Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here\'s the biggest news you missed this weekend  

The surgeon general compared the coronavirus pandemic to some of the darkest moments in U.S. history. Empty churches marked the start of Holy Week with Palm Sunday ceremonies. And Queen Elizabeth addressed COVID-19 in a rare speech.

More than 331,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the United States, according to the John Hopkins database, with the death toll nearing 10,000 on Sunday. Globally, there are more than 1,260,000 confirmed cases, 68,400 deaths and 258,000 recovered.

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Health official warns hotspots will see a spike in coronavirus deaths over next 6-7 days

A top health official warned Saturday that the U.S. could see a dramatic increase in coronavirus deaths during the next week in hard-hit areas such as New York, Detroit and Louisiana. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe," said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that "this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly." He also compared the coronavirus pandemic to some of the darkest moments in U.S. history: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19, federal officials confirmed.

British Prime Minister Johnson admitted to a hospital as a 'precautionary step'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized because he still has COVID-19 symptoms - including a fever - 10 days after testing positive. A 10 Downing Street spokesperson called the move "a precautionary step.'' Johnson's government has been accused of not reacting quickly enough to the coronavirus threat. The prime minister ordered a nationwide lockdown March 23, at least a week later than fellow European countries like Italy, Spain and France.

New York City convention center revamped into hospital, will soon host military personnel

In New York City, where more than 2,200 people have died from coronavirus, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center will soon be the "largest hospital in the United States," Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday. The facility, complete with a 2,500-bed capacity, will host hundreds of Pentagon-deployed medical staffers. Esper said Sunday more than 1,100 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are being deployed to New York City, most of which will be stationed at the converted convention center.

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the number of deaths, hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions in New York state have dipped slightly in recent days, though it was still too early to determine if the state had reached its "apex" of the patient curve.

Palm Sunday ceremonies limited over coronavirus fears

As Palm Sunday ceremonies marked the start of Holy Week, many churches sat empty as religious institutions and worshippers adhere to social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, thousands of people congregate in the Vatican to observe Palm Sunday in an outdoor Mass. Instead, Pope Francis held Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in front of his aides, a few invited prelates, nuns and laypeople. In Jerusalem, thousands of pilgrims typically participate in a Palm Sunday march. This year, it was limited to a small group of Franciscan monks and Roman Catholic faithful.

  • Is the coronavirus an act of God? Faith leaders debate tough questions amid pandemic.

Real quick

  • A beagle was trapped under a pickup for 40 miles. These firefighters came to the rescue.

  • Homemade mask sellers get creative as the CDC sets new guidelines to stop spread of coronavirus.

  • President Trump defends decision to fire Ukraine watchdog Michael Atkinson, despite bipartisan concerns.

  • Record-setting NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies at 73 after battle with the coronavirus.

  • The man who narrated an expletive-filled video depicting people for not social distancing has been arrested.

Queen Elizabeth addresses coronavirus crisis in rare speech

Amid shutdowns due to the coronavirus spreading across Britain and the world, Queen Elizabeth gave a historic and rare address Sunday. The 93-year old Queen acknowledged the challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis in hopes to offer hope to the country, "We will succeed and that success will belong to every one of us." Aside from her annual Christmas speeches, this was only her fourth address since her reign began in 1952.

Two Coral Princess cruise passengers dead; Australian police launch criminal probe into Ruby Princess cruise ship

Two passengers died on the Coral Princess cruise ship that docked Saturday in Miami, with at least a dozen people on board who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Their causes of death were not disclosed in a company statement. The disembarkation of the Princess Cruise ship is expected to span several days. And Australian police launched a criminal investigation into the docking and disembarking of 2,700 passengers and crew from the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney, which led to Australia's highest concentration of coronavirus cases. A total of 11 of the ship's passengers have died, with four of the deaths over the weekend.

Kobe Bryant headlines star-studded Basketball Hall of Fame class

Three of the most iconic NBA players of the last 25 years are headed for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett were all voted in on their first year of eligibility after illustrious playing careers. Between the three of them, Bryant, Duncan, and Garnett won 11 NBA titles and earned 48 All-Star nominations. The enshrinement ceremony, scheduled for Aug. 29, figures to be a moving one after Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in January. Filling out the star-studded 2020 class are WNBA great Tamika Catchings, Baylor women's basketball coach Kim Mulkey, former Division II women's coach Barbara Stevens, former Division I men's coach Eddie Sutton and former FIBA executive Patrick Baumann.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, New York City deaths, Queen Elizabeth, Palm Sunday: The weekend's biggest news


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