Coronavirus headlines: Cleveland State University women’s b-ball coach diagnosed with COVID-19

Coronavirus
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10:15 p.m. update

Cleveland State University announced on Saturday that the head coach of the women’s basketball team has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the school’s website, this is the first confirmed case on campus and was confirmed by Cuyahoga County health officials.

“It has been a very challenging couple of days,” said Head coach Chris Kielsmeier. “I am beginning to feel better and look forward to getting back to 100%.”

The school has been in communication with those who’ve had close contact with Coach Kielsmeier and have asked them to self-isolate per CDC protocol.

6:45 p.m. update:

(AP) — Georgia election officials are postponing the state’s March 24 presidential primaries until May because of fears over the coronavirus.

Georgia’s secretary of state said that in-person early voting will be halted and the election will be moved to May 19, when Georgia’s other 2020 primary elections are being held. The action followed Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature of an emergency declaration that unlocked sweeping powers to fight COVID-19.

On Friday, Louisiana became the first state to push back its presidential primaries. Republican Brian Kemp said the number of cases in Georgia caused by the new coronavirus rose to 66 Saturday from 42 on Friday.

5:25 p.m. update:

(AP)– Pentagon officials have laid out new restrictions for access to the building, saying people who have been overseas should stay away for two weeks and others should expect more screening questions from officers posted at the entrances.

Senior defense officials said in a conference call with reporters that personnel who must access classified information as part of their job will still go to work in the building. But beginning Monday, there will be minimal staffing at the Pentagon and workers who can telework will be encouraged, although not required, to do so.

They said people coming into the building will not have their temperature taken at this point.

As of Saturday, 21 Defense Department personnel worldwide had tested positive for the virus, including 10 service members. Two of the 21 are hospitalized. Also, two of the 21 are in the Washington, D.C., region.

The department on Friday laid out widespread new restrictions on travel and routine job changes by military members, who often move to new units and positions in the spring and summer.

4 p.m. update:

(AP)– French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that France is shutting down all restaurants, cafes, cinemas and non-essential retail shops, starting Sunday, to combat the accelerated spread of the virus in the country.

He said grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other public services including transport will be allowed to remain open.

French authorities had already shut down all schools, banned gatherings of more than 100 people and advised people to limit their social life. Philippe said these measures were “not well implemented.”

“We must show all together more discipline,” he added.

Philippe confirmed that nation-wide municipal elections will go ahead as planned on Sunday but with special measures to keep people at a safe distance and clean shared material.

Health authorities said more than 4,500 cases have been confirmed in France on Saturday, including 91 deaths.

3:20 p.m. update:

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Africa is seeing a steady spread of the coronavirus across the continent, with four new countries confirming cases on Saturday, so that 23 of Africa’s 54 countries have COVID-19 patients. Namibia, Rwanda, Eswatini and Mauritania reported their first cases Saturday. Health authorities say all were brought to the continent by travelers from overseas, as with almost all the other cases reported in Africa. African governments and health officials are racing to try to contain the spread of the new virus on the continent of 1.3 billion people. If the disease spreads locally within the continent, health officials warn that several countries with fragile health systems could see higher mortality rates.

(AP) — U.S. soldiers returning from Afghanistan have been quarantined amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Saturday, 300 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division returned to Fort Bragg in North Carolina after a nine-month deployment. This is one of the first large groups of military personnel to return home since the start of the pandemic.

The Army says the 14-day quarantine is out of an abundance of caution. As of Saturday, no one in the unit or on Fort Bragg has tested positive for the virus.

At Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, a second Marine has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being isolated at the base while receiving medical care. The air station says it is trying to determine who may have had contact with the Marine and to notify them of the situation.

2:20 p.m. update:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– There are 26 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of Ohio. Of those, 12 are female and 14 are male. There are seven hospitalizations and zero deaths.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state’s coronavirus hotline has received 18,000 calls. There are now 25 people working at the call center.

DeWine asked dentists and veterinarians to postpone elective surgeries to conserve supplies. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said there is a shortage of surgical masks.

A breakdown of cases by county:

Belmont: 2
Butler: 4
Cuyahoga: 11
Franklin: 1
Lorain: 1
Stark: 3
Summit: 2
Trumbull: 2

1:20 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — After days of resistance, President Donald Trump said Saturday that he was tested for the new coronavirus. This, as the White House steps up precautions after his direct and indirect exposures to COVID-19. Trump also told reporters at a White House briefing that he had his temperature taken before stepping into the room and it was “totally normal.” Trump had held out on testing for days, despite his interactions with at least three people who have since tested positive. The White House says it’s now conducting temperature checks on anyone in close contact with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list. And he says he’s considering imposing restrictions on travel within the U.S. to areas hit hard by the coronavirus spread. Under the restrictions on European travel, American citizens, green card holders and others are still allowed to return home to the U.S., but will be funneled to 13 airports and be subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders.

12:40 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is expected to announce that the U.S. will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list. Under the restrictions, American citizens, green card holders and others are still allowed to return home to the U.S., but will be funneled to 13 airports and be subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders. That word is according to two people familiar with the plan who spoke on condition of anonymity before the official announcement expected Saturday.

12:07 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it’s now conducting temperature checks on anyone who’s in close contact with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. White House spokesman Judd Deere says the move is being taken out of an abundance of caution in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Trump has had multiple direct and indirect contacts with people who have tested positive for the pandemic virus. The White House physician has indicated that Trump’s interactions were low risk and testing was not necessary. Trump has been known to flout public health advice, but he said on Friday that he “most likely” will be tested soon.

11: 30 a.m. update:

WASHINGTON (WJW)– Vice President Mike Pence will hold a news conference on coronavirus at noon.

11 a.m. update:

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain is set to follow Italy on Saturday in declaring a far-reaching nationwide lockdown to slow the accelerating spread of the coronavirus epidemic. Spain’s decision Saturday came as European countries took ever more severe, though widely varying, measures to reduce contact between their citizens and slow the pandemic. China — where the virus first emerged late last year — continued to ease up lockdown measures in its hardest-hit region. Spain’s government planned to announce Saturday that it is placing tight restrictions on movement for the nation of 46 million people while declaring a two-week state of emergency. The Associated Press saw a copy of the government order, shortly before Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was due to address the nation.  

10:45 a.m. update:

NEW YORK (WJW)– New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s first coronavirus death is a 82-year-old woman with emphysema. She arrived at the hospital on March 3.

Saturday’s headlines:

CLEVELAND (WJW) — As the number of coronavirus cases grows, officials in Ohio and across the country are taking actions to prevent further spread.

President Trump declared a national emergency Friday, opening up $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

The declaration gave the Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary emergency authority to waive federal regulations and laws to give doctors and hospitals “flexibility” in treating patients.

The president also suspended the accrual of interest on federal student loans indefinitely to help ease the financial burden of the situation.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed coronavirus relief legislation to provide direct relief to Americans suffering physically, financially and emotionally from the pandemic. The measure also adds paid emergency leave and free testing for COVID-19.

Nationwide, there are at least 2,216 reported cases of the coronavirus in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. At least 49 people have died.

Map based on state departments of health as of March 14.

As of Friday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health said there are 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio, including the first case in Summit County.

159 patients are now under investigation.

ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton says they expect the virus to peak from late April to mid-May. She says they also believe already 100,000 Ohioans are carrying the virus.

Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals are teaming up to provide drive-through COVID-19 testing for patients with doctor’s orders. Testing for Cleveland Clinic patients will begin on Saturday at 11 a.m. and UH patients on Monday. The testing site will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Meanwhile, many Ohio colleges are closing university housing and moving to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester as concern over the coronavirus rises.

This decision came just one day after Governor Mike DeWine announced that all Ohio K-12 schools would be on an extended spring break, beginning Monday and lasting until April 3. He also issued an executive order banning all mass gatherings of 100 people or more.

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