Across the Area

$500 billion to aid economy asked

THE CORONAVIRUS has changed the way we live, work and conduct business (Flickr).

Developments in the coronavirus crisis, local and national. They will be updated throughout the day.


  • The U.S. Treasury Department wants $500 billion to be able to send checks to Americans, according to the Associated Press. It would be part of a $1 trillion effort to help the economy during the coronavirus crisis. The first checks would be issued on April 6 and the second in mid-May. The amount of the payments or eligibility has not been determined – although its said to be $1000 – and such a plan must be approved by Congress.
  • President Donald Trump used his emergency authority to force plants of the Big Three auto manufacturers – General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler – to be shut down to protect workers from possible contagion.
  • Stocks fell again on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Average tumbling over 1,300 points. The price of oil dropped below $21 a barrel for the first time since 2002.
  • The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night passed and President Trump signed into law a bill creating a temporary new employer requirement to provide sick leave to employees who get coronavirus. The law also makes tests for the virus free.


  • A special meeting of the Westminster City Council will be held on Thursday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m. to adopt a resolution declaring a local emergency due to the coronavirus and to designate agents for an application for federal and state disaster assistance. Interim city manager Sherry Johnson issued a proclamation to that effect today (Wednesday).
  • The March 18, 2020 meeting of the Stanton Planning Commission has been cancelled.
  • The number of Orange County coronavirus cases is now 29 (as of March 17), according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. That’s an increase from 22 on Monday. Nineteen are male and 10 female. None are under 18 and six are 65 or older. There have been no fatalities. UPDATE: The number of coronavirus cases is now (March 18) at 42.
  • The Huntington Beach City Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday, March 19 at 11 a.m. in the council chambers to discuss with city leaders health and safety issues related to the coronavirus.
  •  The annual Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove, held each Memorial Day weekend, has been cancelled.

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