What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to classify this outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing emergency signs such as difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or bluish lips or face should immediately seek medical attention.

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What You Should Know

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC urges citizens to monitor your health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.

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Coronavirus Articles

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Recent 2020

As Stimulus Talks Drag on in Washington, Millions of Small Businesses Await Guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness
CNBC  |  October 23, 2020

Time is running out for millions of small business owners on Main Street. It’s not just another round of cash that they need from Washington. They need clarity on how to receive forgiveness on the $525 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans they received under the CARES Act. They also need to know the tax consequences that await them if they apply for loan forgiveness by year-end.

Many Americans are Struggling Financially Amid the Pandemic, but Some are Finding Ways to Thrive
CNBC  |  October 23, 2020

U.S. savings account balances grew an average of 65%, or $1,553, during the pandemic. As of August, nearly 60% of Americans had saved enough to cover at least three months of living expenses. That’s up seven percentage points from last year.

The Worst Virus Outbreaks in the U.S. are now in Rural Areas
The New York Times  |  October 23, 2020

Most of the worst outbreaks in the United States right now are in rural areas. Where earlier peaks saw virus cases concentrated mainly in cities and suburbs, the current surge is the most geographically dispersed yet, and it is hitting hard remote counties that often lack a hospital or other critical health care resources.

CDC Expands Definition of ‘Close Contacts,’ After Study Suggests COVID-19 can be Passed in Brief Interactions
STAT  |  October 23, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded how it defines a “close contact” of someone with COVID-19 as it released new evidence showing the coronavirus can be passed during relatively brief interactions. Previously, the CDC described a close contact as someone who spent 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone who was infectious. Now, the agency says it’s someone who spent a cumulative 15 minutes or more within 6 feet of someone who was infectious over 24 hours, even if the time isn’t consecutive.

Federal Update: Pelosi-Mnuchin Talks Drag, Likely Pushing Stimulus Past Election; New Cases Hit Three-month High as COVID-19 Hospitalizations Soar; When Will There be a COVID Vaccine?
October 23, 2020

Prospects for a U.S. stimulus package passing Congress before the Nov. 3 election are fading fast as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dicker over the details of a nearly $2 trillion aid package. With the pace of talks dragging, resistance from Senate Republicans is building and President Donald Trump’s ability to twist arms into supporting a deal appears to be waning. Now some House Democrats are telling Pelosi that they don’t want to vote on legislation before the election if the Senate won’t do so, according to a party official.

Thursday was the first day with more than 70,000 new U.S. COVID-19 cases in three months, and the hospitalization rate is soaring, new data reveal. Thirty-two states reported rising COVID-19 infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Thursday was the highest day for new infections since July 24 and the day with the fourth highest total ever, at 71,671, Johns Hopkins says.

In general, scientists and public health experts say a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved at the earliest by December, but that doesn't mean it will be widely available to most Americans. The federal government is developing a distribution plan that would get vaccine to various populations first, such as essential workers, those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and the elderly.