March 12 coronavirus news

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1:06 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus cases in 30 states have been linked to Europe, CDC says

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said cases in 30 or more states were linked to cases in Europe.

During a House Oversight Committee hearing Thursday discussing the coronavirus response, Redfield said the "real risk in general right now, and this is why the President took the action he did last night, within the world now, over 70% of the new cases are linked to Europe. In the United States … 30 states or more were linked actually to cases in Europe." 

Redfield reiterated, “Europe is the new China.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said as the CDC recently investigated the 35 states that were reporting cases, 30 of them “who were more recently getting infections ... That was predominately from Italy and from France and from Germany.” 

1:00 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Governor declares public health emergency in Wisconsin

From CNN’s Brad Parks

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency in response to new coronavirus cases in the state.

“We have been working aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this declaration allows us to get the resources we need to continue to be proactive when it comes to protecting Wisconsinites,” Evers said.

He continued: “It is the latest step in the work our state agencies have been doing around the clock with our healthcare partners to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic.”

12:56 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

These federal agencies want blood donations to continue

From CNN's Mallory Simon

Two federal agencies are urging people in the United States to continue donating blood during the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Food and Drug Administration and US blood banks are urging blood donations and trying to calm fears. They said in a statement that coronavirus does not pose any known risks to blood donors during the donation process.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Americans need to “start turning out in force to give blood.”

The push comes as blood centers are seeing cancellation of drives and significant drops in donations. The American Red Cross said 300 Red Cross blood drives in the United States have been canceled because of coronavirus concerns. That translates to about 8,000 uncollected blood donations, the group said.  

The FDA and HHS said the cancellation of blood drives means they are unable to keep the blood supply adequately replenished.

“We need people to prevent the blood supply from getting depleted. We need it not to get to the point that surgeries are having to get canceled,” Marks said. “That’s something we absolutely do not want to have happen. To ensure an adequate blood supply we need people to come out and donate blood.”

The FDA said there “have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus and the virus poses no known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions.”

“It is safe to donate blood,” said Admiral Dr. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for HHS. “Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate today to ensure that blood is available for those patients who need it.”

Kate Fry, chief executive of America’s Blood Centers, which collects close to 60% of the nation’s blood supply, urged people to donate before things get worse.

“Blood donors are needed now more than ever. We cannot wait for the situation to intensify further before taking action,” Fry said. “The blood supply cannot be taken for granted and the coronavirus only heightens the need for a ready blood supply.”

 

1:18 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

US death toll in coronavirus outbreak climbs to 39

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference on February 4.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a news conference on February 4. Bob Andres/AJC/AP/File

The state of Georgia has reported its first death related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to statement from the governor's office. 

The individual has been identified as a 67-year-old male, who was hospitalized at WellStar Kennestone just outside of Atlanta since testing positive for COVID-19 on March 7. 

In addition to being infected with coronavirus disease, this individual also had underlying medical conditions.

Georgia has currently confirmed 31 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. 

The US death toll now stands at 39.

12:46 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Maine reports first presumptive positive case of coronavirus

From CNN’s Leslie Holland

Maine has its first presumptive positive coronavirus case — a woman in her 50s — according to Gov. Janet Mills.

The patient is quarantined in their home, according to a statement.

“The Maine CDC is speaking to the individual and her medical provider to assess travel history and begin to investigate possible community exposure,” the statement said.
12:43 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

A passenger on a JetBlue flight to West Palm Beach tests positive for coronavirus

 From CNN's Chuck Johnston and Anna Sturla

A JetBlue passenger who tested positive for coronavirus is now in isolation in Florida, according to Alex Shaw, spokesperson with Florida Department of Health. 

The passenger was on a flight from New York City to West Palm Beach Wednesday night. The passenger alerted the crew upon landing that he had received a notification confirming a positive coronavirus test, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said. 

The Florida Department of Health was made aware that a passenger traveling through the Palm Beach International Airport tested positive for COVID-19. "Upon being notified, the Department immediately began working with the CDC to conduct an extensive epidemiological investigation to determine which passengers may have had close contact with the individual," Shaw said in a statement to CNN.  

The Palm Beach airport has temporarily closed down Concourse A for cleaning after passengers aboard the Jet Blue flight were taken through that area. And the gate and terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport where the flight departed was cleaned, according to a statement. 

12:45 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

CDC says cost of coronavirus treatment will be covered

Dr. Anthony Fauci, left, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before testifying at a House Oversight Committee hearing on the coronavirus outbreak in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, left, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks with Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, before testifying at a House Oversight Committee hearing on the coronavirus outbreak in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the cost of testing and treatment will be covered.

During Thursday’s House Oversight committee hearing on novel coronavirus, Rep. Ayanna Pressley asked Redfield, "will the cost of testing be covered,” Redfield responded, "the cost of testing will be covered.”

Following up, Pressley asked, "and what about treatment?" Redfield said, "cost of treatment will be covered."

Redfield said the White House Coronavirus Task Force is working hard to make sure everyone is financially able to stay home if necessary during the coronavirus outbreak.  

He said the task force has "addressed this as a critical public health component,” adding the United States needs to ensure those under a 14-day quarantine “not have to sneak out for an hourly job so they have to pay for their cost of living."

12:38 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Italian football club player tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Jonathan Hawkins in Atlanta

Manolo Gabbiadini of UC Sampdoria is pictured on the pitch during a Serie A football match in Turin, Italy, on February 8
Manolo Gabbiadini of UC Sampdoria is pictured on the pitch during a Serie A football match in Turin, Italy, on February 8 Credit: Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini has become the second Serie A player to test positive for coronavirus. 

The Genoa-based club announced the diagnosis in a statement earlier on Thursday: “(Gabbiadini) has a fever, but is doing well. The club is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law.”

The 28-year-old striker confirmed the news in a tweet: “I also tested positive for Coronavirus,” he wrote. “I want to thank everyone who wrote to me, many messages have already arrived. I want to tell you that I’m fine, so don’t worry. Follow all the rules, stay home and everything will work out.”

The news comes after 25-year-old Juventus defender Daniele Rugani announced on Wednesday that he had contracted the virus – the first player in Serie A to do so. 

12:42 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Democratic debate moved from Arizona to Washington, DC, over coronavirus concerns

The Democratic debate stage in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 14.
The Democratic debate stage in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 14. Credit: Victor J. Blue for CNN

The Democratic debate scheduled for Sunday will be moved from Arizona to Washington, DC, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday.

"Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday's debate at CNN's studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience," DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement.

The debate is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET, Sunday, and will air exclusively live on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, and Univision, as well as on multiple digital platforms.

Read more here.