“We don’t know how it happened,” Teaneck Deputy Mayor Elie Katz told CNN. “Teaneck has been at the forefront from the beginning. We were one of the first to close our municipal buildings and close our schools.”
The number of presumptive positive cases in Teaneck more than doubled overnight, Katz said, and officials are now considering “very strict” guidelines.
Teaneck is in Bergen County, which is currently reporting 25 cases, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. The township has more than 41,000 residents and is a New York suburb roughly six miles west of upper Manhattan.
The lack of confirmed cases did not stop state Gov. Jim Justice from closing schools in response to the “emerging health threat posed” by the virus.
Elsewhere in the US, Americans were grappling with life under the coronavirus and everything that came with it: school closures, travel restrictions, empty grocery store shelves, canceled worship services and a near-halt of recreational and entertainment events.
There are at least 2,816 cases across America. At least 58 people have died, with most of the deaths in Washington state.
“We have not yet reached our peak” of coronavirus cases in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Saturday. There will be more cases and more deaths, he said, primarily among vulnerable older individuals.
The virus has been felt at the top levels of American government.
Trump had his temperature taken before Saturday’s briefing, and it was normal, he said.
Millions more tests available, Trump says
“No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever,” he said.
The Trump administration said Friday it was partnering with the private sector to also boost testing capacity — with both more tests and drive-through testing.
The country’s testing system has so far received stark criticism by health officials and residents who say they were turned away despite showing symptoms. Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, said earlier this week the US testing system was failing to meet the public’s needs.
“The idea of anybody getting it (a test) easily, the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that,” he told a congressional committee Thursday. “Do I think we should be? Yes, but we’re not.”
Meanwhile, facilities in New York, Illinois and Colorado have begun offering drive-through testing.
“Drive through testing means people in this community can call a telephone number, make an appointment and then can come to be tested and literally drive through the testing facilities,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “it’s not only faster and easier, it’s also smarter and safer because you’re not exposing people who may be positive.”
Life comes to a near-halt
Apple announced Saturday it would shut down all stores outside Greater China, encouraging employees who can work remotely to do so. Hourly employees will still be paid, CEO Tim Cook said.
AT&T, which owns CNN, directed employees who can to work from home. Similar messages were sent to employees of other major companies like Google and Amazon.
The options for recreation and entertainment in the US are dwindling.
Many major sports leagues have postponed events or suspended their seasons, including the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour and NASCAR.
Television productions like “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” “Last Week Tonight,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” will all temporarily halt production.
Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California will both close their doors. And Royal Caribbean Cruises announced it would suspend sailings globally, beginning Saturday night at midnight.
The Archdiocese of New York canceled this weekend’s services due to concerns about the virus, it said in a statement Saturday. Churches will remain open for private prayer.
“Let us pray for all who are sick, as well as doctors, nurses, caregivers, and all those working hard to combat the disease,” Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan said in a statement.
In some states, large public gatherings have been banned.
Events in New York with more than 500 people will be canceled or postponed, and in Washington state, events with more than 250 people in the state’s three largest counties are banned. Similar guidance has been issued in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah.
Empty grocery aisles
As Americans try to prepare for what’s next, across the country, more and more are faced with empty store shelves.
Publix stores and pharmacies will close two hours early, at 8 p.m. The Giant Company, which has nearly 200 stores across the mid-Atlantic, will begin closing its 24-hour locations at midnight and reopening at 6 a.m. And Harris Teeter, a large chain in the Southeast, will close its stores at 9 p.m. beginning Sunday.
The hope is these changes will help stores cope with the demand seen in recent days.
One Massachusetts resident told CNN it took nearly half an hour to check out at the local grocery store, and staff members were reassuring shoppers over the intercom the store would be open all weekend.
The co-owner of Morton Williams Supermarkets in New York told CNN that the chain saw a 300-400% increase in sales in a day.
“As you see here in these shelves, we cannot stock these items quickly enough,” Avi Kaner said.
In New York City, Richie Maruffi of Arnold Bread Distributor said he cannot keep bread on the shelves in stores.
“The beginning of my week was normal — Monday and Tuesday was normal. Came out here like in the middle of the week, and it just got insane. So, I can’t keep up,” he said. “This week’s pretty much done already. I have to pre-order like a week ahead.”
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for Walmart told CNN shopping patterns were similar to those “you would see as people prepare for a major storm.”
CORRECTION: CNN revised the US death count, taking it down by one after discovering a double count of one death. This article has been updated to correct the count going forward.
CNN’s Brian Fung, Sandra Gonzalez, Jessica Moskowitz, Kristina Sgueglia, Brian Stelter, Anna Sturla and Vanessa Yurkevich contributed to this report.