Iowa

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Coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the Midwest, and American’s routines have been significantly disrupted amid the pandemic. President Trump invoked a war-time era law to ramp up production of essential supplies, and some experts and government officials are warning this could be the new normal for as long as 18 months. 

Latest Coronavirus News, Wednesday, March 18

Mar 18, 2020
Madeleine King, Iowa Public Radio

Cancellations continued to rise across the Midwest, as more states took aim at gyms, theaters, hair salons and other places where people gather. The coronavirus also was interfering with planned elections, including the Ohio presidential primary, which is being rescheduled.

Courtesy of Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was postponed and many other events in the Midwest were canceled, as officials tried to stem the spread of coronavirus. Indiana and Kentucky saw their first fatalities this week, as the number and severity of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the Midwest. Here's a state-by-state summary of the news:

Illinois

Photo by Lauren Chapman/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Events across the country continue to be cancelled, many schools are closing and the stock market is being shaken dramatically. Now, many public health experts are criticizing the lack of available testing to determine if someone is infected with coronavirus. Here’s the latest news from the Midwest: 

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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. 

The coronavirus' impact continues to deepen with the National Guard enforcing a one-mile containment area in a New York City suburb and officials in Italy ordering a nationwide lockdown. In the U.S. Midwest, major universities are shutting their doors and pivoting to online learning. Several jails and prisons are also suspending visits amid the outbreak

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Cases of the novel coronavirus –– or the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19 -- continue to mount throughout the Midwest. Some states have turned to closing K-12 schools or colleges.

Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

In many states, emergency medical services are not considered essential, like fire or police. That means when you call 911, there’s no guarantee an ambulance will respond. And this is a big problem in rural areas, where volunteers are scarce.


Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government recently raised the smoking age to 21 to help curb teen vaping.  Some are applauding the decision as a win for public health. Others worry it was a knee-jerk reaction.

An "open tank" e-cigarettes sits on the counter at Mason Odle's vape store, Just Vapor. These larger, open tank systems are exempt from FDA regulations on flavors.
Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

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