Coronavirus live updates: Possible community spread in US, Japan to close all schools

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All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 81,400
  • Total deaths: At least 2,770

U.S. stock futures on Thursday morning pointed to declines at the day’s open even after President Donald Trump tried to calm fears over the coronavirus outbreak. Futures slipped after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first U.S. coronavirus case of unknown origin in Northern California, indicating possible “community spread” of the disease. The CDC doesn’t know exactly how the patient, a California resident, contracted the virus. —Imbert

U.S. health officials confirmed late Wednesday night the first possible community transmission of the coronavirus in America, a troubling sign that the virus could be spreading in local cities and towns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t know exactly how the California patient contracted the virus. The individual is a resident of Solano County and is receiving medical care in Sacramento County. The patient didn’t have a relevant travel history or exposure to another patient with the virus, the CDC said Wednesday. “At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” the CDC said in a statement. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States.” —Lovelace

“International organizations are worried about the negative impact of the [virus] to the global economy,” Liu Guoqiang, a vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, said Thursday, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. “I’m also very worried,” he said, “and this worry has become a reality.” Liu noted how China, the world’s second-largest economy, is one of the few countries in the world that has not resorted to “unconventional monetary policy.” As a result, he said, “China has relatively larger space for policy action, and has the ability to cope with various challenges, something which should be cherished and maintained.” He noted how domestic interest rates, as guided by the loan prime rate, have room to fall further. —Cheng

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said on Thursday that the government would ask all elementary, junior high, and high schools to close from March 2 through to spring break. Abe’s comments, according to Reuters, came at a meeting of the government’s task force as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Spring break in Japan typically ends around the end of March. —Meredith


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