Trump says COVID-19 outbreak may last into summer; Lockdowns begin in California

In the COVID-19 pandemic, 4,661 American cases have been reported, along with 85 deaths. Worldwide, 187,689 cases and 7,494 deaths have been reported, as of 10:30 a.m. CDT, March 17. Globally, 80,630 people have recovered from the illness.

1. President Donald Trump predicted the COVID-19 outbreak will last until July or August and advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10, Politico reports. In the March 16 news brief, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added that though the guidelines may seem inconvenient or extreme to some, they reflect deteriorating containment efforts and should be taken seriously. 

2. Residents in six Bay Area counties are on lockdown until April 7, according to the San Francisco Examiner. The "shelter in place" order is the strictest U.S. action taken to date in the response to the outbreak. Residents are legally prohibited from leaving homes except to meet basic needs including hospital, pharmacy or grocery store visits, Mayor London Breed said March 16. 

3. The first CDC employee has been sickened by COVID-19, Fox News reports. The CDC announced March 16 that the employee is in good condition and is isolated.  

"This individual was not involved in the COVID-19 response, has not been present in the CDC workplace since March 6, and was asymptomatic at that time," according to a CDC statement cited by Fox News.

4. The Trump administration is expected to ask for $850 billion in emergency stimulus funds, The New York Times reports. Hospital, physicians and nurses groups asked Congress separately March 16 for $1 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus response, according to The Hill.

5. Demographic differences between South Korea and Italy explain the stark disparity in death rates, CNN finds. In 2015, 28.6 percent of the Italian population was 60 years or older, compared to South Korea, where only 18.5 percent of the population was 60 or older. According to data from China, the disease's fatality rate is 4.7 percent in men versus 2.8 percent in women, which bodes well for South Korea, where 62 percent of cases have occurred in women. This is compounded with the fact that in Italy, 28 percent of men and 20 percent of women smoke, while in South Korea, about 50 percent of men and less than 5 percent of women smoke.

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