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Hospitals Seek Face Masks, And Other Coronavirus News Friday, March 20

Frequent hand washing and staying home as much as possible remain the most effective measures against COVID-19.
jackmac34 / pixabay CCO
Frequent hand washing and staying home as much as possible remain the most effective measures against COVID-19.

The coronavirusdeath toll in Europe has overtaken China's. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to send mixed signals: Yesterday, President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for COVID-19, shortly after the agency said that was not the case.In the Midwest, case counts continue to rise, as experts say community spread is happening.

Here's the latest from the region:

Illinois: 

  • Illinois’ case count is the highest in the Midwest with over 400 COVID-19 cases and three deaths. 
  • Health officials are asking for donationsof face masks, respirators, and other equipment for hospital workers. 


Indiana: 

  • On Friday, Gov. Holcomb pushed Indiana's primarly election to May 5 to June 2.
  • In a sweeping list of changes Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered all schools closed through May 1, banned utilities from turning off services, and halted evictions and foreclosures. 
  • The state suspended all Healthy Indiana Plan premium payments. 
  • An Indianapolis-area non-profit has created grant relief for artistsduring the outbreak. 

Ohio: 

Kentucky:

Missouri: 

  • A VA patient tested positivefor the virus. 
  • The University of Missouri banned employees working from campus without a permit. 

Iowa: 


UPDATE: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data.

This story was produced by, a news collaborative covering public health.

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