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

Indiana Democratic legislative leaders say they – and the public – aren’t getting enough answers from Gov. Eric Holcomb about the state’s response to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: School’s Out

Mar 12, 2020

As new cases of COVID-19 continue to emerge around the country, schools are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Indiana Visitors Center is closing down for a couple of weeks for a deep cleaning.  Speros Batistatos, President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority told Lakeshore Public Radio on early Thursday afternoon that  the action is being taken as a proactive cautionary measure to help prevent the spread of COVID 19.

While some schools across the country are closed out of precaution over the spread of coronavirus, many others remain open. Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard’s School of Public Health explains the effectiveness of school closures and the challenges they present.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Updated at 2:10 p.m.

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from several European nations starting at midnight Friday in a bid to rein in the spread of the coronavirus. Here's a look at what that means and who will be affected:

Who's affected

Can I protect myself from catching the coronavirus? That's my question as cases mount in the United States.

So I spent one day last week trying to be aware of doing all the right things. I mean, how hard can it be to wash your hands a lot and avoid crowds?

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The leading Democratic presidential candidates slammed the Trump administration on Thursday for its response to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

"The EU disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation," the heads of the European Union said Thursday, expressing their displeasure with President Trump's plan to block visitors from 26 European countries from entering the United States.

"The Coronavirus is a global crisis and requires cooperation," the EU leaders said.

Updated at 5:25 a.m. ET on Friday

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was unable to reach a deal late Thursday on a package of measures to address the coronavirus pandemic amid pushback from the top House Republican that the bill "comes up short."

Negotiations were set to resume on Friday on the legislation, which does not include an emergency payroll tax cut — something that President Trump has been pressing for Congress to pass but that Democrats and some Republicans have rejected.

The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, is causing businesses, health officials and patients to worry about potential shortages of prescription drugs.

That's because the vast majority of active ingredients in medicines dispensed in the U.S. are made in factories overseas, many in China.

Masks, gloves and other equipment are crucial as health care workers face the COVID-19 outbreak. There is a strategic national stockpile that the U.S. government controls — but no one actually knows, beyond that stockpile, what's already out there in the private sector.

Some hospitals have extras, and some not enough. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on a system that would track the inventory across the U.S.

Hong Kong and Singapore were hit early with the coronavirus. But each now has fewer than 200 cases, while France, Germany and Spain, which were hit late, all have more than 10 times that number.

Three weeks ago, Italy had only three cases. Now it has more than 10,000.

These dramatic differences show that how governments respond to this virus matters, says Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's head of emergencies.

Actor Tom Hanks announced on social media Thursday that he and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands worldwide since December.

On Instagram and in a tweet on Thursday local time, Hanks, who is in Australia for preproduction on an as-yet untitled film about Elvis Presley, said he and Wilson "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches."

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET Thursday

The NBA suspended its season Wednesday after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for the coronavirus. The team announced Thursday that after testing the entire traveling team in follow-up, a second player has tested positive.

Updated at 11:21 p.m. ET

March Madness is going to be very different this year. The NCAA has decided both the men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments won't be played in front of fans. The energy. The excitement. The yelling. All gone. Thanks, coronavirus.

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