Thursday a.m. update: COVID-19 crisis cancels travel, classes and more

Good morning and welcome to Thursday. Here’s what you need to know.

Wet, and maybe snowy. The Twin Cities see morning and afternoon rain with highs in the mid-40s and wind gusts up to 40 mph. At night, it’ll get colder with lows in the upper 20s and high winds. Statewide, patchy fog in the morning and a chance of rain (potentially snow up north.). Highs range from mid-30s in the northwest to 40s in the southeast. Chance of snow at night up north as temps dip everywhere. More on Updraft. | Forecast

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President Trump has suspended travel between the U.S. and Europe, aside from the United Kingdom, for 30 days. He placed blame on the European Union for not acting quickly enough to stymie coronavirus’ spread. Trump also said he’s directing government agencies to provide financial relief (how much remains uncertain) “for workers who are ill, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus.”

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The University of Minnesota is moving all classes online at least for the month of March. That’s for all five system campuses. Minnesota State system leaders have not yet decided on how to handle any in-person class suspensions as coronavirus continues its rapid spread.

There are at least five coronavirus cases in Minnesota. The fourth and fifth surfaced in Olmsted and Ramsey counties. COVID-19 is now officially a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.

Please continue sending us your coronavirus questions. We will continue to answer them.

Minneapolis and University of Minnesota police need your help. They’re trying to catch an alleged serial sexual abuser. More information here.

St. Paul teachers are continuing their strike, and 36,000 students have more time out of class. Reports the AP: “Teachers and support staff picketed again outside the city's schools, as parents scrambled to make alternative plans for their children.”

Amid the strike, the district has laid off over 2,000 workers. The district told our education reporter Elizabeth Shockman that it sent 2,414 layoff notices to school staff, including some union workers.

Some say Joe Biden now has a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination. That and other takeaways from Big Tuesday primaries are in NPR’s wrap-up. However, Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere.

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