Medical workers outside Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, where students have been place under quarantine, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

March 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Tara John and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020
126 Posts
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6:25 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Boston cancels St. Patrick's Day Parade over coronavirus concerns

Boston is canceling their 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade “out of an abundance of caution” due to concerns over coronavirus, the city's mayor announced Monday. 

"In collaboration with Congressman Lynch, Councilors Flaherty and Flynn, Senator Collins, Representative Biele, and David Falvey from the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the St. Patrick's Day Parade is being cancelled,” Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement.

Walsh went on to say that the "decision is being made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy.”

6:18 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Rhode Island announces state of emergency due to coronavirus outbreak

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced a state of emergency because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Rhode Island has three confirmed cases of coronavirus.

There are at least 687 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember: These numbers are constantly being updated as the situation is fluid. 

6:09 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Coronavirus briefing is now at 6:30 p.m. ET

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

The White House now says the coronavirus briefing is delayed and will now begin at 6:30 p.m. ET. 

President Trump is expected to the lead the briefing.

5:59 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

NASA employee tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

Employees at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley have been put on a mandatory telework status after an employee has tested positive for coronavirus.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said although they believe the exposure at the center has been limited, they issued the order out of an abundance of caution.

“Limiting personnel at the center will allow Ames medical personnel and public health officials to determine potential contacts and assess areas that may require additional cleaning and mitigate potential exposure to center personnel," Bridenstine said. "Working with county officials, Ames leadership and medical personnel are working to trace the contacts of the employee and notifying individuals who may have had significant contact with that person.”

It is unclear whether this case is included in the state’s current count of coronavirus patients.

5:51 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

A fifth congressman was exposed to CPAC attendee who tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Rep. Louis Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, was called by officials yesterday and was told he had been in proximity of the individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who tested positive for coronavirus, according to the congressman's aide.

According to the aide, the doctor told him that if he was Gohmert, he’d go back to Washington and observe good hygiene. 

Gohmert is choosing not to self-quarantine.

There are currently five Republican members of Congress who said they were exposed to individuals who have tested for coronavirus. Gohmert is the only one to not self-quarantine. 

One Democrat also came in contact with a constituent who tested positive for coronavirus has shuttered her DC office and is “self-monitoring.”

5:46 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Congressman who came into contact with coronavirus patient spent the weekend with Trump

From CNN White House team

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who says he was told he came into contact with someone who is infected with coronavirus at the Conservative Political Action Conference, spent the weekend with President Trump at his resort in Mar-a-Lago, according to two sources familiar. 

Gaetz also spent Saturday evening as the president's guest at an intimate dinner with Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. 

On Monday, Gaetz also rode in the presidential limousine in Orlando with Trump. 

The men were seen sitting just feet from each other chatting in the presidential vehicle. 

They both exited the presidential vehicle and boarded Air Force One on Monday for the flight back to Andrews Air Force Base. 

It was aboard that flight that Gaetz "was informed today by CPAC while he was mid-flight on Air Force One that he had come in contact with the infected attendee,” according to his office. “Once he landed, he then was immediately tested” for the coronavirus.  

Another White House official says once Gaetz was informed, he sat in a section of Air Force One by himself as a precaution. 

In a series of tweets, Gaetz's official account says, "While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon. Under doctor's usual precautionary recommendations, he'll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week." And his official account also noted that his "Washington office will be closed during this time, with our Pensacola office remaining open." 

CPAC head Matt Schlapp told CNN that Gaetz was informed this afternoon that he came into contact with the CPAC attendee who tested positive for the coronavirus. However, he could not say what time Gaetz was informed. 

Schlapp says CPAC officials are "in regular contact with the patient and the patient's family" to ascertain who the individual came in contact with at CPAC.

"We are getting the information and as soon as we get it we contact the individuals involved," Schlapp said.

CNN's Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this reporting.

5:36 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

President Trump expected to join coronavirus briefing

President Trump is expected to join a briefing from the coronavirus task force at 6 p.m. ET.

Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to be at the White House briefing.

5:15 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

UC Berkeley suspends most in-person classes due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

The University of California Berkeley has suspended most of their in-person classes as a proactive measure to protect their campus from coronavirus.

In a letter sent to the campus community today, Chancellor Carol Christ said the changes will begin Tuesday and will remain in effect through spring break, which ends on March 29.

All lectures courses, seminar instruction and exams will be offered through virtual options. Courses that must meet in person such as labs, performing arts or physical education are encouraged to minimize their in-person meetings. 

Campus-sponsored events with than 150 attendees will be canceled or postponed. 

According to the letter, the school will continue to monitor the latest coronavirus information and make a decision at a later date about what will happen on March 30 and beyond.

Christ stressed there are no confirmed cases on the campus at this time. 

5:10 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

US Capitol should not shut down because of coronavirus, House speaker says

From CNN's Manu Raju and Haley Byrd

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday afternoon that the Capitol should not shut down over the novel coronavirus.

“No. No, no no, no. Do you understand no?” she told reporters as she entered her office. 

“At this time, there is no reason to do so. But it’s not my decision. It’s a security and health decision to be made," Pelosi added.

She said she will meet with a number of committee chairs Monday evening after the House votes to discuss a range of policy options Democrats are pushing for to respond to economic impacts of coronavirus.

She said the US government should have a “coordinated, science and evidence-based approach to all of this that meets the needs of America’s families.”