With roughly a third of the world under some form of lockdown, the White House and Senate leaders reached agreement on a landmark $2 trillion stimulus package to combat the economic impact of coronavirus.
The White House coronavirus coordinator asked people who have recently been in New York, where the death toll continues to climb, to quarantine themselves for 14 days, because they may have been exposed before leaving.
President Donald Trump is pushing for the country to get back to business by April 12, Easter Sunday, when he said he would like to see churches full of people. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, has warned that the U.S. could become the pandemic's new epicenter.
And as the number of cases in the U.K. reached 8,000 on Wednesday, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus.
- 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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CORRECTION (March 25, 2020, 12:45 p.m. ET): An earlier version of the headline on this article misstated the status of the federal stimulus plan. The White House and Senate leaders have reached a deal, but the Senate has not yet passed the stimulus plan.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 26 Coronavirus news.
U.S. hospitals brace for unprecedented shortage of nurses
As hospitals around the United States prepare for a surge of tens of thousands of coronavirus patients, they are trying to fill thousands of "crisis" nursing jobs, particularly intensive care unit and emergency room positions.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak, several U.S. states were experiencing nursing shortages, and without a dramatic increase in staffing, hospital administrators and advocates fear the health care system will not be able to handle the demand.
“The American Nurses Association is concerned about the pending shortage of nurses to care for COVID-19 patients," said Ernest Grant, the group's present, in a statement to NBC News. "It is critical that healthcare facilities and the federal government do all they can to protect this essential workforce.”
Jackson Browne says he tested positive
Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne says he has tested positive for coronavirus.
The 71-year-old singer, whose hits include "The Pretender" and "Doctor My Eyes," told Rolling Stone that he got tested after he began feeling ill recently. He said he believes he might have gotten infected during a recent trip to New York for the annual Love Rocks NYC benefit, which was held March 12.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said his symptoms are mild, and he is self-quarantining at home. He urged younger people to take part in the global response to stop the spread of the virus. "That means not going anywhere, not getting into contact with anybody, not seeing anybody.”
British parliament set to close for at least four weeks on Wednesday
Britain’s parliament is set to close and suspend sitting for at least four weeks starting Wednesday as part of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Parliament was due to close for a three-week Easter break on March 31, but a motion on Wednesday has proposed that the closure begins a week earlier as fears grow that politicians and staff are being put at risk by continuing to work.
The iconic Palace of Westminster, sitting along the River Thames in central London, had already closed to visitors and reduced the number of lawmakers present with those inside spacing out along benches in accordance with social distancing rules.
Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus
Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus, his royal household said Wednesday.
The Prince of Wales, 71, who is first in line to the British throne, is experiencing mild symptoms "but otherwise remains in good health," Clarence House said in a statement.
“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks," the statement added.
Charles, the eldest son of 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, is now self-isolating and working from home at the Balmoral Estate in Scotland. His wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, tested negative for the virus.
Iran records more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases
Iran’s health ministry reported 2,026 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to more than 27,000.
The total number of deaths has also gone up by 143 in the last 24 hours to 2,077, the ministry added.
Richard Engel daily report: A third of the world is now under lockdown
The Great Wall of China partially reopens: state media
The Great Wall of China partially reopened Tuesday after being closed for nearly two months due to the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported.
China's television network CCTV said the famous Badaling section will be open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time, with a daily cap on visitors. Other sections of the wall remain closed, and security guards will remind visitors to distance from each other.
Visitors will also have their temperatures taken upon entry, CCTV said.
Meanwhile, mainland China registered 47 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, all imported— down from 78 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.
U.S. could be next 'virus epicenter': WHO
The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with cases there growing quickly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.
The U.S. has so far recorded 54,810 coronavirus cases, including 781 deaths.
Britain seeking 250,000 volunteers to help coronavirus response
Britain is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus and seeking 250,000 volunteers to help out in its response to the epidemic as the number of deaths reached 422 Tuesday.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said the National Health Service is looking for people in good health to help with shopping and medicine delivery for approximately 1.5 million who are “shielding” and are recommended to stay at home for 12 weeks due to serious underlying health conditions.
The volunteers will also be asked to help drive patients to and from hospital appointments, and to call people isolating at home to check up on them.
The U.K. went into full lockdown for at least three weeks Monday, announcing tougher restrictions.
9,000 Americans returned home amid coronavirus pandemic
More than 9,000 Americans from 28 countries have returned to the United States as more countries impose travel bans and close their borders amid the growing coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday.
The U.S. is "rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic," working to bring home citizens from every corner of the globe, a department spokesperson said in a statement, adding that thousands more Americans will be brought home in the coming days.
The department has never undertaken an evacuation operation of such geographic breadth, scale, and complexity, the statement said.
Evacuations have included more than 800 people from Wuhan in China, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, earlier this year and about 1,000 Americans from Morocco earlier this month.
Coronavirus cases climb in South Africa
The number of coronavirus cases in South Africa has jumped to 709 from 554, the country's health minister Zweli Mkhize told a local news channel on Wednesday.
South Africa now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa, and public health experts are worried that the virus could overwhelm the healthcare system.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a 21-day lockdown that will begin Thursday.
Ramaphosa also introduced some of the toughest measures on the continent, including deploying the army in the streets, closing mining operations and confining recently arrived tourists.