(NEW YORK) — The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic at a press conference on Wednesday leading to a cascade of new actions and measures taken around the world to combat the virus.
President Donald Trump announced in an evening address from the Oval Office that the United States will be restricting passenger travel from 26 European nations for the next 30 days.
“We made a lifesaving move with early action on China,” Trump said. “Now we must take the same action with Europe.”
The National Basketball Association became the first professional sports league to suspend play for the season after a player tested positive for the coronavirus before a game causing both Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to weigh their options going forward.
“The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA’s decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus,” the NHL said in a statement. “The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, issued a statement ordering gatherings with 250 people or more to be rescheduled or canceled until at least the end of March.
At least 120,000 people globally have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but while cases are appearing to subside in China, where the outbreak began, they are spiking elsewhere as it begins to take hold on other continents. With 1,311 cases confirmed in the United States as of Wednesday night, the U.S. now has the eighth-highest number of cases worldwide.
Here’s the latest on the developing situation. All times Eastern:
4:16 a.m. Colin Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and stepson of Rita Wilson, has released a statement saying that his parents are doing well and they are both expected to make a full recovery
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from everyone,” said Colin Hanks in a statement on Instagram. “My parents are receiving excellent care in Australia and are doing well (and in good spirits) given the circumstances. Despite the fact that I am in LA and haven’t seen them in over three weeks, we have been in constant contact and am confident that they will make a full recovery.”
2:25 a.m. California bans gatherings of 250 people or more until at least the end of March
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new restrictions on public gatherings, saying that they must now be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of six feet per person.
“Changing our actions for a short period of time will save the life of one or more people you know,” Newsom said. “That’s the choice before us. Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease. Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk – seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
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