US now leads world with over 85,500 coronavirus cases

Coronavirus has now killed more than 24,000 people around the world.

March 26, 2020, 10:29 PM

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 24,000 people around the world, including at least 1,288 people in the United States.

Worldwide, there are more than 531,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, spanning every continent except Antarctica, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At least 122,000 people around the world have recovered.

With more than 85,500 diagnosed cases, the U.S has the highest national total, ahead of Italy and China.

Today's biggest developments:

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

9:15 p.m.: NFL draft to go on as planned

The rest of the sports world has screeched to a halt, but the NFL draft will reportedly be going on as scheduled.

The plans were revealed in a letter to teams obtained by ESPN. The NFL Management Council Executive Committee had met on Thursday to take up the issue of keeping the draft in place.

The draft is set to take place from April 23 to 25, though it will not include fans in attendance.

8:29 p.m.: NYPD deputy commissioner sick, being tested: Source

Deputy New York City Police Commissioner John Miller has been hospitalized with symptoms indicative of coronavirus, a well-placed source told ABC News.

Miller has been tested for coronavirus but the results were not back, the source said.

Miller is deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence and a former ABC News correspondent.

7:30 p.m.: New York City cases rise to 23,112

New York City's Health Department updated its coronavirus total Thursday night and the city now has 23,112 confirmed cases.

More than a quarter of the U.S.'s 82,000 COVID-19 cases are in the city. Roughly 55% of New York City patients are under 50 years old, the health department said.

The city's death toll is now at 365, according to the health department. The city has twice as many deaths as any state.

6:24 p.m.: Pence says 552,000 tests have been conducted

More than half a million coronavirus tests have been conducted in the U.S., according to Vice President Mike Pence.

The 552,000 tests include ones from private hospitals, and the vice president urged more companies to send their results to the health experts at the federal level.

"It's so important that any hospital or any lab that’s doing testing report back to the CDC and FEMA so we have full visibility to provide the president with the very best counsel," he said at Thursday's White House press conference.

Pence said Wednesday 432,000 people had been tested, though the numbers did not include private testing facilities.

PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, March 26, 2020, in Washington.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, March 26, 2020, in Washington.
Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said based on current data, there is no indication that the virus could infect a huge majority of Americans.

"There's no reality on the ground where we can see that 60 or 70% of Americans get infected in the next eight to 12 weeks," she said.

5:37 p.m.: US leads world with over 82,000 coronavirus cases

The United States now has more coronavirus cases than any nation in the world, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

There were 82,404 confirmed cases throughout the country, which is 622 more than China, where the outbreak began.

The total number of deaths from the virus in the country was 1,178, according to the data.

Italy leads the world with 8,215 COVID-19 fatalities, followed by Spain, which had 4,154, according to John Hopkins.

4:28 p.m.: Sen. Klobuchar's husband released from hospital

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who recently dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, said her husband, John Bessler, is recovering from coronavirus.

Bessler was released from the hospital after suffering from pneumonia and low oxygen, Klobuchar said Thursday.

"He took a good turn, was just released and is now recovering at home," Klobuchar said in a statement. "Thanks to those who cared for him and for all front line health care workers."

Klobuchar said her husband, who is 52, has no preexisting conditions and was "very healthy" prior to falling ill with the virus. She has not suffered any symptoms and therefore wasn't tested.

4:15 p.m.: 17-year-old dies in Louisiana

A 17-year-old with coronavirus has died in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the teenager had underlying health conditions.

The teen is one of 83 people who have died in the state.

The virus has infiltrated 53 of Louisiana's 64 parishes, the governor said.

PHOTO: EMS personnel bring a patient into the emergency center at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center amid the coronavirus outbreak, in New Orleans, March 25, 2020.
EMS personnel bring a patient into the emergency center at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center amid the coronavirus outbreak, in New Orleans, March 25, 2020.
Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

As the state reels from the growing epidemic, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he and his wife are giving $5 million to organizations to help Louisiana "communities get through this tough time."

Brees said on Instagram he's partnering with organizations "to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need."

PHOTO: A streetcar driver wears a mask amid the coronavirus outbreak, in New Orleans, March 25, 2020.
A streetcar driver wears a mask amid the coronavirus outbreak, in New Orleans, March 25, 2020.
Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

4 p.m.: Travelers from some spots must self-quarantine when entering Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered travelers from some of the areas hit hardest by coronavirus -- New Orleans, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering Texas.

The order applies to people traveling by air. Travelers could face criminal charges if they don’t comply with the order.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

3:40 p.m.: United employee dies after contracting COVID-19

A United employee based out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey has died after contracting COVID-19, according to the airline.

"The thoughts of the entire United family are with his loved ones," the airline said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 68 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19. TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the agency will begin to allow employees to wear N95 masks on a voluntary basis.

3:00 p.m.: Italy's death toll climbs to 8,165

Hard-hit Italy has reached a death toll of 8,165, according to the country's Civil Protection Agency.

PHOTO: Doctors treat COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Rome during the coronavirus emergency on March 26, 2020.
Doctors treat COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Rome during the coronavirus emergency on March 26, 2020.
Antonio Masiello/Getty Images
PHOTO: Parish priest of Seriate, Don Mario stands by one of the coffins stored into the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, near Bergamo, Lombardy, on March 26, 2020, during the country's lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic.
Parish priest of Seriate, Don Mario stands by one of the coffins stored into the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, near Bergamo, Lombardy, on March 26, 2020, during the country's lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic.
Piero Cruciatti/AFP via Getty Images

Italy's death toll is nearly double Spain's, which has the second most fatalities. Spain is followed by China, Iran and France.

Italy's number of diagnosed cases has now topped 80,000, according to the Civil Protection Agency.

But over 10,000 have recovered in Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins data. Among the recovered was an 86-year-old woman who was released from the hospital Tuesday after seven weeks.

2:28 p.m.: 2 Grand Princess passengers die from coronavirus

Two male passengers who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and were being housed at Travis Air Force Base in California have died from coronavirus complications, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Both passengers were on board the Grand Princess cruise ship and were transferred to medical facilities immediately after developing symptoms, the department said.

PHOTO: Medical Personnel help load passengers onto busses as they are disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., March 10, 2020.
Medical Personnel help load passengers onto busses as they are disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., March 10, 2020.
Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

2:08 p.m.: AG urges federal prisons to explore releasing more inmates to early home confinement

Amid concerns of the potentially devastating effects that a COVID-19 outbreak could have within the walls of the nation's prisons, Attorney General William Barr said he has issued new recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons to explore releasing certain at-risk prisoners to home confinement to reduce the prison population. 

Of the 146,000 inmates serving time in federal prison facilities, one-third are considered to have preexisting medical conditions and roughly 10,000 are over the age of 60, Barr said at a news conference on Thursday.

"You want to make sure that our institutions don't become petri dishes and it spreads rapidly through a particular institution. But we have the protocols that are designed to stop it and we are using all the tools we have to protect the inmates," Barr said.

Among those tools "will be identifying vulnerable prisoners who would make more sense to allow to go home to finish their confinement," he said.

Anyone who would be considered eligible for release to home confinement would have to quarantine for 14 days, he said. 

In a phone interview with ABC News after the news conference, Barr stressed that there would be significant limits on what would make prisoners eligible for release to home confinement, noting that they could not be convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses -- which makes up roughly 40% of the over-60 population. 

1:18 p.m.: China temporarily bars all foreign nationals from entering country

China's Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that as of March 28, all foreign nationals, including those with valid visas and residence permits, will be temporarily barred from entering the country.

Diplomats and flight crew are exempt.

1:00 p.m.: Columbia medical students can graduate early to help with pandemic

Columbia University will let medical students graduate early so they can help with the coronavirus response efforts in New York, university officials told ABC News.

The decision from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center comes after New York University announced the unprecedented decision to graduate its fourth-year students early. NYU said its commitment was in response to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive to get more physicians into the health system quickly.

PHOTO: A physician is seen outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, in the Queens borough of New York City, on March 26, 2020.
A physician is seen outside Elmhurst Hospital Center, in the Queens borough of New York City, on March 26, 2020. Elmhurst reported 13 COVID-19 related deaths at the hospital in a 24-hour span, according to officials on March 25, 2020.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

12:40 p.m.: Chicago shuts down Lakefront Trail

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