ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Below is the latest on the impact of the coronavirus in the St. Louis area:
Boeing announced it is limiting overtime, not hiring anyone new and limiting employee travel due to financial pressures from the COVID-19 outbreak and problems with the 737 MAX.
Washington University is extending its Spring Break until March 23 and then closing campus until late April. Those who live on-campus are being asked to leave no later than March 15. Courses will be given online.
A group of Mizzou students and faculty who attended a conference in New Orleans are being asked to stay at home after the university says one of the attendees at the conference not from Mizzou tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19.
None of the students or staff are showing any symptoms, the university says.
Expressing alarm both about mounting infections and slow government responses, the World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic but also said it’s not too late for countries to act.
By reversing course and using the charged word “pandemic” that it had previously shied away from, the U.N. health agency appeared to want to shock lethargic countries into pulling out all the stops.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief.
“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response,” he said. “We are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.”
The WHO added that Iran and Italy are the new front lines of the battle against the virus that started in China.
“They’re suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation soon,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief.
Italy weighed imposing even tighter restrictions on daily life and announced billions in financial relief Wednesday to cushion economic shocks from the coronavirus, its latest efforts to adjust to the fast-evolving health crisis that silenced the usually bustling heart of the Catholic faith, St. Peter’s Square.
In Iran, by far the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, the senior vice president and two other Cabinet ministers were reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Iran reported another jump in deaths, by 62 to 354 — behind only China and Italy.
In Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte said he would consider requests from Lombardy, Italy’s hardest-hit region, to toughen the already extraordinary anti-virus lockdown that was extended nationwide Tuesday. Lombardy wants to shut down nonessential businesses and reduce public transportation.
These additional measures would be on top of travel and social restrictions that imposed an eerie hush on cities and towns across the country from Tuesday. Police enforced rules that customers stay 1 meter (3 feet) apart and ensured that businesses closed by 6 p.m.
The Trump administration is considering delaying the April 15 deadline for filing taxes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ahead of the Atlantic 10 Basketball Championship in Brooklyn, New York, Saint Louis University has restricted travel to all non-essential personnel.
This includes school band members, cheerleaders, dance team members and various University and athletics staff members.
In addition, all fan events in New York have been canceled.
The team will take a private aircraft to Brooklyn Wednesday. Tournament officials are in contact with the Barclays Center and the NCAA regarding any potential impact on the tournament.
A patient in Rolla is being tested for COVID-19 after showing symptoms of the virus, Phelps Health Medical Group says.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services opened a statewide public hotline for anyone who has questions about the coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The hotline opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday and is being operated by medical professionals. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can reach the hotline at 877-435-8411.
Two of the four patients from St. Charles County have tested negative for COVID-19, health officials say. Officials are still waiting on two other results.
St. Louis County says two others tested negative and they are still waiting on one other.
Bethesda says it is limiting visitors to its skilled nursing centers based on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS guidelines). At its location on Big Bend in Kirkwood, only patients who are in the late stages of life will be allowed to have visitors.
Delmar Gardens also says it is limiting visitors out of COVID-19 concerns. The company released the following statement:
“In compliance with the new CMS and CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 visitation restrictions, Delmar Gardens has limited visitation to our skilled nursing and assisted living communities. Limited visitation, per CMS guidance, is recommended for counties, or counties adjacent to other counties where a COVID-19 case has occurred. In line with their guidance, we are asking loved ones and visitors to respectfully refrain from visiting unless there are extenuating circumstances. We would be ecstatic to continue to have all of our residents receive their regular visitors. However, our responsibility is to safeguard their health and welfare with any guidance provided through CMS and CDC. We are encouraging alternative forms of communication, such as Skype, Facetime, phone calls and emails and will support all of these efforts. Given the fluid nature of this evolving situation, we will be monitoring guidance closely and adjusting, as warranted. Delmar Gardens recognizes the importance of family contact with their loved ones and will be reviewing requests and alternative forms of visitation that will preserve the well-being of our residents. Delmar Gardens began contacting families late this afternoon and will continue to contact families tomorrow about this change via phone calls and automated calls.”
The New City School in St. Louis City will re-open Wednesday after the school learned that the parent of student tested negative for COVID-19.
The school was closed Tuesday as a precaution.
Saint Louis University announced it is suspending most on-campus classes for the week of March 15. Online classes will continue, the university says.
The university says there have been no reports of coronavirus at the campus.
Test results for 11 Missouri residents who were being monitored for COVID-19 have come back negative but authorities did not say if any of those tested are from the St. Louis area.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has canceled a foreign trip because of concerns about the coronavirus.
The Republican governor had been scheduled to leave Thursday to go to Greece, Israel, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. He was to meet with business leaders about expanding in Missouri and to visit Missouri-based military troops stationed overseas.
A Parson spokeswoman says the governor had planned to be gone until March 22. No makeup date has been set yet for the trip.
Lawmakers will meet Tuesday in Jefferson City to discuss the spread of coronavirus.
Representative Justin Hill told News 4 for the first time a joint committee will hear testimony on the virus. That committee will be made up of representatives, state senators, and leaders tied to disaster preparedness.
Hill said the discussion will be focused on the virus in Missouri.
They will also discuss budgetary requirements.
Doctors will also be on the panel, and Hill said lawmakers will have a follow up meeting next week.
The Department of Health for the city of St. Louis said a parent of a student at New City School in the Central West End has been tested for coronavirus but has not positively diagnosed.
The family was quarantined and was not at school on Monday. Classes have been cancelled Tuesday.
However, New City School serves as a polling place for the primary election and voters can still cast their ballots.
The attorney of the Ladue family, whose daughter was diagnosed with coronavirus, says the family was never told to self quarantine.
Neil Bruntrager outlined a series of phone calls and text messages between the woman’s parents and county officials during a 3-day period. Hear what he has to say, and what the communication was like, here.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page says the family of the woman who tested positive for coronavirus has been complying with the self-quarantine since they were told about the positive test, adding that a court order to keep the family quarantined will not be needed.
Page also said the woman and her family were told to stay home before they learned of the positive test. He says the family was told about the test results around 6:30 p.m Saturday.
The father of the coronavirus patient and her younger sister went to a father-daughter dance Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. Read more on the story, here.
Page says he does not want to dwell on what happened, or any possible miscommunication between the family and health officials, but says what occurred is a learning opportunity for everyone.
In a Monday afternoon press conference, Page said the county has monitored 16 people and all the results for them came back negative. As of Monday afternoon, the county was monitoring one person for a possible infection for travel-related exposure.
The county’s department of health received a total of 375 calls as of Monday. Of those, 164 people called to get general information about coronavirus. Technical assistance calls reached 141.
Four St. Charles County residents who recently traveled within or outside the country are being tested for COVID-19.
Officials two traveled to Mexico, one to Germany and another to Washington state.
For more on this story, click here.
The Hazelwood School District says two employees will self-quarantine because they have had “distant contact” with people who are being tested for coronavirus.
The district says a staff member at Russell Elementary and a consultant at Walker Elementary are being self-quarantined as a precaution. The district said neither have shown any symptoms.
To see the full letter sent home to parents, click here.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is declaring a Disaster Proclamation in Illinois as the state announced four new cases of coronavirus.
The governor said the proclamation – Illinois’ equivalent to a state of emergency – will open the state to receive federal funding for help fight the spread and provide treatment.
The announcement came as four new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Illinois – bringing the state’s total to 11. All of the new cases were in the Chicago area.
A Pokemon Go Safari Zone event scheduled for late March 27-29 in Tower Grove Park has been canceled.
A full statement on the cancellation is below:
“We have made the difficult decision to postpone Safari Zone St. Louis. We are looking into alternate dates within the next 12 months and will provide an update as soon as possible.”
Bayer announced it is temporarily closing its Creve Coeur campus after an employee who works there is being monitored for coronavirus. The test results on the employee are not yet back.
The company says it is “closing the Bayer campus in Creve Coeur, Missouri, until further notice to implement additional cleaning measures in common areas, and, as a proactive measure out of an abundance of caution.”
For more on the situation at Bayer, click here.
The outbreak has a caused a shortage in the country’s blood supply as many blood drives have been canceled. To see a list of blood drives in the St. Louis area, click here.
Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School has cancelled classes for the rest of the week.
The announcement, made Monday afternoon, comes days after the father of the coronavirus patient took his other daughter to a father-daughter dinner dance with Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton on Saturday.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page will each hold news conference Monday afternoon as coronavirus concerns continue to grow in Illinois and Missouri.
Pritzker’s, taking place in Chicago, will happen live at 3:30 p.m.
Page will address the latest on St. Louis County’s confirmed COVID-19 case amid reports a second person in St. Louis County is being tested. That is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
Several schools in the St. Louis area say they are taking action due to the coronavirus.
Villa Duchesne, where a sister of the woman who tested positive for coronavirus attends, did not have school on Monday.
The news comes after authorities learned that the woman’s family did not follow a recommended quarantine, with her father and sister attending a father-daughter dance at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton on Saturday night.
The Ritenour School District says a staff member was in contact with a family member of the coronavirus patient. That staff member has been asked to stay home as a precaution but the district says the staff member has not any contact with other staff members or students since coming into contact with the family member.
Other schools, such as Chaminade College Preparatory, have told students who have family members who attended the dance to participate in classes remotely.
For more information on the virus and safety guidelines, visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. The St. Louis County Health hotline is 314-615-2660 or visit the county’s website at stlcorona.com to learn more.
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- Analysis | The Health 202: Los Angeles is racing to discover the true coronavirus infection rate – The Washington Post
- Some Public Health Officials Not Releasing Coronavirus Hospitalizations : Shots – Health News – NPR
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- Lost Your Health Insurance During the COVID-19 Crisis? Here Are Your Options – The Motley Fool
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