World stocks tumbled with investors bracing for the economic fallout of the epidemic, with a shocking all-out oil price war adding to anxiety.
Wall Street suffered its worst day since the financial crisis of 2008 as the Dow plummeted more than 2,000 points by Monday's closing bell, and London's FTSE 100 plunged to a three-year low after oil prices cratered by 30 percent overnight.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced Monday that the containment measures introduced Sunday for the Lombardy region in the country's north would be applied to the whole nation. More than 9,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus in Italy so far while Germany and Spain also saw spikes in the number of cases Monday.
The number of confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus has risen to more than 650 on Monday, including 26 deaths.
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Growing number of universities cancel face-to-face instruction
A growing number of colleges, including The Ohio State University and San Francisco State University, have suspended face-to-face classes amid fears of growing coronavirus cases in the United States.
OSU in a statement noted that 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." It is suspending face-to-face instruction and moving to virtual interactions through at least March 30.
San Francisco State said that all face-to-face courses will be suspended, but the campus is not being closed. The city and county of San Francisco on Thursday announced two presumptive positive cases. UC San Diego said Monday that starting in Spring Quarter all lecture and discussion courses will be delivered remotely. UC Berkeley said starting Tuesday it is suspending most in-person classes and will be offering classes remotely.
Rice University in Houston this week announced in-person instruction is canceled this week and it is preparing for the possibility of delivering most of its classes remotely. Princeton said Monday that it will move to virtual instruction after spring break and will decrease the number of gatherings on campus. Stanford also said it will move in-person classes to an online format for the last two weeks of winter quarter.
'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' won't tape in front of audiences over coronavirus fears
Game shows "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" will not tape in front of studio audiences amid the spread of coronavirus, a source close to the shows told NBC News.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website that "social distancing" is one way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, in communities.
Santa Clara County, California, banned mass gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an effort to prevent transmission, officials said Monday.
California's Santa Clara County bans gatherings with more than 1,000 people
Santa Clara County, California, public health officials, citing an increase in the number of coronavirus cases that could be community spread, announced an order banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people for three weeks.
The order does not apply to airports, offices, grocery stores or shopping malls. But it could affect the San Jose Sharks hockey team, which said in a statement Monday night that it was aware of the new guidelines and would adhere to them.
Xi makes first visit since outbreak to China's epicenter Wuhan
BEIJING — President Xi Jinping visited China's virus epicenter Tuesday for the first time since cases of a then-unidentified respiratory illness emerged in the city of Wuhan in December.
The visit came as people gradually began to return to work in other parts of China while the virus spreads to most of the world, seriously impacting travel, markets and the global economy. He is expected to inspect epidemic prevention and control work and visit medical workers, community volunteers, patients and others on the front lines.
The disease's spread in China cast scrutiny on Xi’s leadership, as he was conspicuously absent from the public eye during the early days of the crisis. Initial failures to react quickly were pegged on municipal and provincial-level officials who have since been replaced.
State media reported Xi arrived in the morning in Wuhan, which has been under lockdown along with several nearby cities since late January in a disease-containment measure. The city has the bulk of the country’s more than 80,000 confirmed cases, and authorities sent thousands of medical workers and built several prefabricated isolation wards to deal with its mass of COVID-19 patients.
SXSW lets go third of staff after cancellation because of coronavirus
Organizers for the South by Southwest annual conference, which was canceled by Austin officials over coronavirus fears, said Monday that they had let go of about one-third of its full-time staff.
"Due to the City of Austin’s unprecedented and unexpected cancellation of the SXSW 2020 events in March, SXSW has been rigorously reviewing our operations, and we are in the unimaginable position of reducing our workforce. Today we said goodbye to approximately one-third of our full-time staff," a spokesperson for South by Southwest, commonly known as SXSW, said.
"Those of us in the business of live events know the level of trust required to execute an event of SXSW’s scale, and we are deeply sad to let people go this soon. We are planning for the future and this was a necessary, but heartbreaking step," the spokesperson said.
Austin's mayor on Friday declared a state of emergency, which resulted in the cancellation.
China reports 17 more deaths, total on mainland now 3,136
China reported an additional 17 deaths, all of which were in Hubei Province, from the coronavirus illness COVID-19 Tuesday morning. That brings the number of people who have died in mainland China to 3,136.
The number of confirmed cases rose by 19, bringing the total cases that have been confirmed overall to 80,754, according to China’s National Health Commission.
Pearl Jam postponing tour because of coronavirus
With "deep frustration and regret," Seattle band Pearl Jam on Monday announced it was postponing part of its upcoming tour because of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Having no examples of our national health department's ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead," that band said in making the announcement.
Trump's incoming chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is under self-quarantine
President Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, said Monday that he is under self-quarantine after possibly "coming into contact" with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
Meadows, R-North Carolina, has tested negative for the disease but will remain at home until Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution," Meadows' chief of staff, Ben Williamson, said in a statement Monday.
Trump named Meadows as his next chief of staff last week.
The possible encounter occurred at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. The statement provided no additional details about the potential exposure.
Williamson said Meadows is not experiencing symptoms but is following precautionary recommendations.
Several other Republican members of Congress are also under self-quarantine, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Rep. Julia Brownley, a Democrat from California, is also self-quarantining.
Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, has said he is not self-quarantining despite possibly being exposed as well.
31 out of 35 patients at Life Care nursing home in Washington state test positive for coronavirus
The long-term care facility in Washington state linked to multiple deaths in the coronavirus outbreak announced on Monday that 31 out of 35 residents have tested positive for the virus, a Life Care official said Monday.
Of the 35 current residents of Life Care in Kirkland who were tested, 31 were positive, three were inconclusive and one was negative. More testing will be done on the inconclusive cases, Life Care public information liaison Tim Killian said Monday evening.
Those who tested positive will not immediately be moved to hospitals, he said. They will remain there unless symptoms become acute enough that outside hospitalization is required. Those testing negative will be moved to another wing, Killian said. Employees have not yet been tested and it’s possible they will be tested off site, but that has not been finalized, he said.
The facility is waiting on results for around 20 residents, he said, adding that every resident within the facility has been tested.
There have been 22 deaths in Washington state, with 20 of those in King County, according to the state health department. Of the 20 deaths in King County, 19 have been associated with Life Care, according to the county health department, but that statement does not say all those deaths were patients there. There have been 162 confirmed cases across the state as of late Monday afternoon.
Father of coronavirus patient broke quarantine and took other daughter to dance
The voluntary quarantine system that states are using to combat the spread of the new coronavirus in communities can work only if people follow it. So how can health officials be sure that people who agree to self-quarantine are at home?
The weaknesses in the system became apparent over the weekend in Missouri when a man broke quarantine and took one of his daughters to a dance.
The unidentified dad was already cutting the rug at a hotel Saturday when he got confirmation that his other daughter, the one who had stayed home, had tested positive for the virus, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said during a news conference Sunday.
Trump walks away while asked if he has been tested for coronavirus
Florida declares state of emergency over coronavirus concerns
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday declared a state of emergency as the nation's leaders attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus.
"I have issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency to establish a unified command structure and direct funds as necessary in response to #COVID19," DeSantis said in a tweet.
As of Monday night 13 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus, and two have died in the state of Florida.
MLB, MLS, NHL and NBA announce new rules on locker room access amid coronavirus
Four professional U.S. sports leagues on Monday announced new rules on access to locker rooms and clubhouses amid the spread of coronavirus.
Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League made the announcement in a joint statement.
"After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice,” the statement said. “Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting.”
The changes are effective beginning Tuesday. The National Football League, whose regular season does not officially begin for several months, was not in the joint statement.
Grand Princess cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docks in California
Iowa governor declares disaster as total confirmed coronavirus cases reach 8
A declaration of disaster has been issued in Iowa Monday as the state reports five additional people have tested positive for coronavirus.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the order in an effort to expand resources in an effort to contain COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, as the total number of presumptive positive cases in the state climbed to eight.
Four of the new confirmed cases were passengers over the age of 60 who were on the same Egyptian cruise as the state's previous three patients, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The fifth case involved a "middle-aged" adult who had recently traveled to California, where at least 114 people have tested positive for coronavirus and two have died.
Trump proposes payroll tax cut, other measures to offset coronavirus economic damage
President Donald Trump said Monday that he is looking at a possible payroll tax cut, along with other measures, to help American workers and boost the economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.
He said he'd announce the "dramatic" details of the proposed relief on Tuesday. "They will be major," he said.
Trump announced the measures after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day with a loss of around 2,000 points on Monday.
Stopping coronavirus spread in Syrian refugee camps is 'mission impossible'
WASHINGTON — Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Serdar Kilic, says the European Union must do more to help his country absorb an influx of refugees from the war in neighboring Syria, after Ankara said it would not stop refugees from leaving Turkey to enter E.U. territory.
Kilic also said his country had taken steps to bolster security on its border with Iran to counter the threat of the coronavirus but that trying to prevent the spread of the virus in refugee camps in Syria would be a "mission impossible."
"We have reached the limits of our capabilities" to accept refugees, Kilic told reporters.
Boston cancels annual St. Patrick’s Day parade
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Monday afternoon the city would not hold its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which was set to take place in the city’s South Boston neighborhood March 15.
In a statement, Walsh said the event was being cancelled “out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy.”
There were 41 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Massachusetts as of Monday evening.
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston was held in 1737.
As cases increase, hospitals have shared goal: Prevent the spread within their walls
At the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, patients who are worried that they may have the coronavirus no longer enter the hospital itself. Instead, they are treated just outside in big tents, where physicians donning protective gear test them and a special air filter whisks germs away.
The two 20-foot-wide tents were put up on Saturday as a way to limit the exposure between individuals suspected of having the coronavirus and patients in other areas of the hospital.
All of Italy on lockdown as prime minister expands restrictions to entire country
Italy's prime minister announced Monday that the lockdown placed on millions in the Lombardy region has been extended to the entire country in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The country's residents should avoid traveling outside areas where they live unless they can prove it’s because of a medical or work emergency, according to the sweeping new restrictions imposed by Italian Prime Minster Guiseppe Conte.
The extended lockdown, which also requires businesses to close by dusk, will take effect Tuesday and be in effect until April 3, Conte said.
“There won’t be just a red zone,″ Conte told reporters, referring to the designated lockdown areas in Lombardy. "There will be Italy."
The nationwide decree also extends school closures in Italy. Schools in the center and south of Italy that were closed because of the virus had been slated to reopen on March 16.
As of Monday, at least 463 Italians have died from coronavirus-related deaths of the more than 9,000 confirmed positive cases.
3 more coronavirus deaths at Washington long-term care facility
Three more coronavirus-related deaths have been reported from a long-term care facility in Kirkland, Washington, where several residents and those affiliated with the establishment have fallen ill.
At least two of the three Life Care Center residents who died were part of 33 newly confirmed positives reported by Seattle and King County Public Health Monday. The third, a woman in her 70s, was part of a group of people who tested positive Wednesday.
Of the 20 coronavirus-related deaths in King County, 19 have come from the Life Care Center. The nursing home has been considered a miniature epicenter for spread of COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus.
King County has 116 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday afternoon.
CVS to waive fees for prescription delivery
CVS Health has temporarily stopped charging patients to have prescriptions delivered directly to their homes.
The move comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has strongly discouraged those at high risk for complications of the coronavirus — such as people over age 80 and those with underlying health conditions — from going out into the public unnecessarily.
The CDC has suggested those at highest risk of becoming ill secure a two-week supply of needed medications, as well as basic groceries and household items.
Ireland cancels St. Patrick's Day festivities over coronavirus concerns
St. Patrick's Day festivities in the Republic of Ireland have been canceled amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
The cancellations, including the National St. Patrick's Festival parade in Dublin, have come at the advice of health officials to help slow the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said Monday. There have been a total of 19 cases of COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, in the Republic of Ireland.
"But I think it's really important to get across a very important fact; the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 in the next couple of weeks or couple of months will not do so because they attend a mass gathering, they will most likely pick it up in their own home from their family, or from interactions with friends and others," Varadkar said.
How does the coronavirus compare to flu?
The new coronavirus spreads in a similar way to the flu — through respiratory droplets — and can cause similar symptoms and complications.
But while the flu is well understood and predictable, there are many unknowns about the virus that causes COVID-19. This coronavirus has only been known to scientists since the end of December. It's unclear, for example, whether it will follow a seasonal pattern like the flu.
Because the coronavirus is new, there is no immunity against it. Unlike the flu, there is no proven treatment or vaccine.
The mortality rate for the flu is around 0.1 percent. Young children and the elderly, as well as people with compromised immune systems, are most at risk for serious complications. The mortality rate for the new coronavirus likely won't be known for years. The World Health Organization said that around 3 percent of people who have gotten sick from the virus have died, but this number is likely to change. Risk for severe complications from the coronavirus increases with age.
GOP House member who was with Trump on Air Force One also self-quarantining
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is also now self-quarantining and closing his Washington, D.C., office after learning Monday that he was exposed to a patient with coronavirus at the Conservative Political Action Conference late last month.
Gaetz, who wore a gas mask on the House floor during the vote on the coronavirus emergency spending bill last week, was on Air Force One with President Donald Trump on Monday.
The list of members known to be self-quarantining include Gaetz, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Doug Collins of Georgia, and Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley of California.
Dow closes with decline of 2,000 points, almost ending 11-year bull market
Wall Street took a beating on Monday, as collapsing oil prices and fears about the impact of the coronavirus almost nudged the American economy out of the longest bull market in history, exactly 11 years to the day since it began.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day with a loss of around 2,000 points Monday, part of a global market rout that saw spiraling sell-offs in the energy sector amid the biggest drop for crude oil since the Gulf War in 1991.
The blue-chip Dow saw its biggest points drop ever, down 7.8 percent, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down by 7.6 percent and 7.2 percent for one of the worst days since the financial crisis.
Pelosi to hold meeting with House chairs over coronavirus
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday that she plans to hold a meeting with House committee chairs to discuss the coronavirus outbreak after their regular weekly Democratic leadership meeting Monday night, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The meeting comes amid rising anxiety in Congress about the risk of exposure to the virus. Republican Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Doug Collins of Georgia both said in statements this week that they will self-quarantine at home in their districts for 14 days after they came in contact with someone now hospitalized with COVID-19 at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.
An aide for Collins told NBC News that two of his office staff are also self-quarantining. Collins shook hands with President Donald Trump in Atlanta on Friday, video and photos of them show.
Rep. Julia Brownley. D-Calif., said in a statement Monday that she had met with someone who tested positive for infection and was closing her Washington office as a precautionary measure. She and her staff are "self-monitoring and maintaining social distancing practices" but are not experiencing symptoms.
The scene on Capitol Hill
Coronavirus mask mania spurs internet’s gray markets into action
Coronavirus-related products are still for sale across most major social media platforms, including through person-to-person messaging systems, despite some efforts to crack down on black- and gray-market activity around the outbreak.
Facebook temporarily banned ads and listings in its Craigslist-style classifieds section Marketplace for coronavirus masks Friday, but searches like “N95 mask surgical mask supplier” on Facebook turned up a variety of marketers selling on Pages and Groups.
The offerings highlight how the fringe markets of social media have seized on the coronavirus and been able to fly under the radar of broader efforts to stop misinformation and profiteering around it. Some accounts that purport to market other illicit goods such as drugs have even turned to coronavirus-related products.
2nd person dies in California
A woman in her 60s who had been hospitalized for several weeks died on Monday morning, the Santa Clara Public Health Department said — bringing the California death toll to two people.
She was the first person in Santa Clara County who was confirmed to be infected with the disease caused by coronavirus without any known history of international travel, or contact with an infected person — suggesting she contracted the disease in the community.
“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,” said Dr. Sara Cody, a health official for Santa Clara County.
Courts and coronavirus
A few federal courts around the country are beginning to reduce or restrict operations or access in view of the coronavirus.
All jury trials, both civil and criminal, have been postponed in Seattle and Tacoma federal courts. Grand juries are not meeting there, either.
Federal courts in New York's Southern District, including Manhattan, are restricting entry. No one will be allowed in who traveled within the past 14 days to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran, or who had close contact with someone who has. The chief judge has also ordered that no jail inmates can be brought to court for hearings if they have a fever.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has notified all federal courts to make certain they can maintain essential functions in the event of a pandemic, by substituting teleconferences for face-to-face meetings, requiring staff to stay home at the first sign of symptoms and encouraging more telework.
Ohio governor: Three people have tested positive
7-year-old in NYC diagnosed with coronavirus
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that a seven-year-old girl in the Bronx has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
This is not the first child in the U.S. to be diagnosed. An elementary school student in Indiana, as well as another New York City child, have also been diagnosed.
But overall, children comprise a small percentage of total cases worldwide, including just 2.4 percent of reported cases in China, where the outbreak started.
Among those children, complications from the virus have been rare. No deaths have been reported so far in young children.
Netanyahu says anyone entering Israel from abroad will be isolated for 14 days
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that anyone entering the country from abroad, including citizens, would be isolated for 14 days.
"This is a tough decision, but it is essential to maintain public health — and public health precedes everything," Netanyahu said. The rule will be in place for at least two weeks.
Netanyahu made the announcement during a series of discussions with other leaders regarding the coronavirus outbreak. He also said he was working on plans to maintain the Israeli economy.
Drive-in coronavirus testing in Germany
Dow tanks by 2,000 points, White House invites Wall Street executives to meet
The White House is inviting Wall Street executives to discuss the response to the new coronavirus outbreak, an administration official told CNBC.
President Donald Trump is expected to attend the meeting, which is scheduled to be held Wednesday. Invitations were being sent out as of Monday afternoon, the official told CNBC.
The Washington Post first reported the gathering.
The meeting was arranged amid a punishing market rout spurred by fears about the impact of the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 2,000 Monday afternoon, on pace for its worst day since December 2008.
Trump to weigh coronavirus stimulus options Monday — including paid sick leave
White House and administration officials will present President Donald Trump with a set of economic stimulus options as early as this afternoon, including a plan to offer paid sick leave to those affected by the coronavirus and assistance for the hardest hit industries.
Despite Trump's continued downplaying of the effects of the virus — tweeting that a steep drop in oil prices is good for consumers, and blaming the news media for the plunging stocks — advisers are preparing to brief the president when he returns to the White House from a Florida fundraiser on a menu of options to shore up the economy, according to people familiar with the discussions.
CDC: People over 80 at highest risk
People over age 80, especially those with underlying health problems, are at highest risk for complications from the new coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
"The risk increases with age," the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonnier said Monday during a call with reporters.
At particular risk are people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
These individuals should take extra precautions to avoid crowds and stock up on supplies in case of a quarantine, Messonnier said.
Those supplies include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines or supplies to treat fever or cough, and household items and groceries.
European stocks have worst day since Brexit
European stock exchanges took a hammering Monday as crude oil prices plunged and Italy chose to contain 16 million people as part of a wider effort to control the spread of the virus.
The Stoxx 600, which includes a basket of European stocks, closed the day in bear territory, or down 20 percent from a 52-week high. It's the worst performance since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.
Traders were responding to the increase in fatalities connected to the virus, and also a steep drop in oil prices as Russia and Saudi Arabia entered an all-out price war, following a disagreement on crude oil output cuts.
Biden: Trump 'shouldn't say another word' on coronavirus
Joe Biden told NBC News on Monday that President Donald Trump "shouldn't say another word" about coronavirus "because he's diminishing confidence exponentially.”
The presidential candidate and former vice president said he would lean on the CDC to communicate reliable information to the public, and for advice on whether to continue holding large political rallies amid coronavirus fears.
Trump "should let the experts ... he should let the CDC speak," Biden said.
In a tweet Monday morning, Trump compared coronavirus outbreak numbers to annual flu deaths. Health experts have warned such comparisons can be problematic because the flu is reasonably predictable while there is still a lot that is unknown about the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes.
The scene in Venice
New York's Fordham University cancels in-person classes
Fordham University said Monday that all face-to-face classes would be canceled as of 1 p.m. ET amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The university, with three campuses in New York — including its main one in the Bronx — said in a statement that in-person classes were cancelled "until further notice."
"Though this is an undeniable disruption of the academic enterprise, we feel that it is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading the virus within the campus community," the school said.
Residential students were "encouraged to return home immediately," but one dining hall will stay open at the school's Bronx and Lincoln Center campuses for those students who cannot.