A TIMELINE OF COVID-19 How coronavirus impacted the global economy

What is the coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. [Source: World Health Organization]

"We are facing a human crisis unlike any we have experienced." -- Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Secretary-General (Source: World Economic Forum)


DECEMBER 31, 2019: Chinese health officials informed the World Health Organization that a group of people contracted a mysterious pneumonia. Most cases were thought to be connected to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China.

JANUARY 7-11, 2020: Chinese officials identify the pneumonia-like illness as a novel coronavirus. Its first fatality was recorded on January 10, one day before the first case outside China is reported in Thailand.

JANUARY 20, 2020: A 35-year old man from Washington state becomes the first person in the United States to have COVID-19.

JANUARY 23, 2020: The city of Wuhan -- the location that the virus originated -- is placed under quarantine.

JANUARY 30, 2020: The World Health Organization declares the COVID-19 a public-health emergency.

JANUARY 31, 2020: United States President Donald Trump bans non-American citizens from entering the United States if they had been in China the prior two weeks.


FEBRUARY 2-3, 2020: The first coronavirus-related death outside China is reported on Feb. 2 in the Philippines. The next day, Feb. 3, the United States faces its first fatality when a person from California dies from the virus.

FEBRUARY 9, 2020: The recorded death total in China caused by COVID-19 passes the 2002-03 SARS epidemic with 811.
FEBRUARY 23-26, 2020: Italian soccer league Serie A begins to alter its schedule due to the coronavirus with the postponement of four games. The league also decided that five additional games in the southern regions of Italy would be played behind closed doors.

MARCH 2020

MARCH 3, 2020: The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in an effort to provide a jolt for the economy. It was the Fed's first unscheduled, emergency rate cut since 2008.
MARCH 8, 2020: As outbreaks increase throughout Europe, Italy issues a nationwide lockdown.

MARCH 11, 2020: The World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic.

"We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear." -- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General (Source: NPR)
MARCH 11, 2020: The NBA suspends its season indefinitely after a member of the Utah Jazz, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for COVID-19.

MARCH 11, 2020: The longest-running bull market came to an abrupt end after the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,400 points. The U.S. entered its first bear market since the 2008 financial crisis.

MARCH 12, 2020: Sports leagues throughout the world suspended their seasons, including the cancellation of the NCAA Basketball Tournaments. The NHL, English Premier League and the PGA Tour, among others, all paused their seasons indefinitely.

MARCH 13, 2020: President Trump declares a national emergency in the United States two days after banning all travel from 26 countries.

MARCH 15, 2020: The Federal Reserve slashes rates once again to near zero percent in an attempt to stabilize the economy. The Fed also introduced a $700 billion round of quantitative easing.

"We thought it was quite important for us to take strong measures to support proper market functioning in important markets." -- Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman (Source: U.S. News)
MARCH 16, 2020: The Dow Jones Industrial Average, falls by 2,997.10 amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. It marked the largest single-day drop in history.
MARCH 19, 2020: China reports no new locally spread infections for the first time since the virus began.
MARCH 24, 2020: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agree to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021 amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"On the basis of the information that the IOC has, postponement has been decided." -- Dick Pound, International Olympic Committee member (Source: USA Today)
MARCH 26, 2020: The United States reaches 82,404 cases which passes China's 81,782 and Italy's 80,589 for the most confirmed cases in the world.
MARCH 27, 2020: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is unanimously passed by Congress to provide $2 trillion in aid to American citizens, organizations and businesses. It's the largest ever stimulus package in U.S. history.
MARCH 31, 2020: More than one-third of the world is under lockdown of some capacity.

APRIL 2020

APRIL 2, 2020: The world passes 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

APRIL 2, 2020: The Department of Labor announces that 6.6 million American workers have filed for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 28. It marked the highest number of initial claims for unemployment ever recorded in a single week.

APRIL 8, 2020: China reopens Wuhan, the location where the coronavirus is believed to have originated, after a 76-day lockdown.
APRIL 9, 2020: The Federal Reserve rolls out a $2.3 trillion emergency relief effort to bolster local governments, along with small and mid-sized businesses.
"The Fed's role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity." -- Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman (Source: FederalReserve.gov)
APRIL 10, 2020: The global death toll passes 100,000.

MAY 2020

MAY 1, 2020: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues emergency-use authorization for remdesivir among patients with a severe case of COVID-19. Remdesivir becomes the first authorized drug for COVID-19 treatments.
MAY 8, 2020: The Department of Labor announces that April's unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April, the highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression. Unemployment had been 3.5 percent as recently as February.
MAY 11, 2020: President Trump and his administration announce $11 billion in federal funding for states to expand coronavirus testing abilities.
MAY 11, 2020: Some countries, such as Spain, Iran, Italy, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and Thailand, begin to ease lockdown restrictions.

MAY 16, 2020: German soccer league Bundesliga returns to play without fans. It becomes the first of the five major European soccer leagues -- Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (United Kingdom), La Liga (Spain), Ligue 1 (France) and Serie A (Italy) -- to return to play.

MAY 21, 2020: The number of coronavirus cases passes 5 million globally.

JUNE 2020

JUNE 8, 2020: The National Bureau of Economic Research announces that the United States is officially in a recession, ending that longest expansion in U.S. history.
JUNE 28, 2020: Global cases of COVID-19 exceed 10 million total, with over 500,000 fatalities.
"I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around." -- Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Source: New York Times)
JUNE 30, 2020: The stock market closed out its best quarter since 1998. The Dow and S&P 500 gained more than 16%, while the Nasdaq rose more than 30%.

JULY 2020

JULY 4, 2020: Many restaurants, hotels and museums in the United Kingdom were allowed to reopen under a number of social distance, capacity and sanitation restrictions.

JULY 8, 2020: 3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States.


Sources: World Health Organization, Business Insider, The New York Times, CNN, Reuters, New York Daily News, Forbes, USA Today, The Washington Post, World Economic Forum, NPR, U.S. News, USA Today (IOC), Federal Reserve


All images from iStock.