WED MAR 18 COVID-19 UPDATES: Plattsmouth schools to have emergency meeting on payments

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(WOWT) -- Here's a review of Wednesday's local, state, and national developments in the COVID-19 outbreak:

9:44 p.m. -- Plattsmouth Community Schools board is planning an emergency meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, with a virtual attendance option, to discuss measures that would allow the district to make payments during the coronavirus closure. [DETAILS]

9 p.m. -- Omaha Metro health systems are postponing non-urgent procedures to preserve equipment and the health of healthcare providersfor the COVID-19 response.

8:55 p.m. -- Lyft is working to partner with government and health care companies to start deliveries of medical supplies, food, and other items.

7:59 p.m. -- President Trump has signed an aid package, approved earlier Wednesday by the Senate, that will guarantee sick leave to workers who fall ill. More relief packages are in the works.

6:50 p.m. -- Wednesday evening, the South Heartland District Health Department out of Hastings reported its first case. The 28th case in Nebraska, the Adams County woman is in her 40s and had traveled to Europe.

5:40 p.m. -- Douglas County Health Department closes Vital Statistics office to walk-ins. Certified copies of birth and death certificates will still be available by mail.

5:32 p.m. -- The Iowa Department of Public Health reported on Wednesday evening that nine new positive cases of coronavirus had been identified, bringing the state's total to 38.

4:22 p.m. -- Family planning providers around the country are taking steps to help prevent a boom in pregnancies due to coronavirus self-isolation.

4:15 p.m. -- Pivot Concierge Health Clinic and Banyan Medical Systems announce the opening of a drive-thru screening clinic to help out the public and hospitals in the area. The clinic will open Monday.

4:10 p.m. -- During a news conference with Omaha city officials, Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour shared more details about the second community spread case in the city.

4:05 p.m. -- U.S. Secretary of the Interior waives entry fees to all national parks.

3:23 p.m. -- Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota said they would shut down factories, citing concerns for employees who work in close quarters building automobiles.

3:03 p.m. -- A nursing home in Illinois is dealing with 42 cases of coronavirus and officials worry the number will go up.

2:54 p.m -- Stocks continue to tumble; losses were made worse after a halt in trading. Wall Street was down 9% Wednesday afternoon, wiping out the last of the gains since President Trump's inauguration.

2:50 p.m. --Hy-Vee announced they will reserve one hour of shopping time prior to stores’ opening each day for customers considered high-risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, while Target stores will do the same each Wednesday.

2:46 p.m. -- Douglas County Treasurer's Office reports high call volumes, and urged residents to utilize its online services or to send renewals through the mail.

2:38 p.m. -- The U.S. Census Bureau has suspended field operations for two weeks. The count started last week.

2:14 p.m. -- Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Douglas County Health Department Director Dr. Adi Pour will have a news conference at 4:15 p.m. about community response to the coronavirus pandemic.

2:03 p.m. --Colfax County Nebraska has issued a disaster declaration, asking everyone to stay home and prioritize testing for the coronavirus for people over age 65 showing symptoms, those with ongoing health issues, medical field workers and first responders.

12:01 p.m. -- The last remaining coronavirus evacuee from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will leave the Nebraska Medical Center campus today, officials announced through a press release.

11:21 a.m. -- Saunders County closes all offices operate by appointment only.

11:08 a.m. -- In a live news conference updating White House Coronavirus Task Force developments, President Trump said he is invoking the Defense Production Act. FEMA has been activated at "the highest level." The Treasury Department wants to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is suspending foreclosures through April.

10:52 a.m. -- Walmart, Apple, other companies revise paid sick leave policies.

9:45 a.m. -- The City of Council Bluffs announced it will restrict public access to city buildings including City Hall, Public Works, Police Headquarters, the Recycling Center and Fire Headquarters beginning at 11 a.m. today. All deadlines for permits, fines and licenses have been suspended until further notice.

9:26 a.m. -- The Iowa Department of Transportation announced Wednesday driver's licenses, car registrations and titles with an expiration date of Jan. 17, 2020, or later will not have to be renewed until the pandemic is over.

9:03 a.m. -- Nebraska's DMV announces it will no longer be conducting driving tests anywhere in the state until further notice. State DMV offices will also be limiting the number of customers allowed in their lobbies or asking customers to wait outside in their vehicles until they can be served.

8:37 a.m. -- President Trump announced via Twitter the northern border of the U.S. to Canada will be closed to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected, details to follow.

8:25 a.m. -- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it has suspended until at least April 1 all in-person services, including interviews and naturalization ceremonies.

8:01 a.m. -- The White House Coronavirus Task Force will give a live update at 10:30 a.m.

8 a.m. -- The Douglas County Board of Health broadcasts its virtual meeting.

7:23 a.m. -- The Trump administration says it will allow individuals and businesses to delay paying their tax bills for 90 days past the April 15 deadline.

7:06 a.m. -- Target announced that all its stores will close by 9 p.m. starting today to give staff additional time for cleaning and restocking amid the pandemic.


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