Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, Feb. 27-29

Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, Feb. 27-29Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports, listed in eastern time.Seattle and King County health officials announced three new presumptive positive cases of coronavirus COVID-19, which included the person who died.Two of the new cases are associated with the Life Care nursing facility, a long-term care facility, according to Dr. Jeffery Duchin, a Seattle and King County health official who works at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center is located in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle.The first case is a woman in her 40s who is a healthcare worker at the facility. She's in satisfactory condition at Over Lake Hospital.The second case is a woman in her 70s who is a resident at Life Care's long-term care facility. She is in serious condition at Evergreen Hospital. Neither of the two cases had traveled outside of the U.S.More than 50 people at the nursing facility are being tested for the virus, according to The Associated Press.The third case of the three announced was the man who died on Saturday.Duchin confirmed in a press conference that the person who died was a man in his 50s who had underlying health conditions. He was a patient at EvergreenHealth Medical Center, though he wasn't a resident of the long-term care facility.Duchin said that while COVID-19 is spreading globally, and the United States can expect to see increasing cases locally, not all cases are severe."It's very important for everyone to remember that 80% of the cases are mild. Patients frequently don't even need to seek healthcare. You can think of it as a bad influenza-like infection," Duchin said.Duchin said that if the U.S. sees more cases, it could possibly lead to a recommendation of social distancing to not spread the virus through face-to-face interactions."So there may be times when we ask people to avoid going to large gatherings, to avoid congregating in public settings such as sporting events, social events and so on," Duchin said. "But at this point, we do not have wide-spread, community-wide transmission locally. We have transmission that's associated with an outbreak at this long-term care facility."The National College Players Association (NCPA) has called on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in a statement to consider proceeding with March Madness without an audience present during the games."In the wake of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA and its colleges should take precautions to protect athletes," the NCPA said in a statement. "In regard to the NCAA's March Madness Tournament and other athletic events, there should be a serious discussion about holding competitions without an audience present."On Saturday, France canceled all gatherings of 5,000 people or more in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, according to AFP. This precaution came as the World Health Organization raised its risk alert to its highest level.There are 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases in France, and two reported deaths associated with the virus, according to John Hopkins University. * Total cases: 86,583 * Total deaths: 2,975 * Total recovered: 42,009Dr. Jeffery Duchin, a Seattle and King County health official who works at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed that the person who died was a man in his 50s, according to the Associated Press. The confirmation comes after a press conference and public confusion on the gender and age of the person.The White House held a press conference Saturday afternoon, releasing more details on the government's response to the first death in the U.S. associated with COVID-19.President Donald Trump identified the individual who had died as a woman in her late 50s and as a "medically high-risk patient." Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had earlier described the person as a man from Washington state. During the press conference, the statement released by Inslee was changed to reflect gender-neutral pronouns."Additional cases in the U.S. are likely, but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover," Trump added.Vice President Mike Pence took to the podium to announce the president had authorized action to add additional travel restrictions on Iran, expanding the existing travel restrictions to include any foreign national who has visited Iran within the last 14 days."We are going to increase to the highest level of advisory, which is level four, advising Americans Americans to not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea," Pence added."Our basic message in terms of the containment of this disease and the measures that we have taken and are today announcing is that we want to lower the amount of travel to and from the most impacted areas," Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said during the press conference. "The risk remains low... But this can change rapidly.""This is an all-hands-on-deck effort," Pence said.Shortly after the press conference, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency.Officials in Washington state have confirmed that a person has died of COVID-19. This is the first known death associated with the virus in the United States.State and King County health officials told the Associated Press that "new people (have been) identified with the infection, one of whom died."Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement Saturday that the person who had died was a man from Washington State."It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19," Inslee said. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus."> It is a sad day as we learn a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. > > We are strengthening our preparedness and response efforts to keep Washingtonians healthy, safe and informed. > > Full statement:> > -- Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) February 29, 2020There are at least four US cases without any related travel history, health officials report.A woman in Santa Clara County in Oregon and a high school boy in Washington state are presumptive positives, and the other two mystery cases are in California, CNN says.Italy's tourism industry is suffering as hotel reservation cancellations have already reached about 90% in Rome, and bookings in Venice have plummeted, according to The Guardian.On Friday, the US government issued a level three advisory for Italy, and announced that the CDC had recommended avoiding non-essential travel to the country.According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, there is a new suspected case under investigation in New York City after the individual traveled to Italy recently. There is also another suspected case in Monmouth County, New Jersey, where the person is being treated in isolation at the hospital.Find the latest updated numbers from Johns Hopkins University below. * Total cases: 85,688 * Total deaths: 2,933 * Total recovered: 39,761Buying frenzy causes shortage of face masks around the world. People are stocking up on medical face masks, The Associated Press reported, to the point that many sellers have sold out of the masks, and others are limiting the amount a single customer can buy. Meanwhile, the CDC has cautioned that it does not recommend wearing a mask as an effective way of preventing contracting the virus.Two new "presumptive positives" cases have been announced by the Washington State Department of Health in King and Snohomish Counties.In Snohomish County, a high school student with no recent overseas travel is currently in home isolation. The student attends Jackson High School, where the superintendent has decided to close the high school on Monday to allow three days for deep cleaning.A woman in her 50s with confirmed travel to Daegu, South Korea is currently in home isolation in King County due to a presumptive positive."While the King County case is believed to be travel-related, we don't know how or where the new Snohomish County case was infected," The Washington State Department of Health said in a News Release.A presumptive positive is a test that comes back positive at the Public Health Laboratory but is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) * Total cases: 85,409 * Total deaths: 2,933 * Total recovered: 39,692An estimated 2,700 recoveries were recorded throughout the day Friday with around 1,000 new cases. While the recoveries didn't reach the same amount as Thursday, Friday is the sixth consecutive day that recoveries have outpaced new cases by over a thousand.The bulk of the cases remain in eastern Asia, parts of the Middle East and western Europe. A few cases have been appearing throughout parts of Africa and the United States.One of the latest confirmed cases in the U.S. comes from Santa Clara County, California. The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual, according to the California Department of Public Health. This makes it the second possible case of COVID-19 community transmission in the state.Public Health Officials announced the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in an Oregon resident on Friday afternoon. The case is being considered as a likely community-transmitted case. The person is employed at Forest Hills Elementary School, and the school district is planning to close the school for public health officials to investigate, according to the Oregon Health Authority. * Total cases: 85,165 * Total deaths: 2,918 * Total recovered: 39,416"We should begin to see if the weather has a role -- and how big that role is -- over the next 30 to 60 days," AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel Myers said.Upon analysis, the intensity and amount of hours of sunshine, along with heat and humidity, have negatively impacted past viruses. With the approach of the March equinox, a stronger sun and increased hours of sunshine in the Northern Hemisphere may take a toll on the virus if it keeps to the trend, Myers said. Warmer weather could stall the rate of the outbreaks, giving researchers enough time to find a vaccine before colder weather rolls around once more.If the virus does hold true to the trend, it will most likely peak sometime in the next 60 days before falling to the warmer weather. Myers estimates that the chance that the virus differs from the trend to be less than 5%. With the arrival of springtime, answers on the Coronavirus will most likely follow."Until we see how the virus reacts, to sunlight, heat, and humidity increases over the next few months, we will not know for sure," Myers said.The CDC is aiming to have many state and local health departments conducting COVID-19 testing within a week's time. "Our goal is to have every state and local health department online, doing their own testing, by the end of next week," Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday, according to The Guardian. The kits first sent out by the CDC didn't work right and concerns have mounted in recent days that there are unknown cases of people who are infected with the virus.Acting White House chief of staff says American schools will "probably" shut down due to coronavirus spread. Mick Mulvaney, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), tried to tamp down the concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., The Hill reported.But Mulvaney conceded: "Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. May you see impacts on public transportation? Sure." He added, "We know how to handle this."The CDC said it's not a case of if but when COVID-19 spreads across the U.S. Health experts say Americans should prepare now. Here's what you can do.WHO raises coronavirus threat assessment to "very high""We are on the highest level of alert or highest level of risk assessment in terms of spread and in terms of impact," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's health emergency program, according to CNBC. "This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up. Get ready," he continued. "This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready."Here are the latest updated numbers from Johns Hopkin University. With at least 3,400 recoveries, Friday marks the second-best day for total recoveries and the 10th straight day with more recoveries than new cases. * Total cases: 83,867 * Total deaths: 2,867 * Total recovered: 36,686Major shutdowns continue around the world, as Iran follows in the footsteps of China and Japan by ordering all schools to shut down. The country had seen 338 cases and 34 fatalities from the virus, forcing the health minister to announce a temporary, three-day closure of all schools.The nation also decided to shutter all parliament operations indefinitely on Friday. One of Iran's vice presidents and the deputy health minister are among the infected. Two women jog with face masks on as others walk while enjoying their weekend afternoon at Pardisan Park in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Iranians in Tehran on Friday found time to enjoy their weekend, even as authorities canceled Friday prayers and closed universities, schools and parliament over fears about the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi) In Europe, the outbreak has continued ravaging more countries after initially breaking out in Italy, which has seen 655 confirmed cases and 17 deaths. Thursday evening also surfaced the first coronavirus death in the United Kingdom, after a woman traveled back to Northern Ireland from Italy as BBC News reported. Along with a first confirmed case in Wales, the U.K. has now seen a total of 19 cases.Countries continue to try to limit major gatherings, including Switzerland, which banned all public gatherings larger than 1,000 people. In South Korea, which has seen the second-most cases in the world, a Hyundai Motor factory shut down after a worker tested positive.An Italian man who arrived in Nigeria tested positive for the virus, marking the first case in the sub-Saharan region, according to The Guardian.In Hong Kong, a dog tested positive for coronavirus after contracting it from an infected owner. It is currently under quarantine.Heightened fears in Japan pushed officials to close all schools in the country for at least one month. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the decision was made to prioritize the safety and health of children, according to NBC News.The country saw an additional 705 cases come into the country from a quarantined cruise ship. Two visitors with masks and Minnie Mouse ear headbands leave Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, near Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. The amusement park will be closed from Saturday until March 15 in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters that "the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus." The country has seen 23 cases of the virus and extended its China travel ban through the first week of March.A Japanese woman tested positive for the coronavirus after already having been previously declared recovered. The woman, who reportedly works as a tour bus guide, was reinfected less than a month after being released from the hospital.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThe virus has also greatly impacted religious rituals for millions of Muslims around the world. On Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced that travel to Mecca would be cut off for foreigners."We ask God Almighty to spare all humanity from all harm," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.