February 28 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Angela Dewan, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:08 PM ET, Fri February 28, 2020
114 Posts
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7:59 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Port of Los Angeles estimates 25% decrease in volume due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Krecyte Villarreal and Sarah Moon

Mario Tama/Getty Images/FILE
Mario Tama/Getty Images/FILE

The Port of Los Angeles has canceled 40 vessel calls and estimated it has experienced a 25% drop in overall volumes this month, Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield told CNN.

The Port of Los Angeles is one of the world’s busiest seaports and the leading gateway for international trade in the Western Hemisphere, according to the port’s website.

The cancellations, which cover scheduled vessel calls between February 11 and April 1, represent about 25% of the port’s normal vessel calls during the time frame, Sanfield said.

The 25% decrease in overall volumes this month compared to February of last year is “largely due to coronavirus,” Sanfield said. He explained that trade war is a factor, but coronavirus is the main reason.

The port estimates an overall decrease for the first quarter of 2020 of about 15% compared to 2019, Sanfield added.

7:49 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

California public health laboratories receive coronavirus testing kits

From CNN's Sarah Moon

A file image of the California Department of Public Health laboratory in Richmond, California. This is not an actual test of a novel coronavirus specimen.
A file image of the California Department of Public Health laboratory in Richmond, California. This is not an actual test of a novel coronavirus specimen. CAPublicHealth

Coronavirus testing kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have arrived in California, the California Department of Public Health announced in a press release Friday.

The state will receive an additional shipment of testing kits to test up to 1,200 people, according to the press release.

“The availability to test at California’s public health laboratories is a significant step forward in our ability to respond rapidly to this evolving situation,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, CDPH director.

“As we face the likelihood of community transmission here in California, having this resource where we need it, is essential to better inform public health response and protect our communities," Angell said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the "new testing protocols and resources will help California medical experts identify and treat" coronavirus. It will also help trace potential exposures and better protect the public's health, he said.

 “I am grateful to the CDC and federal government for quickly heeding our state’s requests and assisting California’s response to this evolving situation,” Newsom added.

7:50 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Southeast Asian leaders meeting with President Trump postponed

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Kevin Bohn 

The March 14 meeting between President Donald Trump and the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) in Las Vegas, Nevada, was postponed Friday, a senior administration official told CNN. Reuters first reported the postponement.

“As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Nations) leaders meeting previously scheduled for mid-March. The United States values our relationships with the nations of this critical region, and looks forward to future meetings,” a senior administration official told CNN.

Exact plans for the meeting had not been announced, but administration officials said they expected President Trump to attend and to have bilateral meetings while there.

7:20 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

The 63rd confirmed case of coronavirus in the US has 'evidence of community transmission,' medical officials say

From CNN’s Sarah Moon

Dr. Sara Cody
Dr. Sara Cody KRON

The 63rd case of coronavirus reported Friday in Santa Clara County, California, is the second US case of unknown origin, according to the county's public health department.

The individual diagnosed is an older adult woman with chronic health conditions who was hospitalized for a respiratory illness, the department said in a press release.

The woman's infectious disease physician contacted the health department to discuss the case and request testing for coronavirus. Since receiving the results Thursday night, the department has been working to identify contacts and understand the extent of exposures, the release said.

"This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission, but the extent is still not clear," said Dr. Sara Cody, the director of the county's health department. "I understand this may be concerning to hear, but this is what we have been preparing for. Now we need to start taking additional actions to slow down the spread of the disease."
7:06 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

63rd case of coronavirus confirmed in US

From CNN’s Jon Passantino

A new confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was reported Friday in Santa Clara County, California, by the county’s public health department.

The new case is the third in the county.

There are now 63 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States.

7:15 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

A relative of a Washington school staff member tested negative for coronavirus after school closed

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Elaine Thompson/AP
Elaine Thompson/AP

A person who was under investigation for coronavirus in Snohomish County, Washington, has tested negative for the virus, according to a statement from the Snohomish Health District.

That person was in close contact with someone from Bothell High School, the statement said.

Bothell High School was closed Thursday and Friday for cleaning in response to a staff member’s relative being quarantined and tested for the virus.

The school's closing was "not necessary," according to public health officials with Seattle and King County but was done out of "an abundance of caution," the school district's superintendent said.

6:49 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Alaska Airlines suspends change and cancellation fees due to coronavirus

CNN’s Danielle Sills and Hollie Silverman

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines
Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has suspended change and cancellation fees due to the coronavirus, according to an airline press release Thursday.

From February 27 to March 12, any change or cancellation fees for new flight bookings will be suspended for guests who later decide not to travel due to concerns about the virus, the release said.

Travelers who books before March 12 and decide to change their plans before March 12 will receive a travel credit for up to one year, according to the release.


6:49 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Monaco reports its first case of coronavirus

From CNN's Merieme Arif

A person admitted Friday morning to the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco, a country in western Europe, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Monaco's official government Twitter account.

One person who the patient came into contact with has been confined at home.

An investigation is underway to trace the patient’s movements and identify the individuals the patient has been in contact with.

6:50 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Spain rise to 39

From CNN’s Laura Perez-Maestro in Madrid

Newly reported confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Spain brought the nationwide total to 39 on Friday.

Of those 39:

  • 37 are in quarantine (eight in Andalusia, one in Aragon, two in Castilla Leon, 10 in Valencia, five in the Canary Islands, seven in Madrid and four in Catalonia)
  • Two have recovered from the illness (one in Canary Island and one in the Balearic Islands).