COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), continues to spread around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially called the disease a pandemic—a disease outbreak occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population. The United States has declared the pandemic a national emergency, and states throughout the country are taking major measures to slow the spread of the disease.
According to the WHO, globally there have been almost 180,000 confirmed cases of people sickened by COVID-19 and close to 7,500 people have died from the disease—a death toll that has far surpassed that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that occurred in 2002 and 2003. Officials everywhere have implemented measures to contain the virus, including cancellations, closures, travel restrictions and quarantines.