COVID-19 Daily Updates from GOHSEP

COVID-19 Update 03-08-2020

(COVID-19)Novel Coronavirus Update Global LERP Response

Online John Hopkins CSSE Coronavirus Dashboard

WHO Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) website

US CDC 2019-nCoV webpage

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Novel coronavirus in China page 

The number of cases worldwide continues to climb. According to health officials, there have been 106,376 confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than 60,000 people have recovered, and 3,594 people have died.

In The U.S., there have been 19 deaths — 16 in Washington state and one in California, as well as the two in Florida. There are 433 confirmed cases of the virus in 33 states and Washington D.C. According to New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases has increased to 89 across New York state as of Saturday, March 7. Of the 89 confirmed cases, 70 have been reported inWestchester county, 11 in New York City, four inNassau county, two in Rockland county, and two inSaratoga county. The rise in confirmed case numbers was reported hours after Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York state over COVID-19 concerns, allowing the state to "perform expedited procurement, leasing of lab space, hiring, and more" to aid local health departments and curb the spread of the outbreak in the state.

Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday met with cruise executives in Florida. Meanwhile, the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is floating off the coast of San Francisco. Nineteen crew members and two passengers have tested positive for the virus. The ship is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 different countries. Authorities were working to bring the ship to a non-commercial port this weekend and test everyone for the virus. While health officials said about 1,100 crew members will remain aboard, passengers could be disembarked to face quarantine, possibly at U.S. military bases or other sites.

In the Houston Metro Area, there are 2 confirmed cases and 1 presumptive positive case in Harris County, 1 confirmed case and 1 presumptive positive case in Houston, 3 presumptive positive cases in Fort Bend County, 1 possible case “under investigation” in Montgomery County, 8 people being investigated as possible coronavirus cases in Harris County, and over 100 people being monitored who might be relatives, friends, coworkers or others who might have been in close contact with those on the Egypt trip. 

Memorial Hermann hospital has asked 11 of their employees to self-quarantine out of abundance of caution for two weeks after “a small number of” patients with whom they came in contact tested positive for coronavirus. Hospital officials said the 11 healthcare workers were in direct contact with one of the confirmed patients. They have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The healthcare workers followed all CDC recommended screening protocols, according to the hospital. The hospital said one of the employees is exhibiting minor symptoms, but all 11 employees have been tested for or will be tested for COVID-19. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released an update on the impact of coronavirus: “I know Houstonians are concerned about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), especially with the recent positive cases identified in our area. It’s important to note that all cases in our area thus far are linked by international travel and there is no evidence of community spread. For the general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low.”

In China, rescue efforts are ongoing in Quanzhou(Fujian province) as of the morning (local time) of Sunday, March 8, after a hotel being used as a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) quarantine facility collapsed during the previous evening. An estimated 19 people are still trapped in the rubble, while emergency personnel have rescued 48 others since Saturday, March 7. As of Sunday morning, at least four fatalities have been confirmed by local officials. It remains unclear what caused the building to collapse. Emergency rescue operations are expected to continue at the site over the coming hours. Lingering disruptions to transportation and business are possible in the affected area over the coming hours. Also on Sunday, health officials confirmed the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases and associated fatalities nationwide since January. An additional 44 cases were confirmed on Saturday, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 80,695. Authorities also reported 27 deaths, increasing the nationwide total to 3097 since the start of the outbreak. Almost all of the new cases and fatalities were recorded in Hubei province. Significant transportation and business disruptions are expected to persist throughout China as authorities continue to attempt to contain the outbreak.

In South Korea, the mayor of the South Korean city at the center of its coronavirus outbreak says infection spread may be slowing, after the rate of growth for cases slid to its slowest in 10 days. The number of new cases on Sunday dropped below 300 for the first time since Feb. 29, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said, according to Reuters. Still, health officials caution that the numbers could increase again as more test results come in. South Korea’s death toll reached 50 on Sunday, its total infection count at 7,313, the highest of any country outside China.

In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced precautionary restrictions at community centers in Jurong due to a new cluster of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Several community centers and activities have been canceled for 14 days. A full list of the affected centers can be found on the MOH website here. Entry restrictions remain in place for foreign nationals who have traveled from or transited through Iran, northern Italy, South Korea, or mainland China in the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to Singapore. Singapore citizens, residents, and long-term pass holders will be allowed entry but are required to undergo a 14-day home quarantine upon their return. The government also issued a travel advisory warning against all non-essential travel to the aforementioned countries, as well as Japan, and to defer all travel to Hubei province (China). As of Saturday, there are 138 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health's Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level remains at "orange" (the second highest on a four-tier scale).

In Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday local time that the region of Lombardy along with several other provinces will be placed on lockdown until at least April 3. The order provides a lockdown of Lombardy region and 11 other provinces in four other Italian regions over concerns from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, effective Sunday, March 8. Under the directives, from Sunday, individuals will be instructed to not enter or leave Lombardy region or the provinces of ModenaParmaPiacenzaReggio Emilia, and Rimini in Emilia-Romagna region, the provinces of VenicePadua, and Treviso in Veneto region, the provinces of Asti and Alessandria in Piedmont region, and the province of Pesaro and Urbino in Marche region. In these provinces and across Lombardy region, all museums, cultural centers, gyms, ski resorts, and swimming pools will be closed. Additionally, the draft legislation calls for an increase in working from home, and for weddings, funerals, and sports events to be canceled in affected areas. Schools and universities in Lombardy region and the abovementioned provinces will be closed until at least April 3, adding to the government's call for schools across Italy to be closed until March 15. Italy has recorded over 5883 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 233 associated deaths.

In the U.K., the number of confirmed cases now stands at 209 with two deaths with the latest death being an 83-year-old man at Milton Keynes Hospital. The government has updated its advice for travelers from Italy - people who develop symptoms after returning from any part of Italy - not just the north of the country - should self-isolate. The UK's strategy on responding to the virus has four phases: containment, delay, mitigation and - running alongside these - research. Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, said on Saturday the UK was "teetering on the edge" of a sustained community transition of coronavirus. but was not there yet.

In the Mid-East, health officials in Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt announced Saturday there has been an increase in cases of coronavirus in those nations. Egypt said the virus known as COVID-19 was detected in 33 people on a tourist ship in the south. Health Minister Hala Zayed said test results conducted on 171 passengers showed 33 had the virus, but no symptoms were observed. Oman suspended charter flights with Egypt for a month due to the threat of the virus. The number of cases of the virus increased in Lebanon from six people to 28. In Iraq, those diagnosed stands at 56. According to the statement by the Ministry of Health, COVID-19 was detected in a 49-year-old woman from Iran following tests on 72 people. A second case was detected in Erbil, northern Iraq. The health ministry said Friday that four people died of the virus.

Due to the ongoing outbreak, CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Iran and China. Entry of foreign nationals from these destinations has been suspended. The public health agency has issued the following travel guidance related to COVID-19:

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