A second medical screener who checks travelers at Los Angeles International Airport has been confirmed to have coronavirus, one of two new cases reported in Los Angeles County on Friday.
The filter is linked to another medical filter who worked in the same quarantine station and whose virus was confirmed earlier this week, Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said at a press conference on Friday.
A second new case was a traveler in a group of people who visited Italy, several of whom had previously been confirmed to be carriers of the virus. The county has confirmed 13 cases of the virus and one has been “resolved,” said Ferrer.
While the total number of coronavirus cases worldwide exceeded 100,000 on Friday morning, thousands of people are still trapped on a cruise ship off San Francisco. Vice President Mike Pence says that 21 of them have tested positive for the virus.
The United States has confirmed 310 cases of COVID-19. In the United States, at least 14 people and more than 3,400 people worldwide have died from the virus.
In the latest deaths, the EvergreenHealth Community Hospital said on Friday that two more patients have died, bringing the total number of deaths at the facility to 12. The hospital is located in Washington State, across the street from the Lake Seattle.
Meanwhile, the Vatican reported its first case on Friday.
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Here is the latest news on the COVID-19 epidemic:
SXSW canceled due to fears of an epidemic
the The South by Southwest conference on music, film and technology was canceled on Friday – the most publicized event to date yet a victim of the new coronavirus, officials calling it a medical, data-driven decision. SXSW, as we know, had vowed to continue, despite recent developer conferences that were canceled by Facebook and Amazon.
This year’s conference brought together several high-profile speakers, including former presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Yang and Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs and rockers Ozzy Osbourne, director Judd Apatow and Kim Kardashian West. Almost 300,000 people participated in 2019.
The 10-day festival was scheduled to start on March 13.
– Jefferson Graham
Grand Princess cruise ship docked; 21 passengers and crew members tested positive
More than 3,500 people remain on the Grand Princess of Princess Cruises off California while the ship awaits the results of the coronavirus tests. Medical personnel tested 46 people aboard the ship, and 21 have been confirmed to be carriers of the virus, according to a White House media briefing. Nineteen of the 21 are crew members.
Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that the ship will dock this weekend in a “non-commercial port” and that all passengers and crew will be tested. The vice president said the crew members would likely be quarantined on board the vessel.
“It is very likely that the crew were exposed on two different trips,” said Pence. “And we know that the coronavirus appeared among the previous passengers.”
Pence said that older Americans should “use common sense and caution” when planning a cruise ship vacation. He said the ships “present a unique challenge to health officials”.
The people on board may have been exposed to the coronavirus after traveling with 62 passengers who had previously traveled from Mexico to the ship with a 71-year-old man who ultimately died from the virus. Two other passengers on this trip were hospitalized with the virus in northern California, officials said.
The CDC advised customers to stay in their rooms for the remainder of the cruise but did not declare quarantine, according to a statement Thursday from a spokesperson for Princess Cruise.
Although the ship was to arrive at the port of San Francisco, it is unclear when and where the ship will be able to dock after testing is completed.
– John Fritze, Maureen Groppe and Morgan Hines
Six states report first cases
Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Carolina and Oklahoma reported their first cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of states with cases to 26. Two of the patients had recently gone to Boston, two in Italy, one in the United Kingdom and one on a cruise ship.
The six states report that their first case is confirmed or that it is “presumed positive”, which means that a test has detected a coronavirus but has yet to be officially confirmed by the CDC.
The first Minnesota patient is an “older adult resident” of Ramsey County who recently traveled on a cruise ship with a known case of COVID-19, according to the state health department. The man was isolated at home.
“We must all be ready to face certain challenges in the days to come,” said Minnesota Governor Tim Walz at a press conference in the afternoon. “It was planned. The protocols were in place.”
The first Kentucky patient was an adult man who lives in Marion County and had recently traveled to Boston, according to the state health department. The patient is treated in isolation in Lexington. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency in the state.
In Oklahoma, the first patient was a man in his 50s who recently returned from Italy, according to the state health department.
Nebraksa’s first patient is a woman in her 30s who recently traveled to the United Kingdom, Governor Pete Ricketts said on Friday. He described the case as “travel related” and said that there was no evidence of the spread of the virus in Nebraska communities. Still, he urged state residents to adopt healthy habits.
“Like a snowstorm, the Nebraskans should plan in case they are going to be home for a long time, and they should also plan to close the schools,” Ricketts said in a statement.
Authorities in South Carolina are reporting two cases, including one involving an elderly woman who has been hospitalized and is isolated. The other is a woman who has traveled to France and Italy; she did not need to be hospitalized and is isolated at home.
Trump signs coronavirus funding program
On Friday, Trump signed the $ 8.3 billion additional spending package to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world, approved by Congress earlier this week.
The package, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday, will replace the White House’s original request for $ 2.5 billion, an amount criticized by lawmakers as being too little to fight the virus.
Funding includes more than $ 3 billion for vaccine research and development and $ 2.2 billion for prevention and intervention efforts. The package also includes $ 1 billion for state and local government responses. Each state should receive no less than $ 4 million.
– Courtney Subramanian
Hong Kong study questions WHO death rate figures
A new study by researchers at the University of Hong Kong estimates the mortality rate for COVID-19 patients at 1.4%, far below the 3.4% proposed by the World Health Organization. The study, a joint project between HKU and Harvard University, estimated that 14 out of every 1,000 people die with symptoms of the disease.
Professor Gabriel Leung, founding director of the HKU WHO Collaborating Center for Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases, said the figure could be even smaller if the calculation took into account infected patients who did not show symptoms, the South China Morning Post reported.
Asked about the new results, WHO officials in Geneva said that no one knew the true death rate, only the number of people who died. The rate would depend on the total number of people infected, and many of them may never have been tested or counted. In addition, said Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of the health emergency program, an age-specific mortality rate could be even higher, especially for older adults with underlying health conditions.
Vatican confirms first virus case
On Friday, the Vatican confirmed the first case of the fortified city-state coronavirus and closed some offices as a precaution while Pope Francis continued to recover from a cold.
A health center inside the Vatican has been closed for disinfection following the positive test result received on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.
A Vatican official was placed under protective quarantine after a priest from the French Catholic Church in Rome tested positive for the virus. The grievor shows no symptoms of COVID-19 but lives in the same church as the infected priest.
The Vatican Apostolic Library has declared that it will keep its doors closed for the next week as a precaution. The library welcomes researchers from all over the world to consult the Vatican manuscripts and archives.
Which states have cases of coronavirus?
Here is an overview of the states that have reported COVID-19:
Reports suggest that children are not so vulnerable to the virus; disputed data
A report released last month by the Joint Mission and the World Health Organization-China found that people under the age of 18 experience a “relatively low attack rate” of coronavirus, of around 2.4% , but certain American experts have disputed the scope of the data.
The report says scientists have found the virus “relatively mild” in people under the age of 19, with only 2.5% of reported cases progressing to serious illness and 0.2% progressing to critical illness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a February 24 report that no child under the age of 9 in China died of the infection.
But some U.S. experts say the report, based on research by a team of health officials who visited virus hotspots in three Chinese provinces, may underestimate the infection rate in children. Dr. John Williams of UPMC Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh said the lack of testing in patients with milder symptoms paints a crude picture of the infection. Read the story here.
– Adrianna Rodriguez
Pennsylvania closes some schools
Five Pennsylvania schools were closed on Friday before laboratory tests confirmed two “suspected positive” cases in the state. COVID-19 patients are adults from Delaware County and Wayne County. According to officials, patients appear to have contracted the virus outside of Pennsylvania.
The Bucks County Health Department was also assessing residents who could have been exposed “to determine when they could return to school,” said Central Bucks school district director John Kopicki. Bucks County is located in eastern Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia.
– Jasmine Vaughn-Hall, York Daily Record
The second Nevada case forces the Reno school to close, but no trace was found among the students
A local elementary school was closed in Washoe County, Nevada after a local man with family members among the student body tested positive for coronavirus. But health officials said on Friday that they had found no cases of COVID-19 at school.
“We are continuing to investigate,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County health worker.
The man from the Reno area is in his fifties and linked to the epidemic of Grand Princess from Princess Cruises. He is in stable condition and isolates himself at home, said the Washoe County health district.
The county school district and health workers had recommended closing Huffaker Elementary School “out of prudence.”
“The advantage for us is that this person confirmed that it was not a community exhibit,” said Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler to the Reno Gazette Journal of the USA TODAY Network. “He was clearly on the cruise ship.”
The first positive “presumptive” case of the virus in Nevada was announced earlier Thursday, a man, also in his 50s, who had recently traveled to Washington and Texas.
– Anjeanette Damon and Siobhan McAndrew, Reno Gazette Journal
Hundreds of people in Orthodox synagogue quarantined in New York
About 1,000 people associated with an Orthodox Jewish community are placed under coronavirus precautionary quarantine in New Rochelle, New York, while health officials are dealing with the situation.
Families and worshipers of Young Israel from New Rochelle are in the midst of a extraordinary and serious situation, with approximately 1,000 people associated with the close-knit community under precautionary quarantine for 14 days due to the coronavirus.
For the Orthodox Jewish community who live mainly around the temple, this meant being unable to attend daily services, leave for the store, work, or go to school.
The rabbi wrote to members Friday morning to confirm his diagnosis.
“I have the virus and I’m doing pretty well,” said his post, published in The Yeshiva World. “But I must warn all of you who have had personal contact with me to seek advice from your health care practitioner on how to do this.”
University of Washington Moves All Classes Online During Health Crisis
The University of Washington, located in a state severely affected by the coronavirus, will only switch to online courses for three weeks starting Monday.
Ana Mari Cauce, the president of the University, told students Friday in an email that she had made the decision “to increase preventive health measures and ensure a good end of the quarter for students of the UW on all of our campuses. “
At least 12 people have died from the virus in Washington State.
Cauce said the courts will no longer meet in person during the period. The instructors will give lessons or exams at a distance or, if the nature of the class makes it unsuitable, will base the marks on the work done so far for the year.
“The new coronavirus is not the first challenge this region or our university has faced. It will not be the last,” she wrote. “In 158 years of history, the UW has suffered two world wars, a depression and other crises that have tested our resilience and our compassion” and that generations of students and teachers “have noted the challenge”.
Can money carry coronavirus? WHO advises using digital payments
Since viruses can survive on hard surfaces like coins for days, the World Health Organization would encourage people to use as many digital payment options as possible.
Although paper money, a mixture of fabric and paper, is more difficult to remember for viruses, the health agency says there is no need to take unnecessary risks, reports the Telegraph.
“We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all kinds of bacteria and viruses and the like,” a WHO representative told the British newspaper. “We advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes and to avoid touching their faces.”
WHO has not explicitly said that the money is specifically linked to the coronavirus, also called Covid-19. However, the agency said it was “advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission,” reports the Telegraph.
Representatives of the World Health Organization were not immediately available for comment.
– Dalvin Brown
Churches around the world change communion rules to avoid infection
Religious leaders in the United States and around the world are joining a growing movement to change the way communion is delivered during the coronavirus crisis, with several major churches issuing directives this week.
Some of the changes include giving communion pads in the hand and not on the tongue, prohibiting handshakes and temporary restrictions on wine consumption.
Among the places where religious leaders have directed new communion policies or directives: San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Olympia, Washington. And it’s not just in the United States: the Catholic Church of Scotland on Thursday banned communion wine and drained holy water from the fonts. A Catholic bishop from Perth, Australia has taken similar action.
Catholic authorities in Jerusalem, Singapore and the Philippines have issued similar directives or ordinances in favor of communion in the hands. Officials of the Mexican episcopate banned Thursday the reception of the communion on the language.
“As we learn more about the threat, I have decided that further action is necessary,” wrote John Harvey Taylor of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. “I hereby inform all of our lay and ordained leaders that communion wine cannot be offered in our churches, either for sipping or by extinction, until we can be certain that the danger of massive COVID-19 infections has decreased. “
Many church leaders have also ordered that handshakes during services or other signs of peace in the hand be omitted.