March 3 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Tara John, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:49 PM ET, Tue March 3, 2020
118 Posts
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8:03 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Ohio festival will be held without spectators due to coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a news conference at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 3, to announce impacts on the Arnold Sports Festival of the coronavirus.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a news conference at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 3, to announce impacts on the Arnold Sports Festival of the coronavirus. AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that most events of the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio, will be held without spectators this weekend based on guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preventing the spread of coronavirus. 

The Arnold Sports Festival is an annual multi-sport festival held in Columbus that includes the Arnold Classic, a bodybuilding competition named for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Today we had new guidance from the CDC about mass public gatherings,” DeWine told reporters. “We have all decided to move forward with the athlete competition at the Arnold Classic, but not to allow spectators or the trade show to continue with the exception of the Arnold Classic Finals on Saturday night at the convention center.”

Schwarzenegger called the decision a "very sad moment for us, for my partners Jim Lorimer and Bob Lorimer, because we have been doing this now since 1976 when we held the first Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe competition in Columbus, Ohio, and ever since we have been doing this without any interruption whatsoever.” 

The former California governor added, “Let me be very clear that we have the biggest and the best health and fitness festival in the world, but we would never choose making money over people’s health.”

8:09 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

3 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in British Columbia

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

The British Columbia Ministry of Health announced three additional confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Canadian province this evening.

This brings British Columbia's coronavirus total to 12, according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

According to Henry, the new cases include...

  • A man in his 60s who recently returned from Iran.
  • An adult woman who also recently traveled to Iran.
  • A woman in her 30s who was a household contact of British Columbia's eighth confirmed case — a woman in her 60s who is visiting family in British Columbia and lives in Iran.

The three individuals did not require hospitalization and are recovering in their homes, according to Henry.

By the numbers: These new cases bring Canada’s total number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases to 33, including 20 in Ontario, 12 in British Columbia and one in Quebec.

8:01 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Pence pledges that upcoming coronavirus briefings will be on camera

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Jim Acosta 

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence pledged that upcoming briefings on coronavirus would be on camera, following a Tuesday evening on the record briefing led by Pence that the White House press office insisted remain off camera. 

The press office also insisted that reporters not broadcast any sound from the briefing, in which the vice president announced several new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiatives, including a change in policy that now allows any American to receive a coronavirus test, if a doctor deems it necessary. 

When pressed about the briefing being off camera, Pence said it was because President Trump had already made multiple on camera statements today.

"You’re going to see us in here every day answering questions… but the president was at NIH today and the president addressed the country today," Pence said.

He added that “I expect we’ll be back on camera tomorrow.” 

Some context: On two occasions last week, Trump and members of the Coronavirus Task Force briefed reporters on camera from the briefing room.  

8:16 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

How much does coronavirus testing and treatment cost? It depends.

From CNN's Tami Luhby

Now that coronavirus is spreading in the US, lots of people are going to their doctors, urgent care clinics or emergency rooms to find out whether their coughs, sneezes and fevers mean they have the coronavirus.

But some are worried about the cost of that testing after the Miami Herald wrote a story about a man who went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms and was told he might owe $3,270. (Turns out he actually had the flu, but his limited-coverage insurance policy left him with a $1,400 bill.)

Here's how much it will cost you if you seek care: The coronavirus test itself shouldn’t generate a bill – for now – since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is picking up the tab. That could change as more labs start running the test.

But the visit and other tests aren’t free. How much you’ll owe depends on several factors, including what insurance you have, where you seek treatment and what tests providers give you. For instance, those who haven’t satisfied their deductibles will likely be on the hook for more of the bill. Going to the emergency room is typically far more pricey than visiting your doctor or an urgent care clinic.

Those feeling sick can call their insurers to learn what the costs they might incur.

State governments and the Trump administration are also looking to relieve the financial burden so Americans don’t hesitate to get checked out — which could worsen the disease’s spread.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday required health insurers in his state to waive any cost sharing associated with testing for coronavirus. And the Trump administration is looking at providing hospitals with funding to care for the uninsured.

Congress is still hashing out a multi-billion supplemental spending bill to respond to the public health emergency.

The final sticking point: Making an eventual vaccine affordable.

7:32 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Coronavirus testing to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

An administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said today that any costs associated with the coronavirus test would be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. 

Seema Verma's remarks followed an announcement by Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday evening saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue new guidance that “any American can be tested (for coronavirus), no restrictions, subject to doctors’ orders.”

Asked by CNN if the testing would be free and what would be done to help those who could not afford it, Pence said guidance was going to be sent out immediately that notes that Medicare and Medicaid covers the test. 

Verma noted that it is a diagnostic test so it would be covered under insurance as an essential health benefit and is a covered service in the exchanges — in Medicaid and in Medicare.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield added that the test the CDC provides to the public health community is provided free of charge to public health labs across the country.

Pence said that there was concern that some people felt they could not be tested if they were only mildly symptomatic, but the new guidance will make clear “that any clinician or health authority can administer the test.”

7:28 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Singapore confirms 2 new cases of coronavirus

From Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Singapore confirmed two new cases of novel coronavirus Tuesday evening, bringing the country's total to 110, according to a statement posted by the Ministry of Health.

The two patients include two male citizens aged 70 and 33, who have not reported travel history to affected countries and regions, the statement said. The 33-year-old is linked to a cluster of cases at Wizlearn Technologies.

In response to the outbreak, Singapore has banned visitors who recently traveled to Iran, northern Italy, and South Korea, the minister for National Development, Lawrence Wong, announced Tuesday.

Singaporean citizens and residents returning from those locations will be placed on a mandatory 14-day home quarantine upon their return, he added.

7:24 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

Seattle declares emergency due to coronavirus

From CNN's Andy Rose

Seattle is joining other communities in Washington state today, declaring an emergency to respond to the novel coronavirus. 

In a statement, the office of Mayor Jenny Durkan said they will be announcing actions to be taken as a result of the emergency “in the coming days.”

Around the state: Similar emergency proclamations have been made by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, along with the King County government and the Seattle suburbs of Kirkland and Redmond. 

So far, all of the confirmed deaths in the United States due to coronavirus are from Washington state.

7:03 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

There are 122 cases of novel coronavirus in the US

From CNN's Dave Alsup

There are 122 cases of the novel coronavirus, including nine deaths, in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tonight, as well as state and local governments.  

According to the CDC, there are 48 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through the US public health systems, there are 74 cases in 13 states. Bringing the total of coronavirus cases to 122.

This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and confirmed cases have received positive results from the CDC.

6:53 p.m. ET, March 3, 2020

First confirmed case of coronavirus in Berkeley, California

The Northern California city of Berkeley just announced its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus from a resident who returned from a country with a coronavirus outbreak.

The resident, who returned to Berkeley on Feb. 23, was concerned about being exposed through travel and stayed home in a voluntary self-imposed quarantine, according to a statement from the City of Berkeley.

Berkeley Public Health is investigating whether the individual had contact with others. Individuals who were potentially exposed will be identified, notified and evaluated, the statement said.

Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley also proclaimed a local emergency at noon today. The declaration allows the city to arrange more resources to prepare for any additional cases.

"While the risk of infection remains low, the expanded presence of the virus in our community is a reality we should all prepare for," Dr. Lisa Hernandez said.