U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000

The coronavirus crisis continues to unfold across the world as Italy begins a country-wide lockdown.
Image: Naples
A worker sprays disinfectant in a museum in Naples, Italy, on Tuesday.Alessandro Pone / LaPresse via AP

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With new coronavirus cases confirmed Tuesday, the United States now has more than 1,000 infected people.

Turbulent trading continued to roll Wall Street, and anxieties over the coronavirus failed to subside with an increase in U.S. deaths and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ratcheting up protective measures in his state.

Cuomo deployed National Guard troops to a health department command post in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City where health officials have reported at least 108 cases of COVID-19 in the area. While there have been no reported deaths in New York, neighboring New Jersey announced its first one: a man in his 60s in Bergen County.

The markets remained volatile a day after the Dow Jones shed 2,000 points — Wall Street's worst day since the financial crash of 2008. The Dow rallied before giving up most of its gain Tuesday afternoon.

The coronavirus outbreak has continued to rattle Italy, which extended the containment measures already in place in northern regions to the entire country, which has confirmed more than 10,140 cases. The death toll in the country stands at more than 630 people.

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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 11 Coronavirus news.

Top U.S. coronavirus official: 'We can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Tuesday that coronavirus will alter the American way of life — even in areas of the country that have yet to report cases.

Speaking alongside Vice President Mike Pence at the White House coronavirus briefing, Fauci said,  "We would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago."

"It doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case, you have to start taking seriously what you can do now that if and when the infections will come and they will come, sorry to say, sad to say, they will," he said.

Fauci urged people to follow the guidelines to counter the virus on the government's website, coronavirus.gov.

"This is the minimum that we should be doing. Everybody should be saying all hands on deck, this is what we need to do," he said.   

Google recommends all employees in U.S. and Canada work from home

Google has recommended that all its employees in the U.S. and Canada work from home, if their roles allow, according to a company spokesperson.

The move makes Google one of the biggest companies in North America to issue a blanket recommendation for employees to work from home in an effort to keep people safe from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Google has more than 114,000 employees, most of them in North America.

Google's announcement was first reported by Business Insider.

2 more elderly patients die in Washington state as 10 nursing homes report cases

Two more elderly people died after testing positive for coronavirus in Washington as nine more long-term care facilities report cases, officials reported Tuesday. 

A man and a woman, both in their 80s, died due to COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus, according to Seattle and King County Public Health. The woman was a resident at the Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center while the man was a resident of the Ida Culver House, an assisted living facility. 

The department said that the county now has 190 confirmed coronavirus cases, up 74 from Monday.

Of the now 22 coronavirus-related deaths in King County, 19 were reported from the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington. The nursing home has been considered a miniature epicenter for the spread of COVID-19, the illness associated with coronavirus.

Nine other long-term care facilities have now also reported positive cases. 

Waffle House closes one Georgia location

Waffle House closed one of its Georgia locations after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, the company announced. 

The popular chain's location at 1849 Marietta Hwy in Canton, about 45 miles north of Atlanta, is temporarily closed as the restaurant is sanitized. The employee's most recent work day had been March 1, company officials said.

Waffle House proudly advertises that "each restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," and closures for the company are rare. 

That worker has been released from the hospital under quarantine.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden cancel rallies because of coronavirus fears

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday, March 8, 2020.Paul Sancya / AP

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both canceled campaign rallies planned for Tuesday night in Ohio due to concerns about the coronavirus, a first on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as concerns about the outbreak mount.

"Out of concern for public health and safety, we are canceling tonight’s rally in Cleveland," Sanders' campaign communications director Mike Casca said in a statement. "We are heeding the public warnings from Ohio state officials, who have communicated concern about holding large, indoor events during the coronavirus outbreak.

"In  accordance with guidance from public officials and out of an abundance of caution, our rally in Cleveland, Ohio, tonight is cancelled," Kate Bedingfield, deputy manager for the Biden campaign, said in a statement. 

Read the full story here.

Massachusetts declares state of emergency as 51 new coronavirus cases are confirmed

Gov. Charlie Baker issued a state of emergency Tuesday as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported a jump in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

The number of confirmed cases went up by 51 presumptive positives in a day, bringing the state's total cases to 92. Officials said Tuesday that they were beginning to see evidence of community spread of the virus, rather than travel related cases. 

HHS Secretary Alex Azar says it was impossible "to hermetically seal us off from this outbreak"

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to minimize the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, insisting that it was not possible for the U.S. to limit the spread of the disease. 

"The United States is the hub of the global economy," he said. "It was never going to be possible to hermetically seal us off from this outbreak — and we have said that from the very first communications that we've had to the American people about this."

President Donald Trump, however, has repeatedly diminished the possibility of the spread. On Monday he went so far as to share his assessment of the spread of the disease, comparing it to the common flu on Twitter, which critics say ignores the upward trend of coronavirus cases and downplays its deadliness. 

Azar said 1.1 million tests had been shipped out this past week, another 1 million are currently available and 4 million more will be available by the end of the week through private partnerships..

Wall Street rebounds after rollercoaster day

Wall Street rebounded by the closing bell on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up almost 5 percent, or 1,164 points, on hopes that President Donald Trump would introduce an economic stimulus package to insulate the economy as the coronavirus epidemic spreads.

Investors wavered throughout the day, parsing headlines and reports that focused on whether the emergency measures could be introduced quickly enough. The Dow swung through more than a thousand points, surging by 945 points before dipping into the red.

“I think fiscal measures such as a payroll tax reduction are likely to be more impactful than the tools the Federal Reserve has, particularly cutting interest rates,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. “Putting more money into the hands of consumers or businesses actually drives the economy. It’s not a panacea, but it is likely to be more effective than monetary policy.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz tests negative for coronavirus

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who found out while flying on Air Force One on Monday that he'd been exposed to somebody with the coronavirus, said Tuesday he's tested negative for the virus. 

Gaetz had just ridden in President Donald Trump's limo in Florida and was aboard the president's plane en route back to Washington when he got a phone call from his chief of staff telling him a person he spent time with at Conservative Political Action Conference had been hospitalized with the coronavirus. 

"I've just been informed that my COVID-19 lab result was negative. In an abundance of caution, I will remain under self-quarantine at the advice of medical professionals through Thursday at 2pm," Gaetz tweeted. Thursday would mark 14 days since his interaction with the person at CPAC.

"I continue to feel fine and show no symptoms," added Gaetz, who wore a gas mask on the House floor during the vote on the coronavirus emergency spending bill last week. 

Two other people who've spent time with Trump in the past week are also self-quarantining after learning they'd interacted with the same person, Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia and Mark Meadows, Trump's new chief of staff. 

Asked if he would be tested for coronavirus, Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he has spoken to the White House doctor, and that “he said he sees no reason to do it.” Trump said. “There’s no symptoms, no anything.”

 

Cuomo implements 'containment area' around N.Y. state's coronavirus cluster

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he is implementing a "containment area" around a one-mile radius in the city of New Rochelle, where there is a growing cluster of coronavirus cases.

The New Rochelle, N.Y. containment Zone.Office of Andrew Cuomo

The plan involves closing schools and other large gathering facilities, such as houses of worship, within the zone for two weeks starting Thursday, he said. Businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

Read more.

Coronavirus is nursing homes' 'greatest threat' in years

At the Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, 18 residents have died from the coronavirus, and another 31 residents had tested positive. At Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, also in Washington, one resident has died from the virus, and two others are infected.

The spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes and assisted living facilities highlights the particular threat these communities face from the illness.

Read more about steps nursing homes must take.