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Trump extends social distancing guidelines as governors warn of shortages

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A stamp seller shows off special postcards with anti-coronavirus images in Hanoi, Vietnam March 31, 2020.
A stamp seller shows off special postcards with anti-coronavirus images in Hanoi, Vietnam March 31, 2020.Kham / Reuters

President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he's extending his administration's guidelines on social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak until April 30. The move marks a significant change for the president, who said last week that he wanted to see much of the country return to normal by Easter, April 12, despite warnings from top health experts that easing guidelines could cause widespread death and economic damage.

Meanwhile, in an interview with "TODAY" on Monday morning, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said she's "very worried" about every city in the U.S., saying 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths would be the outcome of a response that works "almost perfectly," according to projections.

Birx's stark message comes after a weekend where the governors of Michigan and Louisiana warned of a lack of resources to respond to the crisis and said that shortages of ventilators and protective equipment could overwhelm hospitals as soon as this week.

The global death toll is now nearly 35,000, and there are more than 140,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Prisoners in New York City jails sound alarm as coronavirus spreads

Jorge Colombo / for NBC News

Inmates in New York City's jails say they feel a growing dread as the coronavirus spreads among both prisoners and guards. So far, 167 inmates and 114 Department of Correction staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“I fear for my life,” said Tyrell, 30, who is being held at Rikers Island on a parole violation. “I don’t want to catch coronavirus. I came here healthy and I don’t want to leave here with it.”

The COVID-19 outbreak at Rikers Island and other New York jails shows how quickly the disease may spread in lockups around the country, experts and advocates said. 

Read the full story here. 

Are masks 'going out the back door' of NYC hospitals, as Trump suggests?

President Trump has repeatedly questioned the rate at which a hospital in New York is using medical supplies, suggesting that theft was why the unnamed facility needs 300,000 masks a week.

“There’s only a couple of things that could happen — is it going out the back door? And I’ve reported it to the city and let the city take a look at it. But when you go to 10,000 masks to 300,000 masks... there’s something going on," Trump said.

But there's no evidence for this — and New York officials say they don't know what the president is talking about, either.

Read the full story here.

Coronavirus deniers take aim at hospitals as pandemic grows

A medical worker sticks her head outside a COVID-19 testing tent set up outside Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York on March 28, 2020.Kathy Willens / AP

On Saturday, a video taken outside The Brooklyn Hospital Center went viral, showing a quiet scene in an attempt to counter the idea that the coronavirus pandemic has strained some hospitals.

That video, taken by former Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, jump-started a conspiracy theory that resulted in a trending hashtag and millions of video views — all of which pushed the idea that the pandemic has been overblown by public health organizations and the media.

A day later, a different video of the same hospital went viral on Facebook and Twitter. It showed dead bodies being loaded onto an 18-wheeler outside of the same hospital. The video, which was retweeted by a member of the New York City Council, was later confirmed as legitimate by the hospital.

Read the fully story here.

Arizona latest state to issue stay-at-home order

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday ordered the nearly 7.3 million citizens in his state to stay at home, unless they're performing or seeking essential services. 

The action, aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and last until at least April 30.

Arizona has about 7.28 million residents, with about 17.5 percent of them age 65 or older, according to data from 2019. As of Monday evening, Arizona had 1,157 confirmed cases and 20 deaths due to coronavirus.

Renowned surgeon who separated twins joined at the skull dies of coronavirus

A prominent New York neurosurgeon who developed a procedure for separating twins conjoined at the skull died Monday from complications of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, officials said.

Dr. James Goodrich was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Montefiore Mecial Center, in the Bronx, and a professor of clinical neurosurgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

He gained fame in 2016 after leading a team of dozens of doctors in a 27-hour procedure that separated 13-month-old twins, Jadon and Anias McDonald, whose skulls and brains were fused.

“Jim was in many ways the heart and soul of our department — a master surgeon, a world-class educator, and a beloved colleague,” said Emad Eskandar, a professor of neurosurgery at Albert Einstein, in a statement. "His sudden loss is heart- breaking."

Coronavirus comes for Detroit: Why certain Michigan residents are at higher risk

Healthcare workers screen a person seeking a coronavirus test at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., on March 19, 2020.Paul Sancya / AP

Shomari Stone watched as, one by one, five of his family members tested positive for the coronavirus in Michigan.

"My grandmother tested positive. My uncle tested positive," Stone, who now lives in Maryland, said. Stone's father-in-law and two of his cousins have also been diagnosed. All live near Detroit.

Stone's story is not unique; there have been nearly 6,500 coronavirus cases in Michigan so far, particularly in the southeastern part of the state, where Detroit is located, including Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties.

Read the full story here. 

Washington, D.C., issues stay-at-home order

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a stay-at-home order Monday as the number of coronavirus cases in the city continues to rise. 

"Staying at home is the best way to flatten the curve and protect yourself, your family, and our entire community from COVID-19," Bowser said. "Many people want to know how they can help right now, and for most people this is how – by staying home." 

Boswer's order follows similar decisions issued in Maryland and Virginia earlier Monday. District residents will join a number of other Americans in staying home in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus and only leaving home for essential needs. 

Outbreaks at 11 nursing homes, ‘dozens and dozens’ responders sick in L.A. County

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer told reporters Monday that her agency is investigating COVID-19 outbreaks at 11 county nursing homes, and that “dozens and dozens” of local health-care workers have also tested positive.

She also said there have been 342 new cases of coronavirus and 7 additional deaths in the county since Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,474 with 44 deaths. 

That brings the total number of cases in the County as of March 30 to 2,474 positive cases with a total of 44 deaths. The county’s coronavirus mortality rate is currently 1.8 percent of those known to be infected.

Small study shows breakdown of underlying conditions in critically ill patients

A new analysis of some of the most critically ill patients in Seattle adds to the growing understanding of who is most at risk for severe complications of the coronavirus.

Out of 24 patients, more than half (58 percent) of the patients had type 2 diabetes, 21 percent had chronic kidney disease and 14 percent had asthma.

Nearly all of patients in the analysis had to be on a ventilator. Half later died, mostly those over age 65. Patients said their symptoms began anywhere between four and seven days before they were ultimately admitted to the ICU. The most common symptoms were cough and shortness of breath. Only half had fevers, suggesting high temperature may not be a good way to screen for the illness. 

The new report was published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ford and GE team up to produce 50,000 ventilators by July

Ford and GE Healthcare will work together to produce 50,000 ventilators by July, the companies announced in a joint statement Monday.

The ventilators will be produced by 500 paid volunteers represented by the United Auto Workers labor union, at Ford's Rawsonville plant in Michigan.

The machines will be produced from Florida-based Airborn Corp.’s design, and will address the needs of most COVID-19 patients. 

Ventilator production will begin the week of April 20 and eventually ramp up to an output of around 7,200 ventilators per week.

“Our deep understanding of the health care industry with Ford’s supply chain and production expertise will help meet the unprecedented demand for medical equipment. We continue to be encouraged by how quickly companies are coming together in innovative ways to address this collective challenge," said GE Healthcare President and CEO Kieran Murphy in a statement.

Photos: Inside Central Park's field hospital

Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse set up an emergency field hospital for coronavirus patients in Central Park across from Mt. Sinai Hospital on Monday in New York.Bryan R. Smith / AFP via Getty Images
Power and oxygen lines are set up inside the field hospital which will have 68 beds.Stephanie Keith / Getty Images