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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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Los Angeles County sheriff reverses decision on closing gun stores

Los Angeles County's sheriff said Monday night that he will no longer seek to have gun stores closed under government orders requiring "non-essential" businesses to be shuttered.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement that the change is due in part to federal guidelines about what are essential critical infrastructure workers. But the move also comes after the National Rifle Association and others sued.

The orders are designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19. Villanueva said his office will investigate reports of any business that is not observing social distancing rules.

Nevada officials criticized after opening parking lot shelter for homeless

Officials are facing criticism for using a Las Vegas parking lot as a temporary shelter after a facility was closed when a homeless man tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Officials from Las Vegas and Clark County opened the temporary shelter at an event site lot a few miles north of the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday after determining that 500 people using Catholic Charities' overnight facility would have nowhere to sleep, said David Riggleman, the city’s communications director.

When mats that could easily be disinfected weren’t available, hundreds of six-foot squares were painted onto the asphalt and surrounded by metal barricades — a grid meant to prevent more cases of the disease through social distancing measures, he said.

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Trump declares disaster in Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump on Monday declared a “major” disaster in Pennsylvania because of the coronavirus outbreak, the White House said.

The White House said Trump ordered federal assistance to the state, where 49 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. More than 4,000 cases in the state have been confirmed.

The funding can be used by local governments and non-profits for emergency protective measures, the White House said.

New York City turning tennis stadium into hospital

New York City will turn a Queens tennis stadium into a makeshift hospital to treat hundreds of non-COVID patients, officials said Monday.

In a statement, the city’s Emergency Management agency said it was planning to build the 350-bed facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The announcement came as the coronavirus death toll continued to climb in the city. Earlier Monday, officials said that 138 people had died in 24 hours.  

NCAA to give spring sport athletes extra year of eligibility

The NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.

The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to give spring-sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but it did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year.

Winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, were not included in the decision because many athletes in those sports had completed all or most of their regular seasons, the council decided.

Trump approves disaster declaration for Rhode Island

President Donald Trump on Monday approved a disaster declaration for Rhode Island amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

More than 400 people in the state have been infected and at least four people have died, according to the state's department of health

The president previously declared disasters in a number of other states, including New York, California, Washington, Louisiana and Florida. 

FDA authorizes use of antimalarial drugs for coronavirus treatment

According to the FDA, anecdotal reports suggest that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may offer some benefit for patients in serious condition. 

More than 138 more deaths in New York City in 24 hours

Medical workers outside at Elmhurst Hospital Center in the Queens borough of New York on March 26, 2020.Angela Weiss / AFP - Getty Images

Since Sunday evening, 138 more people have died in New York City as a result of coronavirus, for a total of 914 deaths as a result of the outbreak in the city, according to the NYC Department of Health.

There are now 38,807 New Yorkers who have tested positive for the virus. To date, 20 percent of all cases have resulted in some type of hospitalization, a total of 7,741. Half have been of people age 75 or older.