Coronavirus live updates: Harvard orders students to vacate, dont fall for the sanitizer hype

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 114,578, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 4,028, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 755, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 26, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a health ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The patient is a Belgian citizen, who has been placed in quarantine after testing positive for the virus at the airport of the capital Kinshasa, the spokeswoman said. —Reuters

Target detailed the steps it’s taking to keep its stores safe amid the virus outbreak. Among the steps it’s outlined is adding staff hours to put more effort toward cleaning. Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company is wiping down checkout lanes and touchscreens at least every 30 minutes. Food sampling at stores has been halted and the retailer is prepping for more demand for its order pickup and drive-up services. Over the weekend, Target put in place product limits for on-demand items like cleaning products. —Cheddar Berk

Will corporate VPNs – virtual private networks – be able to handle the strain caused by thousands of telecommuting employees? We may be about to find out, as companies plan to have their workers stay home to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

VPNs, which protect information sent between employees and businesses, are secured web connections used by more than 400 million businesses and consumers worldwide according to GlobalWebTKIndex. VPNs help companies encrypt data and scan devices for malware to prevent hacking threats. The global VPN market, which was valued at $15 billion in 2016, is set to grow from an estimated $20.6 billion in 2018 to nearly $36 billion in 2022, Orbis Research and Statista forecast.

Testing corporate VPNs will reveal whether existing networks are up to the challenge of suddenly supporting a large remote workforce. Daryl Plummer, VP, analyst, and Gartner Fellow at the research and advisory firm Gartner, said that in some cases, VPNs could become overloaded from spikes in traffic. —Bukszpan

As COVID-19 spreads to new areas of the country, educators are faced with a race against time to come up with contingency plans that would allow learning to continue should schools close. There’s also the issue of student services, especially providing nutrition. Thirty million children receive free or reduced lunches on a daily basis at schools across the country, according to government data.

Virtual learning has emerged as an early answer, however many districts lack the technology, teacher training and, in some cases, broadband internet access to deliver those lessons.

Some are preemptively shutting down for a day or more to allow teachers time to prepare physical packets to be sent home with students, said Domenech, whose organization is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and districts across the country on their response to the coronavirus. —Young


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