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Saturday March 28th, 2020 6:51PM

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

By The Associated Press
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President Donald Trump is raising the idea of what he's calling a quarantine involving New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, states hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But there are questions as to whether the federal government has the power to do so.

The United States has more confirmed coronavirus infections than any other country. Cities including Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans are growing as hotspots of infection, while New York City continues to be pummeled. Nurses there are calling for more masks and other gear to safeguard themselves against the virus that has so far sickened more than 52,000 people and killed over 700 in New York state, mostly in the city. Italy's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is the highest in the world, with 10,000 fatalities.

Here are some of AP's top stories Saturday on the world's coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY:

— New York Gov. Andrew Cuomohas delayed the state's presidential primary from April to June to keep people from gathering during the coronavirus pandemic. More than a dozen states have delayed some elections, in some cases including their presidential primaries.

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board domestic flights or intercity trains. The requirement will go into effect Monday.

— Census workers in the U.S. have to take a different approach to collecting information. Nonprofits and civic organizations leading census outreach efforts are pivoting to digital strategies.

— Brazil's presiden t is being sharply criticized for downplaying the pandemic, even suggesting Brazilians have a natural immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19.

— U.S. child welfare agencies are c onfronting new challenge s. Many agencies, seeking to limit the virus’s spread, have cut back on in-person inspections at homes of children considered at risk of abuse and neglect.

— The coronavirus pandemic is defining for the globe what's “essential” and what things we really can't do without, even though we might not need them for survival.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

Misinformation overload: How to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.

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ONE NUMBER:

2.2 MILLION: More than 2.2 million people are imprisoned in America, more than any other place in the world. Health experts say prisons and jails are considered a potential epicenter for America’s coronavirus pandemic. They are little cities hidden behind tall fences where many people share cells, sit elbow-to-elbow at dining areas and are herded through halls to the yard or prison industry jobs.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

PORTRAITS FROM THE PANDEMIC: The doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy are almost unrecognizable behind their masks, scrubs, gloves and hairnets — the flimsy battle armor that is their only barrier to contagion.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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