World markets tumble and all of Italy goes on lockdown

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: South Korean soldiers spray disinfectants inside an apartment complex which is under cohort isolation after mass infection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Daegu
South Korean soldiers spray disinfectants inside an apartment complex that is under isolation in Daegu on Monday. Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

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World stocks tumbled with investors bracing for the economic fallout of the epidemic, with a shocking all-out oil price war adding to anxiety.

Wall Street suffered its worst day since the financial crisis of 2008 as the Dow plummeted more than 2,000 points by Monday's closing bell, and London's FTSE 100 plunged to a three-year low after oil prices cratered by 30 percent overnight.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced Monday that the containment measures introduced Sunday for the Lombardy region in the country's north would be applied to the whole nation. More than 9,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus in Italy so far while Germany and Spain also saw spikes in the number of cases Monday.

The number of confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus has risen to more than 650 on Monday, including 26 deaths.

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Trump's incoming chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is under self-quarantine

President Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, said Monday that he is under self-quarantine after possibly "coming into contact" with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, speaks as Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, testifies before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019.Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images file

Meadows, R-North Carolina, has tested negative for the disease but will remain at home until Wednesday "out of an abundance of caution," Meadows' chief of staff, Ben Williamson, said in a statement Monday.

Trump named Meadows as his next chief of staff last week. 

The possible encounter occurred at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. The statement provided no additional details about the potential exposure.

Williamson said Meadows is not experiencing symptoms but is following precautionary recommendations.

Several other Republican members of Congress are also under self-quarantine, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. Rep. Julia Brownley, a Democrat from California, is also self-quarantining.  

Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, has said he is not self-quarantining despite possibly being exposed as well.

31 out of 35 patients at Life Care nursing home in Washington state test positive for coronavirus

The long-term care facility in Washington state linked to multiple deaths in the coronavirus outbreak announced on Monday that 31 out of 35 residents have tested positive for the virus, a Life Care official said Monday.

Of the 35 current residents of Life Care in Kirkland who were tested, 31 were positive, three were inconclusive and one was negative. More testing will be done on the inconclusive cases, Life Care public information liaison Tim Killian said Monday evening. 

Those who tested positive will not immediately be moved to hospitals, he said. They will remain there unless symptoms become acute enough that outside hospitalization is required. Those testing negative will be moved to another wing, Killian said. Employees have not yet been tested and it’s possible they will be tested off site, but that has not been finalized, he said.

The facility is waiting on results for around 20 residents, he said, adding that every resident within the facility has been tested.

There have been 22 deaths in Washington state, with 20 of those in King County, according to the state health department. Of the 20 deaths in King County, 19 have been associated with Life Care, according to the county health department, but that statement does not say all those deaths were patients there. There have been 162 confirmed cases across the state as of late Monday afternoon.

Father of coronavirus patient broke quarantine and took other daughter to dance

Ritz-Carlton, St Louis.Google Maps

The voluntary quarantine system that states are using to combat the spread of the new coronavirus in communities can work only if people follow it. So how can health officials be sure that people who agree to self-quarantine are at home?

The weaknesses in the system became apparent over the weekend in Missouri when a man broke quarantine and took one of his daughters to a dance.

The unidentified dad was already cutting the rug at a hotel Saturday when he got confirmation that his other daughter, the one who had stayed home, had tested positive for the virus, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said during a news conference Sunday.

Read the full article here.

Trump walks away while asked if he has been tested for coronavirus

Florida declares state of emergency over coronavirus concerns

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks about the COVID-19 virus during a news conference at the Florida Department of Health, in Miami on March 2, 2020.Brynn Anderson / AP file

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday declared a state of emergency as the nation's leaders attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

"I have issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency to establish a unified command structure and direct funds as necessary in response to #COVID19," DeSantis said in a tweet

As of Monday night 13 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus, and two have died in the state of Florida.  

MLB, MLS, NHL and NBA announce new rules on locker room access amid coronavirus

Four professional U.S. sports leagues on Monday announced new rules on access to locker rooms and clubhouses amid the spread of coronavirus.

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League made the announcement in a joint statement.

"After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice,” the statement said. “Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting.”

The changes are effective beginning Tuesday. The National Football League, whose regular season does not officially begin for several months, was not in the joint statement.

Grand Princess cruise ship carrying coronavirus patients docks in California

Iowa governor declares disaster as total confirmed coronavirus cases reach 8

A declaration of disaster has been issued in Iowa Monday as the state reports five additional people have tested positive for coronavirus. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the order in an effort to expand resources in an effort to contain COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, as the total number of presumptive positive cases in the state climbed to eight.

Four of the new confirmed cases were passengers over the age of 60 who were on the same Egyptian cruise as the state's previous three patients, according to a press release from the Iowa Department of Public Health. 

The fifth case involved a "middle-aged" adult who had recently traveled to California, where at least 114 people have tested positive for coronavirus and two have died.

Trump proposes payroll tax cut, other measures to offset coronavirus economic damage

President Donald Trump said Monday that he is looking at a possible payroll tax cut, along with other measures, to help American workers and boost the economy, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

He said he'd announce the "dramatic" details of the proposed relief on Tuesday. "They will be major," he said.

Trump announced the measures after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day with a loss of around 2,000 points on Monday.

Read the full story here.

Stopping coronavirus spread in Syrian refugee camps is 'mission impossible'

Migrants wait with their children in the buffer zone at the Turkey-Greece border near the Pazarkule crossing gate in Edirne on March 5, 2020.Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Turkey's ambassador to the United States, Serdar Kilic, says the European Union must do more to help his country absorb an influx of refugees from the war in neighboring Syria, after Ankara said it would not stop refugees from leaving Turkey to enter E.U. territory.

Kilic also said his country had taken steps to bolster security on its border with Iran to counter the threat of the coronavirus but that trying to prevent the spread of the virus in refugee camps in Syria would be a "mission impossible."

"We have reached the limits of our capabilities" to accept refugees, Kilic told reporters.

Read the full story here.

Boston cancels annual St. Patrick’s Day parade

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Monday afternoon the city would not hold its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which was set to take place in the city’s South Boston neighborhood March 15.

In a statement, Walsh said the event was being cancelled “out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy.”

There were 41 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Massachusetts as of Monday evening. 

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston was held in 1737.