The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

PANAMA CITY — The Panama Canal Authority says two cruise ships carrying more than 1,800 passengers and crew, including some infected with COVID-19, had begun transiting the canal.

The announcement came after the passengers on the Zaandam and its sister ship the Rotterdam received mixed signals about their fate. While Panamanian officials said they would let the ships through the canal, Holland America Lines said it had not been given official permission and the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said he didn’t want it to dock near his city as planned, at least without extensive precautions.

On Sunday evening, the canal authority released a statement saying the ships had started transiting the canal.

Holland America Lines said Friday that four people aboard the Zaandam had died — though the cause was not reported — and at least two had tested positive for COVD-19. It has been at sea since leaving Argentina on March 7.

Trump approves disaster declaration for Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Oregon due to the coronavirus outbreak, the White House announced Sunday.

The declaration orders federal assistance to aid state, tribal and local recovery efforts. The order is back-dated to Jan. 20 and brings to 18 the number of states with disaster declarations due to the coronavirus.

Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on March 8. On March 23, she issued an executive order directing residents to stay home to the maximum extent possible and ordered the closure of retail businesses where close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as hair salons, gyms and theaters.

Tennessee battles outbreak in nursing home

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An outbreak of the new coronavirus at a Tennessee nursing home has spread to dozens more of its residents and staff members, the governor’s office said. A hospital said without elaborating that a total of two of the residents have died.

Tests results released Sunday show 59 additional residents of the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing northeast of Nashville tested positive, while 33 staff members with confirmed cases were isolated at their homes, the governor’s office statement said.

Sumner Regional Medical Center said 42 patients from the nursing home have been admitted in isolation after some tested positive for the virus, while the 59 additional residents were to be transported there by Monday. A hospital statement did not disclose whether the two nursing home patients who died had tested positive for coronavirus.

The nursing home is being closed for a deep cleaning, with dozens of noncritical patients being transported to three other hospitals.

New York state surpasses 1,000 deaths

NEW YORK — New York state surpassed a grim milestone Sunday as its death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed above 1,000, less than a month after the first case was detected in the state.

New York City reported in the evening that its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths isn’t expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state’s total fatalities was at least 1,026.

The virus has torn through New York with frightening speed.

The first known infection in the state was discovered on March 1. A second case was confirmed two days later.

The first fatality in the state was March 10.

Two days later, the state banned all gatherings of more than 500 people, darkening Broadway theaters and sports arenas. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio closed New York City’s schools March 15.

More severe restrictions came March 20, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential workers to stay home, barred gatherings of any size and instructed anyone out in public to stay at least 6 feet from other people. At the time, only 35 New Yorkers had been killed by the virus.

That was only nine days ago.

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Trump says Congress should re-convene if Americans don’t get stimulus money quickly

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says Congress should re-convene if some Americans don’t get their coronavirus stimulus money because of antiquated state computer systems that aren’t equipped to quickly handle the volume of federal money being sent to workers.

He says he wanted the money to be distributed by the federal government, but his opponents wanted it distributed through existing state unemployment systems.

Trump told reporters at Sunday’s White House briefing on the virus that if Americans don’t get their money quickly, he’s going to call for Congress to reconvene or find other ways to distribute the money.

He says the federal government is equipped to quickly distribute money from the mammoth, $2.2 trillion stimulus package to shore up the U.S. economy.

West Virginia reports its first death

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has reported the state’s first death linked to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The fatality involved an 88-year-old woman from Marion County, the Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release. The statement said no further details would be released.

“We extend our sincere condolences to this family,” DHHR Secretary Bill J. Crouch said in the statement.

West Virginia was the last U.S. state to report a confirmed case on March 17.

Hawaii and Wyoming are the only remaining states with no reported coronavirus deaths.

Trump adds 30 days to distancing guidelines as virus spreads

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is extending federal guidelines recommending people stay home and away from one another for another 30 days as the coronavirus continues to spread across the country.

Trump made the announcement during a Rose Garden briefing. The guidelines, originally tagged as “15 days to slow the spread” had been set to expire Monday.

Trump had said last week he hoped to have the country “re-opened” by Easter. But public health experts sounded the alarm, saying a rollback would speed transmission, making the situation worse.

The federal guidelines recommend that older people and those with preexisting conditions stay home and away from other people, and also recommend that all Americans avoid social gatherings, work from home and steer clear of bars and restaurants.

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Trump says 2 health insurers waiving some bills

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says two health insurers are waiving patient payments for coronavirus treatment.

Both Cigna and Humana won’t require many of their customers to make copayments or other forms of cost sharing for COVID-19 care. Health care providers would be reimbursed at the insurers’ in-network rates or Medicare rates.

Cigna said the waived payments would begin Monday and continue through May 31.

The moves could save those patients thousands of dollars, depending on their coverage and how much health care they’ve used so far this year, for treatment for the coronavirus. They come after Aetna last week announced payment waivers for patients for hospital stays tied to the coronavirus.

Many insurers have previously waived patient costs for testing or doctor visits and telemedicine to encourage people with coronavirus symptoms to get help.

Texas restricting travelers from Louisiana

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is putting new restrictions on travelers from Louisiana as the neighboring state continues to be one of the nation’s hot spots for coronavirus.

Gov. Greg Abbott says drivers from Louisiana crossing state lines must self-isolate in Texas for two weeks. It comes two days after Abbott imposed similar restrictions on airline passengers arriving from New Orleans.

More than 3,500 Louisiana residents have been diagnosed with the disease caused by a new coronavirus, and more than 150 of them have died, according to state figures.

Delaware directs out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware’s governor has issued an order telling out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The order by Gov. John Carney takes effect Monday morning and requires anyone entering the state from elsewhere to self-quarantine for 14 days. It does not apply to people who are only passing through the state.

“Now’s not the time to visit Delaware. We’re facing a serious situation here that is getting worse,” Carney said in a statement.

Those who disobey the order, which has some exceptions for health care workers and other essential tasks, could face criminal charges.

Statewide, health officials say there are more than 200 coronavirus cases and 31 hospitalizations as of Sunday morning.

Vice president asks hospitals to report testing data to DHHS

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence has sent a letter to hospital administrators around the U.S. asking them to directly report their coronavirus testing data to the Department of Health and Human Services as well as their state officials.

He says the data is needed at the federal level to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the virus.

The letter says that at the president’s direction, all hospitals should report their data on COVID-19 testing done outside certain commercial laboratories. Those commercial laboratories are LabCorp, BioReference Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics, Mayo Clinic Laboratories and the ARUP Laboratories. The letter asks the hospitals to report the data every day at 5 p.m.

Australia takes steps to prevent corporate predatory action

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia has announced tough new foreign investment rules to prevent corporate predators from taking over companies amid plunging share prices during the new coronavirus crisis.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the new regulations on Monday after Australian newspapers reported Chinese companies had snapped up Australian medical supplies in recent weeks for shipment to China.

Frydenberg told Nine Network television that the new regulations were not aimed at any particular country, but were designed to “stop predators who are acting against the national interest.”

“We want to have the scrutiny and the visibility over all foreign investment proposals regardless of their monetary value,” Frydenberg said.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board will scrutiny all foreign investments to ensure they are in Australia’s interests.

Trump says admin has identified ‘hoarding’ cases

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says his administration has identified cases of “hoarding” of medical supplies and equipment by hospitals and medical professionals.

As his administration looks to meet urgent shortfalls in personal protective equipment and ventilators needed for the coronavirus response, Trump is calling on them to release it to harder-hit areas.

Says Trump: “We have some health care workers, some hospitals frankly, individual hospitals and hospital chains we have them hoarding equipment, including ventilators.”

Trump is not naming names but says in some cases they’re in areas where they don’t expect the virus to have a major impact.

He says: “These are areas that in some cases that probably will not need them and in some cases even if they do, they have too many.”

Trump adds: “So they have to release ventilators if they have them, they have to release certain medical supplies and equipment.”

Dr. Fauci predicts 100,000-200,000 U.S. deaths

Millions of Americans will be infected by the coronavirus and 100,000 to 200,000 will die, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert warned Sunday, as people in and around the country’s outbreak epicenter of New York were urged to limit their travel to contain the scourge.

The dire prediction came from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union.” As of Sunday morning, the U.S. had about 125,000 infections and 2,200 deaths.

Around the world, doctors were forced to make tough choices about which patients to save with their limited breathing machines, and Spain and Italy demanded more European help as they fight still-surging coronavirus infections in the continent’s worst crisis since World War II.

The confirmed global death toll surpassed 31,000 and new virus epicenters emerged in U.S. cities like Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago. Even rural America has not been immune, as virus hotspots erupt in Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens.

Spain and Italy alone account for more than half of the world’s death toll, and are still seeing over 800 deaths a day each.

Experts say, however, that virus toll numbers across the world are being seriously under-represented because of limited testing and political decisions about which bodies to count. Unlike the U.S., France and Italy do not count deaths that take place at home or in nursing homes, even though nursing homes are known coronavirus incubators around the world.

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Coronavirus cases in California soar past 5,000 as hospitals fill up

LOS ANGELES — Coronavirus cases in California surged past 5,000 — with 121 deaths — as ICU hospital beds began filling up with patients, and officials tried to enforce unprecedented social distancing measures they believe are the state’s best chance to slow the spread of the virus.

Los Angeles County has seen 32 deaths and more than 1,818 cases; Santa Clara County, the second hardest-hit county in the state, has reported 25 deaths and 591 cases.

On a sunny Southern California weekend, beaches, hiking trials, recreation airs and many streets were empty amid calls for people to stay in their home except for essential trips and exercise in their neighborhoods. Police were out in force, turning away people trying to used closed facilities.

Most beaches, trails, recreation facilities and nonessential businesses were closed because of the state and local orders, and many obeyed.

A Ventura County Sheriff’s Department cruiser could be seen guarding the entrance to a popular trail in Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks, upon which hundreds of hikers and families descended on Saturday. In Venice, a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter was seen circling a skate park, announcing that people who did not leave the area would be “arrested for trespassing.”

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New York state nears 1,000 coronavirus deaths

NEW YORK — New York state’s coronavirus death toll is nearing 1,000. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The state accounts for more than 40% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

The number of disease-related deaths in the state jumped Sunday to 965 from 728 the day before, Cuomo said. The vast majority have been in New York City. Figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city, which continues to be the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.

Meanwhile, new data is showing which parts of the city are being hit the hardest by disease and that nearly a quarter of the people who’ve died of coronavirus in the state were nursing home residents.

Dog-walking ban in Serbia to fight virus causes outrage

BELGRADE, Serbia — Pet owners in Serbia are furious over the populist government’s decision to ban even a brief walk for people with dogs during an evening curfew to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Angry dog owners have flooded social networks, warning that the ban could harm their dogs’ health and cause frustration and anxiety for both the animals and their owners.

Veterinarian Nenad Milojkovic said protecting animal rights is a test for a society during hard times such as an epidemic. He said skipping the evening walk could worsen the condition for the dogs with urinary problems and “aggravate basic hygienic conditions in people’s homes.”

Serbia’s government made the decision on Saturday, revoking a previously introduced 20-minute permission for dog owners to walk their pets.

Serbia has imposed some of the harshest measures in Europe against the spread of the new coronavirus, including a total ban on movement for people over 65 years and a curfew from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m.

Norway to start random testing

OSLO, Norway — Norwegian health authorities say they are set to start performing random coronavirus tests, following the experiment Iceland has done.

Citing officials at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said Sunday such random testing among all citizens will provide answers to two key questions: how many of those who appear to be infected actually have the coronavirus and how wide the spread of the virus is.

NRK said Iceland, with its 12,000 random tests among its population of 340,000, has the largest number of tests per capita in the world. Norway, a nation of 5.4 million, has so far reported 4,054 coronavirus cases with 25 deaths.

Pope backs call for worldwide cease-fire

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is backing the U.N. chief’s call for a cease-fire in all conflicts raging across the globe to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He also said his thoughts are with those constrained to live in groups, citing in particular rest homes for the elderly, military barracks and jails.

During his traditional Sunday blessing, the pope called for ‘’the creation of humanitarian aid corridors, the opening of diplomacy and attention to those who are in situations of great vulnerability.’’

He cited U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ appeal this past week for a global truce ‘’to focus together on the true fight of our lives’’ against the coronavirus.

Francis, as he has throughout most of the coronavirus emergency due to bans on public gatherings, addressed the faithful from his private library in the Apostolic Palace, and not from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square as is tradition.

Flights resume in China

BEIJING — Airline flights from the Chinese province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak resumed Sunday in another step toward lifting restrictions that kept tens of millions of people at home.

The first flight took off from Yichang, a city in Hubei province, bound for the eastern city of Fuzhou with 64 passengers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Most access to Wuhan, the city where the first coronavirus cases were reported in December, was suspended on Jan. 23. Restrictions spread to other cities in Hubei, cutting train, air and road links.

The government has been gradually relaxing restrictions since the Communist Party declared victory over the outbreak. Subway and bus service in Wuhan resumed Saturday and the city’s train station reopen.

Airports in Hubei were scheduled to have a total of 98 departing flights on Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Spain records 838 deaths in 24 hours

MADRID — Spain says it has hit a new daily record for coronavirus deaths with 838 fatalities in the last 24 hours for a total of 6,528, the world’s second-highest death count behind Italy.

Sunday’s number is slightly up from Saturday, when 832 people were reported to have died from the virus.

The number of infections rose by more than 6,500 from Saturday to Sunday for a new total of 78,797. The rate of that increase in infections, however, continues to decrease.

Spain has been in lockdown for two weeks under a national state of emergency. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Cabinet will approve on Sunday a new decree to tighten those controls and impede workers from commuting to work in all industries unrelated to health care and food production and distribution for two weeks.

Berlin encourages the ill to seek treatment

BERLIN — Health officials in Berlin are calling on the chronically ill and people with symptoms of strokes or heart attacks not to avoid seeking necessary medical treatment during the coronavirus crisis.

Berlin’s state health ministry and hospitals’ and doctors’ associations said Sunday that local hospitals that treat stroke victims are seeing a significant decline in stroke patients. They said in a statement that they suspect many patients who suffer mild strokes or heart attacks are staying at home for fear of being infected with the virus.

They said that not seeking treatment may be more dangerous than the “relatively small probability” of being infected with the coronavirus when visiting a doctor’s practice or emergency unit.

Germany has reported a large number of infections with the coronavirus but a relatively low death rate. Berlin itself had 2,337 confirmed cases, including nine deaths, as of Saturday.

French politician dies from coronavirus

PARIS — A French politician who for decades was in the limelight as a mainstay of the conservative right is the first politician in France to have died after being tested positive for the coronavirus.

Patrick Devedjian died early Sunday at the age of 75 after being hospitalized earlier in the week, the regional council of the Hauts-de-Seine region, which he presided over, announced.

Numerous other French politicians have tested positive, but Devedjian was the first known to die. For decades, he served as a lawmaker and was a minister under former presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac.

As of Saturday, 2,314 people had died of COVID-19 in France, the fifth highest death rate in the world.

Slovakia unveils stimulus package

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia’s government has unveiled a massive package to help the economy struggling amid the pandemic of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Sunday that as part of the “First Aid” measures, the state will be paying 80% of wages of employees from the companies and businesses that had to be closed because of the government’s response to the outbreak.

The state will contribute up to $593 a month for wages of employees or self-employed people based on the drop in revenues of their firms.

The moves are meant to help businesses retain their employees.

The government will also provide $549 million a month as loan guarantees.

Those who had to stay at home because they are quarantined or have to take care of their children because the schools are closed will receive 55% of their gross salaries.

The government said this aid package, the biggest in the country’s history, will help about 1 million people in the country of 5.5 million.

Slovakia has only 292 cases of the virus, mainly due to a low numbers of tests.

Australia limits gatherings to 2 people

SYDNEY — Australia has announced that public gatherings will be limited to two people, down from 10, and has enacted a six-month moratorium on evictions for those who cannot pay their rent as part of its latest measures in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new measures on Sunday night after earlier in the day flagging a $680 million welfare package boosting mental health care, domestic violence support, public health care services for those self-isolating at home, and emergency food relief.

Morrison said the reduction in the maximum size of public gatherings had come after the latest advice from medical experts to slow the spread of the virus. It does not apply to families.

Morrison said Australia’s states and territories would implement the six-month ban on evictions of people from residential and commercial properties as a “result of financial distress if they are unable to meet their commitments”.

Australia had 3,966 confirmed cases of the virus as of Sunday afternoon, including 16 deaths.

Johnson writes letters urging Brits to stay home

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson is writing to every household in the U.K. to urge people to stay home and follow the rules amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The letter from Johnson — who has tested positive for the virus — warns Britons that “things will get worse before they get better,” as he urged people to stay indoors to slow the spread of the virus.

The letter, landing on 30 million doorsteps this week, will be accompanied by a leaflet spelling out the advice.

Johnson says that the “more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.’’

Johnson has been accused of sowing confusion in his messages about the crisis.

The 55-year-old leader has been accused of failing to follow the British government’s distancing measures after he, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and the chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, began self-isolating with symptoms.

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