March 11 coronavirus news
The US State Department raised the worldwide travel advisory to Level 3 on Wednesday night -- meaning citizens should reconsider travel abroad.
“The Department of State advises US citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of Covid-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions,” the statement said.
“Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”
The note was released shortly after President Donald Trump’s address to the nation, announcing new travel restrictions from Europe.
Stanford University, in California's Santa Clara County, has confirmed two new cases of the coronavirus – one from Stanford Medicine and another case from the main campus.
A faculty member of Stanford Medicine was also confirmed with a case of coronavirus last week, bringing the university's total to three cases, Stanford said in a letter to its community.
Stanford and health officials are now working to conduct contact tracing on the patients. The letter added that the university would not provide additional information on the patients to protect their privacy.
Stanford is holding online classes: The university canceled all in-person classes for the final two weeks of its winter quarter, and will continue with online classes during the spring quarter.
Stanford is also asking students who live on campus to leave at the end of the quarter if possible.
This comes as a wave of universities across the nation enact similar measures. Harvard University, for instance, gave students five days to move out of their dorms -- sparking panic and anger among some students, who complained of inadequate administration support.
Mainland China reported 15 new coronavirus cases yesterday -- continuing the week-long trend of dramatically falling numbers, according to China's National Health Commission.
Six of those cases were imported from overseas -- meaning they weren't locally transmitted in China.
Hubei province, where the coronavirus pandemic began back in December, reported eight new cases -- the lowest to be reported from Hubei since the outbreak began.
The drop in new daily cases is especially striking given that just a month or two ago, the country was reporting around 2,000 new cases per day.
China has now reported 80,793 cases and 3,169 deaths. Of the total cases, 62,793 have recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to the NHC.
North Dakota has just announced the state's first case of coronavirus.
The presumptive positive case is a resident in his 60s from Ward County, according to a news release from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
The patient had traveled out of state, and had contact with another infected person, said the news release. He has not been hospitalized, and is now self-isolating at home.
“We have been planning and preparing for this since January, and our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of all North Dakotans,” Burgum said in the news release.
“With the North Dakota Department of Health and its partners at the state, local and federal levels, we are working together to stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation."
The White House has canceled a Thursday reception to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the visit of Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, an attendee told CNN.
In an email to guests shared with CNN, the White House Social Office wrote, "Out of an abundance of caution, the White House St. Patrick's Day Reception" is canceled.
Both leaders had been scheduled to attend the annual Shamrock Bowl event at the White House, where Varadkar was to present the Shamrock Bowl.
CNN has asked if the rest of the Varadkar's meetings with the President will happen, but have not received a response.
Officials learned a player from Utah Jazz had tested positive coronavirus right before the tip-off of their game with Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the Jazz said in a statement.
The player's symptoms had "diminished over the course" of the day so a test for COVID-19 was performed, the team said.
"A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game," the team statement said. "Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation are paramount in our discussions."
Because of the positive result, the game was postponed with the NBA later announcing that they were suspending the season.
The Jazz added that they are “working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time.”
An employee in Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office is the first publicly known case of a congressional staffer testing positive for coronavirus.
According to a statement from her office, the staffer had no known contact with Cantwell, who represents Washington state, or other members of Congress.
"The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 has had no known contact with the senator or other members of Congress," the statement said. "The senator is requesting that testing be done on any other staffers who have been in contact with the individual and show symptoms."
There are at least 373 cases of coronavirus in Washington state. At least 30 people have died from coronavirus.
In a primetime address to millions of Americans, President Trump misrepresented the travel restrictions he is imposing on travel between the United States and Europe.
Trump said "we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days" before adding that there will be "exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings."
Those exemptions are far more extensive than the President made them out to be. They apply to all US legal permanent residents, citizens and some of their family members, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.
The travel restrictions Trump is enacting are in fact far more similar to those enacted on China.
The ban also does not apply to all of Europe but to nations in the Schengen zone. That includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
What this means: Americans and US permanent residents who are in Europe will still be allowed to fly to Europe and be allowed back into the United States during this 30-day period.
They will simply be screened upon entry to the United States and face quarantine or restrictions on their movement in the US for 14 days.
However, it is not clear whether airlines will still fly the routes if passenger demand from European nationals dries up because of the ban.
Trump also appeared to correct himself on a ban on cargo. In his speech he said, "There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. "
A few minutes ago, the President tweeted, "...please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods."
This is not to say the President is not taking an extremely severe step, but it is not the all-encompassing suspension on travel between the United States and Europe that the President portrayed.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City has officially been canceled, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
"Today I had several conversations with the organizers of the St. Patrick's Day Parade to determine whether the parade should move forward in light of the evolving coronavirus situation and increased case count in the New York City area," Cuomo said in a statement.
He continued: "Following those conversations, I recommended and the parade's leadership agreed to postpone this year's parade due to the high density and the large volume of marchers and spectators who attend. While I know the parade organizers did not make this decision lightly, public health experts agree that one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade's leadership for working cooperatively with us. While the risk to New Yorkers remains low and we want to avoid social and economic disruptions, we have an obligation to take action to contain the spread of this virus."