Total Cost of Her COVID-19 Treatment: $34,927.43


When Danni Askini started feeling chest pain, shortness of breath and a migraine all at once on a Saturday in late February, she called the oncologist who had been treating her lymphoma. Her doctor thought she might be reacting poorly to a new medication, so she sent Askini to a Boston-area emergency room. There, doctors told her it was likely pneumonia and sent her home.

Over the next several days, Askini saw her temperature spike and drop dangerously, and she developed a cough that gurgled because of all the liquid in her lungs. After two more trips to the ER that week, Askini was given a final test on the seventh day of her illness, and once doctors helped manage her flu and pneumonia symptoms, they again sent her home to recover. She waited another three days for a lab to process her test, and at last she had a diagnosis: COVID-19.

A few days later, Askini got the bills for her testing and treatment: $34,927.43. “I was pretty sticker-shocked,” she says. “I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”

Experts Weigh in on the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Global Economy

TIME spoke with four experts, across various disciplines, about how the COVID-19 pandemic could uproot the flow of business, money and labor around the world.

Like 27 million other Americans, Askini was uninsured when she first entered the hospital. She and her husband had been planning to move to Washington, D.C. this month so she could take a new job, but she hadn’t started yet. Now that those plans are on hold, Askini applied for Medicaid and is hoping the program will retroactively cover her bills. If not, she’ll be on the hook.

She’ll be in good company. Public health experts predict that tens of thousands and possibly millions of people across the United States will likely need to be hospitalized for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future. And Congress has yet to address the problem. On March 18, it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t do anything to address the cost of treatment.

While most people infected with COVID-19 will not need to be hospitalized and can recover at home, according to the World Health Organization, those who do need to go to the ICU can likely expect big bills, regardless of what insurance they have. As the U.S. government works on another stimulus package, future relief is likely to help ease some economic problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but gaps remain.

Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Test Begins as U.S. Volunteer Receives First Shot

U.S. researchers gave the first shot to the first person in a test of an experimental coronavirus vaccine Monday — leading off a worldwide hunt for protection even as the pandemic surges.

Here is everything you need to know about what getting treated for COVID-19 could cost you.

How much does it cost to be hospitalized for COVID-19?

Because of our fragmented health care system, it depends on what kind of insurance you have, what your plan’s benefits are, and how much of your deductible you’ve already paid down.

A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance—and without complications—would be about $9,763. Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills about double that: $20,292. (The researchers came up with those numbers by examining average costs of hospital admissions for people with pneumonia.)

How much of that do I have to pay?

Most private health insurance plans are likely to cover most services needed to treat coronavirus complications, but that doesn’t include your deductible—the cost you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. More than 80% of people with employer health insurance have deductibles, and last year, the average annual deductible for a single person in that category was $1,655. For individual plans, the costs are often higher. The average deductible for an individual bronze plan in 2019 was $5,861, according to Health Pocket.

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In both complicated and uncomplicated cases, patients with employer-based insurance can expect out-of-pocket costs of more than $1,300, the Kaiser researchers found. The costs were similar regardless of complications because many people who are hospitalized reach their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.

Many health insurance plans also require co-pays or co-insurance, too. Those costs are often 15-20% for an in-network doctor, meaning you would pay that portion of the cost, and can be much more for out-of-network doctors.

Medicare and Medicaid will also likely cover the services needed for coronavirus treatment, but the details on deductibles (for Medicare) and potential co-pays will again depend on your plan, and which state you’re in for Medicaid.

What if I’m uninsured?

It’s not pretty. Some hospitals offer charity care programs and some states are making moves to help residents pay for COVID-19 costs beyond testing. Several states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island and Washington, have created “special enrollment periods” to allow more people to sign up for insurance mid-year.

Other states are requiring coverage of future vaccines or changing rules about prescription medication refills to help people stock up on essential medicines. So far, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oregon have required insurers to waive costs for a COVID-19 vaccine once one is ready, and the states that have loosened rules to help people fill prescriptions include Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Washington.

The Commonwealth Fund, a healthcare think tank, has a coronavirus tracker that’s keeping a list of the moves each state has made so far.

There’s no way I could afford to pay out-of-pocket for care. What can I do?

The U.S. health care system doesn’t have a good answer for you, and it’s a problem. But there are a few things to keep in mind that could help minimize costs.

If you think you may have the virus, the first step is to call your doctor or emergency department before showing up, the CDC says. This will let them prepare the office and give you instructions ahead of time, but it could also save you money. Getting treated in a hospital will generally start off more expensive than a visit to a doctor’s office. Another cost comes from the “facilities fee,” which many hospitals charge anytime a patient comes through their doors. For Danni Askini’s first trip to the hospital in Boston on Feb. 29, for example, she was charged $1,804 for her emergency room visit and another $3,841.07 for “hospital services.”

Other costs to watch out for include lab tests, which can be “out-of-network” even if the doctor treating you is in your insurance network. It’s always best to ask for information in writing so that you can appeal the bills if necessary, says Caitlin Donovan of the National Patient Advocate Foundation. And appealing is worth it. Often, providers and insurers have reversed or lowered bills when patients go public or are covered by the media.

These problems aren’t coming out of the blue. Even when we’re not weathering a global pandemic, Americans face uniquely high health care costs, compared to the rest of the world, and millions of us already put off medical care because of concerns about how much it’ll cost. But with COVID-19 sweeping across the country, an old problem becomes increasingly urgent: many Americans could still face massive treatment bills, or seek to prevent those by avoiding testing and treatment—worsening the outbreak further.

“If you’re sick, you need fewer barriers,” Donovan says. “But also, it doesn’t help society to have people still crawling around going to their job and getting other people sick.”

By Abigail Abrams March 19, 2020

Source: Total Cost of Her COVID-19 Treatment: $34,927.43

I shot this video to share my experiences living with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). I discuss the symptoms I’ve experienced, the treatments that have helped with recovery and the process I’ve been enduring to keep my family safe. Thank you for all of your kind words and support during this event. Positive energy, and prayers will get us all through this and let’s hope for the best outcome in the near future. For more information, including my COVID-19 survival guide, read:…  Audioholics Recommendations Amazon Shop: Audioholics Recommended Cables: 250ft CL2 12AWG Speaker Cable: Locking Banana Plugs: 9ft 4K HDR HDMI Cables: Audioholics Recommended Electronics: Denon AVR-X4600H 9.2CH AV Receiver: Yamaha RX-A3080 9.2CH AV Receiver: Denon AVR-X6400H 11.2CH AV Receiver: Audioholics Recommended Speakers: SVS Prime 5.1 Speaker / Sub System: Klipsch RP-8000F Tower Speakers: Pioneer SP-FS52 Speakers: Sony SSCS5 Speakers: SVS SB-3000 13″ Subwoofer: Follow us on: Patreon: FACEBOOK GOOGLE PLUS TWITTER #coronavirus #covid-19


China Announces Expulsion of U.S. Journalists

The Chinese government moved Tuesday to strip credentials from American reporters working for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, in a tit-for-tat exchange with the U.S. that has escalated in recent weeks. Beijing also demanded those outlets, as well as TIME and Voice of America, hand over details about personnel and operations.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed Americans working for the three U.S. newspapers whose credentials expire at the end of the year to turn in their press passes within 10 days. Those reporters would then be barred from reporting inside China, as well as in China’s semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau. The ministry also demanded information “in written form” about staff, operations, finances and real estate of the five American news organizations, including TIME, in China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The Chinese government said that the move to send reporters out of the country was taken in response to the U.S. not allowing more Chinese nationals working for state-run media to work in the U.S. On March 2, the Trump administration put a cap on the number of Chinese nationals allowed to be employed by five Chinese state-run news outlets operating inside the U.S. That action by the U.S. followed China’s decision to expel three reporters from the Wall Street Journal following the publication of an opinion article critical of the Chinese government. China’s “measures are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the U.S.,” the ministry wrote in a statement.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called China’s announcement “unfortunate,” adding in remarks to the press Tuesday that he hopes “they will reconsider.” Pompeo defended the State Department’s actions to limit the staff of Chinese state-run media in the U.S. “The individuals that we identified a few weeks back were not media,” Pompeo said, “but were part of Chinese propaganda outlets.”

If the Chinese Communist Party follows through with the actions, it would mark the most sweeping press expulsions from China since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. The moves were seen by free press advocates and news organizations as a way to intimidate reporters and chill news gathering operations inside China, which is still managing the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic that began there late last year.

By Brian Bennett March 17, 2020

Source: China Announces Expulsion of U.S. Journalists

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China has announced it will expel dozens of US journalists working for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others in what’s being described as the latest “tit for tat” response between the two super powers. For more from ABC News, click here: You can watch more ABC News content on iview: Subscribe to us on YouTube: Go deeper on our ABC News In-depth channel: You can also like us on Facebook: Or follow us on Instagram: Or even on Twitter:

The Market’s in Panic Mode.. Stock Markets Plunge 12% Amid Coronavirus Fears

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JAMES GOURLEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10584160h)
A view of digital market boards at the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in Sydney, Australia, 16 March 2020. The ASX dropped more than 7 percent at the opening of trade as concerns over the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic grow. Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) drops at opening on coronavirus concerns, Sydney, Australia – 16 Mar 2020

(Bloomberg) — The stomach-turning ride on global financial markets took a dramatic turn Monday, with U.S. stocks plunging the most since 1987 after President Donald Trump warned the economic disruption from the virus could last into summer.

The S&P 500 sank 12%, extending losses as Trump said the economy could fall into a recessoin. Equities opened sharply lower after central bank stimulus around the world failed to mollify investors worried about the damage the coronavirus is inflicting on economies.

The negative superlatives for American stocks are piling up. The S&P wiped out its gain in 2019 and is now down almost 30% from its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost 13%, falling 3,000 points to close at at two-year low. The Russell 2000 had its worst day on record, losing more than 14%.

“This is different. The thing that is scarier about it is you’ve never been in a scenario where you shut down the entire economy,” said Steve Chiavarone, a portfolio manager with Federated Investors. “You get a sense in your stomach that we don’t know how to price this and that markets could fall more.”

While the Fed cut rates toward zero and stepped up bond buying, investors continued to clamor for a massive spending package to offset the pain from closures of schools, restaurants, cinemas and sporting events. Companies around the world have scaled back activity to accommodate government demands to limit social interaction.

Here are some of Monday’s key moves across major assets:

  • All 11 groups in the S&P 500 fell, with eight of them down at least 10%.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s tumble from its record reached 30%.
  • Brent crude dipped below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2016.
  • Treasury yields retreated across the curve with moves most pronounced on the short end.
  • Shares tumbled in Asia and Europe, where the continent is now reporting more new virus cases each day than China did at its peak as more countries lock down.
  • The yen surged, the Swiss franc rallied and the dollar fluctuated.
  • Gold failed again to capitalize on the rush to havens and reversed an earlier gain to tumble.
  • Bonds declined across most of Europe, where a measure of market stress hit levels not seen since the 2011-2012 euro crisis.

The Fed and other central banks have dramatically stepped up efforts to stabilize capital markets and liquidity, yet the moves have so far failed to boost sentiment or improve the rapidly deteriorating global economic outlook. An International Monetary Fund pledge to mobilize its $1 trillion lending capacity also had little impact in markets.

The problem is, bad news keeps stacking up. The New York Fed’s regional gauge of factory activity plunged. Ryanair Holdings Plc said Monday it will ground most of its European aircraft while a consultant said the pandemic will bankrupt most airlines worldwide before June unless governments and the industry step in. Nike Inc. and Apple Inc. announced mass store closings.

“In normal circumstances, a large policy response like this would put a floor under risk assets and support a recovery,” Jason Daw, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in Singapore, wrote in a note. “However, the size of the growth shock is becoming exponential and markets are rightfully questioning what else monetary policy can do and discounting its effectiveness in mitigating coronavirus-induced downside risks.”

The yen rebounded from Friday’s plunge after the Fed and five counterparts said they would deploy foreign-exchange swap lines. Australian equities fell almost 10%, the most since 1992, even after the Reserve Bank of Australia said it stood ready to buy bonds for the first time — an announcement that sent yields tumbling. New Zealand’s currency slumped after an emergency rate cut by the country’s central bank.

Meanwhile, China reported Monday that output and retail sales tumbled in the past two months.

These are the main moves in markets:


  • The S&P 500 fell 11.98% as of 4 p.m. in New York.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 12.93%
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 4.9%, paring a drop that reached 10%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 6.3%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 3.7%.


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%.
  • The euro gained 0.5% to $1.1162.
  • The Japanese yen strengthened 1.8% to 105.94 per dollar.


  • The yield on two-year Treasuries sank 14 basis points to 0.35%.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined 22 basis points to 0.73%.
  • The yield on 30-year Treasuries declined 22 basis points to 1.31%.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield climbed seven basis points to -0.47%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 9.2% to $29.05 a barrel.
  • Gold weakened 4.3% to $1,463.30 an ounce.
  • Iron ore sank 2.5% to $86.10 per metric ton.

—With assistance from Claire Ballentine, Elena Popina and Elizabeth Stanton.

By Jeremy Herron and Vildana Hajric / Bloomberg

Source: ‘The Market’s in Panic Mode.’ Stock Markets Plunge 12% Amid Coronavirus Fears

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The spread of information is fast, so whatever happens makes the stock market crash fast. People are selling in panic as the market might go down more. The fact is nobody knows what will happen. The only thing that works always is being prepared for anything, invest for the long-term and keep rational. Want to know more about my research and portfolios? Here is my independent stock market analysis and research! STOCK MARKET RESEARCH PLATFORM (analysis, stocks to buy, model portfolio) https://sven-carlin-research-platform… Sign up for the FREE Stock Market Investing Course – a comprehensive guide to investing discussing all that matters: https://sven-carlin-research-platform… I am also a book author: Modern Value Investing book: Check my website to hear more about me, read my analyses and about OUR charity. (YouTube ad money is donated) Listen to Modern Value Investing Podcast: I am also learning a lot by interning with my mentors: dr. Per Jenster and Peter Barklin at the Niche Masters fund. #stockmarketcrash #market #stocks

Coronavirus Lockdown May Save More Lives By Preventing Pollution Than By Preventing Infection

The global lockdown inspired by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has shuttered factories and reduced travel, slashing lethal pollution including the greenhouse gases that are heating the climate.

The lockdown may save more lives from pollution reduction than are threatened by the virus itself, said François Gemenne, director of The Hugo Observatory, which studies the interactions between environmental changes, human migration, and politics.

“Strangely enough, I think the death toll of the coronavirus at the end of the day might be positive, if you consider the deaths from atmospheric pollution,” said Gemenne, citing, for example, the 48,000 people who die annually in France because of atmospheric pollution and the more than one million in China.

Today In: Green Tech

Scientists estimate the U.S. death toll from air pollution at more than 100,000 per year, and the World Health Organization estimates the global toll at 7 million.

The global death toll of an uncontained pandemic remains largely a matter of conjecture. The most dramatic projections that have been released—too hastily to be peer reviewed—put the global death toll of an unchecked pandemic in the millions—total, not annual. Most credible estimates are much less. Some experts have compared it to the 1957 flu outbreak that killed just over 1 million. The toll from a contained outbreak would of course be much smaller.

Reductions in air pollution and global heating could save more lives.

“More than likely the number of lives that would be spared because of these confinement measures would be higher than the number of lives that would be lost because of the pandemic,” Gemenne said in an appearance on France 24’s The Debate.

The discrepancy in how we react to these divergent threats should give us pause, Gemenne said, to consider why it is that we respond so strongly to one with less lethality and so weakly to one with more.

“These are quite fascinating times. What surprises me most is that the measures that we are ready to take to face this coronavirus are much more severe than the measures we would be ready to take to face climate change or atmospheric pollution,” Gemenne said.

“I think this is something that should question us: why are we so much more afraid of the coronavirus than we are of climate change or atmospheric pollution or other kinds of threats. What is so special about the coronavirus that we are ready to put the whole world on lockdown because of that?”

Watch Gemenne on France 24’s The Debate:


Correction: This story originally reported that the annual death toll from air pollution in France is 84,000. The correct figure is 48,000.

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I’ve covered the energy and environment beat since 1985, when I discovered my college was discarding radioactive waste in a dumpster. That story ran in the Arizona Republic, and I have chased electrons and pollutants ever since, for dailies in Arizona and California, for alternative weeklies including New Times and Newcity, for online innovators such as The Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth project, The New York Times Company’s LifeWire syndicate, and True/Slant—the prototype for the new Forbes. I’ve wandered far afield—to cover the counterrevolutionary war in Nicaragua, the World Series Earthquake in San Francisco, the UN Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen and Paris. I also teach journalism, argument and scientific writing at the University of Chicago. Email me here:

Source: Coronavirus Lockdown May Save More Lives By Preventing Pollution Than By Preventing Infection

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Subscribe to our YouTube channel for free here: China may have seen its first decline in carbon emissions in three years amid lockdowns of major cities that have closed factories and transport systems around the country to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The US space agency Nasa recently released satellite images that show a drastic reduction in air pollution levels. On February 21, 2020, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland, said that China’s carbon emissions dropped by about 100 million metric tonnes over just two weeks. But researchers caution that the environmental impact of the Covid-19 epidemic may only be temporary, as they predicted emissions will rebound as China resumes industrial activities. Follow us on: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Linkedin:

Mapping the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak Around the U.S. and the World

ince the first case of COVID-19 was identified in central China in December, the illness has spread across the world, leading to an outbreak that the World Health Organization has called a pandemic. The maps and charts below show the extent of the spread, and will be updated daily with data gathered from over a dozen sources by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Where COVID-19 has spread in the U.S.

Testing for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was slow to roll out in the U.S., but as more and more Americans get tested, it’s becoming clear that the illness is already spreading in the U.S. It has now been confirmed in some three dozen states, with the largest clusters in Washington state, California and New York.

Where COVID-19 has spread around the world

Over 110 countries and territories, representing every corner of the globe, have now reported at least one case of the novel coronavirus. In total, there are now over 125,000 cases and over 4,600 related deaths.

Which countries have the most COVID-19 cases?

China remains the country with the most coronavirus cases and related deaths, by a significant margin. However, in recent weeks, China has seen fewer and fewer new cases per day, while the count in places like Italy, Iran, Germany, France and the U.S. have risen.

Keep up to date with our daily coronavirus newsletter by clicking here.

Here’s what you need to know about coronavirus:

By Elijah Wolfson

Source: Mapping the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak Around the U.S. and the World

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The video shows the timelapse of the coronavirus by map worldwide since January 20, 2020. It first started in Wuhan, Hubei, China, then spread to more than 80 countries by March 5, 2020. Twitter: Facebook: Source: World Health Organization & CDC Special Thanks to Our Patron: C&MHansen Subscribe here:…

Master List Of Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies (Includes All American And European Airlines)

“What should I do about my trip?” It’s a question we are hearing often and frankly, the answers aren’t crystal clear. The best you can do is be sure you’re making decisions based on the best available information. Here’s how the airlines are handling issues regarding COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus. As policies change daily, we’ll be sure to update this regularly with the most current directives.

This list will be updated as soon as possible after we find out about a policy change. Last updated March 12, 1:04 p.m.

If your flight is cancelled by the airline, according to the US Department of Transportation you will be eligible for a cash refund, full stop. The European Union has a similar rule, commonly known as Rule 261, that provides for refunds for any flights that arrive into, travel through, or depart Europe.

This list is long and we are continually adding to it. The fastest way to find your airline is to press Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac) on your keyboard to bring up a search menu. Type in the name of the airline you are looking for.

For more cancellation information about Sporting events, concerts, and other public gatherings check out our master list of event cancellations.

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance for 2020

U.S. Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is allowing no-fee changes and cancellations to the following:

  • Tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020
  • New tickets purchased between February 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020

Non-refundable first class, main cabin and award tickets may be changed for no fee, with new travel completed by February 28, 2021, or cancelled with travel funds placed into your Alaska Account or a credit card certificate via email. Fare difference applies. Saver fare tickets can only be cancelled with funds deposited into your Alaska Airlines account.

Alaska Airlines’ Full Policy

American Airlines

American Airlines is allowing customers who bought tickets before March 1, 2020 and scheduled to travel until April 30 to rebook without a change fee. Tickets need to be changed and travel must start before December 31, 2020. You’ll have to pay for any fare difference. Tickets booked between March 1 and 31, 2020 for any date can also be changed fee-free.

American is also allowing changes and refunds for tickets to:

  • Italy or South Korea purchased on or before February 24, 2020
  • Hong Kong purchased on or before January 28, 2020
  • China bought on or before January 24, 2020

American Airlines’s Full Policy

Delta Air Lines

Delta led the major US Airlines with flexible cancellation policies for customers affected by travel limitations due to coronavirus. All tickets purchased on or before March 9, 2020 for travel until April 30, 2020 can be changed without a service fee. Tickets must be re-issued and travel must begin by Dec 31, 2020.

Tickets purchased between March 1 and 31 for travel until February 25, 2021 are also eligible for fee-free changes. Travelers booked to COVID-19 affected destinations, including those in Italy, China and South Korea, before May 31st, 2020 can also be re-booked with waived change fees.

If you prefer, you can cancel your flight booked on or before March 9, 2020 and your funds will be available for one year from your original ticket’s issue date. Note that this does not mean that your money will be refunded, or even that you will be able to purchase a new ticket entirely with the funds from your ticket. Fare differences will apply, so if your new flight is more expensive you are on the hook for the difference.

Delta’s Full Policy

Frontier Airlines

Frontier makes the process more onerous than other airlines but has instituted some policies to make tickets more flexible in this challenging environment. To be frank, Frontier has the least customer-friendly policies of any US Airline.

Tickets may only be modified by phone and only may be modified or refunded for flight credit one time. Fare differences will apply. Frontier’s flight credits are only valid for 90 days from the cancellation date. For changed flights, travel must be completed by November 9, 2020.

  • Flights booked before March 10, 2020 for travel before April 30, 2020 may be changed.
  • Flights booked March 10-31, 2020 for travel through November 9 may be changed. Frontier has an existing policy that tickets changed more than 60 days before departure.

Frontier’s Full Policy

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is offering a flexible ticketing policy. Guests who book any flights between March 1 and March 31, 2020, can change travel to future dates without incurring fees. The waiver allows a one-time change per ticket and fare difference applies.

Travelers with bookings made prior to March 9, 2020, with travel between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 can make flight changes with new travel commencing no later than December 31, 2020. This waiver allows a one-time change per ticket and fare difference applies.

Hawaiian Airlines has additional waivers for flights to Japan, South Korea and China.

  • Japan: Flights booked for new travel on or before April 23, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after April 23, 2020 will have no change fee but will be charged fare difference. Tickets must have been issued by March 6, 2020 and must be rebooked by April 12, 2020 to qualify.
  • South Korea: Flights rebooked for new travel on or before October 31, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after October 31, 2020 will have no change fee but will be charged fare difference. Tickets for scheduled travel between February 24, 2020 to May 1, 2020. New travel must be booked by October 31, 2020.
  • China: Flights rebooked for new travel on or before May 31, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after May 31, 2020 will have no change fees but will be charged fare difference. Tickets must have been issued prior to January 27, 2020 with affected flights scheduled between January 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020. New travel must be rebooked by March 31, 2020.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Full Policy


JetBlue is waiving cancellation and change fees for all flights based on the purchase date.

  • Travel dates of March 10 to April 30, 2020, regardless of the ticket purchase date.
  • Tickets for travel before June 1, 2020 may be exchanged if they were purchased after February 27, 2020.
  • For new bookings between March 6 and 31, 2020 for flights before September 8, 2020, change and cancellation fees are also waived.

New flights must be completed by October 24, 2020. Refunds are issued as JetBlue credit, valid for one year from the issue date. This is the longest window of any US airline, as most others’ credits are valid for one year from ticket purchase date.

JetBlue’s Full Policy

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines doesn’t have to make special accommodations for COVID-19 because it already offers the most generous change and cancellation policies in the airline industry.  As long as you change your ticket ten minutes before flight time, you can get your flight re-booked or refunded into travel credit without penalty. You’ll just have to pay any fare difference that applies when you re-book your flight.  Note that travel funds are good for one year and must be used by the person whose name is listed on the ticket.

Southwest’s Full Policy

Spirit Airlines

Unlike the other airlines, Spirit has not instituted a date-specific change policy. Instead, they are extending an offer of a one-time fee-free change or cancellation.  Fare difference will apply. If you choose to cancel, you will receive flight credit that is valid for six months. Note that this means you have six months to book your flight, so effectively you will have 9-12 months to use it based on how far in advance Spirit has posted its schedule.

Spirit is not allowing fee-free changes online, but you can use their customer service via text option, which in my experience is quite responsive.

Spirit’s Full Policy

United Airlines

Tickets purchased from March 3 to 31, 2020 can be changed or canceled without fees for dates through the end of schedule. All tickets purchased prior to March 3, 2020 can be re-booked until December 31, 2020, or a year from the original ticket issue date.

Tickets booked to China and Hong Kong with a travel date before June 30, 2020 are eligible for fee-free rebooking or a cash refund, even on non-refundable fares. Tickets to Italy and South Korea before June 30 are eligible for re-booking without fees, but not for cash refunds.

A fare difference will apply for more expensive tickets. If the new ticket is cheaper than the one you purchased, the difference will not be refunded. In that case you are better off cancelling the ticket and rebooking at the cheaper price. . Canceled tickets retain their original value for travel on United 12 months for following their original issue date.  You could then use the remainder towards a new ticket.

United’s Full Policy

Other American Airlines

Air Canada

Like many other North American carriers, Air Canada is offering a free one-time change for any new tickets booked between March 4, 2020 and March 31, 2020. All travel must be completed by December 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.

Air Canada is also providing flexibility for existing bookings purchased before March 4, 2020 with travel on or before April 30, 2020. A free one-time change will apply. All travel must be completed by December 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.

Air Canada’s Full Policy

Aerolineas Argentinas

  • Passengers flying to and from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Israel and the U.S. until May 31, 2020, may change their flights one time to travel until November 30, 2020. Fare difference will apply.
  • Passengers who purchase tickets to/from Europe and the United States from March 10 to March 31, 2020 can change their flight once without penalty. Fare difference will apply.

Aerolineas Argentinas’ Full Policy


AeroMexico is offering flexibility for all ticket purchases between March 9 and 31, 2020. These tickets can have departure date changes and route changes without paying a change fee. Fare difference applies. Tickets can be reissued until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin on or before May 31, 2020.

AeroMexico is offering additional flexibility specific tickets:

  • To/from Italy: Tickets purchased prior to March 6, 2020 with travel dates between February 28 and May 31, 2020 can change travel dates but not origin or destination without paying a change fee or fare difference. Ticketing changes are allowed until August 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before August 31, 2020.
  • To/from Europe: Tickets purchased prior to March 9, 2020 with travel dates between March 1 and April 30, 2020 can change travel dates but not origin or destination without paying a change fee. Ticketing changes are allowed until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before October 30, 2020. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Mexico: Tickets purchased prior to March 1 with travel dates between March 1 and 31, 2020 can have a fee-free date change. Tickets must be reissued by May 31, 2020 and travel must begin before the same date. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Mexico: Tickets purchased after March 1, 2020 with travel dates between March 1, 2020 and February 25, 2021 can have a fee-free date change. Tickets can be reissued until February 28, 2021 and the rescheduled trip must begin before February 28, 2021. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Asia/Europe: Tickets for travel between Mexico and Asia/Europe between March 6 and March 31 can have a no-fee departure date change. Routing must stay the same and fare difference applies. Ticket reissuing is allowed until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before May 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Seoul: Tickets purchased prior to March 6, 2020 are eligible for no change fee or fare difference as long as the route remains the same. Effective travel dates are February 24 to May 31, 2020. Tickets can be reissued until August 31, 2020 and travel must begin before August 31, 2020.
  • To/from China: Tickets purchased between January 28 and May 31, 2020 are eligible for no change fee or fare difference as long as the route remains the same. Effective travel dates are January 28 to May 31, 2020. Tickets can be reissued until August 31, 2020 and travel must begin before August 31, 2020.

AeroMexico’s Full Policy


Avianca is offering the option to change itineraries purchased between March 4 and 31, 2020 with cash or miles without penalty on routes to and from the United States, Canada and Europe or between March 11 and 31, 2020 on routes to and from other international routes operated by Avianca. The new trip must be completed by December 31, 2020 and can only be changed once without a fee. At least 15 days of notice to the original flight date must be given. Fare difference will apply.

For flights booked prior to March 10 for international travel scheduled from March 10 to 31, Aviana is offering the option to rebook for travel for one year from issue date. Fare difference will apply.

Avianca’s Full Policy


Copa is currently only offering flexibility for tickets purchased until March 4, 2020. If you’re a passenger with connections on other airlines to or from China, South Korea, Italy or Iran, with travel between February 3 and June 15, 2020, you can change your flight dates, use your ticket toward a future trip, or receive a refund of your ticket if permitted by the fare terms. Fare difference applies. Changes must be completed by June 15, 2020 and the new itinerary must start before December 31, 2020.

Copa is also allowing the same flexibility for passengers traveling to countries with travel restrictions, providing tickets were purchased prior to March 4.

Flights to the U.S. are allowed similar changes, providing tickets were purchased prior to March 4 with original travel dates between February 3 and June 15. Changes can be made until June 15, 2020 and the new trip must be initiated on or before December 31, 2020. The type of changes permitted vary slightly depending on if you are a U.S. resident.

  • For U.S. residents: Flight date and destination changes are permitted, in addition to using the value of your ticket for a future trip and refunds, if permitted by the fare terms.
  • For non-U.S. residents: Date changes, applying the value of your ticket to a future trip, and refunds are possible if permitted by the fare terms. The credit received for your future trip is value for one year from the original purchase date.

Copa’s Full Policy


LATAM has a variety of policies depending on when your ticket was purchased and where you are traveling.

All international tickets issued between March 6 and 22 allow changes without penalty providing your journey has not started yet, the ticket is reissued at least 14 days before the start of travel and the new trip commences no later than December 31, 2020. All fare differences will be charged.

Passengers with tickets issued until March 5, 2020  and original flight dates between March 6 and April 30, 2020 to the following destinations are eligible to fly today until December 31, 2020 without paying a change fee. Tickets are still subject to fare difference.

  • To/from Italy
  • Chile from Spain (round trip)
  • To Colombia from/via Spain, Italy, France or China (round trip)
  • To Peru from Spain, Italy, France or China (round trip)
  • To Argentina from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, U.S., Iran, Japan, China, and South Korea (round trip)

Passengers with tickets to/from Israel issued until March 5, 2020 with original flight dates between March 6 and April 1, 2020 can fly from today until December 31, 2020 without paying a change fee. Tickets are subject to fare difference.

LATAM has additional policies for tickets issued in China and South Korea.

LATAM’s Full Policy


WestJet is offering flexibility for both existing reservations and new reservations.

Flights booked before March 3, 2020 for travel in March or April 2020 are eligible for a one-time fee-free change. The change or cancellation must be made at least 24 hours before departure. The value of cancelled flights will be put in your travel bank. Fare differences apply to flight changes.

For new bookings, WestJet is allowing a one-time fee-free change for all new flight bookings made between March 3, 2020 and March 31, 2020. The change must be made at least 24 hours before flight departure.

WestJet’s Full Policy

European Airlines

Some countries not on the list of most affected countries, notably Israel and Kuwait, have cancelled all flights from a long list of countries.Things are fluid to say the least, but this list will be updated daily.

European Arrival Restrictions

The most important thing to know is that US citizens and legal residents ARE allowed to travel to the United States from Europe. However, we should expect widespread cancellations of flights to and from Europe due to diminished demand.

Any U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident returning to the United States who has traveled to one of the Schengen Area countries within the previous 14 days must enter the United States through an approved airport. The list of airports currently processing flights from COVID-affected areas are:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Michigan

Foreign nationals who have visited the following European countries in the last 14 days preceding their entry are affected by the new restrictions. This list includes:

  •  Austria
  • Belgium
  •  Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland


Flights booked before March 9, 2020 to any destination traveling before April 30, 2020 can be rebooked for travel until October 20, 2020.

  • Flights booked after March 9, 2020 for any travel date up to October 20,2020 can be rebooked for travel up until October 20,2020.

Aegean’s Full Policy

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has not established a policy regarding flights booked prior to March 6, 2020 at this time. This stance seems untenable and we will monitor it for changes.  Flights booked on March 6 and later are eligible for re-booking without restriction. Fare difference will apply.

Aer Lingus’ Full Policy


Passengers with tickets to Italy and Israel until May 31, 2020 may:

  • Rebook to a different date up until December 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Rebook to a different destination up until December 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Get a full cash refund.

Passengers with tickets to Germany, Spain or France until May 31, 2020 may:

  • Rebook to a different date up until May 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Rebook to a different destination up until May 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.

Aeroflot’s Full Policy

Air Europa

  • Customers with new reservations booked from March 4 to 31, 2020 are eligible for rebooking for travel up to 12 months after original booking date.  Fare difference will apply.
  • Customers with tickets to most destinations dated between March 11 and April 30, 2020 may rebook to any destination for selected dates until November 30.  You could also receive a voucher good for travel until December 31, 2020. Fare difference will apply.

Air Europa’s Full Policy

Air France/KLM

Air France and KLM have instituted a flexible booking policy for all tickets issued up to March 31, 2020. Tickets may be rebooked for a later date up until May 31, 2020, or passengers have the option to receive a non-refundable voucher good for 12 months. The voucher can be used interchangeably on Air France, KLM, Delta or Virgin Atlantic.

  • Tickets booked to China before May 31, 2020, may be re-booked no later than June 30, 2020. They are also eligible for re-booking onto another route or for a cash refund.
  • Tickets booked to Italy before April 30, 2020, may be re-booked no later than May 31, 2020. You can also receive a voucher good for travel for the value of your ticket.
  • Tickets booked to Singapore on KLM only before February 27, 2020 for travel until March 31, 2020 may be rebooked no later than April 30, 2020. You can also receive a voucher towards a new ticket to another destination.
  • Tickets booked to Seoul, South Korea until April 30, 2020 are eligible for re-booking until May 31, 2020. They are also eligible for a cash refund if the ticket was booked via KLM or a voucher if the ticket was issued via Air France.

Air France/KLM’s Full Policy


As one might imagine, Italy’s national carrier has been heavily affected.  That said, its policy is quite limited. Passengers who purchased their tickets Internationally are eligible for changes.  Tickets issued before March 3, 2020 with travel until April 3, 2020 can have the date changed up to June 30 ,2020. They also have the option of changing the destination and flying on the date of their original ticket.

Alitalia’s Full Policy

British Airways

Tickets purchased before March 3, 2020 to Italy and Hong Kong may be modified or cancelled with limitations.

  • Tickets from London to all Italian destinations through April 4, 2020 can either be rebooked for a later date or refunded.
  • Tickets to and from Hong Kong before May 31, 2020, you have the option to rebook to a later date. Both departure and arrival gateways must remain the same.

Tickets purchased between March 3 and March 31, 2020, can be either rebooked within 12 months of departure or refunded via flight voucher. The flight voucher is good for 12 months from original date of departure.

British Airways’s Full Policy


No change and cancellation policy specific to the COVID-19 outbreaks; policies are proceeding as normal at this time. Flight that are cancelled by EasyJet will be eligible for refund, but otherwise you’re out of luck.

EasyJet’s Full Policy


Flights booked with Finnair until April 30, 2020, may be rebooked without charge up until November 30, 2020. Fare difference will apply. In addition, Finnair has cancelled many flights. In the case of cancellation your ticket price will be refunded.

Finnair’s Full Policy


Iberia has quite an elaborate set of conditions listed on their website, but they all share in common the ability to request a voucher for the amount of the flight if the other conditions are met. The vouchers are valid for travel until December 31.

  • Italy: In general, flights can be rebooked to travel as late as June 15, 2020. The valid dates for this offer vary by city in Italy, but all cities are eligible for the flight voucher if re-booking isn’t an option.
  • Madrid: If you have a flight to Madrid before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020. Blackout dates include most of the summer and other peak dates so the voucher option may make more sense.
  • From the U.S. to Europe: Same policy as Madrid. If you are flying to Europe, it is likely you are transiting Madrid anyway.
  • Japan: If you have a flight to Japan before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020.
  • Shanghai: If you have a flight to Shanghai before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020.

Iberia’s Full Policy

LOT Polish Airlines

Flights booked on March 6 or later for travel between March 12 and April 24, 2020 are eligible for rebooking for travel until December 31, 2020.  Fare difference will apply.

LOT’s Full Policy

Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels, Air Dolomiti (Lufthansa Group)

The Lufthansa group of airlines has a sweeping policy that is quite clear.  All tickets booked before March 5, 2020, with travel before April 30, 2020 can can re-booked as late as December 31, 2020 without a change fee. Flights booked between March 6 and 31, 2020 are also eligible for re-booking until December 31.  Fare differences will apply.

Lufthansa Group’s Full Policy

Norwegian Airlines

Norwegian Airlines is waiving change fees for flights to Italy booked before March 6 for travel until March 19, 2020. Flight dates may be changed to travel up until May 18, 2020. At this point there are no other policies in place, however Norwegian expects to cancel 3,000 flights to and from the USA between Mid-March and Mid-June. In the case of cancellation you are eligible for a full refund.

Norwegian Airlines’ Full Policy


No coronavirus-specific policy is in effect at this time, policies are proceeding as normal at this time. Flights cancelled by Ryanair will be eligible for refund, otherwise you’re out of luck.

Ryanair’s Full Policy

SAS, Scandinavian Airlines

Tickets booked before March 5, 2020 for travel until April 30, 2020 to, from and within Europe (except within Scandinavia) are eligible for rebooking for a departure date before November 30, 2020.

Tickets booked between March 6 and 19, 2020 for travel until November 30, 2020 may be changed for a different flight date until November 30, 2020 without a fee.  Fare differences apply and destination and return must be the same.

SAS’s Full Policy

TAP Air Portugal

  • TAP Air Portugalickets booked between March 8 and 31, 2020 are eligible for rebooking without restriction through end of schedule. Changes must be made 21 days prior to departure and fare difference will apply.
  • Tickets to Italy purchased before March 8, 2020 may be rebooked for any destination for travel up until May 31, 2020.

TAP Air Portugal’s Full Policy

Turkish Airlines

Turkish has a fee-free change policy for all international bookings. If you purchased your ticket before March 5, 2020, you can re-book for a travel date until December 31, 2020 provided you make the request before March 16, 2020.

Tickets purchased between March 6 and March 24, 2020, are eligible for rebooking until December 31, 2020, as long as you re-book within five days of the new flight.

Information for additional international carriers will be added as soon as possible.

Turkish’s Full Policy

Virgin Atlantic

  • Flights booked before March 4, 2020 for travel before April 30, 2020 may be rebooked for travel until September 30, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Flights booked on or after March 1, 2020 may be rebooked for travel until September 30,2020. Fare differences apply.

Virgin Atlantic’s Full Policy

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance for 2020

Bottom Line

Based on the situation on the ground, it may be more likely that your flight gets cancelled than you having to rebook on your own. If your flight gets cancelled, you will be eligible for a cash refund. If you want to change your plans before flights are actually cancelled, here are the most recent policies.

Additional reporting by Kelly Anne Smith

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Source: Master List Of Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies (Includes All American And European Airlines)

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Concerns over the coronavirus may have you thinking twice about that vacation you’ve been looking to book, but a local travel agency says they are seeing airlines and cruise lines loosen restrictions when it comes to cancellation policies.

There Has to Be a Plan For Relatives of Nursing Home Residents, Anger and Worry as the Coronavirus Spreads

KIRKLAND, WA – MARCH 06: Su Wilson (green jacket) gives flowers to a staff member to give to her mother, Chun Liu, who is a patient at the Life Care Center on March 6, 2020 in Kirkland, Washington. There are currently 69 residents at the nursing home. 15 of them were transported to area hospitals overnight for treatment. Several residents have died from COVID-19 and others have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Kevin Connolly says his father-in-law credits the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington with “giving him his life back.” It’s where he recovered from hospice care, flirted with nurses and enjoyed eating chicken pot pie. But now, it’s where Connolly worries the 81-year-old will die because of what he says has been a bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak that has devastated the nursing home facility, which is linked to at least 13 of the 19 coronavirus deaths that had been reported in the U.S. as of Sunday morning.

“I can no longer sit around and wait for a phone call to tell me my loved one has died. Our loved ones that live here are already amongst the most vulnerable in the community, and they are being left to be picked off one by one by this disease,” Connolly said Thursday at a press conference held by relatives of Life Care Center residents.

“We have limited resources to battle this disease, and I think somebody somewhere decided that this population of people wasn’t worth wasting resources on. That’s how it feels.”

The arrival of the coronavirus in the United States has intersected with the persistent problems associated with caring for the elderly, one of the country’s most vulnerable populations, especially as long-term care is often understaffed and underfunded.

The Time for Containing Coronavirus Is Over. Here’s How The Government And Scientists Are Delivering The News.

There comes a point in the unfolding of every epidemic when public-health officials acknowledge that despite their best efforts, an invisible microbial foe has managed to outwit them. That time has come.

As health experts urge nursing homes to plan ahead and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities, some are cancelling bingo games and family dinners, encouraging relatives to take advantage of the ability to “visit” via Skype, and stocking up on the supplies they would need to combat an outbreak in their facilities.

“The data from China and from Italy seems to suggest that this virus disproportionately affects older adults. We’re looking at mortality rates for people over the age of 80 close to 15%,” says Dr. David Dosa, an associate professor of medicine at Brown University and a geriatrician who has researched nursing home infections, referencing a study of the outbreak in China published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. (While hard to assess, the overall coronavirus fatality rate is far lower — 3.4%, according to the World Health Organization on March 3.)

Keep up to date with our daily coronavirus newsletter by clicking here.

About 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than half are over the age of 75.

“They do need to take it very seriously,” Dosa says. “I think that the Washington case is the proverbial canary in the coal mine.”

He said the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, can spread quickly in nursing home settings, where people with existing medical conditions and compromised immune systems live in close proximity and depend on help for daily activities, including bathing, dressing and eating. On Friday, another nursing home and a senior living complex in Seattle each reported a case of coronavirus among their residents, the New York Times reported.

Brenda Chrystie says she was reassured by an email she received Monday from her father’s memory care facility in King County, the same county where the Life Care Center of Kirkland is located. Leaders at Aegis Living said they are disinfecting “high touch surfaces” daily, preparing a containment plan in case residents or staff members become infected, stocking up on both CDC-approved cleaning agents for the virus and enough food to feed staff and residents “for an extended period of time” if necessary, and canceling events for large groups. The facility has also asked anyone who traveled outside of the U.S. in the past 30 days to postpone their visit.

Su Wilson hands flowers to a staff member (in red uniform) to give to her mother, Chun Liu, who is a patient at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, on March 6, 2020.

Karen Ducey—Getty Images

“For all of us who care for the elderly, the coronavirus is presenting an unprecedented challenge,” Kris Engskov, Aegis Living president, said in a statement on Thursday. “Over the last few days, we’ve put extraordinary protocols in place in all of our communities to ensure we were doing everything possible to protect our residents and staff from infection.”

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“They’re having to ratchet it up and take it to another level and just hoping that all of us, the loved ones, don’t freak out and panic too much,” Chrystie says. “But who knows? Who knows how this is going to spread?”

She says she’s trying to protect her 80-year-old father, who has Alzheimer’s, from any of that panic because stress can be harmful to his health. “I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know about the coronavirus,” she says. “And I’ll keep it that way.”

Bethany Retirement Living in Fargo, North Dakota has cancelled group activities, including bingo, music and group exercise as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of germs.

“A lot of times, bingo is passing around cards. Group exercise might be throwing around the same ball,” says Shawn Stuhaug, president and CEO of Bethany Retirement Living. “We’re just trying to be precautionary until we know more.”

The organization has started directing visitors through certain entrances to guarantee they pass a hand sanitizing station, and asking people not to visit if they have a fever or cough, have been on a cruise or have traveled to a country affected by the outbreak. The facility allows family members to Skype or FaceTime their loved ones if they can’t come in person.

Sandy Sidler, a 67-year-old retired teacher, visits her 91-year-old mother, who has been recovering from the flu, almost every day at Bethany, sitting beside her until she wakes up from her afternoon nap and keeping her company during supper. Sidler says she’s not worried about the spread of coronavirus yet, but she always uses hand sanitizer before entering her mother’s room.

Because there have not yet been any cases of coronavirus identified in North Dakota, Stuhaug says his biggest priority right now is preventing the spread of the seasonal flu, which is more likely to be deadly in an elderly population. “It’s just as important to pay attention to the flu,” he says. “Every year, I wish everybody would get this excited about the flu.”

In Rhode Island — where officials have identified three “presumptive positive” cases of COVID-19 — former state senator Gloria Kennedy Fleck says she has been asking her 90-year-old mother’s nursing home, the West Shore Health Center in Warwick, R.I., for its contingency plan in case the virus spreads there. She has wondered if residents would be temporarily moved or separated if they test positive for the virus, but she hasn’t received a clear answer.

“The biggest concern is that no preparations are being made, and if and when it happens, then what? They’re just going to let them sit there in the petri dish?” she says. “I’m not trying to be an alarmist. We have to take precautions. There has to be a plan.”

On Thursday, she spoke with an administrator who told her plans are underway. Representatives from the West Shore Health Center directed inquiries from TIME to Scott Fraser, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, who said the nursing home was screening visitors, had put up signs asking them not to enter if they’re ill and would be following its existing contingency plans for seasonal flu and norovirus outbreaks, but he could not elaborate on what those plans entail.

“We’re following state guidelines and CDC guidelines, and we’re following them very closely because obviously the residents in all our homes are some of the most vulnerable,” he said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released guidelines last week aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, asking facilities to screen visitors for symptoms such as a cough, fever and sore throat and for international travel to restricted countries within 14 days. Any health care workers who develop symptoms on the job should stop work, put on a face mask and self-quarantine at home, the guidelines say.

Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, says he’s advising families to ask more questions of the facilities housing their elderly relatives. “We’re telling people, ‘Look to see, is your nursing home implementing better practices, doing more cleaning, ensuring that everyone is on board with hand washing,’” he says. “I would ask the administrator, ‘Are you prepared for what is going to come?’”

Fleck — who brings her mother lemon-filled donuts and Hershey’s kisses each time she visits — says she worries about exactly that. Last month, healthcare workers protested at the Rhode Island state house over under-staffed nursing homes in the state, and Fleck worries staffing levels will worsen because of COVID-19.

In Washington state, the leader of the union representing home care and nursing home workers says that’s already happening. Sterling Harders, president of the SEIU 775, says the outbreak is “making the chronic understaffing in nursing homes even worse,” as more workers call in sick.

Sherylon Hughes — a direct caregiver at the North Cascades Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bellingham, Washington — says at the start of their shift, workers are now required to report to the nurse on duty to have their temperature checked and fill out a short questionnaire about whether they’ve come in contact with anyone who is potentially infected.

“Everyone is just really concerned,” Hughes says. “There’s a lot of frustration among some of the workers. We feel like the people who are in charge haven’t really come up with a plan for what we are supposed to do.”

She and her coworkers have wondered what would happen if someone at her nursing home tests positive for the coronavirus. Will the facility shut down? Will all the workers be tested? Will they have to pay for it themselves?

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington address a news conference on the coronavirus in his state as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, in Tacoma on March 5, 2020.

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington address a news conference on the coronavirus in his state as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, in Tacoma on March 5, 2020.
Chona Kasinger—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“I’m very concerned about the health care workers, the people who are on the front lines,” says Hughes, who makes about $17 an hour. “The potential loss of livelihood is devastating, especially for caregivers. We do not make very much money at all, and none of us can afford to miss work for any extended period of time, and very few of us have healthcare that’s affordable.”

At a press conference on Friday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state would cover the cost of the test for anyone who does not have insurance. As officials work to contain the spread of the virus, he said the state would dedicate assistance specifically to long-term care facilities. “We know that the first potential victims of this virus are elderly and those who are medically compromised,” he said. “We are standing up a separate incident command post in the structure to specifically give assistance to long-term care facilities, both to help them prevent infection from entering the facilities and to help them deal with it in the event that that happens.”

But questions linger for many of the Life Care Center relatives, who on Thursday expressed their frustration with a lack of communication, demanding clear guidance on when their relatives would be tested for the virus and asking to speak with CDC health officials and to relocate healthy residents to a different facility.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said Friday that the Life Care Center has not been shut down or evacuated because the more than 60 residents remaining there require 24-hour medical care, and there were no hospitals or nursing homes with the capacity to take them in. “This is, for many of the residents, the best place that they can be — those who are asymptomatic but have these health conditions that have to be attended to in a 24-hour care facility,” he said.

Connolly’s father-in-law is one of those residents, but he is still seeking more answers. Constantine said all Life Care Center residents and staff members will be tested for COVID-19 now that there is increased testing capacity at the University of Washington.

On Saturday, Connolly said his father-in-law, who has not been showing symptoms for coronavirus, had not yet been tested.

“Still no one has reached out to us,” Connolly said in a text to TIME. “Still we are in the dark.”

By Katie Reilly

Source: ‘There Has to Be a Plan.’ For Relatives of Nursing Home Residents, Anger and Worry as the Coronavirus Spreads

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Life Care Center spokesman Tim Killian spoke about new confirmed cases at the Kirkland nursing home facility. Monday 3/9 at 5 p.m.

Global Markets Plunge Over Coronavirus And Oil Price War Fears

Topline: Global stocks plunged after crude oil posted its biggest fall since the 1991 Gulf War after Saudi Arabia launched a price war with Russia.

  • Japan’s Nikkei index fell more than 5% on Monday, while stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China were also down as panicked investors in Asia flocked to safe-haven assets like government bonds and the Japanese yen.
  • European stocks followed suit, with London’s FTSE 100 index down almost 8% on Monday morning, France’s CAC 40 more than 7% and Germany’s DAX 6%.
  • The pan-European Euro Stoxx 50, measuring the Continent’s 50 largest companies, plunged more than 6% on Monday morning, its worst performance in more than a year.
  • U.S. futures were sharply down, with S&P 500 futures down more than 5%.
  • Oil prices plummeted with the benchmark Brent crude down to $33.20 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate fell 31%, to $28.32 a barrel on Sunday.
  • The steep drop was triggered after Saudi Arabia announced it would raise production after OPEC’s deal with Russia to supply collapsed on Friday.

Big number: Some $90 billion ($140 billion AUD) was wiped off Australia’s markets on Monday, with the benchmark ASX falling more than 7%—its worst performance since the global financial crash.

What to watch for: Oil prices could drop to a low of $20 a barrel, Goldman Sachs analysts warned on Sunday, if the coronavirus continues to spread and the oil price war intensifies.

Key background: Global markets have posted some of their steepest falls since the 2008-2011 financial crisis with panicked moves from investors spooked by the potential impact of the coronavirus on the global economy, and an oil price war. The Federal Reserve’s emergency rate on March 3, 2020, provided a momentary confidence boost for the markets, which now will look for coordinated action from the G7 club of advanced economies to underpin the global economy.

Tangent: Some 110,000 people globally have been infected with Covid-19 to date, but as of Monday the number of new cases in China, where the pneumonia-like virus was detected, appear to be falling, while cases around the world continue to prompt strict quarantine measures, particularly in Italy, now the largest cluster of Covid-19-related deaths outside China.

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Source: Global Markets Plunge Over Coronavirus And Oil Price War Fears

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The economic consequences of the coronavirus epidemic have sparked a conflict among major oil-producing nations. Last week, oil producers were unable to agree on a reduction in production volumes, resulting in a price war between OPEC and Russia. That has sent oil prices plummeting. The price of oil collapsed by 31.5 percent at the start of trading, the lowest price since January 1991. As a reaction, stock markets fell sharply this Monday: In Tokyo, the Nikkei Index lost more than 5 percent, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell almost 4 percent. Australia’s ASX Index fell particularly hard with a minus of 7.3 percent and in Germany, the DAX tumbled almost 8 percent at the start of trading. The picture around the Gulf is even more dramatic – markets have shed up to around 10% there. Subscribe:… For more news go to: Follow DW on social media: ►Facebook:… ►Twitter: ►Instagram: Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie:… #Coronavirus #StockMarket #Economy

Coronavirus Live Updates: As Lockdowns Expand, Global Markets Plummet

Markets in Asia and the Middle East opened sharply lower on Monday as investors digested the relentless global spread of the coronavirus and turmoil in the oil markets. Shares in Saudi Aramco, the state oil giant, dropped 10 percent leading to a halt in trading on the Riyadh stock market.

Asian markets opened sharply lower on Monday as investors digested the relentless global spread of the coronavirus and turmoil in the oil markets.Tokyo was down 4.7 percent at midmorning on Monday, while Hong Kong was down 4.1 percent. Futures markets showed investors predicting sharp drops in Wall Street and Europe as well.

The coronavirus has unnerved investors as it spreads, clouding the prospects for global growth. Italy on Sunday put a broad swath of its industrial northern region under lockdown as the virus has spread, making it one of the biggest sources of confirmed infections outside China. France, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries also took further steps to stop the spread.

In the United States, the number of confirmed infections exceeded 500 cases. A top American expert said on Sunday that regional lockdowns could be necessary.A clash over oil between Russia and Saudi Arabia, two major producers, further unnerved investors. As the coronavirus hits demand for fuel, Saudi Arabia slashed its export oil prices over the weekend, starting an apparent price war aimed at Russia.

Lower oil prices could help consumers, but it could unsettle countries that depend on oil revenue to prop up their economies. In futures markets, the benchmark price for American and Europe oil supplies tumbled $10, or about one-quarter.Investors fled to the safety of the bond market, driving yields lower. In the market for U.S. Treasury bonds, yields broadly fell below the 1 percent level for both short term and long term holdings. The 10-year Treasury bond, which is closely watched, was yielding about 0.5 percent.

In other Asian markets, South Korea was down 3.6 percent. Shanghai was down 1.5 percent.

Italy reported a huge jump in deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, a surge of more than 50 percent from the day before, as it ordered an unprecedented peacetime lockdown of its wealthiest region in a sweeping effort to fight the epidemic. The extraordinary measure restricted movement for a quarter of the country’s population.“We are facing an emergency, a national emergency,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in announcing the government decree in a news conference after 2 a.m.

The move is tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term. The measures will turn stretches of Italy’s wealthy north — including the economic and cultural capital of Milan and landmark tourist destinations such as Venice — into quarantined red zones until at least April 3.

They will prevent the free movement of roughly 16 million people. Funerals and cultural events are banned. The decree requires that people keep a distance of at least one meter from one another at sporting events, bars, churches and supermarkets. The Italian outbreak — the worst outside Asia — has inflicted serious damage on one of Europe’s most fragile economies and prompted the closing of Italy’s schools. The country’s cases nearly tripled from about 2,500 infections on Wednesday to more than 7,375 on Sunday. Deaths rose to 366.

More and more countries have adopted or are considering stronger measures to try to keep infected people from entering and to contain outbreaks. More and more countries have adopted or are considering stronger measures to try to keep infected people from entering and to contain outbreaks.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia cut off access to Shiite Muslim towns and villages in the east of the kingdom, cordoning off an area in Qatif Governorate where all 11 of the country’s confirmed coronavirus cases have been identified. And local Saudi media reported that the country would temporarily close down all educational institutions and block travel to and from a number of countries in the region. The kingdom had already suspended pilgrimages to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

In Iran, which has been hit the hardest in the Middle East, state media reported that all flights to Europe would be suspended indefinitely. The health minister in France, one of Europe’s bigger trouble spots, announced a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The U.S. has counted at least 539 cases across 34 states — Connecticut reported its first case and Washington announced another patient being treated for coronavirus had died on Sunday — and the District of Columbia, and logged 22 deaths. Washington State, New York, California, Maryland and Oregon have declared emergencies.

A growing number of schools are shutting down across the country, raising concerns about the closings will affect learning, burden families and upend communities. The U.S. Army suspended travel to and from Italy and South Korea, now the world’s third largest hot spot, until May 6, an order that affects 4,500 soldiers and family members. And the Finnish armed forces announced that troop exercises planned for March 9-19 with Norway would be scrapped.

On Sunday, the leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, said that it was possible that regional lockdowns could become necessary and recommended that those at greatest risk — the elderly and those with underlying health conditions — abstain from travel. Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the Trump administration was prepared to “take whatever action is appropriate” to contain the outbreak, including travel restrictions in areas with a high number of cases.

“I don’t think it would be as draconian as ‘nobody in and nobody out,’” Dr. Fauci said on “Fox News Sunday.” “But there’ll be, if we continue to get cases like this, particularly at the community level, there will be what we call mitigation.”

Even as the rate of new infections appeared to taper in China, the number of cases around the world continued to rise on Sunday, with some of the biggest clusters emerging in Europe. Besides the sharp rise in Italy, Germany reported more than 930 cases; Switzerland’s total reached 281; and Britain’s health department said that three people with the virus had died and that the number of cases in the country had jumped to 273 by Sunday. The smallest E.U. nation, Malta, reported its first confirmed case on Saturday: a 12-year-old girl recently returned from a vacation in northern Italy. Her condition was described as good.

The Spanish authorities announced on Sunday that three more people diagnosed with coronavirus had died in Madrid, raising the number of coronavirus fatalities in the country to 13. There are now over 500 cases, the authorities said. Salvador Illa, Spain’s health minister, said at a news conference in Madrid that several cases in Spain were linked to people who recently traveled to Italy.

Source: Coronavirus Live Updates: As Lockdowns Expand, Global Markets Plummet

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As Coronavirus Spreads, Many Questions & Some Answers From Harvard Health Blog

The rapid spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes called COVID-19 has sparked alarm worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency, and many countries are grappling with a rise in confirmed cases. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising people to be prepared for disruptions to daily life that will be necessary if the coronavirus spreads within communities.

Below, we’re responding to a number of questions about COVID-19 raised by Harvard Health Blog readers. We hope to add further questions and update answers as reliable information becomes available.

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a face mask?

Should I accept packages from China?

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

Is there a treatment available for the new coronavirus?

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

How deadly is this coronavirus?

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

Does the coronavirus spread person-to-person?

Yes, the virus can spread from one person to another, most likely through droplets of saliva or mucus carried in the air for up to six feet or so when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Viral particles may be breathed in, land on surfaces that people touch, or be transferred when shaking hands or sharing a drink with someone who has the virus.

Often it’s obvious if a person is ill, but there are cases where people who do not feel sick have the virus and can spread it.

Basic steps for avoiding flu and other infections — including steps for handwashing shown in this video and avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes — are likely to help stop the spread of this virus. The CDC has a helpful list of preventive steps.

Quarantines and travel restrictions now in place in many counties, including the US, are also intended to help break the chain of transmission. Public health authorities like the CDC may recommend other approaches for people who may have been exposed to the virus, including isolation at home and symptom monitoring for a period of time (usually 14 days), depending on level of risk for exposure. The CDC has guidelines for people who have the virus to help with recovery and prevent others from getting sick.

What is the incubation period for the coronavirus?

An incubation period is the time between being exposed to a germ and having symptoms of the illness. Current estimates suggest that symptoms of COVID-19 usually appear around five days on average, but the incubation period may be as short as two days to as long as 14 days.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Fever, dry cough, and trouble breathing are the common symptoms of COVID-19. There have been some reports of gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea) before respiratory symptoms occur, but this is largely a respiratory virus.

Those who have the virus may have no obvious symptoms (be asymptomatic) or symptoms ranging from mild to severe. In some cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and potentially be life-threatening.

Most people who get sick will recover from COVID-19. Recovery time varies and, for people who are not severely ill, may be similar to the aftermath of a flulike illness. People with mild symptoms may recover within a few days. People who have pneumonia may take longer to recover (days to weeks). In cases of severe, life-threatening illness, it may take months for a person to recover, or the person may die.

Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus?

A person who is asymptomatic may be shedding the virus and could make others ill. How often asymptomatic transmission is occurring is unclear.

Can the coronavirus live on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet? What about hard surfaces?

How long the new coronavirus can live on a soft surface — and more importantly, how easy or hard it is to spread this way — isn’t clear yet. So far, available evidence suggests it can be transmitted less easily from soft surfaces than frequently-touched hard surfaces, such as a doorknob or elevator button.

According to the WHO, coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for just a few hours or several days,  although many factors will influence this, including surface material and weather.

That’s why personal preventive steps like frequently washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wiping down often-touched surfaces with disinfectants or a household cleaning spray, are a good idea.

Should I wear a face mask to protect against coronavirus? Should my children?

Follow public health recommendations where you live. Currently, face masks are not recommended for the general public in the US. The risk of catching the virus in the US is low overall, but will depend on community transmission, which is higher in some regions than in others. Even though there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, most people are more likely to catch and spread influenza (the flu). (So far this season, there have been nearly 30 million cases of flu and 17,000 deaths.)

Some health facilities require people to wear a mask under certain circumstances, such as if they have traveled from areas where coronavirus is spreading, or have been in contact with people who did or with people who have confirmed coronavirus.

If you have respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing, experts recommend wearing a mask to protect others. This may help contain droplets containing any type of virus, including the flu, and protect close contacts (anyone within three to six feet of the infected person).

The CDC offers more information about masks. The WHO offers videos and illustrations on when and how to use a mask.

Should someone who is immunocompromised wear a mask?

If you are immunocompromised because of an illness or treatment, talk to your doctor about whether wearing a mask is helpful for you in some situations. Advice could vary depending on your medical history and where you live. Many people will not need to wear a mask, but if your healthcare provider recommends wearing one in public areas because you have a particularly vulnerable immune system or for other reasons, follow that advice.

Should I accept packages from China?

There is no reason to suspect that packages from China harbor COVID-19. Remember, this is a respiratory virus similar to the flu. We don’t stop receiving packages from China during their flu season. We should follow that same logic for this novel pathogen.

Can I catch the coronavirus by eating food prepared by others?

We are still learning about transmission of COVID-19. It’s not clear if this is possible, but if so it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule. That said, COVID-19 and other coronaviruses have been detected in the stool of certain patients, so we currently cannot rule out the possibility of occasional transmission from infected food handlers. The virus would likely be killed by cooking the food.

Should I travel on a plane with my children?

Keep abreast of travel advisories from regulatory agencies and understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. The CDC has several levels of travel restrictions depending on risk in various countries and communities.

Of course, if anyone has a fever and respiratory symptoms, that person should not fly if at all possible. Anyone who has a fever and respiratory symptoms and flies anyway should wear a mask on an airplane.

Is there a vaccine available for coronavirus?

No vaccine is available, although scientists are working on vaccines. In 2003, scientists tried to develop a vaccine to prevent SARS but the epidemic ended before the vaccine could enter clinical trials.

Is there a treatment available for coronavirus?

Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment for this new coronavirus. Treatment is therefore supportive, which means giving fluids, medicine to reduce fever, and, in severe cases, supplemental oxygen. People who become critically ill from COVID-19 may need a respirator to help them breathe. Bacterial infection can complicate this viral infection. Patients may require antibiotics in cases of bacterial pneumonia as well as COVID-19.

Antiviral treatments used for HIV and other compounds are being investigated.

There’s no evidence that supplements, such as vitamin C, or probiotics will help speed recovery.

How is this new coronavirus confirmed?

A specialized test must be done to confirm that a person has COVID-19. Most testing in the United States has been performed at the CDC. However, testing will become more available throughout the country in the coming weeks.

How deadly is this coronavirus?

We don’t yet know. However, signs suggest that many people may have had mild cases of the virus and recovered without special treatment.

The original information from China likely overestimated the risk of death from the virus. Right now it appears that the risk of very serious illness and death is less than it was for SARS and MERS. In terms of total deaths in the United States, influenza overwhelmingly causes more deaths today than COVID-19.

What should people do if they think they have coronavirus or their child does? Go to an urgent care clinic? Go to the ER?

If you have a health care provider or pediatrician, call them first for advice. In most parts of the US, it’s far more likely to be the flu or another viral illness.

If you do not have a doctor and you are concerned that you or your child may have coronavirus, contact your local board of health. They can direct you to the best place for evaluation and treatment in your area.

Only people with symptoms of severe respiratory illness should seek medical care in the ER. Severe symptoms are rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, high or very low temperatures, confusion, trouble breathing, severe dehydration. Call ahead to tell the ER that you are coming so they can be prepared for your arrival.

Can people who recover from the coronavirus still be carriers and therefore spread it?

People who get COVID-19 need to work with providers and public health authorities to determine when they are no longer contagious.

Reliable resources

Also, read our earlier blog posts on coronavirus:

Related Information: Cold and Flu

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What Is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? The World Health Organization declared the new #Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global health emergency in January 2020. Experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine are closely monitoring the spread of the virus and offering useful information on what the disease is and how to help prevent transmission. For more information, please visit the #JohnsHopkins Medicine coronavirus website.…

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