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Coronavirus updates: Coronavirus infections in U.S. top 500

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Grand Princess cruise ship to dock in California

Follow Monday's latest coronavirus updates here.

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States topped 500 on Sunday as federal, state and local officials throughout the country tried to reassure citizens of public health plans to deal with the ongoing outbreak. The U.S. State Department urged all American citizens to avoid cruise travel as a cruise ship hit by the coronavirus remained 10-12 miles offshore near the port of Oakland. 

The number of cases worldwide topped 100,000, with more than 80,000 in mainland China. As the number of people sickened in Italy climbed above 7,000, the country surpassed South Korea as having the second-highest number of infections. 

 A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army said the army has decided to restrict travel of soldiers to and from South Korea and Italy due to coronavirus.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state has the ability to test nearly 8,000 individuals at 15 different labs. There are so far 85 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately allow state labs with the correct equipment and kits to begin testing for positive coronavirus cases due to the federal government's lack of keeping up with outbreak demands.

Here is a breakdown of the number of cases in the most affected countries (Full list is here):

  • China: 80,699 cases, 3,097 deaths
  • Italy:  7,375 cases, 366 deaths
  • S.Korea: 7,314 cases, 50 deaths
  • Iran: 6,566 cases, 194 deaths
  • France: 1,126 cases, 19 deaths
  • Germany: 1,018, 0 deaths
  • U.S.: 516 cases, 21 deaths

For information on prevention and treatment, visit the Centers for Disease Control website here

 

Columbia, Stanford, others suspend in-person classes

Barnard College, Columbia University and Stanford University announced they are cancelling in-person classes, for now. Hofstra University canceled in-person classes for the week, and Rice University scrapped classes for this week altogether.

Stanford, located in California, where 99 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus, has cancelled all in-person classes for the remainder of the winter quarter, provost Persis Drell said in a letter.

"To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction," the letter read. "Any winter quarter final exams that were scheduled to be administered in person will need to be administered in take-home format, complying with university rules for such exams."

Barnard and Columbia, both in New York, are "suspending classes on Monday and Tuesday and moving to remote classes through the end of the week before spring break," according to a statement from Barnard President Sian Leah Beilock.

Neither the Barnard nor Columbia campuses will be shut down, and facilities such as libraries and dining halls will remain open.

Hoftstra, in Hempstead, New York, on Long Island, called off in-person classes for the week. Rice University, in Houston, canceled all classes for the week.

By Jordan Freiman
 

Oil slips 20% as another coronavirus-fueled trading week to kick off

Oil prices are plunging as a dispute among producers could lead a global economy weakened by COVID-19 to be awash in an oversupply of crude. Brent crude, the international standard, lost $9.50, or 20.1%, to $35.77 per barrel, as of 7:58 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday after earlier touching its lowest price since 2016. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $8.64 to $32.64.

The dramatic losses follow a 10.1% drop for U.S. oil on Friday, which was its biggest loss in more than five years. Prices are falling as Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-producing countries argue how much to cut production in order to prop up prices.

—  The Associated Press 

 

Delta suspends flights between Atlanta and Rome

Delta has temporarily suspended flights between Atlanta, Georgia, and Rome, Italy, the company announced Sunday. The company will continue to operate flights between Rome and New York City throughout the month of March.

By Jordan Freiman
 

Italy quarantines tens of millions of people

Italy quarantines tens of millions of people against the coronavirus
By Jordan Freiman
 

Ted Cruz says he is staying in Texas after interacting with CPAC attendee diagnosed with coronavirus

Senator Ted Cruz said Sunday that he "interacted briefly" with the CPAC attendee who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. Cruz said he is not experiencing any symptoms and feels "fine and healthy," but he has decided to stay in Texas until "a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction." The interaction occurred 10 days ago, according to Cruz.

The American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, said Sunday that the Maryland Department of Health has screened thousands of employees at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center and the Residence Inn. "At this time, not a single person has reported any unusual illness," the ACU said.

CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp told The Washington Post on Saturday that he interacted with the infected patient. Although the chronology is unclear, Schlapp also shook President Trump's hand on the last day of the conference.

By Caroline Linton
 

U.S. State Department recommends Americans avoid cruise travel

The U.S. State Department on Sunday recommended Americans avoid cruise travel amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

"CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment," the State Department said on its website. "In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking.  In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures. While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities."

California Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference Sunday that the 2,000 passengers aboard the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship would not be released into the general public. Passengers will be sent to federal military installations for medical screening, COVID-19 testing, and a 14-day quarantine, federal health officials said. 

The crew members will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship, but importantly, the ship will only stay docked at Port of Oakland for the duration of disembarkment. Nineteen crew members and two passengers have tested positive for coronavirus. 

By Caroline Linton
 

New York City mayor: "If you are sick, you shouldn't be going on the subway"

NYC mayor urges sick New Yorkers to stay off subways during coronavirus outbreak

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed another case of coronavirus in the city, bringing the total to 13. At a press conference Sunday afternoon, he urged New Yorkers to take extra precautions if they feel sick.

"If you are sick, you shouldn't be going to a public event," he said. "If you are sick, you shouldn't be going to work. If you are sick, you shouldn't be going on the subway."

De Blasio said public schools will remain open for now and the city is not altering its stance on public events yet. But he said the city should be prepared to see hundreds of cases in the next few weeks. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier urged New Yorkers to avoid crowded subway trains.

On Sunday morning, Cuomo urged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately allow local labs with the correct equipment and kits to begin testing for positive coronavirus cases due to the federal government's lack of keeping up with outbreak demands, CBS New York reports

"We don't have the testing capacity we need," he said. "It's essential to containment. Just do the approval and do it today."

By Caroline Linton
 

Westchester lawyer whose husband tested positive for coronavirus: "I beg you all to stay calm"

A Westchester lawyer whose husband is at the center of the New York outbreak broke her silence on Sunday with a Facebook post. Adina Lewis Garbuz, who is a partner at the law firm Lewis and Garbuz, wrote that her husband is "critical," but no other members of their family have been sick with anything other than a "slight cough."

Garbuz said she is "very hopeful" her husband will make a "full recovery." 

"We would have preferred this all remain private but since it is no longer, I wanted to at least share some truths and allay people's fears," Garbuz wrote. 

Garbuz assured that she had "personally immediately contacted everyone in our firm and all were quarantined."

Garbuz said that she recognized that there would be "pandemonium" when her husband was diagnosed.

"Other than offering what I could to stop this from spreading further, all I and my family care about is that my husband/ their father get better," Garbuz wrote. "We shuttered the windows, turned off the internet and together stayed strong and in good spirits. I am incredibly blessed that my children while still relatively young have the wisdom to know to keep their heads clear and focus only on the important, the health of their dad and those around us. Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers- I believe it is what will get us all through this trying time. I beg you all to stay calm and keep out of the hoopla. Be smart with good hygiene and know this too will pass."

By Caroline Linton
 

Number of coronavirus infections climbs above 7,000 in Italy

The number of cases of coronavirus in Italy climbed to 25% to 7,375 cases, according to the Civil Protection Agency. Italy now has the highest number of infections outside China, surpassing South Korea.

Among the latest people to test positive in Italy is the army's chief of staff, BBC News reports. Salvatore Farina said he felt well and was self-isolating.

By Caroline Linton
 

Oregon governor declares state of emergency as cases double

Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency after health officials identified seven new cases of the coronavirus, doubling the state's number of cases.

"This emergency declaration gives the Oregon Health Authority and the Office of Emergency Management all the resources at the state's disposal to stem the spread of this disease," Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement. "We will do everything it takes, within our power and in coordination with federal and local officials, to keep Oregonians safe."

The state of emergency will be in effect for 60 days but can be extended, Brown's office said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Senator says government has "no concept of the scope" of coronavirus spread

Sen. Chris Murphy says government has "no concept of the scope" of coronavirus spread

Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy lambasted the Trump administration for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and said the federal government has "no concept" of the virus' spread due to a lack of extensive testing.

Connecticut is one of the 33 states with confirmed cases of coronavirus, though Murphy believes there could be "hundreds if not thousands" of additional unknown cases in his home state.

"I think we have no concept of the scope of this epidemic yet because we have not been able to test," Murphy said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "The fact of the matter is we can't make good judgments about the measures we should be taking in Seattle or Danbury or Hartford unless we are able to do these tests."

Read more of Murphy's comments on "Face the Nation" here

 

Washington governor weighing "mandatory measures"

Inslee says state considering "mandatory measures" to address coronavirus

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said his state, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., is examining whether "mandatory measures" are required to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

"We are contemplating some next steps, particularly to protect our vulnerable populations and our nursing homes and the like," Inslee, a Democrat, said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "We are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required."

Inslee said his state has enacted measures designed to limit the number of people exposed, including by encouraging teleworking and canceling or postponing events with a large number of attendees, such as Emerald City Comic Con.

But Inslee said Washington state officials are considering "stronger measures."

"We are looking at extending what are voluntary decisions right now," he said. "We've asked a whole host of communities to consider whether you really need to have your events right now and they are being canceled."

Read more of Inslee's comments from "Face the Nation" here

 

Rector of prominent D.C. church tests positive for coronavirus

christ-church.png
Christ Church, Georgetown, in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, March 8, 2020. CBS News

The first person to test positive for coronavirus in Washington, D.C., is the prominent leader of a historic Episcopal church in Georgetown, the church said Sunday.

The Reverend Timothy Cole, rector of Christ Church Georgetown, was diagnosed at the hospital Saturday night and is in stable condition, according to the Reverend Crystal Hardin, the assistant to the rector, who spoke at a press conference outside the church Sunday. 

In an email to parishioners obtained by CBS News, Cole confirmed he has tested positive, and said services were suspended "out of an abundance of caution for the most vulnerable among us." All services were canceled Sunday, the first time the church has closed since a fire in the 1800s, Hardin said. 

"I can now confirm that I am the individual who tested positive for the Coronavirus," Cole wrote in his email. "First, I want to assure you that I will be okay. I am receiving excellent care and am in good spirits under the circumstances. I will remain quarantined for the next 14 days as will the rest of my family."

Read more here.

 

Surgeon general says administration "still working" on plan for cruise ship passengers

Surgeon general says administration "still working" on isolation plan for infected cruise ship passengers

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said federal officials are "still working" on where to put passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship who test positive for the coronavirus.

"We're still working out where we can best put those folks," he said Sunday on "Face the Nation."

The Grand Princess is set to dock temporarily at a port in Oakland, California, and begin disembarking passengers as early as Monday.

"That plan is being developed right now," Adams said regarding how to handle passengers on the cruise ship. "There are almost 4,000 people on that cruise ship. We're working with the Department of Defense. The most important thing for American people to know is that folks who test positive will be kept isolated so that they cannot expose other people."

The state of California said Sunday that passengers won't be released into the general public, as those who don't need medical care after undergoing health screenings will be quarantined in facilities in California, if they are residents, or elsewhere.

"There's a difference between quarantine and isolation," Adams said. "Isolation is where you put people who actually have tested positive. Quarantine is where you put people who've been exposed. We may be quarantining people in different places across the country while we watch them for 14 days to make sure they don't develop symptoms. But no one who's tested positive for a coronavirus or who has symptoms will be put in a position where they can expose other people."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Italy puts a quarter of the population under lockdown

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday local time that the region of Lombardy along with several other provinces will be placed on lockdown until at least April 3, according to The Associated Press.

Entry and exit from these regions will be prohibited except for rare exceptions. The lockdown affects roughly a quarter of the entire population of Italy.

On Saturday, Italy reported 1,247 new confirmed cases and 36 additional deaths. Italy is the hardest hit country outside of Asia.

By Associated Press
 

First cases reported in Vermont, Virginia, Missouri and Washington, D.C.

Multiple states reported their first positive cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday.

The Vermont Department of Health said in a statement an adult has tested positive and is "currently hospitalized and in an airborne infection isolation room." The department is waiting on confirmation of the positive test from the CDC.

A U.S. Marine stationed at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia, has also tested positive, according to the Department of Defense. The Marine recently returned from overseas and is being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

In Missouri, a 20-year-old woman from St. Louis County tested positive for the coronavirus, Governor Mike Parson confirmed Saturday. The woman is currently in isolation at her home.

A Washington, D.C., resident has also tested positive for the virus, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference. The patient is a man in his 50s who has not traveled overseas recently and has had no known contact with other patients. The patient did not attend either CPAC or AIPAC, according to Bowser. Both conferences were held in the D.C. area and attendees of both have since tested positive for coronavirus.

By Jordan Freiman
 

China reports 44 new cases, 27 new deaths

China on Saturday reported 44 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 27 new deaths. All 27 deaths were in Hubei province.

By Jordan Freiman
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