The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, continues to rise, with tens of thousands of people sickened and thousands of others killed by the virus, mostly in China.
Update 7:36 a.m. EST March 6: A top Iranian diplomat succumbed Thursday to the novel coronavirus, compounding anxieties as the death rate rose dramatically, state media reported.
New cases announced Friday totaled 1,234 and 17 deaths, bringing the nationwide totals to 4,700 and 124 respectively.
The diplomat, 67-year-old Hossein Sheikholeslam, was an adviser to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and former ambassador to Syria. According to The Washington Post, he died in Tehran after lapsing into a coma and had been one of the student revolutionaries who held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year in 1978 and 1979.
Sheikholeslam’s death follows that of Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a senior aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who died from the virus earlier in the week.
According to the Post, Iran’s deputy health minister and a deputy president, Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar is infected, and newly elected lawmaker, Fatemah Rahbar, is reportedly in critical condition after testing positive for the virus.
Update 7:30 a.m. EST March 6: According to France’s National Assembly, a parliamentarian has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The lawmaker has been identified as Jean-Luc Reitzer, 68, a deputy from the conservative Les Républicains party, The Washington Post reported.
According to the latest figures, France witnessed its largest single-day increase in the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases, with 138 new cases and three new deaths confirmed.
Update 7:26 a.m. EST March 6: Both Vatican City and the Netherlands confirmed their first cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday.
It was not immediately clear if the coronavirus case involved a visitor or a resident of the Vatican. Although only about 1,000 people reside in Vatican City, millions visit the locale each year, many of whom are Catholics who visit the church’s most important site and hear Pope Francis, the Vatican’s head of state, CNN reported.
According to the most recent data, Italy has recorded nearly 4,000 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, resulting in 150 deaths.
Update 7:23 a.m. EST March 6: Health officials in South Korea confirmed an additional 309 novel coronavirus cases, bringing the nationwide total to 6,593.
According to the country’s Central Disaster Relief Headquarters, an estimated 70 percent of nationwide cases are due to community spread, but 60 percent of all cases have been linked with a branch of the Shincheonji religious group in the southern city of Daegu.
Update 7:16 a.m. EST March 6: Newly diagnosed cases of the novel coronavirus continued their global march Friday with the following nations reporting infection increases:
• Belgium confirmed 59 new cases, bringing its nationwide total to 109.
• India’s current nationwide infections total 31.
• Thailand’s newest case brings its nationwide total to 48. According to CNN, the patient is a 43-year-old British man who is a corporate adviser who traveled from London on Feb. 28 to Bangkok via Hong Kong.
• Taiwan confirmed two new cases, bringing the island’s total number of infections to 44. According to Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control, one patient is a Taiwanese resident who returned recently from the Philippines, and the other is a Taiwanese resident with no recent travel history but close contact with an infected person.
Update 4:13 a.m. EST March 6: The novel coronavirus has sickened a total of 228 U.S. residents across 19 states, including 49 citizens repatriated from abroad.
Forty-six of the 49 repatriated citizens were sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off the coast of Japan. The three others were retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
The state-by-state breakdown of the 179 cases detected on U.S. soil – including presumptive cases – is as follows:
• Arizona: 2
• California: 49 (including 1 death)
• Colorado: 2
• Florida: 4
• Georgia: 2
• Illinois: 5
• Maryland: 3
• Massachusetts: 3
• Nevada: 1
• New Hampshire: 2
• New Jersey: 2
• New York: 22
• North Carolina: 1
• Oregon: 3
• Rhode Island: 2
• Tennessee: 1
• Texas: 4
• Washington state: 70 (including 13 deaths)
• Wisconsin: 1
Update 4:07 a.m. EST March 6: Health officials in the Houston area reported two likely cases of coronavirus late Thursday, bringing the state’s total number of probable cases to five, The Washington Post reported.
Both cases reported Thursday night involve men between the ages of 60 and 70.
According to the Post, one man – who lives in Houston – was experiencing mild symptoms while isolated at home, and the other has been hospitalized in stable condition. The second man lives in nearby unincorporated Harris County, Texas.
Update 4:05 a.m. EST March 6: A rabbi, who teaches at Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights campus in Manhattan, is among New York’s 22 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, the university confirmed early Friday.
Rabbi Reuven Fink, of the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue, had been in self-quarantine after being in contact with an infected congregant, CNN reported.
University officials said they have reached out to Rabbi Fink’s students and recommended self-quarantining.
Update 2:32 a.m. EST March 6: The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,383 people worldwide with more than 97,850 confirmed cases spanning at least 85 countries and territories, CNN reported early Friday.
Meanwhile, the United States has recorded its 14th death from the virus – all but one occurring in the Seattle area of Washington state – as reports of new cases in Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey and Tennessee brought the nation’s official infection tally to 228.
And while reported cases are tapering off in mainland China – where the outbreak is believed to have originated in Wuhan in December – infections continue to sweep Europe, the Middle East and, especially, South Korea.
According to The Washington Post, China reported only 143 new cases and 30 new deaths on Friday, while South Korea saw its new infections increase by 518 to 6,300 with 42 deaths.
Update 2:25 a.m. EST March 6: Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, called the coronavirus “a controllable virus” during Thursday night’s CNN town hall.
According to the network, Van Kerkhove spent two weeks in China working with Chinese health authorities to better understand what worked to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Fundamental public health actions” worked, such as washing hands, social distancing, self-isolating when ill and seeking medical treatment when necessary worked, she said.
“Those lessons can be applied to all countries,” Van Kerkhove said, adding, "We are seeing countries demonstrate that they can slow this virus down.”
Update 11 p.m. EST March 5: Vice President Mike Pence pledged the Trump administration’s full support to Washington state officials as the coronavirus death toll there continued to mount.
The state has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., with at least 70 confirmed infections and 11 dead. Researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.
“As the state of Washington, and the Seattle area in particular, deals with the coronavirus, we’re going to continue to make sure that you have the full support of every agency in the federal government,” Pence said after touring the state’s emergency response center. “We know you’re the front line.”
Pence attended a round-table meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee, members of Washington’s congressional delegation and local officials to discuss coordinating response to the outbreak.
Update 7:30 p.m. EST March 5: Three people in Maryland have caught COVID-19 while traveling overseas, according to WRC-TV.
Update 6:30 p.m. EST March 5: Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday that two people have tested positive for coronovirus in Colorado, marking the state’s first cases in the global outbreak.
The governor announced both cases during a news conference. The first is a man in his 30s who was visiting from out of state when checked into a hospital in Frisco, where many of Colorado’s ski resorts are located, because of a possible respiratory illness.
The man had traveled to Italy the month before, but did not show any symptoms when he flew to Colorado on Feb. 29, Polis said. The man’s traveling companion also tested positive for the virus in another state.
The man is recovering in isolation in the Denver metro area, and the state health department is working with local public health agencies to identify anyone who could have been exposed to the man to monitor them for signs and symptoms.
Update 4:30 p.m. EST March 5: The number of Washington state coronavirus cases rose to 70 Thursday, up from 39 on Wednesday, with another fatal case in King County bringing to death toll in Washington to 11.
Of the 70 cases, 51 are in King County, 18 in Snohomish County and one in Grant County.
Update 4:15 p.m. EST March 5: Houston officials confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the nation’s third-largest county Thursday, saying the two were on a trip to Egypt with multiple people, including a man from a nearby suburb who a day earlier became the first Texan to have a positive test result outside of persons repatriated from abroad.
The newest cases involve a man and a woman who are between 60 and 70 years old and remain hospitalized in stable condition, said Dr. Umair Shah, the top health official in Harris County, where Houston is located.
Officials said they believe the two were exposed to the virus while on a trip in late February to Egypt.
Update 3:35 p.m. EST March 5: Health officials in Australia have confirmed 52 cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the country, including two cases that proved fatal.
Authorities said 15 of the cases were linked to travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. Ten others were linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The patients who died of the virus include a Diamond Princess passenger who was repatriated back to Australia from Japan and a person living in an aged care facility in New South Wales.
Update 3:05 p.m. EST March 5: Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Thursday that the United States has too few coronavirus tests to meet expected demand.
“We don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward,” Pence said after a meeting with of the coronavirus task force and executives from 3M, CNN reported. “For those that we believe have been exposed, for those who are showing symptoms, we’ve been able to provide the testing.”
Pence said the government is working to increase the number of test kits available, NPR reported.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its guidelines to allow for testing of anyone who has symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. Previously, CDC guidelines had limited testing to only those who have had close contact with a confirmed case of the virus.
Update 2:45 p.m. EST March 5: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency order Thursday requiring health insurers in the state to waive copays and deductibles for anyone trying to get tested for the 2019 novel coronavirus, according to KIRO-TV.
The order goes into effect Thursday and applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans. It was set to expire May 4.
Update 2:25 p.m. EST March 5: The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted 96 to 1 in favor of passing an $8.3 billion spending bill to fight the coronavirus in the U.S.
The bill will go to President Donald Trump for his signature.
As of Thursday, 11 people have died of coronavirus infections in the United States. Ten of the deaths were reported in Washington and one was reported in California.
More than 150 cases of COVID-19 have been reported nationwide.
Update 2:15 p.m. EST March 5: The number of coronavirus cases in Washington state has risen from 39 reported Wednesday to 70, KIRO-TV reported.
Many of the cases have been linked to Life Care Center of Kirkland, the nursing facility at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Washington.
Eleven people have died in the U.S., one in California and 10 in Washington, since the coronavirus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China.
Update 2 p.m. EST March 4: Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are voting Thursday on whether to pass an $8.3 billion spending deal aimed at battling the coronavirus.
The vote comes after the House voted 415-2 in favor of the measure. The Senate was expected to follow suit and pass the bill Thursday, after which it is expected to go to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.
Update 1:55 p.m. EST March 5: Health officials in Italy said the country’s death toll from the 2019 novel coronavirus has risen by 41 to a total of 148 in the country.
Angelo Borrelli, head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, said Thursday that those who have died were between 66 and 99 years old and most were in “frail conditions,” including suffering from underlying health problems, CNN reported.
More than 3,200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, marking the most in any European country.
Update 1:40 p.m. EST March 5: Cases of coronavirus infection have risen to 22 across New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
The cases include eight patients who have mild or no symptoms of COVID-19 in Westchester County, two patients hospitalized in New York City and a 42-year-old Nassau County man.
Update 12:20 p.m. EST March 5: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said another Florida resident has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to four cases.
The patient was identified as a Santa Rosa County man in his 70s who has underlying health conditions and who recently traveled internationally, WJAX-TV reported.
The governor also said five other Floridians have been quarantined outside the state for COVID-19.
Update 12:45 p.m. EST March 5: Health officials in Nevada said a man in his 50s who recently traveled to Texas and Washington state has become the state's first coronavirus patient.
In a statement released Thursday, officials with the Southern Nevada Health District identified the patient as a Clark County resident.
“The patient reported a recent travel history to Washington state, where community spread of the virus is being reported, and Texas, which recently reported its first travel-associated case,” health officials said. “The Health District is working with its health care partners and leading the effort to quickly identify close contacts of the patient.”
According to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 145 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.S.
Update 12:30 p.m. EST March 5: Health officials in the United Kingdom said the country recorded its first death due to COVID-19 on Thursday.
In a statement obtained by The Guardian, the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust confirmed “an older patient” who had underlying health conditions had died after being admitted and testing positive Tuesday night for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
"The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time," the statement said.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, 115 have tested positive for coronavirus in the U.K. as of 9 a.m. local time Thursday.
Update 11:40 a.m. EST March 5: Health officials in France announced two more coronavirus deaths Thursday, bringing the total lives claimed by coronavirus in the country to six.
Officials identified the patients who died as a 73-year-old and a 64-year-old, both from the northern part of the country.
Authorities have recorded more than 375 cases of coronavirus in France since the virus was first identified late last year in Wuhan, China.
Update 11:30 a.m. EST March 5: Health officials in Grant County, Washington, announced the county’s first coronavirus case late Wednesday night.
Officials with the Grant County Health District said a person hospitalized at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee tested positive for COVID-19.
The case marks at least the 40th in Washington, where 10 people have died of the virus.
Update 10:50 a.m. EST March 5: The organizers of Acea Run Rome The Marathon announced the cancellation of this year’s event due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.
In a message posted on the marathon’s website, organizers said the event was cancelled in light of “the health emergency that we are facing.” The marathon had been scheduled for March 29.
Italy has seen the most number of coronavirus infections in Europe with more than 2,700 people testing positive for the virus as of Wednesday, Italian health officials said. More than 105 people have died in the country from COVID-19.
Update 10:15 a.m. EST March 5: Health officials in Tennessee said Thursday that the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the state's first COVID-19 case.
The case involves a Williamson County man with a recent history of out-of-state travel, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said. Health officials were working Thursday to determine where he traveled and whether he might have put others at risk of a coronavirus infection.
He was under isolation Thursday at his home with mild symptoms of coronavirus, Piercey said.
“At this time COVID-19 is not widespread in the United States,” the state health commissioner emphasized Thursday. “At this time, the overall risk to the general public remains low.”
Update 10 a.m. EST March 5: Concerns over the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus have prompted more than a dozen states to close all school and lead to localized closures in nine other countries, affecting about 290 million students, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Amidst the closures, UNESCO officials recommended the use of distance learning programs to limit the disruption the closures have on students’ education.
“While temporary school closures as a result of health and other crises are not new unfortunately, the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said Tuesday in a news release.
Several schools across the United States have announced closures due to coronavirus fears, including about a dozen in Washington state, where 10 people have died of COVID-19.
Update 9:25 a.m. EST March 5: The number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Netherlands has more than doubled to 82, Reuters reported, citing the Dutch National Institute for Public Health.
On Tuesday, officials said 38 coronavirus infections had been reported in the country, according to Reuters.
Update 9:10 a.m. EST March 5: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said two new coronavirus cases have been reported in the city, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 13.
De Blasio said the cases involved a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s. Both patients remained hospitalized Thursday in the intensive care unit, officials said.
Health investigators were working Thursday to track down people who had close contact with the patients.
“We are going to see more cases like this as community transmission becomes more common,” de Blasio said Thursday in a tweet. “We want New Yorkers to be prepared and vigilant, not alarmed.”
Update 9 a.m. EST March 5: The total number of people infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus in Greece has jumped to 31, health officials said Thursday in a news briefing, according to ekathimerini.com.
At least three of the country’s cases were considered serious, the news site reported. The new cases were reported after health officials tested people who had come into close contact with a 65-year-old Greek man who tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling by bus on a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt, ekathimerini.com reported.
Update 7:50 a.m. EST March 5: A traveler returning from Italy has been diagnosed as South Africa’s first documented case of the novel coronavirus.
“The patient is a 38-year-old male who traveled to Italy with his wife,” South Africa’s health minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize said in a statement. “They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on March 1, 2020.”
Update 7:35 a.m. EST March 5: Iran’s Health Ministry said Thursday that 591 additional novel coronavirus cases – resulting in 15 additional deaths – have been recorded in the past 24 hours.
According to the latest figures, Iran has recorded a total of 3,513 cases, resulting in 107 deaths nationwide.
Update 7:02 a.m. EST March 5: In an updated analysis published Thursday, the International Air Transport Association projected the ongoing coronavirus “crisis” could cost the passenger airline business anywhere from $63 billion and $113 billion.
The trade association originally projected losses of $29.3 billion, but that Feb. 20 guidance was issued when the novel coronavirus appeared to be contained in Asia, and primarily within mainland China, The Washington Post reported.
“Since that time, the virus has spread to over 80 countries and forward bookings have been severely impacted on routes beyond China,” the association’s revised report concluded.
Update 6:56 a.m. EST March 5: In the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Germany spiked by nearly 50 percent to 349 cases.
The latest 109 cases now mean Germany’s cluster represents the largest European outbreak outside the northern Italy foothold, The Washington Post reported.
In addition, 10 new cases confirmed in Iceland bring that nation’s total number of infections to 26.
"It’s clear that in Iceland we have high number of confirmed cases per capita and by international comparison,” Iceland’s directorate of health said in a prepared statement.
Meanwhile, an Icelandair flight to Italy on Saturday will repatriate 70 Icelanders stranded there, and the 12 Icelandic nationals who have been quarantined in Tenerife are also expected to return on Saturday, CNN reported.
“This is clearly unusual but this is the most responsible and safe way to get these people home," Haukur Reynisson, head of operations for Icelandair, told the network.
Update 6:52 a.m. EST March 5: Beginning today, all schools in the Northshore School District will close their doors for up to two weeks while officials monitor coronavirus activity and evaluate health department recommendations, KIRO-7 reported.
And with a current student absentee rate of 20 percent, the district plans to transition from classroom instruction to online learning as early as March, the news station reported.
“In addition, 26 of our schools have been affected via direct or indirect exposure to the COVID-19 virus. We are receiving numerous calls and emails from parents and staff who are self-quarantining or are choosing to keep their students home,” a letter to families penned by Superintendent Michelle Reid read.
Update 6:46 a.m. EST March 5: According to a statement issued by the Vaud region police, Switzerland reported its first novel coronavirus death on Thursday, CNN reported.
The patient was a 74-year-old woman from the Vaud canton, and the total number of cases reported nationwide currently stands at 58, The Washington Post reported.
Update 4:54 a.m. EST March 5: Iran could soon begin production of coronavirus test kits, the nation’s stat news agency, ILNA, reported Thursday.
Dr. Jaleel Kouhpayezadeh, head of the Medical Sciences University of Iran, said a consortium of universities “have started activities needed for the production of test kits so that we can ultimately obtain complete indigenous production of the test kits.”
With 2,922 confirmed novel coronavirus cases resulting in 92 deaths, Iran is one of the hardest hit nations outside mainland China.
“We have also started activities towards the production of a vaccine, but it is an endeavor that is time-consuming, though we hope to reach desired results as soon as possible,” Kouhpayezadeh told ILNA.
Update 4:52 a.m. EST March 5: In a letter addressed to South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un offered support for the fight against coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said that Kim had “conveyed his message of comfort to the South Korean people who are battling against the outbreak of COVID-19, and expressed his confidence that they will prevail in this fight without fail.”
According to the Post, Kim said that he hoped for good health of the people of South Korean people and that he was “worried about President Moon’s health.”
Update 4:50 a.m. EST March 5: Iraq reported its third novel coronavirus death on Thursday, while Spain confirmed its second.
Iraq’s Health Ministry confirmed a total of 36 cases have been diagnosed in the past week, and the death of Saif Al-Badr, 65, in Baghdad on Thursday was the nation’s third
Meanwhile, public health officials in Spain confirmed total cases have increased to 219, claiming two lives, CNN reported.
Update 4:48 a.m. EST March 5: The Balkan Peninsula country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, recognized generally as Bosnia, has confirmed its first case of coronavirus.
Likewise, Poland’s minister of health confirmed that nation’s first novel coronavirus case in a patient who returned recently from Germany.
Update 2:53 a.m. EST March 5: The novel coronavirus has sickened a total of 159 U.S. residents across 15 states, including 49 citizens repatriated from abroad.
Forty-six of the 49 repatriated citizens were sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off the coast of Japan. The three others were retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
The state-by-state breakdown of the 110 cases detected on U.S. soil – including presumptive cases – is as follows:
1. Arizona: 2
2. California: 36 (including one death)
3. Florida: 3
4. Georgia: 2
5. Illinois: 4
6. Massachusetts: 2
7. New Hampshire: 2
8. New Jersey: 1
9. New York: 11
10. North Carolina: 1
11. Oregon: 3
12. Rhode Island: 2
13. Washington state: 39 (includes 10 fatalities)
14. Wisconsin: 1
15. Texas: 1
Update 2:48 a.m. EST March 5: With a total of 94,907 cases of novel coronavirus confirmed worldwide, the global death toll hit 3,283, health officials confirmed early Thursday.
China’s National Health Commission confirmed an additional 31 people died by the end of Wednesday, bringing mainland China’s total deaths from the virus to 3,012.
The following is a breakdown of the 271 deaths recorded to date outside mainland China:
• Italy: 107
• Iran: 92
• South Korea: 35
• Japan: 12
• US: 11
• France: 4
• Hong Kong: 2
• Spain: 2
• Iraq: 2
• Taiwan: 1
• Australia: 1
• Thailand: 1
• The Philippines: 1
Update 2:43 a.m. EST March 5: More than 14,500 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed outside mainland China, spanning 79 countries and territories and accounting for at least 272 deaths.
The hardest hit country outside China remains South Korea, where nearly 5,800 cases and 35 deaths have been reported, including 438 additional novel coronavirus cases confirmed Wednesday.
Japan recorded 33 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, its biggest one-day increase to date, according to data released by its Ministry of Health. The latest figures bring the country’s total number of cases to 1,023 – including 706 patients linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship – but fatalities have held steady at 12.
Update 2:40 a.m. EST March 5: With novel coronavirus cases spiking daily in Washington state, leaders in the outbreak’s epicenter of King County say hospital beds must be saved for only the most serious coronavirus cases, and they are working on other options to isolate people who are sick.
According to KIRO-7, crews moved a modular housing unit to a county-owned lot Tuesday in White Center. It’s the first of up to eight trailer units to be installed on the lot, and each trailer has four individual “mini motel rooms” inside.
King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Monday the county would purchase a motel, plus use 14 modular units intended to be housing for homeless people, to instead be used for people showing symptoms of coronavirus, KIRO-7 reported.
On Wednesday, county officials announced they had purchased the Econo Lodge in Kent to house coronavirus patients for recovery and isolation. The motel includes assets such as hard surfaces, seamless floors, and independent heating and cooling for each room.
A spokesperson from the King County executive’s office, Chase Gallagher, told KIRO-7 on Wednesday afternoon, “The process of figuring those things out is underway.”
“We want to make sure hospital capacity is not being taken up by people who need to be in isolation or recovery. We need the hospital capacity for people who need treatment now,” Constantine said.
Update 2:34 a.m. EST March 5: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has confirmed that a cruise ship returning to the state from Hawaii is being held off San Francisco’s coast, while public health officials prepare to screen everyone onboard after 11 passengers and 10 crew members exhibited novel coronavirus symptoms on Wednesday, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported.
Officials also contend at least one former passenger has already died from the virus since debarking from the ship following a recent cruise.
The Grand Princess is the second Princess Cruises ship drawing public health scrutiny since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December. The Diamond Princess and its tribulations captured headlines for weeks after being moored off the coast of Japan. Princess Cruises is a Carnival Corp. subsidiary.
Update 11 p.m. EST March 4: A man in his 30s who’s hospitalized in Bergen County has New Jersey’s first positive test for COVID-19, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement Wednesday.
State health officials have sent the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the case, Murphy said.
“We take this situation very seriously and have been preparing for this for weeks,” Murphy said in the statement. “I urge residents to remain calm and use resources from the New Jersey Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control to prepare and prevent the spread of infection.”
Local and state health officials are tracing the man’s contacts and “taking appropriate public health actions,” Murphy said.
Update 7:50 p.m. EST March 4: California’s first coronavirus fatality — an elderly patient who apparently contracted the illness on a cruise — prompted the governor Wednesday to declare a statewide emergency as six new cases, including a medical screener at Los Angeles International Airport, were confirmed.
The measure made California the third U.S. state to declare a state of emergency, after Washington and Florida. Hawaii joined them Wednesday, with no cases there yet and the governor saying an emergency declaration would help them prepare for a possible outbreak.
California has 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said the emergency proclamation is intended to help procure supplies and resources quickly. He announced the move Wednesday afternoon during a news conference, hours after the patient’s death in Placer County was announced.
Update 5 p.m. EST March 4: The House passed an $8.3 billion measure Wednesday to battle the coronavirus outbreak that’s spreading rapidly and threatening a major shock to the economy and disruptions to everyday life in the U.S.
The bipartisan vote was a relative rarity in a polarized Washington and came just nine days after the president outlined a $2.5 billion plan that both Trump’s GOP allies and Democratic critics said was insufficient.
The 415-2 vote came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi beat a tactical retreat on vaccine price guarantees and followed a debate that lasted only a few minutes.
The Senate is likely to pass the measure Thursday and send it to the White House for Trump’s signature.
The guidelines encouraged doctors to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms before referring patients for testing, the Times reported.
The change came one day after Vice President Mike Pence said “any American can be tested (for coronavirus with) no restrictions, subject to doctors’ orders,” according to CNN. Previously, CDC guidelines limited testing to only those who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the news network reported.
Experts told the Times they feared the changes, which expand the pool of potential patients who would qualify for testing, might strain the capacity health officials have to test the possible cases.
Update 2:30 p.m. EST March 4: Health officials in Placer County, California, announced the state’s first coronavirus death Wednesday.
Authorities said the person, an elderly adult who had underlying health conditions, was the second person in the county to test positive for COVID-19.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. ““While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions.”"
Officials said the person was believed to have been exposed to coronavirus during a trip on a Princess cruise ship from San Francisco to Mexico Feb. 11 to Feb. 21.
The death marks the 11th in the U.S.
Update 2:15 p.m. EST March 4: Officials in Washington have announced a 10th death connected to COVID-19, KIRO-TV reported.
Citing the Washington State Department of Health, KIRO-TV reported the death announced Wednesday happened in King County.
In total, 39 coronavirus cases have been reported in Washington state, 31 in King County and eight in Snohomish County, according to KIRO-TV. The totals include patients who have died, the news network reported.
Update 1:20 p.m. EST March 4: Italian officials announced the death toll in the country due to the 2019 novel coronavirus has risen from 76 to 107 and confirmed earlier reports that all the nation’s schools would be shut down to stymie the virus threat.
Italian health officials said 2,706 people have tested positive in the country for COVID-19. Just over 275 people have recovered from the viral infection.
Citing Italy’s ANSA news agency, BBC News reported that the Italian government has announced a plan to close schools and universities across the country until mid March due to the infection risk.
Update 1:05 p.m. EST March 4: The producers of the next series in the long-running James Bond movie franchise has been delayed until November in response to the coronavirus, according to The New York Times. The film had been slated to be released in North America on April 2.
In a statement obtained by the newspaper, film studios MGM and Universal, together with Bond series producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the group said that "after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of ‘No Time to Die’ will be postponed until November 2020.”
The Times reported the film will release in the U.K. on Nov. 12 and hit U.S. theaters on Nov. 25.
Update 12:45 p.m. EST March 4: Congressional negotiators struck a deal Wednesday to provide about $8 billion in funding to battle the coronavirus in the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.
White House officials are expected to back the deal and lawmakers in the House of Representatives are slated to vote on it later Wednesday, CNN reported.
Update 12:15 p.m. EST March 4: Two new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Northern Ireland, BBC News reported Wednesday.
The infections bring the total number of COVID-19 cases to three in Northern Ireland.
BBC News reported the new patients are adults, one of which recently returned from northern Italy, where the most number of European coronavirus cases have been confirmed thus far. Officials said the second new patient “was in contact with someone in the UK who had tested positive” for the coronavirus, according to BBC News.
Update 12:00 p.m. EST March 4: Officials with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health announced a health emergency Wednesday after six new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the county.
In total, officials said seven COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the county.
Update 10:55 a.m. EST March 4: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said four new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state, bringing the total number of cases in New York to six.
Cuomo said the cases announced Wednesday were tied to a previously reported infection involving a 50-year-old man from New Rochelle. The new cases include his wife, two of his children and the neighbor who drove him to the hospital.
“Remember,” Cuomo said in a statement posted on Twitter, "we have been expecting more cases (and) we are fully prepared. There is no cause for undue anxiety.
Update 9:40 a.m. EST March 4: Two new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Singapore, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 112, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.
The first case confirmed Wednesday involved a 43-year-old man who tested positive for the virus Tuesday afternoon, about a week after he first experienced symptoms of the infection. Officials said he was being treated Wednesday in an isolation room at the National University Hospital.
The second case involved a 62-year-old Singaporean woman employed at Creative O Preschoolers’ Bay, a day care center in Singapore. Her case was linked to another case, involving a 64-year-old Singaporean woman, that was confirmed late last month. The 62-year-old patient was being treated in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, officials said.
Update 9:25 a.m. EST March 4: A student at New York’s Yeshiva University has been identified as the state’s third person to test positive for the coronavirus, according to school officials.
In a health alert released Wednesday morning, officials with the university said the school’s Wilf Campus in Washington Heights would be closed for the day.
“This precautionary step will allow us to work with city agencies and other professionals to best prepare our campus and ensure the uncompromised safety of our students, faculty and staff,” officials said in the health alert.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters Tuesday that the child of a 50-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus was an undergraduate at Yeshiva University, WPIX reported. It was not immediately clear whether the undergraduate was the student who was reported ill Wednesday.
Update 8:45 a.m. EST March 4: Authorities in Italy are considering a plan to close all the country’s schools and universities until mid-March as health officials try to stymie the spread of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
The closures were suggested at a cabinet meeting Tuesday that included the country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, The Guardian reported, citing Italy’s ANSA news agency. According to the newspaper, the Italian government has already closed several schools and quarantined towns most affected by COVID-19.
After reports of the proposed closure surfaced, Italian Education Minister Lucia Azzolina said officials expected to decide whether to close all schools “in the next few hours,” BBC News reported.
Italy has seen the most coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 2,000 people ill and 76 deaths associated with COVID-19.
Update 6:13 a.m. EST March 4: The latest figures indicate the novel coronavirus infection rate in Iran is showing no signs of slowing down.
The total number of confirmed cases in Iran has now increased by an additional 486 to 2,822.
According to Iran’s Health Ministry, the latest data also includes an additional 15 deaths, bringing the nationwide death toll to 92, the largest concentration of fatalities outside mainland China.
Update 5:21 a.m. EST March 4: Iraq’s Wednesday report of its first confirmed novel coronavirus death marks the first virus-related fatality recorded outside Iran, The Washington Post reported.
“It’s going to get worse here,” a doctor in one Baghdad hospital, asking that their name be withheld due to government sensitivity over criticism, told the Post, adding, “People don’t understand how serious this is.”
Update 5:19 a.m. EST March 4: Global stocks regained their footing Wednesday, edging higher following an emergency rate cut by the Federal Reserve, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Update 5:17 a.m. EST March 4: South Korea confirmed an additional 293 novel coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the nationwide total to 5,612 and 32 deaths.
According to Jung Eun-kyeong, the head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about two-thirds of those cases have been related to a cluster transmission, while the others have transmitted sporadically, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, India reported a sharp increase in confirmed cases to 28, following testing of an Italian tour group. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told reporters that 16 of those confirmed with the virus were Italian tourists, while a bus driver who had been taking them on a tour had also tested positive.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong officials confirmed two additional novel coronavirus cases, boosting its nationwide total to 103 ; Belarus confirmed five new cases, bringing its nationwide total to six; and Greece confirmed one new case, bringing its nationwide total to eight.
Update 5:10 a.m. EST March 4: The World Health Organizations issued a warning Tuesday that a shortage of protective equipment is hampering global response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, CNN reported.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing that each month the organization estimates that about 89 million medical masks, 76 million examination gloves and 1.6 million goggles will be required globally for health care workers to continue responding to the outbreak.
Update 2:54 a.m. EST March 4: The novel coronavirus has sickened a total of 126 U.S. residents across 13 states, including 48 citizens repatriated from abroad.
Forty-five of the 48 repatriated citizens were sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off the coast of Japan. The three others were retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
The state-by-state breakdown is as follows:
• Arizona: 2
• California: 26
• Florida: 3
• Georgia: 2
• Illinois: 4
• Massachusetts: 2
• New Hampshire: 2
• New York: 2
• North Carolina: 1
• Oregon: 3
• Rhode Island: 2
• Washington state: 27 (includes 9 deaths)
• Wisconsin: 1
Update 2:50 a.m. EST March 4: With a total of 92,862 cases of novel coronavirus confirmed worldwide, the global death toll hit 3,200, health officials confirmed early Wednesday.
According to The Washington Post, the World Health Organization said Tuesday that COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, has killed about 3.4 percent of those diagnosed with the illness, significantly higher than experts had estimated previously and roughly three times the fatality rate associated with seasonal flu.
China’s National Health Commission confirmed an additional 38 people died by the end of Tuesday, bringing mainland China’s total deaths from the virus to 2,981.
The following is a breakdown of the 220 deaths to date recorded outside mainland China:
• Italy: 79
• Iran: 77
• South Korea: 32
• Japan: 12
• United States: 9
• France: 4
• Hong Kong: 2
• Australia: 1
• Philippines: 1
• Spain: 1
• Taiwan: 1
• Thailand: 1
The hardest hit country outside China remains South Korea, where more than 5,300 cases and 32 deaths have been reported.
Italy’s two most recent deaths attributed to the virus bring its tally to 79, making it not only the epicenter of the European outbreak but also the deadliest locale outside mainland China.
Meanwhile, Iran’s 2,336 cases have resulted in 77 deaths, prompting officials to announce Tuesday the temporary release of more than 54,000 inmates in an attempt to contain the virus’ spread. The illness has already infected 23 members, or about 8 percent, of the nation’s parliament, prompting the immediate suspension of parliament sessions until further notice.
Update 2:45 a.m. EST March 4: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is lifting all restrictions on testing for the novel coronavirus and the release of revised guidelines to fast-track testing nationwide.
“Today we will issue new guidance from the CDC that will make it clear that any American can be tested, no restrictions, subject to doctor’s orders,” Pence told reporters at the White House, The New York Times reported.
Update 2:43 a.m. EST March 4: The Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed on Tuesday that a veteran has tested positive for the virus and was transferred to the V.A. hospital in Palo Alto, California, The New York Times reported.
The patient was diagnosed on Monday and is being treated in isolation, a VA spokeswoman told the Times.
Update 2:41 a.m. EST March 4: With only 119 new cases confirmed in China on Tuesday, health experts shifted their focus to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus elsewhere.
Japan confirmed 17 new cases, bringing its nationwide total to 991. Although the vast majority – 706 – were contracted aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 284 people were sickened on land, and a total of 12 Japanese citizens have died.
Noor Hisham Abdullah, the director general of Health Malaysia, announced via Twitter on Tuesday that seven new confirmed cases bring the country’s total to 36.
Australia’s health minister, Greg Hunt, confirmed four new cases, bringing the nation’s total to 42.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health confirmed the country’s second novel coronavirus case early Wednesday.
Update 11 p.m. EST March 3: A man from New York City’s suburbs was hospitalized in serious condition with COVID-19, a case that prompted school closings and quarantines for congregants of a now-shuttered synagogue. The state’s second confirmed case also raised the possibility that the virus is spreading locally.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the 50-year-old lawyer from New Rochelle had no known travel history to countries where the outbreak of the new coronavirus has been sustained. But state and city officials said the man had done some traveling recently, including an early February trip to Miami.
The man, who commuted by train to work at a small Manhattan law firm and has children attending a school and college in New York City, had an underlying respiratory illness that potentially put him in more danger from the disease, officials said.
So far, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) says the second patient, an adult man from Grafton County, came into close contact with the first person to possibly test positive for the virus in the state. A hospital employee who recently traveled to Italy was the first person in New Hampshire to test positive for the new coronavirus, state officials said Monday.
The second patient is currently isolated at home and both presumptive positive tests have been sent to the CDC for further analysis and confirmation.
Update 3:45 p.m. EST March 3: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said a person in Wake County has tested a presumptive positive for coronavirus, marking the first case of the virus in the state, according to WSOC-TV.
Officials said the person was exposed during a visit to a long-term care facility in Washington state which has been associated with a majority of the coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S.
Officials said at least six people have died after being exposed to COVID-19 at Life Care Center of Kirkland.
In total, nine people have died in the U.S. of coronavirus, all in Washington state.
Update 3:30 p.m. EST March 3: President Donald Trump plans to donate a portion of his 2019 earnings to the Department of Health and Human Services to help the agency in its efforts to battle the coronavirus.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the planned donation was in-line with the president’s promise to donate his salary while in office. She shared a photo of a $100,000 check from Trump made out to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has donated his salary to a variety of efforts, CNN reported, including the departments of Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security.
Update 3 p.m. EST March 3: Officials with the Washington State Department of Health said a total of three new deaths have been reported in the state due to COVID-19, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 9 in the U.S.
“Today’s results include 2 additional deaths, along with an individual who was previously reported as ill but who has now died. This brings the total number of deaths in King County from COVID-19 to eight,” officials with Public Health - Seattle & King County said Tuesday, according to KIRO-TV.
Earlier Tuesday, officials confirmed two additional virus-related deaths in King County, including one from last week which officials subsequently linked to coronavirus.
Health officials said eight people have died in King County and one in Snohomish County. More than 230 people are being monitored by public health officials for signs of the virus.
Update 2:45 p.m. EST March 3: Officials with Public Health - Seattle & King County confirmed to KIRO-TV that an eighth person has died of coronavirus in the state.
Additional information on the eighth case was not immediately available. Earlier Tuesday, officials said a man who died last week at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center tested presumptive positive for coronavirus, a diagnosis that awaits confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials said 21 coronavirus cases have been reported in King County, including the fatal cases. Four other cases have been reported in Snohomish County, where one person has died.
Update 2:40 p.m. EST March 3: In a news release obtained by KIRO-TV, officials at Harborview Medical Center said medical workers might have been exposed to coronavirus last week while treating a patient who was later determined to have had the virus.
Officials said medical personnel transferred the man, who had underlying medical conditions, to Harborview from Life Care Center of Kirkland, a facility where five of the six COVID-19 deaths in King County were reported.
Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg told KIRO-TV hospital staff might have been exposed to coronavirus while treating the patient in an intensive care unit. The staff members were being monitored Tuesday.
Officials do not believe other patients were exposed to the virus.
The man whose death was reported Tuesday tested presumptive positive for coronavirus. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to verify the diagnosis before it’s official confirmed.
Update 2:10 p.m. EST March 3: A man who died last week at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center has been identified as having died of the coronavirus, KIRO-TV reported Tuesday.
A spokeswoman at Harborview Medical Center confirmed to KIRO-TV that the man was confirmed to have had the virus. The death marked the the sixth in King County and the seventh in Washington overall attributed to COVID-19.
Update 1:45 p.m. EST March 3: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 108 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in a dozen states since Jan. 21, including 45 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 27 which are under investigation.
Officials have determined 22 of the cases were travel-related while 11 are suspected of having spread from person-to-person. Three other cases in the U.S. involved Americans repatriated after falling ill in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak.
Six people have died of coronavirus in the U.S., all in Washington state.
Update 1:40 p.m. EST March 3: The number of deaths associated with the coronavirus in Italy has risen to 79, The Guardian reported, citing the country’ emergency commissioner and civil protection chief, Angelo Borelli.
A majority of COVID-19 cases reported in Italy were centered around the country’s norther Lombardy region, where residents of 10 towns have been under lockdown for over a week, The Guardian reported.
Italy has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus in Europe.
Update 1:05 p.m. EST March 3: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed Tuesday that a third Florida resident has tested positive for COVID-19.
WFTV reported the patient is the sister of a Hillsborough County woman who previously tested positive for the virus. Both women had traveled recently to northern Italy.
Update 12:30 p.m. EST March 3: Authorities in Argentina have confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the country, Argentinean news site Infobae reported, citing health officials.
The person was being treated Tuesday at a private clinic in Buenos Aires, according to Infobae.
Earlier Tuesday, officials with the World Health Organization said nearly 91,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, mostly in China. More than 3,100 people have died of the virus.
Update 11:20 a.m. EST March 3: The World Health Organization said 129 coronavirus cases were reported Monday in China, marking the lowest number of new cases seen in the country since Jan. 20.
Globally, officials said 90,893 cases of COVID-19 have been reported since December 2019, when the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China. Worldwide, 3,110 people have died, mostly in China.
Update 11:10 a.m. EST March 3: President Donald Trump called for further cuts to the Federal Reserve rate Tuesday morning after officials announced a half percentage point cut to its benchmark interest rate.
“The Federal Reserve is cutting but must further ease and, most importantly, come into line with other countries/competitors,” Trump said. “We are not playing on a level field. Not fair to USA."
Update 10:30 a.m. EST March 3: The Federal Reserve cut its by its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point Tuesday, bringing the rate down to 1 to 1 1/4% in an effort to bolster the economy amid coronavirus fears.
Chairman Jerome Powell noted that the coronavirus “poses evolving risks to economic activity."
It was the Fed's first rate cut since last year, when it reduced its key short-term rate three times. It is also the first time the central bank has cut its key rate between policy meetings since the 2008 financial crisis and the largest rate cut since then.
Stock market averages which had fallen sharply after the opening bell, swung almost 700 points into positive territory after the Fed announcement.
Update 10 a.m. EST March 3: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed two new cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 110.
The first case confirmed Tuesday involved a 70-year-old Singaporean man who tested positive for the virus Monday afternoon. Officials said he was being treated Tuesday in an isolation room at Singapore General Hospital.
The second case involved a 33-year-old Singaporean man whose infection appeared to be related to a cluster identified at Wizlearn Technologies Pte Ltd. He was being treated in an isolation room Tuesday at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, officials said.
Update 9:15 a.m. EST March 3: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that a second coronavirus case has been identified and confirmed in the state, according to The New York Times.
Cuomo identified the patient as a man in his 50s in Westchester County. The Times reported the man had no “direct connection with any known center of the contagion.”
Officials announced Sunday that a woman in her late 30s was the first to test positive for COVID-19 in New York. Cuomo said the woman contracted the virus while traveling in Iran. She was being isolated in her home as part of her treatment.
More than 101 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in a dozen states since the coronavirus was first seen late last year in Wuhan, China. In the U.S., six people have died of the virus, all in Washington state.
Update 7:30 a.m. EST March 3: As many as one million novel coronavirus tests could be administered by the end of the week as the number of confirmed cases in the United States rose to more than 100 on Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.
"My concern is as the next week or two or three go by, we're going to see a lot more community-related cases," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a news conference Monday. "That's of great concern."
To date, 101 cases have been confirmed across 12 states, resulting in six deaths since Saturday.
Update 7:28 a.m. EST March 3: According to Japan’s Olympics minister, the nation’s contract with the International Olympic Committee would allow it to postpone the games until the end of the year, The Washington Post reported.
“The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” Seiko Hashimoto said, according to Reuters.
Update 7:25 a.m. EST March 3: A person in Gibraltar has tested positive for coronavirus, making it the first case to be identified in the British territory.
According to the Gibraltar health authority, the patient – along with their partner – had returned recently from northern Italy via Spain’s Malaga airport.
The patient’s partner has not yet exhibited symptoms.
Update 5:22 a.m. EST March 3: Despite exhibiting symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus, Pope Francis has tested negative for the illness ravaging Asia, Europe and the Middle East, The Washington Post reported.
Pope Francis, 83, reported a fever, cough, sore throat and chills after spending most of last Wednesday outdoors in St. Peter’s Square, but test results received Tuesday were negative for the virus, the Post reported.
According to The Associated Press, the undisclosed sickness will prevent Pope Francis from participating – for the first time in his seven-year papacy – in an annual week-long spiritual retreat coinciding with the onset of Lent.
Update 5:20 a.m. EST March 3: Ukraine’s Ministry of Health confirmed the nation’s first novel coronavirus case on Tuesday.
Deputy Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said the infection was identified in the southwestern city of Chernivtsi. The patient, he said, had traveled recently with family members to Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s current outbreak.
“We had four suspected cases, and today one case got confirmed,” Lyashko said in a televised briefing.
Ukraine becomes the 74th country or territory to report a case of the virus outside mainland China, where the outbreak originated.
Update 5:18 a.m. EST March 3: The South Korean government confirmed another 374 cases of novel coronavirus only hours after reporting 600 new cases.
The latest figures bring the East Asia nation’s total new infections close to 1,000 in only 24 hours and pushed South Korea’s total number of infected residents to 5,186, making it the most concentrated outbreak outside of mainland China.
Update 5:16 a.m. EST March 3: The Czech Republic’s health minister confirmed Tuesday that five people – all with connections to Italy – have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The first three patients are two Czech citizens, who had been in northern Italy, and an American studying in Milan, CNN reported citing Czech state broadcaster Radio Prague International.
According to Radio Prague International, a young Ecuadorian woman who was travelling with the American student has now tested positive after being retested. The fifth patient is a woman from northern Bohemia who had returned from Italy on Friday.
With more than 2,000 confirmed virus infections, Italy remains the epicenter of Europe’s rapidly spreading outbreak.
Update 3:02 a.m. EST March 3: The novel coronavirus has infected more than 90,000 people globally and claimed more than 3,100 lives, according to the latest figures released early Tuesday.
And while diagnoses of new cases in mainland China appear to be tapering off, at least eight countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East have reported their first cases in just the past 24 hours. According to CNN, those countries include:
• Saudi Arabia
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care announced Tuesday that 40 people out of 13,525 screened have tested positive for the virus.
India confirmed its sixth novel coronavirus case, while Australian authorities confirmed four new cases bringing that nation’s total to 35.
“We are seeing a clear escalation in the diagnoses of the virus,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in a Tuesday news conference.
The novel coronavirus has been detected in patients spanning 73 countries and territories.
Update 3 a.m. EST March 3: With his government on a 24-hour full alert, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said testing will be aggressively expanded as the country declares “war” against the novel coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.
To date, South Korea has tested more than 121,000 people for the virus.
Early Tuesday morning, the nation confirmed an additional 600 cases, bringing South Korea’s total number of infections to 4,812, resulting in 29 deaths.
Update 11:45 p.m. EST March 2: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 on Monday night.
The woman is in her 20s and lives in Norfolk County. She recently traveled to Italy with a school group and was symptomatic, state health officials said. She is recovering at home.
Her test results came back positive at a state laboratory Monday night.
Test results will be sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If confirmed, this would be the second confirmed positive case of coronavirus in Massachusetts since the outbreak started in the United States in January.
Update 10 p.m. EST March 2: Gov. Brian Kemp announced Georgia has two coronavirus cases late Monday night during a news conference.
Kemp said a man had traveled to Milan, Italy.
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said the man was not showing symptoms of the virus until he got back to Atlanta and went to the doctor.
The governor said the two people are being quarantined inside the same home. The victims live in Fulton County.
The governor urged that there is no threat to the public.
Until now, there have been 101 confirmed cases across the United States, with a total of six people who have died from the virus in the country.
Update 8:30 p.m. EST March 2: The health ministry on Tuesday announced just 125 new cases of the virus detected over the past 24 hours, the lowest number since authorities began publishing nationwide figures on Jan. 21. Another 31 deaths were reported, all of them in the hardest-hit province of Hubei. The figures bring China’s total number of cases to 80,151 with 2,943 deaths.
China’s U.N. ambassador says the government believes that “victory” over the coronavirus won’t be far behind the coming of spring.
Zhang Jun told a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York that “China’s fight against the coronavirus is indeed making huge progress, and the situation is really becoming stable.”
Update 3:05 p.m. EST March 2: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed a pair of coronavirus cases reported in Florida, according to state health officials.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Sunday that the cases were presumptive positives for the virus, WFTV reported.
Update 2:55 p.m. EST March 2: A team from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has arrived in King County, Washington, where officials announced five people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Including a COVID-19 case in Snohomish County, six people have died of coronavirus in Washington, according to KIRO-TV. No other coronavirus deaths have been reported in the U.S.
“We expect to see the number of (coronavirus) cases to increase in the next days and weeks,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Office for Public Health for Seattle and King County, said Monday at a news conference.
Officials recommended people employ basic hand hygiene and avoid those who are ill in order to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
Update 2:25 p.m. EST March 2: Three more deaths have been reported in Washington state due to coronavirus, health officials said Monday at a news conference.
The cases bring the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state to six.
Update 1 p.m. EST March 2: Health officials in New Hampshire said Monday that they’re dealing with their first presumptive positive test for coronavirus.
The test results will still need to be confirmed by scientists with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said.
The patient, a hospital system employee, had recently returned from a trip to Italy, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and The Associated Press.
Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state epidemiologist, told the AP the patient, an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, was experiencing mild symptoms and remained at home Monday in Grafton County while health officials investigate.
More than 80,000 cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, have occurred worldwide since the virus emerged in China in late 2019. About 3,000 people have died. The illness is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia.
Update 12 p.m. EST March 2: Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 91 cases of coronavirus have been reported among Americans since January, including 45 cases connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Officials said the updated numbers include the cases of three Americans who tested positive for coronavirus after traveling to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak. Forty-three other cases have also been confirmed: 17 travel-related infections and 26 suspected to have spread from another infected person.
Update 11:50 a.m. EST March 2: Officials in Saudi Arabia have announced the country’s first coronavirus case, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing the state-run Saudi News Agency.
Officials said the infected person entered Saudi Arabia from Iran, via Bahrain. The person was being isolated Monday, according to Bloomberg.
Update 11:05 a.m. EST March 2: Officials with the World Health Organization said Monday that the number of coronavirus cases being reported in China continued to decline.
Officials in China reported 206 new COVID-19 cases to WHO on Sunday, according to authorities -- the lowest number of new cases reported daily in China since Jan. 22.
A total of 88,913 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, including 8,739 cases in 61 countries.
Update 11 a.m. EST March 2: Health officials in Hong Kong and Iraq have confirmed two new cases each of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
As of 8 p.m. local time Monday, officials with Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said they were investigating one new probable COVID-19 and confirmed a previously announced diagnosis. Along with the probable case, officials said 101 coronavirus infections have been seen in Hong Kong.
Officials with Iraq’s Health Ministry said two new COVID-19 cases were detected Monday in Baghdad, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 21, according to Reuters.
Update 10:25 a.m. EST March 2: Two more schools in Washington state will be closed Monday as a result of the coronavirus, according to KIRO-TV.
The schools, Mariner High School and Discovery Elementary School, are in the Mukilteo School District. Officials with the school district said a parent of a Mariner student was diagnosed Sunday with COVID-19. Officials said the student wasn’t showing any symptoms of the coronavirus, but the student would be quarantined at home and monitored for two weeks as a precaution. Officials said the student also visited Discovery Elementary School last week.
Several other schools in the state were also closed for deep cleaning and disinfection due to coronavirus fears.
Update 9:55 a.m. EST March 2: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding a news conference Monday morning to discuss the state’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, the coronavirus.
Update 9:45 a.m. EST March 2: President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday that he plans to meet later in the day with pharmaceutical companies to discuss the progress toward a coronavirus vaccine.
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and members of the White House’s Coronavrius Task Force are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Monday, according to pool reports.
“Progress being made!” the President wrote.
Update 9:20 a.m. EST March 2: England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, told the PA News Agency on Monday that four new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country.
The cases bring the total number of cases across the United Kingdom to 40, according to the news agency.
Update 9:05 a.m. EST March 2: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed two new cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus Monday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 108.
The first case confirmed Monday involved a 68-year-old Singaporean woman who tested positive for the virus Sunday afternoon. Officials said her case was linked to that of a 64-year-old woman who tested positive for coronavirus Feb. 26.
The second case involved a 34-year-old Filipino woman who was in Singapore on a work pass. Officials said her employer and at least one of the people she worked around were among those to test positive previously for coronavirus.
Update 6:46 a.m. EST March 2: The worldwide coronavirus death toll has topped 3,000, while the number of cases has reached 88,400, CNN is reporting.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the United States climbed to 89, according to the news outlet. They include 16 in California; 13 in Washington state; three in Illinois; two each in Florida, Rhode Island and Oregon; and one each in Massachusetts, Arizona, Wisconsin and New York. Another 44 U.S. cases were linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, while three others were linked to Wuhan, China, CNN reported.
Two people have died from the virus in Washington state, officials said.
Update 6:21 a.m. EST March 2: Six people living at the same nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Life Care Center is now ground zero in King County’s fight against the coronavirus as a man in his 70s died Saturday and a second person died Sunday from coronavirus. The deaths are linked to the facility.
A woman from Methow Valley came hoping she might be able to see her 89-year-old mother, a retired nurse, who is being rehabilitated at the facility.
“I did not expect to get in, no. They told me I wasn’t going to get in,” Kim Frey said.
However, she did and was given a mask before she was allowed in.
“Actually, I kinda was paying attention walking through and I didn’t hear any coughing. ... It’s kind of quiet in there.” Frey said.
KIRO-TV asked her how her mother was doing and she responded: “She’s doing good. Yeah. She was, like I said, better than when she came in three weeks ago,” Frey said.
She said the family considered moving her because of the coronavirus but, “As long as she’s receiving good care here, you know, that’s what’s important,” Frey said.
Late Sunday afternoon, KIRO-TV watched medics in masks take a resident away by ambulance.
Life Care officials told KIRO-TV that seven residents with respiratory illnesses were being monitored.
All of this has hit the city of Kirkland hard.
Twenty-five firefighters based at Fire Station 21, a mile and a half from Life Care, are in quarantine.
Two police officers who accompanied them are quarantined, too.
So the city has opened its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate its response to the crisis.
“We are doing a number of things right now, including supporting our firefighters that are in quarantine, as well as making sure that we’re providing for staffing,” said Kellie Stickney, spokeswoman for the city of Kirkland.
KIRO-TV talked by telephone to a Life Care worker who is also under quarantine, and she said she is sick and being tested for coronavirus. However, she has not received the results back.
The city of Redmond is feeling the effects of the coronavirus and seven Redmond medics are now in quarantine, too.
Update 3:55 a.m. EST March 2: A novel coronavirus patient who had been quarantined in Texas after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, by the U.S. State Department tested positive for the virus after she was released from isolation, multiple news outlets are reporting.
In a Sunday news release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient, who had been held at a San Antonio facility for “several weeks,” was released after she “met the criteria for release, including two negative test results” for the virus. However, she was again put in isolation “after a pending, subsequent lab test came up positive for the virus that causes COVID-19,” the release said.
“The discharged patient had some contact with others while out of isolation, and CDC and local public health partners are following up to trace possible exposures and notify them of their potential risk,” the CDC said.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, about 12 other people came into contact with the patient at a hotel.
“The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Niremberg said in a statement. “We will hold the CDC accountable to providing complete transparency for the public.”
Update 10:54 p.m. EST March 1: A second person has tested presumptive positive for the new coronavirus in Rhode Island.
The case is a teenager who is at home with mild symptoms, state health officials said.
An adult in her 30s is also being tested for the deadly virus. She is a staff member at Achievement First Academy in Providence. The school will be closed for two days pending the test results.
The people with the latest two possible cases were on the same trip as the man in his 40s whose positive test was announced earlier Sunday.
Their trip to Europe in mid-February was organized by Saint Raphael Academy.
Update 9:57 p.m. EST March 1: Two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Florida Sunday.
“Both individuals are isolated and being appropriately cared for,” health officials said in a statement.
The two presumptive positive cases include a Hillsborough County resident and a patient in Manatee County, health officials said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention still has to confirm the cases.
Update 9:17 p.m. EST March 1: A second patient with coronavirus has died in Washington state, health officials said Sunday night.
Health officials also reported three more cases of the deadly virus in the state, bringing the total in Washington to 13.
Update 9:03 p.m. EST March 1: A woman in her late 30s who had recently traveled to Iran is New York state’s first confirmed case of coronavirus, officials said Sunday.
The woman shows respiratory symptoms but is not considered to be in a serious condition, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She is isolated at home in Manhattan and has been in controlled environments since she arrived in New York, officials said.
“There is no cause for surprise -- this was expected,” Cuomo said in a statement. “As I said from the beginning, it was a matter of when, not if there would be a positive case of novel coronavirus in New York.”
Update 7:03 p.m. EST March 1: After two health care workers tested positive for the coronavirus in California, county officials are declaring a state of emergency in Alameda County.
The two cases are pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The people are health care workers at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital who were exposed to the virus by a patient hospitalized at the University of California Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento, according to a release. Both of the hospital workers are in isolation at home.
Health officials believe other health care workers who came in contact with the patient could also contract the virus and have been isolated or quarantined. They will not return to care for patients until they have been cleared.
“This underscores the challenging environment that health care workers everywhere face to stem the spread of communicable diseases,” Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County health officer, said in a statement.
Alameda County declared a public health emergency in an effort to get access to additional resources.
Update 1:38 p.m. EST March 1: Italian authorities said Sunday five more people have died from the coronavirus, boosting the death total to 34 since the first case of the virus was reported Feb. 21. According to The Associated Press, the number of people infected in Italy has jumped 40% in 24 hours, with 1,576 cases.
Update 1:04 p.m. EST March 1: Delta Air Lines announced Sunday it will suspend its daily international flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Milan’s Malpensa Airport for two months, the carrier said on its website.
The move, which takes effect early this week, is in response to the U.S. Department of State’s elevated travel advisory, which was raised to Level 4 on Sunday because of the spread of coronavirus cases in northern Italy.
Delta said it last eastbound flight from New York to Milan will depart Monday, while the final flight from Milan to New York will depart Tuesday. Service to and from Milan will resume May 1 and second, respectively, airline officials said.
Delta’s daily flights between Rome and both JFK in New York and Atlanta continue to operate as scheduled.
Update 9:44 a.m. EST March 1: The Rhode Island Department of Health announced the state’s first presumptive positive case of coronavirus Sunday morning, WFXT reported.
Health officials reported the person is in their 40s and had traveled to Italy in mid-February.
Update 8:49 a.m. EST March 1: Fearing the spread of the coronavirus, officials at France’s Louvre Museum decided to close Sunday, The Associated Press reported. More than 2,300 people work at the museum in Paris,
A record 10.2 million people visited the museum during 2019, the BBC reported. During 2018, nearly 75% of the museum’s visitors were foreigners, the network reported.
“We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” Andre Sacristin, a Louvre employee and union representative for its staffers, told the AP. “The risk is very, very, very great. It’s only a question of time,” before one of the workers is diagnosed with the virus.
Update 6:42 a.m. EST March 1: Two dozen emergency workers in Washington state are off the job as they are being monitored for possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Earlier Saturday evening, KIRO-TV was told it was seven fighters but that number climbed to 25, adding two police officers who are being quarantined.
Fire station 21 in Kirkland has a sign up tell people to keep out, including firefighters based there.
Each firefighter is believed to have possibly come in contact with the coronavirus cases at Life Care Center, a nursing facility in Kirkland. There are two confirmed cases of the virus there, and dozens of residents are reporting symptoms that might suggest the illness, health officials said.
Now the situation has resources being stretched thin.
To keep families safe during the public health crisis, KIRO-TV was told the department will be relying on neighboring firefighters should anything huge happen.
“We have excellent relationships with our regional fire departments, and we’re making sure we have all the conversations in place, so if we need assistance from our partners, that can be provided,” said Kellie Stickney, with the city of Kirkland.
The partnerships may soon include Kirkland police.
In downtown Kirkland, coronavirus has been the talk of the town.
“I’m not sure if we know how it’s been transmitted here, but I do hope we can keep it under control,” visitor Casey Dishman said.
Health works have insisted that none of the quarantined emergency workers have shown any symptoms and said it is just a necessary precaution.
This comes two weeks after Kirkland Fire posted job listings for rescuers.
Update 1:12 a.m. EST March 1: Seattle’s KIRO-TV found out Saturday evening that an area U.S. Postal Service employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
A corporate communications spokesperson said that the employee who works at a Seattle network distribution center located in Federal Way, Washington.
The network distribution center is a mail processing plant that distributes USPS marketing mail and package services in piece and bulk form and does not handle letter mail. No mail is delivered from the facility.
The spokesperson said USPS has been consulting with the county health department and was informed that the risk to other employees is low.
KIRO was also told that USPS will continue to follow the recommended strategies from county and federal health officials.
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