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Coronavirus updates: Millions more ordered to stay at home, Olympics postponed

Coronavirus updates

Here are the latest updates from around the world.

More American states have gone under lockdown, with Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington and West Virginia issuing stay-at-home orders. “Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

Late on Monday, the United Kingdom went into lockdown as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to stem the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 5,000 people and killed hundreds in his country.

And after growing international pressure, Japan and the International Olympic Committee have agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo games until next year, but said they would happen no later than summer 2021.

Los Angeles County gun shops drew a barrage of buyers before lockdown

Los Angeles County residents rushed to gun stores as the coronavirus spread across the U.S. last week, forming long lines in a fit of panic-buying, a top law enforcement official told NBC News.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva says the gun buying bonanza came just before a stay-at-home order was put in place. Gun shops, like other nonessential businesses, are now closed across the county.

"You can't shoot a virus," Villanueva told NBC News. “But if we ever get to the point of a foreign invasion or zombie apocalypse, I’ll make sure they are open.”

Transit systems in free fall beg for federal help over coronavirus

The nation's public transit systems are asking for federal help as ridership plummets because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As more and more states and major urban centers call upon residents to work from home and shelter in place to slow the spread of the virus, public transit systems around the country are taking a major hit, with declines in ridership of up to 90 percent.

In New York, an epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has seen a 60 percent decline in ridership on its subways, while in San Francisco, where residents have been ordered to stay home, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system has seen a decline of almost 90 percent and is losing millions per week, forcing it to reduce service times.

The steep drops in riders, plus the added costs of safety measures such as disinfecting subway cars and cleaning the stations, could have catastrophic financial consequences for public transit systems even after the crisis is over.

Coronavirus cases surpass 50,000 in the U.S.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has now risen to more than 50,000. New York has the biggest number of cases by far, at over 25,000. That's largely due to increased testing for the virus.

California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Washington have all reported more than 1,000 cases each.

Nationwide, 637 people have died from the coronavirus.

Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. welcomes students back

Liberty University in Virginia welcomed students back to campus Monday amid criticism of its president, Jerry Falwell Jr., for allowing them back during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 1,100 students returned Monday following spring break, according to Scott Lamb, a spokesman for the university in Lynchburg. Falwell Jr. said he met with many of them.

At least one professor at the university has criticized the move, writing in an op-ed that "Falwell's lack of concern" about the pandemic puts faculty, staff and others in the city of Lynchburg at risk. In addition, an online petition seeks Falwell's removal over his alleged failure to take COVID-19 seriously.

Trump says he wants to ease coronavirus restrictions by April 12

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he wants to have the country getting back to business by the Easter holiday, April 12, saying the country isn’t built to sustain a longterm shutdown.

Public health experts and local and state leaders have cautioned against easing restrictions too early, saying it could put an enormous strain on hospitals and lead to even more deaths and economic damage.

A White House official clarified that the president views Easter as a date by which the economy is speeding again, meaning the loosening of restrictions would happen even sooner.

 

This article was originally published on nbcnews.com