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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SXSW doubles down on coronavirus fears, says event will go on, adds more speakers

South by Southwest, the annual media and music event in Austin, Texas, has doubled down in the face of coronavirus fears, adding speakers such as Hillary Clinton, Andrew Yang and Beto O’Rourke as other major events cancel or postpone as the epidemic spreads across America.

Featured speaker Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Sunday that he would be withdrawing, after his company enacted a ban on non-essential travel. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe are still set to gather in Austin in mid-March.

Change.org petition was launched last week by Austin residents calling for the event to be canceled, citing public health fears if “hundreds of thousands of people will be traveling to Austin.” The petition has attracted around 21,000 signatures so far.

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Man quarantined in Nebraska describes symptoms to MSNBC

Carl Goldman — who is quarantined in Omaha, Nebraska, after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship — described his symptoms in an interview with MSNBC on Monday.

“All I have left is a  dry cough that seems to get worse later in the day,” Goldman said. “You can hear my voice is still raspy. If I do a lot of exercising I do get a shortness of breath. But I only had the virus for one day of a high fever, which I got on the plane after leaving the Diamond Princess.”

4 more dead in Washington state, bringing total to 6

At least six people have died in Washington state from the coronavirus, after four more deaths were reported on Monday, authorities said said.

State and King County officials told reporters that that it had documented at least 14 cases, leading to five fatalities.

But then a short time later, Snohomish County Health District spokeswoman Heather Thomas confirmed a coronavirus-related death in her jurisdiction, bringing the state's death toll to six.

Infectious diseases chief: Don't panic, but take this seriously

The National Institutes of Health’s top infectious disease chief said he believes the coronavirus has “now reached outbreak proportions and likely pandemic proportions," imploring Americans not to panic but urging them to take the spread of the virus seriously. 

In an interview with NBC News’ Richard Engel, Dr. Anthony Fauci also said a “major outbreak” might require state and local officials to essentially bring public life to a standstill. 

“If we get a major outbreak of this coronavirus in this country, that would mean perhaps closing schools temporarily, getting people to do more teleworking, canceling events where there are a lot of crowds in confined places, canceling unnecessary travels so that you’re not on an airplane for five hours with a bunch of people who might be infected,” Fauci said. 

You can watch NBC News’ interview with Fauci on “On Assignment with Richard Engel: Outbreak,” which airs on MSNBC on Sunday, 3/8 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Officials announce 2 new cases in California

Santa Clara County's public health department confirmed two new cases Monday, bringing the county's total number to nine. 

The eighth and ninth cases are adult males who are both under home isolation, public health officials said in a statement.

Richard Engel talks to infectious diseases chief

Oregon identifies third case

Oregon health officials have identified a third case of the virus: an adult from Umatilla County who is hospitalized in Walla Walla, Washington.

The third case is not likely to have traveled to a part of the world with known cases of the virus, the state said in a news release. It is considered a case of community transmission.

The person attended a youth basketball game at a gymnasium in Weston, Oregon, on Saturday, per preliminary reports cited by state officials.

New case confirmed in Illinois, the state's 4th

Another coronavirus case has been diagnosed in Illinois, the state's fourth.

The Illinois Department of Public Heath announced Monday the patient is a woman in her 70s, and is quarantined in her home. Her husband — also in his 70s — was previously diagnosed.

Both patients are said to be doing well. Health officials are now reaching out to people who may have come into contact with the couple to prevent any further spread.

Two other patients diagnosed in Illinois in January have since recovered. 

Las Vegas casinos brace for loss of Chinese tourism

Business analysts and gaming experts say it's largely too soon to tell how the outbreak could affect the U.S. gambling industry. But some U.S.-based casino companies, including MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp., have warned investors in annual reports over the past month that travel restrictions could negatively affect their Las Vegas properties.

Read the full story here.

People stand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images