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US coronavirus death toll crosses 1,000

   Thursday March 26, 2020 - 1:45 AM
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More answers to your COVID-19 questionsABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton discusses COVID-19 and the correlation between blood types, pneumonia vaccination for seniors and allergy symptoms vs. coronavirus.
A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 21,200 people around the world.

There are more than 470,000 diagnosed cases of the new respiratory illness, known officially as COVID-19, spanning every continent except Antarctica, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

With more than 68,500 diagnosed cases, the United States has the third-highest national total behind Italy and China. The virus has rapidly spread across every U.S. state as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, killing at least 1,031 people.

Today's biggest developments:

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Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

11 p.m.: Thune self-isolating as a precaution
South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the Senate GOP whip, woke up not feeling well, according to his communications director, Ryan Wrasse, and although he wasnâ??t advised to take a COVID-19 test, he is returning to his home state "out of an abundance of caution."

He will also miss voting in the Senate due to him leaving.

Thune, 59, was elected to the Senate in 2004.

10:35 p.m.: US death toll crosses 1,000
The U.S. death toll crossed the grim mark of 1,000 on Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll now stands at 1,031. The most deaths have come in New York state, with 366, well ahead of Washington state, with 133.

The U.S. has also had at least 68,572 confirmed cases.

9:48 p.m.: LDS to close all temples
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it is closing all temples temporarily.

"After careful and prayerful consideration, and with a desire to be responsible global citizens, we have decided to suspend all temple activity Churchwide at the end of the day on March 25, 2020. This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen," the church said in a statement.

There are about 6.6 million members in the U.S. and 81 temples, according to the LDS church.

8:10 p.m.: 1st person tests positive at Pentagon
A U.S. Marine stationed at the Pentagon has tested positive for coronavirus, the first Pentagon employee to do so.

The Marine is now in isolation at his home and his workspace has been cleaned.

Normally 23,000 people work at the Pentagon, but only 6,000 had been coming in with telework becoming the norm. That number has now been lowered further following Defense Secretary Mark Esperâ??s additional restrictions.

7:07 p.m.: White House says 432,000 tests conducted
Vice President Mike Pence and White House health officials said the U.S. has conducted 432,000 coronavirus tests since the outbreak began.

This number doesn't include tests done by private labs and hospitals, according to Pence. Dr. Deborah Brix, the White House's coronavirus task force coordinator, said they are working to get more conducted.

"I think we are close to working through the testing backlog,â?쳌 she said at Wednesday's White House briefing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the U.S. could see another cycle of the virus. He noted that countries in the Southern Hemisphere are seeing cases and it could go into their winter seasons

"It emphasizes the need to do what we are doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly, and trying to get it ready so we will have a vaccine available for that next cycle,â?쳌 he said at the briefing.

6:40 p.m.: Colorado issues stay-at-home order
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced an emergency stay-at-home order that will go into effect Thursday morning.

Nineteen people in the state have died from COVID-19 among 1,086 diagnosed cases.

"Now is the time to stay at home," Polis said at a news conference.

The order provides exemptions for people working in critical businesses and will remain in effect until April 11.

6:15 p.m.: New York City cases rise to nearly 18,000
The number of coronavirus cases in New York City reached 17,856 Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.

This represents 54% of the cases in New York state and 32% of all cases in the country. De Blasio cautioned against statements from the president that the economy could open up by Easter and noted that April statistics would be worse than March.

"[It] does not apply to anything weâ??re seeing in New York City,â?쳌 the mayor said of the Easter goal.

De Blasio added he anticipated that that half of the city's residents could be infected.

De Blasio said the city is working to curb the number of cases by enforcing stricter rules on close contact. After receiving reports of people playing basketball in several playgrounds, the mayor ordered park officials to remove hoops from 80 basketball courts.

There are 1,700 courts throughout the city and de Blasio warned he would close more if people didn't follow social-distancing guidelines.

4:55 p.m.: At least 50,000 Americans stuck overseas
Despite 9,300 Americans having already been returned to the U.S., there are at least 50,000 American citizens who are still stranded overseas by sudden border closures and canceled flights, according to the State Department.

Travelers wait for a charter flight coordinated by the U.S. embassy at the La Aurora airport in Guatemala City, March 24, 2020. American citizens stranded abroad because of the coronavirus pandemic are seeking help in returning to the United States.
Travelers wait for a charter flight coordinated by the U.S. embassy at the La Aurora airport in Guatemala City, March 24, 2020. American citizens stranded abroad because of the coronavirus pandemic are seeking help in returning to the United States.Moises Castillo/AP

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