WASHINGTON — Florida Health Department says in a statement that 2 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died in the state. Those are the first deaths from the outbreak reported in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health said in a news release late Friday that seven people in the state have now tested positive for COVID-19. It says the two deaths were those of people in their 70s who had traveled overseas.
One of them was a man with underlying health issues in Santa Rosa County, in Florida's Panhandle. Officials say the second death was that of an elderly person in the Fort Myers area.
Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 100,000 people and killed over 3,400, the vast majority of them in China. Most cases have been mild, and more than half of those infected have recovered.
Utah confirms the first known case of new coronavirus in state
The first known case of the new coronavirus has arrived in Utah, state and local health officials said Friday night.
The person who has the virus is a man from Davis County who is older than 60 and believed to have been exposed to the virus while aboard a cruise ship, the Utah Department of Health, Davis County Health Department and the COVID-19 Community Task Force said in a statement.
The man was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise ship, where 21 people aboard the ship tested positive for the virus and 19 of them are crew members. The ship is off the coast of California as officials try to find a non-commercial port for it.
Because the Utah man appears to have contracted the virus on the ship, “this case does not represent community spread of COVID-19 in Utah," the agencies said in their statement.
The man was tested for the virus after he returned to Utah, the agencies said.
“The patient is recovering at home and is under a county-issued isolation order. The Davis County Health Department will monitor the patient, as well as any of the patient’s close contacts," the agencies said.
Earlier Friday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency over the new coronavirus.
The declaration helps the state access more money and resources to be prepared for the expected arrival of the virus, he said. The additional funding “will be instrumental in helping us prepare to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who is leading a task force dealing with the virus.
The panel is making plans to reach out to vulnerable populations, increase testing capacity and ensure access to remote health care.
Authorities recommend people take preventative steps like washing hands, disinfecting shared surfaces and covering coughs. Anyone with symptoms matching coronavirus, including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is asked to stay away from public spaces.
President Trump responds to COVID-19
Responding to the new coronavirus in the United States, an $8.3 billion bill to fight the COVID-19 outbreak was signed by President Trump. His administration was also considering support for hard-hit industries like travel and tourism.
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus reached 14 on Friday, with one death in California and the rest in Washington state.
More than 100,000 people worldwide have been infected by the coronavirus, and the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus has killed more than 3,400.
Officials have ordered the Grand Princess off the coast of Northern California to stay back from the shore near San Francisco. Its over 3,500 passengers are confined to their cabins as 21 people aboard the huge cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus.
A passenger on a previous voyage, in mid-February, died of the coronavirus.
Possible first cases confirmed in Minnesota, Kentucky, South Carolina
Officials in Minnesota, Kentucky and South Carolina have confirmed possibly the first cases of the new coronavirus in each state.
The Minnesota Department of Health said the first "presumptive" case of COVID-19 means that their test came back positive for the infection, but will need to be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation. Health officials say the person is an older adult from the St. Paul area.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said a person tested positive for COVID-19 in Lexington. He said the person is isolated in a medical facility but did not provide any other information about them.
Two presumptive positive cases that are not linked and in different counties are being investigated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement that there is no reason for public alarm. Beshear and Minnesota officials also echoed McMaster's comments to his state that the risk of exposure to the virus is low.
21 on cruise ship off California test positive for virus
Vice President Mike Pence says 21 people aboard a mammoth cruise ship off the California coast have tested positive for the new coronavirus, including 19 crew members.
Pence said Friday that the federal government is working with California officials on a plan to bring the ship to a non-commercial port this weekend. The 3,500 passengers and crew members will be tested for the virus.
Friday's test results come amid evidence the vessel was the breeding ground for a deadly cluster of at least 10 cases during its previous voyage.
SXSW nixed: Officials end the 2020 Austin, Texas, festival amid coronavirus concerns
4:30 PM CST
This year's South by Southwest festival in Texas has been canceled as the City of Austin declares a local emergency due to concerns about the coronavirus spreading.
Mayor Steve Adler and other official made the announcement Friday, saying the decision was made after weighing options to mitigate the risk of the disease.
Among artists and companies that have pulled out of the festival before its cancelation include Ozzy Osbourne, Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Netflix, Apple and others.
President Trump arrives in Atlanta for CDC visit
5:15 p.m. EST
Trump is in Atlanta on Friday for a visit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The president's trip seems to be back on after it was apparently taken off his agenda just hours before.
Air Force One has touched down and Trump is speaking to reporters.
His visit to the CDC follows his bill signing that has authorized the use of $8.3 billion to combat the spread of the disease.
Bond yields sink, stocks fall as investors demand safety
Stocks and bond yields fell further Friday, but they had been on pace for even sharper losses before easing up in the last hour of trading.
The S&P 500 clawed back more than half its loss amid hints from Federal Reserve officials that they may offer more support to the economy.
The 10-year Treasury yield was at 0.76%. It rallied back from a record low below 0.70% but was still down sharply from a day before.
Markets have been on a roller coaster for weeks as investors try to guess what the economic damage from the coronavirus will be.
Vatican confirms 1st virus case as pope recovers from cold
A Vatican spokesman has confirmed the walled city-state's first case of the new coronavirus. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said Friday that a health clinic used by Vatican employees and their families has been closed for sanitizing.. A Vatican official was put into a protective quarantine after a priest from France's Catholic church in Rome tested positive for the virus.
The Vatican Apostolic Library says it plans to stay closed next week as a precaution. Pope Francis has been under the weather for over a week. The Vatican has said it's nothing more than a cold.. The 83-year-old lost part of a lung to a respiratory illness when he was a young man.
Trump set to sign $8.3 billion bill to fight outbreak
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an $8.3 billion measure to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak. The legislation would provide federal public health agencies money for vaccines, tests and potential treatments, and help state and local governments prepare for and respond to the threat.
The money would pay for a multifaceted attack on a virus that is spreading more widely every day, sending financial markets spiraling, disrupting travel and potentially threatening the U.S. economy's decade-long expansion. Thursday's sweeping vote sent the bill to the White House.
The plan would more than triple the $2.5 billion amount outlined by the White House 11 days ago.
Trump was set to visit Atlanta where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are headquartered. But that was taken off the White House schedule early Friday morning.
Wall Street futures indicate another rough day ahead
As of 5:40 a.m. ET Friday, Dow Jones futures were down 578 points or 2.22% as concern about coronavirus' effect on the global economy is leading to a down day in the Asian markets. The Dow lost nearly 1,000 points, or 3.58% on Thursday.
The S&P 500 was down 73 points in pre-market trading and the Nasdaq was down 219 points.
Benchmarks fell Friday in Japan, South Korea, Australia and China.
The growing understanding that the spread of infections — and resulting damage to the economy — may not slow anytime soon is pulling sharply on markets.
Cruise passengers off California await virus test results
Passengers aboard a cruise ship off the California coast have been instructed to stay in their cabins as they await test results that could show whether the coronavirus is spreading among the 3,500 people aboard. The results are expected Friday.
On Thursday, a military helicopter crew lowered test kits onto the 951-foot (290-meter) Grand Princess by rope and later retrieved them for analysis at a lab as the vessel lay at sea off San Francisco, under orders to keep its distance from shore. The Princess cruise line says 45 people were selected for testing.
Las Vegas has first case of coronavirus
The announcement of a case of the new coronavirus in Las Vegas came as no surprise to at least one public health care expert, who says what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in the tourism hub.
KVUU reports the patient tested presumptively positive and is currently at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. A VA spokesperson said the risk of transmission to others remains low.
Brian Labus, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, predicts that it won’t be long before more infections are uncovered in the city. especially among the gamblers playing with cards and dice.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says an average of 116,000 people visit the city every day.
South Korea blasts Japan over virus entry quarantine
Seoul has expressed “extreme regret” over Japan’s ordering 14-day quarantines on all visitors from South Korea due to a surge in viral infections and warned of retaliation if Tokyo doesn’t withdraw the restrictions.
Friday's response came a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the quarantine, which also applies to visitors from China.
Japan’s move could further strain bilateral relations between the Asian U.S. allies, which sank to their lowest point in decades last year as they feuded over trade issues, wartime history and military cooperation.
Washington DC gets its first coronavirus pop-up shop
The nation's capital has pop-up shops for food and drink, even marijuana. And now, coronavirus prevention supplies.
As local stores sell out of face masks and hand sanitizer, Adilisha Patrom, owner of a co-working and event space next to Gallaudet University, saw an opportunity and jumped on it. Inside her storefront, she displays different face mask models and hand sanitizer bottles alongside information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Patrom says her goal isn't to get rich. Rather, she says she's providing a community service and offers discounts to those in need and to senior citizens.
Dubai Comic Con laughs at virus
The Middle East Film & Comic Con has begun in Dubai. While schools will be shut for four weeks and travel is now limited, many remain concerned. But the Comic Con is still on with hand sanitizer on-hand and many wearing surgical masks. The wider United Arab Emirates has at least 28 confirmed cases of the virus, a small number compared to the 3,750 cases regionwide.