Medical staff checking on a Covid-19 coronavirus patient at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.

March 8 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 11:07 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020
105 Posts
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7:18 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Several US government airport screeners directed to self-quarantine

CNN's John Bonifield and Gregory Clary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "several" airport screeners have been directed to self-quarantine after two contractors who were screening passengers arriving from China at Los Angeles International Airport subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

CNN has previously reported on the two positive tests, but not the subsequent quarantine of other screeners. The contractors were working for the Department of Homeland Security.

Nordlund said the CDC and the local health department are investigating the exposures, but don't know if the employees were exposed during their screening duties.

Because the two people who tested positive interacted with other screeners, Nordlund said several others are now under quarantine. 

The last day of the screeners’ self-quarantine period is scheduled to be March 17. Currently, these screeners are considered to be medium risk," Nordlund said.

Nordlund said the CDC and DHS are working to re-staff screening operations at LAX, including bringing staff from other quarantine stations.

6:39 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Contra Costa County in California confirms 5 more coronavirus cases, increasing state total to 87

CNN’s Sarah Moon 

Contra Costa County in Northern California has confirmed five more cases of coronavirus, according to a press release from Contra Costa Health Services.

Four of the five patients are being treated at a hospital in the county and they had neither travel history outside the US nor known contact with a confirmed case.

The fifth patient had contact with a confirmed case and is in isolation at home under the guidance of CDC, the press release states.

Contra Costa County now has nine confirmed cases, which raises the statewide total to 87.

6:36 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Canada will evacuate its citizens on the Grand Princess cruise ship by plane

From CNN's Laura Ly and Elizabeth Joseph

The Canadian government has secured a plane to evacuate its citizens who are aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, according to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s diplomatic and consular relations ministry.

The decision was made “following a request for assistance from the Government of the United States to repatriate Canadians," the Canadian government said in a statement.

Given our shared border, Canada recognizes the importance of working together with the United States to limit the spread of COVID-19 within North America and beyond,” the statement said.

The plane will fly the Canadians from San Francisco to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, where they will be assessed and undergo a 14-day quarantine.

All passengers will be screened for symptoms before boarding the plane. Any passengers exhibiting symptoms will not be permitted to board and will be further assessed to determine next steps, Global Affairs Canada said.

6:33 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Kentucky reports 3 new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus, bring the state total to 4

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman

Three new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus have been identified in the state of Kentucky bringing the state total to four, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Sunday.

The three new cases were identified in Fayette, Harrison and Jefferson counties, Beshear said.

All three patients are in isolation and no further information about them is available, Beshear said.

6:31 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Washington now has 136 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Melissa Alonso

The Washington State Health Department has updated its novel coronavirus statewide totals to 136 cases with 18 deaths.

Twenty-one new cases were added to the statewide total.

The state also reported 1,110 negative test results as of Sunday.


6:16 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

There are now 521 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

There are 521 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are 49 cases of repatriated citizens, including three from Wuhan China, 46 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 21 on the Grand Princess cruise ship.

There are 451 cases in 33 states and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 521, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through public health systems.

A total of 21 people have died from the coronavirus in the US.


6:07 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

New cases reported in South America

From CNN's Claudia Dominguez 

Chile's health ministry announced two more confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the country's total to nine Sunday.

Brazil's health ministry reported 25 confirmed cases in the country, the country's state news agency reported Sunday.

6:28 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Maryland reports 2 more coronavirus cases, bring the state’s total to five

From CNN’s Liz Turrell

Two more people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Maryland, bringing the state’s total cases to five, according to a news release from state Gov. Larry Hogan.

One is a woman in her 80s who lives in Harford County and contracted the virus while traveling overseas. She is currently hospitalized, the release said.

The other is a Montgomery County man in his 60’s who was traveling overseas and was briefly hospitalized, according to the release.

There appears to be no major concerns over exposure risk to the community, the release said, and there is no indication of a connection between the people who previously tested positive.

We continue to hope for the best, and actively plan for the worst. I encourage all Marylanders to remain calm, but to take this seriously and continue to stay informed. We will provide additional updates tomorrow as more information becomes available,” Hogan said.

Maryland is currently operating under a state of emergency, the release said. At the governor’s direction, state agencies have ramped up response and preparedness efforts across all levels of government. 

5:39 p.m. ET, March 8, 2020

Grand Princess cruise ship currently 10 to 12 miles offshore as it prepares to dock in Oakland on Monday

From CNN’s Sarah Moon

The Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying 3,500 people, is currently 10 to 12 miles offshore as it prepares to dock Monday in Oakland, California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press conference Sunday.

The Grand Princess is roughly 2.5 hours away from Oakland. On board are 21 people who have tested positive for coronavirus, 19 crew members and two passengers.

“The ship will come in sometime tomorrow,” Newsom said. He could not provide any more details on the timing.

Based on the manifest, there are 962 passengers who are California residents and they will be taken to Travis Air Force Base for a 14-day quarantine, Newsom said. Non-California residents will be transported to other locations, including Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia.

The ship's 1,113 crew members will be quarantined on the ship, Newsom said.