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
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12:18 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

New York is making its own hand sanitizer using prison labor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state will attempt to combat "price gouging" and a shortage of hand sanitizer by making its own.

Cuomo said at a press conference that the hand sanitizer will be made by Corcraft, a company that operates in the state's prison. The company employs inmates to produce products like household cleaners and tables and chairs.

He said they are aiming to make "100,000 gallons" a week.

Cuomo said New York's hand sanitizer will be "75% alcohol" and added that the smell has a "floral bouquet."

He said the product will not be sold on the open market at this time. It will be made available in schools and prisons.

12:13 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tests positive for the coronavirus

Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference today.

Cotton is under quarantine and will continue working from home, Cuomo said. 

His senior team will be tested and placed under quarantine, according to Cuomo. 

Cotton could have contracted the illness because he had been working around the airports, Cuomo said.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey oversees much of New York City's travel infrastructure, including some airports, tunnels, bridges and seaports.

11:57 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Irish cities cancel St. Patrick's Day parades

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

The city of Dublin has canceled its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade over coronavirus fears, according to state broadcaster RTE and the Press Association.

A smaller parade planned in Cork, in south coastal Ireland, has also been canceled, its city council said in a statement. The Cork parade is the second largest, attracting up to 50,000 spectators. 

The city council said it made the decision after a risk assessment based on World Health Organization guidelines. The assessment said that "based on the demographic of those attending the parade, the close proximity of people attending the event and the duration of the event (among other considerations), Cork City Council is not in a position to provide the necessary assurances in relation to current WHO Guidelines.” 

11:34 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

There are now more than 140 coronavirus cases in New York

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York has 142 confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday morning. That number is up from the 106 previously reported.

Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Cuomo said during a press conference.

Cotton is under quarantine and his senior team will be tested and placed under quarantine, according to Cuomo.

New York has also created its own hand sanitizer to compete with price gouging. The sanitizer will be used in schools and other city/state properties.

Gov. Cuomo also issued guidance for schools in New Rochelle saying, in part, they could be closed for weeks.

For all schools across the state, if a student tests positive, that school has to be closed for an initial 24-hour period until it can be investigated, Cuomo said.

11:24 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

South Korea confirms three more deaths from coronavirus

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul 

South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported three more deaths from the novel coronavirus Monday, raising the national toll to 54 deaths.

11:23 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

2 coronavirus cases in Florida are related to an active cruise ship port

From CNN’s Rosa Flores

Broward County in Florida announced that two of the three presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the county are related to people coming through Port Everglades. Port Everglades is among the most active ports in the US for cruise ships, cargo and petroleum products.

The county government is not providing additional information about what exactly connects the cases to Port Everglades. 

The Florida Department of Health has reported 13 cases of coronavirus in the state, including two deaths.

11:15 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

FDA says companies are selling “unapproved drugs” for coronavirus

From CNN's Arman Azad)

Federal regulators on Monday chastised seven companies for selling “unapproved drugs” that claim to prevent or treat coronavirus. These drugs “pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law,” the regulators said.

The companies, which sell teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver, received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Federal Trade Commission. They have 48 hours to respond, the agencies said, or risk facing product seizures and legal injunctions.

More context: No vaccines or drugs are currently approved to treat the novel coronavirus, according to the FDA. The agency’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, called the sale and promotion of the violating products “a threat to public health” and pledged to “hold bad actors accountable.”

11:14 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Amazon says it has removed more than 530,000 items for coronavirus price gouging

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Amazon has removed more than 530,000 listings from its marketplace and suspended 2,500 US sellers for coronavirus-related price gouging, the company told a US senator.

The company is also working with state attorneys general to prosecute “the worst offenders,” it told Sen. Ed Markey in a letter dated Friday.

The disclosure comes as demand spikes — both online and off — for supplies including face masks, hand sanitizer and cleaning products. CVS and Walgreens have warned of possible shortages.

In its letter, Amazon said it is using a mix of "automated and manual methods” to identify cases of price gouging. 

"Our selling partners submit billions of price changes every week,” the letter reads, "and our automated tools scan them on an ongoing basis. We continuously compare the prices submitted by our selling partners with current and historic prices within and outside of the Amazon store. We apply price thresholds and machine learning models to determine whether those prices are fair for our customers.”

In light of the coronavirus fears, however, Amazon has stepped up its manual audits with a dedicated team working around the clock — using keywords to search for products that are being unfairly marked up. 

Markey had previously questioned the online retailer about its efforts to combat price gouging, expressing concerns in a March 4 letter saying “corporate America has a responsibility to prevent profiteering."

In a tweet on Saturday, Markey said he was glad to see Amazon’s response. “All online retailers need to hold accountable predatory price-gougers who are profiting from panic,” Markey said.

11:08 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Trump to discuss possible coronavirus economic stimulus options today 

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Trump will sit down today with aides who will present possible economic stimulus options in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, an official tells CNN. He returns to the White House this afternoon. 

It’s still unclear what exactly will be presented to the President.