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U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000

The coronavirus crisis continues to unfold across the world as Italy begins a country-wide lockdown.
Image: Naples
A worker sprays disinfectant in a museum in Naples, Italy, on Tuesday.Alessandro Pone / LaPresse via AP

With new coronavirus cases confirmed Tuesday, the United States now has more than 1,000 infected people.

Turbulent trading continued to roll Wall Street, and anxieties over the coronavirus failed to subside with an increase in U.S. deaths and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ratcheting up protective measures in his state.

Cuomo deployed National Guard troops to a health department command post in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City where health officials have reported at least 108 cases of COVID-19 in the area. While there have been no reported deaths in New York, neighboring New Jersey announced its first one: a man in his 60s in Bergen County.

The markets remained volatile a day after the Dow Jones shed 2,000 points — Wall Street's worst day since the financial crash of 2008. The Dow rallied before giving up most of its gain Tuesday afternoon.

The coronavirus outbreak has continued to rattle Italy, which extended the containment measures already in place in northern regions to the entire country, which has confirmed more than 10,140 cases. The death toll in the country stands at more than 630 people.

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'We are 10 days away from the hospitals getting creamed,' warns former homeland security adviser

The U.S. is a little more than a week away from a health care crisis related to the new coronavirus, according to the man who once advised President Donald Trump on how to respond to pandemics.

"We are 10 days from the hospitals getting creamed,” Tom Bossert, who was Trump’s homeland security adviser until he was ousted in 2018, told NBC News. Bossert was never replaced, and Trump eliminated the national security council jobs related to disease outbreaks.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post published Monday, Bossert said that unless the U.S. closes schools, halts public gatherings and takes other steps to reduce community transmission, the country is headed for the sort of crisis Italy is now facing, with hospitals overwhelmed by elderly people in need of critical care. 

“Simply put, as evidence of human-to-human transmission becomes clear in a community, officials must pull the trigger on aggressive interventions,” Bossert wrote. “Time matters. Two weeks of delay can mean the difference between success and failure. Public health experts learned this in 1918 when the Spanish flu killed 50 million to 100 million people around the globe. If we fail to take action, we will watch our health-care system be overwhelmed.”

Wuhan temporary hospitals start to close

Medical professionals pose for a photo as the last batch of COVID-19 patients are discharged from Wuchang Fang Cang makeshift hospital on Tuesday in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. As the number of Coronavirus patients drops, the city has closed 11 temporary hospitals.Getty Images

Wall Street rally fades as questions arise about Trump's stimulus plan

Wall Street rallied Tuesday morning before sinking back into the red, as sentiment waned that President Donald Trump would introduce a robust economic package in time to shore up the growing financial impact from the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank to a loss of almost 100 points just hours after a surge of 945 points. That, in turn, came just one day after a historic rout that saw the blue-chip index drop by 2,013 points, the most ever.

While Trump said Monday he would be meeting with congressional Republicans on Tuesday to discuss a stimulus package, White House officials and analysts threw cold water on that idea, noting that there was no evidence such a plan had been floated.

Ivy League cancels postseason basketball tournaments

The Ivy League on Tuesday cancelled its men's and women's postseason basketball tournaments, citing fears of the new coronavirus.

Under ordinary circumstances, winners of the Ivy League competitions, dubbed "Ivy Madness," would go to the men's and women's NCAA Tournaments.

Instead, the regular season champions —  the Yale men and Princeton women — will be sent to their NCAA  competitions. Harvard has already said it's going to remote instruction and asked students not to return from spring break later this month.

Disinfecting Parliament

Workers disinfect the desks and chairs of the Lebanese Parliament in central Beirut on Tuesday. Lebanon has 41 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus — most of them linked to Iran.Anwar Amro / AFP - Getty Images

Ohio ordering polling stations in senior centers and nursing facilities be relocated

Ohio will move polling places from senior housing facilities to address fears of exposure to the coronavirus, Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Tuesday.

"Yesterday I ordered all 88 counties to relocate any polling locations from senior residential facilities to alternate locations. Obviously, that's a big step and requires a lot of work, and our county boards of elections are working to do that as we speak," Rose said in a press conference. At least 128 polling locations across the state will have to be relocated by Ohio's primary vote on March 17, a spokesperson told NBC News.

All registered voters in Ohio can vote early or request an absentee ballot, and LaRose also encouraged registered voters to use those options to avoid further exposure. The state is also working to provide hand sanitizer and wipes for polling locations, LaRose said. Voters have until Saturday at noon to request an absentee ballot.  

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that Ohio had three confirmed cases of coronavirus, and declared a state of emergency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that older people are at greater risk of developing a serious illness from viral infections.

Italians wake up to empty streets after country put into quarantine

A waitress looks on by a sign advising clients to keep distance on a cafe's window in downtown Milan on Tuesday.Miguel Medina / AFP - Getty Images

MILAN — Millions of Italians woke up to a virtual standstill on Tuesday after the government extended quarantine measures across the entire country in an attempt to curb Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

"We are normally serving offices, school students, tourists but without them around we're losing 70 percent of our income,” said Fabrizio Ticozzi, 60, who owns a bakery on one of the busiest streets in central Milan.

"We don’t know how long all this is going to last," added his wife, Carla.

Milan, Italy's usually humming fashion and financial capital, stood quiet. Those who did leave their homes to open their cafes and store fronts kept their distance, conscious of contracting the disease or running afoul of the government's quarantine rules.

Read the full story here.

Mayor of small French town defends Smurf gathering

While many parts of Europe are canceling large gatherings, the mayor of Landerneau, a small city on the western tip of France, recently allowed a group to host a gathering of 3,500 people dressed as Smurfs — a world record.

The mayor, Patrick Leclerc, told Agence France-Presse that he does not regret his decision. "We must not stop living... it was the chance to say that we are alive," he said.

Many major events in Europe have already been canceled. Italy has banned all large gatherings including sporting events.

People dressed as Smurfs attend a world record gathering of Smurfs on March 7, 2020, in Landerneau, western France.Damien Meyer / AFP - Getty Images
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How do I pick the right song for hand washing?

With people focusing on better hand-washing technique, the guidance is to sing "Happy Birthday" twice to ensure a good, thorough cleaning.

But that song gets old. So am enterprising developer created, which will put the words to your favorite song to proper hand-washing routine.

Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" works particularly well.

Capitol should close its doors to visitors: Congressman

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, had a one-word response when asked if it was time the Capitol be closed to visitors as a preventative measure against the coronavirus. 

"Yes," he said.