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Coronavirus updates live: 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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Shares in video-conferencing and telecommuting companies soar as more people consider staying home

As tech stocks tumble, teleconferencing stocks are seeing a bump. Zoom Video Communications, known for its online video-conferencing platform, has seen its shares rise 18 percent this month.

Investors are betting that telecommuting tools will take off as the coronavirus spreads, especially in view of CDC guidelines that recommended replacing in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences as a protective measure against spreading the virus.

Zoom Communications isn’t the only company to see stocks increase this week as the country’s three major indices went into correction. TeamViewer AG, a cloud-based web conferencing platform, saw its stock price surge by about 21 percent.

Death toll rises in Italy to 21

Italy's death toll from the novel coronavirus jumped to 21, with more than 820 infection cases reported, health officials said Friday.

At the beginning of the week, there were six deaths and more than 220 people infected nationwide.

Currently, about 345 people are being hospitalized with symptoms, and more than 60 are under "serious medical treatment," said Angelo Borrelli, Italy's civil protection chief.

In addition, the US Pianese, a soccer club in the Italian region of Tuscany, said three players and one staff member have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The scene in South Korea

Disinfection professionals wearing protective gear spray anti-septic solution against the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a subway station on Feb. 28, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

State Department: U.S. ready to help Iranian response

The U.S. is "prepared to assist the Iranian people in their response efforts," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Friday afternoon.

The offer was formally conveyed to Iran via Switzerland's government, Pompeo added.

Pelosi calls for 'science-based, evidence-based' response

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters Friday afternoon, said it was important for the federal government to have "a well-coordinated, science-based, evidence-based approach" in tackling the virus.

She also called for "calm" preventative measures instead of "panic."

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

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."