Get SGR's Pandemic Planning Recorded Webinar & Manual
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:
- Providing COVID-19 situation reports and links to relevant information on its website.
- 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.
- 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.
April 2, 2020 @ 1:00 pm CDT
From March 28, 2020 to April 2, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- 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
- Italy: 110,574 cases with 13,155 deaths
- Spain: 110,238 cases with 10,003 deaths
- New York City: 47,000 cases with 1,300 deaths
- New Orleans: 3,148 cases with 198 deaths
- A record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment for the week ending March 27
- 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.
- April 1 saw the largest number of COVID-19 deaths to date in the US, with just over 1,000 deaths.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
March 30, 2020 @ 11:00 am CDT
From March 27, 2020 to March 30, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- Globally, 737,929 cases; 35,019 deaths; 156,507 recovered
United States, 143,055 cases with 2,600 deaths
- Italy, 97,689 cases with 10,779 deaths
- Spain, 85,195 cases with 7,340 deaths
- Texas:2,552 cases with 35 deaths
118 of Texas’ 254 counties reporting cases; Harris County has 445 cases; Dallas County has 439 cases
- FDA has issued emergency use authorizations for two anti-malarial drugs to be tested on COVID-19 patients for clinical trials.Drugs are hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine
- President Trump has extended his social distancing recommendations through April 30
- Some public health officials in US are predicting that the month of April will be a very rough month for America, with tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths. Significant increases are expected in New Orleans, Chicago, and Detroit
- Dr’s Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx are predicting (if major social distancing/shelter in place efforts are taken) from 100,000 to 200,000 deaths across the US in the next few months.If large numbers of Americans fail to do these social distancing methods, Fauci and Birx predict death toll could be closer to 2.2 million
- Field hospitals are being constructed in major cities across the US, including the Javits Center in New York City, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, tents in Central Park, CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the Fairgrounds in Seattle and Miami-Dade County, Florida and numerous college dormitories across the country
- Texas Governor Abbott has issued a new Executive Order restricting additional travelers as they enter Texas from heavily affected areas.DPS is setting up checkpoints on major highways from Louisiana, requiring Louisiana citizens entering Texas to self-quarantine for 14 days at identified addresses where they can be tracked.
- A record 3.2 million Americans applied for unemployment during the week of March 21
- A choir group in Skagit Valley, WA decided to hold its regular practice in person on March 10.Within 10 days, 45 of its 60 members had COVID-19 (confirmed plus suspected).Three remain hospitalized, and two have died
- General Motors has teamed with a ventilator manufacturer in Seattle called Ventec Life Systems.The two companies will combine resources to rapidly increase the number of ventilators available for shipment to hospitals. The new units are called VOCSN’s, which stands for ventilation, oxygen, cough, suction, and nebulizer. Production will begin in mid-April.
- Abbott Laboratories has invented and received FDA approval for a new rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for COVID-19.The new test requires less than 13 minutes for each patient and can be done at the Point-of-Service.The test device is about the size of a toaster.Abbott is ramping up production and hopes to manufacture as many as 50,000 tests per day.
- The Holland America cruise ship Zaandam is in great difficulty.It has been given permission to traverse the Panama Canal going east and hopes to be allowed to travel 3 days to Florida, to dock and get help.This shop has over 1500 crew and passengers.At least 189 crew and passengers have COVID-19 like symptoms, and 4 people have died.
- The US State Department has successfully retrieved over 18,000 US citizens who had traveled abroad and been trapped when various countries shut down air travel.
- Chinese scientists have studied a small number of Chinese coronavirus patients who were ill between January 28 and February 9.The patients have all recovered and were monitored for their levels of coronavirus while sick, and after getting well.About half of the patients studied, even after having two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests, still had coronavirus in their systems for from one to 8 days after all symptoms had resolved and were presumed to be contagious.
- Chinese health officials report that in Hubei Province (where the COVID-19 pandemic originated), there have been no new COVID-19 cases identified for the last six days.
Friday, March 27, 2020 @ Noon CDT
From March 25, 2020 to March 27, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- Globally: 551,337 cases with 24,906 deaths
United States: 86,012 cases with 1,296 deaths
Texas: 1,396 cases with 18 deaths
- As of March 26, the US has had more COVID-19 cases than China.
- Italy: 80,584 cases with 8,215 deaths
- Spain: 64,259 cases with 4,858 deaths
- New York City: This city continues to be the epicenter in the US; 23,000 cases with 365 deaths. New hospital admissions jumped by 40% yesterday. City is releasing all non-violent inmates held in city jails.
- Total COVID-19 tests performed in Texas: 21,424; 18,744 by private labs and 2,680 performed by public (government) labs.
- As of 3/27, 19 states in the US have reported less than 200 cases.
- On 3/27, United Kingdom officials reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive.
- Texas Governor Abbott ordered that all persons arriving in Texas from the 5-state region including New York state, plus New Orleans, must register with Texas officials, and self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Graduate students at West Texas A&M have developed a copper film (an adhesive patch) which can be placed over door handles. It kills most pathogens and will soon be tested against coronavirus. The patches can be purchased at coppercleanus.com.
- A US aircraft carrier (the USS Theodore Roosevelt) now has 25 sailors who have tested positive for coronavirus. They have been airlifted for treatment on land. The entire crew will now be tested. This warship will soon dock in Guam.
- New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City has begun connecting two patients to single ventilators, due to their shortage of ventilators. Italy has used this technique for weeks, but this may be the first time a US hospital has been forced to try this method for an infectious disease.
- Singapore has tightened its social distancing laws. Any person caught sitting or standing closer than 1 meter (3 feet 3 inches) to another person can be arrested, fined up to about $7,000 US dollars, and potentially jailed for up to 6 months
- Even if US hospitals obtain enough ventilators, they may not have sufficient trained healthcare professionals to use them. In normal times, respiratory therapists monitor patients and machines. To address this shortage of trained professionals, many hospitals are holding emergency training for nurses and other hospital employees to monitor patients on ventilators.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs is expressing concern that, as more and more veterans become infected, its hospitals nationwide may not have enough beds or ventilators. The average veteran is over age 60, placing them at high risk for severe or critical outcomes.
- Los Angeles County saw a 50% increase in coronavirus cases on March 26. The mayors of LA and San Francisco have expressed concern that their large cities may “look like” New York City in about one week.
- Twenty-one states now have “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in- place” orders, as do 84 counties and 17 cities.
Sources: CDC; Johns Hopkins Health; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; Bloomberg; Microsoft News; KRLD Radio; CNN; Reuters; USA Today; CBS News; Newsweek
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 2:00 PM CDT
From March 23, 2020 to March 25, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- Globally: 438,749 cases with 19,675 deaths
United States: 55,243 cases with 838 deaths
Texas: 715 cases with 11 deaths
- Italy: 69,176 cases with 6,820 deaths.Health care system remains overwhelmed.
- Spain: 47,610 cases with 3,434 deaths.Health care system strained.
- New York City: 17,800 cases; 3,800 hospitalized (12%) and 888 in ICU (3%).This city now has 60% of new COVID-19 cases in the US.Case counts are doubling every 3 days.Health system strained.
- As of March 25, only one country in the Americas remained with zero confirmed COVID-19 cases, which is Saint Kitts and Nevis (in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean Sea)
- New Orleans: The state of Louisiana and the greater New Orleans metro area are seeing rapid increases in new COVID-19 cases. The New Orleans area has seen over 1,000 cases with approx. 30 deaths.
- In Texas, the state health department reports that over 13,000 tests have been administered. 65 of Texas’ 254 counties report one or more cases.
- One third of the world’s population is now under some level of movement restrictions.
- US lawmakers agreed on March 25 to a $ 2 trillion stimulus package
- Prince Charles of the United Kingdom has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- The US senate has agreed to adjourn and tentatively plans to return to work around April 20
- New York Governor Cuomo states that NY has 4,000 ventilators, awaiting FEMA shipment of 4,000 ventilators, has purchased another 7,000 units, but needs a minimum of 30,000 ventilators.
- Seventeen (17) states in the US have adopted some level of shelter-in-place laws
- In Texas, the following counties and cities have adopted “Stay-at-Home or Shelter-in-Place” orders and ordinances:
Counties: Bell; Bexar; Collin; Dallas; Denton; Harris; Hays; Hunt; McClennan; Tarrant; Travis; Williamson
Cities: Austin; Dallas; El Paso; Rowlett; San Antonio; Waco
- The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on March 23 a multi-country, multi-drug set of clinical trials to assess whether four currently licensed (licensed for other diseases), or experimental (remdesivir) are effective in reducing mortality and morbidity from SARS-CoV-2 infections.The drug/drug combinations are:
- HIV antiviral combination Lopiravir plus Ritonavir
- Hydroxychloroquine or chloraquine (anti-malaria drugs)
- Hydroxychloroquine in combination with beta interferon
- Remdesivir (an antiviral)
Sources: CDC; WHO; CNN; Texas Tribune; Newsweek; CBSDFW
Monday, March 23, 2020 @ 2:00 PM CDT
From March 20, 2020 to March 23, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- Globally, 354,677 cases with 15,430 deaths
United States, 35,530 cases with 471 deaths
Texas, 352 cases with 8 deaths
- Outside of Asia, Italy has the highest COVID-19 activity, with 58,138 cases and 5,476 deaths [ a 9 % Case Fatality Rate (CFR)]
- US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams predicts that during the week of March 23 “it’s going to get bad.”(Referring to rapid increases in the number of new COVID-19 cases and reported deaths)
- New York City has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, with 10,764 cases and 99 deaths.On March 23, there were 1,800 patients in New York City hospitals, and 450 of those were in ICU’s.
- President Trump has authorized deployment of National Guard troops to Washington state, California, and New York state.
- State’s whose governors have passed “Stay at Home” orders include:California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Delaware
- Despite California’s shelter in place order, thousands of citizens are flaunting the order by crowding onto beaches, and into state parks and hiking trails
- Far west Texas has its first confirmed case, in Gaines County.Officials indicate this person had traveled to an affected area prior to coming down with symptoms.
- Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a shelter-in-place order on March 22.
- Ford, General Motors, and Tesla have announced that they will assist the federal government with manufacture of ventilators
- Medical experts in several US states are considering treating COVID-19 patients with “convalescent serum” from patients who have recently recovered from the disease.This treatment method has already been used in China and other regions experiencing major outbreaks.
- Federal, state, and local governments are contemplating the early release of non-violent inmates from prisons and jails (those inmates in high risk groups) to lessen the impact of COVID-19 spread within the high-density populations in jails and prisons.
- Louisiana Governor Edwards says his state has the fastest growth rate of new coronavirus cases in the world.One week ago, Louisiana had 100 confirmed cases.Seven days later, it has 800 confirmed cases.
- Infectious disease expert Dr. Emily Landon (University of Chicago Medical) told Illinois citizens today that “this is a very unforgiving virus.”She is advocating for the maximum social distancing methods available, with the goal of flattening the curve, and preventing huge numbers of cases and deaths. Dr. Landon says the last time the US and its hospitals were this unprepared for a pandemic was 1918 (Spanish Flu Pandemic).
- The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) leading infectious disease expert is Dr. Bruce Aylward, who has led efforts to quell major disease outbreaks around the world.Dr. Aylward told Time Magazine the following:
- In China, with maximum mitigation efforts, the first wave has taken over 3 months to subside;
- Areas like Europe, North America, and the Middle East have months of this epidemic in front of them
- The pandemic is just beginning on the African and Indian continents
- By the end of September, most of the world will be coming out of the first wave, but…. Any country or region that gets overconfident or lax about testing, containment efforts, and mitigation (social distancing) will likely cause their own second wave, which could be more damaging than the first
- Members of the US congress who have tested positive for COVID-19 include:
- Senator Rand Paul
- Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart
- Rep. Ben McAdams
Sources: Johns Hopkins Health; CDC; WHO; CNN; New York Times; Washington Post; CBS News
Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 2:00 PM CDT
As of March 20, 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic situational update includes:
- Worldwide – 258,000 cases with 11,268 deaths
United States – 16,638 cases with 217 deaths
Texas – 194 cases with 5 deaths
- The country having the greatest incidence of disease (outside of Asia) from SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19) is Italy.Italy has experienced 47,000 cases with 4,000 deaths, all in only one month (an apparent 8% case fatality rate).Its healthcare system has been overrun.
- The US State Department has raised its worldwide travel advisory to Level 4, meaning that it is not advised for American citizens to travel anywhere outside the US
- President Trump closed the borders with Canada and Mexico, with exemptions for US citizens and legal residents to return if desired
- Texas Governor Abbott has closed down schools until April 3, and has closed down restaurants and bars (except for drive-through and delivery).
- On March 18, President Trump invoked the powers of the Defense Production Act, allowing him to order certain manufacturing companies to begin producing products needed to respond to the pandemic (product such as ventilators and PPE)
- California’s governor ordered most Californians to shelter in place.New York’s governor ordered all non-essential workers to stay home from work.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that Americans should stay at home for the next several weeks
- As the US shuts down, the Labor Department reported a 30% spike in new claims for unemployment
- The White House and Congress are working out details of a $1 trillion stimulus package. American citizens could be receiving assistance checks in April for approximately $1,200.
- The President has extended the income tax filing deadline to July 15
- Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo has constructed a drive-through coronavirus testing facility.They plan to open on Monday, March 23.Citizens will need an order from their physician in order to be tested.
- John Peter Smith hospital in Fort Worth has erected and operationalized a coronavirus testing tent, attached to its Emergency Medicine entrance.
- Recent studies indicate that 2/3 of all deaths from COVID-19 were in men; In Italy, 70% of deaths are in men.
- Texas Health Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt on March 19 declared a public health disaster for Texas.
- Federal officials are studying the anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for possible use to treat COVID-19 patients.Chinese officials and some US doctors report some success with these two drugs.
- Physicians at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have begun a clinical trial of the antiviral drug Remdesivir.Patients with mild coronavirus symptoms, and patients with moderate levels of symptoms, will be enrolled in the study. In laboratory tests, Remdesivir has been effective in blocking replication of SARS-CoV-2.
Sources: CDC; Johns Hopkins Health; MSN News; San Angelo Standard Times; US News & World Report; Texas Tribune
March 7, 2020 @ Noon CST
From March 2, 2020 to March 7, 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic situational update includes:
- Globally, 102,472 cases with 3,491 deaths
South Korea – 7,041 cases with 44 deaths
Iran – 4,747 cases with 124 deaths
Italy – 4,636 cases with 197 deaths
- United States – disease has spread to 28 states, with 340 cases and 17 deaths.
- The Grand Princess cruise ship, with 2,422 guests and 1,111 crew members is circling off San Francisco’s shore, awaiting instructions from CDC and state of California.Of the first 45 persons on the ship (symptomatic individuals) tested, 21 are positive for COVID-19.Nineteen are crew members, and two are guests. The CDC and California officials are crafting a plan to assist with disease detection and control for persons on this vessel.The guests may be allowed to disembark and be cared for at a military installation.
- On March 6, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the risk assessment for COVID-19 to “Very High” worldwide
- The Pope announced that he is cancelling large gatherings and public worship services at the Vatican until further notice
- On March 6, Vice President Mike Pence and the CDC informed all Americans age 60 and over, and all Americans with chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, etc. to consider staying home, and avoiding crowds, airline flights, etc.CDC announced that persons over 60 were twice as likely to develop severe illness if infected with coronavirus
- Florida reported its first deaths (2), involving citizens who had recently traveled to countries affected by coronavirus
- The City of Austin, Texas cancelled South By Southwest (SXSW), which had been scheduled to begin on March 8. This event normally draws over 400,000 guests and brings in over $365 million in tourist revenue
- The National Basketball Association (NBA) has notified its teams to make preparations to play in empty stadiums.
- The state of Washington has the most cases among US states, with 80 cases and 14 deaths.Many of the deaths are associated with the Life Care nursing home in Kirkland, WA
- Almost 3,000 New York City residents are undergoing 14-day quarantine at home, due to possible exposure to confirmed cases
- The University of Washington has cancelled all in-person classes until at least March 20
- After several critical weeks with insufficient quantities of coronavirus test kits available in public health laboratories across the US, Vice President Pence announced on March 6 that 75,000 test kits had been shipped to state health laboratories.He also stated that, by the end of the week (around March 13), as many as 1.2 million kits should have been shipped.
Sources: CDC, WHO, Johns Hopkins Health, CNN, New York Times
March 2, 2020 @ 7:00 am CST
From February 28, 2020 to March 2, 2020 the COVID-19 epidemic situational update includes:
- Globally there have been 89,197 cases with 3,048 deaths
- Countries outside of China with the most cases are:
- South Korea with 4,385 cases and 26 deaths
- Italy with 1,694 cases and 34 deaths
- Iran with 978 cases and 54 deaths
- In the United States, there are 88 total cases.The first death in the US was reported on March 1, and a second death in the same area of Washington state has been reported. The first death involved a man in his 50’s with underlying disease. The second involved a patient from a nursing home, in his 70’s, with underlying disease.
- New cases of coronaviruses reported during the weekend of February 29/March 1 include the states of Washington, California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Florida, and Oregon.
- Two new coronavirus cases in California involved health care workers who treated a COVID-19 patient in the San Francisco area
- A scientist in Washington state who has analyzed the genetic material from the first COVID-19 patient in the US, and compared it to genetic material from coronavirus isolated from a recent patient in the Seattle area has stated that COVID-19 may have been spreading in Seattle/King County for as many as six weeks, undetected until now. This scientist believes many dozen Washington residents may be infected.
- A 36-nation organization known as the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation reported on March 1, that the global economy will not grow by the previously-projected 3 percent for 2020, but because of coronavirus will only grow by 1.5 percent.
- Italian health officials report that many hospitals in northern Italy near the epicenter of Italy’s COVID-19 outbreak are in severe crisis and near their breaking points.
- US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar reported on March 1, that CDC has now shipped enough coronavirus test kits across the nation to allow for about 75,000 tests. He believes that number will double by March 6.
- The WHO has analyzed disease data from about 44,000 Chinese patients who have had COVID-19, and reports the following trends in the data:
- 80 percent of the patients had mild illness and did not require hospitalization;
- 14 percent of the patients had severe illness, and were hospitalized;
- Another 5 percent of the patients had critical illness. Of the most critically ill, most were over 60 years of age and had co-morbidities (had underlying illness like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, etc.)
- A US citizen who had been in quarantine at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, had finished the quarantine period, and twice tested negative for COVID-19 was released. She (the formerly-quarantined citizen) was released and was staying in a San Antonio hotel. A third test of COVID-19 showed a “weak positive”, and she was returned to quarantine. San Antonio and CDC health officials are performing contact tracing of any persons she may have exposed at the hotel.
Sources: CDC, WHO, Johns Hopkins Health, New York Times, Washington Post, CNBC
February 28, 2020 @ 11:00 AM CST
From February 26, 2020 to February 28, 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic situational update includes:
- Case count globally is 83,774. Death count is 2,867
- Outside of mainland China, the nations with the most cases are:
- South Korea – 2,337 cases and 13 deaths
- Italy – 655 cases and 17 deaths
- Iran – 388 cases and 34 deaths
- Japan – 228 cases and 4 deaths
- In the United States, the current situation is:
- 42 cases among Diamond Princess repatriates
- 3 cases among Wuhan repatriates
- 14 cases as “other”
- The most significant development in the US is the discovery of potentially America’s first case of community-acquired COVID-19. A woman who lives in Solano County, California has been treated by two separate hospitals for a severe respiratory illness and is on a ventilator in serious condition at UC Davis Medical Center. After receiving special permission to send a specimen to CDC, health officials now know she has COVID-19. This patient has no known contact with any COVID-19 patients, and has not traveled. Contact tracing for all health care workers, and all community members with whom she has had contact is being conducted by California state health officials.
- On February 28, 2020, the following countries reported their first cases of novel coronavirus: Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, and North Macedonia
- WHO’s chief on February 28 told reporters that the “risk of spread and impact of COVID-19 is now very high at a global level.”
- China reports that only 329 new cases of COVID-19 have been found as of February 28, the lowest number of new cases in over one month.
- The state of California is monitoring the health status of 8,400 California residents who have returned from trips to areas affected by COVID-19.These citizens are quarantined in their homes.
- HHS Secretary Alex Azar reports that, by February 29, 93 public health laboratories across the US will have received new shipments of test kits for coronavirus
- The current theory of the original source of COVID-19 coronavirus is that it spread from horseshoe bats in China to an intermediate mammal host (possibly pangolins-aka scaly anteaters), then spread to a person.This theory remains unproven; however, the genetic sequences in COVID-19 virus are reported to be a 99% match to viruses obtained from horseshoe bats in China
- The US Navy has ordered all ships in its Pacific Fleet that have docked in a defined list of Asian countries to undergo a 14-day quarantine at sea before docking in any port. The Navy reports that they do not have any suspected cases of coronaviruses among sailors in the Pacific Fleet at this time.
- United Airlines announced that it is slashing the number of flights to several Asian countries, and that it is continuing its total cessation of flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong through at least April 30.
- The US stock market (Dow Jones average) has lost more than 4,000 points (over 11%) of value in the last week. This puts the market in official “correction” status, with the dramatic drop being attributed to worldwide fears about coronavirus.
- Northern Ireland and Wales have reported their first cases of COVID-19, as has Nigeria. Switzerland has banned all gatherings of 1,000 people or more.
- A whistleblower in the US has stated that he/she and other federal workers were forced to work directly with quarantined American repatriates without training, and without safety equipment.
- Conventions and seminars scheduled for cities in California are beginning to be cancelled. Microsoft and Facebook have both cancelled conventions scheduled for March in California .
- Hong Kong health officials have tested a dog owned by a Hong Kong citizen.The citizen is being treated for COVID-19. The dog has shown a “weakly positive” test for COVID-19 but is not showing illness symptoms. Hong Kong officials say that, in the future, any Hong Kong citizen diagnosed with coronavirus will have his/her pets placed into 14-day quarantine.
Sources: Johns Hopkins Health, CDC, WHO, CNN, NBC News, New York Times
February 26, 2020 @ 9:00 am CST
From February 24, 2020 to February 26, 2020, the 2019-nCoV epidemic situational update includes:
- Global case count is 81,191; death count is 2,768
- Outside of Asia, Italy has the highest number of cases, with 322 cases
- Five new countries have reported their first case or cases of COVID-19: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, and Brazil (first case of COVID-19 on South American continent)
- In the United States, the case count is: Wuhan-associated-3; Diamond Princess repatriates-36; Other-14
- On February 24 and 25, stock markets around the globe experienced major drops due to coronavirus fears. The US stock market lost 7 percent of value, amounting to $1.7 trillion dollars’ worth of lost value
- Iran’s Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi, has tested positive for COVID-19. Iran reports 139 confirmed cases and 19 deaths. Iranian police have arrested 24 citizens for spreading false rumors about coronavirus on social media
- China’s tech companies have begun testing the use of drones and autonomous vehicles to safely deliver supplies to persons in isolation or quarantine, or in cities under lockdown
- In South Korea, the first US serviceman has tested positive for COVID-19, and is in isolation receiving treatment
- On February 25, CDC officials told reporters of the potential of widespread illnesses in the US, with possible disruption to everyday life being severe.One official was quoted as saying “this could be bad”
- The White House has sent a request to Congress, requesting a budget amendment providing $2.5 billion for preparations for a COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Several US senators are suggesting the need could be far greater than $2.5 billion
- A spokesman with the Association for Public Health Laboratories in the US has publicly stated that the vast majority of public health laboratories in the US is completely unprepared for testing for novel coronavirus. He states that the initial batch of test kits sent by CDC had a flawed reagent, and that new kits have not been shipped. Only 12 public health laboratories in the US are currently capable of performing coronavirus tests.
- Moderna Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, has shipped several vials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine to the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Disease for early stage testing
- The largest facemask manufacturer in the US is Prestige Ameritech in Texas. The company says their orders are up 1000 times, and they are at their maximum limit of production
- Apple’s I-phone manufacturer in Zhengzhou, China is trying to get up and running.They are offering all workers who show up a bonus equal to $1000 US dollars
- Gilead Sciences is conducting clinical trials for its antiviral drug remdesivir in China, and at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (with US citizens infected with COVID-19 who have returned from the Diamond Princess and other locations)
Sources: CDC, WHO, Johns Hopkins Health, Reuters, AP, AFP, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CNN, Washington Post, Business Insider
February 24, 2020 @ 7:00 AM CST
From February 21, 2020 to February 24, 2020, the COVID-2019 epidemic situational update includes:
- Case count globally is 79,524, with 2,626 deaths
- “Hotspots” outside of mainland China include South Korea (833 cases), Italy (215 cases), Japan (154 cases), and Iran (61 cases)
- In the United States, the case count among “repatriates” stands at 21 (18 from Diamond Princess and 3 from Wuhan), and the case count for “other” US citizens who have had COVID-19 stands at 14
- On February 22, South Korea raised its disease alert to its highest level
- WHO reports that the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this virus appears to be around 2 percent. WHO also reports that this illness in China appears to cause mild disease in about 80 percent of patients, and severe or critical disease in about 20 percent
- If the CFR for COVID-19 is 2 percent, that would make this coronavirus 20-times more deadly than seasonal influenza, which has a CFR of 0.1 percent
- As of February 24, CDC’s official position (on its website) is that COVID-19 (aka SARS-CoV-2) will likely cause a pandemic
- Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) Communities are beginning to push back on state and federal government plans to set up COVID-19 treatment centers. The City of Costa Mesa, California has sued the state of California for trying to set up a coronavirus treatment facility in a vacant residential treatment center. Also, local government officials in Alabama are angry at FEMA for FEMA’s decision to set up a coronavirus treatment hospital at a former military base near Aniston, Alabama
- For the first time in decades, China’s leaders have postponed their annual parliament session, scheduled for March in Beijing, due to coronavirus concerns. President Xi Jinping stated that the COVID-19 epidemic is the most serious public health crisis to impact China since the current government formed in 1949
- The government of North Korea has detained and quarantined 380 foreigners, in an attempt to prevent the entry of coronavirus into North Korea. The government’s official response is that there are no cases of COVID-19 in their country
- With over 150 cases of coronavirus in northern Italy, the country is instituting sweeping non-pharmaceutical NPI’s, including school closures, limits on transportation, and the closure of many public buildings
Sources: CDC; WHO; ABC News; NBC News; Reuters; Johns Hopkins Health
February 19, 2020 @ 4 pm CST
From February 15, 2020 to February 19, 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic situational update includes:
- Globally, there have been 75,280 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 2,014 deaths.
- The Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan is in the process of releasing hundreds of passengers, who have completed their 14-day quarantine period.The US has transferred most of its citizens off this ship, back to military bases in the US.As many as 14 of the nearly 400 Americans returned from the Diamond Princess may be infected with COVID-19, and are being treated at US locations. A total of 624 passengers and crew on this ship has been infected with coronavirus.
- The MS Westerdam cruise ship, docked in Sihanoukville, Cambodia has now allowed its passengers to disembark. Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have sent charter flights to retrieve their citizens who had been on the Westerdam. One US citizen on this ship was allowed to leave, and later developed coronavirus infection. Cambodian and US officials are performing contact tracing on persons she may have exposed.
- The US State Department has now issued a second travel advisory for a country based on the presence of coronavirus. The first country the State Department advised against travel was mainland China, the second is Hong Kong.
- Twenty-seven infectious disease scientists from around the world have signed a joint-letter which debunks the several conspiracy theories which allege that COVID-19 coronavirus did not actually originate in a wildlife species in China, but was accidentally released from a virus research laboratory in Wuhan, China.These experts state emphatically that this new coronavirus has a mammalian origin, and like previous coronavirus outbreaks, may have originated in bats from Hubei Province.
- The country of Singapore now reports 84 cases, with confirmed person-to-person transmission.
- On February 18, China expelled three reporters from the Wall Street Journal for publishing articles that are critical of China’s response to COVID-19.
- Iran has reported its first two cases of COVID-19, in two elderly Iranian citizens.
- Adidas reports an 85% drop in shoe sales within China.
- The WHO has now shipped COVID-19 test kits to 56 countries.
- The United Arab Emirates now reports 9 cases of COVID-19.
Sources: CDC, WHO, CNN, USA Today, Microsoft News
February 13, 2020 @ 10 am CST
From February 11, 2020 to February 13, 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic situational update includes:
- On February 12, 2020 China added a second method for diagnosing (and therefore counting) new cases of coronavirus disease (referred to as a “clinical diagnosis”). They added a positive lung X-ray indicative of pneumonia plus a physician’s opinion, even in the absence of an RT-PCR confirmatory test, as a case.
- The change in the method of declaring a person to be a COVID-19 case added a “sudden surge” of 15,000 additional cases in Hubei Province, bringing the global case count to 59,823. The global death count as of 02/13 is 1,370.
- After being turned away from multiple countries for a place to dock, the MS Westerdam cruise ship was allowed to dock in Cambodia on February 12. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported among passengers or crew.
- Beijing has reported their COVID-19 case count as 342.
- US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell said on February 11 that this epidemic could hurt the global economy.
- Hong Kong health officials report the possibility of transmission of this coronavirus in a high-rise apartment building through improper plumbing fixtures.
- Shanghai on February 12 officially postponed its Formula One Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 19 due to fears of coronavirus spread. World Rugby moved its April competitions scheduled for Hong Kong and Singapore to October dates. The International Olympic Committee stated its Tokyo Games will still take place in July and August.
- The cruise ship Diamond Princess that is quarantined at a port in Yokohama, Japan now has 218 confirmed cases.
- Reuters reports a 14th confirmed case in the US. The patient is an evacuee from Wuhan who has been quarantined at the Miramar Air Station in San Diego, and is believed to have been infected in Wuhan. CDC indicates that there has been no known transmission of coronavirus among evacuees who are quarantined at US military installations.
- NBC News and CDC reported on February 13 that Texas has its first case of COVID-19. The case is one of the 91 evacuees from China being quarantined at Lackland AFB in San Antonio and is in isolation at a San Antonio hospital. CDC officials indicate that the public should be aware that before the February 20 “end of quarantine” for these 91 people, more could develop COVID-19 disease. Texas is now the 7th US state with one or more COVID-19 cases.
- Japan reported its first death from COVID-19 on February 12. Patient was an 80-year old female.
February 11, 2020 @ 11 am CST
From February 7, 2020 to February 11, 2020 at 11 am CST, the 2019-nCoV epidemic situational update includes:
- The case count is 43,143 with coronavirus deaths reported as 1,018.
- On 2/7 – Royal Caribbean cruise lines has banned from boarding any of its ships any person who has a passport from China, Hong Kong, or Macau.
- Reuters reports that the first US citizen has died of 2019-nCoV, in a hospital in Wuhan on February 8. The person was 60 years of age.
- The US has reported its 13th case. An evacuee from China, in quarantine at a military base in San Diego has tested positive and is being treated. Another seven evacuees at this location are hospitalized with respiratory disease symptoms and are being evaluated.
- The single day death toll in China set a record on Monday, February 10, with 100 deaths reported.
- The first group of evacuees from China that was quarantined at a military base in California has now been cleared to go home.
- Chinese researchers have announced they have found the species of mammal they believe is the intermediate host for this specific coronavirus. The researchers have tested animals called pangolins (scaly anteaters) that are often sold in food markets, and found a novel coronavirus with a 99% genomic match to the coronavirus isolated from Chinese patients.
- On February 11, a World Health Organization (WHO) team arrived in Wuhan to assist the Chinese with efforts to mitigate this outbreak.
- CNN reports that the cruise ship Diamond Princess remains quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. It has over 3,000 passengers and crew, including 428 Americans. Confirmed coronavirus cases have now reached 135, including 24 Americans.
- On February 10, the WHO proposed a new name for 2019-nCoV. WHO recommends using the name “COVID-19”, for coronavirus in 2019. WHO indicates that this name does not have negative connotations for any animals, or any geographic regions of the world.
Sources: WHO; CDC; CNN; New York Times; Johns Hopkins Health, Washington Post
February 6, 2020 @ 7:30 PM CST
From February 5, 2020 to the evening of February 6, 2020, the 2019-nCoV epidemic situational update includes:
- There are 31,317 confirmed cases worldwide, with 637 reported deaths.
- The nation outside of China with the most cases is Japan, with 45 cases.
- There remain 12 cases in the United States, involving six states.
- On February 5, 2020, the CDC shipped coronavirus test kits to 115 public health laboratories in the US. Each test kit is capable of testing 700 to 800 patient specimens, in about 4 hours per test.
- Belgium reported its first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.
- The WHO just completed its “Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan and Resource Requirements.” This document is available on the WHO website.
- The WHO is sponsoring a global forum in Geneva on February 11 and 12. The purpose of the forum is to speed efforts to develop effective treatments and to develop a vaccine.
- Wuhan City just completed its second new hospital to treat residents for coronavirus. The hospital has 1,600 beds and 2,000 healthcare employees.
- Two US citizens on the cruise ship quarantined in Japan have tested positive for coronavirus. A total of 61 passengers and crew have now tested positive aboard this quarantined vessel.
- The Chinese physician who is credited with first informing the public of the presence of this coronavirus outbreak (Li Wenliang, age 33) is reported by the Wall Street Journal to have become infected with 2019-nCoV, and died on or about February 6.
February 5, 2020 @ 6:00 PM CST
From February 3, 2020, to February 5, 2020, the 2019-nCoV epidemic situational update includes:
- One newborn in Wuhan City, 30 hours after birth, tested positive for coronavirus.
- China’s Health Commission reports that 80% of deaths related to this virus are in patients 60 years of age or older.
- Two planes from Hubei Province in China have evacuated approximately 350 Americans. The planes landed in California, with half of the citizens quarantined at Travis Air Force Base, and the other half quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. These citizens have now begun their 14-day observation period.
- Two cruise ships are now in quarantine. One vessel is anchored off the coast of Japan with over 3600 people, and 10 of its passengers have been confirmed with 2019-nCoV. The other ship is docked in Hong Kong, with 1800 passengers and crew. Three of those persons are being tested for coronavirus.
- Globally, the case count has reached 20,630, with just under 500 reported deaths.
- The 12th case of this disease has been reported in the US, involving an adult who had known contact with cases in China. The individual became ill after returning home to Wisconsin and is under isolation at home.
- US states with one or more cases of 2019-nCoV include: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin.
As of February 2, 2020
- There are 11 cases in the United States, involving 5 states - Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington.
- There have been approximately 17,400 cases globally, with the majority in mainland China; however, 24 other countries have reported at least one case.
- There have been 361 deaths reported in China.
- The first death from novel coronavirus has been reported outside of China. A 44-year old man died in the Philippines after returning from a trip to Wuhan, China. His companion has been infected and is being monitored.
- The case fatality rate (i.e. the percentage of confirmed cases resulting in death) is estimated to be between 2 and 3 percent (compared to approximately 10 percent reported during the SARS epidemic in China in 2002-2003).
- On January 31, 2020 President Trump signed a proclamation regarding travel restrictions as follows:
- All foreign nationals who have visited China in the previous 14 days are prohibited from entering the US.
- US citizens returning from China must return through one of 11 designated US airports, and receive comprehensive medical screening. If symptomatic, these US citizens will be placed in isolation.
For background and the most up-to-date information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website:
2019-nCoV Overview for EMS Agencies (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Live Map of 2019-nCoV Cases (CDC and Johns Hopkins University)
Flatten the Curve (Flowing Data)
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.
Information from CDC
Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell
Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.
Other Human Coronaviruses
Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms. MERS symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath which often progress to pneumonia. About 3 or 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died. MERS cases continue to occur, primarily in the Arabian Peninsula. SARS symptoms often included fever, chills, and body aches which usually progressed to pneumonia. No human cases of SARS have been reported anywhere in the world since 2004.
Your healthcare provider may order laboratory tests on respiratory specimens and serum (part of your blood) to detect human coronaviruses. Laboratory testing is more likely to be used if you have severe disease or are suspected of having MERS. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel or contact with animals. Most MERS-CoV infections have been reported from countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, reporting a travel history or contact with camels or camel products is very important when trying to diagnose MERS.
Additional CDC Resources
Information from CDC
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- Rarely, fecal contamination
In the United States, people usually get infected with common human coronaviruses in the fall and winter. However, you can get infected at any time of the year. Most people will get infected with one or more of the common human coronaviruses in their lifetime. Young children are most likely to get infected. However, people can have multiple infections in their lifetime.
Additional CDC Resources
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.