For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life across the globe. Health care systems scramble to control the virus and governments are instituting strict social distancing measures to try to flatten the curve. The situation is constantly evolving as the disease caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, rapidly spreads. The original epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, China, has seen a marked dropoff in cases. But Italy and other nations are witnessing dramatic increases in cases and deaths. 

CNET has been tracking the outbreak since it was first traced to a novel coronavirus in early January. We have compiled answers basic questions, ways to protect yourself and others, where you can and can’t go in lockdown and advice for staying healthy and entertained during long periods at home. 

This article describes the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak each day. It is updated as new information becomes available.

March 24

Trump hopes to have US open by Easter

During a town hall hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he would love to have the US “opened up and raring to go by Easter,” which is on April 12. The president added that people will still have to practice social distancing, but reiterated that the cure cannot be worse than the problem. 

“I gave it two weeks and we’ll assess at that time,” said Trump, referencing his 15-day timeline to slow the spread. “But we have to open this country up.” 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed

The Olympic Games, originally set for this summer in Tokyo, have been postponed due to the coronavirus. In a joint statement Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee said the decision was made to protect athletes and everyone else involved in the sporting event. The Games will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but no later than summer 2021, said the IOC. The Olympic flame will remain in Japan, and event leaders say they hope it will serve as a “light at the end of the tunnel” for the world. 


March 23

Trump says America will be open for business ‘soon’

During a White House briefing, President Trump said the US “wasn’t built to be shut down,” and he is hoping local data can be used to advise areas of when they can “cautiously” resume normal activities. “America will be open for business a lot sooner than three or four months,” the president said. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said self-collected nasal swabbing is going to be made available later this week at clinics and drive-through sites. Birx added around 250,000 people have been tested in the last week.

Trump is also pushing an anti-malaria drug to be used in coronavirus tests, saying distribution of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, will begin tomorrow in New York City. It follows NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing Sunday the state will begin drug trials using 70,000 doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 doses of Chloroquine Tuesday.

Also during the press conference, Attorney General William Barr said people hoarding essential medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer will “hear a knock at the door.” New laws prohibit both hoarding and price gouging.

The UK is on lockdown

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a lockdown for the UK starting Monday night, with gatherings of more than two people banned unless they’re from the same household, and all non-essential stores and most public places closing. People are allowed to leave home only for essential shopping, medical needs, one form of exercise per day and travel to and from work only when absolutely necessary.

“From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home,” Johnson said. Visiting friends and family from other households is banned. Police have been given the power to enforce the new rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Five Florida spring breakers test positive

Five University of Tampa students have tested positive after traveling for spring break, the college tweeted. It comes after spring breakers in Florida were criticized last week for going ahead with their vacation plans and massing together at beaches despite social distancing guidelines and potential risk of contracting COVID-19.

Amazon to begin delivering test kits

Amazon will be delivering and picking up coronavirus test kits in Seattle, with the program part of the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) backed by the Gates Foundation. If a person tests positive after the test kit is analyzed, they will be contacted by a health care worker. “Responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 crisis must be a community effort and requires support from both the private and public sectors,” Kristen Helton, director of Amazon Care, said. “We … are eager to leverage Amazon Care’s infrastructure and logistics capabilities to support this local effort.”

US Surgeon general warns things will get worse

Dr. Jerome Adams, the US surgeon general, warned Monday that the coronavirus outbreak in the US will get worse before it gets better. “We really need everyone to understand this is serious, to lean into what they can do to flatten the curve,” Adams told CBS This Morning. He added that it will be awhile before “life gets back to normal” and stressed that Americans must ake steps “right now” to help stop the spread. 

Congressman with coronavirus hospitalized

Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, was hospitalized on Friday after experiencing a “severe shortness of breath.” McAdams said Sunday that  he’s feeling better and expects to be released once doctors determine it’s appropriate. In his message, the Democratic congressman also urged people to follow advice from the CDC and Utah Department of Health to stop the spread of the virus. 


March 22

Weinstein reportedly tests positive

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Deadline. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in March on sexual assault and rape charges and recently transferred to Wende Correctional Facility in New York. Deadline reports he has been placed in medical isolation, but public relations representatives of Weinstein have no knowledge of the positive diagnosis. 

GameStop backflips on decision to stay open

Days after defending its decision to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it was providing “essential retail,” video game giant GameStop is closing stores to customers. It will allow curb-side pickups and continue to handle online orders. 

“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, said in a press release announcing the change. “Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners.”  

Australian lockdown measures in place

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that stricter lockdown measures will now be enforced and that the country’s pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and other “nonessential” services will be shut from midday on Monday, March 23. Morrison also requested all Australians stay home unless travel is essential. 

“Those holidays that you may have been planning to take interstate over the school holidays are canceled,” Morrison noted in a press briefing on March 22.   

Australia’s states and territories have also begun closing borders and will enforce 14-day quarantines for any domestic travellers. South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all announced any incoming travellers would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival by air, land or sea. 

Another sport gets postponed: Australian Rules Football

In light of the new lockdown measures in Australia, the Australian Football League — the country’s preeminent professional sporting competition — has decided to postpone the season indefinitely. The AFL had planned to forge ahead with the first round of the season, playing in empty stadiums, but the new measures have made playing on untenable. 

Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, said it would be an understatement to call the coronavirus pandemic “the most serious threat to our game in 100 years.” At the earliest, the AFL will continue its season in June, but a decision on its fate will not be made until the end of April. 

Rand Paul tests positive

Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky, has tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet Sunday, Paul’s account revealed the results and is in quarantine. According to the tweet, Paul is “asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,” with a followup tweet noting that his staff has been operating remotely and that he “expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends.”

Paul is the first US senator to test positive for the virus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered quarantine after being told that a doctor who gave her a pneumonia vaccine Friday has tested positive for coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, Merkel was put into quarantine shortly after a press conference on Sunday where she announced some “new measures to curb the spread of the virus.” The country has added a ban on gatherings of more than two people in a bid to slow the pandemic. 


If you’re interested in coronavirus news from before March 22, CNET has been tracking the outbreak in real time here.

This article was originally posted on March 22 and is being constantly updated.