Coronavirus, COVID-19

Get the latest on the global Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts Northwest Indiana, the state, country, and globe. Bookmark this page as there will be several updates each day from Lakeshore Public Radio, IPB News, NPR, and the Associated Press.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The latest topics surrounding COVID-19 dominate this "Reporters' Roundtable."

IBA Coronavirus Update, April 2 - AM Report

Apr 2, 2020
Provided / IBA

The Indiana Broadcaster's Association provides the latest updates on coronavirus as it impacts Hoosiers.

The nationwide move to close churches, synagogues and mosques as part of the broader effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus is meeting some new resistance.

In a new "safer-at-home" order banning many activities, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday said "attending religious services" is among the "essential" activities that would be permitted. The order came two days after the arrest of a Tampa pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, who held worship services in defiance of a local ban on large gatherings. That ban is now effectively overruled.

Updated Thursday at 3 a.m. ET

In describing steps the military is taking to confront the coronavirus pandemic within its ranks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that some are calling for the U.S. military to cease operations.

"There seems to be this narrative out there that we should just shut down the entire United States military and address the problem that way. That's not feasible," said Esper during the White House's coronavirus task force briefing.

President Trump was asked Wednesday why his administration hasn't reopened the healthcare.gov exchanges to help bridge the insurance coverage gap for those who do not have private insurance and who do not qualify for Medicaid.

This new world of social distancing has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard — and some of the biggest names in that world are scrambling for solutions.

Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died at the age of 85. His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.

He reportedly went into the hospital over the weekend with symptoms of pneumonia. The New York Times reports that his son Branford says the cause of death was complications from COVID-19.

Over the last month, Richard Frieson has lost two sisters to COVID-19. In normal times, Frieson's large family would have gathered in Chicago, where his sisters lived, to sing, pray, hug and mourn.

But in this time of a nationwide pandemic, the Friesons had to make do with a very different gathering.

"Today we are doing a big Zoom call," he said Sunday, referring to the video conferencing application that has become so popular recently. "It's just nice to see them, and I'm glad we have this technology where we can actually look at each other."

Not all Americans can stay home during the pandemic.

Millions of essential workers are showing up for their jobs at warehouses, food processing plants, delivery trucks and grocery checkout lines. Work that is often low-paid, and comes with few protections, is now suddenly much more dangerous.

America has a new appreciation for these workers. Bill Osborn, a dairy clerk at a Giant in La Plata, Md., says he never used to be thanked for his job. Ever.

But now that has changed.

Neilly Buckalew is a traveling doctor who fills in at hospitals when there's need. So in the midst of this pandemic, she feels particularly vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus — not just in hospitals but in hotels and on her travels.

It has been only a month since President Trump held his last campaign rally. It was March 2 when several thousand people squeezed into a North Carolina arena to cheer on a confident president seeking reelection at a time of peace and prosperity.

Trump touted the record low unemployment rate to rousing applause, repeating the theme of his 2020 campaign.

"Jobs are booming in our country, incomes are soaring, poverty has plummeted, confidence is surging," said the president.

President Trump last weekend raised — and then dropped — the idea of placing residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut under a quarantine to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus outside of the nation's hardest-hit region.

With government authorities warning an anxious public about scams related to the coronavirus, a California company is facing scrutiny by members of Congress and the city attorney of Los Angeles for selling COVID-19 test kits that it claimed can be used "in the home or at the bedside."

International climate change negotiations scheduled for later this year are being postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. United Nations officials say a conference is no longer possible, delaying what many hoped would be an ambitious climate agreement among nations.

Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET

The number of new people claiming unemployment benefits totaled a staggering 6.648 million last week — doubling the record set a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In the prior week, ending March 21, a revised 3.307 million initial claims were filed.

In just two weeks, nearly all of the jobs gained in the last five years have been lost.

Right now students are out of school in 185 countries. According to UNESCO, that's roughly 9 out of 10 schoolchildren worldwide.

The world has never seen a school shutdown on this scale. And not since Great Britain during World War II has such a long-term, widespread emptying of classrooms come to a rich country.

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