By Jaimy Lee
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to rise as more testing options become available, with each state reporting at least one case of the novel coronavirus and 18 of them reporting deaths.
There are 7,324 cases and 115 deaths in the U.S., according to data aggregated by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s Centers for Systems Science and Engineering.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health laboratories have conducted a total of 31,878 tests in the U.S. However, now that large diagnostics makers like Hologic Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201671131/composite HOLX +0.19% , Roche Holding /zigman2/quotes/206324342/delayed CH:ROG -0.63% and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201150432/composite TMO +0.10% have received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin COVID-19 testing, case counts are expected to significantly increase.
Access and availability of testing in the U.S. have become some of the most pressing concerns for Americans. Some hospitals have implemented drive-through testing sites, while the Trump administration has promoted a site built by Verily, Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +0.62% life sciences arm, that aims to provide information about COVID-19 testing locations.
Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a former FDA commissioner, told SVBLeerink that she believes there are 10-times as many cases in the U.S. as have been reported. She told analysts there that the “next two weeks would be critical in containing the disease from further spreading…By then, we shall know better if we’re on the Italy track or the Korea track.”
Italy, now considered the epicenter of the pandemic, had 35,713 cases and 2,98 deaths. South Korea, which has put into place widespread testing, has a significantly lower number of cases (8,413) and deaths (84). The two countries are now being used as benchmarks for how to respond to the pandemic.
In other outbreaks in Western Europe, Spain has 13,910 cases and 623 deaths; Germany has 11,973 cases and 28 deaths; and France has 7,696 cases and 148 deaths. Iran, another nation of concern, now has 17,361 cases and 1,135 deaths. Worldwide, there are a total of 212,616 cases and 8,727 deaths.
Here’s what companies are saying about the impact of COVID-19:
• JetBlue Airways Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207639051/composite JBLU -2.33% will cut capacity in April and May by at least 40% and announced another round of cost cuts and savings as the airline industry struggles with a massive reduction in flights. The airline was taking in about $22 million a day last March on a typical day, but that has shrunk to about $4 million. JetBlue is also issuing about $20 million a day in credits to customers for canceled flights.
• Genesco Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203016164/composite GCO -3.03% has closed its North American stores through March 28, citing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s store brands include Journeys, Johnston & Murphy, Journeys Kidz, Shuh and Shuh Kids and Little Burgundy. Its e-commerce operations will remain open. Genesco also withdrew the financial guidance it provided on March 12 and isn’t updating its guidance at this time.
• Nio Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204905836/composite NIO 0.00% reported a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss but revenue fell less than forecast. The Shanghai-based electric car maker and Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +4.26% rival said total revenue fell 17% to RMB2.85 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of RMB2.83 billion. “We started 2020 in a challenging environment due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said CEO William Bin Li.
• H&R Block Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207406664/composite HRB -1.72% pulled its previously announced guidance for fiscal 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift in the tax calendar. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday the government would allow a deferral of tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service for individuals and corporations for up to 90 days after April 15. Some states has also extended their deadlines and others are expected to follow as Americans are urged to self isolate to avoid spreading the virus.
• Target Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +0.16% reduced its opening hours across the nation but also said it would set aside time when only vulnerable adults would shop. All Target stores will close by 9 p.m. local time daily, and the first hour of shopping each Wednesday will be reserved for “vulnerable guests,” including older adults and those with health concerns. The company will also prioritize items that have disappeared from shelves nationwide, such as paper products and cleaning products.
• FedEx Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203047719/composite FDX +0.94% on Tuesday reported revenue that topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter despite the COVID-19 pandemic but suspended its outlook for the year due to uncertainty.
Read more of MarketWatch’s COVID-19 coverage: