Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates

  • The outbreak, initially identified in China, is continuing to grow.
  • The disease is called COVID-19. It’s caused by an infection with the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is one of multiple coronaviruses that can be transmitted to humans.
  • Other examples of coronaviruses include SARS, MERS, and even the common cold.
COVID-19 cases
  • Globally, there have been more than 3.4 million confirmed cases and more than 240,000 associated deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • The United States currently has the highest reported number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with more than 1.1 million. However, due to a lack of testing, the number of actual cases may be far higher.
  • More than 66,000 people in the United States have died from the disease.
Medical facilities go unused

In New York City, tent hospitals remain empty at two suburban New York college campuses, without having treated any coronavirus patients, according to the Associated Press.

Convention centers turned into makeshift hospitals in other cities also went mostly unused.

In addition, after a month-long mission to help Manhattan, the Navy hospital ship Comfort has departed.

New Jersey increases testing

In Bergenfield, New Jersey, health officials will begin testing residents regardless of whether they show COVID-19 symptoms, according to Northjersey.com.

“Bergenfield has been one of the hardest hit communities in the state and although we are seeing many encouraging signs we want to be sure that anyone infected with COVID-19 is aware of the situation and given the proper directions to self quarantine in order to protect themselves and others,” said Mayor Arvin Amatorio in a statement. “Testing asymptomatic individuals is a major step forward and we are proud that Bergenfield will be the first municipality in Bergen County to offer this service.”

The site will be operated by Bergenfield and siParadigm Diagnostic Informatics Lab, a private testing laboratory that will process the results.

To date, New Jersey has tested 234,577 people with 95,982 lab positives.

FDA approves remdesivir for emergency use

On May 1, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the emergency use of remdesivir to treat people hospitalized with COVID-19.

On April 23, STAT News reported that a Chinese study failed to find any benefit using the drug. The Chinese study included 237 people. Researchers administered the drug to 158 and compared their progress with the 79 who received a placebo.

After a month, almost 14 percent of the people taking the drug had died compared with almost 13 percent of those receiving the placebo.

The trial was stopped early partly because of side effects, which included “gastrointestinal symptoms (anorexia, nausea, and vomiting)” and worsened cardiopulmonary condition.

“No statistically significant benefits were observed for remdesivir treatment beyond those of standard of care treatment,” study authors wrote.

Experts examining potential symptom known as ‘COVID toe’

Experts say “COVID toe” is a condition similar to skin damage from exposure to low temperatures.

Northwestern Medicine dermatologist Dr. Amy Paller said in a statement that she had seen images of about 30 cases of the condition. She emphasized that it’s still unknown whether this is related to COVID-19 and more testing is needed.

“We’re seeing this inflammatory response that we would normally see when someone was exposed to the cold temperature… like someone who has been playing outside with wet socks,” Dr. Esther Freeman, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told CBS News. “However, in this setting, we’re seeing it in warm climates and we’re seeing it in patients who have been indoors and sheltering in place.”

Beginning as a “pinkish-reddish rash,” it can turn purple over time and causes a burning sensation in some people, Freeman told The Washington Post.

However, the inflammation typically disappears without treatment in 2 to 3 weeks, she added.