Coronavirus live updates: Trudeau self-isolates, Sunday’s debate moved to DC

(NEW YORK) — At least 116 countries are affected by the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases continue to rise.

Globally, there have been over 126,000 confirmed cases with over 4,600 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

While cases are appearing to subside in China, where the outbreak began, they are beginning to spike elsewhere as coronavirus takes hold on other continents.

With at least 1,323 cases in the United States as of Thursday, the U.S. now has the eighth-highest number of cases worldwide.

Here’s the latest on the developing situation. All times Eastern:

12:33 p.m.: Sunday’s debate moved from Arizona to D.C.

Sunday night’s Democratic debate has been moved from Arizona to Washington, D.C., in the wake of the outbreak the Democratic National Committee said Thursday.

The debate will be held at CNN’s studio and will not have a live audience.

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has decided to no longer moderate the debate because he said he was “in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus,” the DNC added.

“Ramos and the person he was in contact with are in good health and symptom free,” the DNC said.

Ramos was cleared by medical professionals but made the decision “out of an abundance of caution,” the DNC said.

12:15 p.m.: Prime Minister Trudeau self-isolates

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, are self-isolating after she experienced possible COVID-19 symptoms, said his communications director, Cameron Ahmad.

Gregoire Trudeau had “mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever” Wednesday night, and her symptoms have since subsided, Ahmad said. She is being tested for COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home as she awaits results, he said.

Prime Minister Trudeau has no symptoms but chose to self-isolate and work from home until his wife’s test results come back, his office said.

11:50 a.m.: Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament canceled, Major League Soccer suspends season

The Big Ten Conference said it’s immediately canceling the rest of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Major League Soccer also said it’s suspending the season for 30 days, effective immediately.
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The soccer league’s decision comes one day after the NBA said it was suspending its season and that an NBA player tested positive for coronavirus.

11 a.m.: White House stops tours

The White House has temporarily suspended public tours, according to the 24-hour visitors’ office information line.

The line Thursday morning played a message telling callers that “out of an abundance of caution, all White House tours have been temporarily suspended, effective immediately.”

10 a.m.: Capitol stops tours

The Capitol Visitor Center will be closed to all tours beginning Thursday, March 12 at 5 p.m.

Access to the Capitol and the House and Senate office buildings will be limited to members, staff, credentialed press and official business visitors, according to a Thursday statement from the House Sergeant at Arms and Senate Sergeant at Arms.

The closure will end April 1 at 8 a.m.

All public Pentagon tours have also been canceled as of Thursday morning until further notice, said the Pentagon Press Secretary.

9:38 a.m. Trading halted on New York Stock Exchange

Trading was halted on the New York Stock Exchange for 15 minutes Thursday morning as stocks fell 7%.

9 a.m. Princess Cruises pauses global ship operations

Princess Cruises announced Thursday that it’s voluntarily stopping global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months.

8:08 a.m. European Commission slams President Trump’s “unilateral” decision to shut down travel from the EU to the United States.

The European Commission issued a scathing statement reacting to President Donald Trump’s announcement on the U.S. travel ban from the European Union.

“The Coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent and it requires cooperation rather than unilateral action,” the joint statement said from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel. “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.”

On Wednesday night, Trump announced that he was suspending travel from the 26 countries in Europe in the bloc’s Schengen area for 30 days beginning on Friday. The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom.

7:02 a.m. Vice President Mike Pence tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America that the Trump administration doesn’t want “any American to be concerned about the cost of [coronavirus] testing.”

In an interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America, Vice President Mike Pence sought to ease the public’s fears of the coronavirus by reassuring Americans that they will not have to worry about paying for testing should they feel like they are exhibiting symptoms.

“If, for any reason, you believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus or you have symptoms, we don’t want people to be worried about the cost of testing, to be worried about the cost of treatment,” Pence said in the interview. “We are making sure that medicaid and medicare cover the treatment for anyone that contracts the coronavirus.”

Pence also addressed the shaky economy and said that it is the Trump administration’s top priority behind the health and wellness of the American public.

“The president’s top priorty is the health and safety of the American public but right after that we want to make sure that this economy, the underpinnings of which continue to be strong, is able to quickly recover when we find our way through the coronavirus,” he said.

Said Pence: “President Trump has no higher priority than the health and safety and well-being of the American public.. He took historic action when we suspended travel from China and now he has taken historic action suspending travel from Europe … The president showed again yesterday a willingness to take decisive action.”

6:50 a.m. U.S. stock futures halted

Stock futures, like the stock market, can be halted during after hours trade when they fall too much.

Futures get halted when they fall more than 5% and don’t “open” until the stock market does.

The market opens at 9:30 a.m.

6:28 a.m. A Jet Blue passenger who arrived at Palm Beach Airport on flight from New York City diagnosed with coronavirus

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue says a passenger on a JetBlue flight to Palm Beach International Airport has been positively diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Fire rescue officials say the Palm Beach County Health Department spoke to all passengers on board. They say passengers who were near the patient were given instructions on monitoring their health. According to PBC fire rescue officials, crews at PBIA are sterilizing the containment area where passengers deplaned. That area is separate from the main airport terminal.

The plane landed around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

The aircrew and 114 passengers were stuck on the plane for hours. Within an hour, all passengers had deplaned. The passengers said they were told to monitor their health over the next couple of days. They were allowed to leave the airport without seeing a doctor.

6:04 a.m. The National Guard will deploy to hard-hit New Rochelle, New York, today, to maintain a containment zone just 25 miles outside of New York City

The national guard will arrive today in New Rochelle, New York, to help deliver food to quarantined people as officials focus on a one-mile radius around the center of where the outbreak started. A containment area will be in effect from March 12 to March 25 and a satellite testing facility set up by Northwell Health has been set up to increase the testing in New Rochelle. Several schools and houses of worship have also been shuttered during this period.

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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