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March 9 coronavirus news

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Our live coverage of the novel coronavirus has moved here.

US congressman goes into self-quarantine

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, President Trump’s new chief of staff, is in self-quarantine as a protective measure, his office said. 

“Rep. Meadows was advised this weekend that he may have come in contact with the (Conservative Political Action Conference) attendee who tested positive for COVID-19, now 12 days ago,” said Ben Williamson, Meadow’s chief of staff.

“Out of an abundance of caution, Meadows received testing which came back negative. While he’s experiencing zero symptoms, under doctors’ standard precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain at home until the 14-day period expires this Wednesday.”

Meadows was not scheduled to start his new job this week, an official said. 

Some background: Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona announced that they would self-quarantine after coming into contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus at the recent CPAC.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas was told by officials over the weekend that he had also been in proximity to the individual, but he is not planning to self-quarantine, a Gohmert aide tells CNN, details the congressman himself confirmed on Twitter on Monday evening.

Japan reports 26 additional coronavirus cases

Japan’s Health Ministry have announced an additional 26 cases of novel coronavirus.

The additional cases bring the country’s total to 1,210 confirmed cases.

Vietnam confirms one new coronavirus case

Vietnam confirmed one new case of novel coronavirus, bringing the nationwide tally to 31, according to a government statement.

The new case is a 49-year old British national who was on the same Vietnam Airlines’ flight with a previously confirmed patient who flew from the United Kingdom to Vietnam on March 2. 

He is the eighth British national and the 10th foreign patient confirmed in Vietnam who was on board that flight. 

Of the 31 patients confirmed in Vietnam so far, 16 had been discharged. 

UK advises its citizens "against all but essential travel to Italy"

The United Kingdom has advised its citizens on Monday “against all but essential travel to Italy, due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus,” according to a statement from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). 

The advisory came after Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced at a news conference on Monday that the whole country of Italy is now on lockdown.

“British nationals remain able to depart Italy without restriction,” the FCO said.

“Airports remain open throughout Italy. However, airline schedules are subject to change and some flights are being cancelled,” the FCO added.

Novel coronavirus symptoms usually take 5 days to appear, study says

People infected by novel coronavirus tend to develop symptoms about five days after exposure, and almost always within two weeks, according to a study released Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

That incubation period is consistent with previous estimates from public health officials, and the findings suggest that 14 days of quarantine are appropriate for people potentially exposed to the coronavirus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has used that standard during the current pandemic — recommending, for example, that people self-quarantine for two weeks after traveling to countries with widespread coronavirus transmission, such as Italy or South Korea.

To estimate the incubation period, researchers scoured more than 180 reports of coronavirus in places without widespread transmission of the virus — areas, in other words, where infection was likely due to outside travel.

Because the study was conducted early in the coronavirus epidemic, community transmission at the time was limited to Wuhan, China. That allowed researchers to estimate the “time of exposure” to the coronavirus by determining when a person was in Wuhan — the only plausible source of infection. By comparing travel to Wuhan with the emergence of symptoms, researchers could then estimate an incubation period for the virus: usually about five days, and rarely more than 12.

It’s possible, the researchers said, that their study may have focused on more severe cases of the virus – which are likelier to make the news and catch the attention of public health officials. The incubation for mild cases, then, might differ somewhat.

More than 70% of coronavirus cases in China have recovered, WHO says

Of the 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases reported in China, “more than 70% have recovered and been discharged,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in a news conference on Monday. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed the outbreak in his opening remarks, saying it’s important to remember “of all the cases reported globally so far, 93% are from just four countries.” 

The director-general emphasized that the situation can still be controlled.

“The bottom line is,” Tedros said, “we are not at the mercy of this virus.” 

US Treasury Secretary says new economic initiatives will address coronavirus concerns

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil market changes were a large component in the day’s earlier stock market decline.

“Today was an unprecedented move in the oil markets. So we saw an overnight reaction of over down 20% and that’s obviously what had a major component today on the stock market,” Mnuchin said Monday at a White House press briefing.

Mnuchin also said the US is moving into the economic bumpiness from a good place.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that coming into the situation with the coronavirus the US has the most resilient economy in the world. I am in daily conversations with (Fed) Chair (Jerome) Powell. We are committed and we just had a meeting with the President and the economic team,” he said.

Mnuchin described what new economic initiatives the President will propose tomorrow.

“There are parts of the economy that are going to be impacted, especially workers that have to be at home … under quarantine or taking care of their family. We’ll be working on a program to address that. We will also be working with small businesses that need liquidity through SBA program. We’re looking at alternatives at the IRS. We have large tax payments coming up of providing certain relief to companies and individuals for liquidity,” he remarked.

“This is not like the financial crisis, where we don’t know the end in sight. This is about providing proper tools and liquidity to get through the next few months,” Mnuchin added.

New novel coronavirus guidance will be released Monday night

The Trump administration will soon release guidance on how to keep workplaces, schools, homes and commercial businesses safe from novel coronavirus, Dr. Deborah Birx, coronavirus task force coordinator, said Monday.

She told reporters at a White House press briefing that the guidance will be provided later Monday.

Vice President Mike Pence said the guidance would be posted Monday night on Coronavirus.gov.

Pence went on to say that the administration is “working very diligently to establish a single website where people can go to track all of the cases and where they are emerging.”

The average age of death from coronavirus is 80, US surgeon general says

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams discussed some specific data that shows who is at risk for novel coronavirus. 

“People over the age of 60 are much more likely to develop complications from the coronavirus and to be hospitalized,” Adams said, adding that the average age of death from coronavirus is 80.

Children and young adults are more likely to die from the flu than coronavirus, Adams said during brief remarks at Monday’s White House press briefing. He added that people should “be reassured by that.” 

However, he noted, even though young people aren’t at risk for dying from coronavirus, they could potentially spread the virus to people in communities and people with chronic diseases, reiterating basic precautions to prevent community spread, such as covering coughs.

Professional sports leagues limiting locker room access due to coronavirus concerns

Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL) have jointly announced that each league is limiting locker room access to players and essential staff. 

This policy goes into effect on Tuesday.

Here’s what the leagues said in a joint statement:

“After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices.
We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment.”

Pence says he doesn't know if Trump has been tested for coronavirus

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Monday that he does not know whether President Trump had been tested for the coronavirus, even though Trump has been in contact with individuals who have been in close proximity to people diagnosed with the virus. 

“Let me be sure to get you the answer to that. I really don’t know the answer to the question, but we’ll refer that question and we will get you an answer from the White House physician very quickly,” Pence said. 

Pence said that he has not been tested for coronavirus.

Trump was also asked the same question, but he didn’t answer as he left the White House press briefing room.

Pence says coronavirus patients aboard Grand Princess ship "are being dealt with in proper isolation"

Vice President Mike Pence provided updates on the Grand Princess cruise ship during Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing.

The ship docked in the afternoon in Oakland at a commercial dock, he said, and the 25 children aboard are “all healthy.”

The 21 people who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus “are being dealt with in proper isolation.”

By the end of Monday, Pence said, they hope to begin to disembark California residents to Travis Air Force Base.

The US has made arrangements with Canada and the United Kingdom to take their nations’ passengers back through charter flights, he said, and tomorrow, remaining passengers “will be transported again through carefully controlled environments to military bases in Georgia and Texas,” where they will be tested, isolated and quarantined as appropriate.

He expressed appreciation to the governors of California, Georgia, and Texas for “strong cooperation.”

Pence also said he will be meeting with hospital and health insurance CEOs on Tuesday.

Trump says coronavirus "blindsided the world"

President Donald Trump said his administration will hold a briefing to discuss a possible payroll tax cut and the effects of coronavirus.

He went on to say that they will “explain what we’re doing on an economic standpoint.” 

“We have a very strong economy but this came — but this blindsided the world, and I think we’ve handled it very, very well. I think they’ve done a great job,” he said.

Trump administration to propose payroll tax cut and hourly wage relief

President Donald Trump said that members of his administration’s coronavirus task force would be meeting with Congress to discuss a payroll tax cut relief and relief for hourly workers.

“We are going to be asking tomorrow, we’re seeing the Senate. We’re going to be meeting with House Republicans, Mitch McConnell, everybody discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief,” Trump told reporters at a briefing Monday.

“We’re also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they’re not going to ever miss a paycheck,” he added.

Trump added that he is working with leaders in the cruise ship and airline industry “very strongly” for potential relief from coronavirus-related losses. 

“We want people to travel to certain locations and not to other locations at this moment,” he said. “We’re working with the industries.”

Trump also said the administration is in communication with the hotel industry, saying that “some places actually will do very well,” but others may not. 

Trump attends coronavirus briefing

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House’s coronavirus task force have arrived in the briefing room to speak to members of the press about coronavirus.

The briefing, originally scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET, was twice postponed.  

The briefing comes the same day that two lawmakers in recent contact with Trump announced they would self-quarantine.

It also comes hours after the Dow closed down more than 2,000 points and Trump had a meeting on potential economic stimulus measures.

DC mayor says federal government needs "to step it up" on coronavirus response

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that the federal government needs to “step it up” in their response to the novel coronavirus.  

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Bowser said DC specifically needed assistance from the federal government with “how we procure supplies that support the testing that our public health labs are doing.”

Bowser stressed that the DC government would approach any changes to regular city operations by “following the science” and “making sure that any decisions we make will actually keep people safer.”

Boston cancels St. Patrick's Day Parade over coronavirus concerns

Boston is canceling their 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade “out of an abundance of caution” due to concerns over coronavirus, the city’s mayor announced Monday. 

“In collaboration with Congressman Lynch, Councilors Flaherty and Flynn, Senator Collins, Representative Biele, and David Falvey from the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is being cancelled,” Mayor Martin Walsh said in a statement.

Walsh went on to say that the “decision is being made out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy.”

Rhode Island announces state of emergency due to coronavirus outbreak

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced a state of emergency because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Rhode Island has three confirmed cases of coronavirus.

There are at least 687 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember: These numbers are constantly being updated as the situation is fluid.