Information About the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Novel Coronavirus




As a part of its ongoing mission to provide local governments with critical and time-sensitive information to assist their communities, including all-hazards response plans, SGR is closely following the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originated in the City of Wuhan, China in December 2019.

The pathogen responsible for this outbreak is a new (novel) coronavirus that is genetically similar to the viruses that caused the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003 in China and the MERS outbreak in the Middle East in 2014.   

SGR is providing up-to-date information and resources on our website about the Coronavirus. Many of our larger local government partners likely already have this data and tracking in place through their public health offices, and they should be the first point of contact. For our smaller local government partners without the resources to provide this information, SGR is serving as an information broker to fill the need for our partners to provide this information to their communities. 

SGR will be assisting its local government partners in emergency preparedness by:

  1. Providing COVID-19 situation reports and links to relevant information on its website.
  2. Offering, when completed, a revised version of SGR’s “2009 H1N1 Pandemic Influenza Planning Manual-with COOP (Continuity of Operations Plan) Component.”  The new pandemic planning manual will have revised COOP components that will address emerging and novel pathogens (inclusive of COVID-19) which are capable of causing a pandemic.
  3. Sharing best practices, policies, and other tools that local government organizations are using during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • On December 31, 2019, the Chinese government announced an outbreak of a pneumonia of unknown cause affecting several patients in Wuhan;
  • On January 3, 2020, Chinese officials reported 44 cases of this pneumonia illness;
  • By January 11, 2020, this infectious disease had spread to dozens of more people – Chinese officials informed the World Health Organization (WHO) that the common source may be a seafood market in Wuhan and that a new coronavirus had been identified in several of these patients; Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in several species of animals and are one of several virus types which cause the common cold in people.
  • By January 20, 2020, this outbreak had spread to Thailand, Japan, and South Korea;
  • On January 30, 2020, WHO officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
  • On January 31, 2020 the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report just under 10,000 confirmed cases in 26 countries, with 213 deaths.  There have been six cases confirmed in the United States: two in Illinois, two in California, and one each in Arizona and Washington State. The first human-to-human transmission in the US involves the Chicago, IL cases.  One woman who returned from a trip to Wuhan developed the illness and has now infected her husband. 

News, Updates & Resources

In response to this ongoing public health emergency, Johns Hopkins University has developed an online dashboard (static snapshot shown below) to visualize and track the reported cases on a daily timescale.

Coronavirus dashboard map

April 2, 2020 @ 1:00 pm CDT

From March 28, 2020 to April 2, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:

  1. Globally: 962,977 cases/49,180 deaths/ 202,935 recovered

    United States: 216,768 cases with 5,100 deaths

    Texas: 3,977 cases with 58 deaths/ 47,877 tests administered

    Harris County: 680 cases

    Dallas County: 631 cases

    Tarrant County: 273 cases

  2. Italy: 110,574 cases with 13,155 deaths
  3. Spain: 110,238 cases with 10,003 deaths
  4. New York City: 47,000 cases with 1,300 deaths
  5. New Orleans: 3,148 cases with 198 deaths
  6. A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment for the week ending March 27
  7. Two cruise ships owned by Holland America (the Zaandam and the Rotterdam) have been at sea for 27 days.The Zaandam has had four persons die of COVID-19 like symptoms, and 47 other passengers are seriously ill.Both ships are near Florida and asking for permission to dock.The state of Florida granted permission for both ships to dock, with numerous restrictions.Foreign nationals will be transported to chartered aircraft, to be flown back to their own countries.Florida citizens on the two ships will be allowed to be quarantined in Florida.The ships will be docking at the Port of the Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale.
  8. April 1 saw the largest number of COVID-19 deaths to date in the US, with just over 1,000 deaths.
  9. The death rate in New Orleans from COVID-19 appears to be 7 times higher than the death rate in New York City.Some medical experts in New Orleans speculate that the amount of chronic disease conditions among New Orleans citizens may account for these differences.An analysis of citizens who have died from coronavirus pneumonia in New Orleans to date shows that: 97% had at least one pre-existing medical condition; 40% had diabetes; 25% were obese; 23% had chronic kidney disease; and 21% had cardiac issues
  10. The New England Patriots organization sent its team plane to China, after Patriots owner Robert Kraft purchased 1.2 million N-95 respirators from China.The plane has now left the airport in Shenzhen, China and should arrive at Boston’s Logan airport on April 3.The respirators will be provided to the Massachusetts government, for distribution to hospitals.
  11. The US Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt remains docked in Guam.More than 2,700 of the ship’s 5,000 crew members are being removed from the ship and allowed to quarantine on land.A total of 93 sailors has thus far tested positive for coronavirus.At least 1,000 sailors will remain on board to ensure the safety and security of the aircraft carrier.
  12. China has placed the province of Jia on lockdown, due to the appearance of new cases of COVID-19 among its 640,000 citizens.The Chinese are concerned that this may signal the beginning of a second wave of the pandemic in China.
  13. COVID-19 testing across the US continues to be a major obstacle for medical and public health professionals.Quest Diagnostics indicated to the media that Quest has received over 320,000 specimens for coronavirus testing, but now has a 160,000 test backlog.Results may take another 5 to 10 days to complete.
  14. CDC officials reported on April 2 that the CDC lab in Atlanta, GA had processed 4,817 COVID-19 tests, while public health labs across the US had collectively processed 163,641 tests.These totals do not include any COVID-19 tests performed by private, commercial laboratories (such as Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp).

Sources:  CDC; WHO; Johns Hopkins Health; WDSU News New Orleans; New York Times; Washington Post; Reuters; Wall Street Journal; USA Today; Fox News; Bloomberg; ABC News

Information from CDC

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. 

Latest Situation Summary Updates from CDC

The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s web site.


SGR is pleased to have Bill Peterson, Former Regional DHS / FEMA Director, and John Teel, Former Local Health Department Director, reviewing and answering submitted questions* focused on Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) concepts and potentially disruptive forces to provision of city/county services should novel coronavirus have a high incidence in US cities and communities.

Questions and answers will not be answered individually, but will be posted on SGR's Coronavirus FAQ page. 

*Patient healthcare advice will not be provided. Please contact your physician or local health authority for patient healthcare and medical advice. 

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