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Coronavirus updates: Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tests positive for coronavirus

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Follow Friday's latest coronavirus updates here.

The global coronavirus pandemic reached the Canadian government Thursday as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for disease, according to a statement tweeted by Trudeau's communications director. Trudeau and his wife are continuing with a 14-day quarantine. 

Meanwhile in the U.S., public events are being canceled. Travel bans are in place. Schools are closing, colleges and univerities are holding classes online only, and Broadway is suspending shows as authorities race to combat and contain the global coronavirus outbreak.

The pandemic is taking a huge toll on the financial markets. They plunged again Thursday and trading came to a halt after President Trump announced his decision to ban non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in many European nations from entering the United States for a month. It's an unprecedented attempt to stop the spread of the new virus. The White House said the restrictions would take effect at midnight Saturday.

The president spoke Wednesday night, hours after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. health agency was "deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity" of the disease it causes, COVID-19.

As of Thursday morning, more than 1,300 cases had been confirmed in the United States and at least 42 deaths were blamed on the virus. There have been more than 126,000 cases worldwide, and more than 4,600 people have died. The vast majority of cases are mild, and almost half of those infected have recovered.

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

 

Coronavirus has cost global stock markets $16 trillion in less than a month

Asian stocks fell sharply on Friday, continuing a global market decline tied to the novel coronavirus. Global stock market losses climbed past $16 trillion since a high on February 19 on fears that the outbreak could lead to a worldwide recession, according to S&P Dow Jones indices.  

The biggest dive in Asian markets on Friday was in Japan. That country's Nikkei average was down as much as 9.5%, echoing a brutal 10% collapse in U.S. markets on Thursday, which was the largest single day decline since 1987's Black Monday. 

China stocks were also down, but not by as much, with the Hang Seng down nearly 6%. Stocks on the Shanghai market fell 3%. Australian markets tumbled nearly 8%.

Futures markets were also suggesting that Friday trading in the U.S. would produce another depressingly down day on Wall Street, although any sell-off might not be as severe as it has been in past days. 

As of 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, futures markets indicated the Dow Jones industrial average would drop another 500 points, or about 2%, on Friday morning. S&P 500 futures indicated a 2% drop for that index on Friday as well.

Read more here

By Stephen Gandel
 

Justin Trudeau's wife tests positive for coronavirus

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement tweeted by Trudeau's communications director. 

The announcement came a few hours after the Associated Press reported that Trudeau's wife was experiencing flu-like symptoms. She began experiencing mild symptoms, including a fever, on Wednesday night after returning from a speaking engagement in the United Kingdom. 

Sophie Trudeau will "remain in isolation for the time being," according to the statement. Justin Trudeau will also continue to self-isolate. 

"She is feeling well, is taking all the recommended precautions and her symptoms remain mild," the statement said. "The Prime Minister is in good health with no symptoms." 

Justin Trudeau will remain in isolation for 14 days, and will not be tested because he is not exhibiting any symptoms. According to the statement, doctors have said there is "no risk" to the people the prime minister has been in contact with recently. 

The prime minister will continue with duties as normal and will address Canadians on Friday.

By Li Cohen
 

Alaska reports first presumptive positive coronavirus case

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced the state's first coronavirus case on Thursday. State health officials described the patient as a foreign national who flew to Alaska before falling ill. 

The chief medical officer for the state lauded the patient for calling ahead before seeking medical attention, and described him as "incredibly kind and cooperative." Officials emphasized that this was not a case of community transmission. 

Earlier in the day, Dunleavy had declared a state of emergency to free up resources to fight the virus. 

There are now only three U.S. states that have not announced a coronavirus case: Alabama, West Virginia and Idaho. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Diplomat working at the U.N.'s New York headquarters has tested positive

A diplomat from the Philippines mission to the United Nations has tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a note sent to U.N. mission. The woman is the first confirmed coronavirus case at the U.N.'s New York headquarters. 

"As of today, the Philippine Mission is in lockdown, and all personnel are instructed to self-quarantine and to seek medical attention should they develop the symptoms. We are assuming that all of us have been infected," Reuters reported Philippine acting U.N. Ambassador Kira Azucena wrote in a message.

 

Disney World to close through end of March

Disney announced Thursday that the theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and the Disneyland Paris Resort will close beginning at the close of business on March 15. Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning March 14. 

The parks will be closed through the end of the month, according to a statement tweeted by ABC News. 

The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members while the park is closed, according to the statement. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Arlington National Cemetery will close to visitors

Arlington National Cemetery will be closed to visitors starting Friday, March 13, the cemetery announced in a tweet. The cemetery said funerals will be conducted as scheduled, and that family pass holders can still visit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The announcement didn't say when it will reopen to the public. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Kansas announces first coronavirus death, bringing U.S. death toll to 42

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced the state's first death from COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the U.S. death toll to at least 42. In a press conference, Kelly described the patient as a man in his 70s from Wyandotte County who had underlying health issues. She also announced a state of emergency to free up resources to fight the virus. 

Kansas is the seventh state to announce that a resident has died of coronavirus. New Jersey, California, Washington, Florida, Georgia and South Dakota have all previously announced coronavirus deaths. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Biden and Sanders tell staff to work from home because of coronavirus

Joe Biden plans to stay at his home in Wilmington, traveling only in the coming days to the debate in Washington on Sunday, campaign staff told CBS News on Thursday. Biden's campaign is also instructing employees in field offices across the country to work from home, in light of the threat posed by COVID-19, according to a memo obtained by CBS News. The campaign is giving state-based staff the option of returning to their homes and said it would help with their travel.

For those who don't have permanent residences, the Biden campaign will offer "remote office pods" that allow staff to live and work together.

Beginning Saturday, all of the Biden campaign's offices — field and headquarters — will be closed to the public, the memo said. 

Bernie Sanders has adopted a similar plan. His communications director, Mike Casca, released a statement Thursday afternoon: "In light of concerns about coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution for our staff, volunteers and supporters, the Sanders campaign has asked all staff to work from home and will no longer hold large events or door-to-door canvasses, instead moving to digital formats and outreach wherever possible."

The Trump campaign is now giving campaign staffers the option of working remotely, too, according to a campaign official.

"The Trump campaign is built on data and uses technology to its highest advantages, so (it) is better positioned to virtually engage voters than any other campaign," the official said in a statement. "We have a huge advantage over Democrats and are well on our way toward our goal of two million trained volunteers, which means we already have an army we can mobilize to help re-elect the President." 

By Ellen Uchimiya
 

Payroll tax holiday and tax deadline extension mostly help the rich

President Trump has proposed a number of tax measures to help shield the U.S. economy from the coronavirus, including a payroll tax "holiday" and a delay in the April 15 tax filing deadline. Yet neither policy is likely to boost Americans as much as the White House might hope, economists say.

For one, cutting payroll taxes would do nothing to help people who've been laid off or furloughed and aren't getting a paycheck. It would also bypass the elderly—a group that is vulnerable to the novel coronavirus and most of whom don't work. And while a payroll tax holiday would amount to a raise for many workers, the biggest winners would be high earners. 

Meanwhile, delaying the April 15 deadline for people to file their income taxes would let people hold onto their cash rather than sending it to the IRS, at least in the short term. The problem: People who owed taxes would get some relief, those expecting refunds could find themselves waiting longer for their money. 

A related problem is that the vast majority of taxpayers — about 80% — get money back when they file, and the vast majority of them are low- or moderate-income workers — just the kind of person who is mostly likely to spend.

"That refund check, for a lot of Americans, is the single largest bump of income in the year," said Clayton Allen, an equity analyst at Height Securities. 

"A lot of those payments go to things like medical bills and other expenses that are really pretty crucial. If you delay that tax refund process, that's not going to help if your concern is [economic] stimulus," he added.

By Irina Ivanova
 

NASCAR races will go on as scheduled – without fans

NASCAR races will go on as scheduled amid the global coronavirus outbreak – but no fans will be in attendance. NASCAR announced on Twitter on Thursday that races at at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway will go on with restricted crew, competitors officials and other necessary personnel only.

Anyone who goes to the infield care center potential coronavirus symptoms will be appropriately handled by medical professionals, according to CBS Sports. Individual NASCAR teams are also taking action to prevent the spread of coronavirus. On Thursday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced it would not allow visitors.

NASCAR's decision to hold races without fans comes after multiple sports completely suspended their seasons.

By Caitlin O'Kane
 

Schools close across the country

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted K-12 schools and universities to close across the U.S. Each state has responded to the outbreak with unique guidance. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that "all of the state's K-12 schools, including private and charter schools, will close" starting Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed until April 3. 

"We have a responsibility to save lives. We could have waited to close schools, but based on advice from health experts, this is the time to do it," DeWine said on Twitter. 

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that if a student tests positive for the virus, their school will close for 24 hours so health officials can assess the situation. On Thursday, the governor banned all public gatherings of 500 or more people, but said the ban does not apply to schools.

All K-12 schools have closed in New Rochelle, New York, where a large cluster of the virus has emerged. 

New Rochelle superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo said in a statement Thursday that the "decision will provide the appropriate federal, state and local authorities the time to develop the best short- and long-term plan."

"Students and staff, with the exception of certain key personnel, will not be permitted in any of our schools while we assess and consider all of the information and guidance being provided to the (school district), which has literally changed by the hour."

Schools have also closed in Washington state, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey and California. 

By Audrey McNamara
 

France closes all schools

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday that all of the country's schools, kindergartens and universities will be closed until further notice, in a strategy to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The closures will begin on Monday.
 
In a televised address, Macron called the outbreak the most serious health crisis France has faced in a century. He said the priority is to protect the most vulnerable, and urged people over 70 to stay home.
 
Macron added that "non-essential" treatment in hospitals is also postponed.
 
According to data from Johns Hopkins, France has more than 2,200 confirmed cases and at least 48 deaths. 

— The Associated Press

 

Disneyland to close park through end of March

Disneyland announced Thursday that it will be closing through the end of March, citing coronavirus concerns. 

"While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Disneyland Resort, after carefully reviewing the guidelines of the Governor of California's executive order and in the best interest of our guests and employees, we are proceeding with the closure of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure," the park said in a statement.  

Those sections of the resort will be closed beginning March 14, according to the statement, although customers staying at Disney-owned hotels will have two additional days to make travel arrangements. 

By Victoria Albert
 

U.S. working to cut "red tape" on coronavirus testing, Mike Pence says

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday the United States is working to cut any "red tape" that is hindering coronavirus testing, following reports of barriers for doctors. He insisted that doctors across the country can get the tests they need.  

"We are going to continue to work in every way to clear out, as the president said, any red tape, any barriers to testing that might have existed at the FDA," Pence said on "CBS This Morning."

There are more than 1,300 known coronavirus cases in the United States and 39 people have died. On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump declared a ban on non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in many European nations from entering the U.S. in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus further. 

But the government has been criticized for not doing enough testing, making it difficult to determine an accurate number for how many Americans are actually infected. The U.S. has tested at least 8,900 people, according to the COVID Tracking Project. South Korea, meanwhile, has tested up to 10,000 a day. 

Read more of Pence's interview here

 

NCAA cancels March Madness

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Thursday that it is cancelling the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as the rest of the remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.

The announcement comes after a number of professional sports leagues have suspended upcoming tournaments. 

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors said in a statement.

CBS Sports has a full list of sports cancellations here

By Victoria Albert
 

Virginia declares state of emergency

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He advised all Virginians to avoid large gatherings "for the time being" and said he was canceling all state conferences and large events for the next 30 days.

He also announced new restrictions on travel for state workers.

"The situation is fluid, and it is changing rapidly," Northam said at a press conference.

Virginia has 17 "presumptive positive" cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.

-The Associated Press

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Investors fear American Airlines cash crunch after coronavirus travel ban

American Airlines is suffering its worst financial turbulence since the September 11 terror attacks, with Wall Street traders increasingly betting the No. 3 U.S. airline might be not be able to repay lenders due to growing economic damage from the novel coronavirus.

The latest hit to the carrier — and the travel industry in general — came on Wednesday night when President Trump announced a surprise ban on nearly all in-bound flights from much of Europe to the U.S. 

Shares of American Airlines tumbled 9% on Thursday. Its shares are down 47% so far this year. Worse, the price of buying debt insurance that would pay out if company were to default has soared to $1,353 to cover a loss of $100,000 of American Airlines debt, according to FactSet. That's up 5,700% from just $23 a month ago.

Read more

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

MLB cancels spring training games, delays regular season by two weeks

Major League Baseball announced Thursday it is canceling all spring training games immediately and delaying the start of its regular season "by at least two weeks." 

"Following a call with 30 clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robet D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic," reads a statement released Thursday. 

The MLB joins the NBA and Major League Soccer in postponing or canceling games. 

"This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans," reads the statement. 

The MLB said they will "announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time."

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

New York bans gatherings of 500 or more people, including Broadway shows

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a temporary ban on public gatherings of 500 or more people -- including New York City's Broadway shows -- in an effort to "reduce the density of people across the state."

Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday the ban will go into effect at 5 pm. The governor said he spoke to Broadway theaters ahead of the announcement, and they agreed to the closures.

The Broadway League said in a statement Thursday it is immediately suspending all shows through April 12 "in support of the health and well-being of the theatre going public, as well as those who work in the theatre industry."

The league said people should contact the places where they purchased their tickets for refunds and exchanges.

"The Broadway League will continue to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus situation on behalf of the Broadway community and make decisions as circumstances require, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and state and local health officials," it said

Additionally, Cuomo said all facilities with 500 or fewer people will have their "legal capacity" halved. The 50% reduction, however, only applies to buildings with 500 people in the same general area.

Cuomo said the ban does not yet have an end date.

"It will be calibrated to the end of the virus and the treatment of the virus," he said.

"We are still ascending... this is going to get worse before it gets better." 

By Audrey McNamara
 

Biden lays out coronavirus plan, faulting Trump administration for "colossal" failure

Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak, calling the lack of available testing a "colossal" failure while laying out his own plan to combat the virus.

In a speech Thursday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said he had created an advisory council to advise him on how to respond to the crisis. His campaign released a lengthy two-pronged plan to address the public health aspect of the virus as well as its economic impact.

"The core principle is simple: public health professionals must be the ones making our public health decisions and communicating with the American people," Biden said.

The former vice president's proposal would establish mobile testing sites and make tests available for all Americans at no charge. "The administration's failure on testing is colossal, and it's a failure of planning, leadership and execution," Biden said.

Read more

By Grace Segers
 

NHL "pausing" season

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Thursday it is pausing its season, one day after the NBA suspended play after a player tested positive Wednesday for COVID-19.

"In light of ongoing developments resulting from the coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019‑20 season beginning with tonight's games," Bettman said in a statement. 

"The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures," Bettman said. "However, following last night's news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus - and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point - it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time."

-The Associated Press

 

Metropolitan Museum closing, Carnegie Hall canceling events

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Thursday it is temporarily closing all three of its locations: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters. They will close on Friday. It is unclear when they will reopen. 

All Metropolitan Opera performances have also been canceled through March 31 "effective immediately," it announced on Thursday.

Carnegie Hall said it canceled all events from March 13 through March 31 "in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus."

"This includes programming presented by the Hall's Weill Music Institute—whether taking place at Carnegie Hall or an offsite location—and all free Carnegie Hall Citywide performances in venues across New York City," it said in a statement. 

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

CNN Democratic debate moved from Phoenix to Washington, D.C.

Sunday's Democratic debate between former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders has been moved from Phoenix to Washington, D.C., in order to reduce travel. The debate, hosted by CNN, will have no live audience. 
 
"Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday's debate at CNN's studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience," DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement Thursday.
 
Hinojosa added that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, slated to co-moderate the debate, will no longer participate due to potential exposure to the virus "out of an abundance of caution." Ramos was "in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus," according to Hinojosa, but has not shown any symptoms and was cleared by medical professionals.
 
Univision anchor Ilia Calderón will step in for Ramos.

By Audrey McNamara
 

Philippine president announces Manila travel restrictions

The Philippine government placed the country's capital, Manila, and its outlying cities on partial lockdown Thursday, one day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Beginning Sunday, all forms of domestic travel to and from Manila will be restricted.
 
The virus appeared to have largely spared the Philippines, but the number of cases recently soared from a handful last week, to dozens. Five deaths have been recorded in the country as of Thursday. A lockdown, according to health department officials, means there is sustained community transmission of the coronavirus in the city of 13 million.
 
In a televised address to the nation, President Rodrigo Duterte laid out measures that he said were extreme but necessary. Foreigners traveling from countries with coronavirus cases will also not be granted entry. Schools are suspended for a month, and mass gatherings are prohibited. Businesses, however, will remain open, he said.
 
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told local radio station DZMM that delivery of goods will not be affected, and residents of provinces who work in the city will be allowed in.
 
Local governments, however, are empowered to quarantine entire neighborhoods if and when an outbreak occurs.

 -Barnaby Lo 

 

Canadian prime minister is self-isolating at home

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is self-isolating at home after his wife exhibited flu-like symptoms. 

Trudeau's office said Sophie Grégoire Trudeau returned from a speaking engagement in the United Kingdom and began exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever late Wednesday night. She is being tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results.
  
The statement said "Out of an abundance of caution, the prime minister is opting to self-isolate and work from home until receiving Sophie's results."

-The Associated Press

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Starbucks stores may go drive-thru only

Some Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada may become drive-thru only only while others could limit the number of people allowed inside, the company said.

"As a last resort, we will close a store if we feel it is in the best interest of our customers and partners, or if we are directed to do so by government authorities," Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a letter to customers.

Johnson emphasized that any closures will be temporary. The company said decisions will be made on a store-by-store basis.

The Seattle roaster has approximately 15,000 U.S. stores and 1,600 Canadian stores. Most are owned by the company but some - including locations in retail stores and airports - are run by licensees.

Starbucks has already increased the pace of sanitizing stores and put into place a temporary ban on use of personal cups or in-store mugs and glassware.

-The Associated Press

 

Major League Soccer suspends season

Major League Soccer has suspended games for 30 days, effective immediately. MLS joins the NBA as the second major sports league to suspend games amid the coronavirus pandemic
 
"Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season – based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement Thursday.
 
"We'd like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time."
 
The league said it would share plans for continuing the 2020 season "at the appropriate time."

By Audrey McNamara
 

National Guard arrives in county bordering New York City

A robocall has informed residents of New Rochelle that the National Guard has arrived in Westchester County, which borders New York City. They are there to help deliver meals, distribute supplies and clean public facilities in New Rochelle, a suburb in the county that has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

"The Guard will not be engaged in any military or policing activities, and is operating purely as logistical support," Mayor Noam Bramson said on the robocall, according to New Rochelle's website.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this week that a containment area centered in New Rochelle and with a 1-mile radius would be imposed. It is going into effect today, CBS New York reports.

"Within this area, large gatherings at large institutions are prohibited," the robocall said. "But, contrary to false rumors, there is no change in daily life. Except for individuals subject to quarantine, residents are free to come and go, and businesses are open."

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

As stock prices dive, Trump says "markets are gonna be just fine"

While posing for pictures with Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar outside the White House on Thursday, President Trump was asked by CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid about the dramatic impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on global stock markets.

Mr. Trump announced Wednesday a looming ban on entry into the U.S. for non-U.S. nationals with recent travel history to any of 26 European Nations — a move he made without consulting or warning those American allies. It failed to ease jittery investors' nerves. Trading was halted briefly on New York exchanges Thursday, for the second time this week, as shares plummeted in value.

But the president didn't appear concerned, saying in response to Reid's question: "The markets are gonna be just fine."

Trump
President Donald Trump greets Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar as he arrives outside the West Wing of the White House, March 12, 2020, in Washington. Andrew Harnik/AP

Another member of CBS News' White House team, Weijia Jiang, asked him why he was so confident, noting that the markets were "tanking," but the president did not respond. He walked inside the White House with Varadkar. 

By Tucker Reals
 

2 New York City schools shut after student reportedly tests positive for COVID-19

Two schools in the New York City borough of the Bronx have been closed after a student apparently tested positive for the new coronavirus disease.

The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School are both located in the same building at 360 East 145th Street.

The Department of Health was tracing the student's contacts, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said the decision to close the schools had not been taken lightly.

He said the schools would remain closed for "an initial 24-hour period" while they were disinfected.

"We know the disruption and anxiety this means for students, faculty and parents," de Blasio said in a tweet. "We are taking every precaution to keep people safe, and we will keep everyone informed as we learn more through the day."

De Blasio said he still hoped New York City could avoid mass-closures of schools, theaters and other public venues. The city now has at least 62 confirmed COVID-19 cases. If the student, whom CBS New York said had "self-confirmed" their diagnosis, is indeed positive, they would be the first in a U.S. public school. 

CBS New York contributed to this report.

 

U.S. stock trading halted for 2nd time this week as shares plunge

Stock trading was halted early Thursday after shares plunged. It's the second pause in trading this week amid growing fears about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 plunged 222 points, or 8.1%, to 2,519.49 when trading opened on Thursday, triggering a trading halt. The S&P 500 has three "circuit breakers" that kick in when stocks decline by 7%, 13% or 20% in a single trading session. It's the second trading halt this week, following a rout on Monday sparked by fears of the coronavirus' impact

When trading resumed, the S&P 500 fell 197 points, or 7.2%, to 2,544.66. The Dow plunged 1,747 points, or 7.4%, to 21,806, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 6.4%.

By Aimee Picchi
 

Pentagon cancels public tours

The Pentagon has followed the White House and the U.S. Capitol in deciding to temporarily cancel all public tours as the nation grapples with a coronavirus outbreak.

By Tucker Reals
 

Virus cases surge in Spain as entire government to be tested for disease

Spain's government underwent coronavirus testing Thursday after a minister tested positive and was quarantined with her partner, deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias, and cases soared close to 3,000.

The surge in infections brought the total to 2,968 cases in Spain up from 2,140 on Wednesday evening, with deaths leaping to 84 from 48 within the same time frame.

"This morning, all members of the government will undergo testing," a government statement said, indicating the results would be published later in the day.

"The minister (Irene Montero) is in a good condition and second deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias is also in quarantine due to the situation." 

-AFP

By Tucker Reals
 

Ireland closes all schools as more U.S. districts follow suit

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced Thursday, not long before a meeting in Washington with President Donald Trump, that all schools, colleges and childcare facilities in his country would be closed until March 29 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Italy, home to the deadliest coronavirus outbreak outside of China, has also closed all schools. In the U.S., more than 800,000 students were reportedly stuck at home as school districts increasingly adopted the measure.

Seattle, home to the deadliest cluster of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., closed all schools on Wednesday, and Loudon County, Virginia, followed suit on Thursday morning. There were no confirmed cases of the coronavirus linked to Loudon County schools, and just one case in the county, and the measure was described as cautionary.

By Tucker Reals
 

Senator Tom Cotton closes D.C. office "as a precaution"

Arkansas Senator Cotton has become the second senator, after Mitt Romney, to send his staff home as a precaution after a staffer in Senator Maria Cantwell's office tested positive for the new coronavirus.

"An aide in another Senate office has tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus; other congressional employees are likely to test positive in the days ahead," Cotton said in a statement sent to CBS News on Thursday, referring to the virus by noting the city in central China where it is believed to have emerged late last year. 

"The most sensible course of action for the public and the congressional workforce under the circumstances is for my staff to telecommute," he said.

Cantwell's office released a statement saying the staffer who tested positive "has been in isolation since starting to have symptoms" and had "no known contact with the senator or other members of Congress."

By Tucker Reals
 

Washington state bans large gatherings and all Seattle schools shuttered

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has taken the extraordinary step of banning gatherings of 250 people or more as his state grapples with the deadliest cluster of coronavirus cases in America.

"Public leisure, faith-based or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and similar activities of that dimension are prohibited as we go forward," Inslee said.

The governor warned the ban, which impacts nearly 4 million people, could extend through April, CBS News Correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

Seattle Public Schools also announced they were closing all 114 schools, impacting 53,000 students.

Washington has had 31 of the 39 known coronavirus deaths in the U.S., and more than 365 confirmed cases. Hardest hit are nursing homes, where many residents are elderly and have existing health issues.

Following Washington's order, Oregon also moved late Wednesday night to ban gatherings of more than 250 people.

 

Olympic Torch lit without audience as virus hangs over fate of Tokyo games

The iconic Olympic Torch lighting ceremony in Greece was closed to the public Thursday morning amid fears over the coronavirus. With the games less than four months away, some are concerned about what the global pandemic could mean for the fate of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. 

The new National Stadium, a $1.4 billion rebuilding effort for the city of Tokyo, may not see its debut as the grand centerpiece of the 2020 Olympics as mass gatherings are being cancelled around the world. Some estimates show Japan, the world's third largest economy, stands to lose up to $75 billion in revenue if the games are called off.

"The probability of recession is very high," Jesper Koll, chief Japan economist at Wisdom Tree, told CBS News' Ramy Inocencio.

Fate of Tokyo Olympics in question amid coronavirus pandemic

If the pandemic were to reach a point where cancelling the Olympics was necessary, he said, there would likely be bigger things to worry about than the games themselves - like a "global depression." 

 

Real Madrid quarantines soccer and basketball teams

Real Madrid's soccer and basketball teams have been put in quarantine after one of the club's basketball players tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Spanish club says its soccer team was affected because it shares training facilities with the basketball team. 

The decision by the club came moments before the Spanish league said the next two rounds of the top two soccer divisions will be suspended because of outbreak. 

No player from a Spanish soccer team has been reported to have the virus. Spain is struggling to stem an outbreak that has paralyzed Italy.  

- Associated Press

 

Trump cancels trips, campaign event amid coronavirus outbreak

President Trump has scrapped events in Colorado and Nevada as his administration works to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the White House said late Wednesday.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that upcomings events in the two states were canceled "out of an abundance of caution from the coronavirus outbreak."

Mr. Trump was set to attend a fundraiser with Republican Senator Cory Gardner in Denver on Friday and speak at a conference for the Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday. The group announced late Wednesday the gathering would be postponed in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

By Tucker Reals
 

Man flies from New York to Florida with confirmed case of COVID-19

A man who has tested positive for the new coronavirus disease flew Wednesday to Palm Beach, Florida, from New York. Another passenger, who claimed in a video posted online that he had spoken to the infected man's wife during the flight, said the patient knew he was likely positive even before they took off.

The Palm Beach County Health Department has spoken with all passengers who were on the Jet Blue flight, and a spokesperson for the county's emergency services said "all CDC and department of health guidelines were followed for a COVID-19 positive patient."

"At this time passengers in the vicinity of the positive patient were advised of monitoring procedures," Captain Albert Borroto of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said in a statement provided to CBS News station WPEC. He said all other passengers had been sent home with instructions to call the public health department if they have any medical concerns.

pbia-wpec-coronavirus.jpg
A JetBlue Airways plane sits on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida on March 11, after a the flight from New York arrived with one passenger confirmed to have the new coronavirus disease COVID-19.  WPEC CBS12

He said Palm Beach International Airport was sterilizing the "limited containment area" where the passengers were deplaned, "which was a separate location from the main terminals of the airport."

By Tucker Reals
 

"Lot of confusion" at embassies in D.C. as allies grapple with Trump's new travel ban

There was confusion at foreign embassies in Washington Thursday morning after the Trump administration's tumultuous announcement of new travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

The ban applies to non-U.S. citizens for the next 30 days, and affects any who have traveled to one of 26 European nations in the past 14 days. The restrictions exclude the United Kingdom and at least 20 other European countries that are not members of the so-called Schengen zone, a free-travel agreement that enables people to move easily between member states.  

The Trump administration did not give U.S. allies advance notice of the pending restrictions, which take effect at midnight on Saturday, or consult with them about how they will be implemented. 

CBS News' Margaret Brennan said embassy officials have been asking her since Wednesday evening how they can report back to their own capitals on the new U.S. policies, as Mr. Trump's initial remarks announcing them contained multiple errors that were subsequently corrected by himself and the White House. 

"There is a lot of confusion," Brennan said.  

By Tucker Reals
 

Former Homeland Security adviser says new travel ban "of little value"

Thomas Bossert, a former Homeland Security adviser to both Presidents Trump and George W. Bush, said Thursday that Mr. Trump's decision to ban non-U.S. travelers who have been recently in 26 European nations was "of little value" and would be a "poor use of time & energy."

"Earlier, yes. Now, travel restrictions/screening are less useful. We have nearly as much disease here in the US as the countries in Europe," Bossert said, calling on officials instead to "focus on layered community mitigation measures."

He had suggested in previous tweets and articles that U.S. schools be closed and most public events cancelled.

"If we don't implement aggressive community interventions and mitigate the spread of the virus already in the United States, we will end up infecting or reinfecting Europe," he said.

By Tucker Reals
 

Chinese pro basketball orders U.S. players to return, reportedly threatening bans

The Chinese Basketball Association has informed American players that they should return to China as soon as this weekend in preparation for the league to resume in early April, as reported by ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

The CBA postponed the season back in late January due to the coronavirus, with a lot of the foreign-born players being sent back home to curb the risk of the virus spreading. The league is still determining how to move forward with the rest of their schedule, some options include hosting all the teams in one or two cities for the remainder of the season, shortening the schedule, and playing without fans in attendance, per Givony.

 Additionally, the CBA is reportedly threatening lifetime bans for players who do not intend on returning to finish out the season, as well as two-to-three-year bans of league agency licenses for those players' representation.

-Jasmyn Wimbish / CBSSports.com

 

European Union "disapproves" of Trump's travel ban

The European Union said Thursday that it "disapproves" of President Donald Trump's decision to restrict travel from most of the continent to the United States, amid deep concern over the move's economic impact, with markets already heavily hit by the new virus. 

"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to improve a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Council president Charles said in a joint statement, defending the bloc's response to the coronavirus pandemic as "strong."  

Michel said earlier in a tweet that the EU would evaluate the situation, and that economic disruption must be avoided. 

Mr. Trump accused Europe of not acting quickly enough to address the virus and claimed U.S. clusters were "seeded" by European travelers.  

Those claims, and Mr. Trump's decision to exempt the U.K. and a handful of other European nations, has prompted head scratching and even indignation in Europe. Many have pointed out that Britain has hundreds of cases and eight deaths attributed to the disease, along with one of the busiest air hubs for European and international travel at London's Heathrow Airport. 

"Viruses know no borders or nationalities. Nationalism & blame games are no antidote," Dacian Cioloş, Romania's former prime minister who now leads a bloc in the European parliament, said in a tweet. "This is a global crisis, which requires global solidarity, @realDonaldTrump. Containment measures are needed, but not arbitrary ones. Europe will be your partner, but not your scapegoat."

- CBS/AP

By Tucker Reals
 

Chinese officials says virus has peaked there, and global pandemic likely over by June

The Chinese government's top medical adviser said Thursday that he believes the global coronavirus pandemic will likely be over by June. His remarks came as China's National Health Commission said the new COVID-19 disease had peaked inside the country.

Zhong Nanshan said at a news conference in Beijing, after weeks of declining domestic infection rates in China attributed to harsh control measures, that many of the new cases entering the country from abroad were showing no symptoms.

According to the Reuters news agency, the 83-year-old epidemiologist — who has acknowledged his country's delayed response to the virus likely enabled it to spread more widely — also said that few patients in China who had recovered from the disease were becoming re-infected. That was a hopeful sign, as there have been at least two reported cases of people who were cleared of COVID-19 later testing positive again.

By Tucker Reals
 

Top U.K. official says no evidence blanket travel ban will help stem outbreak

Rishi Sunak, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, a position equivalent to the Treasury Secretary in the U.S., said Thursday that the U.K. did not yet believe it was necessary to impose the kind of blanket travel ban announced the previous day by the Trump administration. 

"With regard to flight bans we are always guided by the science as we make our decisions here. The advice we are getting is that there isn't evidence that interventions like closing borders or travel bans are going to have a material effect on the spread of the infections," Sunak said on the BBC's "Today Show."

The United Kingdom is exempt from the unprecedented ban on travel announced Wednesday by Mr. Trump, and is not part of the so-called Schengen Zone, an agreement among 26 mainland European nations that permits virtually border-less travel.

By Tucker Reals
 

White House suspends public tours

The White House has suspended public tours of the presidential residence amid the outbreak of the coronavirus.

A recorded message on the 24-hour information phone line for White House tours said all tours were suspended temporarily  "out of an abundance of caution" and urged anyone with a tour booked to contact the entity with which they had arranged the visit.

By Tucker Reals
 

Asian shares plunge after Wall Street's drop on virus pandemic fears

Asian shares plunged Thursday after the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic and indexes sank on Wall Street.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dived 4.4% to 18,559.63. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 7.4% to 5,304.60. South Korea's Kospi dipped 4.7% to 1,817.87. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 3.6% to 24,316.77, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 1.9% to 2,912.33.

Thailand's benchmark plunged 9%. India's Sensex swooned 7%.

"Some of the biggest markets, such as Hong Kong or Japan or Australia, are down around four to five percent. And we haven't seen, you know, a significant buy-in interest yet, so traders are still in the get-out mode. They just want to have it in cash," said Jackson Wong of Amber Hill Capital Ltd., in Hong Kong.

"That's a typical panic mode, but whether this panic mode will stop in the short term, it really will depend on how the virus incident goes forward," Wong said.

Associated Press

 

Twitter orders employees worldwide to work from home

Twitter has ordered all employees worldwide to work from home in an effort to stop the spread of the deadly new coronavirus.

The social media platform had already announced a mandatory work from home policy for its staff in South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan earlier this month and suspended "non-critical" business travel and events in February.

Twitter human resources chief Jennifer Christie said in a blog post late Wednesday that, "We understand this is an unprecedented step, but these are unprecedented times."

Other internet giants have brought in their own policies to protect staff from infection.

Google began restricting visits to its offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York on Monday. Apple has also encouraged employees to work from home. Facebook shut its offices in Singapore and London for "deep cleaning" last week after an employee who had spent time in both was diagnosed with the virus.

- AFP

 

Washington senator's office has first coronavirus case on Capitol Hill

The first coronavirus case in the U.S. Capitol has been diagnosed. A staff member for Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has tested positive for the disease, her office said in a statement. 

Cantwell's office said that the individual has been in isolation since symptoms appeared. The Capitol's attending physician advised Cantwell to close her office for the rest of the week and have the office deep-cleaned, which the Washington Democrat is doing.

The individual has not had known contact with the senator or any other members of Congress. Cantwell is requesting testing for anyone who had contact with the individual and has symptoms of coronavirus infection.

 

Key points from Trump's remarks on tackling coronavirus

In a brief address to the nation Wednesday night, President Trump promised to deliver the "most aggressive and comprehensive effort to combat a virus" in modern history. Here's what he announced: 

  • A ban on some travel from Europe for 30 days. The ban starts Friday at midnight, and does not apply to the United Kingdom.
  • A commitment to waive co-pays and extend insurance for coronavirus treatments.

  • Small Business Administration to extend low-interest loans to affected companies. 

  • Treasury Department to defer tax payments without interest or penalties for impacted businesses and individuals.

  • Will call on Congress to provide payroll tax relief. 

By Victoria Albert
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