It’s official: The World Health Organization says COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is a pandemic. Government and industry leaders are moving to cancel events and stem the flow of the disease, even though some experts say it is too late. President Donald Trump announced a travel ban from European countries last night. The NBA has suspended its season and the NCAA will play tournament games -- including some scheduled for Indianapolis -- without fans.
Here’s the latest from the region:
- There are 25 cases of the virus in Illinois, the most in the Midwest.
- The General Assembly is cancelling next week’s session.
- Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been cancelled.
- The NCAA has prohibited fan attendance at the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight tournament games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
- The Big Ten says that fans can't attend men’s basketball conference tournament games in Indianapolis.
- Ball State University joined other major Indiana universities in suspending classes.
- There are 13 cases of COVID-19 identified statewide.
- Three public universities in Iowa decided to move classes online.
- Des Moines area hospitals are limiting visitors.
- Eight people have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The governor is asking major institutions such as schools, houses of worship and prisons to cancel events.
- The University of Missouri is suspending classes through March 15.
- The governor announced a plan to limit mass gatherings.
- There are four cases of the virus across the state.
Check back to Side Effects for frequent round-ups of coronavirus news from the Midwest. We also want to help you sort fact from fiction when it comes to virus. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text “health” to 73224 with your questions, and we will search for the answers.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.