Background

An outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) that began in Wuhan, China has been developing since December 2019. This outbreak now includes hundreds of thousands of cases worldwide and thousands of deaths.

The source of the outbreak has been linked to “wet markets” where live animals are butchered and sold. This new (“novel”) virus is a member of a family of viruses called coronaviruses. Most coronaviruses cause mild disease in humans but some, like MERS and SARS, have been associated with more severe disease.

Since the virus has never been seen in humans, there is no immunity and no vaccine.

Timeline of Events

  • January 7 – Outbreak first identified in Wuhan, China
  • January 17 – Travel screening begins at 3 U.S. Airports
  • January 21 – First U.S. case identified
  • January 31 – Hubei Province surpasses 5,000 cases (204 deaths)
  • February 2 – U.S. closes Borders to foreign nationals returning from China
  • February 10 – WHO declares official disease and virus names (COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2)
  • February 13 – Cases in China surpass 50,000 (with 1,369 deaths)
  • March 3 – Italy and Iran added to list of countries with restrictions on entering the US
  • March 5 – Governor Ige declares state of emergency for Hawaii
  • March 6 – First case identified in Hawaii
  • March 10 – Italy and Iran report 631 deaths and 291 deaths, respectively
  • March 11 – WHO declares pandemic
  • March 12 – U.S. closes borders to foreign nationals returning from most of Europe
  • March 14 – Global cases surpass 150,000 (5,819 deaths)
  • March 21 – Governor Ige announces mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals to Hawaii