President Trump extended the social distancing guidelines until April 30.
It is. But the goal is to flatten the curve. The measure was taken after Dr. Anthony Fauci – the country's leading expert on infectious diseases – warned that the US could face more than 100,000 deaths and millions of COVID-19 infections. Over the weekend, the CDC also issued an advisory, encouraging residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut not to travel domestically.
The agency issued the advisory for 14 days. And said it was in an effort to contain the coronavirus's spread. That's because New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut make up more than half of the over 130,000 cases nationwide. And more than 1,000 people have died in New York. The CDC's update is just an advisory, but some states are taking matters into their own hands.
In Rhode Island, the governor issued an order requiring anyone visiting from out-of-state to self-quarantine for 14 days. The order broadened earlier restrictions that singled out New Yorkers, with the National Guard doing house-to-house searches to find people from New York and force them to quarantine. In Florida, the governor allowed for highway checkpoints to screen drivers from New York and Louisiana, telling them to self-quarantine for two weeks.
The ability to issue a quarantine largely falls on states. But the federal gov also has some authority. Over the weekend, Trump threatened to quarantine parts of the tri-state area...but then walked it back. The last time US health officials issued a mandatory quarantine was in the 1960s during a smallpox outbreak.
Each state appears to be taking its own approach toward COVID-19. But many state and gov officials seem to agree on one thing: people who can should stay home.
As people stay home in response to COVID-19, delivery services like Instacart and Amazon have seen a spike in demand. But today, employees from both companies are planning a strike to protest what they describe as a lack of protections amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Instacart employees are requesting better health and safety measures like disinfectant wipes, an extended sick pay policy, and $5 per order in hazard pay. Meanwhile, Amazon employees at the Staten Island facility want the building closed and sanitized after at least one employee tested positive for the virus.
Today, about 200,000 Instacart workers and dozens of Amazon employees are expected to walk out unless their demands are met.
Thing To Know: Hazard pay. Extra pay provided by employers to employees for working under conditions that are physically dangerous.
Former VP Joe Biden. Last week, a former staffer in his Senate office – Tara Reade – expanded on accusations against the Democratic presidential candidate. Reade was among several women last year who said Biden's behavior made them feel uncomfortable. Reade in particular claimed that Biden would place his hand on her shoulder and run his finger up her neck. But in a recent podcast interview, Reade said there was more to the story. And that Biden pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her. The Biden campaign said that women have the right to come forward but maintains that "these accusations are false."
Déjà vu: Following last year's accusations, Biden responded by saying that "social norms have begun to change" and that he'd be more mindful about "respecting personal space in the future."
Rev. Joseph Lowery. Last week, the civil rights leader passed away of natural causes at age 98. Lowery was known as the "dean" of the civil rights movement and worked closely with Revs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson. The Alabama native worked for the Alabama Civic Affairs Association – an organization that led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations. And helped start the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Lowery also delivered the benediction at President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom later that year. The King Center in Atlanta remembered Lowery as "a champion for civil rights" and "a challenger of injustice." RIP.
US Space Force. Last week, despite a smaller staff due to COVID-19, the military branch launched its first space satellite. Use the Force, Space Force.
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