Timeline of COVID-19

Dec. 31, 2019

Chinese Health officials inform WHO (World Health Organization) about a cluster of 41 patients that have pneumonia with no known cause. Most cases were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a wet market located in the city of Wuhan.

Jan. 1, 2020

Chinese authorities close Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Soon after this, Wuhan authorities banned the trade of live animals at all wet markets. China also announced a temporary national ban on buying, selling, and transporting wild animals in markets, restaurants, and online marketplaces across the country; this ban was later made permanent.

Jan. 7

Chinese authorities identify the virus that caused the pneumonia-like sickness as a new strand of the coronavirus, called nCoV. Viruses in the coronavirus family can cause the common cold, pneumonia, and SARS.

Jan. 11

China records its first death linked to the virus.

Jan. 13

The first coronavirus case outside of China is reported by Thailand. The case was of a 61-year-old female tourist who had recently been in Wuhan, China. After the reporting, Thailand started setting up health checkpoints in airports where they would scan for people who had a fever. Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea followed these actions.

Jan. 20

The first case in the United States is reported in Snohomish County, Washington. The case was of a 35-year-old man.

Jan. 23

Chinese authorities place the 11-million-person city of Wuhan under quarantine, followed by the rest of the Hubei province days later. Though Wuhan has a population of 11 million residents, population estimates for the surrounding province placed the full lockdown at 60 million residents. This made China’s action the largest quarantine in history.

Jan. 30

WHO declares a “public health emergency of international concern,” which has only been done 4 times before. Those four include the ebola outbreak, the Zika epidemic, polio, and the swine-flu pandemic.

Jan. 31

President Trump bans foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China within the past two weeks.

Feb. 2

The first COVID-19-related death outside of China was recorded in the Philippines.

Feb. 7

Chinese doctor Li Wenliang dies. At the beginning of the outbreak, Wenliang warned some of his contacts from medical school about a new virus. Authorities later made him sign a letter stating that the claims were false.

Feb. 9

The death toll in China surpassed that of the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, which killed about 774 people globally. Both SARS and the new coronavirus come from the same family of viruses, sharing 80% of their genetics.

Feb. 11

WHO announces that the disease caused by the new coronavirus would be called “COVID-19.”

Feb. 13

A Chinese tourist who tested positive for the virus died in France, becoming Europe’s first death linked to the outbreak.

Feb. 21

The United States confirms first death from COVID-19 on American soil. More than 175 people in the US have died from the coronavirus, with Washington state leading the death toll.

Feb. 29

Nearly all of the US states have declared a state of emergency. These strategic announcements can help states activate emergency response plans and spend more money on preparedness actions.

Mar. 3

Italy placed all 60 million of its residents on lockdown. The country’s leadership shut down schools, museums, and public venues, and discouraged large gatherings.

Mar. 11

President Trump bans all travel from 26 European countries.

Mar. 13

A US national emergency was declared by President Donald Trump over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Mar. 23

New York City becomes the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in the US, confirming nearly 21,000 cases.

Mar. 26

The US leads the world with 82,404 confirmed cases, surpassing China’s 81,782 and Italy’s 80,589.

Apr. 2

Globally, the number of COVID-19 infections passes one million.

Apr. 7

All across the world, authorities reported roughly 1,365,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with about 996,000 being active and ongoing cases, roughly 292,500 recoveries, and 76,500 deaths.

This story was originally posted on April 2, 2020 and has been updated with new information.