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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Chile, Argentina confirm first cases of coronavirus

An airline staff member wears a protective mask in Santiago on March 3, 2020.Javier Torres / AFP - Getty Images

Chile recorded the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the country, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

The patient is a 33-year-old man in the city of Talca, south of Santiago.

Neighboring Argentina also confirmed its first case on Tuesday, a 43-year-old man who had traveled to Italy.

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New Hampshire confirms 2nd coronavirus case

A second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in New Hampshire. The patient is a close contact of the state's first case, who state health officials said defied directions to self-isolate.

On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said the first patient attended an invitation-only private event on Friday, Feb. 28, despite being instructed by public health officials to remain isolated. As a result, the state issued an official order to keep the patient in isolation.

That first patient is an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Now the facility is monitoring anyone who has been in close contact with that person. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said it's unaware of any patient exposures.

It's unclear whether the second patient was exposed as a result of the first patient's broken isolation.

Dr. John Torres shares latest updates and answers questions on the coronavirus outbreak

Chart: See coronavirus cases from around the world overtake new cases in China

New coronavirus cases in mainland China have tapered off as new cases in the rest of the world have increased. 

Since Feb. 25, the majority of new cases each day have been diagnosed outside of mainland China. Before that, mainland China had the most cases when compared with the rest of the world.

Get the latest numbers around the world with the NBC News coronavirus world map.

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Archdiocese of Chicago issues virus guidance to priests

With four cases of coronavirus reported so far in Illinois, the Archdiocese of Chicago has released guidelines aimed at preventing the disease from being spread during Mass.

First and foremost,  all priests, deacons, altar servers and others are required to wash their hands before Mass and use an “alcohol-based, anti-bacterial before and after distributing Holy Communion.”

And instead of placing the host on the tongue as it customary, priests will place it in the hands of parishioners. They are also advised to refrain from shaking hands when it comes time to exchange the “Sign of Peace.” (A nod will do.)

San Francisco Fire Department gets the word out

Dow closes down almost 800 points as reality of epidemic sinks in

The Federal Reserve's historic, emergency rate cut was not enough to assuage Wall Street on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging wildly to end the day down by almost 800 points.

Nervous traders loaded up all day on "safe haven" assets such as gold and Treasury notes — pushing yields to record levels — amid growing realization that the coronavirus might not be as fleeting as President Donald Trump's administration has conveyed.

The emergency rate cut was intended to "boost household and business confidence," Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said. However, it spooked investors, pushing down all three major averages after he spoke. 

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Google cancels its major developers conference

Google has cancelled its largest annual conference for software developers, Google I/O, citing concerns around the coronavirus, according to numerous people who have posted screenshots of emails from Google notifying them of the change.

The three-day event had been scheduled to begin May 12 near Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California. CNBC confirmed the cancellation with the company. 

Google separately barred its employees from traveling internationally for work unless they were granted an exception for critical work, a company spokesperson said, confirming a report from Business Insider. 

The conference attracts thousands of people each year to hear from the tech company’s executives as they roll out new products and outline projects they’re working on, from search to cloud computing to automated restaurant reservations.

Google plans to explore other ways to “evolve” the conference over the coming weeks, the company said.