Coronavirus timeline: Tracking the critical moments of COVID-19

Robin Muccari and Denise Chow and Joe Murphy

From citywide quarantines to infections aboard cruise ships to cancellations of major international events, the global public health emergency caused by the coronavirus has been unfolding rapidly and dramatically.

The virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Since then it has spread to more than 200 countries and territories.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Here's how the outbreak has evolved:

See NBC News’ coverage of the coronavirus, see a map and chart of U.S. coronavirus cases per state and a map of coronavirus cases around the world.