The latest developments for the coronavirus pandemic on March 29, 2020

LIVE BLOG - FOX 5 NY is updating this blog with the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak so you can get the information in one spot.

10:02 PM:  Californians endured a weekend of stepped-up restrictions aimed at keeping them home as much as possible while hospitals and health officials scrambled Sunday to ready themselves for a week that could see the feared dramatic surge in coronavirus cases.

9:17 PM:  Tokyo stocks fell sharply at the opening on Monday, with the benchmark Nikkei sinking about 700 points, as uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic continued to cloud market sentiment that has been worsened by a spike in infections in Tokyo.

9:01 PM:  iHeartConcertOnFOX is streaming 9-10.

8:55 PM:  New York has passed 1,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic.

7:55 PM: West Virginia has reported the state’s first death linked to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The fatality involved an 88-year-old woman from Marion County, the Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release. The statement said no further details would be released.

West Virginia was the last U.S. state to report a confirmed case on March 17.

Hawaii and Wyoming are the only remaining states with no reported coronavirus deaths.

7:47 PM: As of Sunday night, the NYPD is reporting that 4,651 uniformed members were on sick report, accouting for nearly 13 percent of the Department's uniformed workforce. 730 uniformed members and 88 civilian members have tested positive for coronavirus.

7:38 PM: Governor Andrew Cuomo says the recent federal bailout bill doesn’t give New York nearly enough money and will work with lawmakers to correct the issue. 

7:24 PM: Orders closing many Louisiana businesses and keeping people home to slow the spread of COVID-19 “may well” have to be extended past April 13, Gov. John Bel Edwards says.

7:05 PM: The coronavirus is continuing its relentless spread, as the daily number of infections worldwide continues to jump sharply. World Health Organization figures show the increase in new infections is now about 70,000 per day - up from about 50,000 just a few days ago. More than 32,000 people have died worldwide.

7:03 PM: Ambulance sirens, once an occaisonal part of the New York City soundscape have become almost inescapble in some parts of the city, as the coronavirus has claimed nearly 800 lives. 

6:57 PM: Since Sunday morning, the total number of coronavirus cases in New York City has increased by 1,166 to a total of 33,474. The death toll has risen by 98, to a new total of 776. 

The hardest hit boroughs are:

  • Queens: 10,737 cases
  • Brooklyn: 8,887 cases
  • Bronx: 6,250 cases
  • Manhattan: 5,582 cases
  • Staten Island: 1,984 cases
  • Unknown: 34 cases

6:39 PM: Trump: “What matters to me is that we have a victory over this thing as soon as possible.”

6:31 PM: Dr. Anthony Fauci says that he believes the nation’s mitigation and social distancing efforts are “having an effect” on the spread of coronavirus. 

6:22 PM: Trump says he is extending the government’s social distancing guidelines to fight coronavirus until April 30, and any changes or updates will be unveiled on Tuesday, March 31. Trump says that by June 1, he expects the United States to be well on its way to recovery. 

6:11 PM: Trump says he wants to thank Americans for their efforts in fighting coronavirus, and says that the peak of deaths in America should come in roughly two weeks. 

6:08 PM: Trump says that Americans are uniting in its hour of need. 

5:57 PM: Trump says 80 tons of personal protective equipment arrived by flight at JFK Airport on Sunday and FEMA has scheduled 19 more additional flights.

5:50 PM: Trump says the FDA is allowing the use of a new therapy taking blood plasma from patients who have already recovered from coronavirus to help treat patients who are sick. 

5:48 PM: Trump says the deployment of rapid testing will massively help the United States act quickly and aggressively to shut down the spread of coronavirus. 

5:46 PM: President Trump says the Army Corps of Engineers is building new temporary hospitals across the nation to help fight coronavirus. 

5:03 PM: Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says there are currently 5,000 NYPD members out sick, and he is anticipating to find out that 900 members have tested positive for coronavirus by Monday morning. 

4:57 PM: De Blasio says that athletic equipment will be removed from places where people are not following social distancing rules, and playgrounds may be shut down as well. 

4:51 PM: De Blasio says that New York City must ensure that the next stimulus bill will replace the lost revenue for cities and states, and that there is no other viable path to making up the lost revenue. 

4:49 PM: New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot says that the focus of the city’s response to coronavirus remains to flatten the curve and make sure New York City’s healthcare system can absorb the influx of patients. 

4:43 PM: De Blasio thanks the “vast majority” of New Yorkers for practicing social distancing.

4:40 PM: De Blasio says that despite the reduction in subway usage, there have been reports of crowded subway cars and that he and the MTA are going to work together to intervene if any cars are crowded. 

4:39 PM: De Blasio says there has been a substantial change in service on the Staten Island Ferry and as a result, it will be moving to hourly service, 24 hours a day. The new schedule will go into effect at midnight on Sunday night.

4:37 PM: De Blasio says that as of Saturday night, over 650 inmates have been released due to coronavirus fears. 

4:33 PM: De Blasio says that the first coming milestone is April 5, and that the city’s hospitals desperately need support by that date. He says that the city sent 1,400 ventilators to hospitals, but that he total needed is still 15,000. He called on the federal government to do more, quickly. 

4:30 PM: De Blasio thanks the city's EMS workers for their work in the face of immense demand. 

4:28 PM: De Blasio: “We see this crisis growing.”

4:23 PM: De Blasio: 32,308 total coronavirus cases; 678 dead, an increase of 161 from Saturday morning. 

4:20 PM: Mayor Bill de Blasio says he spoke with President Trump Sunday morning about the need for ventilators and medical personnel in New York City. 

4:05 PM: Engineers in Italy are helping coronavirus patients by modifying snorkeling masks for CPAP machines.

3:31 PM: According to TMZ, Betty White is doing well at home and socially distancing herself from everyone.

2:57 PM: A cat in Belgium has tested positive for the coronavirus after catching the potentially deadly bug from an infected owner, officials said Friday.

2:23 PM: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says that there have been 21 more coronavirus deaths in the state, bringing the total to 161. The state currently stands at 13,386 positive coronavirus cases, an increase of 2,316 from Saturday. 

2:19 PM: The acting superintendent of New Jersey's state police said about 700 police officers in the state have so far tested positive for the coronavirus.

1:38 PM: James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

12:54 PM: Cuomo says that as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and response, the state will have to make drastic cuts to the budget.

12:52 PM: The North American International Auto Show said that it will cancel its Detroit show because of the coronavirus pandemic and the center where it is held will likely be repurposed into a hospital.

The Detroit Auto Show, as it is more commonly known, is one of the largest auto shows in North America. It was scheduled to be held in June. Prior to this year, the auto show was traditionally held in January.

“Although we are disappointed, there is nothing more important to us than the health, safety and well-being of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan, and we will do what we can to support our community’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts in a statement released late Saturday.

12:37 PM: Cuomo says that nursing homes represent roughly ¼ of coronavirus deaths in New York.

12:35 PM: Cuomo says is expecting thousands of deaths in New York when the coronavirus outbreak peaks. 

12:34 PM: Cuomo tells New Yorkers to worship without gathering in large numbers.

12:30 PM: Cuomo: “No-one is going to attack New York unfairly and no-one is going to deprive New York of what it needs.”

12:23 PM: Cuomo says the NY/NJ/CT travel advisory is NOT a lockdown, reminds non-essential workers to stay at home. 

12:21 PM: Cuomo lauds the work of first responders and healthcare workers for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cuomo: "That makes them, in my book, just truly amazing, outstanding human beings."

12:18 PM: Cuomo says that 172,360 people in New York have been tested for coronavirus, with 59,513 testing positive. So far, 8,503 people have been hospitalized, 2,037 are in intensive care, but 3,572 people have been discharged. 965 have died across the state due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

12:16 PM: Cuomo says that 76,019 healthcare workers have volunteered to assist with the fight against coronavirus.

12:15 PM: Cuomo says he is extending his directive for all non-essential workers to work from home for two weeks, until April 15.

12:13 PM: Cuomo underlines the important of fast, easy coronavirus testing in order to allow people to return to work. 

12:10 PM: As of Sunday morning, the New York City Department of Health is reporting a total of 32,308 coronavirus cases and 678 deaths.

The hardest hit boroughs are:

  • Queens: 10,373 cases
  • Brooklyn: 8,451
  • Bronx: 6,145
  • Manhattan: 5,438
  • Staten Island: 1,866

12:05 PM: Governor Andrew Cuomo asks local health providers to anticipate a “rolling apex” across the state, with the high point of the curve peaking at different times for different communities.

11:52 AM: Additional ventilators are currently the New Jersey's biggest need to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday.

Murphy, a Democrat, said on ABC's “This Week” that he made a request for more ventilators during a call with federal officials Saturday night.

“The big headline for us right now are ventilators. We had a very specific conversation with the White House last night about ventilators. That’s our No. 1 ask. It’s our No. 1 need. And that’s the one that we are focused most on right now,” Murphy said.

10:48 AM:  Their eyes are tired. Their cheekbones rubbed raw from protective masks. They don’t smile.

The doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy are almost unrecognizable behind their masks, scrubs, gloves and hairnets — the flimsy battle armor donned at the start of each shift as the only barrier to contagion.

See portraits from the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

10:23 AM:  A doctor in New York posted this to Twitter:

10:05 AM   The U.S. government's foremost infection disease expert says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN's “State of the Union” on Sunday, offered his prognosis as the federal government weighs rolling back guidelines on social distancing in areas that have not been hard-hit by the outbreak at the conclusion of the nationwide 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.

“I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,” he said, correcting himself to say he meant deaths. “We're going to have millions of cases.” But he added “I don't want to be held to that” because the pandemic is “such a moving target.”


9:30 AM:  An NYPD detective is the first coronavirus death among uniformed members of the department. 

9:28 AM:  As the coronavirus rages across the United States, mainly in large urban areas, more than a third of U.S. counties have yet to report a single positive test result for COVID-19 infections, an analysis by The Associated Press shows.

9:06 AM:  On Saturday, March 28, 2020, 4,342 NYPD uniformed employees were on the sick report which accounts for 12% of the Department’s uniformed workforce.  Currently, 608 uniformed members and 88 civilian members tested positive for the Coronavirus.

8:56 AM:   A riot broke out Sunday at a prison in northeastern Thailand, sparked by rumors of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus within the facility, authorities said.

According to the Justice Ministry, during the riot a number of prisoners escaped from the prison in Buriram province, which houses around 2,000 inmates.

The situation was brought under control later in the day by police and military, which set up checkpoints resulting in the recapture of some escapees, it said.

8:45 AM:   In response to the heavy impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed a 14-day domestic travel restriction on the three states.

Effective immediately, the CDC urges residents of these states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel, unless they are an employee of critical infrastructure industries.

8:25 AM:  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said the number of people gathering in a public space is now restricted to two, down from the earlier limit of 10, in order to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference following a meeting with state and territory leaders, Morrison said that the tougher measure does not apply to members of the same household.

States and territories will decide whether to make it an enforceable limit, he added. The 10-person limit is already being enforced.

In addition, public playgrounds, outside gyms and skate parks will be closed from Monday, he said.

8:15 AM:  Pet owners in Serbia are furious over the populist government’s decision to ban even a brief walk for people with dogs during an evening curfew to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Angry dog owners have flooded social networks, warning that the ban could harm their dogs’ health and cause frustration and anxiety for both the animals and their owners.

8:00 AM:  Spain and Italy demanded more European help as they fight still-surging coronavirus infections amid the continent’s worst crisis since World War II.