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
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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).
6:48 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

US State Department raises travel advisory for Italy amid coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler 

The US State Department on Friday raised its travel advisory for Italy to Level 3, meaning travelers should reconsider travel due to the novel coronavirus.

There is only one other travel advisory higher – Level 4, which means do not travel.

"At this time, CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Italy," the State Department's advisory says.

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

70 additional US military medical personnel head to South Korea, official says

From CNN's Barbara Starr

About 70 additional US military medical personnel will deploy to US installations in South Korea, a military official said.

Their main mission will be to help test military personnel, their dependents and contractor personnel once test kits arrive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, several officials say it is still not clear when those kits will arrive even though the outbreak in South Korea has grown in recent days.

The medical personnel will provide clinical care and laboratory support and help identify personnel that have been exposed.

6:11 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

President Trump says he hopes Federal Reserve 'gets involved' over economic fears related to coronavirus

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez and Sam Fossum

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday at the White House that he hopes the Federal Reserve "gets involved" by cutting interest rates.

"Well I hope the Fed gets involved. You know I’m not a big fan of the Fed. You know that. I think they make a lot of mistakes. They’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I hope the Fed gets involved and I hope they get involved soon," Trump said. 

The President then began comparing the US to other countries, like Germany, who were "putting in a lot of money and they're probably lowering rates," he said.

"If you look at other countries, they’re all stuffing the till, they’re all going in there, they’re putting in a lot of money," Trump said. "And our Fed sits there, doesn’t do what they’re supposed to be doing."

Central banks around the world are closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak, and investors believe they will step in to keep the world's economies humming.

Stocks have been selling off all week, even briefly falling into a correction Thursday, as investors and economists grew increasingly concerned about the virus' impact on global supply chains and trade.

"The coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a statement. He added that the Fed is "closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook."