Pope Francis greets the believers as he arrives to lead the weekly General Audience at St. Peter’s Square. The General Audience is held every Wednesday, in Saint Peter’s Square, which can accommodate around 80,000 people.
This is CNBC’s 24-hour live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in U.S. eastern time. This will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.
- Total cases worldwide: More than 102,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
- Total deaths worldwide: At least 3,491, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
- Total U.S. cases: At least 340, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
- Total U.S. deaths: At least 14, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
8:59 am: Pope cancels main public appearances and will stream them online
Pope Francis will not address crowds from his usual position in the window overlooking St Peter’s Square, the Vatican said Saturday, with his regular appearances being streamed online instead.
The move is an effort to prevent crowds from gathering as the coronavirus continues to grip Italy, with at least one confirmed case in Vatican City.
“These choices are necessary to avoid risks of spreading COVID-19 due to gathering,” the statement said.
The pontiff will also not hold his general audience from St Peter’s Square on Wednesday. Both addresses usually see thousands of people gather to hear the voice of the Pope. – Bishop
8:37 am: French cases jump by 103 in a day; two more deaths reported
Two more people have died from the coronavirus in France, according to the country’s health ministry, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11. One of the deaths was in northern France and the other was in Normandy.
The number of cases in France has jumped by 103 over the past day, according to the French health ministry. There are now a total of 716 confirmed cases in France. – Kimball, Reuters
8:28 am: Florida says 2 residents have died
The Florida Department of Health announced late Friday that two residents have died in the coronavirus outbreak. The cases are the first known deaths in the state.
According to the state’s health department, there have been 11 positive new coronavirus cases in the state as of Friday at 9:57 p.m. ET. – Wang
8:13 am: Another Diamond Princess cruise ship passenger has died, Japanese media reports
Another Diamond Princess cruise ship passenger has died, according to NHK , Japan’s public broadcaster. This brings the death toll from the ship to seven.
The Diamond Princess ship is believed to be the site of what might have been the first major COVID-19 epidemic outside of China. It was quarantined at a Japanese port on Feb. 4 after a previous guest, who didn’t have any symptoms while aboard the ship, tested positive for the virus.— Bishop, Reuters
7:12 am: Italian politician tests positive for coronavirus
The leader of Italy’s co-ruling Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said in a video on Facebook Saturday.
“I’m fine but I’ll have to stay home for the next few days,” he said.
Italy is Europe’s epicenter of the coronavirus, with at least 4,636 confirmed cases and 197 deaths as of Saturday. — Bishop
3:39 am: Fifteen American tourists quarantined in West Bank Bethlehem hotel
Fifteen Americans have been quarantined in a Bethlehem hotel over coronavirus fears, a Palestinian government spokesman told Reuters.
Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem said there was an American delegation at the hotel, “and they are being dealt with according to quarantine regulations like all the others who are there.”
Palestine currently has at least 22 confirmed cases of the virus and has declared a state of emergency. — Bishop
3:13 am: Stanford University faculty member tests positive; in-person classes canceled
Officials at Stanford University have announced that a member of faculty has tested positive for COVID-19.
The school has contacted those who might have come into contact with the person and asked them to self-isolate. The staff member worked in a clinic, which has been closed for cleaning.
The faculty member had not been to work since showing symptoms, Stanford University said.
Meanwhile, in an online letter published late Thursday, Provost Persis Drell announced that for the last two weeks of the winter quarter, beginning March 9, classes at Stanford would not meet in person.
“To the extent feasible, we will be moving classes to online formats in place of in-person instruction,” Drell said. — Bishop
12:40 am: NBA tells teams to prep contingency plans for games without fans
The National Basketball Association advised officials to prepare contingency plans should the coronavirus outbreak continue to spread. The NBA said teams should identify “actions required if it were to become necessary to play a game with only essential staff present” without fans or media, according to a copy of the memo obtained by CNBC.
The memo said teams should also “prepare for the possibility of implementing temperature checks on players, team staff, referees, and anyone else who is essential to conducting such a game in the team’s arena.”
One league executive told CNBC the league hasn’t considered canceling or playing games without fans, but the memo was sent to organizations as a precaution. — Young