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Coronavirus updates: Stocks surge as Trump declares national emergency amid pandemic

Trump declares national emergency to combat coronavirus 03:43

Follow along with Saturday's coronavirus updates

Every aspect of modern life is being hit as sweeping measures are rolled out in an effort to stem the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency "to unleash the full power of the federal government."

"No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever," the president said, as stocks rose sharply to regain some of their recent losses.

The administration has established a new partnership with private industry to expand testing capabilities, even as it has faced criticism over testing failures. Mr. Trump said the administration is trying to work with pharmacies and private entities to establish drive-thru testing sites, something the head of the Centers for Disease Control said days earlier wasn't necessary.

Amid the outbreak and the mounting response, Disney World is closing. Broadway is shutting its doors. Schools are closing and large gatherings are being banned. The Boston Marathon and the Masters Tournament are now postponed. The NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer are suspending their seasons.

While more than half of the roughly 137,000 people who've caught the virus worldwide have already recovered, the toll in human lives is staggering. More than 4,700 people have died, including at least 51 people in the U.S. — and it's expected to get much worse before it gets better. 

New York Gov. Cuomo Opens Coronavirus Testing Area In New Rochelle Park
Workers in protective gear operate a drive-through COVID-19 mobile testing center on March 13, 2020 in New Rochelle, New York. Getty

Fueling the fear in financial markets and cities around the world is the fact that four months after it first started making headlines, the COVID-19 disease retains an aura of mystery. With vastly different figures in various countries, it still isn't clear how deadly the disease is, how easily it spreads, or how many undetected cases may be lurking.

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


White House physician says Trump does not currently need to be tested

President Trump's physician said late Friday night that Mr. Trump does not currently need to be tested for coronavirus, despite coming into contact with two people who later tested positive. 

"Last weekend, while hosting the Brazillian delegation at Mar-A-Lago, the President briefly came in contact with an individual who 3 days later began showing symptoms and was subsequently confirmed to have COVID-19," Dr. Sean Conley wrote in a memorandum. "This evening we learned of another dinner guest, this one sharing the table with the President and White House delegation, who was symptom-free until this morning and has since tested positive for COVID-19." 

Conley said Mr. Trump's exposure to the first patient was "extremely limited," and that while his contact with the second was more prolonged, "all interactions occurred before any symptom onset. He added that the interactions would be characterized as "low risk" and that there was no indication for home quarantine. 

"Additionally, given the President himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated," Conley wrote. The memo comes after Mr. Trump faced questions from the press about whether he would be tested for the virus, which has now killed more than 50 people in the U.S. 

By Victoria Albert

California reports fifth coronavirus death

The Santa Clara County public health department reported the county's second death from coronavirus on Friday night, bringing the state's death toll to five and the nationwide death toll to 51. 

In a Facebook post, the department described the patient as a woman in her 80s who was hospitalized on March 9. 

By Victoria Albert

Zion Williamson pledges to pay salaries of Smoothie King Center employees

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, impacting the physical and financial well-being of people around the world, many others are stepping up to help those in need. Most recently, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson has announced that he will pay the salaries of all of the employees of Smoothie King Center, the home arena of his NBA team, after the NBA suspended the season for at least 30 days.

In a post on Instagram, Williamson said "some of the most special people I have met are those who work at smoothie King Center." He also said they have been "incredibly welcoming and supportive" since he was drafted in June 2019.

"These are the folks who make our games possible, creating the perfect environment for our fans and everyone involved in the organization. Unfortunately, many of them are still recovering from long term challenges created by Katrina, and now face the economic impact of the postponement of games because of the virus," he wrote. "My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days."

By Li Cohen

President Trump tweets support for coronavirus bill to aid families

After a day of seemingly precarious negotiations, President Trump late Friday night tweeted his support for a bill to aid families impacted by the coronavirus. 

"I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening," Mr. Trump wrote. "This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers."

"I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES!" Mr. Trump added. "I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST. Look forward to signing the final Bill, ASAP!" 

The tweets come hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she'd struck an agreement with the administration on the terms of the bill. Pelosi said the legislation includes paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. It also enhances unemployment insurance, increases federal funds for Medicaid and adds funding for food assistance programs. 

By Victoria Albert

Watch: Frustrations grow over lack of testing kits

The U.S has fallen far short in its capacity to test Americans for the virus, sparking frustrations nationwide. But there are some encouraging signs: Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS said they'll open up their parking lots for drive-thru testing. 

Watch Jamie Yuccas' report below: 

Trump says cornavirus test kits "coming very soon," leaving patients anxious for results 02:35

ICE suspending all social visitations at detention centers

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will suspend social visitation at all of its detention facilities, a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.

The suspension is for family and friends of detainees, and the agency is still looking at attorney visits, an ICE official told CBS News.

"The health, welfare and safety of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees is one of the agency's highest priorities," the spokesperson said in the statement.

There have not been any reported cases of coronavirus among ICE detainees. The agency has tested four detainees for the virus and all tests came back negative.

As of late last month, the agency had more than 38,000 detainees in its custody.

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez

U.N. Secretary General orders staff at New York headquarters to telecommute

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has told employees at the organization's New York headquarters to work from home, according to a letter to United Nations staff obtained by CBS News. 

The announcement comes just a day after a staff member of the Mission of the Philippines announced that they had tested positive for coronavirus. The staff member was in the headquarters with staff members of two other countries. 

"Given recent developments in the wider United Nations family in New York, and based on extensive consultations with senior management, including the Medical Director, I have decided to step up measures at United Nations Headquarters to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus," the letter states. 

The decision will take effect on March 16, and will last until at least April 12, Guterres said. He added that only employees whose physical presence in the building "is needed to carry out our essential work" will be allowed to work at the office. 

By Pamela Falk

Pelosi announces agreement on coronavirus bill to aid families

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an agreement with the Trump administration on legislation to provide financial relief to families and workers hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, seemingly putting an end to a day of uncertain negotiations.

"We are proud to have reached an agreement with the administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues. 

Only two hours earlier, the president had told reporters he wasn't happy with the Democrats' bill, saying the opposite party wasn't giving enough. The legislation secures paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave, according to Pelosi. It also enhances unemployment insurance. The legislation also increases federal funds for Medicaid, and bolsters funding for food assistance programs. 

By Kathryn Watson

U.S. death toll rises to 50

The U.S. death toll rose to 50 on Friday, with new deaths being reported in Florida, Washington state, and Colorado. 

Colorado reported its first death from the virus. The patient was described as a female in her 80s with underlying health conditions. 

The Florida patient was a resident of Orange County, according to the county's mayor, but they died in California after traveling abroad.  

Six more deaths were reported in Washington, which is facing the largest coronavirus outbreak by far in the country. Three of the patients who died there were residents of the Life Care Center in Kirkland, which is linked to 22 other coronavirus deaths. 

By Victoria Albert

Royal Caribbean cancels U.S. cruises for a month due to coronavirus

Royal Caribbean is suspending all U.S. cruises at midnight on Friday in response to the spreading coronavirus.

Cruises leaving U.S. ports before midnight will keep operating, and those still at sea will complete their itineraries, the company said. International cruises will not be affected. Royal Caribbean previously canceled cruises departing from China and tried to deny boarding to anyone traveling through the country. where the virus first started to spread.

"We understand the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the country. And this is our part to play," the company said in a statement.

The latest move comes a day after Princess Cruises said it was halting service on all 18 of its cruise ships for 60 days. Viking cruise lines also announced it would suspend all river and ocean cruises until April 30.

By Megan Cerullo

Trump says he'll "most likely" get tested for coronavirus

President Trump said Friday he will "most likely" be tested for coronavirus. 

His announcement comes after the White House claimed Mr. Trump didn't need to be tested, even though the Brazilian president's press secretary, who was pictured at Mar-a-Lago with Mr. Trump on Saturday, tested positive for the virus.

Mr. Trump told reporters at a Rose Garden press conference that he would probably be tested soon for reasons unrelated to that interaction.

"Well I didn't say I wasn't going to be tested," Mr. Trump said, after CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang asked if he was being selfish by not being tested.

"Are you going to be?" Jiang asked. 

"Most likely, yeah," Mr. Trump  responded. "Not for that reason but because I think I will do it anyway."

The president added that would probably be "fairly soon" and they're "working out a schedule" for the test. 

By Kathryn Watson

Virus cases increasing in Africa as countries race to prepare

Cases of coronavirus are ramping up in Africa, with six new countries announcing confirmed infections in the past 24 hours. Across Africa, 18 of the continent's 54 countries have now registered COVID-19 cases. The majority of these cases are imported, authorities said.

On Friday, Kenya, Guinea and Ethiopia reported their first cases, while Gabon and Ghana did so late Thursday. Sudan also reported its first case, a person who had already died.

Experts warn that on the booming continent of more than 1.3 billion people, containment is key as Africa's already strained health systems could likely lead to a higher mortality rate and deeper crisis that would have global impact.

"From the beginning we knew the continent is at risk," Dr. Mary Stephen, technical officer at the World Health Organization regional office in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, told The Associated Press."The uniqueness of Africa is the fact that one, we have a large population," she said, adding that the continent's health systems are "dealing with a lot of other emergencies at the same time," including Ebola.

The goal is to detect cases quickly, isolate and manage them, she said. "We want to prevent community transmission," she said.

-The Associated Press


Alabama announces first coronavirus case

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced the state's first coronavirus case on Friday, making Alabama the 48th state to announce a case. 

"Alabamians are smart and savvy, and I know they will continue taking appropriate precautions to prevent the spread to themselves or others…" Ivey said in a statement. "Alabamians should not be fearful, but instead, use commonsense to watch out for themselves and others." 

Only two states have not yet announced a coronavirus case: Idaho and West Virginia. 

By Victoria Albert

Louisiana postpones Democratic primary

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin requested Friday that the state postpone its Democratic presidential primary -- set to take place April 4 -- to June 20. Governor John Bel Edwards signed off on the request later Friday.

"While hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes are at the forefront of all Louisianan's minds, the threat we face from the COVID-19 virus is an unprecedented threat and unlike any we have faced," Ardoin said at a press conference.

Louisiana had 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins. The state currently has limits on gatherings of 250 people, according to Edwards.

"Today I have certified that a state of emergency exists, and requested that the governor issue an executive order postponing the elections this spring," Ardoin said.

Ardoin said "one key stakeholder" in his request was the demographic of the state's election commissioners -- over half of whom are 65 or older, he said. Additionally, of the 65 polling locations in the state, 32 are held in nursing homes, or "other locations associated with senior citizens," according to Ardoin.

Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming also have primaries slated for April 4, but have yet to announce any plans to postpone.

By Audrey McNamara

Disney halts production of some films

The Walt Disney Co. says its shutting down many of its live-action productions, including "The Little Mermaid," due to the coronavirus.

Hollywood on Friday continued to halt shoots of most films and television series to help control the spread of the virus. For Disney, that also includes "The Last Duel" with Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck; Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings"; a "Home Alone" remake; and Guillermo Del Toro's "Nightmare Alley."

It's also putting on a hold a pair of films in pre-production: "Peter Pan and Wendy" and a "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" reboot.

"While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision to pause production on some of our live-action films for a short time," said a spokesman for Disney.

— The Associated Press


New York, Colorado governors call on "former" doctors, nurses to rejoin workforce

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Colorado Governor Jared Polis have each called on "former" health care workers to rejoin the workforce in order to support health systems stressed by the coronavirus.

According to Polis, former health care workers are anyone who is currently working in another field or is retired, but whose medical license is still active or can be reactivated.

The highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus has meant that many health care workers have been forced to self-isolate for at least two weeks after coming in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.

Cuomo said Thursday that New York is asking former doctors and nurses to "reconnect" with their past employer, in order to create a reserve workforce of health care professionals who are "on call" for coronavirus response. The state's Department of Health has also been asked to accelerate recertifications in order to expedite the process, according to the governor. 

Cuomo said that making sure health care facilities are well staffed is "just as important" as ensuring those facilities have enough equipment and tests. 

Polis echoed Cuomo's call at a press conference on Friday. The Colorado governor said he is "particularly concerned" about how the virus will affect health care workers "who are already being put to the test."

"I'm asking you to reconnect with your past employer in the event that we need surge capacity" Polis said. 

"As health care workers are diagnosed they will be out of the workforce for 14 days, so we need to backfill those positions."

By Audrey McNamara

Pelosi says coronavirus response bill puts "families first"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a statement Friday afternoon touting a legislative package to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus. She said it "puts families first," with measures including free testing, paid emergency sick leave and an increase in funds for food security programs and Medicaid.

"The American people expect and deserve a coordinated, science-based and whole of government response," Pelosi said, adding that the legislation is "focused directly on providing support for America's families who must be our first priority."

Pelosi emphasized the package's provision to provide tests free of cost, saying: "The three most important parts of this bill are testing, testing, testing."

Read more 

By Grace Segers

Macron announces extraordinary summit to talk virus vaccine

French President Emmanuel Macron announced in a tweet on Friday that an extraordinary summit of G7 leaders would be held Monday by videoconference to coordinate efforts on a vaccine and treatment of the COVID-19 virus, and "work on an economic and financial response."

Macron had announced during an address to the nation on coronavirus Thursday night his plan to try to organize a G7 summit. He said he would be discussing that Friday with President Trump as the United States currently holds the G7 presidency.

"It's not division that will allow us to respond today to a world crisis," Macron said during his solemn address to France in which he announced the closing of all schools and other measures.

His reference to divisions apparently referred to Mr. Trump's announcement of sharp restrictions on travel to the United States from 26 European countries - without advance consultations.

— The Associated Press


Texas governor declares state of disaster

Texas' governor declared a state of disaster Friday as the coronavirus pandemic spread to all of the state's biggest cities. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said drive-thru testing for people, including first responders and high-risk patients, will begin in the state, with the first location being in San Antonio.
Abbott said Texas has 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 220 people have been tested so far.

COVID-19 cases have reached into San Antonio and Austin, where illnesses were reported for the first time Friday. 
-The Associated Press


Italian man begs authorities to collect dead sister amid lockdown

An Italian man issued a desperate appeal for help on social media after authorities in his country reportedly would not collect the body of his sister, who he said had died at home of the new coronavirus. The pandemic has hit Italy especially hard and the entire country has been placed on lockdown.

"We are ruined. Italy has abandoned us," an emotional Luca Franzese said in a Facebook video as he stood in front of the body of his sister, Teresa Franzese.

Luca said his late sister was 47, had epilepsy and was at high risk of the new COVID-19 disease. She reportedly started feeling unwell last week and died on Saturday. When she died, he said, she had not been tested for the new coronavirus, despite requests by her family.

Read more

By Haley Ott

Eiffel Tower closes and the Louvre shuts its doors

The Eiffel Tower is closing indefinitely starting at 9 p.m. tonight and the world's most visited museum, the Louvre in Paris, will close its doors at end of the day "until further notice."

The museum attracted 9.6 million visitors in 2019.

The moves came as the French government introduced a ban today on gatherings of more than 100 people.

Across the river from the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay also shut its doors, with no indication of when it might re-open. Several other Paris museums followed suit, but some, including the Pompidou Center, were still indicating opening hours through the coming weekend and beyond.

Others, such as the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon in eastern France, announced they would open but would restrict visitor numbers to under 100 people at a time.

Tourism in France has been severely hit by widespread cancellations, particularly by Chinese and Korean tour groups. Tourism professionals expect the U.S. travel ban to further hurt the industry.

By Elaine Cobbe

WHO says Europe is "epicenter" of pandemic, creates "Solidarity Response Fund"

World Health Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday that Europe is now the "epicenter" of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Tedros at the WHO's daily press conference that Europe now has "more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China."

"More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic," he said. 

The WHO also announced the creation of a "Solidarity Response Fund'' that individuals can donate to. The fund is an effort to meet a goal of at least $675 million "for critical response efforts in countries most in need of help through April 2020," according to the WHO's website

Tedros said that up until now the WHO has relied "mainly on governments to support the COVID19 response." 

"Now everyone can contribute," he said. "Funds raised will be to coordinate the response, to buy masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles for health workers, to buy diagnostic tests, to improve surveillance, and to invest in research and development."

By Audrey McNamara

FDA approves automated testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted diagnostics company Roche emergency approval to start selling a high-speed coronavirus test. 

The test, designed to run on a computerized diagnostic system developed by Roche, will be available immediately and can be run on machines already in place at more than 100 laboratories across the U.S., according to Roche, which is based in Switzerland. One version of the device can test more than 4,000 patients a day, while a second can perform nearly 1,500 tests, the company announced.

"Providing quality, high-volume testing capabilities will allow us to respond effectively to what the World Health Organization has characterized as a pandemic," Roche CEO Thomas Schinecker said in a statement.

The green light comes amid concerns that difficulty screening large segments of the U.S. population has allowed the virus to spread.

Read more

By Kate Gibson

Trump holds press conference

President Trump announced he was holding a press conference Friday at 3 p.m. ET, shortly before the markets close for the week, as his administration tries to wrap its arms around the escalating coronavirus crisis. 

During the press conference he declared a national emergency.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Queen Elizabeth rescheduling some events as a "sensible precaution"

Buckingham Palace said Friday that Queen Elizabeth II would reschedule a couple upcoming public events as a "sensible precaution and for practical reasons in the current circumstances" as the United Kingdom grapples with the new coronavirus. 

The palace said the 93-year-old monarch, who is generally considered to be in good health, would still conduct her daily meetings but that after consulting the royal family's doctors and the government, she would reschedule two visits, to north London and the city of Cheshire, and that "other events will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with the appropriate advice."

There had been almost 600 cases of the new COVID-19 disease confirmed in the United Kingdom by Friday, and at least 8 deaths.

By Tucker Reals

Officials say "no intention" to shut down NYC subway, quashing rumors

The chairman and CEO of the MTA, which is responsible for public transportation in New York, said Friday the New York City subway system is not shutting down. "The subway system, the bus system, the commuter rails are safe," Patrick J. Foye said Friday on Fox 5's "Good Day New York."

"We have contingency plans for every possible scenario," the MTA said in a statement to CBS News. "There is no intention to shut down or reduce service as of this time."

The assertion came after the NYPD said in a tweet Thursday "THERE IS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA."


"One of the things I want to mention that's been inspiring is that both at New York City Transit Long Island Rail Road, Metro North MTA bus, transit workers and members of every one of the other MTA unions have shown up for work just as they did after 911," Foye said Friday.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin

Boston Marathon postponed 5 months

Massachusetts officials announced Friday that the world-famous Boston Marathon will be postponed this year due to the coronavirus. The race set to take place Monday, April 20, will now be pushed to September 14. 

"Our priority right now is the health and safety of our runners… we want to keep people safe," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said at a press conference Friday.

Officials said the roads will not be closed on April 20, and strongly discouraged runners from running the race course on their own.

The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement Friday that it "understands the city's decision," and will provide  registered participants and volunteers with "additional information in the coming days."

"I know this is a change ... but it's certainly the right thing to do," said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

"As we've seen before, this marathon defines resilience," he said

By Audrey McNamara

U.S. response to "unprecedented" pandemic "being rapidly corrected," NIH official says

The disruption to everyday life in American caused by the coronavirus pandemic is the most severe Dr. Anthony Fauci has seen in the 36 years he's led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. While there have been "an awful lot of challenges," this situation is different because of all the "unknowns" surrounding the virus, he said. 

"With regard to disruption of everyday life, we have not seen that before, but we've not had this kind of a situation before," he said on "CBS This Morning" on Friday. "I mean, we've had pandemics. The 2009 H1N1 swine flu was a pandemic, but it was influenza. We were familiar with what influenza does, familiar with its seasonal capability. Right now, there are a lot of unknowns."

There have been barriers for U.S. doctors to conduct coronavirus tests. The current system in place is "failing," Fauci said at a Congressional committee hearing Thursday. It "is not really geared to what we need right now," he said.

How the U.S. plans to correct the "failing" coronavirus testing system 06:44

"That is being rapidly corrected," he told CBS News on Friday. "We had a task force meeting yesterday, and we heard that the kinds of tests from the commercial sector that would be readily available is really very, very close right now. Very close."


Australian minister who met Ivanka Trump and William Barr has coronavirus

A senior Australian politician tested positive for the new coronavirus and entered hospital quarantine Friday, days after returning from Washington where he met Ivanka Trump, U.S. Attorney General William Barr and other American officials.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was in the United States last week for a meeting with members of the FiveEyes intelligence alliance — Australia, the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand — that included Barr.

He also met with U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, along with Barr, on March 6, according to a photo posted by the Australian embassy in Washington, which shows the pair standing close together.

Australian officials gave no indication as to when Dutton is believed to have contracted the virus, but a White House official told CBS News on Friday that senior officials were told by White House doctors that Dutton had contracted it after leaving Washington, and so they were not concerned.

Asked how the White House doctors knew when Dutton contracted the coronavirus, the official could not say. 

Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told CBS News that Barr was "feeling great and not showing any symptoms," but that he was remaining at his home on Friday and had consulted with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which "is not recommending he be tested at this point."  

"This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat," Dutton, an influential member of the government and a key architect of Australia's controversial immigration laws, said in his statement Friday.

"It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice." 



Augusta National postpones the Masters over virus fears

Augusta National decided Monday to postpone the Masters because of the spread of the coronavirus.

Club chairman Fred Ridley says he hopes postponing the event puts Augusta National in the best position to host the Masters and its other two events at some later date.

Ridley did not say when it would be held. The PGA Tour has canceled all events through the Masters, and golf has a full schedule of events through the year.

The next major would be the PGA Championship in San Francisco in May. 

— The Associated Press


Ted Cruz extends his coronavirus self-quarantine

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said Friday that he was extending his self-quarantine after realizing he had come into contact with another person now confirmed to have the coronavirus. Cruz had been cleared from his initial self-quarantine Thursday after becoming the first U.S. senator to sequester himself over concerns linked to the pandemic. 

Cruz said he would remain in his Texas home "out an an abundance of caution" rather than on the word of medical officials, although he has not been tested for COVID-19. 

Cruz initially went into self-quarantine after he and several other congressional Republicans came into contact with an individual at last month's Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive. President Trump and Vice President Pence were in attendance as well.

He said he got a call on Thursday evening informing him that "a Spanish government official" he interacted with in Washington, D.C. had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the senator, he met the official on March 3 in his D.C. office and spent about 20 minutes speaking in a conference room.


Wall Street regains its footing after biggest rout since 1987

Stocks rallied on Friday, recovering some ground after a historic rout that sent shares spiraling into their steepest decline since 1987. Investors are hopeful for a stimulus package that could give businesses and consumers some relief from the impact of the coronavirus. 

The Dow rose 773 points, or 3.7%, to 21,974 when markets opened at 9:30 a.m. ET, while the broad-based S&P 500 jumped 5.3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged 5.9%. 

Wall Street has been pummeled this week, bringing the first "bear" market since the financial crisis more than a decade ago. Both the Dow and S&P 500 had fallen more than 20% below their most recent peak through Thursday, ending the record-long bull run that started in 2009. 

Coronavirus recession is "likely," economist says 03:56

Investors are now looking toward lawmakers in Washington as they haggle with the White House over a massive financial rescue package to help Americans hurt by the widening crisis.

By Aimee Picchi

Some American colleges and universities cancel graduation ceremonies

Colleges across the U.S. have begun canceling and curtailing graduation amid fears the coronavirus pandemic will stretch into spring. Some are exploring "virtual" alternatives, while others are considering inviting seniors back for commencement at a later date, or mailing out diplomas.

Schools including Brigham Young University, the Savannah College of Art and Design and Berea College are among those telling students that commencement ceremonies are canceled. 

Dozens of other schools say it's too soon to decide, leaving families uncertain about whether to book flights and hotels for the ceremonies.

Colleges have been scrambling to move instruction online and send students home early. Some students say they understand the need for caution but would feel robbed if they missed a milestone that they spent years working to reach.

— The Associated Press

By Tucker Reals

France bans all gatherings of more than 100 people

France is introducing even stricter measures to try to contain the country's coronavirus outbreak. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a ban on Friday of all gatherings of more than 100 people.
"The idea is to limit the spread of the virus," he said. France is currently the sixth-worst hit country in the world, with almost 3,000 confirmed cases and 61 deaths.
The new measures followed the announcement Thursday night by President Emmanuel Macron that all schools, nurseries and universities would be closed from Monday. The country's health minister said Friday that they would remain closed for at least two weeks.

A woman stands under a government notice with information on the the COVID-19 outbreak in a shopping center in Saint-Herblain, outside Nantes, France, March 13, 2020.  Getty

President Macron also called on companies to allow employees to work from home wherever possible. He promised childcare help for health workers, to ensure they can continue to tackle the virus.

Macron said public transport networks would stay open and that local elections scheduled for the weekend would go ahead as planned.

By Elaine Cobbe

Mnuchin says negotiations on virus response bill "going very well"

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Friday morning that negotiations with Congress to craft another coronavirus response bill were "going very well."

"I think we're very close to getting this done," Mnuchin said on CNBC, adding that he had been in near-constant communication with the president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Pelosi introduced an initial bill to respond to the outbreak on Wednesday, and a vote on the final version of the negotiated bill was expected later Friday.

"This is the second inning in a baseball game," Mnuchin said, explaining that the "first inning" was the $8.3 billion coronavirus response package signed by President Trump last week. 

Mnuchin also said the disease's economic impact in the U.S. would be "short-term." He emphasized that Mr. Trump was eager to address the crisis.

"I can assure you, the president is all about action, action, action," he said.

By Grace Segers

What to do if you have to self-quarantine over coronavirus

A growing number of people who may have come in close contact with someone who has the new coronavirus are being told to self-quarantine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says if you don't have any symptoms after two weeks, you should be clear. 

But self-quarantining can be a challenge for anyone who lives in close quarters with others.

"It's hard and it's confusing," said Jessica Haller, who lives in the Bronx and has been home with her four kids since last Tuesday. They're under precautionary quarantine after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in their school... We didn't really receive guidance about what to do." 

Click here for advice from CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula for anyone who needs to self-quarantine.

By Tucker Reals

Over the worst of it, China sends experts and aid to help Italy battle COVID-19

Nine Chinese experts and several tons of medical aid has arrived on a special to flight to Italy to help the country fight Europe's most serious coronavirus outbreak. China, the epicenter of the outbreak that first emerged in December, has said the peak of the epidemic has passed in the country after a steady decline in the number of new cases.

After battling the deadly epidemic for several months, it has also sent support to Iran and Iraq to help fight the illness.

On Thursday, a flight carrying medical experts and supplies arrived in Rome to help hard-hit Italy, which has more than 15,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths — the most outside of China.

Hospital workers wearing protective gear work in a tent set up outside the accident and emergency department at Brescia hospital, Lombardy, Italy, to triage possible coronavirus patients, March 13, 2020. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty

The specialists had "been on the frontline since the first day in the epicenter of the virus," said Francesco Rossa, the president of the Italian Red Cross. "The exchange of experiences with our researchers is important."



ISIS issues its own coronavirus advice to followers

The terror group ISIS has issued guidelines to its followers on how to deal with the coronavirus and avoid spreading the infection. In the latest issue of its weekly Arabic language al-Naba magazine, the group group published a paper dubbed "Sharia guidance on dealing with Epidemics."

With multiple references to the Hadiths (recollections of the Prophet Muhammad's sayings), the group advised its followers to cover their mouth when yawning or sneezing, maintain good hygiene and wash hands frequently, and even consider self-quarantining. 

One of the Hadiths cited to bolster the call for anyone with the virus to self-isolate claims the prophet had said anyone "struck by disease" who voluntarily quarantines themselves "will get such reward as that of a martyr." 

The paper urged followers to "rely on God and seek refuge in Him from illnesses."

— Khaled Wassef


Dallas Fort Worth-based American Airlines pilot has coronavirus

An American Airlines pilot has tested positive for coronavirus, the airline confirmed in a statement Thursday.

"American's Chief Medical Officer and leaders from our pilots' office have been in touch with our Dallas Fort Worth based pilot who tested positive for COVID-19. We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials and are coordinating with them on all required health and safety measures," the statement said.

The airline has not provided information regarding recent flights or the condition of any crews that worked with the infected pilot.

American Airlines says, "the risk of transmission to passengers is low."

By CBS Dallas / Fort Worth


U.S. public transit networks step up cleaning as passenger numbers fall

The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appears to be reducing ridership on some public transport networks as more people either opt to work from home, or are told to do so.

The Washington D.C. Metro system saw its first fairly significant drop-off in ridership Wednesday compared to last week, with 583,675 journeys compared to 674,788. That's about a 13.5% drop.

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported Thursday that Subway ridership was down 18.5%, with a 15% drop on city buses and similar drops on other public networks.

As CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports, similar declines are being seen on other networks in the country as all public transport providers step up disinfection efforts.


Congress and White House continue wrangling over virus response package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a legislative package Thursday to respond to the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, with measures including free testing, paid emergency sick leave, and increased funding for food security programs and Medicaid.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced, meanwhile, that the Senate's planned recess next week had been canceled to allow lawmakers to address the virus.

"I am glad talks are ongoing between the Administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong," McConnell said in a tweet.

The House had initially planned to vote on the bill Thursday morning, but lawmakers' talks with the White House on how to address the outbreak were set to continue Friday. Pelosi said she didn't believe it would be difficult to address GOP concerns about the bill, adding that the changes could be made quickly.

By Grace Segers

Washington D.C. schools to close to students for rest of March

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced that all public schools in the nation's capital will be closed to students from Monday in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

From Monday until March 31, Bowser said the district's schools would "implement distance learning. Students will not report to schools during that time."

Teachers and other school staff were still asked to come to work on Monday, March 16 "to plan for distance learning."  

Bowser also said D.C. government operations would "operate under an agency-specific telework schedule, with the intent to continue to deliver essential services and to keep critical systems and services operating," also beginning on Monday.

"Some government operations will be performed fully remotely, while other services will continue to be performed at public buildings, but under modified operations," she said.

As of Friday there were at least 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washington D.C.

By Tucker Reals

Chinese official suggests "US army" might have brought COVID-19 to China

A Chinese government campaign to cast doubt on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a row with the United States, with a Beijing official promoting conspiracy theories and some officials in Washington calling it the "Wuhan virus." 

The spat comes as China tries to deflect blame for the contagion and frame itself as a country that took decisive steps to buy the world time by placing huge swathes of its population under quarantine.

With cases falling in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian went a step further Thursday, saying on Twitter that "it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan," without providing any evidence.

He doubled down on his claim on Friday, posting a link to an article from a website known for publishing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks.



China, South Korea now trying to keep virus from coming back in

As a virus pandemic spreads globally, China and other parts of Asia are scrambling to prevent it from coming back to where it broke out. 

Everyone arriving in Beijing must be quarantined for 14 days, and South Korea is screening arriving passengers from more countries as the number of cases rises across Europe. 

Both countries have seen a decline in new infections, with China reporting just eight and South Korea 110 on Friday. In a role reversal, China is evacuating its citizens from one virus-hit country and sending medical gear and doctors to help with outbreaks abroad

— The Associated Press


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. 

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 at U.N. headquarters in NYC positive for coronavirus

A diplomat from the Philippines mission to the United Nations has tested positive for coronavirus. 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," Philippine acting U.N. Ambassador Kira Azucena wrote in a message.

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