the coronavirus crisis
6:56 p.m.

In a four-page memo sent to the Navy on Monday, USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier asked for help stopping the spread of coronavirus on the aircraft carrier.

"We are not at war," he said. "Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors."

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is docked in Guam, and a defense official told CBS News that as of Tuesday morning, there are at least 70 people on the carrier who have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Crozier wrote that of the 33 sailors to first test positive for COVID-19, seven initially tested negative, and were then returned to quarantine areas where they were housed with other sailors. "Decisive action is required now," Crozier said, in order to "prevent tragic outcomes."

Because the sailors are in close quarters, they can't practice safe social distancing, and "the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating," Crozier said. There are about 4,000 crew members on board, and Crozier proposed having 90 percent leave the ship and immediately go into 14-day individual quarantines. The other 10 percent would stay and thoroughly clean the carrier and run the reactor. This, Crozier said, is a "necessary risk." Catherine Garcia

4:50 p.m.

Almost 30 students who recently traveled to Mexico for spring break have tested positive for COVID-19.

Health officials in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday announced an investigation into a "cluster" of COVID-19 cases among a group of roughly 70 people in their 20s who traveled in a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for spring break about a week-and-a-half ago amid the coronavirus crisis.

"Currently, 28 young adults on this trip have tested positive for COVID-19 and dozens more are under public health investigation," the Austin Public Health Department said. "Four of the confirmed cases did not present any symptoms."

The 28 people who tested positive are currently self-isolating, and more are being monitored while quarantined, according to the statement. The University of Texas at Austin told NBC News that the 28 young adults with COVID-19 are students at the school. Some individuals who went on the trip came back home on commercial flights, according to the Austin Public Health Department's statement.

Austin officials said that although Mexico wasn't under a federal travel advisory when the young adults traveled there, "Austin-Travis County residents should follow CDC's travel recommendations indicating travelers avoid all non-essential international travel," and "a leisure vacation of any kind is not considered essential." The University of Texas at Austin told NBC that this serves as a "reminder of the vital importance" of following health officials' warnings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brendan Morrow

12:13 p.m.

Chris Cuomo has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The CNN anchor and brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Tuesday he was diagnosed with COVID-19 after he had a "fever, chills and shortness of breath" and was exposed to people who later tested positive.

"I just hope I didn't give it to the kids and Cristina," Cuomo wrote. "That would make me feel worse than this illness!"

Cuomo is now feeling well, CNN said, and he will continue to host his nightly show from home, as he did on Monday.

"We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united," Cuomo added.

This announcement came just as Andrew Cuomo was beginning his daily update on the coronavirus crisis in New York. The governor said the number of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 75,795, and he referenced the news from Chris.

"My brother, Chris, is positive for coronavirus," Andrew Cuomo said at his briefing. "Found out this morning. Now, he is going to be fine. He's young, in good shape, strong — not as strong as he thinks. But he will be fine. ... He's a really sweet, beautiful guy, and he's my best friend." Brendan Morrow

10:26 a.m.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is getting frustrated with those Americans who still aren't practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Adams spoke to Fox News on Tuesday morning after President Trump extended the federal government's social distancing guidelines until the end of April. Once again encouraging Americans to stay home and keep their distance from others, Adams decried reports of some not taking these warnings to heart.

"I'm a little bit frustrated, because you're still seeing pictures on Twitter, on TV, of people getting together, being too close, putting themselves in a situation where they could end up in the hospital," he said.

While Adams didn't cite specific examples, images emerged on Monday of a crowd of people in Manhattan gathering to look at the USNS Comfort hospital ship. The New York Post reports that "NYPD warned the crowds about violating social distancing, but did not issue any tickets."

However, Adams said "we really hope and expect" that people will listen to the administration's guidelines, and "the way we solve this problem is by everyone coming together" to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This comes after Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force's response coordinator, said Monday the U.S. could be facing between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 even if "we do things together well, almost perfectly." But she added that the administration isn't sure "that all of America is responding in a uniform way to protect one another, so we also have to factor that in."

2:07 a.m.

In Israel, the coronavirus is spreading in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities up to eight times faster than anywhere else in the country.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for 12 percent of Israel's population, but they make up 40 to 60 percent of coronavirus patients at four of the country's largest hospitals, officials told Israeli media. Health experts said the virus is moving so quickly in these communities because the ultra-Orthodox have large families, don't trust the government, and pay little to no attention to secular media. Many are also still gathering for prayers and funerals, despite all Israelis being ordered to stay home.

Bnei Brak is a suburb of Tel Aviv, and 95 percent of the population is ultra-Orthodox. On Friday, there were 267 confirmed coronavirus cases, and by Monday, that number climbed to 508. Several hundred mourners gathered in Bnei Brak on Saturday night for the funeral of a rabbi, prompting furious secular Israelis to call on the government to place Bnei Brak under curfew. On Monday, a New York Times journalist and photographer were told to leave a synagogue in the suburb where morning services were being held, and they walked past several groups meeting furtively for prayers.

Bnei Brak has just one hospital, and its director general, Dr. Moti Ravid, told the Times he would like authorities to prohibit residents from leaving for at least one week, to slow down the coronavirus' spread. There are lots of small children living in the town, and "if they help to infect others, the result will be that many old people will die," he said. Catherine Garcia

12:36 a.m.

Three-quarters of Americans have been urged or ordered to stay at home, to the extent possible, to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and those measures appear to be working, The New York Times reports, citing data from internet-connected thermometer company Kinsa. The thermometers and their app upload temperature readings to a centralized database, allowing Kinsa to track fevers across the country. It started mapping fevers to catch flu outbreaks in 2018, and it modified its software to look for "atypical" COVID-19 fevers earlier in March.

Kinsa's million-plus thermometers have been recording up to 162,000 readings from around the U.S. each day since the coronavirus started spreading, the Times reports. Only strict social-distancing measures — closing bars and restaurants, asking people to shelter in place — led to a significant drop in fever readings, while declaring a state of emergency or limiting the size of public gatherings had little effect. Data from New York and Washington State's health departments have buttressed Kinsa's findings, showing drops in hospitalizations a few days after Kinsa spotted the falloff in fevers.

The Kinsa readings certainly look "like a way to prove that social distancing works," Dr. William Schaffner at Vanderbilt University tells the Times. "But it does shows that it takes the most restrictive measures to make a real difference." Kinsa data appears to show that social distancing is also reducing transmission of the seasonal flu.

"People need to know their sacrifices are helping," Kinsa founder Inder Singh tells the Times. "I've had friends text or call and say: 'Inder, this seems overblown. I'm sitting at home by myself, I don't know anyone who's sick, why am I doing this?'" Read more about the fever mapping at The New York Times. Peter Weber

March 30, 2020

A Florida pastor was arrested on Monday and charged with unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules after authorities say his church violated a "safer-at-home" order.

In an attempt to slow down the spread of coronavirus, Hillsborough County officials on Friday ordered all essential businesses and organizations to keep customers and employees six feet away from each other, or shut down. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said authorities received an anonymous tip on Sunday about Dr. Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay Church, with the person saying Howard-Browne "refused a request to temporarily stop holding large gatherings at his church. Instead, he was encouraging his large congregation to meet at his church."

A livestream of Sunday's service showed the church's main sanctuary was crowded, with people standing and sitting right next to each other. Earlier this month, the church posted on its website that it is a "place where people turn for help and for comfort in a climate of fear and uncertainty," and it would "be wrong for us to close our doors on them, at this time, or any time."

Howard-Browne posted a $500 bond and was released Monday afternoon, WTSP reports. If convicted, he faces up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Catherine Garcia

March 30, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday the "staggering" death toll from the COVID-19 coronavirus in New York has now surpassed 1,200.

The number of deaths in the state from the COVID-19 coronavirus reached 1,218 on Monday, up from 965 the day before, Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. New York has now reported about 66,000 coronavirus cases, by far the most in the United States. New York just passed 500 deaths on Friday.

"That's a lot of loss," Cuomo said on Monday. "That's a lot of pain. That's a lot of tears. That's a lot of grief that people across the state are feeling."

Cuomo said the state doesn't have projections about how high the death toll could climb after a White House coronavirus task force official said earlier that between 100,000 and 200,000 fatalities in the U.S. may represent a best case scenario. But Cuomo said the number will be even more "staggering" than it is now.

"The number is already staggering," Cuomo said. "A human life is a human life. We've lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me, we're beyond staggering already. We've reached staggering. And the only point now is do everything you can to save every life possible." Brendan Morrow

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