March 5 coronavirus news

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9:17 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Our live coverage of the novel coronavirus has moved here.

8:58 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Maryland joins list of states with cases

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

WJZ
WJZ

Gov. Larry Hogan told reporters there are three cases of coronavirusin Maryland after the state lab tested the patients' samples.

The people are a married couple in their 70s and another individual in their 50s from Montgomery County. They returned in late February from international travel, the governor said

They were on the same group trip overseas, but officials are not releasing where exactly they traveled.

The three patients are in good condition and isolated at home. 

Investigators are trying to identify people the patients might have interacted with since their return.

There are 19 states that have had positive or presumptive positive tests.

8:01 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Colorado reports first two cases

From CNN's Sara Weisfeldt and Lucy Kafanov 

KDVR
KDVR

Colorado officials announced two presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, the state’s first cases.

The first case is in an out-of-state visitor -- a male in his 30s -- to Summit County. 

When the man arrived at Denver's airport on February 29, he was asymptomatic, Gov. Jared Polis said.

The man developed symptoms two days ago, was tested yesterday and today the state lab said the test was positive.

The person was advised to go to a lower alititude and relocated to Jefferson County, the governor added..Coronavirus makes people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. 

The man is in isolation and his fiancee is in quarantine. Two friends from Colorado have been given quarantine directions, the governor said.

Polis said the man traveled to Italy in mid-February and had a travel companion who has had a positive coronavirus test in another state, Polis said.

The governor said there is a second case but that he didn't have details.

6:51 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Testing begins for cruise passengers

From CNN’s Dan Simon and Cheri Mossburg

In this photo provided by Michele Smith, passengers look on as a Coast Guard helicopter hovers above the Grand Princess cruise ship on Thursday, March 5, off the California coast. 
In this photo provided by Michele Smith, passengers look on as a Coast Guard helicopter hovers above the Grand Princess cruise ship on Thursday, March 5, off the California coast.  Michele Smith via AP

Virus tests are underway for cruisegoers aboard the Grand Princess, passenger Michael Bell told CNN.

The tests were delivered to the ship by a California Air National Guard helicopter.

As the aircraft hovered, guardsmen dropped the test kits and lowered CDC medical personnel, Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma told CNN.

Almost 100 passengers, including guests and staff, need to be tested, Princess said in a statement.

The ship’s captain told passengers over the cruise ship’s loudspeakers that tests are being conducted and will be flown out by dinnertime, Bell said.

He added that the CDC has forced the closure of the casino and all group activities on the ship. Guests are being told to stay 6 feet (2 meters) from one another, according to Bell.

Watch:

6:09 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Lyft urges office employees to work from home

From CNN's Sara O'Brien

Lyft said it is encouraging staffers at its San Francisco headquarters to work from home for the rest of this week “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We recently learned that a Lyft team member at our San Francisco headquarters was in contact with someone who was exposed to COVID-19. The team member has not exhibited any symptoms, and is in touch with medical professionals,” Lyft spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna said in a statement to CNN Business.

“We are basing every step of our response process on CDC guidance.”

The company had its headquarters deep-cleaned overnight, according to LaManna.

6:06 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

DHS denies 241 people entry at US ports, airports

From CNN's Geneva Sands

The US Department of Homeland Security refused entry into the country to 241 people -- 14 at airports; 227 at land ports -- within the past month because of the novel coronavirus, according to data provided by the department. 

The figures provided by DHS were recorded from February 2 to March 3. The department did not provide a breakdown by country for those who were refused entry at airports. 

 Another 106 foreign nationals were denied entry before arriving in the US at pre-clearance airports, where US Customs officials conduct screening overseas.

The department is tasked with screening passengers that are subject to the President's travel restrictions from China and Iran. At the beginning of February, the United States began implementing stringent travel restrictions in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Most foreign nationals who visited China in the 14 days before their arrival to the United States are denied entry. That was expanded last week to include Iran. 

5:21 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Israel, Palestinians impose closure of Bethlehem

From Oren Liebermann, Abeer Salman, Amir Tal and Andrew Carey in Jerusalem

Israel and the Palestinian Authority imposed a closure on Bethlehem and surrounding towns and villages Thursday evening following the discovery of seven cases of coronavirus in the Palestinian city. PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared a state of emergency across the West Bank.

"The movement of Israelis and Palestinians in and out of the city is prohibited," Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

The decision was made in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, Bennett said, and following consultations with the National Security Council and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

4:52 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Seattle is adding homeless shelters to avoid coronavirus spread

The city of Seattle is working to add new homeless facilities in an attempt to slow the spread of novel coronavirus. 

Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that two new groups of “tiny houses” and a repurposed former treatment facility will make it possible for the city to house another 100 people without shelter.

“Our neighbors experiencing homelessness are at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, And as a City, region, and Country we must act with urgency to address the ongoing impacts of this public health crisis,” Durkan said in a statement. 

Remember: Currently, no novel coronavirus patients have been identified by health officials as being homeless.

The shelter expansion follows efforts by King County to add new temporary buildings to isolate confirmed coronavirus patients, including three modular units and a motel. Durkan said Seattle’s new homeless facilities are not intended to serve people who already have the novel coronavirus.

It will take up to three weeks before the new shelters are fully operational. Durkan said additional shelter options can be made available more quickly if necessary, using plans already in place for severe weather emergencies.

4:52 p.m. ET, March 5, 2020

Coronavirus testing has begun on cruise ship passengers near California

From CNN’s Dan Simon and Cheri Mossburg

In this photo provided by Michele Smith, a Coast Guard helicopter delivering virus testing kits hovers above the Grand Princess cruise ship Thursday, March 5, off the California coast.
In this photo provided by Michele Smith, a Coast Guard helicopter delivering virus testing kits hovers above the Grand Princess cruise ship Thursday, March 5, off the California coast. (Michele Smith via AP

Coronavirus testing is underway for cruise ship passengers aboard the Grand Princess, passenger Michael Bell told CNN.

The tests were delivered to the ship via a California Air National Guard helicopter a short time ago. 

The chopper hovered above the ship and para-rescue jumpers dropped the test kits and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical personnel down to the vessel, Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma told CNN.

Nearly 100 passengers have been identified as needing to be tested, including guests and staff, Princess said in an earlier statement.

In an announcement over the cruise ship’s loudspeaker, the ship’s captain told passengers that tests are being conducted and will be flown out by dinner, with results expected about five hours later, Bell said.

Bell said the CDC has forced the closure of the casino and all group activities on the ship. Guests are being told to stay six feet away from one another.