Coronavirus live updates: CDC unveils new test kits, online grocer sees surge in orders

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All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 83,700
  • Total deaths: At least 2,859

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s increasing coronavirus testing capabilities at state and local labs after California officials criticized the agency for delaying testing on a state resident who has COVID-19. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, announced Thursday on a conference call that the agency has released a new diagnostic test for COVID-19. The CDC, she said, also rolled out guidelines for how state and local health labs can correct previously faulty test kits sent out by the CDC. The changes, she said, will improve the country’s ability to quickly identify and treat COVID-19 patients. “Our goal is to have every state and local health department online, doing their own testing by the end of next week,” she said. —Feuer

FreshDirect is seeing an increase in orders that the company thinks could be driven by coronavirus. The New York-based online grocer said on its website that it is experiencing delays with deliveries because of the high volume. “We have experienced growth across the board, particularly in high-trust categories including fresh seafood, fresh chicken, baby food, baby and family health products as well as household cleaning and disinfectant items,” Scott Crawford, chief merchant officer, said in a statement to CNBC. “Anecdotally, we believe the increase in demand may be related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) media reports and preparedness and as a result, customers are opting for online grocery shopping.” —Miller

Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said the coronavirus may be the ‘once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about.” “I hope it’s not that bad, but we should assume it will be until we know otherwise,” Gates wrote in an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Feb. 5 it would donate $100 million to help find treatments and expand testing for the virus, particularly for poorer populations. —Higgins-Dunn

France on Friday reported 19 new confirmed coronavirus cases, taking the total to 57, and French Health Minister Olivier Veran recommended that people refrain from shaking hands in order to prevent infection. He also said that several schools in the Oise area north of Paris would remain closed after holidays end on Sunday in order to halt the spread of the virus. —Reuters

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/28/coronavirus-latest-updates-outbreak.html

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