INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR/TEGNA/AP) — Wednesday's latest update on the coronavirus pandemic.
White House Coronavirus Task Force gives update
President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force is providing an update on the country's response to COVID-19.
Today's briefing comes after the White House and congressional leaders reached a deal on a $2 trillion rescue package Wednesday to help working and laid-off Americans, businesses and hospitals. It still faces votes in the House and Senate.
Meijer asks customers to temporarily stop bringing reusable bags to stores
Meijer is asking customers at all its stores to refrain from shopping with reusable bags, unless they are using the Meijer Shop & Scan service.
"This change is part of the retailer’s ongoing efforts to ensure Meijer team members can do their jobs in the safest manner while ensuring the most sanitary conditions possible in its stores," the company said in a release.
Reusable bag changes are effective immediately at all Meijer stores.
Fishers IKEA donates masks to Hamilton County Health Department
The business donated 10,000 masks to the Hamilton County Health Department Tuesday.
The health department said it would distribute the masks to health care and public safety workers across the county.
Local businesses, like Indiana Safety and Supply are also working to keep hospital staffs protected. Their southern Indiana warehouse is slammed right now. President and CEO Kevin Bush said the company sold out of the highly sought-out N-95 masks six weeks ago in a 36-hour period.
HSE donates masks to Community Health Network
Hamilton Southeastern Schools has donated 6,400 masks to Community Health Network.
"We are honored to be able to help protect our local healthcare workers serving on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic," the school system said on Facebook.
The donation included 1,400 N-95 masks.
ISDH confirms 2 more deaths, 112 new positive cases of coronavirus
The Indiana State Department of Health reports 112 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state.
As of Tuesday morning, 477 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
ISDH reports two more people died, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 14. The new deaths were one person in Hancock County and one person in Howard County.
425 more people were tested for coronavirus on Monday, bringing the overall total to 3,356.
Starbucks giving free coffee to first responders, healthcare workers nationwide
Starbucks is now offering free coffee nationwide to first responders and frontline workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said from now until May 3, any customer who identifies themselves as a first responder or worker supporting the healthcare system will receive a free tall brewed coffee. Those who are eligible include police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital and medical staff and medical researchers.
The free coffee offer is eligible at participating Starbucks locations around the U.S.
Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus
Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The prince's Clarence House office says the 71-year-old is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland.
It says his wife, Camilla, has tested negative.
South Korea sending testing materials to US
South Korea says it plans to provide coronavirus testing materials to the United States in response to President Donald Trump’s request for help.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country is willing to send chemical reagents used to extract genetic material during COVID-19 tests, but at a level that doesn’t affect its own testing capacity.
She didn’t provide a detailed estimate on the size of supplies that could be shipped to the United States.
Wall Street futures soar on news of $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill
Wall Street futures jumped on the news that leaders in Congress and the White House reached an agreement on a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package early Wednesday morning. It comes after the Dow Jones had its best day since 1933.
As of 4 a.m. EST Wednesday, the Dow Jones was up 505 points (2.45 percent). The S&P 500 was up 23.5 (0.96 percent) and the Nasdaq was up 59.25 (0.78 percent).
That followed a stunning 11.4 percent surge in the Dow Tuesday, closing up 2,113 points. The more closely followed S&P 500 index leaped 9.4 percent as a wave of buying around the world interrupted what has been a brutal month of nearly nonstop selling.
Massive rescue package deal reached on Capitol Hill
The White House and Senate leaders of both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a health care system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
The agreement came after days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure and still needs to be finalized in detailed legislative language.
The unprecedented economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.
One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help as well.
New Zealand declares state of emergency
New Zealand has declared a state of emergency as it prepares to go into an unprecedented lockdown late Wednesday for about a month.
The declaration temporarily gives police and the military extra powers. And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says any New Zealanders returning home from overseas who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be put in isolation at an approved facility.
"I have one simple message for New Zealanders today as we head into the next four weeks: ‘stay at home,'" Ardern said. "It will break the chain of transmission and it will save lives.”
South Korea issues quarantine on people arriving from US
South Korea says it will enforce 14-day quarantines on South Korean nationals and foreigners with long-term stay visas arriving from the United States starting Friday.
The measures come as authorities scramble to prevent the coronavirus from re-entering the country amid broadening outbreaks in the West.
Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun says stronger controls were needed considering the increasing number of students and other South Korean nationals returning from the United States, where the virus has been spreading rapidly.