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What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Last Updated Mar 26, 2020 at 8:44 am EDT

Alejandra Gomez, wearing disposable gloves, as she stirs a vat of lentils, outside a soup kitchen on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. As a result of the new coronavirus pandemic, people are no longer allowed to eat at soup kitchen locations, but instead are asked to take the free meals to their homes in a plastic container. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

U.S. deaths from the pandemic have now topped 1,000, in another grim milestone for a global outbreak that is taking lives and wreaking havoc on economies and established routines of life. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 21,000, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The Senate has unanimously passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package steering aid to businesses, workers and health care systems overrun by the virus and its fallout. It now goes to the House.

Meanwhile, Spanish and Italian medical workers are at breaking point as the coronavirus wages a bitter war of attrition against health care workers around the world.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Thursday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— President Donald Trump’s desire to reopen the coronavirus-battered economy in a matter of weeks has thrust the administration into the delicate position of weighing the revival of commerce versus the value of American li fe.

— Hospitals in several states are rushing to find beds for a coming flood of COVID-19 patients, opening older closed hospitals and repurposing other medical buildings. Simple math is spurring hospital leaders to prepare.

— A growing number of Americans say state and federal governments are starting to trample civil rights in the name of public health during the outbreak.

— In France, the fight against COVID-19 is being waged one baguette at a time. The iconic loaf and the daily ritual of buying it have become loaded with moral, civic and public health considerations that could never have been imagined a few months ago.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

Misinformation overload: How to separate fact from fiction and rumour from deliberate efforts to mislead.

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ONE NUMBER:

$2.7 billion: Estimated cost of postponing the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei estimated. The Tokyo Olympics need new dates for the opening and closing ceremonies in 2021. Nothing much can get done until those dates are determined by the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government and Tokyo organizers.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

The Associated Press

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