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

The coronavirus death 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 donations of 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 artists during the outbreak. 

Ohio: 

Kentucky:

Missouri: 

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UPDATE: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date.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 the Centers 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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