Timeline of COVID-19 in the News

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June 25: Brazil is second to the U.S. with a total number of confirmed cases at more than 1.1 million.

June 17: The hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity Trial was stopped because it failed to demonstrate mortality reduction in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 

June 15: A second PEP trial, held in Barcelona, Spain has ended because there was no significant benefit seen in providing hydroxychloroquine to persons exposed to COVID-19 without proper protection

June 5:  The WHO updated their guidance on the use of masks for COVID-19. The U.K.’s RECOVERY trial announced its end because there was no clinical benefit from the use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with COVID-19

June 3: The Postexposure Prophylaxis (PEP) trial held at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities ended because there was no significant benefit seen in providing hydroxychloroquine vs. placebo to persons exposed to COVID-19 without proper protection

May 31:  The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeds 6 million

May 28: CDC announces that U.S. death toll has surpassed 100,000 people

May 20: There are more than 300,000 confirmed cases in Russia

May 15: CDC releases guidance on the management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) 

May 12: National Institutes of Health (NIH) update COVID-19 treatment guidelines

May 8: There are more than 3.9 million cases worldwide, with more than 1.2 million cases in the U.S.

May 1: FDA issues an emergency use authorization for potential COVID-19 treatment, remdisivir

April 22: The U.S. reports more than 2,600 deaths, the highest single day death toll of any country; Two cats at different locations in New York state have been confirmed to have COVID-19

April 14: There are more than 15,000 cases reported throughout Africa as the virus has rapidly spread across the continent within the last week

April 11: More than 2,000 deaths are reported today in the U.S., which is the highest single day death rate for any country during this pandemic

April 10: Remdesivir shows promising results for severely ill COVID-19 patients, summarized in a New England Journal of Medicine published report

April 9: There are more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide with almost 95,000 deaths and more than 346,000 have recovered

April 8: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance regarding the research and use of convalescent plasma therapy as a treatment

The CDC published new guidance for sending healthcare workers back to work: Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19

April 3: CDC recommends voluntary use of non-medical grade masks for U.S. citizens to prevent spreading the virus to others

April 2: There are more than 1,000,000 confirmed cases globally with over 51,000 deaths

March 31: WHO released a scientific brief about off-label use of certain medications to treat COVID-19; WHO co-sponsored SOLIDARITY clinical trial will investigate the efficacy of certain drugs, including anti-malarials as treatments for COVID-19

March 30: More than 800,000 confirmed cases worldwide with nearly 39,000 reported deaths

March 27: COVID-19 has killed more than 25,000 people worldwide and there are more than 566,000 reported cases, with more than 127,000 total recovered patients; Italy is reporting the highest mortality rates with more than 8,000 deaths; U.S. is reporting the most cases worldwide with more than 85,000 diagnosed 

The U.S. House of Representatives passes, and President Trump signs a $2.2 trilliion relief package for American citizens

March 26: New York City is the American epicenter of the virus

March 25: The United Nations introduced a $2 billion global charitable response plan to combat COVID-19 in vulnerable countries around the world 

March 24: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi orders total lockdown of its 1.3 billion citizens for 21 days

March 23: U.S. National Guard is activated in 3 states (New York, California, Washington) as COVID-19 pandemic escalates in the U.S.; nearly all U.S. states declare a state of emergency as cases total 33,404 and deaths reach 400; the number of global COVID-19 cases exceeds 300,000

March 20: New York state placed on lockdown

March 19: The number of confirmed global cases reaches more than 200,000. It took 3 months for COVID-19 to spread to the first 100,000 cases, and only 12 additional days to reach 200,000 cases

March 16: First human vaccine trial begins 

March 14: No sail order issued for cruise ships

March 13: Europe has become the epicenter of the pandemic

March 11: WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic

March 9: Italy is placed on lockdown to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19

February 27 – March 1: New cases were reported in Brazil, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, North Macedonia, Belarus, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Mexico, San Marino, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Ireland, Monaco and Qatar

February 20: Iran reports first cases of COVID-19

February 11: WHO announces COVID-19 as the new name for the coronavirus outbreak

February 8: Sixty-four passengers and crew members on the Cruise Ship Diamond Princess were found to be infected, and were taken to hospitals in the Yokohama, Japan area. Remaining passengers were placed on a 14-day quarantine on the ship, which remained harbored in Yokohama, Japan.

February 2: First death outside China occurs in Thailand

January 31: First 2 cases reported in Italy

January 30:  The interim name given to this virus is “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease”, and it is declared an international public health emergency by the WHO

January 20: First U.S. case of novel coronavirus reported in Snohomish, Washington

January 13 – January 20: Novel coronavirus spread to Thailand (January 13), Japan (January 15), and Republic of Korea (January 20)

January 12: China shared genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus with other countries to be used in the development of diagnostic tests

January 11:  WHO received notification from the National Health Commission China that the virus was related to exposures at one seafood market in Wuhan; China reported its first death from the novel coronavirus

January 7: A new type of coronavirus was identified and isolated by Chinese authorities

December 31, 2019 – January 3, 2020: National Chinese authorities reported 44 cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology to the WHO

December 31, 2019: Pneumonia of unknown etiology in dozens of patients in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center


U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Recommendations for Investigational COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma

World Health Organization Rolling Updates on COVID-19

World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situation Reports


Melanie Allison, DNP, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC

Executive Manager, Education & Learning, McGraw-Hill Education

Melanie Allison is the Executive Manager of Education & Learning with McGraw Hill. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from The Johns Hopkins University. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, specializing as an acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP), from Vanderbilt University. Melanie has more than 20 years of experience as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in adult cardiology and advanced lipid management. She is a part-time faculty member at a top school of nursing where she has taught for more than 15 years.