Trump extends coronavirus social distancing guidelines to April 30
The U.S. now has over 135,000 cases and more than 2,000 deaths.
More than 33,000 people have died around the world as the amount of novel coronavirus cases continues to skyrocket, with the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases globally surpassing 713,000 on Sunday.
The number of cases has grown exponentially in a matter of weeks. Last Thursday, there were 500,000 cases worldwide, which was double the number of worldwide coronavirus cases from the week before.
The U.S. stood at more than 136,000 diagnosed coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 2,409 deaths in the country.
At least 148,000 people have recovered from the virus during this pandemic.
Sunday's biggest developments:
Here's how the news developed Sunday. All times Eastern.
9:18 p.m.: LA Convention Center to be used as medical station
The Los Angeles Convention Center is being converted into a federal medical station to help relieve area hospitals, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced.
The effort is being led by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Guard.
The city is expected to experience a surge in coronavirus cases this week, the mayor said.
Los Angeles County had five new deaths since yesterday, bringing the countywide total to 37. Cases jumped by 332 to a new total of 2,136.
Los Angeles joins other cities that are converting large structures to overflow medical facilities, including New York City's Jacob Javits Center and Seattle's CenturyLink Field Event Center.
7:03 p.m.: 15-minute coronavirus test is on the way
A new 15-minute coronavirus test is on its way to doctors' offices and hospitals now, officials announced at Sunday's White House Task Force briefing.
Admiral Brett Giroir said that Abbott Laboratories will be providing 50,000 of the tests per day, starting April 2.
Giroir said that "18,000 of these little toaster-sized machines" are in doctor's offices and hospitals now.
He also said that the test is performed with a self-nose swab, unlike the less comfortable tests that require a swab to go far up the nasal passage.
As of the close of business Saturday, 894,000 coronavirus tests has been performed in the U.S., Giroir said.
6:12 p.m.: Trump extends U.S. coronavirus guidelines to April 30
President Trump officially reversed his call to reopen businesses by Easter and said he will extend the nation's coronavirus social distancing guidelines to April 30.
"The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks," Trump said at his daily briefing at the White House. "Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”
The guidelines cover limitations on public gatherings, travel restrictions, school and business closures, and other efforts to combat the virus. Trump said that his office will give more details about the new plans on Tuesday.
"We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery," Trump said. "We think by June 1st, a lot of great things will be happening."
The announcement came just days after the president said he hoped that Easter would be a celebration of the virus' defeat.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the new extensions are a “wise and prudent decision.”
In the interim, Trump said that his public health advisers recommended against loosening social distancing restrictions in states or regions that haven't been as hard hit by the virus, as had previously been discussed.
According to the data, up to 2.2 million people would die if nothing was being done to stem the virus, Trump said. Fauci has estimated that even with the measures being taken, it was possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. would die as a result of the virus.
Also during the briefing, Trump announced that two of the nation's largest health insurance companies, Humana and Cigna, will be waving copays for anyone treated for the coronavirus.
He was also asked what people suffering financial hardship should do about paying rent with the first of the month approaching.
“I will tell you, I think landlords are going to take it easy," he said. "We may put out a statement on that. I think a lot of people that are owed money are going to take it easy. They don’t sort of have a choice.”
Several cities and states have issued moratoriums on the eviction of tenants for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 crisis.
5:25 p.m.: White House asks hospitals to send daily data updates
The White House is asking the nation's private hospitals to send their coronavirus testing data to the federal government every day by 5 p.m.
The request came in a letter sent by Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Many of the hospitals already send the data to their state governments, but Pence said the CDC needs the data to "better understand disease patterns."
"As you know, partnership is essential as we work together to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we are requesting your assistance with reporting data that is critical for epidemiological surveillance and public health decision making," he wrote in the letter.
During a meeting with supply chain operators, President Trump also accused some hospitals of hoarding ventilators and other equipment.
"We have to release those ventilators, especially those hospitals that are never going to use them," he said.
4:05 p.m.: Texas increases travel restrictions for more states
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state will mandate self-quarantine orders for travelers from several locations.
The state already ordered 14-day self-isolation for any traveler from New York City and New Orleans airports. Now the quarantine mandate will be issued for travelers from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, all California airports and all Washington state airports.
Non-commercial drivers from Louisiana who travel into Texas will also have to self-isolate.
3:32 p.m.: Country music artist Joe Diffie dies after coronavirus diagnosis
Grammy-winning country music star Joe Diffie died from COVID-19 complications, according to his representatives.
He was 61 years old.
Diffie rose to fame in the early 90s with several No. 1 singles including "Home," "If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)" and "Third Rock from the Sun." The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native also wrote songs for other country music artists including Tim McGraw, Conway Twitty and Jo Dee Messina.
3:30 p.m.: Stimulus money will be sent out 'within 3 weeks': Mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Sunday that the direct checks to Americans from the $2 trillion stimulus plan will be deposited into bank accounts "within three weeks."
For those who don't have direct deposit on file with the IRS, a website will be created that will allow Americans to upload their information to receive their money. Mnuchin also urged companies to consider their laid-off employees and give them a second chance.
"Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that," he said.
3:21 p.m.: Global COVID-19 cases surpass 700,000
The number of coronavirus cases around the world have reached over 710,000, according to Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. leads the world with 135,499 cases followed by Italy with 97,689 cases and China 82,122 cases, according to the data. Italy has the most COVID-19-related fatalities with 10,779 deaths, followed by Spain with 6,606 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
2:47 p.m.: Moscow orders lockdown starting Monday
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin issued an order that mandates all residents self-isolate starting Monday.
No one will be permitted to leave their homes except for traveling to work, buying groceries or medications, seeking medical care, taking a pet for a walk and throwing out garbage, according to the mayor's office.
Residents who have to take their pets for a walk will only be permitted to go no more than 100 meters from their homes, the mayor's office said.
2:43 p.m.: TSA screenings drop to lowest in decade
The number of people who passed through TSA screenings around the country was 184,027 on Saturday, the second consecutive day of screenings below 200,000, the agency said.
The number represents the lowest number of TSA screenings in over a decade. Nearly 2.2 million people passed through TSA screenings during the same day in 2019, according to the TSA.
Screenings have dropped every day for the last two weeks.
2:30 p.m.: Cuomo says New Yorkers 'feel under attack'
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave some reassuring words to New Yorkers as the coronavirus outbreak has made them a target by other leaders who enforce strict rules against them.
This weekend, Gov. Gina Raimondo reversed an order that mandated only New York residents go into self-quarantine if they visited the state and President Donald Trump toyed with an idea that New York City to go into a quarantine. Cuomo said New Yorkers feel like they're "under attack," but reiterated that they are well in this crisis together.
"We have made it through far greater things. We are going to be OK," he said. "We are strong. We have endurance, and we have stability. We know what we are doing."
The governor said that the state health department did make some progress when it came to detecting COVID-19 cases. The health department has developed a less-intrusive coronavirus test that uses saliva and short nasal swab.
The test requires less PPE and will be ready for use as soon as next week, according to Cuomo.
1:20 p.m.: Deaths climb to 965 in New York
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the death toll in New York state climbed to 965 on Sunday, an increase of 237 from Saturday.
"I can't say you are not going to see people pass away because they are. That is the nature of what we are dealing with and that is beyond our control," Cuomo said at a news conference.
Based on the projections models, Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's commissioner of public Health, said it appears the death toll in the state will rise into the thousands.
"I don't know how you look at those numbers an conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away because remember who its attacking, it's attacking the vulnerable, (people with) underlying illnesses eccetera," Cuomo added.
The bulk of the deaths have occurred in New York City, where the death toll rose from 517 at 10 a.m. on Saturday to 678 at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to data from the city's Health Department.
Cuomo also said that new hospitalizations in the state rose by 1,175 overnight while 3,572 patients were discharged.
A total of 172,000 people have been tested in the state for the coronavirus and more than 59,000 have tested positive with 8,503 hospitalized and 2,037 in intensive care units.
Cuomo also announced that he is extending his "New York Pause" program requiring nonessential state workers to stay home for another two weeks. The new deadline is April 15.
12 p.m.: Number of new coronavirus cases in Italy appears to be dropping
Italian health officials said at a news conference on Sunday that the number of deaths and the number of new coronavirus patients appears to be slowing, an indication that that hard-hit country is approaching or has reached its apex.
For the third straight day, Italy saw the number of daily deaths slightly decline. On Sunday, officials reported 756 new deaths compared to 889 on Saturday and 969 on Friday.
Italy still has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world at 10,779. But the percentage increase in the total number of new cases was the lowest it has been since the start of the pandemic.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy is now at 97,689, but the number of infected people in ICU decreased 5.2% on Sunday to 3,906.
10:50 a.m.: Dr. Fauci says US could see 100,000-200,000 deaths
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, said it is possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. will die from the coronavirus
Fauci, who appeared on CNN Sunday morning, was asked about how many cases there will be in the U.S. and estimated there will be anywhere from one to two million cases.
The doctor noted that while his previous experience shows that modeling overshoots to show the best and worst case scenario, the "reality is somewhere in the middle."
Fauci cautioned that the latest model projections are based on "various assumptions" and are "only as good or as accurate as your assumptions."
"I've never seen a model of the diseases that I've dealt with where the worst case scenario actually came out," Fauci said.
"We're going to have millions of (confirmed coronavirus) cases," he added. "But I just don't think we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target that you can so easily be wrong and mislead people."