The worldwide total of coronavirus cases is now over 100,000. As of Friday morning, there are 100,710 confirmed cases, 3,412 deaths, and over 55,000 people who have recovered from the COVID-19. On Friday, the Vatican announced that they have their first case, while the Pope recovers from a cold.
There are 225 cases in the U.S., across 21 states, including the first cases in Pennsylvania, where they closed five schools. There are now 33 cases in New York State, up 11 from Thursday. The U.S. death toll is at 14.
There are currently thousands of people stranded on a cruise ship floating 70 miles off the coast of San Francisco. The Grand Princess cruise ship is not allowed to dock until test results come back, which could happen on Friday.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board, but a 71-year-old man died from coronavirus after sailing on the ship’s previous voyage from Mexico. Two other passengers of that prior trip have been hospitalized because of COVID-19 in Northern California; one is in “difficult condition,” according to California Governor Gavin Newsom. There are 62 passengers who were on the previous trip which may have been exposed to coronavirus.
Guests have been quarantined to their rooms for the remainder of the cruise. Medical personnel has tested 45 people after they developed “flu-like symptoms” during the cruise. The CDC is screening passengers who were symptomatic first and may test more. The Coast Guard dropped off 300 coronavirus test kits onto the ship’s empty deck.
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The city of San Francisco is preparing for the possibility of an influx of coronavirus patients, and tents have been placed outside of UCSF hospital in case they need a triage space.
“So ultimately, we don’t have an answer for exactly where the ship will be docked whether there are people who are diagnosed or not. We don’t have that information at this time. Once we know, then a decision will be made and soon as we know what the decision is, then we will provide that information to the public,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.
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Princess Cruises announced that they have canceled the upcoming Grand Princess Hawaii cruise that was scheduled to depart on March 7. “All guests will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, Princess Air, Princess Cruise Plus pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, prepaid shore excursions and other prepaid items purchased through Princess,” Princess Cruises said in a statement.
President Donald Trump signed a sweeping spending bill in an effort to combat COVID-19 on Friday. The $8.3 billion aid package will go towards prevention efforts by local and state government as well as research money to federal public health agencies to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
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World Health Organization (WHO) chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned countries around the world that “now is the time to act.”
“This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops. Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans,” Tedros said. “This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with a collective, coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government.”
A man in his 30s who tested positive for coronavirus attended a soldout Tool concert in New Zealand last week. The infected New Zealand man was Fear Inoculum, at Auckland’s 12,000-seat Spark Arena on February 28, according to the New Zealand Herald.
“We encourage all people in the area of the concert to be aware of the symptoms and contact the Healthline if concerned,” said Ashley Bloomfield, New Zealand’s director-general of health. New Zealand has had four cases of the novel coronavirus.
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The coronavirus has affected travel in a significant way.
“Security line at Boston Logan Airport, about 830 am on a Friday – I’ve never seen anything like it,” MSNBC’s Clint Watts tweeted along with a photo of the empty airport.
The Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam, is relatively desolate.
Business is also being hampered by the coronavirus.
AT&T temporarily closed six stores in the San Diego area “out of an abundance of caution” after a retail store worker tested positive for coronavirus.
Facebook said it was closing its London offices until Monday after a visiting employee from Singapore was diagnosed with coronavirus. “An employee based in our Singapore office who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 visited our London offices February 24-26, 2020,” Facebook said in a statement. “We are therefore closing our London offices until Monday for deep cleaning and employees are working from home until then.”
The University of Washington is moving all of its classes and exams online, starting Monday. This comes after a University of Washington employee tested positive for COVID-19.
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