President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Friday, the most significant move yet by the U.S. government to head off the coronavirus outbreak, and House Democrats and the White House later reached a deal on an aid package.
Trump's declaration came as many public and private institutions have taken action — including canceling major events, temporarily banning large gatherings, closing schools and telling people to work from home — in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled, soared, and then closed with a gain of 1,900 points after the emergency declaration. Wall Street had reeled Thursday afternoon after coronavirus fears drove the markets to their worst day since the Black Monday crash in 1987.
The United States as of Friday afternoon had surpassed 2,000 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to 41.
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Puerto Rico confirms island's first cases
Puerto Rico announced its first three cases of coronavirus, including a 68-year-old woman and her 70-year-old husband.
A 71-year-old man not related to the couple also tested positive for COVID-19.
Biden shows no symptoms, hasn’t been tested
Joe Biden will not be tested for COVID-19 as he is not showing any symptoms, according to a statement by his presidential campaign team.
"Biden has no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath or other symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and the campaign has not been informed of or become aware of any relevant contact with an individual who has tested positive," the campaign said in a statement.
The former vice president will continue to campaign and follow safety and health recommendations from public officials.
Washington Monument to close
One of D.C.'s most popular attractions is closing starting Saturday.
Elevator access to the Washington Monument will no longer be available as of March 14. Visitors can continue to walk through the grounds, according to the National Park Service.
HBO, Netflix, Disney pause productions on several shows, movies
HBO, Netflix and Disney announced Friday that production will pause on several shows and films starting next week.
A spokesperson for Netflix said all scripted TV and movie production in the U.S. and Canada will be postponed for two weeks to comply with travel and other coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by the two countries.
HBO Max, the new streaming services offered by HBO, announced that its show "Full Frontal with Samatha Bee" will go on hiatus next week. The decision to halt production came after HBO learned that the CBS production office where Bee tapes her show had been compromised. Last week, two CBS employees tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
Disney, meanwhile, is hitting the pause button on the "Tamron Hall Show" beginning Monday.
New Zealand ceremony marking 2019 mosque attack canceled
A national remembrance service planned for Sunday to mark the anniversary of an attack on two mosques that killed 51 people has been canceled over fears of the spread of coronavirus, the Christchurch City Council said in a statement.
The March 15, 2019, attack was carried out by a white supremacist who has been charged with terrorism, murder and attempted murder counts.
“Tomorrow, we can still reflect on the incredible ways the community came together in response to the events of that tragic day, and think of ways that we can build on the compassion and unity that was so poignantly shown in our city, across the country and throughout the world,” Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said in a statement Saturday local time.
New Zealand has five confirmed coronavirus cases and two probable cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
NBA players pitch in to help sport's hourly workers
NBA players are helping the hourly workers who work in arenas that host pro basketball.
An outpouring of donations has come after games were suspended for at least 30 days when two players tested positive for the coronavirus.
Among a growing list of players who have already pledged donations are the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love, Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans, the Detroit Pistons' Blake Griffin and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Love said he was donating $100,000 to help "arena and support staff that had a sudden life shift due to the suspension of the NBA season."
Patagonia shutting down operations, will continue to pay employees
Outdoor outfitter Patagonia announced Friday that all stores, offices and other operations will shut down temporarily starting Friday.
Employees will continue to receive their regular paychecks during this break. The company will reassess and post an update on March 27, according to a statement by CEO and president Rose Marcario.
"Over the years, as our Patagonia community has been faced with challenges, I have always been inspired by how we emerge stronger and with an even deeper sense of purpose. We will persevere through this challenge, too," Marcario said.