In the 24-hour period from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, an additional 2,700 new cases of the coronavirus were reported in the U.S. That brings the total to more than 11,400 people that have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The first case in the U.S. was reported on January 21 and the death toll is now up to 171. Those numbers are likely to continue to increase as testing becomes more readily available.
The U.S. government is preparing for the worst believing that the current global pandemic could last up to a year or more. Projections estimate the scare could last up to 18 months with multiple waves of the illness.
Congress has already passed two coronavirus response bills designed to provide relief to those hit hardest by the spread of COVID-19. Businesses all over the country have shut down. The Big 3 automakers – GM, Ford, and Chrysler – all shut down their manufacturing plants this week.
The bills passed will provide paid sick leave, unemployment assistance, and free testing for the virus for all Americans. Small businesses will be hit the hardest. Those short on cash will have trouble complying with the mandate to provide paid sick leave to its employees.
The House and Senate had already voted to pass an $8.3 billion bill to help the health-care system. The third round of Congressional action could give American direct cash payments as a method of helping to ease the coming recession.
There is hope that the virus will run its course and be gone soon, but the worst may be yet to come. To slow the spread of the virus, public schools including colleges and universities have been shut down. The annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament, known as March Madness, was canceled. All major sporting events and leagues have either canceled or suspended play.
Most experts believe the virus has yet to reach its peak in the U.S. It is roughly one to two weeks behind Italy where the country has shut down most everything but supermarkets and drug stores. The Italian government has reported more than 41,500 cases and 3,450 deaths due to the virus.