A Timeline of Covid-19


Andrea Santiago, Student Journalist

Covid-19 Begins

Dec. 31, 2019 The World Health Organization (WHO) released its plan to investigate the origins of Covid pandemic. The search will start in Wuhan – the Chinese city where the new coronavirus began. It is discovered that the coronavirus surfaced in a Chinese seafood and poultry market in December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 was the first name that was given.

Jan. 11, 2020 Chinese state media reported the first known death  from an illness caused by the virus, which had infected dozens of people. The 61-year-old man who died was a regular customer at the market in Wuhan.

Jan. 20, 2020 Other countries, including The United States, confirmed cases. The first confirmed cases outside of mainland China occurred in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand according to the W.H.O.’s first situation report. The first confirmed case in United States came the next day in Washington State, where a man in his 30s developed symptoms after returning from a trip to Wuhan.


The W.H.O Declared a Global Health Emergency

Jan. 30, 2020 Amid thousands of new cases in in China, a ”public health emergency of international concern” was officially declared by the W.H.O. and other countries to protect public health and the U.S States Department warned travelers to avoid China.

Jan. 31, 2020 The Trump administration suspended entry into the United States by any foreign nationals who had traveled to China in the past 14 days, excluding the immediate family members of American citizens or permanent residents. By this date, 213 people had died and nearly 9,800 had been infected worldwide.


More Deaths

Feb. 2, 2020 A 44-year-old man in the Philippines died after being infected, officials said. This was the first confirmed death reported outside of China. By this point, more than 360 people had died.

Feb. 7, 2020 In early January, the authorities reprimanded Dr. Li Wenliang, who had warned the public about Covid-19. He was forced to sign a statement denouncing his warning. Dr. Li Wenliang’s death provoked anger and frustration at how the Chinese government mishandled the situation. 

Feb. 11, 2020 The W.H.O. proposed an official name for the disease the virus causes: Covid-19, an acronym that stands for coronavirus disease 2019.


Italy Saw a Major Surge in Cases

Feb 23, 2020 Europe faced its first major outbreak as the number of reported cases in Italy grew from fewer than five to more than 150. In the Lombardy region, officials locked down 10 towns after a cluster of cases suddenly emerged in Codogno, southeast of Milan. Schools closed and sporting and cultural events were canceled.


Iran emerged as a second focus point

Feb. 24, 2020 Iran announced its first two coronavirus cases of Covid-19. Less than a week later, the country said it had 61 coronavirus cases and 12 deaths, more than any other country at the time, except for China.


The United States Reported the First Death

Feb. 29, 2020 Authorities announced that a patient near Seattle had died from the coronavirus, in what was believed to be the first coronavirus death in the United States at the time. In fact, two people had died earlier, though their Covid-19 diagnoses were not discovered until months later.

Mar 26, 2020 The United States officially became the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with at least 81,321 confirmed infections and more than 1,000 deaths. This was more reported cases than in China, Italy, or any other country at the time.

April 26, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic had killed more than 200,000 people and sickened more than 2.8 million worldwide, according to data collected by The New York Times. The actual toll is higher by an unknown degree, and will remain so for some time.

Since then, the use of masks became part of day-to-day life. They became a requirement to be able to enter any place, places that were with 10 or more people were prohibited, restaurants closed, airports cut their flights, and thousands of people lost their jobs day after day.

National and international politicians have said that the severity of the situation in the United States could have been prevented, if the government had reacted better when they found out about the virus. 


Coronavirus Tore into Regions Previously Spared

June 4, 2020 The number of known cases across the globe grew faster than ever, with more than 100,000 new infections a day.


The E.U. Said it Would Reopen Borders.

Jun 30, 2020 The European Union prepared to open to visitors from 15 countries on July 1st, but not to travelers from the United States, Brazil, or Russia. The move puts into effect a complex policy that seeks to balance health concerns with politics, diplomacy and the desperate need for tourism revenue. 


U.S. Set Seven Records in 11 Days.

July 10, 2020 The United States reached 68,000 new cases for the first time, setting a single-day record for the seventh time in 11 days. The infection rate was underscored by alarming growth in the South and West. At least six states had also reported single-day records for new cases: Georgia, Utah, Montana, North Carolina, Iowa, and Ohio.


Trump Addressed the Death Toll: “It is what it is.”

Aug 3, 2020 One day before the United States surpassed 150,000 deaths from the coronavirus, Mr. Trump appeared resigned to the numbers, saying in an interview with Axios, “It is what it is.”

Aug 22, 2020 The global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 800,000.

Days later, more than 51,000 cases of the coronavirus had been identified at American colleges and universities over the course of the pandemic, including thousands that had recently emerged as students returned to campus for the fall.

Sept 22, 2020 The death toll in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic passed 200,000.

In the 10 months since a mysterious pneumonia began striking residents of Wuhan, China, Covid-19 had killed more than one million people worldwide — an agonizing toll compiled from official counts, yet one that far understates how many had really died.

Oct 1, 2020 New York City reopened all of its public schools, a major step in its recovery from having been the global epicenter of the pandemic. (They would later close again in November.)


President Trump Tested Positive for the Virus.

Oct 2, 2020 Mr.Trump had a fever, congestion, and cough and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He returned to the White House on Oct. 5th.

One month later, a quarter million coronavirus infections were reported at colleges and universities across the United States , according to New York Times.


News of a Vaccine

Dec 11, 2020 One of the first vaccines was approved by Pfizer.

Dec 18, 2020 The vaccine was approved by Moderna. Sadly, a new branch of Covid was found in Africa and spread again until it reached the United States.

Jan 20, 2021 Roughly 12.3 million people in the United States have been vaccinated for Covid-19, with more and more getting vaccinated every day.