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Millions quarantined in Italy as D.C reports first case

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: Ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.Alissa Eckert/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP - Getty Images

Italy's government has placed more than 16 million people — a quarter of the population — under lockdown in a drastic bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Lombardy region, including the city of Milan, has been quarantined, as have other cities, including Venice, Parma and Modena.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the first case has been confirmed in the capital, Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cases have been reported around the country.

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Shanghai Disneyland resumes some resort operations

Shanghai Disneyland in 2018. Some resort operations will resume Monday, officials said.Aly Song / Reuters

SHANGHAI — Walt Disney Co.'s Shanghai Disneyland said on Monday it will resume a limited number of resort operations as the first step of a phased reopening, although the main theme park will remain shut amid worries about the coronavirus outbreak.

Some shopping, dining, and recreational activities will reopen in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel with limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. All guests will be required to have their temperature taken on arrival and to wear a mask for the duration of their visit.

"Guests will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants," Shanghai Disneyland said in a statement on its website.

Shanghai Disneyland was closed on Jan. 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland were shut in subsequent days.

A pedestrian walks in front of a quotation board displaying the share price numbers of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday. Tokyo stocks sank more than 5 percent in early trade on fears over coronavirus and a plunge in oil prices that sent the dollar down against the yen.KAZUHIRO NOGI / AFP - Getty Images

North Korea flies out foreign diplomats

SEOUL, South Korea — A special North Korean flight carrying presumably dozens of diplomats and other foreigners arrived in Russia's Far East on Monday as the country tightens its lockdown intended to fend off the coronavirus.

North Korea has not publicly confirmed a single case of the COVID-19 illness, but its state media have reported thousands of people have been quarantined as part of strict prevention measures.

Seemingly dozens of passengers, most of them masked and some accompanied by children, lined up at Pyongyang International Airport. North Korean health workers wearing white protective suits scanned them for fevers.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many were flown out to Vladivostok. The North lifted a monthlong quarantine on foreign diplomats based in Pyongyang on March 2, allowing them to leave the country if needed.

Anxiety in an aging Congress as coronavirus spreads across U.S.

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious about coronavirus, and there is growing pressure on leadership to take steps to protect lawmakers — even potentially recessing for a period of weeks — two Democratic congressional sources said Sunday.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said he will close his office in Washington and will self-quarantine at home in Arizona for 14 days after he came into "extended" contact with a person who is hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. They came into contact at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gosar said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced late Sunday that he will stay home in Texas this week because he had a brief interaction with a person attending CPAC who has tested positive. Gosar and Cruz said they were experiencing no symptoms but were acting out of caution.

"Members are very nervous," a senior Democratic leadership aide said. "There's a lot of concern that members could bring it home."

But some members were urging Congress to stay the course to "show leadership in a time of great anxiety" and conduct oversight of the Trump administration's response.

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Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., self-quarantining for 14 days after 'sustained' coronavirus exposure at CPAC

Rice University cancels all classes for a week

Rice University in Houston said Sunday that it is canceling classes this week and prohibiting all on-campus gatherings of more than 100 people through the end of April after an employee contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The employee was exposed to the coronavirus while traveling overseas last month, the university said.

All classes will be canceled this week out of caution and to give faculty time to prepare for possible remote instruction for the rest of the semester, said the university, which has an enrollment of about 6,700.

In addition to banning large on-campus gatherings, the university said it's also banning all university-sponsored international travel for faculty, staff and students through April 30.

Columbia University suspends classes over coronavirus exposure

Columbia University in New York said Sunday that it is suspending classes Monday and Tuesday and is planning to teach classes remotely the rest of the week after a person affiliated with the university was quarantined as a result of exposure to the new coronavirus.

In a note to the university's staff and students, Columbia President Lee Bollinger stressed that the quarantined person was known only to have been exposed and hadn't been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

"Please understand that the decision to suspend classes does not mean that the university is shutting down," Bollinger said, adding that non-classroom activities, including research, will continue. "At this point, just to restate what is important to know, we do not have a confirmed case of the virus on campus. This action is intended to prevent the virus from spreading."

Iowa reports first three cases of COVID-19; all reported doing well

Iowa health officials reported the state's first cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, saying Sunday that three people who were recently on a cruise to Egypt had tested positive in the Iowa City area.

The state Public Health Department said that one of the people was middle-age and the two other people were over age 60. Two have underlying health conditions, which health officials say is an aggravating factor, but one doesn't, it said.

None required hospitalization, and all are recovering, the health department said.