What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Coronavirus

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(AP) – Congress is sprinting to approve a $483 billion coronavirus aid package this week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s time to “push the pause button” on federal spending.

Also, California health officials reset the timeline on coronavirus deaths and Tyson Foods shut down an Iowa plant. And a Russian ultramarathoner found a way to get his miles in, running 10-plus hours inside his home.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Wednesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic:

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— Congress is sprinting to approve a $483 billion coronavirus aid package this week. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s time to “push the pause button” on federal spending. The deal reached this week would replenish a small-business payroll fund and pump more money into hospitals and testing programs.

— Health officials say two people died with the new coronavirus in California weeks before the first reported death from the virus. Santa Clara County officials said the people died at home Feb. 6 and Feb. 17.

— Tyson Foods suspended operations at an Iowa plant that is critical to the nation’s pork supply but had been blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the community. The company said the indefinite closure of the Waterloo, Iowa, plant would deny a vital market to hog farmers and further disrupt the nation’s meat supply.

— 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.

— Some small businesses that obtained a highly coveted government loan say they won’t be able to use it to bring all their laid-off workers back, even though that is what the program was designed to do. As a result, the lending may not reduce unemployment as much as the Trump administration and Congress hope.

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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:

— INDOOR ULTRAMARATHON: A Russian man in the far eastern city of Vladivostok ran circles around his bed for more than 10 hours in an effort to replicate completing a 100-kilometer ultramarathon. Experienced ultra-runner Dmitry Yakukhny found himself stuck at home after the race was postponed to September.

— ATHLETES SIDELINED: Seasons have been on pause for weeks with no end in sight. So, too, has the competitive drive of tens of thousands of the world’s best athletes, the bottle corked by simple, sobering orders: Back off. Stay home.

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