Covid 19 Timeline

April 2, 2021


In less than 90 days, the whole world changed.

As we look ahead to what’s next, here’s how we got here.


12/31: World Health Organization (WHO) informed of viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, reminiscent of SARS. First patients *reportedly* emerged in beginning of December.

The source of the first infection remains unknown. Initial reports point to a seafood/wild animal market, where humans come in close contact w/animals known to carry coronaviruses (ex: bats).


1/13: First case outside China (Thailand)

1/21: First travel-related case confirmed in U.S. (Washington state)

1/30: First instance of person-to-person spread in U.S. (Illinois); WHO issues “public health emergency”

1/31: First cases in Italy; U.S. bans entry by most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days

“We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. on January 31st when the CDC confirmed the first case of person-to-person spread of the new coronavirus – reportedly a wife, who recently traveled to Wuhan, returned home and spread the virus to her husband, who had not traveled.


2/5: U.S. begins distribution of tests

2/11: WHO officially unveils name “COVID-19” for “coronavirus disease 2019”

2/26: First case of community spread in U.S. (California); CDC warns Americans of potential disruptions to everyday life

2/29: First U.S. death (Washington); First state declares emergency (Washington)

“I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now.”

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) who said during a February 26th CDC media briefing that she started talking to her own family about “preparing for significant disruption of our lives” due to COVID-19.


3/11: WHO characterizes the outbreak as a “pandemic” as virus spreads to 114 countries outside China.

3/13: Pres. Trump declares “national emergency”

3/16: Pres. Trump announces 15-day social distancing guidelines.

3/26: For the first time, the U.S. ranks #1 in cases worldwide with 85,000+

On March 29, a day before the “15 Days to Slow The Spread” campaign was set to come to an end, Pres. Trump extended the social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, through at least April 30th.

COVID-19: First U.S. Case Of Coronavirus CLICK HERE

COVID-19: Lessons From The Past CLICK HERE

COVID-19: National Emergency CLICK HERE

COVID-19: State & Local Emergency Declarations CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,