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U.S. death toll climbs to 14

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco
The Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco on Feb. 11.Scott Strazzante / AP file

The coronavirus grew more deadly in the U.S., with the death toll climbing to 14 on Friday. More than 225 cases have been confirmed across the country.

Congressional leaders have agreed on an $8 billion emergency funding package that is headed to the House.

Lawmakers across the country are cracking down on scam coronavirus claims and excessive pricing of consumer medical supplies.

But investors are reacting to fears that the spread of coronavirus will disrupt the global economy, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 950 points at the closing bell.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

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A family visit in Washington state

Dorothy Campbell and her son, Charlie, talk through a window with her husband, Gene, at the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility linked to several confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington, on Thursday.David Ryder / Reuters
Gene Campbell speaks to his wife of more than 60 years, Dorothy, at the Life Care Center of Kirkland on Thursday.David Ryder / Reuters

Dow continues to slide amid coronavirus fears, closes down more than 950 points

The stock market was unable to recover Thursday afternoon as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 950 points at the closing bell

Investors are reacting to fears that the spread of coronavirus will disrupt the global economy as the number of confirmed and suspected cases in the U.S. continue to rise. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,000 points earlier in the day.

That angst fueled investor demand for safer assets like U.S. Treasurys and gold, which rose nearly 1 percent. The tumbling yields kept pressure on bank stocks, which led the major indexes lower, according to CNBC.

11th Washington patient dies, bringing U.S. total to 12

An 11th patient in Washington state has died from the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.

The individual was a resident of King County, which has the highest number of cases in the state. There are a total of 51 cases in the county, including 10 deaths.

Neighboring Snohomish County has 18 cases, including one death.

Islam's holiest site, empty

The Kaaba, inside Mecca's Grand Mosque, is empty on Thursday so it can be sterilized, an unprecedented move after the kingdom banned its citizens and other residents of the kingdom from performing the pilgrimage in Mecca. Abdel Ghani Bashir / AFP - Getty Images

Photos circulating on social media Thursday showed a dramatic change at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia — a site that is typically crowded with worshippers is now nearly empty. Saudi officials are working to curb the coronavirus since suspending the umrah pilgrimage and tourist visas to Mecca and Medina last week.

The umrah, which can be performed any time of the year, is seen as a significant revenue stream for the kingdom, according to Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Statistics. In December alone, more than 2.3 million visas were issued and more than 2 million pilgrims visited the kingdom, most recent estimates from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah show. 

Study: China’s early intervention prevented an exponentially bigger outbreak

A new academic study found China’s early actions to contain the coronavirus were effective and that even a delay of one week could have resulted in an exponentially larger outbreak, more than 60 times the scale of the current epidemic.

“If they didn’t take any of those measures, they could be looking at 65 times the size of the outbreak that they actually saw,” one of the authors of the study, Andrew Tatem, a professor of spatial demography and epidemiology at the University of Southampton in Britain, told NBC News.

However, if China had launched diagnostic testing, isolation of infected patients and restrictions on travel and mass public gatherings days earlier, the scale of the outbreak would have been drastically reduced, according to the study from the WorldPopProject released this week. 

If the combination of measures were carried out “one week, two weeks, or three weeks earlier in China, cases could have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent, 95 percent respectively, together with significantly reducing the number of affected areas,” according to the study, which was based on mobile phone data from Chinese search engine Baidu. Tatem said his colleagues hope to carry out similar studies elsewhere.

Los Angeles County reports 4 more cases

Four more people in Los Angeles County, California, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the county to 11.

The four were part of a group who had traveled to northern Italy, according to LA County public health officials.

They are now in isolation, and anyone who had close contact with those confirmed cases has been asked to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.

The scene in Bangkok

People line up to buy face masks and discounted goods, like cooking oil and eggs, during the launch of the government's mobile caravan in Bangkok on Thursday. Thailand has 47 confirmed cases of coronavirus.Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP - Getty Images


Inside a coronavirus quarantine

For a dozen days, Carl Goodman’s world was reduced to a 20-by-30-foot containment room and his only visitors came bearing coronavirus testing kits and bottles of Gatorade while dressed head to toe in Hazmat suits.

Goodman contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and while he's now in lower-level housing at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit in Omaha he remains quarantined.

And he has no idea when he’ll be allowed to go home.

Read more here.

31 new cases in Washington state

The number of people with the coronavirus in Washington state rose sharply Thursday, from 43 to 74.

King County, where Seattle is located, has 51 cases; Snohomish County has 18; and Grant County has one.

Ten people in the state have died from the illness; mare associated with a long-term care facility called Life Care Center in Kirkand.

Four of the patients in the state were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Pelosi ensures Capitol employees will have tech to work remotely in case of outbreak

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday at her weekly press conference that "God forbid" there is a need for people who work at the U.S. Capitol to do their jobs from home, they have the technology to do that.

Pelosi said it was discussed during a classified briefing a day earlier with only the top congressional leaders and officials, saying they just want to make sure everyone is "good enough in case we need to work from home." 

When asked about the Democratic presidential race, Pelosi said she noted last week that Democrats will madly "embrace" the eventual nominee, but joked that they will now have to "madly elbow bump" whoever wins the nomination.