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RELATED: Know the difference between COVID-19, flu and allergies 

Latest local & Texas updates:

Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time):
MORE: More Tuesday nation, world coronavirus updates

>>>> Read SE Texas COVID19 updates from Monday here <<<<

Key coronavirus updates for Tuesday, March 24: 

  • Trump and experts spoke at the White House to update the public on Tuesday
  • LaGuardia Tower goes into "staffing-related" ground delay program, report
  • Person under 18 dies of coronavirus related health issue in Los Angeles County
  • Liberty University opens amid virus outbreak as President Jerry Falwell Jr. deals with complaints and concerns
  • President Trump is weighing how to refine nationwide social-distancing guidelines.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state could be as close as two weeks away from a crisis with 40,000 people in intensive care 
  • In an unprecedented move, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed until 2021. 
  • India's Prime Minister has ordered a 'total lockdown' for the country's 1.3 billion residents.  
  • A coalition of restaurants are encouraging people to join 'The Great American Takeout' Tuesday by ordering food from your favorite restaurant. 
  • Congressional officials say a deal may be reached today on a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package.
  • The Olympic Torch Relay was scheduled to start Thursday with no torchbearer, crowd or ceremony. It's unclear whether those plans will now be scrapped, given the Olympic postponement, but officials said the Olympic flame will stay in Japan until the games next Summer.  
  • Chinese authorities are lifting a lock-down of Hubei province, the area most heavily hit by the virus. Domestic cases continue to subside.

March 24 7:00 p.m. — Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia issued a Stay Safe Order that will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 and will continue until April 3.  The order says essential industries and businesses are still exempt as well as citizen travel for essential functions. Read More here.

MARCH 24 4:40 p.m.  — Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel says a 'stay at home' order could be put in place for his county as early as noon on Wednesday. It is likely (though not official) that Jefferson and Orange counties could follow this directive. 

MARCH 24 4:40 p.m.  — The Beaumont Public Health Department (BPHD) received confirmation of another positive case of (COVID-19) in a Beaumont resident bringing the current number to 7. The individual is currently quarantined and is cooperating with the direction of the health department.

MARCH 24 2:30 p.m. — President Donald Trump is weighing how to refine nationwide social-distancing guidelines to put some workers back on the job amid the coronavirus outbreak. At a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said he is hoping the country will be reopened by Easter. 

“I gave it two weeks," Trump said during the virtual town hall from the Rose Garden. He argued that tens of thousands of Americans die from the seasonal flu or in automobile accidents and “we don't turn the country off.”

Health experts have made clear that unless Americans continue to dramatically limit social interaction, staying home from work and isolating themselves, the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system, as it has in parts of Italy, leading to many more deaths.

MARCH 24 2 p.m. — Newton County Judge Kenneth Weeks issued an amended emergency order stopping events with more than 10 people in the county. 

MARCH 24 11 a.m. —  Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel urges citizens to call testing hotline only if that person thinks he or she needs to be tested. McDaniel said the hotline number is being overwhelmed by people asking questions about the coronavirus, which prevents others who are sick from getting through to receive the help needed.

The judge said the health department in Hardin County is answering the phone 24/7 for people needing information about coronavirus. If no one answers or if the line is busy, McDaniel says it’s because officials are on the line with someone else. He said all people, Hardin County residents and non-Hardin County residents, can call 211 option 6 for the same information.

MARCH 24 8:45 a.m. —  Several Southeast Texas dental offices are collecting donated personal protection equipment, or “PPE,” from area dental office to donate for use at testing sites serving residents of Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Newton and Jasper Counties.

Dental professionals in Southeast Texas with extra supplies such as disposable gloves, disposable surgical gowns and disposable N95 masks are being asked to contact one of three dental offices to arrange to drop them off Tuesday or Wednesday.

  • Beaumont - Dr. Justin L. Morrison, DDS (409) 866-3700
  • Orange  - Horizon Dental (409) 882-9304
  • Nederland - Nederland Family Dental (409) 727-6453

MARCH 24 8:28 a.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says new numbers from health experts in the Houston area show that we "must take further steps" to help prevent the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus. She made the remarks while announcing a new "Stay home, Work safe" order for both the City of Houston and Harris County. The order is similar to what many other communities are referring to as a "stay-at-home order" or a shelter-in-place.

MARCH 24 7:50 a.m. — The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021. The International Olympic Committee along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers have decided that the Tokyo Games cannot go ahead as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

MARCH 24 7:15 a.m. — Japan’s NHK public television says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will propose a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with IOC President Thomas Bach. Read more.

MARCH 24 6:40 a.m. — A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization says case counts and deaths globally from the new coronavirus are expected to increase “considerably” when global figures are published later Tuesday.

Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, said overnight reporting showed 85% of the new cases were being reported in Europe and the United States. Scroll down to read more.

MARCH 24 6:30 a.m. — Top congressional and White House officials emerged from grueling negotiations at the Capitol over the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package saying they expected to reach a deal Tuesday. Scroll down to read more.

Scroll down for more updated National & World headlines

Trump hopes the country will be reopened by Easter

President Donald Trump is weighing how to refine nationwide social-distancing guidelines to put some workers back on the job amid the coronavirus outbreak. At a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said he is hoping the country will be reopened by Easter. 

“I gave it two weeks," Trump said during the virtual town hall from the Rose Garden. He argued that tens of thousands of Americans die from the seasonal flu or in automobile accidents and “we don't turn the country off.”

Health experts have made clear that unless Americans continue to dramatically limit social interaction, staying home from work and isolating themselves, the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system, as it has in parts of Italy, leading to many more deaths.

RELATED: Trump weighs scaling back social distancing guidelines

While the worst outbreaks are concentrated in certain parts of the country, such as New York, experts warn that the highly infectious disease is certain to spread.

Harvard University president and wife test positive for COVID-19

Harvard University president Lawrence S. Bacow and his wife, Adele, have tested positive for COVID-19. The president announced his test results in a letter to the university. 

Bacow said he and his wife started exhibiting symptoms Sunday and were tested Monday. He says neither he nor his wife know how they contracted the virus. 

"We will be taking the time we need to rest and recuperate during a two-week isolation at home," he wrote. "I am blessed with a great team, and many of my colleagues will be taking on more responsibility over the next few weeks as Adele and I focus on just getting healthy. Thanks, in advance, for your good wishes. Thanks also for your understanding if I am not as responsive to email as I normally am."

New York governor sends dire warning

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sounded his most dire warning yet about the coronavirus pandemic, saying the infection rate in New York is accelerating and the state could be as close as two weeks away from a crisis that projects 40,000 people in intensive care.

Such a surge would overwhelm hospitals, which now have just 3,000 intensive care unit beds statewide.

Cuomo says the rate of new infections is doubling about every three days. While officials once thought the peak in New York would come in early May, they now say it could come in two to three weeks.

“We are not slowing it. And it is accelerating on its own,” he said during a briefing in New York City. “One of the forecasters said we were looking at a freight train coming across the country. We’re now looking at a bullet train.”

There were nearly 26,000 positive cases in New York state with 210 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

India's PM orders 21-day lockdown

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “total lockdown” in the country of 1.3 billion people during a televised address Tuesday night, the most extensive stay-at-home order yet in the world's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The 21-day lockdown was set to begin at midnight.

“To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” Modi said, adding that if the county failed to manage the next 21 days, it would be set back by 21 years.

Indian health officials have reported 469 actives cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 10 deaths.

FedEx weekend operation helps move test specimens to labs

FedEx Express says it ran a special operation over the weekend to help the government deliver coronavirus test specimens from more than 50 remote drive-thru testing sites across 12 states to 10 labs. 

The company said it dedicated 28 flight legs to the special mission and will continue to provide support seven days a week as more remote testing sites open. 

Restaurants urge people to join 'The Great American Takeout' campaign on Tuesday

A coalition of restaurants nationwide wants to encourage people to order out on Tuesday, March 24. They’re calling it the #GreatAmericanTakeout

Many restaurants around the country have had to close entirely or transition to solely delivery and takeout operations, in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. 

Yelp adding donate buttons for local businesses 

Yelp announced Tuesday that users will soon be able to donate to local businesses from their Yelp pages. 

The move is part of a partnership with GoFundMe and the two companies plan to match the first $1 million in donations. 

According to Yelp, the fundraisers will begin to appear on the pages of businesses in some of the hardest hit areas starting Tuesday, and it will be rolled out to all eligible businesses nationwide over the next couple days. 

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021

The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021.

The International Olympic Committee along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers have decided that the Tokyo Games cannot go ahead as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The IOC says the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Japanese TV says Abe to ask for 1-year delay on Olympics

Japan’s NHK public television says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will propose a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics during talks with IOC President Thomas Bach.

Abe says a postponement is unavoidable if the 2020 Games cannot be held in a complete manner amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Abe held telephone talks with Bach after IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

RELATED: IOC Chief, Japanese Prime Minister agree to postpone Tokyo Olympics until 2021

Thailand imposes state of emergency to control coronavirus

Thailand's government is imposing a one-month state of emergency allowing it to impose stricter measures to control the coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in the Southeast Asian country. 

The move, which takes effect Thursday, gives the government additional powers to implement curfews, censor the media, disperse gatherings and deploy military forces for enforcement.

Details will be announced later about that exact measures that will be imposed. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha assured the country that he is not instituting a lockdown yet. He said a decision on whether to impose stricter measures depends on whether people cooperate.

UN: 85% of new infections, deaths coming from Europe and US

A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization says case counts and deaths globally from the new coronavirus are expected to increase “considerably” when global figures are published later Tuesday.

Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, said overnight reporting showed 85% of the new cases were being reported in Europe and the United States.

Speaking at a regular U.N. Geneva briefing, Harris also cited a “glimmer of hope” in hard-hit Italy after two days of slight declines in the number of new cases and deaths, while cautioning it’s “early days yet” — and the trend needed to be monitored.

Global figures compiled by WHO at 17:00 GMT Monday showed more than 334,000 total cases globally, Harris said, “but in fact the outbreak is accelerating very rapidly and the case numbers we received overnight will put that up considerably.”

She said she did not have the exact figures to hand.

The latest WHO Situation report issued late Monday cited 14,788 deaths worldwide, including 1,727 over the latest 24-hour span.

“Just to put it in proportion: It took two years in the worst Ebola outbreak we ever had, the West African outbreak, to reach 11,000 deaths," Harris said. "So we are really seeing an enormous outbreak here."

Harris said an increasing in the rollout of testing for new coronavirus infections could partly explain the surge in case counts.

Negotiators close on a nearly $2 trillion virus aid package

Top congressional and White House officials emerged from grueling negotiations at the Capitol over the nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package saying they expected to reach a deal Tuesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said they had spoken by phone with President Donald Trump during the long night of negotiations. While the two sides have resolved many issues in the sweeping package, some remain.

At midnight Monday, they emerged separately to say talks would continue into the night.

“We look forward to having a deal tomorrow,” Mnuchin told reporters after exiting Schumer's office.

“The president is giving us direction," Mnuhcin said. "The president would like to have a deal, and he's hopeful we can conclude this.”

Moments later, Schumer agreed that a deal was almost within reach. “That's the expectation — that we finish it tomorrow and hopefully vote on it tomorrow evening," he said.

At least two members of congress have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Worldwide the coronavirus has infected more than 375,000 people and killed over 16,000. The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems.

More than 100,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China. 

RELATED: Facts Not Fear | What you need to know about the COVID-19 outbreak

RELATED: VERIFY: Which disinfectants will work on the new coronavirus?

China to lift lockdown in most of virus-hit Hubei province

Chinese authorities are lifting a two-month lockdown of most of coronavirus-hit Hubei province, as domestic cases of the virus continue to subside.

China barred people from leaving or entering Wuhan starting Jan. 23 and expanded it to most of the province in succeeding days. The drastic steps came as a new coronavirus began spreading to the rest of China and overseas during the Lunar New Year, when many Chinese travel. Hubei has seen almost no new infections for more than a week.

USA Gymnasts join others in favor of Olympics postponement

USA Gymnastics says a majority of senior national team members have indicated in an anonymous survey that they were in favor of the Tokyo Olympics being pushed back from its scheduled July opening.

USA Gymnastics President Li Li Leung says the organization would not specify how long of a delay it is asking for but added that most respondents were pushing for a year.

USA Swimming and USA Track and Field also have called for a postponement to the games while the International Olympics Committee considers postponing the Summer Games because of the

Olympic torch relay: No torch, no torchbearers, no public

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will start as planned in northeastern Fukushima prefecture. But it will go on with no torch, no torchbearers, no public, and little ceremony to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

There will, however, be an Olympic flame carried in a lantern and transported by a vehicle along what organizers hope will be empty roadsides, and with any casual viewers practicing social distancing.

The Tokyo Games and the relay have been caught in limbo since International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said four weeks were needed to decide on an inevitable postponement of the planned opening on July 24. Most expect the Olympics to be held in 2021. 

Trump says he intends to reopen country in weeks, not months

President Donald Trump says he wants to reopen the country for business in weeks, not months, and he claims, without evidence, that continued closures could result in more deaths than the coronavirus pandemic.

The comments were further evidence that Trump has grown impatient with the pandemic, even before it has reached its expected peak. 

South Africa's cases leap again as 3-week lockdown looms

South Africa's coronavirus cases have leapt again to 554. It's the most of any country in Africa.

Its 57 million people are rushing to prepare for a three-week lockdown that begins Thursday. Across Africa, 43 of its 54 countries now have cases, with the total at 1,788. Thirteen countries have reported 58 deaths.

Elsewhere in Africa, Nigeria's ban on international flights begins. And Ethiopia's government has issued a proposal to the G20 global forum for economic cooperation ahead of its summit, saying “COVID-19 poses an existential threat to the economies of African countries."  

Arizona death prompts warning against self-medication

A Phoenix-area man has died and his wife is in critical condition after the couple took an additive used to clean fish tanks known as chloroquine phosphate, similar to the drug used to treat malaria.

Banner Health said on Monday that the couple in their 60s got sick within half an hour. Last week, President Donald Trump touted that the malaria medication chloroquine was a known treatment for COVID-19. The chief of the Food and Drug Administration clarified that the drug still needs to be tested for that use.

The woman told NBC that the president said the drug was essentially a cure. She said people should not taking anything and call their doctors. Banner Health is warning against self-medicating.  

Texas' lieutenant governor says US should get 'back to work'

Texas' lieutenant governor says the U.S. should get back to work in the face of the global pandemic and that people over the age of 70 will “take care of ourselves.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made the comments Monday night on Fox News' “Tucker Carlson Tonight." The Centers for Disease Control says people over the age of 65 are at higher risk from the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Health experts have made clear that unless Americans continue to dramatically limit social interaction, the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system. Patrick went on the program after President Donald Trump sad he wanted the country getting back to business in weeks, not months.