The letter says that as of Friday NYU has told staff that the testing of COVID-19 was to be restricted to hospitalized patients only. In part, the letter says, because supplies of test swabs and other necessary testing components remains low.
NYU's directives come on the heals of a sweeping memorandum from the New York City Department of Health. The directive says, "there is a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), collection swabs, and viral transport media supplies and it is critical that laboratory testing be prioritized for hospitalized patients."
The memo says that applies to testing first responders who aren't hospitalized either and says, "outpatient testing must not be encouraged, promoted or advertised."
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11d ago / 5:22 PM UTC
Coronavirus cases in Switzerland jump 25 percent in a day
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Switzerland has jumped from 2,650 to 6,113 in the last 72 hours, NBC News numbers show.