U.S. overtakes Italy for the highest death toll in the world from coronavirus

Posted at 12:25 PM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 12:32:15-04

CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) — The United States has surpassed Italy to become the country reporting the most COVID-19 deaths in the world, a figure which experts have called an underestimation.

As of Saturday afternoon, at least 18,860 people have died in the U.S. as a result of the new coronavirus, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. The tally showed Italy reporting about 18,850 deaths.

Meanwhile, the gravity of the coronavirus is sweeping into America's Midwest.

A total of 24 residents of an Indiana nursing home that was hit hard by COVID-19 have died. Sixteen of the residents at the Bethany Pointe Health Campus in Anderson had tested positive for the disease caused by the pandemic and the other eight had compatible symptoms, Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said during a state news briefing on the pandemic.

And in the Illinois county that includes Chicago, officials are setting up new places to store bodies in preparation for a likely surge in the number of coronavirus deaths that could overwhelm hospital morgues.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s office said in a news release Thursday that a 66,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse located 5 miles from the medical examiner’s office would be up and running by the end of the day. The facility, according to the release, will be able to hold more than 2,000 bodies.

And Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has taken it upon herself to scold people who aren’t following social distancing orders.

In Europe, countries are seeking to keep people from traveling in sunny Easter weather and grappling with how and when to start loosening weeks-long shutdowns of much of public life.

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