Welcome to NCR’s Coronavirus Tracker, where you can find the latest news about the coronavirus pandemic as it relates to the Catholic Church and other institutions. We hope you find it useful in navigating these complex times and welcome your suggestions for how we might improve it. To receive the Coronavirus Tracker by email each weekday afternoon, sign up here.
Reuters, March 16
“The approved measures are not sufficient. Damage (from the coronavirus) will be serious and widespread. A true ‘reconstruction plan’ will be needed,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told daily Corriere della Sera.
“After the coronavirus nothing will be as before, we will have to sit down and rewrite the rules of trade and the free market.”
Vatican News, March 16
“I am thinking of families who are cooped up,” Pope Francis began the morning liturgy at the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning. “May the Lord help them to discover new ways, new expressions of love, of living together in this new situation.”
Reuters, March 16
Italy recorded 368 new deaths from the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday as the total rose to 1,809 from 1,441 a day earlier, the country’s civil protection authority said on Sunday.
The Guardian, March 16
Vittorio Gregotti, an Italian architect who helped design the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics stadium, has died aged 92 after catching the coronavirus, Italian media said.
Financial Times, March 15
Millions of Europeans were preparing to be confined to their homes to counter an explosion in coronavirus infections after Spain followed Italy by putting the whole country in lockdown and France ordered the closure of all non-essential public buildings.
New York Times, March 15
After a week of mixed messages from the government, a rising chorus of scientists and public health experts is demanding a change of course.
The Guardian, March 15
The coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9 million people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials reveals.
The Washington Post, March 15
The Federal Reserve announced on Sunday it would drop interest rates to zero and buy at least $700 billion in government and mortgage-related bonds as part of a wide-ranging emergency action to protect the economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Science Magazine, March 15
So far, the official numbers seemed to suggest that sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, had been lucky. The interactive map of reported COVID-19 cases run by Johns Hopkins University shows big red blobs almost everywhere—except sub-Saharan Africa.
But now the numbers are rising quickly.
The Guardian, March 15
Walls are being raised and mass quarantines enforced across Europe to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with Germany the latest to partly seal its borders, banning entrants from France, Switzerland and Austria from Monday.
Vatican News, March 15
Pope Francis left the Vatican on Sunday to visit two important pilgrimage sites in Rome to pray for the city and the world, in the midst of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Chicago Tribune, March 15
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will order all restaurants and bars across the state to be closed to dine-in customers in a further attempt to curb the coronavirus, effective end of business Monday.
The Spokesman-Review, March 15
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew Sunday with 127 new patients in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational activities.
Bangor Daily News, March 15
Maine Gov. Janet Mills declared a civil emergency on Sunday as the state announced seven confirmed positive tests of the coronavirus with another five likely cases over four days, including a couple that lives in a Falmouth retirement community.
WREG News Channel 3, March 15
State health officials confirm they are treating 39 cases of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, across the volunteer state.
Detroit Free Press, March 15
The number of positive coronavirus cases is now up to 53 in Michigan, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced late Sunday night.
Slate, March 15
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on organizers to cancel any events that involve 50 or more people for the next eight weeks in an effort to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus. The CDC said its recommendations apply to any type of gathering, including conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and weddings.
A reflection from Donna Orsuto, a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the leader of Rome’s Lay Center, a community for lay students studying in the eternal city.