Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates
A newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is spreading across the globe. Below you’ll find the latest news on the disease it causes COVID-19, in chronological order. For other info: U.S. case counts, coronavirus symptoms, our kids guide, comparison with seasonal flu and treatments in the works.
LA faces a blood shortage, EU bans non-essential travel
— Cases of COVID-19 that go undetected or diagnosed may have fueled the rapid spread of the disease, according to a new study reported on by Live Science.
— The European Union banned non-essential travel to at least 26 of its countries from the rest of the world, according to the New York Times. Britain won’t be participating in the ban, said Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.
— The Los Angeles area is facing a blood shortage after 160 major blood drives were canceled in the last couple of weeks, according to CNN.
New Yorker’s should prepare for a possible “shelter-in-place”
— New Yorker’s should be prepared for a possible “shelter-in-place” decision within the next 48 hours, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Tuesday.
— Macy’s will temporarily close down all their stores starting on Tuesday until the end of the month in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the company wrote in a statement.
— The effects of social distancing won’t been seen for at least one week, Caitlin Rivers, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said during a webcast Tuesday.
White House supports sending checks to Americans to help with outbreak
— The White House said Tuesday (March 17) that it supports the idea of making immediate cash payments to Americans to help out during this coronavirus outbreak. “We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary said at a news briefing. “And I mean, now in the next two weeks.”
— It’s possible that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could peak in 45 days, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said at a news conference today. New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo had said earlier today that he expects the peak in the state to be around 45 days.
— An Italian citizen Olmo Parenti and his friends created a film called “10 days” with a message “from the future” to take COVID-19 seriously [Watch it on The Atlantic]
Trump administration will ask for $850 billion to help economy
— The Trump administration will ask senators for an $850 billion to help the economy on Tuesday, according to the New York Times. They are also considering a request for $50 billion to help the airline industry.
— New York is “absolutely considering” a shelter-in-place, similar to the order in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, according to the Washington Post.
— Iran has temporarily released 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, to stop the coronavirus from spreading in the overcrowded jails, according to Reuters.
Cases reach over 185,000 worldwide
— There are over 185,000 positive COVID-19 cases, 7,330 deaths and 80,236 recoveries worldwide; The US has over 4,660 cases, 85 deaths and 17 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins Dashboard.
— Amid the coronavirus outbreak, some states have postponed their primaries, but Florida, Illinois and Arizona have not. Their primaries are set to take place today (March 17).
— New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy encouraged residents to stay home between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless for emergencies and essentials. Officials are considering a similar curfew for New York City, according to the New York Times.
— The Kentucky Derby is postponed for the first time in 75 years, according to the Louisville’s Courier-Journal.
— On March 16, China only had one local infection of the coronavirus in Wuhan, where the epidemic started, according to China’s National Health and Health Commission. The rest of the cases of COVID-19 reported that day were from travelers coming back into the country.
First person in the U.S. receives experimental coronavirus vaccine
— Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered all public schools to shut down from Wednesday until March 31. [Get more Georgia coronavirus updates here]
— Today, a healthy volunteer in Seattle became the first person to receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine as part of a new clinical trial, but it will still be a while before it’s ready for the public to use, according to a Live Science report.
— NASCAR is postponing all of its races until May 3, according to a statement.
Stocks experience worst drop since beginning of coronavirus outbreak
— Stocks have experienced the worst drop since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the New York Times.
— D.C. ordered all restaurants, bars and clubs to close by 10 p.m. on Monday until April 1, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a news conference today. Take-out and delivery will still be allowed.
— The College Board canceled the May 2 SAT tests and makeup exams scheduled for March 28, according to a statement. Students will receive refunds.
— Switzerland declared an “extraordinary situation” and prohibited all public and private events as of midnight tonight until April 19th, according to a statement from the Swiss Federal Council. They ordered the closing of all shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment and leisure facilities.
Trump announces new coronavirus guidelines
— President Trump issued new guidelines to help curb the coronavirus outbreak for the next 15 days. The guidelines include avoiding gathering in groups of over 10 people; avoiding bars, restaurants, food courts; avoiding discretionary travel; and working from home and engaging in virtual schooling whenever possible. “If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people,” the guidelines read. [Read the full set of guidelines on CNN]
— The coronavirus crisis could continue until July or August, Trump said in a news conference on Monday. But he said he’s not currently considering a nation-wide lockdown like those in other countries such as Italy.
— Six counties in California’s Bay Area is expected to announce a “shelter in place” order for residents until at least April 7. Residents will be told to stay home as much as possible but they will still be able to go shopping for food and household supplies, seek medical care and go outside for walks or exercise if they stay six feet away from everyone they don’t live with, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. (The counties are: San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda).
— France will close its borders starting Tuesday (March 17) to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and Russia will close its borders to most foreigners starting on Wednesday, according to CNN.
WHO says countries need to undertake more vigorous testing, isolation
— The European Union is considering a temporary travel restriction to member countries to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Ursula von der Leye, president of the European Commission said on Monday. This would restrict all “non-essential” travel to the EU to everyone except for returning E.U. citizens, health care workers, doctors and nurses.
— The Supreme Court is postponing arguments scheduled for March because of health concerns over the coronavirus, according to a statement. One argument that was postponed is about access to President Trump’s financial records, according to CNBC.
— “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded, and we cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the World Health Organization said during a news conference on Monday (March 16). “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test test… test every suspected case.” He also said countries aren’t doing enough to escalate testing, isolation and contact tracing which is “the backbone of the response.”
— During a conference call with a group of governors Monday, he told them to not wait for the federal government to supply them with more respirators and equipment, according to the New York Times. “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Trump said. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves.”
— Canada, which has 375 positive COVID-19 cases, is closing its borders to non-citizens, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coordinate COVID-19 response
— Gatherings of over 50 people are banned and all casinos, gyms and movie theaters in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will close as of 8 p.m. on Monday (March 16), according to a joint announcement from the states.
— Reinfection with the new coronavirus couldn’t occur in rhesus macaques, according to a study published in the preprint journal bioRxiv on March 14. “Our results indicated that the primary SARS-CoV-2 infection could protect from subsequent exposures,” the authors wrote in the study, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.
— A cyberattack on the Department of Health and Human Services was an attempt to slow down coronavirus response, according to ABC News. It is still under investigation.
— Penguins were allowed to leave their habitats and explore the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago which is closed to visitors, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals,” the aquarium said, “introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourage them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors.”
— In the absence of boats, Venice canals have turned clear again and fish have made a reappearance, according to local newspaper La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre.
— New York City’s public schools are closed and will likely reopen for remote learning on March 23, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday.
— Nara Park in Japan is a popular tourist destination and home to free-roaming deer that are typically fed with ample amounts of rice crackers. But amid the coronavirus outbreak, tourism has dwindled and some of the deer have wandered out of the park into other parts of the city in search for food, according to Japan Today.
Monkeys fight for food, US stocks plunge
— Egypt is suspending all flights for two weeks starting on Thursday, Egypt’s prime minister Moustafa Madbouly announced at a press conference, according to local media reports.
— U.S. stocks plunged again Monday morning creating a 15-minute halt to trading, and then dropped even further, according to the Los Angeles Times.
— More people have died from the coronavirus outside of mainland China than inside, according to the Washington Post.
— Tourism in Thailand has plummeted because of the new coronavirus. Starving monkeys who are usually fed free food from the tourists are fighting each other on the streets, according to a Live Science report.
US COVID-19 cases reach 3,774
— There are now 169,387 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 6,513 deaths and 77,257 recoveries worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Dashboard. There are 3,774 positive cases in the U.S. and 69 deaths.
— New York City will close down all of its bars and restaurants, save for takeout and delivery service starting on Tuesday (March 17), Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday night.
— An Irish budget airline, Ryanair, said it expected to ground most of its planes in Europe in the next week to 10 days, according to a statement.
— LVMH, a French luxury goods company will use its perfume and cosmetics production lines to create hand disinfectant gel and deliver them for free to health authorities in France, according to the BBC.
CDC recommends cancelling, postponing events with over 50 people
— All bars and restaurants in Massachusetts will shut down “on-premise consumption” starting on Tuesday until April 6, Governor Charlie Baker announced Sunday. All gatherings of larger than 25 people are also prohibited, according to the order.
— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that for the next 8 weeks, organizers cancel or postpone events with over 50 people, according to guidance posted on their site on Sunday.
— The Tennessee man who bought 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and was under investigation for price gouging, donated all of it to people in Tennessee after outrage from the public, according to the New York Times.
— The first dose of a vaccine for COVID-19 will be given to a person on Monday, kickstarting a clinical trial, according to a government official, as reported by AP News.
Cities across the US take measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus
— Labs across the US will be able to screen up to 4,000 people a day starting this week, the administration announced Sunday (March 15).
— New York City’s public schools will start to shut down this week, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
— California will close down all bars, night clubs, wineries and brew pubs, California’s governor Gavin Newsom said Sunday.
— New York City’s hospitals will be required to cancel elective surgeries starting on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
— Starbucks stores in the US and Canada will become a “to go” model for two weeks meaning customers can still order but won’t be able to sit down at the stores, according to a statement.
— Boston declared a public health emergency and required bars, restaurants and nightclubs to reduce their capacity by half and close by 11 p.m., Mayor Marty Walsh announced Sunday. Food drive through and delivery services can continue normal business hours, according to a statement.
Italy reports 368 deaths in a single day
— Italy had 368 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli announced at a press conference today. That brings Italy’s total coronavirus death toll to 1,809. The country has a total of 24,747 positive cases of COVID-19, with 3,590 of those cases recorded in the past day.
— Colombia is blocking all non-residents from entering the country and requiring residents to self-isolate for 14 days, President Ivan Duque said on Twitter.
— Germany is introducing border controls with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland to slow the spread of the virus, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said during a news conference on Sunday (March 15).
— There are now 3,244 positive cases of COVID-19 in the US and 62 deaths.
Cruise ship with COVID-19 cases looks for place to dock
— New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the president to mobilize the military to help in the fight against the coronavirus, in an opinion piece published in the New York Times.
— A cruise ship, MS Braemar, with over 600 passengers and at least five confirmed coronavirus cases is trying to find somewhere to dock after being denied entry at various ports in the Caribbean, according to CNN.
— Nike is shutting down all of its stores in the U.S., Canada, New Zeand, Western Europe and Australia until March 27, according to a statement.
— Hoboken in New Jersey is the first city in the U.S. that’s implementing a curfew to fight the coronavirus, according to Insider. Residents of Hoboken must stay inside save for emergencies or if they’re required to work during the night, according to Mayor Ravinder Bhalla.
2 ER doctors in critical condition with COVID-19
Two ER doctors — a man in his 40s in Washington and a 70-year-old in New Jersey — are in critical condition after being infected with the novel coronavirus and developing COVID-19.
“I am deeply saddened by this news, but not surprised. As emergency physicians, we know the risks of our calling. We stand united with our colleagues and our thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery are with each of them and their families,” Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), said in a statement.
It is uncertain how the Washington doctor caught the virus, whether at work or through other community-based spread, the ACEP statement said. The doctor had complied with all personal protective equipment (PPE) procedures.
As for the New Jersey physician, that doctor leads his institution’s emergency preparedness in Patterson, and was admitted to the hospital days ago with upper respiratory issues. That person, who has tested positive for COVID-19, is in isolation in the facility’s intensive care unit.
Newborn tests positive for coronavirus
— There are now 156,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 5,833 deaths and 73,968 recovered from COVID-19 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard; There are 2,952 cases in the U.S. and 57 deaths.
— A newborn baby tested positive for the coronavirus in London, marking what’s likely the youngest case of the disease, according to The Guardian. The baby’s mother was tested positive for COVID-19 when she was taken to a hospital with suspected pneumonia days before giving birth.
— The Vatican is closing Holy Week celebrations to the public, according to the New York Times.
— The UK advised against “all but essential travel to the USA,” in response to the travel restrictions that the U.S. put in place for the UK and other European countries, according to a post from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on its website.
Trump tests negative, Italy cases continue rising
— President Trump tested negative for the coronavirus, according to a statement from the White House.
— Georgia delayed its presidential primary, becoming the second state to do so. The primary that was originally set to take place on March 24 will now take place on May 19, according to a statement.
— Coronavirus cases in Italy rose by around 20% on Saturday, the largest daily increase in cases yet, according to the Washington Post.
Spain announces nation-wide lockdowns
— Spain, experiencing the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, announced nation-wide lockdowns on Saturday. Spain’s prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced today that the public must stay home unless they need to do something essential such as buy food, go to work, care for those in need or get healthcare themselves. There are 6,315 confirmed cases and 191 coronavirus-related deaths in Spain as of Saturday afternoon.
— Louisiana reported its first coronavirus-related death, a 58-year-old Orleans Parish resident who had underlying health conditions, according to a statement from the Louisiana Department of Health.
—”I feel fine, things are going well, just taking the proper precautions,” Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who was confirmed to have COVID-19 this week, said in a video posted on Twitter. He is currently under isolation.
France shuts down restaurants, clubs
— France is shutting down restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs starting at midnight Saturday, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said on Saturday (March 14). Markets, food shops, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, newspaper and tobacco stores and places of worship will remain open, he said. But religious ceremonies and gatherings will be postponed.
— Trump is considering some travel restrictions within the country, according to CNN.
— An 82-year-old woman with COVID-19 died in New York City this weekend, NYC’s first coronavirus-related death, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a media conference Saturday.
U.S. extends travel bans to Ireland and UK
— US is expanding travel bans to the UK and Ireland starting on Monday at midnight, Vice President Mike Pence announced today (March 14). Originally, his travel bans had just extended to the rest of Europe.
— President Trump took a coronavirus test but doesn’t know the results yet, he announced at a press conference today. A Brazilian official and several others who were with Trump last weekend, tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump had originally said he “isn’t concerned” and likely won’t be tested.
House passes relief package, Apple closing stores
— The pentagon will close for visitors (not people who work in the Defense Department buildings) at midnight on Sunday, according to a statement from the Defense Department. They are also stopping all domestic travel for military service members, department of defense civilians and their families in the U.S. for two months starting on Monday, according to another statement.
— The House overwhelmingly passed a coronavirus economic relief package which dedicates tens of billions of dollars to help people affected by the coronavirus. This package would help pay sick leave, unemployment insurance, free testing and other measures, according to the Washington Post.
— The coronavirus has now spread to 49 states. There are a total of 146,838 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 5,539 deaths and 71,718 recoveries worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Dashboard.
— Apple is closing down its stores outside of China until March 27, according to a statement.
— Guatemala is expanding its travel restrictions by banning arrivals (subjecting them to quarantine) from the U.S. and Canada, President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday. Earlier this week, the country had banned arrivals from European countries, China, Iran, South Korea and North Korea in an effort to fight the coronavirus.
Europe is the new epicenter, WHO says
— The Food and Drug Administration approved a new coronavirus test from the pharmaceutical company Roche that could be a breakthrough for testing, according to NPR. The new test is simpler and quicker than the initial test approved by the FDA, Paul Brown, a senior executive for Roche said.
— An employee who works at the Monroe Correctional Complex, a Washington State prison tested positive for the coronavirus, which might be the first case tied to a prison, according to the New York Times.
— Europe is now the epicenter of the pandemic, the World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing today. New COVID-19 cases in China are declining, while cases in other parts of the world are increasing.
— There are now over 145,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide and 5,411 deaths. There are over 70,200 people who have already recovered, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard.
— Stocks rebounded on Friday after President Trump declared a national emergency that would “open up access” to federal funds.
Trump declares national emergency
— Trump declared a national emergency on Friday during a press conference at the White House. This declaration will open up access to federal funds — some $50 billion — to fight COVID-19, he said.
— Denmark is closing its borders to non-citizens on Saturday until April 13, the government announced today.
— Texas governor Greg Abbott declared the new coronavirus a public health disaster and announced the opening of the state’s first drive-through testing facility in San Antonio, at a press conference on Friday.
Louisiana postpones primary
— Louisiana postponed its presidential primary which would have taken place on April 4, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced today. Louisiana, the first state to postpone a primary, will now hold it on June 20.
— President Trump plans to declare a national emergency today, according to the Washington Post. That means he’d have more authority to use $40 billion disaster-relief funds, according to the New York Times.
— Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an event in Florida with a Brazilian government aide who later tested positive for the virus, according to the Miami Herald.
Boston marathon postponed, U.S. takes steps to speed up testing
— Coronavirus cases reach 137,456 worldwide, with 5,065 total deaths and 69,623 recoveries. There are 1,268 total cases in the U.S., 15,113 in Italy, 11,364 in Iran and 7,869 in South Korea, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard.
— The Boston marathon will be postponed until September, Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday (March 13).
— Major golf events, including the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals have been postponed, according to a statement.
— The Trump administration announced that they will take steps to speed up screening and testing of COVID-19 in the U.S. which has been lagging far behind other countries, according to the New York Times. These steps include introducing an emergency hotline for private labs, forming new partnerships with companies that can quickly detect the virus and awarding over a million dollars to two companies, DiaSorin Molecular and Qiagen to hasten the development of tests.
— Stocks rebounded on Friday after having experienced the worst day since 1987 yesterday, according to the Washington Post.
South Korea cases down, Ethiopia reports first case
— Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, has tested positive for the virus after returning from a speaking event in the UK, according to the prime minister’s tweets.
— South Korea has reported more recoveries than coronavirus cases for the first time, according to Reuters. On Friday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 110 new coronavirus cases and 177 patients who recovered.
— Peter Dutton, the Australian minister for home affairs tested positive for the virus on Friday after having met with Attorney General William Barr and Ivanka Trump the week before, according to the New York Times.
— Ethiopia confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, according to Reuters.
— At least 6 states (Oregon, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Kentucky and New Mexico) will close all of their schools for at least two weeks, according to the New York Times.
March Madness canceled, Ohio closes schools, events canceled
— A Brazilian official who met with President Trump last weekend has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Brazilian government. Trump said he “isn’t concerned” and the White House later said through “exposures from the case are being assessed,” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence don’t need testing, according to the New York Times.
— Disneyland is closing its parks in California through the end of the month, according to a statement.
— March Madness is canceled: The NCAA has canceled both men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.This announcement from the NCAA president follows on the news yesterday that the NCAA events would be closed to the public. The N.H.L and Major League Soccer announced they were pausing their seasons.
— New York is banning most gatherings that exceed 500 people including Broadway shows. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center are also all temporarily shutting down. Nearby Jersey City is imposing coronavirus curfews on bars and nightclubs.
— Trump said today (March 12) that restrictions for travel within the U.S. could occur if some regions become “too hot” with coronavirus, according to NBC News.
— Ohio is closing all of its K-12 schools, for an “extended spring break” until April 3, the state’s governor Mike DeWine said today (March 12) during a news conference.
— There are currently 127,863 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide and 4,718 deaths. In the U.S., there are 1,323 cases and 38 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus dashboard.
Parades, sports events canceled in the U.S.
— California Gov. Gavin Newsom called for all public gatherings to be canceled, saying, “Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now,” according to news reports.
— President Trump announced that he would be suspending travel from Europe (excluding the UK) for 30 days starting on Friday, a decision that was met with disapproval from the European Union, according to news reports.
— The NBA canceled all basketball games after a player on the Utah Jazz tested preliminarily positive for coronavirus, according to an NBA statement. Games as of Thursday (March 12) will be suspended until further notice, the statement said.
— March Madness, the biggest college basketball tournament of the year, going back to 1939, will be played with limited viewers. The championship events would happen “with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” The NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement on Wednesday (March 11). The first games take place on March 17-18.
— New York City postponed its St. Patrick’s Day Parade next week over fears of the coronavirus, according to a statement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. This parade, the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world typically brings 150,000 marchers and 2 million spectators to the streets of Manhattan, according to the New York Times. This is the first time that the event will not go on as planned for 250 years, they wrote. Ireland canceled all it’s St. Patrick’s Day parades; Similar celebrations were canceled in Chicago and Boston.
— Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement he tweeted out. They are currently in Australia where Hanks is filming for a movie.
— Wall Street has halted trading for a second time this week for 15 minutes in a pause known as a “circuit breaker,” according to NBC News.
— Missouri is suing disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker for promoting a fake treatment after he suggested on his TV program that colloidal silver will cure the new coronavirus, according to the Washington Post.
The white house classifies coronavirus discussions
— The White House has classified dozens of high-level discussions regarding the coronavirus, allowing only some individuals high security clearances access to the information, CNBC reported.
— Italy’s Ministry of Health is reporting a total of 12,462 coronavirus cases with 827 deaths related to the virus.
— India is suspending all tourist visas; travelers or nationals returning to India from high-risk areas will be quarantined for at least 14 days, the government’s Press Information Bureau said in a statement.
— Hundreds of Americans have already lost jobs over the past week due to the outbreak, according to the Washington Post.
WHO declares pandemic
—The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, a pandemic.”This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
—Scientists figure out how the novel coronavirus breaks into human cells, a discovery that could help in the development of vaccines and other treatments.
—King County, outside Seattle, Washington, confirmed that 10 nursing home or other long-term care facilities have individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Seattle Times reported.
—Confusion and chaos surround coronavirus testing in the U.S., with even doctors not clear on who should be tested.
Grand Princess cruise ship
After more than 20 people tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off California, the U.S. State Department issued an alert Sunday (March 8) strongly recommending the elderly and those with underlying health conditions to avoid cruise ships.
Cases in Italy, South Korea and Iran have surpassed 7,000 each, with the death toll in Italy reaching 366. The northwest part of the country is on lockdown, limiting mobility of some 16 million people in what is being called “one of the largest-ever attempts to restrict the movement of people in a Western democracy,” The New York Times reported.
The U.S. has approved $8.3 billion in emergency funding for the country’s coronavirus response.
The South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. The event, which was to take place March 13–22, typically attracts hundreds of thousands of people.
Originally published on Live Science.