Coronavirus live updates: Starbucks China sales drop, US cases jump to 197

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 97,800, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 3,347, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 197, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 12, according to the CDC and state health officials.

Costco reported stronger sales than analysts were expecting Thursday, thanks, in part, to a boost the company received from consumers stocking up at its stores to prepare for a more widespread outbreak of a new coronavirus.

“February sales benefited from an uptick in consumer demand in the fourth week of the reporting period,” the company said. “We attribute this to concerns over the coronavirus.”

Costco said the impact boosted its monthly same-store sales for February by roughly 3%. For the month ended March 1, same-store sales were up 12.1%. —Thomas

 In January, with cafes across China closing, Starbucks predicted a big blow to its fiscal second-quarter earnings.

In an SEC filing, Starbucks warned its same-store sales in China during the quarter are likely to be down 50%. For the entire fiscal year, the shuttered stores will cut revenue by between $400 million and $430 million. However, more than 90% of the company’s stores in China, where the outbreak began, are open again.

“In short, we see encouraging signs of recovery in China, our U.S. business momentum continues, and we are prepared to respond to implications of COVID-19 in every market around the world,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said. —Higgins-Dunn

Apple is cracking down on apps related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that aren’t from recognized institutions like governments or hospitals, iPhone developers told CNBC. 

Four independent developers told CNBC that Apple rejected their apps. One developer got a written response from Apple, saying “apps with information about current medical information need to be submitted by a recognized institution,” according to a screenshot seen by CNBC.

Apple has been specifically evaluating coronavirus apps to prevent the spread of misinformation. —Leswing

Santa Clara County public health officials have confirmed six new cases there, bringing the total number of infections in the northern California county to 20. Seven of the 20 cases have “no known travel or direct contact with other known cases,” James Williams, director of emergency management, told reporters at a press conference.

Santa Clara County Public Health Department Director Dr. Sara Cody said the county is recommending the cancellation of mass gatherings and other big events to help slow the spread of the outbreak. There were 53 cases in California as of Wednesday, according to the state health department, with dozens of new cases announced by public health officials Thursday. 

“Our cases to date indicate to us that the risk of exposure to the virus in our community is increasing,” she said, adding that the number of cases are expected to rise.

Employers are being asked to suspend all non-essential employee travel, keep employees from working more than arms-length from each other, allow more flexible sick leave policies and increase tele-commuting. —Kopecki


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