Coronavirus Today: When will it peak?

I’m Diya Chacko, and it’s Thursday, March 26. Here’s what’s happening with the coronavirus outbreak, as the number of confirmed cases dramatically rises in California and beyond.

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The U.S. has overtaken Italy and China as the country with the most confirmed cases, and California is seeing a major spike, including in Los Angeles County. So how much longer will confirmed cases and deaths keep exploding? Many of those people got sick before social-distancing rules were imposed statewide, and L.A. County officials hope such measures now underway will eventually slow the growth. But they also say Californians should brace for far more cases and deaths.

“If there are 1,000 people who are positive and each one of those people Los Angeles News infects two other people ... within a few weeks, there could be a million people infected in L.A. County,” said Barbara Ferrer, county health director.

Doctors are contemplating the difficult choices they may be forced to make as the number of COVID-19 patients grows. Across the U.S., there could be as many as 31 patients requiring ventilation for every machine available, according to an article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The shortage could be just as severe in California, where there are about 9,500 ventilators total statewide.

“You have an 80-year-old and a 20-year-old, and both need a vent, and you only have one. What do you do?” said a chief of emergency medicine at a San Francisco hospital. “There’s not a black-and-white answer.”

Car makers are trying to boost production of ventilators, apparel companies are sewing protective masks and distilleries are cranking out hand sanitizer. But with so much left to do, the federal government is being urged to use a Korean War-era law to order companies to ramp up production of critical supplies. The Defense Production Act gives the government the authority to buy and distribute equipment before other buyers, and even to order companies to produce goods on an emergency basis. So far the Trump administration, under pressure from business interests, has resisted invoking it.

People nationwide are scouring their homes for any gear that can be Press Release Distribution Services In Los Angeles used to help doctors and nurses cope with a shortage of personal protective equipment, checking their garages, closets and earthquake kits for N95 masks, gowns and even hazmat suits to send to hospitals. If you have supplies to donate, visit

Meanwhile, the $2-trillion economic stimulus package poised to be approved by Congress this week would provide direct payments to many American adults in as little as three weeks for those who already receive direct payments from the IRS. Checks will take longer. We have answers to some common questions about the payments, and some perspective on the scope of the new package. The package stands out not only for its record size but for giving employers unprecedented — and untested — incentives to keep people on their payrolls.

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