Millions of Americans have been ordered to self-isolate. Businesses and schools are shuttered. And National Guard units have been activated in more than half the states.

But there's no plan for a national quarantine or the imposition of martial law, authorities say, despite false claims that have spread by text message and social media in recent days.

Martial law, administered by military forces, can be invoked by a government in an emergency when the civilian law enforcement agencies are unable to maintain public order and safety.

Nevertheless, not since World War II, with rationing, retooling, and men and women being drafted into the war effort, has the nation as a whole been asked to restrict activities and make sacrifices on such a scale for a greater good.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, a guide to coping, maps tracking virus spread, and live updates from verified social media accounts.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate fever and cough. It can cause more severe illness including pneumonia for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

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