Coronavirus: Chinese President makes first visit to Wuhan

The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, continues to rise, with tens of thousands of people sickened and thousands of others killed by the virus, mostly in China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits city hardest hit by virus

Update 11:30 p.m. EDT March 9: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday made his first visit to Wuhan, the central Chinese city that has been hit hardest by the new virus epidemic.

Xi will inspect the epidemic prevention and control work and visit medical workers, community volunteers, patients and others on the front lines, state media said.

China’s ruling Communist Party has deployed its propaganda playbook to portray its leader as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a “people’s war” against the disease.

The main evening news on state TV regularly shows President Xi Jinping and his underlings giving instructions on the outbreak or touring related facilities.

NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS closing locker rooms amid virus scare

Update 7:30 p.m. EDT March 9: The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are closing access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all non-essential personnel in response to the coronavirus crisis, the leagues announced in a joint statement Monday night.

The leagues said they made the decision “after consultation with infectious disease and public health experts.” The NBA stressed that the move is not to ban reporters but to ensure the safety of players and staff in those areas.

The changes, which the leagues say are temporary, will begin Tuesday -- though some NHL teams began putting them into use this past weekend. The NBA said interviews with players would continue in different settings, stressing a gap of 6-to-8 feet between reporters and interview subjects.

It is unclear how long the new policies will last.

Trump to discuss potential payroll tax cut with Congress

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT March 9: President Donald Trump said Monday his administration will ask Congress to pass payroll tax relief, as he looks to calm financial markets’ fears over the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump told reporters that the administration was seeking “very substantial relief.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, the director of the national economic council, were expected to make the request of Senate Republicans on Tuesday afternoon.

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT March 9: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Monday evening that Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be canceled.

“This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy,” the mayor said in a statement.

Mayor Walsh apparently made the decision after consulting with local lawmakers and a representative from the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council.

“While the risk in Boston remains low, this situation is changing very quickly and we are closely monitoring any local cases," the mayor said in his statement. "Our top priority is preventing any new cases, to the best of our ability, and we are paying close attention to guidance from public health officials.

"We encourage all residents to follow preventive measures to avoid illness, such as washing hands and staying home if you are feeling sick, and we will continue to make public any information as this situation develops in Boston.”

Italy imposes nationwide restrictions

Update 5 p.m. EDT March 9: Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says he is extending restrictions on travel from the north to entire country to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Conte said Monday that a new government decree will require all people in Italy to demonstrate a need to work, health conditions or other limited reasons to travel outside the areas where they live.

“There won’t be just a red zone,″ Conte told reporters referring to a lockdown of areas in northern Italy instituted over the weekend.

“There will be Italy” as a protected area, he said.

Free-fall in oil, virus fears slam markets

Update 4:15 p.m. EDT March 9: Coronavirus fears and a crash in oil prices sent a shudder through financial markets Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8%, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008, as a free-fall in oil prices and worsening fears of fallout from the spreading coronavirus outbreak seize markets.

The sharp drops triggered the first automatic halts in trading in two decades. The price of oil plunged nearly 25% after Saudi Arabia indicated it would ramp up production after Russia refused to production cutbacks in response to falling demand.

California health officials report 2nd COVID-19 death

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT March 9: Authorities with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced the first 2019 novel coronavirus death reported in the county Monday.

Officials said the patient was a woman in her 60s who had been hospitalized for several weeks. She had been diagnosed with COVID-19 on Feb. 28 and had no known recent international travel history or any connection to people who had been confirmed infected. She died Monday at El Camino Hospital.

“This is a tragic development. The Public Health Department is taking necessary, carefully considered steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County, said Monday in a statement. “We are facing a historic public health challenge and know this is a very difficult time. Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.”

One other coronavirus death has been reported in California. Last week, officials in Placer County, California, announced an elderly patient with underlying health conditions had died of the viral infection.

Washington state officials announce 3 coronavirus deaths, bringing state’s total to 22

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT March 9: Authorities in Washington state said Monday that three more people have died of the 2019 novel coronavirus in King County, KIRO-TV reported.

The deaths all involved patients who had been residents at Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland where several people were exposed to COVID-19. Researchers have said the virus might have been circulating for weeks before it was first detected, KIRO-TV reported.

The reports bring the total number of people who have died of coronavirus in Washington state to 22.

3 test positive for COVID-19 in Ohio, governor declares state of emergency

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT March 9: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a state of emergency in Ohio on Monday afternoon after three people tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, WHIO-TV reported.

The cases were all reported in Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio, according to WHIO-TV.

Irish government announces cancellation of nation’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities due to COVID-19

Update 3:15 p.m. EDT March 9: Irish authorities announced the cancellation Monday of the nation’s St. Patrick’s day festivities due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, officials said the decision was made based on the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team.

“Due to the unique nature and scale of the St Patrick’s Day festivities, in terms of size, the mass gathering of local and international travelers and the continued progression of community transmission in some European countries, along with the emergence of a small number of cases of local transmission in Ireland, the government has decided that St Patrick’s Day parades, including the Dublin parade, will not proceed,” the statement said.

Earlier Monday, officials in Dublin and Cork announced the cancellations of their parades.

School employee in Georgia tests positive for COVID-19, impacted schools closed

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT March 9: Authorities in Georgia announced Monday that a Fulton County School System employee has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting school closures, WSB-TV reported.

School district officials said the employee, who was not identified, was being treated at an unidentified high school. School and district offices will be closed until at least Tuesday for disinfection.

“The closure will allow us to clean and sanitize affected school as well as share additional details of our ongoing plan,” officials said in a statement obtained by WSB-TV.

Italy cancels sporting events due to coronavirus threat

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT March 9: Italian officials announced the cancellation Monday of all the country’s sporting events in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to The Associated Press.

In a statement obtained by the AP, the Italian Olympic Committee said the suspension would last until at least April 3. The cancellations include games and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to begin in July.

Events around the world have been affected by the spreading virus, including Champions League soccer matches and Japan’s professional baseball season. Late Sunday, one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world was postponed.

In Italy, about 16 million people have been put under a widespread lockdown in the northern part of the country.

Louisiana reports first coronavirus case

Update 2 p.m. EDT March 9: Officials in Louisiana on Monday announced the state’s first presumptive positive coronavirus case.

In a statement, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the case involved a Jefferson Parish resident who was hospitalized Monday in Orleans Parish.

“While today is the first time that we can confirm that we have a presumptive positive coronavirus case, Louisiana has been preparing for this moment for many weeks,” Edwards said. “The CDC still believes the risk to the general public is low, but we will work quickly and decisively to assess the risk to those around this patient.”

The presumptive positive test will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation of the diagnosis.

2 more test presumptive positive for COVID-19 in NJ

Update 1:40 p.m. EDT March 9: Officials in Monmouth County, New Jersey, announced two new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the county Monday.

In a statement obtained by, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Susan Kiley said officials had learned of the presumptive positive cases earlier Monday. The patients were described as an 83-year-old woman in Hazlet and a 27-year-old man in Little Silver.

The presumptive positive tests, which will have to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bring the total number of cases reported in New Jersey to eight.

Spain reports 2 more coronavirus deaths

Update 1:25 p.m. EDT March 9: Officials with the Catalonian health department announced two more deaths Monday connected to the 2019 novel coronavirus, according to CNN.

The deaths bring the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Spain to 28, the news network reported.

First 2 coronavirus deaths reported in Germany

Update 1 p.m. EDT March 9: Authorities in Germany have announced the country’s first fatalities connected to the coronavirus outbreak, according to multiple reports.

A health ministry spokesman in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia told The Guardian an 89-year-old woman died in Essen and another patient, whose age was not released, died in the Heinsberg region.

In a statement released to CNN, German health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said the deaths “show that we have to take the situation very seriously.”

“My thoughts are with the relatives,” he said. “I wish the families a lot of strength in this difficult time.”

At least one other German citizen has died of coronavirus, according to CNN. A German national from Hamburg died Sunday while on vacation in Egypt, the news network reported.

WHO: Threat of a coronavirus pandemic ‘has become very real’

Update 12:30 p.m. EDT March 9: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said Monday that the global number of coronavirus cases crossed past 100,000 reports over the weekend in a total of 100 countries.

“It’s certainly troubling that so many people and countries have been affected so quickly,” Tedros said Monday at a news conference. “Now that the coronavirus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

He said that despite the threat, this “would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled.”

“The bottom line is: We are not at the mercy of this virus.”

2nd cruise ship held off coast of Florida

Update 12:25 p.m. EDT March 9: A second Florida-based cruise ship has been placed under a no-sail order and made to dock off the Florida coast amid coronavirus fears, according to multiple reports.

In a letter sent Sunday night to passengers on Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess, officials said the ship had been placed under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no-sail order to allow for testing of two crew members who might have been exposed to coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported.

The Caribbean Princess left Fort Lauderdale on March 1 for a 10-day journey, WPTV reported. The ship was ordered halted after authorities learned two crew members on the ship had been on another where a passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

It was not immediately clear how long the ship would remain docked off the Florida coast.

Dublin, Cork cancel St. Patrick’s Day parades

Update 12 p.m. EDT March 9: Officials in Ireland have cancelled upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parades in Dublin and Cork amid ongoing coronavirus fears, according to multiple reports.

Officials on the Irish cabinet sub-committee that deals with COVID-19 decided to cancel Dublin’s parade Monday, BBC News reported. The parade is the largest celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.

Earlier Monday, officials with the Cork city council said in a statement obtained by The Guardian that they were canceling their planned parade. The celebration is the second largest in the country.

“A risk assessment, based on World Health Organization guidelines, was carried out by Cork City Council which concluded that based on the demographic of those attending the parade, the close proximity of people attending the event and the duration of the event (among other considerations), Cork City Council is not in a position to provide the necessary assurances in relation to current WHO Guidelines,” the statement said.

New coronavirus cases bring total to 142 in New York state

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT March 9: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new coronavirus cases reported Monday, raising the number of confirmed infections to 142.

Eight of the 142 patients were hospitalized due to their infections, Cuomo said.

“We continue to expect more positive cases as we test,” he said.

3 more deaths confirmed in South Korea

Update 11:35 a.m. EDT March 9: Health officials in South Korea have announced three more coronavirus deaths, bringing the total number of fatal COVID-19 cases in the country to 54, according to CNN.

Thousands of people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in South Korea since the virus was first discovered late last year in Wuhan, China. Health officials said Monday that the country’s rate of new infections appeared to be declining, CNN reported.

Princeton University moving seminars, lectures online due to coronavirus

Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 9: Officials at Princeton University in New Jersey announced Monday that the school will “virtualize any activities, such as lectures, seminars, and precepts, that can be put online” amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

“Our goal is to decrease the number of instances that require community members to gather in large groups or spend extended periods of time in close proximity with each other,” university president Chris Eisgruber said Monday in a letter to the Princeton community.

“Though we continue to believe the risk of transmission on our campus is currently low, we know that community spread is occurring in various parts of the United States, including the state of New York, which has declared a state of emergency.”

Other schools, including the University of Washington, have also announced plans to move courses online or cancel in-person meetings due to coronavirus.

Why trading was paused on the stock market Monday

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT March 9: Trading on the New York Stock Exchange was suspended for 15 minutes Monday morning after the market dropped 7% shortly after opening.

The abrupt decline triggered a market-wide circuit breaker meant to slow things down, ease panic and give investors a chance to breathe before trading more.

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, many investors feel helpless in trying to estimate how much it will hurt the economy and corporate profits, and the easiest response to such uncertainty may be to get out.

The S&P 500 has lost 17% since setting a record last month. If it hits a 20% drop, it would mean the death of what’s become the longest-running bull market for U.S. stocks in history.

US stock trading resumes

Update 9:50 a.m. EDT March 9: Trading resumed on the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning after the market plunged 7% shortly after opening, triggering a market halt.

US stock trading halted for 15 minutes

Update 9:40 a.m. EDT March 9: Trading was halted Monday morning on the stock market after the S&P 500 fell 7% just minutes after opening trading in New York.

The flailing numbers triggered a circuit breaker, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 7.3% while the Nasdaq Composite Index fell by 6.9%.

New coronavirus cases confirmed in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nigeria

Update 9:10 a.m. EDT March 9: Health officials in at least four countries reported new confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus Monday.

Malaysian health officials said 18 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 117. Authorities said at least six of the newly confirmed ill had recent overseas travel history. Two people were receiving treatment in intensive care units.

Health officials in Singapore confirmed 10 new cases of coronavirus Monday, bringing the country’s total to 160. Several of the cases have been linked to a private dinner held Feb. 15 while one was linked to a church in central Singapore.

In the Philippines, health officials said coronavirus cases doubled from 10 reported on Sunday to 20 confirmed on Monday.

Citing health officials, CNN reported three new COVID-19 cases were confirmed by health officials in Hong Kong on Monday, bringing the country’s total to 116. The news network also reported a new confirmed coronavirus case in Nigeria, bringing the total number of sicknesses in that country to two.

South Korea reports 7,478 total cases; rate of new cases appears to be declining

Update 6:46 a.m. EDT March 9: South Korean officials on Monday reported 96 more confirmed cases in the country, CNN is reporting. So far, 7,478 people there have been infected.

Health officials also said South Korea’s rate of new infections appears to be declining, according to the news outlet.

Cruise line offering full refunds to stranded Grand Princess guests

Update 4 a.m. EDT March 9: Princess Cruises will give complete refunds to stranded Grand Princess passengers, CNN is reporting.

Twenty-one people who have novel coronavirus are aboard the ship, which is scheduled to dock in Oakland, California, on Monday, according to the news outlet.

US Sen. Ted Cruz to self-quarantine after shaking hands with CPAC attendee who contracted coronavirus

Update 8:27 p.m. EDT March 8: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he will self-quarantine this week after briefly shaking hands with an attendee of the Conservative Political Action Conference who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Last night, I was informed that 10 days ago at CPAC I briefly interacted with an individual who is currently symptomatic and has tested positive for COVID-19,” Cruz said in a statement. “That interaction consisted of a brief handshake.”

Cruz said he feels fine and is not experiencing any symptoms.

Medical officials said the odds of transmission to Cruz were extremely low and people who he has interacted with in the last 10 days should not be concerned.

“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” Cruz wrote.

US citizens should avoid cruise ship travel, State Department says

Update 6:12 p.m. EDT March 8: U.S. citizens, especially those with underlying health conditions, should avoid cruise ship travel, the State Department said Sunday.

The travel advisory was issued amid rising risk of infection within the cruise ship environment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Cruise ship travelers should contact their cruise ship company directly with questions about upcoming travel plans.

Cases of coronavirus top 500 in US

Update 5:29 p.m. EDT March 8: There are more than 500 cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., according to state and federal health agencies.

According to CNN, the 512 cases are:

  • 49 cases aboard the Diamond Princess
  • 21 cases aboard the Grand Princess
  • 442 cases in 33 states and Washington, D.C.

More than 3,500 people have been killed by the deadly virus and another 105,000 have been infected, according to CNN.

Cruise ship off Florida coast as officials await test results of 2 crew members

Update 1:49 p.m. EDT March 8: A cruise ship remained off the South Florida coast Sunday as officials awaited the test results of two cruise members who were tested for the coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported. The Regal Princess was supposed to dock in Port Everglades but remained offshore, the newspaper reported. The two cruise members were transferred to the Florida-based ship from the Grand Princess cruise ship that is now off the coast of California. The Grand Princess had 21 positive cases for the coronavirus, with 19 of the positive tests coming from crew members, the Herald reported.

The Regal crew members are not showing symptoms of the virus, the company told the Herald.

Cruise official: Americans test positive on Nile boat

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 8: Several American citizens were quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus on an Egyptian Nile boat, a cruise company spokesman told CNN. According to Extension Group, there were 19 passengers aboard the vessel, which was traveling from Aswan to Luxor, but it was unknown how many Americans were infected. Foreigners on the boat included French and Indian citizens, Waf’a Abdelrahman, the company’s marketing manager, told CNN.

Earlier, The Washington Post reported more than two dozen American tourists had been quarantined in Luxor as Egyptian health officials declared 33 new cases on the novel coronavirus.

Third death reported in Hong Kong

Update 9:34 a.m. EDT March 8: A third person in Hong Kong died from the coronavirus, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said Sunday evening. According to health authorities, a 76-year-old woman died, The Washington Post reported. The total number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong rose to 113 on Sunday the newspaper reported. Health authorities confirmed four more infections, including a man who contracted the virus while traveling in Mumbai, officials said. According to the Hospital Authority 58 have recovered from the virus and have been discharged, the Post reported.

Italy lockdown affects 16 million people

Update 7:50 a.m. EDT March 8: The Italian government has ordered a lockdown in the northern part of the country, including Lombardy and 14 additional provinces, CNN is reporting. The move, which prevents “the free movement of roughly 16 million people,” came as the country reported at least 5,800 cases and 233 deaths from the virus, according to the New York Times.

Grand Princess to berth in Oakland on Monday

Update 3:40 a.m. EDT March 8: Princess Cruises issued an update saying that the Grand Princess will berth in Oakland, California, on Monday, “to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization.” The process originally had been slated to begin Sunday, with other guests disembarking Monday.

“According to Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, following health screenings, guests who are California residents will go to a federally operated facility within California for testing and isolation, while non-Californians will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states,” the cruise line tweeted early Sunday. “Crew will be quarantined and treated aboard the ship.”

US Marine tests positive for coronavirus, is Virginia’s first case of virus

Update 7:29 p.m. EST March 7: A U.S. Marine who recently returned from overseas tested positive for the coronavirus, Pentagon officials said Saturday evening.

It is not clear where he had traveled.

The Marine is assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He is being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

CPAC attendee tests positive for coronavirus

Update 6:43 p.m. EST March 7: An attendee at the Conservative Political Action Conference has tested positive for the coronavirus, the American Conservative Union said Saturday afternoon.

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other officials attended the Maryland conference Feb. 29 but had no interactions with the attendee, who did not attend events in the main hall, officials said in a statement.

“The Trump Administration is aware of the situation,” the ACU said in a statement.

The attendee was exposed to the coronavirus before the conference. The attendee was taken to a New Jersey hospital, where they tested positive for COVID-19. The person is under quarantine in New Jersey.

First case of coronavirus confirmed in Washington D.C.

Update 5:55 p.m. EST March 7: The first case of coronavirus is confirmed in the nation’s capital.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed the city’s first presumptive positive case for COVID-19 was confirmed Saturday afternoon by the D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences.

Participants at Special Olympics event in Nebraska possibly exposed to coronavirus

Update 4:56 p.m. EST March 7: Players, coaches and staff who participated in a Special Olympics basketball tournament in Nebraska are urged to self-quarantine.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said participants at the Feb. 29 event should limit their exposure to other people and monitor themselves for symptoms until March 14, KTIV reported.

A 36-year-old woman who participated in the event is being treated for COVID-19 at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit in Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

“We’re in new territory,” Carolyn Chamberlin, president and CEO of Special Olympics Nebraska, told the World-Herald. “We’re trying to manage this the best we can. At this point, we’re just trying to figure out who was all involved. We’re taking all steps possible to communicate with all those affected, and we are hoping for the best for this individual.”

Health officials said spectators are at a much lower risk than participants.

Washington state death toll rises to 16

Update 2:56 p.m. EST March 7: The coronavirus death toll in Washington state reached 16 Saturday as confirmed cases of the virus are now at least 102, the Washington Department of Health announced Saturday morning.

KIRO-TV reported the number of cases in King County reached 71, while Snohomish County reported 27 confirmed cases. Grant, Jefferson, Pierce and Clark counties all reported one confirmed case apiece.

At least 10 of those who died in King County were residents of Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, the television station reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declares state of emergency in New York

Update 1:06 p.m. EST March 7: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in the state Saturday during a news conference, The New York Times reported. Cuomo said the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen to 76.

Chinese hotel collapses; building used to observe people who had contact with patients

Update 11:07 a.m. EST March 7: A hotel used for by medical personnel to observe people who had contact with coronavirus patients collapsed in the southeastern China city of Quanzhou on Saturday, trapping 70 people, state media reported. There were no immediate reports of deaths.

According to China Central Television, at least 34 people have been rescued from the rubble as of Saturday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to People’s Daily, the 80-room hotel was converted by city officials to observe people who had come in contact with coronavirus patients, The Associated Press reported.

US Navy sailor in Naples, Italy, tests positive

Update 9:43 a.m. EST March 7: A U.S. Navy sailor stationed in Naples, Italy, tested positive for the coronavirus, The New York Times reported. It was the first positive case of an American service member in Europe testing positive for the virus, the United States European Command said Saturday in a statement.

Amtrak halts nonstop Acela service between Washington and New York

Update 8:39 a.m. EST March 7: Amtrak announced it is canceling its Acela nonstop service between Washington and New York City beginning Tuesday, The Washington Post reported. The Acela service will be suspended through May 26, the newspaper reported.

Amtrak said the reduced demand for train service because of the coronavirus was the main reason for the schedule change, the Post reported. Amtrak said there could be other train schedule changes, including removing train cars or canceling trains when there are other alternatives for customers, the newspaper reported.

Iran cases continue increasing

Update 6:58 a.m. EST March 7: Health officials confirmed early Saturday that more than 1,000 novel coronavirus cases were confirmed overnight as were 21 additional deaths.

The latest figures bring the nationwide total to 5,823 infections, resulting in 145 deaths.

Malta reports first novel coronavirus case

Update 6:42 a.m. EST March 7: Malta confirmed its first coronavirus case Saturday morning, The Washington Post reported.

Cyprus and Bulgaria are the last remaining European Union countries without confirmed coronavirus cases.

The country’s health minister said during a press conference that the patient is a 12-year-old girl who had recently been in northern Italy with her family, the Post reported citing the Times of Malta.

The girl, who arrived in Malta via Rome, is being treated in an infectious disease unit in the country’s largest hospital.

Grand Princess passenger airlifted to San Francisco

Update 6:38 a.m. EST March 7: One passenger aboard the Grand Princess has been airlifted and flown back to San Francisco, another person aboard the stranded cruise ship told CNN.

Steven Smith told CNN’s Michael Holmes that the ship’s captain made the announcement over an internal public address system.

“The captain came on a few minutes ago with another announcement that a helicopter was just dispatched to the ship to drop off some supplies and to pick up a passenger who needed medical attention, and they flew that person back to San Francisco,” Steven Smith told the network.

"They do not know what they're going to do, where they're going to have us berth. Right now, we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow," Smith said.

Coronavirus cases in France exceed 600

Update 6:28 a.m. EST March 7: The French government confirmed Saturday the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country has reached 613, resulting in 10 deaths.

“We are currently at stage two of the action plan of the government, whose objective is to prevent and limit the spread of the virus,” the government noted in its statement, attributing the uptick in cases to the detection of “several clusters” of coronavirus activity across the nation.

More cases reported in Greece, Afghanistan

Update 6:22 a.m. EST March 7: The Greek Health Ministry confirmed Saturday the detection of 14 new coronavirus cases, bringing the nationwide total to 45.

Meanwhile, three additional cases have also been confirmed in Afghanistan, Public Health Minister Ferozidin Feroz said Saturday. Afghanistan has a total of four cases.

UK confirms second coronavirus death

Update 5:01 a.m. EST March 7: Health officials in the United Kingdom confirmed early Saturday the country’s second death related to the novel coronavirus death.

The National Health Service Foundation Trust issued the following statement:

“Sadly, we can confirm that a man in his early 80s being cared for at Milton Keynes University Hospital has died. The man, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for coronavirus shortly before his death on Thursday.”

Earlier this week a woman in her 70s, who also had underlying health conditions, became the first person to die after contracting coronavirus in the UK, CNN reported.

US cities ramp up infection-control efforts to protect homeless

Update 4:54 a.m. EST March 7: Cities across the United States are stepping up efforts to try to protect more than half a million people experiencing homelessness from the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.

According to the Post, a few examples include:

Seattle erecting tiny homes for homeless people to sleep in. The homes, often barely big enough to fit a bed and a nightstand, are expected to be completed within the next month.

Denver urging business to keep their bathrooms unlocked, so even non-patrons can wash their hands.

Portland’s health department working to identify masks and hand sanitizers reserves that can be used as part of its outreach to roughly 14,000 chronically homeless people.

State-by-state breakdown of the 307 US coronavirus cases, 17 deaths

Update 3:22 a.m. EST March 7: The novel coronavirus has sickened at least 307 U.S. residents across 29 states, including 49 citizens repatriated from abroad.

The latest figures do not include 21 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California who have tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile, some reports indicate the figure could be as high as 332 cases.

Seven states reported their first cases on Friday, including Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Utah.

Forty-six of the 49 repatriated citizens were sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off the coast of Japan. The three others were retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.

The state-by-state breakdown of 258 cases detected on U.S. soil – including presumptive cases – is as follows:

Arizona: 3

California: 60 (1 death)

Colorado: 8

Connecticut: 1

Florida: 6 (2 deaths)

Georgia: 3

Hawaii: 1

Illinois: 6

Indiana: 1

Kentucky: 1

Maryland: 3

Massachusetts: 8

Minnesota: 1

Nebraska: 1

Nevada: 1

New Hampshire: 2

New Jersey: 4

New York: 44

North Carolina: 2

Oklahoma: 1

Oregon: 3

Pennsylvania: 2

Rhode Island: 3

South Carolina: 2

Tennessee: 1

Texas: 8

Utah: 1

Washington: 80 (14 deaths)

Wisconsin: 1

Global coronavirus death toll nears 3,500

Update 3:19 a.m. EST March 7: China’s National Health Commission reported 28 new deaths from the novel coronavirus early Saturday, bringing the global death toll to 3,493.

The health commission also announced only 99 new cases were confirmed in China on Friday, marking the first time the daily figure dipped below triple digits since figures were first released in January.

Per the latest figures, the total number of confirmed infections in mainland China is 80,651, resulting in 3,070 deaths.

The following is a breakdown of the 425 deaths recorded to date outside mainland China:

Italy: 197

Iran: 124

South Korea: 46

United States: 17

Japan: 12

France: 9

Spain: 8

Hong Kong, Iraq and Australia: 2 deaths each

Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have each reported 1 death.

Starbucks closes downtown Seattle store temporarily after employee tests positive

Update 3:15 a.m. EST March 7: In a letter to employees, Starbucks said Friday that it closed a downtown Seattle store after a team member was diagnosed with COVID-10, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, KIRO-7 reported.

According to the letter, the employee is in self-quarantine at home.

Starbucks officials said when they learned of the diagnosis, they activated protocols, closed the store immediately and initiated a deep clean, following the recommended guideline from Seattle - King County Public Health.

The store was encouraged to reopen by health officials after preventive cleaning was complete, which has already been done, according to Starbucks. It has also said that the store will be staffed by partners who have not been impacted by the coronavirus, KIRO-7 reported.

Read the full letter to store partners here and the complete KIRO-7 report here.

FBI employee near San Francisco tests positive for coronavirus

Update 3:12 a.m. EST March 7: An FBI official confirmed Friday one of its agents in the San Francisco field division is among those to test positive for the novel coronavirus, CNN reported.

The patient is based out of a smaller satellite office and not the main offices in San Francisco.

According to CNN, employees of the satellite office were sent home, and the FBI is taking “all necessary steps” to prevent further spread of the virus, the official said.

Cases outside mainland China spike: European cases top 7,300; South Korea remains hardest hit

Update 3:10 a.m. EST March 7: South Korean health officials confirmed 483 new cases of coronavirus cases on Friday and an additional 274 cases early Saturday, bringing the nationwide total to 7,041.

Meanwhile, the head of the South Korean National Institute of Health, Kwon Jun-wook, confirmed two additional deaths early Saturday, bringing the country’s virus-related death toll to 46.

According to The New York Times, France, Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and others each recorded their biggest one-day increases in cases. More than 30 European countries now have cases; 10 of them have at least 100 each.

In Italy, with the worst outbreak outside of Asia, Friday’s figures brought nationwide infections to more than 4,600, resulting in 197 deaths.

Meanwhile, Germany, France and Spain reported more than 1,700 cases combined on Friday, an increase of roughly 500 total cases in only 24 hours. The confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Switzerland doubled to more than 200 during the same period, the Times reported.

Outside Europe, Iran confirmed on Friday a total of 4,700 infections, an increase of more than 1,200 cases in only one day. In addition:

Malaysia reported 28 new cases, bringing its nationwide total to 83.

Iraq confirmed eight new cases, bringing its nationwide total to 46.

Ecuador confirmed its 14th case.

Citing data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, at least 101,781 cases had been diagnosed worldwide by Friday night, more than 20 percent of which are now located outside mainland China, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Stanford, USC shift classes online temporarily

Update 2:55 a.m. EST March 7: Both Stanford University and the University of Southern California announced late Friday that classes will temporarily move online due to the coronavirus outbreak, The Washington Post reported.

“We will replace in-person classes with online lectures & seminars to test our readiness should we need to take stronger action for health & safety. The campus will remain fully open and functional at this time,” USC officials tweeted, regarding the shift planned for March 11-13.

According to a statement sent out to the USC community, this is campuswide test in case longer term home classes are ever needed.

“We need to test our technical capabilities to ensure academic continuity in an online environment should there be a disruption.”

Meanwhile, Stanford is cancelling all in-person classes through the close of the winter quarter.

“To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction,” Stanford Provost Persis Drell said a letter on the university’s website.

In addition, exams Exams that were scheduled to be taken in-person will be taken in a take-home format, the Post reported.

First coronavirus deaths in Florida

Update 10:30 p.m. EST March 6: The Florida Department of Health tweeted that two people in Florida have died from coronavirus.

FLDOH also announced three new presumptive positive cases, two in Broward County and one in Lee County, where a person died from the virus. The second person that died from the virus had a previously announced case in Santa Rosa.

The announcement brings Florida’s total cases to seven.

Hawaii’s first case is resident on Grand Princess cruise ship

Update 8:30 p.m. EST March 6: Governor David Ige and state officials in Hawaii confirmed its first case of Coronavirus in a news conference Friday.

The patient is a Hawaiian resident aboard the Grand Princess currently off the coast of California. There was no immediate word on where or when the vessel will dock.

Minnesota’s 1st case of coronavirus in cruise ship passenger

Update 7:30 p.m. EST March 6: A Minnesota resident who had recently been on a cruise is the first confirmed case of coronavirus, health officials said Friday.

The Minnesota Department of Health said the case is an older adult from Ramsey County who traveled recently on a cruise ship that carried another person with a known case. The Minnesotan developed symptoms Feb. 25 and first sought health care Thursday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said at a news conference with Gov. Tim Walz and other officials.

“This is cause for concern but not panic,” Malcolm said, adding that the case was “certainly not unexpected. The likelihood that we would see one or more cases certainly has been going up steadily in recent days.”

Top department officials got first word of the case from their public heath lab at 12:40 p.m. Friday, said Kris Ehresman, the department’s infections disease director.

Coronavirus live updates: 21 aboard cruise ship in California tests positive

Update 6:30 p.m. EST March 6: Twenty-one people aboard a cruise ship off the California coast tested positive for the new coronavirus, including 19 crew members, Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday, amid evidence the vessel was the breeding ground for a deadly cluster of at least 10 cases during its previous voyage.

Federal officials have been working with the state and “we have developed a plan to bring the ship to a non-commercial port,” Pence said. “All passengers and crew will be tested for the virus. Those that will need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who will require medical help will receive it.”

Princess Cruises said 45 of the more than 3,500 people on board were tested in the first round. A military helicopter crew lowered test kits onto the 951-foot Grand Princess by rope Thursday and later retrieved them for analysis as the vessel waited off San Francisco, under orders to keep its distance from shore.

Oklahoma and Kentucky confirm first COVID-19 cases

Update 5:15 p.m. EST March 6: Oklahoma Officials confirmed one case of coronavirus in Tulsa on Friday.

The patient is in quarantine and recently returned from a trip to Italy.

Kentucky has confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday.

The positive test came back Friday afternoon and the patient, whose age was not given, was in isolation at a medical facility in Lexington.

The governor said he had declared a state of emergency to ensure all state entities have the necessary resources to respond. The declaration sets up a central, coordinated response, he said.

SXSW 2020 has been cancelled following Coronavirus concern

Update 5 p.m. EST March 6: Austin city officials have canceled the South by Southwest arts and technology festival.

Mayor Steve Adler announced a local disaster as a precaution because of the threat of the novel coronavirus, effectively cancelling the annual event.

The announcement comes days after several high-profile companies, including Netflix, tech news outlet Mashable, video-based social media platform TikTok and U.S. chip maker Intel, pulled out of the festival.

More than 50,000 people had signed a petition seeking to get the festival cancelled.

The festival drew 73,716 attendees last year, 19,166 of whom came from outside the U.S. Combined with SXSW’s gaming expo and education conference, the 2019 event drew 417,400 attendees, organizers said. An economic impact report found it contributed $355.9 million to the local economy.

Trump tours CDC headquarters in Atlanta

Update 4 p.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump is touring the Atlanta headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday afternoon.

Trump arrives in Georgia ahead of trip to visit CDC

Update 3:40 p.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump has landed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta ahead of a planned visit to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Air Force One landed in Marietta around 3:40 p.m., WSB-TV reported.

Seattle University cancels in-person classes through March 20

Update 3:35 p.m. EST March 6: Officials at Seattle University announced they plan to cancel all in-person classes through the end of the winter quarter amidst continued coronavirus fears, KIRO-TV reported.

The announcement came hours after officials at the University of Washington announced they would cancel classes through the end of the school’s winter quarter, which ends March 15.

New coronavirus cases bring total to 79 in Washington state

Update 3:10 p.m. EST March 6: At least 79 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Washington state as the virus continues to spread, according to KIRO-TV.

Officials said Friday that COVID-19 had spread to one new county: Jefferson County, where one person was reported ill. One other case has been reported in Grant County and 19 in Snohomish County, but a bulk of the cases -- 58 -- have been confirmed in King County, where Seattle is located.

Twelve people who tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus have died in King County while one other person has died in Snohomish County, according to KIRO-TV.

Including a death reported in California, 14 fatal coronavirus cases have been reported in the U.S.

Trump to visit CDC Friday afternoon

Update 2:50 p.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump is scheduled to arrive in Georgia on Thursday afternoon to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after cancelling his trip earlier Friday over coronavirus fears.

According to an updated schedule released by the White House, Trump is expected to arrive at the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta just before 4 p.m. Friday. He’s scheduled to leave Atlanta around 5:15 p.m.

The visit is aimed at highlighting the work the CDC and administration officials have been doing to combat the 2019 novel coronavirus, according to WSB-TV.

613 coronavirus cases confirmed in France

Update 2:35 p.m. EST March 6: Public health officials in France have confirmed 613 cases of COVID-19 in the country, The Guardian reported.

Citing Jerome Salomon, head of France’s public health service, the newspaper reported the numbers included 39 patients who are being treated in intensive care units.

Nine people have died in France of coronavirus.

Presumptive positive coronavirus test would mark 3rd case in Georgia

Update 2:15 p.m. EST March 6: Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said a 46-year-old woman who went to a Floyd County hospital several times with symptoms of a coronavirus infection has tested presumptive positive for the illness, WSB-TV reported.

The woman had sought treatment Feb. 29 at Floyd Medical Center’s Emergency Care Center after experiencing flu-like symptoms, according to the news station. She was screened but WSB-TV reported hospital officials deemed she didn’t meet the testing criteria for COVID-19 or need to be hospitalized.

Officials said the woman returned March 3 with worsening symptoms, but still, she didn’t meet testing guidelines, WSB-TV reported. She tested positive for coronavirus Thursday night after doctors decided to admit her on her third visit the to hospital.

If the diagnosis is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the case would mark the third in Georgia.

2nd coronavirus case reported in Houston

Update 1:30 p.m. EST March 6: Health officials in Houston have confirmed the city’s second COVID-19 case, bringing the total number of virus cases reported in Texas to six.

Officials said the new case involved a patient between 60 and 70 years old. She was hospitalized in stable condition Friday.

Her illness was linked to others reported in the state following a group trip to Egypt, according to the Houston Health Department.

German COVID-19 cases rise to 639

Update 1:20 p.m. EST March 6: The number of coronavirus cases reported in Germany has risen from 520 reported at 7 a.m. local time to 639 by 3 p.m., according to health officials.

Earlier Friday, officials with Germany’s largest airline, Lufthansa, announced that the company is cutting planned flights by up to 50 percent in the coming weeks due to booking declines attributed to coronavirus fears, Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency reported.

49 more virus deaths reported in Italy

Update 12:40 p.m. EST March 6: Health officials in Italy said Friday that 49 people have died of the coronavirus since Thursday, bringing the total number of virus deaths in the country to 197.

Italy has had the most number of fatal COVID-19 cases in Europe, but the number still falls far short of the number seen in China, where a majority of coronavirus deaths have been reported. Officials in China have reported 2,931 fatal virus cases, according to numbers compiled by John Hopkins University.

11 new coronavirus cases make 33 in New York state

Update 12:30 p.m. EST March 6: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 33 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the state, up 11 from numbers released Thursday.

Cuomo said the new cases were all linked to a 50-year-old lawyer from New Rochelle who was hospitalized in serious condition earlier this week and who tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus.

“As we do more tests, the number of positive cases will rise, as we are seeing,” Cuomo said.

Coronavirus fears prompt University of Washington to cancel in-person classes til end of winter quarter

Update 12:25 p.m. EST March 6: Officials with the University of Washington on Friday announced that all classes at the university’s campuses are canceled until the end of the winter quarter, KIRO-TV reported.

In a letter sent to students and faculty members, university administrators said they aimed to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus by holding classes remotely when possible, according to KIRO-TV.

The announcement came amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases in Washington state.

According to KIRO-TV, 70 coronavirus cases have been reported in Washington, 11 of which have proved deadly. One other person has died of COVID-19 in the U.S.

WHO recommends countries make COVID-19 containment ‘their highest priority’

Update 11:50 a.m. EST March 6: At a news briefing Friday, officials with the World Health Organization urged countries to prioritize containment of the 2019 novel coronavirus as cases continue to spread worldwide.

“We continue to call on countries to find, test, isolate and care for every case, and to trace every contact,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

“Slowing down the (coronavirus) epidemic saves lives, and it buys time for preparedness and for research and development. Every day we can slow down the epidemic is another day hospitals can prepare themselves for cases.”

Officials with WHO said they have recorded over 98,000 coronavirus cases worldwide as of Friday morning. Numbers compiled by John Hopkins University, which includes data from WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies, showed over 100,500 cases reported globally.

First presumptive coronavirus case reported in Indiana

Update 11:40 a.m. EST March 6: Health officials in Indiana said Friday that a man has tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, marking the first reported COVID-19 case in the state.

At a news conference Friday, authorities said the Marion County man, who recently traveled to Indiana from Boston, called a hospital Thursday night concerned that he might have the 2019 novel coronavirus, the Indianapolis Star reported. According to the newspaper, he was taken in through a side entrance and had no contact with other patients or caregivers.

Officials described the man’s case as “mild." He was in stable condition Friday, the Star reported.

Trump’s CDC visit back on after employee tests negative for COVID-19

Update 11:10 a.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump’s planned trip to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was cancelled early Friday, is back on, according to White House press pool reports.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters the trip would likely include a tour of CDC facilities. She said the trip had been canceled “out of an abundance of caution” amidst testing of a CDC employee suspected of having coronavirus.

“Thankfully she’s negative, the person,” Grisham said.

Trump is expected to visit Nashville, where a deadly tornado left destruction earlier this week, before visiting Atlanta.

Coronavirus tests delivered to Washington, California

Update 11 a.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump said he spoke Friday morning with California Gov. Gavin Newsom as officials in the state dealt with a cruise ship quarantined off the coast due to coronavirus fears.

“We had a good conversation,” Trump told reporters Friday morning while signing an $8.3 billion spending bill aimed at fighting COVID-19. “We are both working on the ship together. (There are) close to 5,000 people. It’s a big ship. We are doing testing on people.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said officials delivered test kits to health officials in Washington and California, the two states with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

According to numbers posted Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 39 coronavirus cases have been reported in Washington. In California, at least 36 cases have been reported.

Peru reports first COVID-19 case

Update 10:50 a.m. EST March 6: Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra confirmed in a televised statement Friday that health officials in the country have confirmed the first 2019 novel coronavirus case in the country, according to Reuters.

Vizcarra identified the patient as a 25-year-old man with recent travel to Spain, France and the Czech Republic, Reuters reported.

"We have arranged, through the Ministry of Health, all the appropriate measures from the medical point of view so that this patient, who is stable, has comprehensive care,” Vizcarra said Friday, according to CNN.

600 coronavirus cases reported in Germany

Update 10:45 a.m. EST March 6: The number of coronavirus cases reported in Germany has risen to 600 as of 3 p.m. local time, The Guardian reported.

The numbers include 66 cases confirmed since German health officials released official numbers at 7 a.m. local time reporting 534 cases nationwide.

Officials with Lufthansa, the country’s largest airline, announced Friday that they will cut planned flights up to 50 percent in the coming weeks due to booking declines attributed to coronavirus fears, Germany’s Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency reported.

2 coronavirus cases confirmed in Pennsylvania mark first in state

Update 9:50 a.m. EST March 6: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced Friday that two cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state.

One case was confirmed in Delaware County while the second was confirmed in Wayne County, WPXI reported. Wolf said Friday that the patients were being quarantined in their homes, according to WPXI.

Trump says he might visit CDC after trip cancelled

Update 9:45 a.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he might visit the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hours after reports surfaced that his trip had been cancelled.

While speaking after signing an $8.3 billion spending bill aimed at fighting the virus, Trump said his trip had been cancelled in light of a possible coronavirus case with the CDC.

“They thought there was a problem with CDC with somebody who had the virus,” he said, though he added the test came back negative. “I may be going.”

163 coronavirus cases reported across UK

Update 9:35 a.m. EST March 6: As of 9 a.m. local time Friday, health officials in the United Kingdom said 163 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country, including one person who died of the viral infection.

Trump signs coronavirus spending bill

Update 9:25 a.m. EST March 6: President Donald Trump on Friday morning signed an $8.3 billion spending bill aimed at fighting the coronavirus in the U.S.

“We’re signing the 8.3 billion. I asked for 2 and a half and I got 8.3, and I’ll take it,“ Trump said while signing the bill in the Diplomatic Reception Room.

Global coronavirus cases top 100,000

Update 8:45 a.m. EST March 6: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported worldwide has risen past 100,00, according to numbers compiled by John Hopkins University.

As of 8:35 a.m. EST, the cases include 55,694 people who have recovered from the viral infection and 3,408 who have died, mostly in China.

>> See the latest numbers from John Hopkins University