WASHINGTON — Monday afternoon ended with reporters waiting on a White House coronavirus task force update, where President Trump addressed the public. A cruise ship carrying 21 passengers infected with coronavirus docked Monday at the Port of Oakland in California. Meanwhile, the stock market continued its decline and Washington announced three more deaths tied to coronavirus.
- Large music events like Coachella and Stagecoach are in talks to postpone the massive festivals until after the summer, and the band Pearl Jam confirms they will delay part of their Spring tour in the U.S.
- Ohio State University suspends classes until March 30 over coronavirus concerns
- The White House press secretary says even after being in contact with persons who are now self-quarantined over coronavirus concerns, President Trump has not been tested for coronavirus, NBC News reports.
- The Grand Princess cruise ship has docked in Oakland and passengers and crew members are expected to disembark on Monday.
- Three new deaths have been reported in King County, Washington, bringing the U.S. death toll to 26.
- Italy has restricted travel across the country to try to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
Chinese president visits hardest-hit region
Chinese President Xi Jinping is making his first visit to Wuhan, the central Chinese city that has been hit hardest by the new virus epidemic.
State media reported Xi arrived in the morning in Wuhan, which is currently under lockdown along with several nearby cities. Xi will inspect the epidemic prevention and control work and visit medical workers, community volunteers, patients and others on the front lines.
White House coronavirus task force briefs public
President Trump spoke at the update saying that officials are speaking with the cruise industry and the hotel industry along with other sectors of the travel industry regarding coronavirus updates.
As the president left the room, at least one reporter shouted a question asking if the president had been tested for coronavirus after being in contact with at least one person who is self-quarantined over coronavirus concerns.
Later Monday night, NBC News reported that according to the White House press secretary, the president has not been tested for the new coronavirus and said, "He has neither had prolonged close contact with any known confirmed COVID-19 patients, nor does he have any symptoms."
As NBC News reports, incoming White House Chief of Staff U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, is under self-quarantine after "possibly coming into contact" with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Vice President Pence said the coronavirus task force met with the president today regarding updates. Screenings were established for all direct flights coming from Italy. Pence said the risk of contracting the coronavirus for the American public remains low. The risk of contracting "serious disease" for the American public also remains low, the vice president said.
Pence said that pharmaceutical companies are working around the clock to try and develop therapeutic treatments for COVID-19 disease.
Pence said that the White House coronavirus task force held a conference call with state governors to update them. The vice president said that the American public should see a dramatic increase in the amount of coronavirus testing that is happening.
Reporters gathered in the White House briefing room late Monday afternoon as the White House coronavirus task force prepared to brief the public.
The Vice President seal was replaced with the Presidential seal on the podium according to NBC News Senior White House reporter Shannon Pettypiece and other reporters in the room. The U.S. coronavirus numbers are now up to 26 who have been confirmed to have the virus.
The band Pearl Jam announced parts of their Spring tour has been postponed
In an press release Monday the Seattle-based band said, "we’ve been hit hard and have witnessed firsthand how quickly these disastrous situations can escalate. Our kids’ schools have closed along with universities and businesses. It’s been brutal and it’s gonna get worse before it gets better."
Citing safety concerns for fans the band said they are postponing tour dates for the first leg of the PJ/Gigaton tour, and they will reschedule shows for a "later date." The band said, "levels of risk to our audience and their communities is simply too high for our comfort level."
Coachella and Stagecoach music festival organizers discuss moving the events to October
As Billboard reports, organizers for the music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach are in talks to move the popular music and entertainment events past summer and into October. As fears grow over the possible worsening of the spread of the new coronavirus, leaders of events involving large crowds are working to try and prevent further community spread.
Billboard points out that a move like this would involve rescheduling hundreds of artists and their representatives. Hundreds of contractors would be affected along with vendors and tens of thousands of employees.
Ohio State University said in a statement in person classes will be suspended until the end of March
Ohio State University said Monday that face-to-face instruction will be suspended effective immediately due to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
University leaders have decided to suspend in person classes until at least Monday March 30th the university said in a statement.
“While there are no campus-associated cases of COVID-19, we know that there are at least three confirmed cases in the state of Ohio, and we expect that there will be more. We are being proactive in an effort to prevent illness and continue the important work of the university,” University President Michael V. Drake wrote in an email Monday night that was sent to the entire university.
Grand Princess cruise ship docks
The Grand Princess cruise ship has docked at an empty commercial-use dock in the port of Oakland in California. The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries, 938 passengers are from California. From those numbers, at least 21 people are known to have tested positive for coronavirus.
Vice President Mike Pence said during a White House press briefing Monday that 25 of the children on the ship seen by medical professionals are "healthy." Pence said the passengers that remain will be, under careful conditions, be flown to military bases in Georgia and Texas.
Crews spent most of Sunday night and early Monday morning sealing an 11-acre site near the dock with fences. No one will be allowed in the area, besides health officials, according to reports. As of early Monday morning, all access streets to the dock were closed and are expected to remain closed all day.
Virus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship waits off coast of California
Federal and state officials in California were preparing Monday to receive thousands of people from a cruise ship that has been idling off the coast of San Francisco with at least 21 people aboard infected with COVID-19.
Fences were being installed at an 11-acre site at the Port of Oakland, as authorities readied flights and buses to whisk the more than 2,000 passengers aboard the Grand Princess to military bases or their home countries for a 14-day quarantine. More than 3,500 on the ship hail from 54 countries.
The U.S. death toll from the virus reached at least 21 and the number of cases worldwide have soared above 110,000.
Here is the latest on the COVID-19 outbreak and its effects in the U.S. and around the world Monday, March 9:
Louisiana reports state's first coronavirus case
The Louisiana Department of Health has reported its first "presumptive" positive case of coronavirus in the state. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the first case is from a Jefferson Parish resident who is hospitalized in Orleans Parish.
As the Associated Press reports, Officials say the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe and several staff members may have been exposed to the new coronavirus.
The Army says in a statement Monday that Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli and the others are self-monitoring their health and working remotely.
Also Monday, French officials said that Culture Minister Franck Riester tested positive for the virus.
French Health Minister Olivier Veran says that Riester has shown “few symptoms” and is under self-quarantine at home. Veran says Riester had spent time at the country’s National Assembly lower house of parliament where several lawmakers tested positive.
Sporting events in Italy expected to be halted
All sports in Italy are expected to be halted because of the virus outbreak. That includes games in the country’s top soccer division, which has not been canceled since World War II.
The Italian Olympic Committee oversees all sporting events in the country. It says the suspension will last until April 3 and that it would request a government decree to impose its decision. As the Bleacher Report said, as part of that cancellation, Serie A, which is Italy's premier
Italy's coronavirus restriction zone will expand across the country
The BBC reports that Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the country's restriction zone will now be extended to cover the entire country.
As the BBC's Rome Correspondent Mark Lowen reported, this is no longer just a red zone in the north - this is for all of Italy. Guardian reporter Daniel Medina wrote on twitter, "all of Italy's *60 million* people now are under lockdown".
As the Associated Press reported, Conte said Monday night a new government decree will require all people in Italy to demonstrate they need to work, have health conditions or other limited legitimate reasons to travel outside their home areas.
Ireland cancels all St. Patrick's Day parades
Ireland has canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades across the country in an attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced the cancellation and said “further advice about mass public gatherings will be issued in the next few days.”
Public barred from 2020 Olympic flame lighting in Greece
Spectators will be kept away from the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia on Thursday because of the coronavirus. The Greek Olympic committee says only 100 accredited guests will be allowed to attend the traditional event.
A dress rehearsal on Wednesday for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic flame will also be closed to the public to comply with Greek government restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Tokyo organizing committee says it will “reduce the size of its traveling delegation as much as possible.”
Tokyo officials previously said they would not send 140 children to Greece to give the flame a send-off next week on its journey to Japan.
Germany reports first 2 deaths of virus patients
Germany has reported the first two deaths in the country of people infected with the new coronavirus.
Heinsberg county in Germany’s far west reported the first death on Monday. The city of Essen then reported an 89-year-old woman's death as the second.
The Heinsberg area has seen the highest concentration of infections in Germany so far.
The German state where both Heinsberg and Essen are located, North Rhine-Westphalia, accounted for 484 of the 1,112 infections in Germany confirmed as of Monday morning.
Earlier in the day, experts credited rapid testing as the outbreak spread for the absence of virus-related deaths in Germany. They said Germany caught many cases early on, including in younger patients who were less likely to develop serious complications.
Third Princess cruise ship kept at sea pending virus tests
Princess cruise line officials say passengers on a third ship have been ordered to stay on board while crew members are tested for COVID-19.
The ship was placed under a “no sail" order by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Princes Cruises says the ship will dock in Grand Cayman to receive the test kits, but passengers won't be able to disembark.
The ship will then set sail for Fort Lauderdale, where it will remain off the coast until further notice. The Regal Princess was finally able to dock at Port Everglades Sunday night under similar procedures.
New York is going to make its own hand sanitizer
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking aim at companies who have jacked up prices of hand sanitizer during the coronavirus crisis.
The governor announced Monday that New York State is now producing their own hand sanitizer.
Cuomo says it is cheaper for the state to make hand sanitizer than to purchase it outside of NYS.
As WKYC reports, following the announcement that three people in the Cleveland area are confirmed to have Ohio's first cases of coronavirus, city of Cleveland and county officials are held a briefing on Monday.
Gov. Mike DeWine said all three patients are from Cuyahoga County and in their mid-50s. Two of them are a married couple who were recently on a cruise on the Nile River, and the third attended a conference in Washington D.C.
D.C. Mayor asks hundreds exposed to church rector with coronavirus to self-quarantine
Several hundred people are being asked to self-quarantine after potential exposure to the first identified case of the new coronavirus in the nation's capital, now publicly identified as the rector of prominent Episcopal church.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser says anyone who entered Christ Church Georgetown on Feb. 24 or between Feb. 28 and March 3 is asked to self-quarantine for two weeks from the date of their entrance to the church.
Christ Church Georgetown spokesman Rob Volmer identified the first D.C. resident to test positive for the coronavirus as Rev. Timothy Cole. According to Volmer, Cole attended three services last Sunday, which were attended by 550 people.
According to Volmer, Cole attended three services last Sunday, which were attended by 550 people.
Stock markets plummet after 15 minute halt
Stocks on Wall Street continue to fall after trading was halted for 15 minutes until 9:49 a.m. EDT on the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1,500 points, or 6%, following similar drops in Europe after a fight among major crude-producing countries jolted investors already on edge about the widening fallout from the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
Indexes in London and Frankfurt dropped more than 8%. The benchmark for Italy, where the industrial and financial heartland was put in lockdown, fell 11%.
Oil prices are down about 20%, deepening a rout that began when Saudi Arabia and other producers failed to agree on cutting output. Bond yields sank to new lows as investors scrambled for safety.
Pope holds mass by live stream
Pope Francis has celebrated morning Mass all by himself in the chapel of the Vatican hotel where he lives, and has offered up prayers for those infected with coronavirus and those caring for them.
The Holy See live-streamed Francis’ Mass on Monday, evidence of new measures the Vatican City State has taken to contain the spread of the virus in line with restrictions adopted by the Italian government. With 7,375 people infected, Italy has the most cases outside Asia.
At 83, and with part of one lung removed, Francis would be at risk for serious complications if he were to catch the virus.
Philippines declares public health emergency
The Philippine president has declared a state of public health emergency throughout the country after health officials confirmed over the weekend the first local transmission of the new coronavirus.
Health officials reported Monday a doubling in just a day of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 20 confirmed infections.
Under the declaration, authorities could order mandatory reporting of infections, enforce quarantines and other disease-control actions, including calling in police and other law enforcement agencies to help deal with the COVID-19 threat.
Holocaust march in Poland cancelled over virus
Organizers of the annual Holocaust remembrance march in southern Poland say it has been postponed this year..
Each year the "March of the Living" aims to walk 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) between the two parts of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The organizing committee’s chairman Shmuel Rosenman says Monday that after consulting with health officials he was forced to announce “with a heavy heart” that this’ year’s march would be postponed.
The event was expected to draw 110 delegations from around the world.
Poland has 11 cases of the virus.
Albania announces first cases
Albania's Health Ministry has reported the country's first two infections from the COVID-19 coronavirus, a father and son who had returned from Florence in Italy.
After exhibiting symptoms they were hospitalized. Authorities are trying to find all their contacts.
Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak, on Sunday quarantined 16 million people in the country's north in a bold move to try to contain the virus. Italy has 7,375 confirmed infections and 366 deaths of virus patients, one of the most severe outbreaks outside of China.
Saudi Arabia closing travel to nine countries
Saudi Arabia has closed off its air and sea travel to nine countries affected by the new coronavirus. Neighboring Qatar has halted travel to 15 nations.
The moves came as Mideast stock markets tumbled Monday over fears about the widening outbreak's effect on the global economy. The state oil giant Saudi Aramco led the financial losses, dropping by 10% on Riyadh's Tadawul stock exchange. That forced a halt to Aramco's trading. Other Mideast markets fell as well.
The new coronavirus has affected global energy prices, and OPEC failed to make a production cut deal with Russia last week. Global oil prices have suffered their worst losses since the start of the 1991 Gulf War.
Democratic campaign rallies go on -- for now
Sen. Bernie Sanders says his presidential campaign is gauging when it may become necessary to cancel the large campaign rallies that public health experts say could be breeding grounds to spread the illness.
The Democratic presidential candidate says in televised interviews that “obviously” the safety of the American people comes first, so he's talking constantly to public health officials.
Federal health authorities have been advising older people and those with medical conditions, in particular, to avoid crowded spaces.
So far President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders haven't cut back on big campaign events.
China says new cases have dropped
China is reporting another slight drop in the number of new virus cases.
In its update Monday morning, China said 40 cases of infection with the new coronavirus were confirmed in the past 24 hours, down from 44 new cases the previous day.
Another 22 deaths were reported, all but one in the hardest-hit province of Hubei that has been the epicenter of the global outbreak.
China now has now recorded 80,735 total cases, among which 19,016 remain in treatment and 58,600 have been released.
China's ruling Communist Party has turned to its propaganda playbook, portraying President Xi Jinping as firmly in charge, leading an army of health workers in a “people’s war” against the disease.
The party seeks to avoid blame for any mishandling of the outbreak. Conversely, it seeks credit for overcoming the crisis. The tried and true formula appears to remain effective at promulgating the party's version of events, at least at home in China.
2 members of Congress self-isolating after contact with coronavirus patient
Sen. Ted Cruz and congressman Paul Gosar say they are isolating themselves after determining they had interacted at a political conference with a man who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Cruz says he had brief contact with the man at the Conservative Political Action Conference nearly two weeks ago and will spend the next few days at his home in Texas until a full 14 days had passed since their interaction.
Gosar says he had sustained contact with the man at CPAC and that he and three members of his senior staff are under self-quarantine. The office of Gosar, an Arizona Republican, will be closed for the week.
Florida theme parks keep eye on virus as spring break nears
Florida tourism officials say cases of the new coronavirus are having little visible impact on the state's biggest industry so far. George Ague leads a tourism promotion agency for Orlando and says there have only been a handful of inquiries about the virus by people planning trips to central Florida. But that could change at any moment
With spring break around the corner, cancellations could be devastating during one of the busiest times of the year in the Sunshine State.
Orlando park officials say they're adding more hand sanitizers and monitoring the situation.