Two more coronavirus cases confirmed in Seattle, Houston energy conference canceled

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific team. 

All times below are in Eastern Standard time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 87,000
  • Total deaths: At least 2,990

Twitter has joined a growing list of companies that have suspended business travel and events amid concerns about the spreading coronavirus outbreak. 

The social media company said it has halted non-critical travel effective immediately until the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control clear companies to step back from pandemic precautionary measures, or when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available. 

“Our goal is to reduce the risk that anyone at Twitter might contract or inadvertently spread the virus,” said Jennifer Christie, head of human resources at Twitter. “It is important that we take these proactive steps to protect ourselves and others and minimize the spread of COVID-19.” — Kimball 

American Airlines announced on Sunday that it will waive change fees up to 14 days prior to travel for customers who purchase tickets between March 1 and March 16. The announcement comes as more people grow reluctant to travel amid the coronavirus outbreak and airlines continue to scale back flying.
Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have both scrapped flight cancellation fees due to the virus. Other major companies worldwide are also canceling international travel and conferences.

American and Delta have suspended flights to Milan because of the outbreak in Italy, the biggest in Europe. All major U.S. airlines have scaled back flying in Asia. — Newburger

The spreading coronavirus epidemic shut down France’s Louvre Museum on Sunday, with workers who guard its famous trove of artworks fearful of being contaminated by the museum’s flow of tourists from around the world.

Almost three-quarters of the Louvre’s 9.6 million visitors last year came from abroad. The world’s most popular museum welcomes tens of thousands of fans daily in Paris.

“We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” said Andre Sacristin, a Louvre employee and union representative.

“The risk is very, very, very great,” he said in a phone interview. While there are no known virus infections among the museum’s 2,300 workers, “it’s only a question of time,” he said.

A short statement from the Louvre said a staff meeting about virus prevention efforts stopped the museum from opening as scheduled Sunday morning. — Associated Press

On Sunday, the Public Health Department for Seattle and King County in Washington announced two additional confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in King County residents, upping the total number of confirmed cases in the area to six.

Four of the cases had already been reported, and one of those was of a man in his 50s who passed away, the state confirmed on Saturday.

This marked the first confirmed death from the virus in the U.S. The Public Health Department for King County has said one of the four previously reported cases is of a U.S. Postal Service employee. The two new cases reported Sunday are both males in their 60s, who had underlying health conditions. — Thomas


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