BEAUMONT, Texas — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Today's top headlines:

School Impacts | Map of cases | Coronavirus symptoms & prevention | Coronavirus questions answered

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Latest updates:

Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time):
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March 17-6:00 p.m.Hardin County Judge Wayne McDaniel is asking residents to 'exercise courtesy' in addition to safety and consideration for others, especially our more vulnerable population. He shared updated hours for Hardin County grocery stores.

March 17-5:15 p.m.Newton County declares disaster, and included a price gouging control order. The emergency order says,'A person shall not sell any of the following goods or services for more than the price the person charged for the goods or services prior to March 17, 2020.'

March 17 -3:30 p.m.Jasper County issued curfew for school age children from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This applies to those under 18 who are not in school or at a school event, with school personnel or a guardian, or traveling to or from work. 

March 17 - 2 p.m.Chambers County issued a 24 hour curfew for those under age of 18. It applies to those who are not with a guardian or school personnel. If those under 18 are going to or from work, the curfew does not apply. 

March 17 - 12:15 p.m. — Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated the Texas National Guard to assist with the fight against the coronavirus but has not deployed them yet.

Guard members who are healthcare workers or first responders  are excluded from the activation according to the governor.
"By activating the Texas National Guard, we are ensuring Texas is prepared as we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Abbott in a news release.

March 17 - 11:50 a.m. — A disaster declaration has been issued for Jasper County.

March 17 - 11 a.m. — The City of Beaumont has released an update on coronavirus testing saying conflicting information has been shared according to a news release.

Residents should first CALL their primary care physician or the medical facility of their choice the release said. Residents should then inform the provider of their symptoms and find out what protocol the facility is using for test seekers to enter the facility.

Test seekers are discouraged from sitting in waiting rooms and potentially exposing others to any illness the release said.

Before being tested for COVID-19 patients will first be tested for flu, strep and other illnesses to alleviate "random panic testing and overuse of resources."

Currently it is still allergy season people are still testing positive for various flu strains the release said.

If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 but you're not showing symptoms you should self-quarantine for 14 days. Check for fever twice daily during the self-quarantine.

March 17 - 10:30 a.m. — Beaumont ISD will be transitioning to a "flexible education program" starting on Monday, March 23, 2020 through Friday, April 3, 2020. More details will soon be released concerning the program.

March 17 - 9:40 a.m. — The fourth death was reported by the Louisiana Department of Health Tuesday afternoon but no further details were immediately available. An 84-year-old from the Lambeth House senior facility in Uptown New Orleans was pronounced dead from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

March 17 - 8:30 a.m. — Orange County Judge John Gothia has issued a disaster declaration and emergency orders for Orange County that include a 24 hour curfew for anyone under 18-years-old and cancels events in the county.

Teens are allowed to travel between home and work.

March 17 - 7 a.m. — Here's some Southeast Texas headlines from late Monday...

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Here's some updates from overnight...

  • Ohio's governor said the state's health director will declare a health emergency and order the polls for Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary closed.
  • A Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Seattle was delayed after a passenger informed a flight attendant they had been exposed to someone who may have the virus.
  • Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak, reported just one new case Tuesday. Officials there believe the worst of the crisis is over for China.
  • Report: The Kentucky Derby is being postponed from May to September. 

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

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — A Delta Air Lines flight bound for Seattle was temporarily grounded at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport Monday night after a passenger informed a flight attendant that they may have been previously exposed to the coronavirus.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Turkey is bringing home more than 3,600 of its citizens who have been stranded in nine European countries after Turkey suspended flights to 20 destinations over the coronavirus outbreak.

Germany has launched a drive to bring home thousands of tourists stranded in popular winter vacation spots across the globe — particularly people on package holidays in Morocco, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the Maldives and Egypt.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — German automaker Volkswagen says it is shutting down most of its European plants for two weeks due to the virus outbreak.  

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — The Democratic presidential primary is consumed with uncertainty after leaders in Ohio called off Tuesday's election just hours before polls were set to open to combat the new coronavirus.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have reportedly been released from an Australian hospital five days after they were diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Wuhan, the city at the center of China's coronavirus outbreak, recorded just one new case on Tuesday as officials said they believed the country was over the worst of the crisis. Another 20 cases were recorded around the country, including nine in Beijing. All were reported among people who arrived from overseas.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city will provide $5 million in grocery vouchers to families in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — Nordstrom says it will temporarily close all of its stores for two weeks starting Tuesday as it tries to limit the spread of the new virus.

It is the latest retailer to announce temporary closures and joins such chains such as Nike, Everlane, Apple and Abercrombie & Fitch in closing its doors.

24 Hour Fitness announced it is temporarily closing all its gyms.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — South Korea has further postponed the beginning of the new school year by two weeks to protect students from the spread of the coronavirus.

March 17 - 6:15 a.m. — A third Australian government lawmaker has tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the planned resumption of Parliament next week following a scheduled two-week break.

Effect on sports grows

The Kentucky Derby is being postponed to September 5, according to a report in the Courier-Journal of Louisville, citing unidentified sources close to the race. A formal announcement by the racetrack will be made Tuesday.

The NFL says it will proceed with its draft but without public events next month in Las Vegas. It will still be televised, but the format may be modified.

Major League Baseball has pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest.

NHL players have been told they can return home and self-isolate there until the end of March while hockey is on hold.

NASCAR suspended its season until May. The series plans to return to the track at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on May 9. 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they are holding off on postponing the Indianapolis 500.

WWE announced Monday that its signature pay-per-view event, WrestleMania, will be held without an audience at the company's training center in Florida on April 5. The event typically sells out stadiums with tens of thousands in attendance.


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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

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Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

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Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash

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Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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