Emergency declared in California as cruise ship delayed off shore

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, 2020.Scott Strazzante / AP file

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California has declared an emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, as tests continue Thursday on board a Princess cruise ship that has been linked to two cases of the illness in the state.

The first death in California related to coronavirus was confirmed Wednesday, while another fatality in Washington brought that state's death toll to 10.

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

The virus is now spreading more rapidly outside China, where the epidemic started, with mainland China recording just 119 new confirmed cases while hundreds of cases were reported globally.

South Korea alone recorded an additional 516 cases of coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total to 5,328 confirmed cases, the largest outbreak outside of mainland China.

Governments around the world are introducing a range of measures to stop the spread of the disease. In Italy, where there have been more than 2,000 cases, all schools and colleges are shut for 10 days.

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Google provides insight into public questions about coronavirus

Data from Google shows that people in the U.S. have questions about the new coronavirus, including "how to prepare" and "how many people have died."

The top question in the past week is straightforward: "What is coronavirus?"

But people are also searching for how many U.S. cases there are and what they should do if the contract the virus.


Google's data also shows that search interest has been strongest in Hawaii, followed by areas in and around San Francisco.

From Cannes to cars to concerts, global events face coronavirus challenges

The Cannes Film Festival will continue as planned this year, despite the fact that a resident tested positive for the coronavirus, the organization said on Friday.

The A-list festival, which runs from May 12-23, is the latest major event to face the challenges of the viral outbreak. On Thursday, Facebook said it would cancel its biggest event of the year, the F8 developer conference, which had been scheduled for May 5 and 6 in San Jose, California.

The Geneva International Motor Show was canceled on Friday, and Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show, was canceled this month.

However, organizers for SXSW 2020 in Austin, Texas, are currently proceeding with plans to host the annual music, film and interactive festival March 13-22. 


CDC: 62 coronavirus cases in U.S.

There are a total of 62 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., the CDC said Friday.

Of those cases, 44 cases are among individuals repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, head of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Two of these cases are new, she said.

Three cases are among individuals repatriated from Wuhan, China.

The remaining 15 cases are among individuals diagnosed in the U.S. Twelve of these patients had traveled back from China and two contracted the illness through close contact with a traveler; the source of one case is still unclear.

South Korea launches 'drive-thru' testing facilities

SXSW organizers: We have no plans to cancel at this time

The annual festival of media, film and music in Austin, Texas, is "proceeding as planned," a spokesperson said. The festival is slated to run from March 13 to March 22.

"Safety is a top priority for SXSW, and we work closely with local, state, and federal agencies year-round to plan for a safe event," the spokesperson said. "Where travel has been impacted, especially in the case of China, we are seeing a handful of cancellations. However, we are on par with years past in regard to registrants who are unable to attend."

The spokesperson added that SXSW organizers were ramping up efforts to halt the spread of the virus according to Austin's public health recommendations.

CVS addresses reports of hand sanitizer shortages

"We're working with our suppliers to meet customer demand for these products," the pharmacy chain said in a statement.

"This demand may cause temporary shortages at some store locations and we re-supply those stores as quickly as possible."

Illinois virus patients have fully recovered, governor announces

Both of the coronavirus patients from Illinois have made a "full recovery," the state's governor said in a news release.

"The immediate health risk to the state remains low," Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office said.

Holy Land Catholic churches to give communion by hand only

Roman Catholic authorities in Jerusalem have instructed their priests to give communion by hand only, rather than placing the wafers on worshippers' tongues, and to empty holy water fonts — both as precautions against the spread of the coronavirus.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced the measures on Thursday, shortly after the start of Lent, the 40-day season leading up to Easter. Millions of pilgrims frequent Jerusalem and other holy cities such as Nazareth and Bethlehem each year.

Sign of the times

A pharmacy displays a sign that there is no returns on N95 face masks in the Manhattan borough of New York on Feb. 27, 2020.Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Buttigieg: Virus isn't going to be 'stopped by a big wall'

Pete Buttigieg, campaigning in South Carolina, highlighted the coronavirus as an example of the type of high-level national security issue that will await the next president.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, then appeared to criticize President Trump, saying: "This virus does not care what country it is in. It's not going to be stopped by a big wall."

U.S. intel agencies warned of rising risk of outbreak like coronavirus

The U.S. intelligence community has failed to anticipate some big developments, from the disintegration of the Soviet Union to the rapid rise of ISIS.

But the spies did forecast something like coronavirus.

For years, American intelligence agencies have been warning about the increasing risks of a global pandemic that could strain resources and damage the global economy.

Read more here.