What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

A few nations began easing coronavirus restrictions to restart their economies, but trepidation expressed by some workers and customers indicated a return to normality is still a long way off

Some workers and customers are expressing trepidation as a few nations — and U.S. states— begin easing coronavirus restrictions, the air has temporarily cleaned up as people stay home and the first deaths from COVID-19 came two weeks earlier than previously thought. Meanwhile, the Class of 2020 is adapting to a new reality without the prom and graduation festivities.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Wednesday 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:

— A few nations began easing coronavirus restrictions to restart their economies, but trepidation expressed by some workers and customers indicated a return to normality is still a long way off. Although some virus hot spots like Italy, Spain and New York have seen a drop in daily death tolls and new hospitalizations, other areas are facing a resurgence of the coronavirus.

An unplanned grand experiment is changing Earth. As people across the globe stay home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, the air has temporarily cleaned up and people are noticing animals in places and at times they don’t usually.

— Health officials say two people died with the new coronavirus in California weeks before the first reported death from the virus, on Feb. 29 in Kirkland, Washington. The announcement came as California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to update the state’s plans to reopen.

— Coronavirus-related symptoms accounted for more than 85% of all admissions for a period of nearly four weeks at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Westchester County, New York. And half of the approximately 280 staff members who were tested for the disease were positive.

— President Donald Trump announced what he described as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States.” But an executive order he is expected to sign to implement the change would bar only those seeking permanent residency, not temporary workers.

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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.

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:

10 MILLION: There are over 70 million people worldwide who have been driven from their homes by war and unrest, up to 10 million are packed into refugee camps and informal settlements, and almost none have been tested for the new coronavirus.

IN OTHER NEWS:

CLASS OF 2020: For millions of Class of 2020 teenagers living through the coronavirus outbreak, coming-of-age moments like the prom and graduation look and feel vastly different.

NETFLIX AND CHILL: Netflix picked up nearly 16 million global subscribers during the first three months of the year, helping cement its status as one of the world’s most essential services in times of isolation or crisis.

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