March 13 coronavirus news
1. Will the outbreak end during the summer?
Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore Health Commissioner, echoed what many experts have said at the town hall: we just don't know yet.
2. If you had the coronavirus and recovered, can you still can still transmit the disease?
Just because someone who had the coronavirus is feeling better does not mean they can't spread the disease, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's top infectious disease doctor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"You can become infected, get symptomatic, resolve the symptoms, feel well, and still share the virus. You can go back to your normal life when you have two consecutive tests for the coronavirus that are negative, separated by 24 hours. That is an excellent question. Just because you feel better or feel well does not mean you are not sharing the virus," Fauci said.
3. If you get the coronavirus once, can you contract it again?
The answer to that is not yet clear, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with the World Health Organization.
"Studies are ongoing now. Across a number of countries. We'll have to get back to you on that," she said.
4. Should you travel?
Fauci said he "certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent."
"I'm a pretty healthy guy for 79," Fauci said. "If it (the trip) had to do with the public health and I needed to do something for the public health, I might do that because I'm quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun -- no way I would do it."
And here's the CDC's latest coronavirus advice for travelers
5. What does the Trump administration's latest travel ban mean for me?
The restrictions will ban travel to the US from 26 European countries -- a group in Europe called the Schengen Area -- Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The ban will be in effect for anyone who is transiting through the listed countries, not just arriving from them, according to CNN correspondent Richard Quest -- meaning, for instance, someone in Paris could not travel to London and then go to the US.
The ban does not apply to US citizens in Europe. They are allowed to return, but the procedure is not exactly clear. They will need to go to designated airports to fly back. It's unclear whether they will have to immediately self-isolate once they arrive, or whether that may only apply to symptomatic people.
The next three tournaments on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA) Tour -- including the first women’s golf major of the year -- have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The LPGA is the American organization for female professional golfers.
The Founders Cup in Arizona, the Kia Classic and the ANA Inspiration in California – which were due to take place in March and early April – have been suspended. The LPGA says it hopes they can be rescheduled for later in the season.
“This is a difficult situation and as we navigate these uncertain times, we appreciate the support of all those involved with the LPGA. I am fully committed to rescheduling these important events on our 2020 schedule, especially our first major, the ANA Inspiration,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.
Men's tournaments have also been postponed: The men’s PGA Players Championship in Florida was canceled after one round, with organizers saying it was “the right thing to do” during the coronavirus outbreak.
The event is not a major championship but is often referenced as “The Fifth Major” given its status in the golfing calendar.
The PGA Tour has also stopped all play until the Valero Texas Open, which is scheduled to begin on April 2.
The Masters – the first men’s major of 2020 – is due to start a week later at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
Organizers of the all-electric Formula E racing series confirmed on Friday that they will be temporarily suspending the 2020 championship because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Races in Sanya, China and Rome had already been postponed, while Indonesian capital Jakarta delayed a race scheduled for June 6 over concerns about the virus.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, but we feel it is an essential one to protect the health and well-being of staff, teams, partners and suppliers - as well as their families - who travel together with Formula E," said a Formula E statement.
"As an international events-based series that races in the heart of city-centres, we also have a moral and social responsibility to protect the people and citizens in the locations we race and we do not want to exacerbate the already concerning situation.”
Formula E said it would remain under “red flag” conditions in March and April, meaning that the Paris race on April 18 would also be postponed. Then, it would move to a "yellow flag" in May, meaning the Seoul race on May 3 would also have to be postponed while keeping the option open to rearrange races later that month.
It said it hoped to host races in June and July and potentially add additional rounds depending on the situation.
Formula One cancelation: The Formula E announcement comes after Formula One's season was thrown into turmoil earlier today, with the cancelation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The race was canceled after a McLaren team member tested positive in Melbourne.
As America effectively shuts down, failures over coronavirus testing kits and President Donald Trump's disastrous bid to calm the markets are coming to symbolize a federal government that increasingly seems outmatched by the global pandemic.
Shuttered sports leagues, darkened Broadway theaters, mass school closures, packed grocery stores, shrinking 401(k)s amid a stock market meltdown, and emptying cities hint at social disruption perhaps not seen since World War II.
How bad is the outbreak?
The administration's public health experts have no idea how bad the US coronavirus outbreak will get, since bottlenecks in lab testing and faults with diagnosis kits mean they can't know how many infections there really are.
"We are flying blind," warned Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois, one of many lawmakers of both parties who emerged furious from a Capitol Hill briefing Thursday with government officials about the situation.
A source inside the meeting told CNN that lawmakers were told that only 11,000 tests had been conducted, prompting many to ask why South Korea can manage to test 10,000 in a single day.
Contradictions on testing
The administration has been boasting for several weeks that it is sending millions of testing kits to states and local authorities. But those officials say long waits for kits and issues with the reagent used in diagnosis mean they are able to test only the most high-risk patients. They are left in the dark about the true extent of the coronavirus' spread through the community.
But after his European travel ban announced in an Oval Office address on Wednesday night and mix-ups in his speech over how much virus treatment will cost, Trump stuck to happy talk and falsehoods.
"Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the right agency, if you go to the right area, you get the test," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
The President's comments contradicted his own government's head of infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who admitted on Thursday that protocols under which doctors request tests for patients were not working.
"The system does not, is not really geared to what we need right now," Fauci said. "It is a failing. Let's admit it."
Read the full analysis here.
Several sporting events in Australia will proceed behind closed doors, with other public events being canceled as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement released on Friday, the National Rugby League said that the first round of the Premiership "will proceed but the second round will be played behind closed doors," in accordance with the advice from Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier today to cancel public gatherings of more than 500 people.
The Australian Football League released a similar statement today, announcing that from March 14 onwards, "matches will only host players, coaches essential club officials, umpires, AFL officials, broadcast teams, media and required venue staff with no supports permitted to attend."
The Sydney Royal Easter Show, a large annual agricultural show that boasts an amusement park, was also canceled on Friday due to "increased public concern" and "to protect the health of stakeholders and visitors."
The last time the Royal Easter Show was canceled was in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic, according to the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales.
Cases and deaths: As of today, there were 156 cases of the novel coronavirus in Australia, according to the Department of Health -- more than double the number from last week. The death toll remains at three.
Latest numbers: There are now more than 132,500 cases of the coronavirus and nearly 5,000 deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Over 68,000 patients have recovered globally, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
European markets opened higher: European shares have opened higher today after yesterday's huge losses. The main markets in Europe were all up, with the FTSE 100 up more than 6%, the French CAC 40 up 4% and the German Dax gained more than 3%.
Infection rate in hard-hit Asian continues to slow: Mainland China reported only eight new infections Thursday, with five in Wuhan, ground zero for the pandemic. China has reported 80,813 cases and 3,176 deaths since the outbreak began last December. More than 64,000 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.
South Korea, which is home to the second-biggest outbreak in East Asia, only reported 110 new cases on Wednesday -- the lowest daily increase since February 22.
Meanwhile, India reported a first coronavirus-related death today, and Hong Kong recorded its fourth.
Australia takes big steps: Australian Minister Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today the government now advises against mass gatherings of more than 500 people. Several sporting events in the country will go ahead behind closed doors.
Australia has identified more than 150 coronavirus cases, including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and celebrity couple Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
Coronavirus fallout continues in US: Daily life in the United States has been turned upside down as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.
The effects now go beyond Wall Street and travel. Schools are shutting and businesses are asking employees to work from home. Mass gatherings are being called off. Sports leagues have suspended operations. Stores in some parts of the country are running low on certain goods. The novel coronavirus is, essentially, putting America on hold.
As of the end of the day Thursday, there were 1,665 cases in the US. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have all reported infections. Forty-one people have died.
Canada's first lady tests positive: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from Trudeau’s office. She is feeling well, only has mild symptoms, and will remain in isolation, the statement said.
There are now 132,567 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
The global death toll is nearing 5,000, standing at 4,947 fatalities.
The majority of cases are still in China, which has reported 80,981 infections, according to the WHO. Italy is next with more than 15,000 cases, and Iran third with more than 10,000 cases.
At least 64,000 patients have recovered from the virus and been discharged from hospital, according to China's National Health Commission. Johns Hopkins University estimates the global number of recovered cases is more than 68,000.
European shares have opened higher today after yesterday's huge losses. The main markets in Europe were all up, with the FTSE 100 up more than 6%, the French CAC 40 up 4% and the German Dax gained more than 3%.
In Italy, the FTSEMIB opened 2% higher after falling nearly 17% on Thursday. Regulators in Italy have banned short selling on stocks amid the market turmoil.
Some context: The latest rout began after President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced a 30-day ban on travel from most of Europe, which further fanned fears about economic disruptions, particularly for the travel industry.
The broader markets were hammered by coronavirus fears, even as policymakers tried to cushion the blow from the crisis. The S&P 500 entered a bear market on yesterday during its worst performance since "Black Monday" on October 19, 1987. All three major Wall Street indexes are now in a bear market, and European stocks suffered their worst day on record.
Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico have become the first US states to shut all K-12 schools over coronavirus concerns.
Washington may be next; Gov. Jay Inslee told school districts across the state to prepare to close, while some large school districts have already shut.
In Maryland, all schools will close for two weeks, from March 16-27.
In Ohio, all schools -- including public, private, and, charter -- will close from March 16 through at least April 3, a closure that impacts 1.66 million students.
In Kentucky, all public and private schools are suspending in-person classes starting March 16, for at least two weeks. If approved by the state's education department, school districts may use “non-traditional instruction” instead, like remote learning.
In New Mexico, all public elementary and secondary schools will close starting March 16, for three weeks.
In Michigan, all K-12 schools will be closed from March 16 through April 6.
It's not just states -- many cities have also decided to close entire school districts, including San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and New Rochelle in New York state.