A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 700,000 people worldwide.
Over 18.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 156,830 deaths.
Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.
8:30 a.m.: Fourth-graders to be quarantined after student tests positive in North Carolina
A fourth-grade student at a private school in North Carolina has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Durham ABC station WTVD.
Thales Academy said it was notified Monday that one of its student at its Wake Forest campus had tested positive after being exposed by a family member. The school then sent a letter home to parents explaining what happened and how it planned to move forward, WTVD reported.
The last time the infected student was on campus was Friday. The student was asymptomatic throughout their time at school, passing the temperature check and symptom-screening checklist for entry, according to WTVD.
Students potentially exposed have been contacted and will be quarantined for 14 days along with the teaching staff, WTVD reported.
Thales Academy welcomed students back to its campuses for the new school year in July.
7:50 a.m.: Bolivia cancels the rest of its school year
Schools across Bolivia will remain closed for the rest of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez announced the decision earlier this week.
“Today we make the decision to close the school year,” Anez wrote in Spanish on Twitter. “It is very hard, but we do it to take care of the health of Bolivians, especially our children. Health is the most important thing, especially at this time.”
Last week, the South American nation’s highest electoral authority postponed the presidential election from Sept. 8 to Oct. 18 due to the pandemic, marking the third time the vote has been delayed.
More than 83,000 people in Bolivia have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 3,320 of them have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
6:39 a.m.: Democratic and Republican governors band together to fill testing void
A bipartisan group of at least seven governors has teamed up with the Rockefeller Foundation to try to expand the use of rapid antigen tests to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, clinched the deal with the New York City-based private foundation in “the first interstate testing compact of its kind among governors during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release. The governors of Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia have all signed on to the agreement.
The governors are now in talks with the U.S. manufactures of the FDA-authorized fast-acting tests, which deliver results in 15-20 minutes, to purchase 500,000 per state, for a total of 3 million tests.
“With severe shortages and delays in testing and the federal administration attempting to cut funding for testing, the states are banding together to acquire millions of faster tests to help save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Hogan said in a statement Tuesday night. “I want to thank my fellow governors for signing on to this groundbreaking bipartisan agreement, which we have just finalized after weeks of discussions with the Rockefeller Foundation. We will be working to bring additional states, cities, and local governments on board as this initiative moves forward.”
5:14 a.m.: Global death toll tops 700,000
More than 700,000 people around the world have now died from the novel coronavirus — another grim milestone in the pandemic.
As of early Wednesday morning, the global death toll from COVID-19 was at 700,741, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
What to know about coronavirus:
3:37 a.m.: US daily case count shoots back up over 50,000
More than 57,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The latest daily caseload is about 10,000 more than the previous day’s increase but still lower than the country’s record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.
A total of 4,771,519 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 156,830 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.
Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records.
However, new data suggests that the national surge in cases could be leveling off, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night. Only seven states and territories are on an upward trajectory of new cases, while 10 states are at a plateau and 39 states are going down, according to the memo.
Nationwide, the last week saw a 9.2% decrease in cases from the previous seven-day period. There was also a 7% increase in new deaths compared to the previous week, but the figure is lower than the 20-30% week-over-week increase the country has seen of late, according to the memo.
ABC News’ Josh Margolin contributed to this report.