47 employees at Washington state nursing home test positive
Update 11:16 a.m. EDT March 14: Forty-seven employees of Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, have tested positive for the virus, according to tweet from KIRO-TV in Seattle. The results, from Public
The results from Public Health-Seattle & King County, the health agency that serves the Seattle metropolitan area, include 24 employees who tested negative. One test was inconclusive.
First virus-related death confirmed in New York City
Update 10:37 a.m. EDT March 14: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a conference call Satruday morning that an 82-year old woman who tested positive for coronavirus died in a Manhattan hospital Friday, marking New York City's first coronavirus-related death.
The woman was “long-suffering with emphysema,” Cuomo said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declares state of emergency
Update 10:37 a.m. EDT March 14: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a statewide public health emergency Saturday morning, WSB-TV reported.
The decision gives the governor powers to suspend laws and take “direct operational control” of civil forces in the state, Kemp said in a news conference. The declaration also gives health authorities power to isolate or quarantine Georgia residents, restrict travel into or within the state, and limit -- or even cancel -- large public gatherings.
"I do not take this lightly,” Kemp said.
Spain announces nationwide lockdown
Update 10:02 a.m. EDT March 14: Spain is declaring a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, according to Spanish media outlets.
The Associated Press reported that Spain was going to follow Italy's lead and place tight restrictions on its population of more than 46 million people. Spanish health authorities said Saturday that coronavirus infections have reached 5,753 people, with more than half of them in the capital city of Madrid. That is an increase of over 1,500 in 24 hours, the AP reported. Spain now has 136 deaths from the coronavirus.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tests positive
Update 8:03 a.m. EDT March 14: Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, announced he tested positive for the coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported.
Suarez, 42, said in a statement that he was not feeling any symptoms. He advised anyone who had come into contact with him since Monday to self-isolate for 14 days, WTVJ reported. On Monday, Suarez attended an event with Fabio Wajngarten, press secretary to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the Herald reported. Wajngarten tested positive after returning to Brazil on Thursday, prompting Suarez to go into self-isolation, the television station reported.
First coronavirus cases confirmed in Rwanda, Mauritania
Update 6:41 a.m. EDT March 14: The African nations of Rwanda and Mauritania have confirmed their first cases of the novel coronavirus.
The case in Rwanda involves an Indian citizen, who was asymptomatic when he arrived from Mumbai on March 8, the country’s health ministry confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Mauritania case also involves a visitor, who entered the country March 9 from Europe.
Mauritania Minister of Health Mohamed Nazir Ould Hamid told The Associated Press late Friday night that the patient "was immediately removed and all medical measures taken to treat him and contain this first case of (the coronavirus) in our country."
Only 19 of Africa’s 54 countries have not yet confirmed novel coronavirus cases.
Gabon and Ghana reported their first cases on Thursday, followed Friday by Kenya, Guinea and Ethiopia.
Coronavirus cases continue climbing in Italy, Iran
Update 5:31 a.m. EDT March 14: According to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization, the novel coronavirus has infected 142,320 worldwide.
The cumulative total – which has resulted in 5,388 virus-related deaths to date – spans 129 countries and territories.
Although China remains the hardest-hit nation with nearly 81,000 recorded cases, Italy has now confirmed more than 17,000 infections, while Iran has identified nearly 13,000 cases.
According to The Associated Press, new infections in Italy swelled by more than 2,500 cases on Friday, with virus-related fatalities experiencing their largest single-day jump to date at 250. All told, the virus has sickened 17,600 and 1,266 lives.
Iranian state TV said Saturday that the coronavirus had killed another 97 people among 12,729 total cases, bringing the nationwide death toll to 611.
Meanwhile, France saw an 800 new cases on Friday bring its nationwide total to 3,600 infections, and Britain recorded 208 new cases for a total of 798.
Grand Ole Opry pausing live audiences amid coronavirus fears; radio show to continue
Update 5:07 a.m. EDT March 14: Beginning tonight, the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry show will revert temporarily to its original format as a live radio broadcast with no live audience.
The move marks the latest high-profile reshuffling as the nation’s entertainment industry grapples with cancellations amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
While Opry and Ryman Auditorium officials decide how to proceed with future bookings, the iconic Nashville venue is taking the precautionary step of suspending both live audiences and tours through April 4. Although daytime tours of Ryman Auditorium will proceed, all currently booked shows will be postponed through April 4.
Publix changes store hours to combat coronavirus spread
Update 4:43 a.m. EDT March 14: Publix announced late Friday that all of its stores will close earlier in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak sweeping the nation.
Beginning March 14, the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer will adjust store and pharmacy hours companywide to close at 8 p.m.
The change is intended to “better serve our customers, give our store better serve our customers, give our store teams time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on our shelves."
Apple closing all retail stores outside China until March 27
Update 3:23 a.m. EDT March 14: Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced via Twitter early Saturday morning that all of the company's retail locations outside of greater China will be shuttered until March 27.
In his letter to staff, Cook encouraged team members to adopt some of the "best practices" developed during the company's shutdown of mainland China retail locations which ended Friday.
“What we’ve learned together has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response,” Cooko wrote, adding, “One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance. As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers.”
Cook's letter also announced Apple's committed donations to the global pandemic response has reached $15 million.
“We’re also announcing that we are matching our employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally,” Cook wrote.
Statewide school closures mount amid coronavirus spread, DC follows suit
Update 3:02 a.m. EDT March 14: The District of Columbia announced early Saturday that all public schools will close from Monday through March 31 to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Washington, D.C. now joins 18 U.S. states closing schools in a bid to minimize virus transmissions.
The scope of the closures vary, but most of those announced to date impact K-12 schools. And while measures in some states apply only to public schools, some will affect private and charter schools as well.
To date, the following states have announced coronavirus-related school closures.
• New Mexico
• Rhode Island
• West Virginia
White House physician says Trump does not need coronavirus testing, quarantine
Update 2:45 a.m. EDT March 14: Despite his recent proximity to infected dignitaries visiting Mar-A-Lago, U.S. President Donald Trump does not require coronavirus testing or quarantine measures, the White House physician said in a statement issued late Friday.
According to CNN, three members of a Brazilian delegation – one of whom was seated at the same dinner table as Trump's Mar-A-Lago on Saturday – have tested positive for the virus. Another reportedly shook the president's hand and had a photo taken with him.
"These interactions would be categorized as LOW risk for transmission per CDC guidelines, and as such, there is no indication for home quarantine at this time," the physician's statement read, adding, "Given the President himself remains without symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is not currently indicated."
Coronavirus relief bill passes US House 363-40
Update 1:48 a.m. EDT March 14: The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan coronavirus relief package just before 2 a.m. Saturday aimed at cushioning U.S. citizens from hardships caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The legislative package, known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed with a final tally of 363-40. All 40 nays were recorded by Republicans, and Independent Justin Amash voted "present," CNN reported.
State-by-state breakdown of the 2,204 US coronavirus cases, 49 deaths
Update 12:55 a.m. EDT March 14: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States eclipsed 2,200 in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, CNN reported late Friday.
The New York Times' infection-tracker database pegged the number of cases slightly lower at 2,110. The infections have resulted in at least 49 deaths, including 37 in Washington state, five in California, two in Florida and one each in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey and South Dakota.
Alabama, Idaho and Montana confirmed their first positive tests on Friday, leaving West Virginia as the only states without any diagnosed cases. Meanwhile, Colorado confirmed its first fatality, and six more people in Washington succumbed to the virus on Friday, the Times reported.
According to CNN, Washington state remains the hardest-hit, with 468 patients and 37 fatalities.
The latest figures include 21 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which arrived in port in Oakland, California, on Monday. The figures also include 49 repatriated citizens, including 46 sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three others retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
The complete state-by-state breakdown – including presumptive cases – of the 2,134 cases detected on U.S. soil is as follows:
• Alabama, Utah: 5 each
• Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming: 1 each
• Arkansas: 9
• Arizona, District of Columbia, New Mexico: 10 each
• California: 241, including 5 deaths
• Colorado: 77, including 1 death
• Connecticut, Kentucky: 11 each
• Delaware, Missouri, Montana: 4 each
• Florida: 51, including 2 deaths
• Georgia: 42, including 1 death
• Hawaii, Vermont: 2
• Illinois: 46
• Indiana: 12
• Iowa, Maryland, Nevada: 17 each
• Kansas: 6, including 1 death
• Louisiana: 36
• Maine, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico: 3 each
• Massachusetts: 123
• Michigan: 25
• Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island: 14 each
• Mississippi, New Hampshire: 6
• New Jersey: 50, including 1 death
• New York: 421
• North Carolina: 14
• Ohio, South Carolina: 13
• Pennsylvania: 41
• South Dakota: 9, including 1 death
• Tennessee: 26
• Texas: 39
• Virginia: 30
• Washington: 568, including 37 deaths
• West Virginia: No reported cases
• Wisconsin: 19