The United States and European nations are stepping up measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus and counteract its economic impact, as the numbers of deaths and infections continue to grow.
The U.S. death toll surpassed 100 on Tuesday as all 50 states have now reported cases, and the E.U. announced sweeping restrictions on most travel within the 27-country bloc.
The White House announced Tuesday that it is looking to send checks directly to Americans in order to soften the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement comes as many parts of the U.S. have taken extraordinary measures to health the spread of the coronavirus. California officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, that requires people to stay home except for essential needs.
- 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.
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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 18 Coronavirus news.
Al Roker does the weather forecast — from home
Al Roker returned to "TODAY" after a staffer he came in contact with tested positive for coronavirus. But he's working from home, bringing viewers the weather from his kitchen.
"There are no NBC News crews here. This is my iPad," Roker said Tuesday, joking he finally got to sleep in without his usual commute.
Roker said he's feeling fine and doesn't have any symptoms of coronavirus. He sat out Monday's broadcast and decided to work from home Tuesday out of an abundance of caution.
Watch his kitchen broadcast below:
Sydney Opera House cancels performances over coronavirus
Iran sees 135 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours
Iran now has 16,169 reported cases of coronavirus after adding 1,178 new cases in the past 24 hours, the Iranian Heath Ministry said Tuesday.
So far, 988 people have died of COVID-19 in the country — 135 of them just in the past 24 hours.
The health ministry says 5,389 people have recovered.
India closes iconic Taj Mahal to curb spread of coronavirus
AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas to close
Both AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas announced Monday they will close their doors this week as the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States.
The movie theater chains were set to close Monday night after the last showing.
British researchers warn social restrictions may have to remain for 18 months until vaccine is found
Researchers advising the British government have warned that social restrictions designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus may have to be imposed for 18 months or "indefinitely" until a vaccine is found.
A report published Monday by the the COVID-19 Response Team at Imperial College London persuaded the U.K. government to shift its much criticized strategy from trying to slow the number of infections to trying to suppress them altogther.
However, the response team warned that the measures — advising people to skip pubs and theaters, as well as self-isolating at home for 14 days if any family member displays symptoms — might have to remain in place for many months because the contagion might "rebound" once they are lifted.
"The social and economic effects of the measures which are needed to achieve this policy goal will be profound," it warned.
WH press secretary not at work after being exposed to coronavirus
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was not at the White House Monday after she was exposed to Brazilian officials at Mar a Lago last weekend who later tested positive for the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Barr issues memo to U.S. attorneys outlining DOJ priorities amid the outbreak
Attorney General William Barr sent a two-page memo to all U.S. attorneys Monday that outlined the Department of Justice’s priorities for law enforcement and the health and safety of people in the judicial system.
Every U.S. attorney’s office has been ordered to prioritize the detection, investigation and prosecution of criminal conduct that’s related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The memo referred to businesses selling fake cures online for the COVID-19 disease, phishing emails from entities posing as the World Health Organization or the CDC and malware infecting apps designed to track the spread of the virus.
Distilleries using high-proof alcohol to make hand sanitizer
NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. — A Pennsylvania distillery owner who grew increasingly angry as he saw the skyrocketing price of hand sanitizer has decided to do something about it: He’s temporarily converting his operation into a production line for the suddenly hard-to-find, gooey, alcohol-based disinfectant.
Eight Oaks Farm Distillery filled its first 20 bottles on Monday, a batch destined for charitable groups that need hand sanitizer but haven’t been able to get it due to the coronavirus pandemic. The family-owned distillery plans to dramatically boost production this week and distribute the bottles to charities as well as offer them at farmers’ markets where it sells its spirits and through its website.
The price: whatever people decide to donate.
“We are in a national emergency,” said distillery founder Chad Butters. “What’s the right thing to do? The right thing to do is support this community by providing something that is in desperate need. We’ll flood the valley with hand sanitizer and drive that price right down.”
Cuomo orders that all New York state schools close for 2 weeks
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Monday ordering that all schools in the state close by Wednesday and stay closed for two weeks ending April 1.
A press release from his office said that the state will reassess the decision and whether to reopen.
“The single most effective way to slow the spread of this virus is to reduce close contacts, and that includes in our schools,” he said in a statement, saying that every school district will be required to submit a plan to ensure children of healthcare and first responders have access to childcare.