What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

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Senate leaders were rushing to unravel last-minute snags and win passage of to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, New York authorities mobilized to head off a potential public health disaster, India's , and .

Here are some of AP's top stories Wednesday on the world's coronavirus pandemic. Follow for updates through the day and for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY:

— A makeshift morgue has been set up outside Bellevue Hospital as authorities mobilize to head off a potential public health disaster. The city’s police, their ranks dwindling as more fall sick, are being told to patrol nearly empty streets to enforce social distancing as city has emerged as the nation’s biggest coronavirus hot spot, and a warning flare for the rest of the country.

— on the Trump administration to release people from immigration detention facilities where at least one detainee has tested positive for COVID-19 and advocates fear tight quarters and overall conditions could cause rapid spread of the virus. The U.S. holds around 37,000 people in immigration detention.

— Despite what you may have read in a text message or on social media, Rumors of a military-enforced national lockdown have been debunked repeatedly by state and federal authorities who say their recurrence shows why it’s vital to find reliable sources of information.

— The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers throughout the world, but nowhere is it winning more battles at the moment than in Italy and in Spain, have been in severely short supply for weeks.

— The pandemic is also touching including people living in communities where “working from home” can mean driving a tractor alone through a empty field. Tiny towns tucked into Oregon’s windswept plains and cattle ranches miles from anywhere in South Dakota might not have had a single case of the coronavirus, but their main streets are also empty and their medical clinics are overwhelmed by the worried.

— Restaurants, hotels, airlines, automakers and entertainment venues around the world as cities, states and entire countries have ordered the closure of nonessential businesses and directed residents to remain at home. U.S. Department of Labor figures to be released Thursday are expected to shatter the old record for the greatest number of new unemployment claims filed in a single week. There are more suddenly jobless Americans than during the Great Recession.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too.

Misinformation overload: .

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ONE NUMBER:

The money donated by the Michael Jackson estate to help people in the entertainment industry hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The donations will focus on Broadway workers, as well as workers in Las Vegas and in the music industry. Jackson's estate announced Wednesday that it will give $100,000 apiece to Broadway Cares, Three Square food bank in Nevada and the Recording Academy's MusiCares. The estate's co-executor John Branca tells The Associated Press the gifts are personal for the keepers of Jackson's affairs and legacy and are in line with the singer's charitable endeavors during his lifetime.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

Many golf courses around the country have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic. The hope is that golf can provide an outlet for the stir crazy and a dose of normalcy. The question is whether recreational golf is safe enough under the circumstances. Courses have barred touching the flagsticks and turned the hole cups upside down so golfers don't need reach in to retrieve the ball.

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A look at how the epidemic is accentuating the pandemic in Madrid and Barcelona, where a growing number of people are living on the street. Spain, which ranks fourth worldwide among the countries with the most virus cases, is under a government-imposed lockdown that has closed stores, emptied office buildings and left cities largely deserted, day and night. With many day center and soup kitchens either closed or with reduced hours, the homeless have nowhere to go.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at and

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