The number of Americans under virtual lockdown grew Saturday to over 80 million, as New Jersey joined the list of states issuing a stay-at-home order or other sweeping mandates to fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
“We must flatten the curve and ensure residents are practicing social distancing,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said, although he insisted that life in the Garden State “does not have to come to a complete standstill.”
It came as Vice President Mike Pence, who has been tasked with leading the U.S.’s COVID-19 response, tested negative for the respiratory illness, along with his wife Karen Pence. The couple were tested after a member of Pence’s staff tested positive for the virus Friday night. He said that he did not have direct contact with the staffer, whom he described as “doing well.”
Elsewhere, China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19. On the same day, China’s National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.
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China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases on Saturday after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19.
On the same day, China’s National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.
China said 45 of the new cases were imported.
Colombia reports first COVID-19 death
Colombia reported on Saturday the country’s first death from COVID-19.
The patient was a 58-year-old taxi driver from the coastal city of Cartagena, health minister Fernando Ruiz said in a tweet.
The driver had recently transported Italian tourists and developed symptoms two days later on March 16, Ruiz said. He was first tested on March 13 but two tests came back negative.
Multiple people who came into contact with the taxi driver, including his sister, a doctor and a passenger, also tested positive for coronavirus, according to Martha Ospina, director of Colombia’s National Institute of Health.
More than 200 people have tested positive for the virus in Colombia, according to the health ministry.
L.A. police could start 12-hour shifts, raising COVID-19 fears among rank and file
LOS ANGELES — As residents settle in for weeks of isolation, police Chief Michel Moore has told officers he hopes the city’s stay-at-home initiative designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus can be gently enforced.
He said most residents were following the “Safer at Home” order, which allows essential businesses to remain open and critical public functions to continue but directs most other people to stay home and avoid gatherings.
“Enforcement of it is through awareness, through education, through outreach,” Moore said in a video message and an internal memo to Los Angeles Police Department officers, which also directed the rank-and-file to begin providing security at emergency shelters for the homeless.
He told officers the city is entering a new phase in its response to the pandemic and could begin to move officers to 12-hour shifts with fewer days off as soon as Monday.