Nicole Acevedo and Minyvonne Burke
1h ago / 6:44 PM UTC
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the number of cases there has jumped to 76 — a 72 percent increase from the 44 cases as of Friday — and that he has declared a state of emergency.
At least 10 of the coronavirus patients in New York state are hospitalized, Cuomo said at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
He said 11 of the 76 cases are in New York City, 57 in Westchester County, two in Rockland County, four in Nassau County and two in Saratoga County.
1h ago / 6:41 PM UTC
Calling an airline to change a reservation? Expect a wait.
Travelers calling to change or cancel flight reservations due to the coronavirus outbreak might find themselves having to wait — and wait, as some major U.S. airlines’ phone lines are jammed.
Jeremy Daly, a web developer, booked his ticket for a conference in Germany that has since been pushed back because of the outbreak. When Daly called Delta Air Lines to change his ticket, he got a message advising of a time 2-hour, 40-minute wait time.
A call to American Airlines brings a recorded message advising of a wait time between 1 hour and 5 minutes and 1 hour and 30 minutes. American told NBC News that it had higher call volumes and was encouraging passengers to make flight changes online if possible.
Delta and some other airlines also offer an option for callers to leave a message with their phone numbers for a call back. Delta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
4h ago / 4:07 PM UTC
4h ago / 3:59 PM UTC
State Dept. says non-emergency personnel can leave Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan
The State Department announced that non-emergency personnel and their families can voluntarily leave Turkmenistan, located in Central Asia, and Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus region, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials made the announcement on Friday, the same day the government raised the travel advisory to the countries to a level 3 and urged people to reconsider traveling there.
44m ago / 7:06 PM UTC
Life at coronavirus ‘ground zero’ in Seattle is crazy — but I’m not panicking
Ever since the first U.S. death from the coronavirus was reported in Washington state on Feb. 29, marking our Seattle-area community as “ground zero,” life as we know it here has changed.
I live in Bellevue, a suburb outside Seattle and just 12.5 miles from the Life Care Center nursing facility in Kirkland that’s linked to six deaths in the state. A friend works for the fire department that responded to the calls at the facility, and now several firefighters are quarantined because they are experiencing symptoms.
He is not one of them, but to know someone in the epicenter of the chaos is certainly unnerving.
Dawn Liu and The Associated Press
44m ago / 7:06 PM UTC
Hotel used for quarantine collapses in China, trapping 70
A hotel used for medical observation of people who had contact with coronavirus patients collapsed in southeastern China on Saturday evening local time, trapping some 70 people, according to the Licheng District government’s official Wechat account. There were no immediate reports of deaths.
Within about 90 minutes, some of those trapped — at least 23 — were rescued from the wreckage of the Xinjia Express Hotel in Quanzhou, the government said.
The 80-room hotel had been converted by the city government for observation of people who had contact with coronavirus patients, according to the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily.
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5h ago / 3:03 PM UTC
Amid outbreak concerns, should you still send your children to school?
5h ago / 3:02 PM UTC
U.S. Navy sailor in Italy tests positive
A U.S. sailor deployed to Naples, Italy, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the U.S. military said on Saturday. This is the second confirmed case among U.S. military forces following one in South Korea.
“The member is currently restricted to their residence, receiving supportive and medical care in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control,” the military’s European Command said in a statement.
“Military health professionals are conducting a thorough contact investigation to determine whether any other personnel may have been exposed,” it said.
Italy has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the virus as of Saturday.
Ben Kesslen , Erik Ortiz and Yuliya Talmazan
5h ago / 2:39 PM UTC
10 ways coronavirus is making people change their daily lives
The steady rise in coronavirus cases in the United States and across the globe has had a far-reaching effect on how we interact with one another. Some people have turned to panic buying at grocery stores and pharmacies, refused to shake hands and canceled or put off travel plans.
Realizing basically all I do is touch my face.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) March 3, 2020
With the spread of the virus showing no sign of slowing, some of people’s normal routines are also being altered such as not touching your face, leaving personal mugs at home and worshiping differently.
5h ago / 2:37 PM UTC
Pope Francis cancels live Sunday blessing to prevent crowds gathering
Pope Francis has canceled his live Sunday blessing from a window overlooking the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, to avoid the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Instead the Pontiff will deliver his weekly sermon via an internet livestream, the Vatican said in statement Saturday. It added that similar measures will also be put in place when he addresses an audience on Wednesday.
The decision was taken after a request from Italian authorities, it said.
In total, 197 people have died in Italy, making it the worst hit European country.
6h ago / 1:42 PM UTC
Leader of Italy’s co-ruling Democratic party has coronavirus
The leader of Italy’s co-ruling Democratic Party Nicola Zingaretti said on Saturday he had tested positive for coronavirus.
“I have coronavirus too”, Zingaretti said in a video posted on Facebook, adding he was in self-isolation at home and that all the people he had been in contact with in the latest days were being contacted for checks. He said he was well.
Italy has been the hardest hit country Europe by the epidemic, with a total of 4,636 cases and 197 deaths on Friday, and is currently reporting more deaths per day form the virus than any other country in the world.
The government this week ordered the closure of schools, universities, cinemas and theaters to stem infections.
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