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.
Coronavirus starts to take a major toll on automakers
Most white-collar auto industry employees by Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are working from home this week, but Detroit’s Big 3 have formed a task force with the United Auto Workers Union to see if there’s a way also to protect hourly workers from the coronavirus without shutting down their U.S. parts and assembly lines.
With schools closed, major sports leagues suspending their seasons, large gatherings being canceled and the travel industry in freefall, automotive analysts are downgrading their 2020 sales forecasts. Morgan Stanley now anticipates U.S. demand for new cars will plunge to 15.5 million, down from last year’s 17.1 million vehicles.
As more Washington state deaths reported, Inslee OKs $200M coronavirus response
SEATTLE — As the death toll from COVID-19 in Washington state reached 54, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a measure drawing $200 million from the state’s emergency “rainy day” fund for the state’s coronavirus response.
Inslee said the funding bill “is really about protecting what we hold most dear, our lives and the lives of our loved ones.” The measure has $175 million going to the public health system and the remainder to a dedicated unemployment fund for coronavirus impacts. The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.
The new spending comes as King County reported three more people have died, bringing its total to 46. Clark County health officials announced their first fatal cases, a husband and wife in their 80s, while Snohomish County said a fifth person has died. One person died in Grant County.
Washington has the highest number of deaths in the U.S., with most being associated with a nursing home in Kirkland. By Tuesday, the number of positive cases topped 1,000.
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14d ago / 8:07 AM UTC
NYC mayor: 'Torrent' of new coronavirus cases coming, military aid may be needed
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspending in-person services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday it is suspending in-person services at its field and asylum offices and application support centers over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19.
The suspension starts Wednesday and will last until at least April 1.
The agency said it will notify those with appointments or naturalization ceremonies that could be impacted, and interviews for those seeking asylum will be rescheduled.
In an effort to protect our employees & communities, effective immediately, we'll no longer be providing in-person services at any of our offices. We'll continue operations & services that don't require in-person contact w/ the public. For more info visit: https://t.co/m3N1ZBE1Ez
Visitation limits can't stop man's face-to-face chats with elderly father
A photo of a Minnesota man visiting with his father through the window at an assisted living facility illustrates the lengths some are going to in order to see their loved ones as nursing homes and assisted living facilities implement tougher restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
When Charlie Johnson found out that Whispering Pines, the center where father Bernard Johnson, 88, lives, was going into lockdown, he figured he would speak to him by phone every day.
"I said, 'You know actually, that’s good. I'm glad that they're doing that,'" Johnson told NBC News.
But he quickly realized that talking by phone was not enough -- he needed to see his dad. So, he set up a chair Sunday outside his father's window. The two spoke by phone while maintaining a version of their usual face-to-face visits, something Charlie Johnson said would keep up for as long as the lockdown lasts.
"They just had a normal conversation, like the window wasn’t even in between them," said Sandy Hamilton, the Whispering Pines employee who took the photo, which has more than 800,000 shares on Facebook.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday ordered a statewide closure of casinos, table games and gaming machines for 30 days to help fight the spread of the coronavirus illness. They must close at midnight Tuesday.
Sisolak also said that non-essential businesses should close as of noon Wednesday. Grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, hardware stores, gas stations and other similar services will remain open.
"Please, stay home for Nevada," Sisolak urged all residents.
Several Las Vegas casino operators, including MGM Resorts, had already announced that they would shutter properties.
The Culinary Union, which represents casino workers, said they support Sisolak's move.
Today, I took the necessary steps to date to try to mitigate this pandemic & keep our community safe. Medical experts have advised that the most effective course of action is to direct all Nevadans to stay home & for all nonessential businesses to close to the public for 30 days.
Arizona sees high voter turnout despite coronavirus fears
The number of in-person voters in Maricopa County taking part in the state’s Democratic presidential preference primary today has surpassed the number who took part at the county level for the 2016 Democratic presidential preference primary, Maricopa County Elections Department spokeswoman Megan Gilbertson told NBC News.
Maricopa County accounts for more than half of the state’s registered Democratic voters. This is especially notable because the Democratic race was more competitive in and the high Democratic turnout took place despite coronavirus concerns and despite the county closing one-third of its polling locations over the weekend.
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14d ago / 1:15 AM UTC
Philadelphia police to stop arresting certain non-violent offenders
The Philadelphia Police Department said Tuesday that, because of coronavirus, certain non-violent offenders will be arrested at a later date pursuant to an arrest warrant.
The measure means that a person will be detained, officers will complete the appropriate paperwork, confirm the offender’s identity and then let them go. Later, they will arrest the person and they will be processed and prosecuted per normal procedure.
There is an exception, the Police Department says, “if a police officer believes that releasing an individual would pose a threat to public safety, the officer will notify a supervisor, who will review the totality of the circumstances, and in the interest of public safety, utilize discretion in determining the appropriate course of action.”
Kansas kids out of class for rest of 2019-20 school year
Kansas public school children will be out of class for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the governor announced Tuesday in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a statement.
While Kansas appears to be the first state to cancel the remainder of the academic year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said it was unlikely that schools will re-open this spring.
Kansas has 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the state’s health department. One death linked to the illness was reported by the governor on March 12.
On Tuesday West Virginia confirmed its first case, meaning that all 50 states have reported cases.
Today I signed Executive Order #20-07 announcing the closure of our school buildings statewide. We must protect our children and parents, as well as the educators and staff who work at our schools.https://t.co/ACcQNwb4WV (1/5)