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Episode 1056

2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States
Tue, 2020-Mar-24 06:21 UTC
Length - 5:23

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 290,255 views on Monday, 23 March 2020 our article of the day is 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

An ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a new infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first confirmed to have spread to the United States in January 2020. Cases have been confirmed in all 50 U. S. states, the District of Columbia, and all inhabited U. S. territories except American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. As of March 23, the U. S. has the second highest number of active cases in the world (42,681), only after Italy (50,418). The first known case of COVID-19 in the U. S. was confirmed on January 20, 2020, in a 35-year-old man who had returned from Wuhan, China five days earlier. The White House Coronavirus Task Force was established on January 29. Two days later, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency and announced restrictions on travelers arriving from China. On February 26, the first case in the US in a person with "no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual" was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Northern California. From January to mid-March, the United States got off to a slow start in COVID-19 testing. In that period, the FDA regulations, policies and procedures forbade labs who followed internationally recognized test protocols from releasing results to patients, and forbade importation of internationally-used test kits. The FDA only approved non-government test kits from late February, and had restrictive test eligibility guidelines until early March. The CDC developed, announced and distributed test kits of its own, some of which were found to have a manufacturing flaw in a non essential component which however made the kit illegal to use until the protocol was changed. This was followed by the government announcing a series of measures intended to speed up testing. As of March 20, 100,000 tests were conducted, but still insufficient. Private companies have begun to ship hundreds of thousands of tests. Drive-through testing stations are starting all over the country. The CDC warned that widespread transmission may force large numbers of people to seek hospitalization and other healthcare, which may overload healthcare systems. Since March 19, 2020, the Department of State has advised U. S. citizens to avoid all international travel. The U. S. government has advised against any gathering of more than 10 people. After mid-March 2020, the Federal government made a significant change of course to use the US military to initiate and lead an effort to rapidly grow COVID-19 intensive care facilities nationwide. The US Army Corps of Engineers, under existing statutory authority that comes from Congressional authorizations and powers of FEMA, will be rapidly leasing a large number of buildings across the US in hotels and in larger open buildings to immediately grow the number of rooms and beds with ICU capability for patients of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, according to a briefing on March 20. The Corps of Engineers will handle leasing and engineering, with contracts for rapid facility modification and setup issued to local contractors. The plan envisions that the operation of the facilities and the provision of medical staff would be entirely handled by the various US States rather than the Federal government. Responses to the outbreak have included prohibitions and cancellation of large-scale gatherings, including the closure of schools and other educational institutions, the cancellation of trade shows, conventions, music festivals, and the cancellation and suspension of sporting events and leagues.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 06:21 UTC on Tuesday, 24 March 2020.

For the full current version of the article, see 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States on Wikipedia.

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