Medical workers outside Mechnikov North-Western State Medical University, where students have been place under quarantine, in St. Petersburg, Russia.

March 9 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, Tara John and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020
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10:34 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

There are now coronavirus cases in more than 100 countries and territories

From CNN Health’s Michael Nedelman

The number of countries and territories with confirmed cases of novel coronavirus has surpassed 100, according to a report Sunday by the World Health Organization. 

In the 24 hours prior to the report, eight places reported their first cases — including Bulgaria, Costa Rica and the Maldives.

Sunday’s report also marked the first time the number of daily cases in China fell below 50 since the early days of the outbreak.

The number of new cases reported outside of China in the previous 24 hours was roughly 80 times higher than cases reported inside China — more than 3,600 new cases, the report says.

10:27 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

New York City mayor says there's a "high bar" for closing schools

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there's a "high bar" for closing public schools during the coronavirus outbreak.

He told CNN that temporary closures of specific schools where coronavirus cases are found are possible — but he said he doesn't anticipate mass closures.

"I don't want to see mass closures, I want pinpoint response," he said on CNN.

Asked if New York City could see the kinds of lockdowns that have been put into place in parts of Italy, de Blasio said it's a "possibility," but added this:

"It's a possibility, but I do think people are getting a little bit ahead of ourselves and we should be careful," he said.

10:26 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Trump administration is reconsidering a possible coronavirus stimulus package, officials say

From CNN's John Harwood and Kevin Liptak

The Trump administration is reconsidering the possibility of major economic stimulus legislation, a senior Administration official told CNN, even though President Trump and Larry Kudlow both indicated Friday the White House wasn’t interested in such a move.  

“Congress is sharing a lot of ideas. Up to the President,” the official said. 

A separate Administration official told CNN that Trump aides continued discussing possible targeted stimulus ideas over the weekend. The official noted that nothing is finalized or nearing the point where they are ready to announce it. 

The ideas still include possible relief for the hospitality and/or travel industries. Trump has also heard from Republican allies, including over the weekend to push for a payroll tax holiday, the official said. 

The official said they expected Trump to continue going after the Federal Reserve. 

10:13 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Princeton University is moving all of its lectures and seminars online

Princeton University in New Jersey will "virtualize" as many activities as it can, such as lectures and seminars, the school said in a statement.

"We are creating, supporting, and mandating alternative ways of meeting our academic and other programmatic requirements in ways consistent with social distancing," the university's president said in a statement.

On Monday, March 23, all lectures and seminars will be moved online. The school added that its encouraging students to consider staying home after the school's Spring Break instead of returning to campus.

"If students choose to remain home after Spring Break, we will make sure that they are able to meet their academic requirements remotely,” the school said.

9:59 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Why US stock trading took a 15-minute break this morning

From CNN’s Matt Egan, Anneken Tappe and Pamela Boykoff

Stocks resumed trading at 9:49 a.m. ET, after the New York Stock Exchange halted activity for 15 minutes.

What this is about: The NYSE has a series of “circuit breakers” that will kick in to halt market trading if we see severe declines in the S&P 500 index. It's basically an automatic breather to try and calm market.

There are three levels:

  • Level 1, when there's a 7% decrease – 15 minute halt
  • Level 2, when there's a 13% decrease – 15 minute halt
  • Level 3, when there's a 20% decrease – the market closes for the day
9:50 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Trump's tweeting about coronavirus this morning

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump is continuing to tweet on the coronavirus response.

He thanked Vice President Pence and the coronavirus task force, and once again praised his decision to shut down travel from parts of the world that had been impacted by the virus. 

"Great job being done by the @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!" he said in one tweet.

"The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all - which saved many lives. Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!" he said in another.

9:38 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Stocks plummet this morning as coronavirus fears grow

From CNN’s Anneken S. Tappe

Stocks plummeted this morning as worries about the growing global coronavirus pandemic and an oil price race to the bottom weighed on global financial markets.

The New York Stock Exchange halted stock trading for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7%.

The selloff had begun in overnight futures trading, which was halted after futures contracts dropped nearly 5%.

All this comes after stocks managed to end the last turbulent week in the green. Despite three steep selloffs, the Dow also recorded its best point-gain on record last week.

9:38 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

New York City officials confirm three additional coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Chris McElveen

Three additional coronavirus cases were confirmed in New York City bringing the total to 16 confirmed cases, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesperson Freddi Goldstein.

9:30 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Kentucky's first coronavirus patient is a Walmart employee

From CNN's Carma Hassan

The first cases of the novel coronavirus in Harrison County, Kentucky are a Walmart employee and a person linked to the employee, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said at a news conference today.

However, the governor said while they can’t provide details on the linkage, they don’t believe the second patient was exposed to the virus at Walmart.

Harrison County officials investigating the case identified people who worked around the Walmart employee and asked six other employees to self-isolate. None of those employees are showing symptoms of the virus, said WEDCO District Health Director Dr. Crystal Miller. 

There are four cases of coronavirus in the state total, Beshear said.