The deaths of two Florida residents of the new coronavirus marks the first deaths outside the west coast, according to Florida health officials.
Health officials said two people in the 1970s who had traveled overseas died in Santa Rosa County in Panhandle, Florida and in the Fort Myers area. At least one of these deaths, considered a suspected positive, has not been confirmed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When confirmed by the CDC, both cases would bring the total number of deaths in the United States to 16.
The Florida Department of Health also said that six Florida residents had been diagnosed with a coronavirus as well as one non-Florida resident.
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Here is the latest news on the COVID-19 epidemic:
Grand Princess will dock but still do not know where; 21 on board positive test
More than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess of Princess Cruises stayed in limbo Saturday morning while awaiting information on when and where the cruise ship will dock after 21 people on board have tested positive for coronavirus.
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. Of the 21 positive tests, 19 were crew members who had likely been exposed to the virus on a previous trip. The vice president said they would likely be quarantined on the ship.
While health officials said around 1,100 crew members would remain on board, passengers could be disembarked for quarantine, perhaps at U.S. military bases or other sites. This is what happened to hundreds of passengers who were exposed to the virus on another cruise ship in January.
President Donald Trump, speaking Friday at the Atlanta CDC, said he would prefer not to allow passengers on US soil but would stick to the recommendations of medical experts.
– Morgan Hines, John Fritze, Maureen Groppe and Associated Press
Stanford is the latest university to move all classes online
Stanford University, which has 17,000 students, is the last school to cancel all courses in person and move them online due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Persis Drell, the schools provost, said that the courses for the last two weeks of his winter term would move online and the large group events would be canceled or adjusted. The university, which is located in northern California’s Silicon Valley, has also canceled its in-person Admit Weekend event slated for April 23 for potential undergraduates.
The University of Washington, located in Seattle, announced Friday that it will move all classes online for the next three weeks for its 57,000 students.
WHO warns of “false hopes” that the virus will disappear with the summer
One day after four other states announced their first cases of the new coronavirus, more than 338 people in the United States were infected on Saturday.
More than 102,000 people worldwide have been infected with the virus and more than 3,400 have died. Over 57,000 people have recovered.
The World Health Organization has warned of “false hopes” that the disease will subside when the hot summer weather arrives in northern countries.
The number of infections overshadows other major epidemics such as SARS, MERS and Ebola. The virus is still far less widespread than the annual flu epidemics, which cause up to 5 million serious cases worldwide and 290,000 to 650,000 deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization.
Which states have cases of coronavirus?
Here is an overview of the states that have reported COVID-19:
Starbucks employee diagnosed with coronavirus in Seattle
An employee of a popular Starbucks store in downtown Seattle has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the company announced on Friday. The store, which is a Starbucks Reserve bar, has been closed for cleaning and the employee is quarantined at home, said Starbucks. It is the first case of American coronavirus reported by Starbucks.
“We quickly activated our protocols, immediately closing the store and initiating deep cleaning overnight, following all guidelines recommended by public health authorities in the city of Seattle and King County,” said a statement from the society.
The store is expected to reopen in the coming days with employees “who have no known impact from COVID-19,” the company told USA TODAY.
Starbucks asked employees to increase cleaning in all of its stores and announced Wednesday that it was temporarily suspending the use of reusable cups for fear of coronaviruses.
– Jessica Guynn and Kelly Tyko
SXSW canceled due to fears of an epidemic
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.
The organizers said it was the first time in 34 years that the event had not taken place.
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