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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.

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Two Microsoft employees diagnosed in Washington state

Microsoft confirmed that two of its employees — one at Microsoft and another at its subsidiary, LinkedIn — have been diagnosed with the virus in Puget Sound, Washington state on Friday.

There have been 74 confirmed virus cases and 13 deaths in Washington State so far.

“We are working closely with local public health authorities to provide the necessary support for our colleagues and their co-workers,” the company said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Microsoft asked all employees who are able to, to work from home due to an outbreak across Washington.

Other tech and social media giants have followed suit, as on Thursday, both Facebook and Google recommend their San Francisco based-employees work from home to contain the spread, according to Reuters.

First reported case in Vatican City

People walk in Saint Peter's Square, after the Italian government decree to close schools, cinemas, and urge people to work from home and not stand closer than one meter to each other at the Vatican on Thursday.Yara Nardi / Reuters

A patient being treated by medical services in the Vatican has tested positive for COVID-19, its Department of Health and Hygiene said Friday.

All medical services in the Vatican have been suspended. No information was released about the patient. 

Italy is the worst-hit European country and the death toll there reached 148 as of Thursday, but so far the virus has mostly hit the north of the country.

Pope Francis, who cancelled a Lent retreat for the first time in his papacy, was said to be suffering from a cold that is "without symptoms related to other diseases."

South Korea protests Japan's quarantine plan

Rescue workers, wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, observe a test event for sport climbing at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan on Friday.Stoyan Nenov / Reuters

South Korea has strongly protested Japan's decision to impose a two-week quarantine for visitors from South Korea, calling it "unreasonable, excessive and extremely regrettable."

Japan's government defended tighter travel restrictions on visitors, saying they were not too late to help slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday ordered a two-week quarantine for people arriving from South Korea while barring arrivals from highly affected areas starting on Saturday.

"The decision was the result of a comprehensive review of the information available about the situation in other countries and the effects of other measures," chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference in Japan on Friday. "I think the timing is appropriate."

Seoul's foreign ministry will summon the Japanese ambassador on Friday to lodge a complaint, after calling in a senior diplomat late on Thursday to request explanations, it said in a statement.

Twelve people have died from the virus in Japan as of Friday morning.

Airmen from the Moffett Federal Airfield based, 129th Rescue Wing deliver coronavirus test-kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California on Thursday.California National Guard / Reuters

Cases in China slow as global infections approach 100,000

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus globally looked set to reach the 100,000 mark on Friday as the confirmed cases passed 98,000.

Cases continued rise in the United States, with the death toll at 12 as of Thursday evening.

China, however, has begun to see a slowdown, reporting 143 new cases Friday — about one-third what the country was seeing a week ago.

A month ago, China was reporting several thousand new cases a day, outnumbering infections elsewhere in the world about 120 to 1. While there are more than 80,000 cases on mainland China, the problem has started moving towards Europe — where Italy, Germany and France had the most new cases as of Friday.

Coronavirus shop pops up in nation's capital

Adilisha Patrom, owner of a co-working and event space next to Gallaudet University, organizes face masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies inside her pop up shop on Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Washington, DC.Nathan Ellgren / AP

WASHINGTON — As stores sell out of masks and hand sanitizer, Adilisha Patrom, owner of a co-working and event space in the nation's capital, saw an opportunity and jumped on it, opening a pop up shop for coronavirus prevention supplies.

Different models of face masks and hand sanitizer bottles in various sizes are displayed along a stack of information sheets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patrom, 29, sells her masks for between $5 and $20, depending on the model. She also puts together prevention kits with masks, surgical gloves and sanitizer, which sell for $20 to $30.

Patrom says her goal isn’t to get rich. Rather, she sees the shop as a service to the community and says discounts are available to those in need and to senior citizens, who are most vulnerable to the virus.

So far, business has been slow. Patrom said she has only made three sales since opening early this week.

Second presumptive case in Nevada is linked to Grand Princess

Washoe County, Nevada, health officials reported the county’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 and said the man in his 50s is linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship.

The state’s first coronavirus case was reported in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, earlier Thursday. A health official said it is Las Vegas' first presumptive case but risk of contamination is considered low and the man reported recent travel to Washington state, where community spread of the virus is being reported, and Texas.

In the Washoe County case, the man is stable and is self-isolating at home, the county health district said.

The statement said he is "linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship outbreak." That is the ship that has been linked to at least three cases in California involving people who were aboard for a previous voyage in mid-February. The Grand Princess, returning to California from a subsequent trip to Hawaii, is being held off the coast of California as testing is done.

Rabbi who taught at New York university tests positive

A rabbi at Young Israel of New Rochelle, New York, who has been in self-quarantine after coming into contact with a congregant tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Yeshiva University announced early Friday. 

Test results expected Friday from cruise ship off California

Samples from 45 people aboard a cruise ship delayed off California’s coast amid fears of the novel coronavirus were collected Thursday, and test results are expected Friday, Princess Cruises said in a statement Thursday night.

The Grand Princess has been linked to the coronavirus illness COVID-19 after at least three people on it during a previous voyage later tested positive in California. One of those people, an elderly adult with underlying conditions, died in Placer County week. The other two are in Sonoma County.

The Grand Princess has 3,533 people aboard — 2,422 guests and 1,111 crew or employees. All passengers have been instructed to stay in their staterooms while the tests are pending, the cruise company said.

The cruise ship is in the ocean off the California coast west of Monterey, the California National Guard said Thursday.

Semester at Sea to cut voyage short

The Semester at Sea study abroad program will end its spring semester early because of coronavirus fears, it said in a statement Thursday night.

About 550 students will go from Cape Town to the Canary Islands, and then to Amsterdam, where they will disembark April 12, the organization said. The MV World Odyssey had been scheduled to arrive there April 20. The students’ coursework was also accelerated, the statement said.

Semester at Sea is a semester-long, multi-country program for college students run by the Institute for Shipboard Education and sponsored by Colorado State University.

It is one of dozens of study abroad organizations that have made alterations to or canceled programs because of coronavirus. 

Two presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado

Health officials in Colorado say a second person has presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

The woman is a resident of Colorado's Douglas County and was exposed during an international cruise, health officials said. She is isolated at home, has had limited public contact and is not connected to the first case.

Earlier Thursday, the state's governor announced the state’s first presumptive positive case. That involves an out-of-state visitor to Summit County, which is included in the total number of two. That patient, a man in his 30s, traveled to Italy in mid-February.

He came to Colorado by plane Feb. 29 and was asymptomatic, which officials said means the risk of transmission is low. He also skied at Keystone and Vail Mountain Resort on Monday before developing symptoms on Tuesday, officials said. He recovering in isolation in Jefferson County.