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New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

Topline: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Sunday CNN appearance that “if we don’t get more ventilators in the next 10 days, people will die who don’t have to die” as the city—now the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus epidemic—faces a possible shortage of medical supplies.

  • “We’re about 10 days from seeing widespread shortages,” de Blasio said, adding, “We have seen next to nothing from the federal government at this point.”
  • De Blasio also said that the military hasn’t been mobilized by the Trump administration, and that the Defense Production Act, which the president invoked by executive order Wednesday, has not been put into motion.
  • “It feels like we’re on our own at this point,” de Blasio said, adding that April would be worse for New York City than March has been, and he fears May could be even worse.
  • CNN also reported Sunday that Federal Emergency Management Agency head Peter Gaynor could not provide a number of how many medical masks were in the federal stockpile or how many have been shipped to state and local governments.
  • In a sign of demand on medical supplies, a Friday letter from a New York-Presbyterian Hospital department head said each employee would only be given one N95 mask (when it typically uses 4,000 per day).

Big number: 300 million. That’s how many masks could be needed for healthcare workers versus the current stockpile of 30 million, as testified to Congress by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the end of February.

Key background: The Defense Production Act is intended to be used by Trump to obtain “health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of Covid-19, including personal protective equipment and ventilators.” Trump faced questions Thursday around his reticence to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to produce healthcare items to combat the coronavirus, one day after he said he’d be invoking its powers. The New York Times reported Thursday that both the U.S. and countries abroad are facing a shortage of ventilators, with manufacturers saying that they can’t increase production to meet the demand.

Tangent: Tesla CEO Elon Musk volunteered his company’s factories to manufacture ventilators, but it’s unclear whether that will move forward.

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose and xoJane.

Source: New York City 10 Days Away From ‘Widespread Shortages’ Of Medical Supplies, Mayor Says

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Hospitals are sounding the alarm that they need more equipment as the coronavirus outbreak grows. Greg Cergol reports.

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Master List Of Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies (Includes All American And European Airlines)

“What should I do about my trip?” It’s a question we are hearing often and frankly, the answers aren’t crystal clear. The best you can do is be sure you’re making decisions based on the best available information. Here’s how the airlines are handling issues regarding COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus. As policies change daily, we’ll be sure to update this regularly with the most current directives.

This list will be updated as soon as possible after we find out about a policy change. Last updated March 12, 1:04 p.m.

If your flight is cancelled by the airline, according to the US Department of Transportation you will be eligible for a cash refund, full stop. The European Union has a similar rule, commonly known as Rule 261, that provides for refunds for any flights that arrive into, travel through, or depart Europe.

This list is long and we are continually adding to it. The fastest way to find your airline is to press Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac) on your keyboard to bring up a search menu. Type in the name of the airline you are looking for.

For more cancellation information about Sporting events, concerts, and other public gatherings check out our master list of event cancellations.

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance for 2020

U.S. Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is allowing no-fee changes and cancellations to the following:

  • Tickets purchased on or before February 26, 2020
  • New tickets purchased between February 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020

Non-refundable first class, main cabin and award tickets may be changed for no fee, with new travel completed by February 28, 2021, or cancelled with travel funds placed into your Alaska Account or a credit card certificate via email. Fare difference applies. Saver fare tickets can only be cancelled with funds deposited into your Alaska Airlines account.

Alaska Airlines’ Full Policy

American Airlines

American Airlines is allowing customers who bought tickets before March 1, 2020 and scheduled to travel until April 30 to rebook without a change fee. Tickets need to be changed and travel must start before December 31, 2020. You’ll have to pay for any fare difference. Tickets booked between March 1 and 31, 2020 for any date can also be changed fee-free.

American is also allowing changes and refunds for tickets to:

  • Italy or South Korea purchased on or before February 24, 2020
  • Hong Kong purchased on or before January 28, 2020
  • China bought on or before January 24, 2020

American Airlines’s Full Policy

Delta Air Lines

Delta led the major US Airlines with flexible cancellation policies for customers affected by travel limitations due to coronavirus. All tickets purchased on or before March 9, 2020 for travel until April 30, 2020 can be changed without a service fee. Tickets must be re-issued and travel must begin by Dec 31, 2020.

Tickets purchased between March 1 and 31 for travel until February 25, 2021 are also eligible for fee-free changes. Travelers booked to COVID-19 affected destinations, including those in Italy, China and South Korea, before May 31st, 2020 can also be re-booked with waived change fees.

If you prefer, you can cancel your flight booked on or before March 9, 2020 and your funds will be available for one year from your original ticket’s issue date. Note that this does not mean that your money will be refunded, or even that you will be able to purchase a new ticket entirely with the funds from your ticket. Fare differences will apply, so if your new flight is more expensive you are on the hook for the difference.

Delta’s Full Policy

Frontier Airlines

Frontier makes the process more onerous than other airlines but has instituted some policies to make tickets more flexible in this challenging environment. To be frank, Frontier has the least customer-friendly policies of any US Airline.

Tickets may only be modified by phone and only may be modified or refunded for flight credit one time. Fare differences will apply. Frontier’s flight credits are only valid for 90 days from the cancellation date. For changed flights, travel must be completed by November 9, 2020.

  • Flights booked before March 10, 2020 for travel before April 30, 2020 may be changed.
  • Flights booked March 10-31, 2020 for travel through November 9 may be changed. Frontier has an existing policy that tickets changed more than 60 days before departure.

Frontier’s Full Policy

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is offering a flexible ticketing policy. Guests who book any flights between March 1 and March 31, 2020, can change travel to future dates without incurring fees. The waiver allows a one-time change per ticket and fare difference applies.

Travelers with bookings made prior to March 9, 2020, with travel between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 can make flight changes with new travel commencing no later than December 31, 2020. This waiver allows a one-time change per ticket and fare difference applies.

Hawaiian Airlines has additional waivers for flights to Japan, South Korea and China.

  • Japan: Flights booked for new travel on or before April 23, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after April 23, 2020 will have no change fee but will be charged fare difference. Tickets must have been issued by March 6, 2020 and must be rebooked by April 12, 2020 to qualify.
  • South Korea: Flights rebooked for new travel on or before October 31, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after October 31, 2020 will have no change fee but will be charged fare difference. Tickets for scheduled travel between February 24, 2020 to May 1, 2020. New travel must be booked by October 31, 2020.
  • China: Flights rebooked for new travel on or before May 31, 2020 will have no change fee and no fare difference. Flights booked for new travel on or after May 31, 2020 will have no change fees but will be charged fare difference. Tickets must have been issued prior to January 27, 2020 with affected flights scheduled between January 27, 2020 and March 31, 2020. New travel must be rebooked by March 31, 2020.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Full Policy

JetBlue

JetBlue is waiving cancellation and change fees for all flights based on the purchase date.

  • Travel dates of March 10 to April 30, 2020, regardless of the ticket purchase date.
  • Tickets for travel before June 1, 2020 may be exchanged if they were purchased after February 27, 2020.
  • For new bookings between March 6 and 31, 2020 for flights before September 8, 2020, change and cancellation fees are also waived.

New flights must be completed by October 24, 2020. Refunds are issued as JetBlue credit, valid for one year from the issue date. This is the longest window of any US airline, as most others’ credits are valid for one year from ticket purchase date.

JetBlue’s Full Policy

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines doesn’t have to make special accommodations for COVID-19 because it already offers the most generous change and cancellation policies in the airline industry.  As long as you change your ticket ten minutes before flight time, you can get your flight re-booked or refunded into travel credit without penalty. You’ll just have to pay any fare difference that applies when you re-book your flight.  Note that travel funds are good for one year and must be used by the person whose name is listed on the ticket.

Southwest’s Full Policy

Spirit Airlines

Unlike the other airlines, Spirit has not instituted a date-specific change policy. Instead, they are extending an offer of a one-time fee-free change or cancellation.  Fare difference will apply. If you choose to cancel, you will receive flight credit that is valid for six months. Note that this means you have six months to book your flight, so effectively you will have 9-12 months to use it based on how far in advance Spirit has posted its schedule.

Spirit is not allowing fee-free changes online, but you can use their customer service via text option, which in my experience is quite responsive.

Spirit’s Full Policy

United Airlines

Tickets purchased from March 3 to 31, 2020 can be changed or canceled without fees for dates through the end of schedule. All tickets purchased prior to March 3, 2020 can be re-booked until December 31, 2020, or a year from the original ticket issue date.

Tickets booked to China and Hong Kong with a travel date before June 30, 2020 are eligible for fee-free rebooking or a cash refund, even on non-refundable fares. Tickets to Italy and South Korea before June 30 are eligible for re-booking without fees, but not for cash refunds.

A fare difference will apply for more expensive tickets. If the new ticket is cheaper than the one you purchased, the difference will not be refunded. In that case you are better off cancelling the ticket and rebooking at the cheaper price. . Canceled tickets retain their original value for travel on United 12 months for following their original issue date.  You could then use the remainder towards a new ticket.

United’s Full Policy

Other American Airlines

Air Canada

Like many other North American carriers, Air Canada is offering a free one-time change for any new tickets booked between March 4, 2020 and March 31, 2020. All travel must be completed by December 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.

Air Canada is also providing flexibility for existing bookings purchased before March 4, 2020 with travel on or before April 30, 2020. A free one-time change will apply. All travel must be completed by December 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.

Air Canada’s Full Policy

Aerolineas Argentinas

  • Passengers flying to and from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Israel and the U.S. until May 31, 2020, may change their flights one time to travel until November 30, 2020. Fare difference will apply.
  • Passengers who purchase tickets to/from Europe and the United States from March 10 to March 31, 2020 can change their flight once without penalty. Fare difference will apply.

Aerolineas Argentinas’ Full Policy

AeroMexico

AeroMexico is offering flexibility for all ticket purchases between March 9 and 31, 2020. These tickets can have departure date changes and route changes without paying a change fee. Fare difference applies. Tickets can be reissued until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin on or before May 31, 2020.

AeroMexico is offering additional flexibility specific tickets:

  • To/from Italy: Tickets purchased prior to March 6, 2020 with travel dates between February 28 and May 31, 2020 can change travel dates but not origin or destination without paying a change fee or fare difference. Ticketing changes are allowed until August 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before August 31, 2020.
  • To/from Europe: Tickets purchased prior to March 9, 2020 with travel dates between March 1 and April 30, 2020 can change travel dates but not origin or destination without paying a change fee. Ticketing changes are allowed until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before October 30, 2020. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Mexico: Tickets purchased prior to March 1 with travel dates between March 1 and 31, 2020 can have a fee-free date change. Tickets must be reissued by May 31, 2020 and travel must begin before the same date. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Mexico: Tickets purchased after March 1, 2020 with travel dates between March 1, 2020 and February 25, 2021 can have a fee-free date change. Tickets can be reissued until February 28, 2021 and the rescheduled trip must begin before February 28, 2021. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Asia/Europe: Tickets for travel between Mexico and Asia/Europe between March 6 and March 31 can have a no-fee departure date change. Routing must stay the same and fare difference applies. Ticket reissuing is allowed until May 31, 2020 and the rescheduled trip must begin before May 31, 2020. Fare difference applies.
  • To/from Seoul: Tickets purchased prior to March 6, 2020 are eligible for no change fee or fare difference as long as the route remains the same. Effective travel dates are February 24 to May 31, 2020. Tickets can be reissued until August 31, 2020 and travel must begin before August 31, 2020.
  • To/from China: Tickets purchased between January 28 and May 31, 2020 are eligible for no change fee or fare difference as long as the route remains the same. Effective travel dates are January 28 to May 31, 2020. Tickets can be reissued until August 31, 2020 and travel must begin before August 31, 2020.

AeroMexico’s Full Policy

Avianca

Avianca is offering the option to change itineraries purchased between March 4 and 31, 2020 with cash or miles without penalty on routes to and from the United States, Canada and Europe or between March 11 and 31, 2020 on routes to and from other international routes operated by Avianca. The new trip must be completed by December 31, 2020 and can only be changed once without a fee. At least 15 days of notice to the original flight date must be given. Fare difference will apply.

For flights booked prior to March 10 for international travel scheduled from March 10 to 31, Aviana is offering the option to rebook for travel for one year from issue date. Fare difference will apply.

Avianca’s Full Policy

Copa

Copa is currently only offering flexibility for tickets purchased until March 4, 2020. If you’re a passenger with connections on other airlines to or from China, South Korea, Italy or Iran, with travel between February 3 and June 15, 2020, you can change your flight dates, use your ticket toward a future trip, or receive a refund of your ticket if permitted by the fare terms. Fare difference applies. Changes must be completed by June 15, 2020 and the new itinerary must start before December 31, 2020.

Copa is also allowing the same flexibility for passengers traveling to countries with travel restrictions, providing tickets were purchased prior to March 4.

Flights to the U.S. are allowed similar changes, providing tickets were purchased prior to March 4 with original travel dates between February 3 and June 15. Changes can be made until June 15, 2020 and the new trip must be initiated on or before December 31, 2020. The type of changes permitted vary slightly depending on if you are a U.S. resident.

  • For U.S. residents: Flight date and destination changes are permitted, in addition to using the value of your ticket for a future trip and refunds, if permitted by the fare terms.
  • For non-U.S. residents: Date changes, applying the value of your ticket to a future trip, and refunds are possible if permitted by the fare terms. The credit received for your future trip is value for one year from the original purchase date.

Copa’s Full Policy

LATAM

LATAM has a variety of policies depending on when your ticket was purchased and where you are traveling.

All international tickets issued between March 6 and 22 allow changes without penalty providing your journey has not started yet, the ticket is reissued at least 14 days before the start of travel and the new trip commences no later than December 31, 2020. All fare differences will be charged.

Passengers with tickets issued until March 5, 2020  and original flight dates between March 6 and April 30, 2020 to the following destinations are eligible to fly today until December 31, 2020 without paying a change fee. Tickets are still subject to fare difference.

  • To/from Italy
  • Chile from Spain (round trip)
  • To Colombia from/via Spain, Italy, France or China (round trip)
  • To Peru from Spain, Italy, France or China (round trip)
  • To Argentina from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, U.S., Iran, Japan, China, and South Korea (round trip)

Passengers with tickets to/from Israel issued until March 5, 2020 with original flight dates between March 6 and April 1, 2020 can fly from today until December 31, 2020 without paying a change fee. Tickets are subject to fare difference.

LATAM has additional policies for tickets issued in China and South Korea.

LATAM’s Full Policy

WestJet

WestJet is offering flexibility for both existing reservations and new reservations.

Flights booked before March 3, 2020 for travel in March or April 2020 are eligible for a one-time fee-free change. The change or cancellation must be made at least 24 hours before departure. The value of cancelled flights will be put in your travel bank. Fare differences apply to flight changes.

For new bookings, WestJet is allowing a one-time fee-free change for all new flight bookings made between March 3, 2020 and March 31, 2020. The change must be made at least 24 hours before flight departure.

WestJet’s Full Policy

European Airlines

Some countries not on the list of most affected countries, notably Israel and Kuwait, have cancelled all flights from a long list of countries.Things are fluid to say the least, but this list will be updated daily.

European Arrival Restrictions

The most important thing to know is that US citizens and legal residents ARE allowed to travel to the United States from Europe. However, we should expect widespread cancellations of flights to and from Europe due to diminished demand.

Any U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident returning to the United States who has traveled to one of the Schengen Area countries within the previous 14 days must enter the United States through an approved airport. The list of airports currently processing flights from COVID-affected areas are:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Michigan

Foreign nationals who have visited the following European countries in the last 14 days preceding their entry are affected by the new restrictions. This list includes:

  •  Austria
  • Belgium
  •  Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Aegean

Flights booked before March 9, 2020 to any destination traveling before April 30, 2020 can be rebooked for travel until October 20, 2020.

  • Flights booked after March 9, 2020 for any travel date up to October 20,2020 can be rebooked for travel up until October 20,2020.

Aegean’s Full Policy

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has not established a policy regarding flights booked prior to March 6, 2020 at this time. This stance seems untenable and we will monitor it for changes.  Flights booked on March 6 and later are eligible for re-booking without restriction. Fare difference will apply.

Aer Lingus’ Full Policy

Aeroflot

Passengers with tickets to Italy and Israel until May 31, 2020 may:

  • Rebook to a different date up until December 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Rebook to a different destination up until December 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Get a full cash refund.

Passengers with tickets to Germany, Spain or France until May 31, 2020 may:

  • Rebook to a different date up until May 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Rebook to a different destination up until May 31, 2020. Fare differences apply.

Aeroflot’s Full Policy

Air Europa

  • Customers with new reservations booked from March 4 to 31, 2020 are eligible for rebooking for travel up to 12 months after original booking date.  Fare difference will apply.
  • Customers with tickets to most destinations dated between March 11 and April 30, 2020 may rebook to any destination for selected dates until November 30.  You could also receive a voucher good for travel until December 31, 2020. Fare difference will apply.

Air Europa’s Full Policy

Air France/KLM

Air France and KLM have instituted a flexible booking policy for all tickets issued up to March 31, 2020. Tickets may be rebooked for a later date up until May 31, 2020, or passengers have the option to receive a non-refundable voucher good for 12 months. The voucher can be used interchangeably on Air France, KLM, Delta or Virgin Atlantic.

  • Tickets booked to China before May 31, 2020, may be re-booked no later than June 30, 2020. They are also eligible for re-booking onto another route or for a cash refund.
  • Tickets booked to Italy before April 30, 2020, may be re-booked no later than May 31, 2020. You can also receive a voucher good for travel for the value of your ticket.
  • Tickets booked to Singapore on KLM only before February 27, 2020 for travel until March 31, 2020 may be rebooked no later than April 30, 2020. You can also receive a voucher towards a new ticket to another destination.
  • Tickets booked to Seoul, South Korea until April 30, 2020 are eligible for re-booking until May 31, 2020. They are also eligible for a cash refund if the ticket was booked via KLM or a voucher if the ticket was issued via Air France.

Air France/KLM’s Full Policy

Alitalia

As one might imagine, Italy’s national carrier has been heavily affected.  That said, its policy is quite limited. Passengers who purchased their tickets Internationally are eligible for changes.  Tickets issued before March 3, 2020 with travel until April 3, 2020 can have the date changed up to June 30 ,2020. They also have the option of changing the destination and flying on the date of their original ticket.

Alitalia’s Full Policy

British Airways

Tickets purchased before March 3, 2020 to Italy and Hong Kong may be modified or cancelled with limitations.

  • Tickets from London to all Italian destinations through April 4, 2020 can either be rebooked for a later date or refunded.
  • Tickets to and from Hong Kong before May 31, 2020, you have the option to rebook to a later date. Both departure and arrival gateways must remain the same.

Tickets purchased between March 3 and March 31, 2020, can be either rebooked within 12 months of departure or refunded via flight voucher. The flight voucher is good for 12 months from original date of departure.

British Airways’s Full Policy

EasyJet

No change and cancellation policy specific to the COVID-19 outbreaks; policies are proceeding as normal at this time. Flight that are cancelled by EasyJet will be eligible for refund, but otherwise you’re out of luck.

EasyJet’s Full Policy

Finnair

Flights booked with Finnair until April 30, 2020, may be rebooked without charge up until November 30, 2020. Fare difference will apply. In addition, Finnair has cancelled many flights. In the case of cancellation your ticket price will be refunded.

Finnair’s Full Policy

Iberia

Iberia has quite an elaborate set of conditions listed on their website, but they all share in common the ability to request a voucher for the amount of the flight if the other conditions are met. The vouchers are valid for travel until December 31.

  • Italy: In general, flights can be rebooked to travel as late as June 15, 2020. The valid dates for this offer vary by city in Italy, but all cities are eligible for the flight voucher if re-booking isn’t an option.
  • Madrid: If you have a flight to Madrid before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020. Blackout dates include most of the summer and other peak dates so the voucher option may make more sense.
  • From the U.S. to Europe: Same policy as Madrid. If you are flying to Europe, it is likely you are transiting Madrid anyway.
  • Japan: If you have a flight to Japan before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020.
  • Shanghai: If you have a flight to Shanghai before April 30, 2020, you can rebook for selected dates up until November 30, 2020.

Iberia’s Full Policy

LOT Polish Airlines

Flights booked on March 6 or later for travel between March 12 and April 24, 2020 are eligible for rebooking for travel until December 31, 2020.  Fare difference will apply.

LOT’s Full Policy

Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, Brussels, Air Dolomiti (Lufthansa Group)

The Lufthansa group of airlines has a sweeping policy that is quite clear.  All tickets booked before March 5, 2020, with travel before April 30, 2020 can can re-booked as late as December 31, 2020 without a change fee. Flights booked between March 6 and 31, 2020 are also eligible for re-booking until December 31.  Fare differences will apply.

Lufthansa Group’s Full Policy

Norwegian Airlines

Norwegian Airlines is waiving change fees for flights to Italy booked before March 6 for travel until March 19, 2020. Flight dates may be changed to travel up until May 18, 2020. At this point there are no other policies in place, however Norwegian expects to cancel 3,000 flights to and from the USA between Mid-March and Mid-June. In the case of cancellation you are eligible for a full refund.

Norwegian Airlines’ Full Policy

Ryanair

No coronavirus-specific policy is in effect at this time, policies are proceeding as normal at this time. Flights cancelled by Ryanair will be eligible for refund, otherwise you’re out of luck.

Ryanair’s Full Policy

SAS, Scandinavian Airlines

Tickets booked before March 5, 2020 for travel until April 30, 2020 to, from and within Europe (except within Scandinavia) are eligible for rebooking for a departure date before November 30, 2020.

Tickets booked between March 6 and 19, 2020 for travel until November 30, 2020 may be changed for a different flight date until November 30, 2020 without a fee.  Fare differences apply and destination and return must be the same.

SAS’s Full Policy

TAP Air Portugal

  • TAP Air Portugalickets booked between March 8 and 31, 2020 are eligible for rebooking without restriction through end of schedule. Changes must be made 21 days prior to departure and fare difference will apply.
  • Tickets to Italy purchased before March 8, 2020 may be rebooked for any destination for travel up until May 31, 2020.

TAP Air Portugal’s Full Policy

Turkish Airlines

Turkish has a fee-free change policy for all international bookings. If you purchased your ticket before March 5, 2020, you can re-book for a travel date until December 31, 2020 provided you make the request before March 16, 2020.

Tickets purchased between March 6 and March 24, 2020, are eligible for rebooking until December 31, 2020, as long as you re-book within five days of the new flight.

Information for additional international carriers will be added as soon as possible.

Turkish’s Full Policy

Virgin Atlantic

  • Flights booked before March 4, 2020 for travel before April 30, 2020 may be rebooked for travel until September 30, 2020. Fare differences apply.
  • Flights booked on or after March 1, 2020 may be rebooked for travel until September 30,2020. Fare differences apply.

Virgin Atlantic’s Full Policy

Related: Compare & Buy Travel Insurance for 2020

Bottom Line

Based on the situation on the ground, it may be more likely that your flight gets cancelled than you having to rebook on your own. If your flight gets cancelled, you will be eligible for a cash refund. If you want to change your plans before flights are actually cancelled, here are the most recent policies.

Additional reporting by Kelly Anne Smith

Read More:

Source: Master List Of Airline Coronavirus Change And Cancellation Policies (Includes All American And European Airlines)

Please follow my instagram: http://instagram.com/arminhamidian67

Concerns over the coronavirus may have you thinking twice about that vacation you’ve been looking to book, but a local travel agency says they are seeing airlines and cruise lines loosen restrictions when it comes to cancellation policies.

U.N. Declines to Label COVID-19 as a Pandemic While Outbreaks Multiply

(LONDON) — As cases of the coronavirus surge in Italy, Iran, South Korea, the U.S. and elsewhere, many scientists say it’s plain that the world is in the grips of a pandemic — a serious global outbreak.

The World Health Organization has so far resisted describing the crisis as such, saying the word “pandemic” might spook the world further and lead some countries to lose hope of containing the virus.

“Unless we’re convinced it’s uncontrollable, why (would) we call it a pandemic?” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week.

The U.N. health agency has previously described a pandemic as a situation in which a new virus is causing “sustained community-level outbreaks” in at least two world regions.

Many experts say that threshold has long been met: The virus that was first identified in China is now spreading freely in four regions, it has reached every continent but Antarctica, and its advance seems unavoidable. The disease has managed to gain a foothold and multiply quickly even in countries with relatively strong public health systems.

On Friday, the virus hit a new milestone, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide, far more than those sickened by SARS, MERS or Ebola in recent years.

“I think it’s pretty clear we’re in a pandemic and I don’t know why WHO is resisting that,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Experts acknowledge that declaring a pandemic is politically fraught because it can rattle markets, lead to more drastic travel and trade restrictions and stigmatize people coming from affected regions. WHO was previously criticized for labeling the 2009 swine flu outbreak a pandemic. But experts said calling this crisis a pandemic could also spur countries to prepare for the virus’s eventual arrival.

Keep up to date with our daily coronavirus newsletter by clicking here.

WHO already declared the virus a “global health emergency’ in late January, putting countries and humanitarian organizations on notice and issuing a broad set of recommendations to curb its spread.

Even in countries that moved quickly to shut down their links to China, COVID-19 has managed to sneak in. Within a matter of weeks, officials in Italy, Iran and South Korea went from reporting single new cases to hundreds.

“We were the first country to stop flights to China and we were completely surprised by this disease,” said Massimo Galli, an infectious-diseases professor at the University of Milan. “It’s dangerous for the entire world that the virus is able to spread underground like this.”

With more than 3,800 cases, Italy is the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak and has shut down schools, closed sports stadiums to fans and urged the elderly not to go outside unless absolutely necessary. But it has still exported cases of the virus to at least 10 countries, including Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, South Africa and Nigeria.

Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh who co-chaired a review of WHO’s response to the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, said a pandemic declaration is long overdue.

“This outbreak meets all the definitions for a pandemic that we had pre-coronavirus,” she said.

At a news conference last month, Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s emergencies chief, said a pandemic is “a unique situation in which we believe that all citizens on the planet” will likely be exposed to a virus “within a defined period of time.”

Several experts said they hadn’t heard that definition. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for its part, defines a pandemic as “an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.”

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

By Maria Cheng / AP

Source: U.N. Declines to Label COVID-19 as a Pandemic While Outbreaks Multiply

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Subscribe to our YouTube channel for free here: https://sc.mp/subscribe-youtube The United Nations World Health Organisation (WHO) says the coronavirus disease Covid-19 is not yet a pandemic, but it could turn into one if governments don’t take effective measures to contain its spread. Here is a breakdown of what a pandemic is, and how the world has coped with them in the past. Follow us on: Website: https://scmp.com Facebook: https://facebook.com/scmp Twitter: https://twitter.com/scmpnews Instagram: https://instagram.com/scmpnews Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sout…

Here’s What Travelers Need To Know As Coronavirus Escalates In France

As the coronavirus outbreak intensifies in France, the world’s No.1 tourist destination, there would have to be thousands of travelers out there worried about pending trips to the country. Worried about travel fullstop.

From 91,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, 212 cases are in France. Nonetheless, it is Europe’s hardest hit country after Italy, with a sharp uptick in the number of infections in the past few days.

“France is now one of the main homes to the new virus in Europe, along with Italy and Germany,” declared current affairs magazine Le Point on Tuesday. Since then the situation has worsened, with all 13 French regions now hit by COVID-19. In four days, from Friday February 28, infections grew over fivefold from 38 to 212 reported cases.

France prepares for a long combat” reads a Le Point headline today, following the country’s fourth death. “With the rate of deaths doubling in three days, France is preparing for a new intensification of the epidemic. Just a week ago, the country had only 12 cases, mostly related to patients who passed through China. But with the emergence of outbreaks outside of China, the epidemic has since experienced a sudden acceleration in France.”

The European Centre for Disease and Prevention Control this week elevated the risk of contracting coronavirus in Europe, now at “moderate to high”.

Coronavirus In The World’s Top Tourist Destination

Remembering, France was again the world’s leading destination in 2019, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, with 86.9 million visitors. So the implications for travelers and tourism are enormous. Here are a few vital points to be aware of if you are landing in France any day now, or just planning a trip:

1. What risk is there of being infected with the virus in France?

The French public health agency, Santé Publique, says France is now in “stage two” of the epidemic, on a scale of three. All 13 French regions (excluding overseas territories), are now affected by the virus. Six have less than ten cases.

The disease epicentre is the northern L’Oise department, about 90 km (55 miles) north of Paris, where at least 64 people are contaminated. 108 schools are closed as a result. In Greater Paris there are 34 confirmed cases. Another problem area statistics show is the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, with 37 cases.

“152 of the cases are part of the  human to human transmission chain, 47 have returned from overseas areas affected by the virus, and 21 have been contaminated by a means not yet identified,” said Jérôme Salomon, head of the French public health service Tuesday.

2. What Health Measures Has France Put In Place To Curb The Virus Spread?

Measures include an airport screening program (called “specific reception service”) at Paris Charles de Gaulle for travelers arriving from China, Hong-Kong and Macao. The service is staffed by Health Ministry medical and paramedical professionals as well civil security staff.

“The entire French health system is ready to deal with the disease,” the government assures. Part of that readiness is the setting up of 70 new emergency care facilities nationwide (Samu) to handle possible outbreaks of the coronavirus. The aim is for all French departments “to have at least one hospital center capable of welcoming the sick and taking care of them from start to finish,” said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

3. Will Museums, The Eiffel Tower etc. Be Open?

The Louvre is currently closed indefinitely as workers exercise a right to stop work because of health dangers. Check back on its website ahead of a visit to see if its doors have reopened. “Preventive doctors” will then be on site to help tourists at the world’s most popular art gallery the Louvre administration says. (“Protect the star of the museum” the following tweet reads.)

                                      

As to other cultural institutions, the French Ministry of Culture is currently meeting with them to plan measures to be taken if the epidemic worsens. Meantime, many other major concerts, sporting and cultural events are being cancelled after a French ban on gatherings of more than 5000 people “in confined spaces”. The Eiffel Tower does not count among them Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said yesterday, so for now it stays open to tourists. As does Disneyland Paris. Check the links on my other story to see events currently being affected, from book fairs to tourism salons.

4. Will Public Transport Be Closed?

“Are there plans to shut down public transport if the situation worsens?” a journalist asked the mayor during a recent press conference. Her answer: “A completely legitimate question … this type of decision can only be taken under the authority of the prefect of police.” For now, there is no such intention,

5. Will EU Borders Be Open? French, German and Italian officials have ruled out closing borders. Viruses do not recognize them they say. So for now you will be able to travel freely in Europe.

Numbers To Dial for Health Information: France has set up a lot of public information on the government website. Little of it is available in English, but it should be. For round-the-clock info about COVID-19 call the toll-free number: 0 800 130 000. “This platform is not empowered to provide medical advice,” the government warns. For any serious health concerns dial 15.

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I have three decades of experience as a journalist, foreign correspondent and travel writer-photographer. Working for print, digital and radio outlets on four continents, I am also a veteran hotel industry reporter and author of travel guides and cultural histories to Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Borneo. Very often on the road between my Paris and Australian bases, I write for Forbes with a globetrotters perspective and newsy edge on travel, culture, hotels, art and architecture. My passion is capturing the distinctive people, places and events I encounter along the way, both in words and pictures. I hold a degree in Professional Writing from Canberra University, an MA in European Journalism from the Université Robert Schuman Strasbourg, and am a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. A love for my wild home-island of Tasmania fuels my commitment to sustainable travel and conservation.

Source: Here’s What Travelers Need To Know As Coronavirus Escalates In France

Coronavirus outbreak: The virus continues to spread faster outside China than inside. 20 new cases have been declared in France. It brings the total number of known infections in the country to 38. Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN Visit our website: http://www.france24.com Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://f24.my/youtubeEN Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FRANCE24.Eng… Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/France24_en

How To Tell If You Have A COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection

Telling people that you are a “zero” may not get much attention. Telling people that you are a “patient zero”? That’s a different story.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who also goes by the nickname Woz, momentarily caused a stir with the following tweet:

                         

Yeah, that’s not going to get zero reaction with the ongoing COVID-19 causing coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) outbreak occurring. The possible suggestion that he and his wife, Janet, may have been the “patient zeros” who brought the new coronavirus to the U.S. got all kinds of responses, ranging from people tweeting that Macs don’t get viruses to those wondering angrily why the Wozniaks took so long to see doctors.

A patient zero is the first human to get infected by a pathogen like a virus and then subsequently spread it to others. There can be a patient zero for the overall SARS-CoV2 outbreak, that is the first human to have contracted the virus from a non-human source such as another animal. There can also be patient zeros for outbreaks in different locations, such as the persons who first introduced the virus to each country. It can be very, very difficult to identify who really was the patient zero in each of these cases because that person may have had very non-specific symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

It turns out that all of this patient zero talk Woz probably a false alarm. As Carlie Porterfield reported for Forbes, Janet Wozniak sent USA Today an email indicating that she actually had a sinus infection, presumably a run-of-the-mill sinus infection that was not caused by the SARS-CoV2. So perhaps there is zero concern, or rather zero zero concern about the Wozniaks.

All of this shows how easy it is to mistake something else for a SARS-CoV2 infection, and vice versa. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the potential symptoms of “coronavirus disease 2019” include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. That’s pretty darn non-specific.

The World Health Organization (WHO) website does add “breathing difficulties” to the list of potential symptoms. It also says that “infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”

OK, so death is always pretty serious and would certainly merit attention. But the other symptoms may not be quite as clear. After all, lots of things can cause a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, including many different types of bacterial and viral infections and a BTS appearance. Just because you have these symptoms, does not mean that you should automatically suspect SARS-CoV2. Instead, ask yourself the following questions:

Are your symptoms severe? If so, contact a doctor as soon as possible. This includes having a temperature of over 102.5° F (39.2° C) or a cough that significantly interferes with your daily life. The prescription for a fever that high is not just more cowbell. It is medical attention. Very frequent or very severe coughing should raise concerns as well. The words “coughed up a lung,” typically shouldn’t be followed by “but everything is cool.” Similarly, distinguish between the love-is-in-the-air type of shortness of breath and real difficulty breathing. The latter calls for a call to the doctor.

Do you have any symptoms of pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or kidney failure? Chest pain could be a sign of a pneumonia or other type of severe respiratory disease. So could night sweats, assuming that you aren’t actively doing burpees in your bed, or coughing up blood. Be concerned about any significant decrease in urination or change in the color of your urine when you didn’t just eat a bucket of beets, as these could be signs of kidney damage. Keep in mind though that you can have pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or kidney failure without having obvious symptoms.

How long have you had these symptoms? No symptoms should last for more than week without medical attention. Not a fever. Not coughing. Not shortness of breath. In fact, anything that isn’t love and lasts for more than a week should give you pause. Also, track the course of your symptoms. If you find yourself getting better and then suddenly getting worse, contact your doctor.

Do you have any risk factors for a SARS-CoV2 infection? No, seeing someone of East Asian-descent and eating Asian food are not risk factors. We’re talking about real risk factors. Of course, the biggest one is coming into close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. So if your roommate made the news for having COVID-19, take any possible COVID-19 symptoms very seriously. In fact, if you were that close to someone who definitely had COVID-19, it’s good idea to notify your doctor even if you don’t have symptoms. Similarly, if you’ve been in a location where there’s active transmission of the virus such as Wuhan, China, contact your doctor as soon as you develop any kind of fever or respiratory symptoms. Symptoms typically begin anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

You can see how recognizing COVID-19 can be very difficult without formal medical testing. You can also see how identifying a patient zero before he or she has spread the new coronavirus can be very challenging. The person could even have zero symptoms, so to speak. In the end, we may never find out who the zeros were. Nevertheless, always let your doctor know if you are worried in any way about having a new type of infection. For example, if you hear of a new infectious disease in a place that you have just visited, have a low threshold for seeking medical advice. After all, you want to make sure that you have as close to zero chances as possible of spreading that infection to others.

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I am a writer, journalist, professor, systems modeler, computational and digital health expert, avocado-eater, and entrepreneur, not always in that order. Currently, I am a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the City University of New York (CUNY), Executive Director of PHICOR (@PHICORteam), Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and founder and CEO of Symsilico. My previous positions include serving as Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University, Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, and Senior Manager at Quintiles Transnational, working in biotechnology equity research at Montgomery Securities, and co-founding a biotechnology/bioinformatics company. My work involves developing computational approaches, models, and tools to help health and healthcare decision makers in all continents (except for Antarctica) and has been supported by a wide variety of sponsors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the NIH, AHRQ, CDC, UNICEF, USAID and the Global Fund. I have authored over 200 scientific publications and three books. Follow me on Twitter (@bruce_y_lee) but don’t ask me if I know martial arts.

Source: How To Tell If You Have A COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection

What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 19)? The coronaviruses that circulate among humans are typically benign, and they cause about a quarter of all common cold illnesses. But occasionally, coronaviruses, like COVID-19, circulate in an animal reservoir and mutate just enough to where they’re able to start infecting and causing disease in humans. Find our complete video library only on Osmosis Prime: http://osms.it/more. Hundreds of thousands of current & future clinicians learn by Osmosis. We have unparalleled tools and materials to prepare you to succeed in school, on board exams, and as a future clinician. Sign up for a free trial at http://osms.it/more. Subscribe to our Youtube channel at http://osms.it/subscribe. Get early access to our upcoming video releases, practice questions, giveaways, and more when you follow us on social media: Facebook: http://osms.it/facebook Twitter: http://osms.it/twitter Instagram: http://osms.it/instagram Our Vision: Everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis. Our Mission: To empower the world’s clinicians and caregivers with the best learning experience possible. Learn more here: http://osms.it/mission Medical disclaimer: Knowledge Diffusion Inc (DBA Osmosis) does not provide medical advice. Osmosis and the content available on Osmosis’s properties (Osmosis.org, YouTube, and other channels) do not provide a diagnosis or other recommendation for treatment and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosis and treatment of any person or animal. The determination of the need for medical services and the types of healthcare to be provided to a patient are decisions that should be made only by a physician or other licensed health care provider. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

New York City Has Its First Coronavirus Patient Here’s What You Need To Know

Topline: New York City’s first case of coronavirus was reported by the New York Times Sunday evening.

  • The patient, a woman in her 30’s, is isolated in her home in Manhattan, according to a New York state official, and had recently been to Iran, according to the Times.
  • The patient’s test was conducted and confirmed by New York state, according to a state official, after the FDA approved the state on Saturday to run its own tests.
  • 1.5 million masks have been distributed to healthcare workers, with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio saying 300,000 more masks are needed from the federal government, among other protective gear.
  • Also in New York City: 1,200 hospital beds are available for coronavirus patients, while plans for possible quarantines at hotels, hospitals and homes are being made.
  • New York City’s subway and bus system could limit or stagger service, according to the New York Times, and transit workers have posted thousands of signs throughout the system encouraging riders to wash hands and avoid close contact with sick people.
  • San Francisco preemptively declared a state of emergency Tuesday, which will free up funding from state and federal governments that will reimburse its preparedness efforts, and allows it to direct city employees to focus on coronavirus response, including public health nurses, social workers and case managers.

Crucial quote: “The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo in a Sunday evening statement. “There is no reason for undue anxiety—the general risk remains low in New York.”

Big number:  $40 million. That’s how much money New York state has set aside for coronavirus efforts. New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the funds will be used to hire additional staff, procure equipment and other resources to combat coronavirus, according to NBC’s New York affiliate.

Chief critic: U.S. surgeon general Jerome M. Adams. “Seriously people,” he tweeted from his official account Saturday, “STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

                                

What to watch for: “We encourage everyone to take the standard precautions they would during any flu season,” said Patrick Warren, chief safety officer of the New York City’s mass transit system, which means covering one’s face when they sneeze or cough and washing hands frequently. New York City health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said anyone feeling coronavirus symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.

Key background: Up until Sunday, New York City had zero confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 32 people have been tested for the disease, according to a New York state official. Only the Manhattan patient’s test results came back positive, but there are 76 total cases nationwide. New York officials have already asked 700 recent visitors from China to self quarantine. In California, 33 people have been infected, while over 8,400 more are being monitored.  And the federal government is enforcing a mandatory 14 day quarantine for any citizens returning from China’s Hubei province, where the coronavirus is thought to have originated. U.S. citizens returning from other parts of mainland China will be asked to self-quarantine and be monitored by their local health departments for symptoms.

Tangent: San Francisco officials urged the public to separate the disease from ethnicity. Both SF and New York City’s Chinatowns have seen a drastic decrease in business over fears of the disease, when the virus’ transmission is mainly based on travel, according to San Francisco city health director Grant Colfax. Carmen Chu, a city assessor, said it was important “to share a message of making sure that we don’t let this disease turn us into racists…this is about contracting a virus because someone traveled.”

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I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose and xoJane.

Source: New York City Has Its First Coronavirus Patient. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Americans evacuated from China receive a health screening every 12 hours; although they have tested negative for the virus, it can incubate up to 14 days.

‘Corona Beer Virus?’ The Global Epidemic Is Taking a Real-Life Toll on the Beverage

KIEV, UKRAINE – 2018/09/26: Detail of lined up Corona beer bottles seen on the store shelf. Corona extra Lager Beer is the flagship product of the Mexican company Grupo Modelo. (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The novel coronavirus has an unlikely victim — one of the world’s most popular beers.

Corona has become the subject of memes and videos shared on social media as the toll from the virus climbs worldwide. Reports of an increase in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” show the Mexican beer hasn’t been able to escape the association. The so-called purchase intent among adults in the U.S. has plunged to the lowest in two years, according to data from YouGov Plc.

The damage has become more severe in recent days as infections spread. Shares of Corona-maker Constellation Brands Inc. dived 8% this week in New York. Corona’s buzz score—which tracks whether American adults aware of the brand have heard positive or negative things about it—has tumbled to 51 from a high of 75 at the beginning of the year, YouGov said.

Corona, which derives its name from the Sun’s corona and has nothing to do with the virus, is the third-most popular beer in the U.S., according to YouGov rankings. Guinness is first and Heineken is second.

Another reason for the drop in purchase intent could be the perception of Corona as a summer beverage associated with beach holidays, YouGov business data journalist Graeme Bruce wrote in an article published Wednesday. It therefore has substantial seasonal fluctuations, he said.

By Anurag Kotoky / Bloomberg February 28, 2020

Source: ‘Corona Beer Virus?’ The Global Epidemic Is Taking a Real-Life Toll on the Beverage

People believe coronavirus is linked to Corona beer?

Pope Francis skipped a planned Mass on Thursday due to illness. The Vatican did not elaborate, saying only that he had a “slight indisposition”. The pontiff was seen coughing and blowing his nose during the Ash Wednesday Mass. This comes as cases of coronavirus surge in Northern Italy, with over 400 people testing positive for the virus.
Read more about the coronavirus: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-he… Telegraph.co.uk and YouTube.com/TelegraphTV are websites of The Telegraph, the UK’s best-selling quality daily newspaper providing news and analysis on UK and world events, business, sport, lifestyle and culture.

First U.S. COVID-19 Death Thought to Be Community Transmission. Washington Governor Declares State of Emergency

On Saturday, Washington State officials announced that one person had died from the coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, in King County, marking the first death from the disease in the U.S.

Health officials say the man was in his 50s and had no known history or travel or contact with a known COVID-19 case, suggesting he was infected by a human-to-human transmission in the general public, often referred to as a community transmission.

Officials also announced two other presumptive cases in King County, each linked to the LifeCare nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. Neither patient had reportedly traveled outside the U.S. At a press conference on Saturday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for public health of Seattle and King County said officials believe all three cases are cases of community transmission and were acquired in King County.

Officials are monitoring the nursing home and believe it is at risk for a possible outbreak of the virus. Officials added that they do not believe the man who died was connected to the nursing home.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the new cases, and directed state agencies to use “all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

King County health officials said the man who died was in his 50s and was “a chronically ill person,” with “underlying risk factors for severe disease.” They said he died at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

In a press conference with the coronavirus task force on Saturday, President Donald Trump misidentified the patient who died as a “wonderful woman.

Officials also announced details about the two cases connected to LifeCare nursing home. One patient is a healthcare worker in her 40s, who also had no known travel outside of the United States. Officials said she is in satisfactory condition. The second is a woman in her 70s who is a resident at LifeCare nursing facility, who is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials said over 50 individuals at LifeCare who are reportedly experiencing respiratory problems are being tested for COVID-19 and said “additional positive cases” are expected. At the press conference, Duchin said officials are “investigating the situation as an outbreak.” He added that the CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to help identify any possible new cases.

Duchin added that officials believe the patients contracted the virus before being admitted to EvergreenHealth Hospital, and do not presently believe the two patients at LifeCare and the man who died were connected to one and other.

The first known case of the coronavirus in King County had only been announced the day before on Friday: A woman in her 50s who had recently traveled to Daegnu, South Korea.

According to Washington State Department of Health, two people have also tested positive for the virus in Snohomish County, bringing the total number of cases in the state up to six. Thirty-seven people in Washington State have been tested for the virus so far, and 294 people are under public health supervision, according to the official.

The announcement comes after news broke that a California patient was thought to be the first possible human-to-human transmission in the general public. California officials announced a second possible community transmission on Friday, although Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department said in a statement, “the extent is still not clear.”

On Friday, Oregon health officials also announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 was believed to be a community transmission.

The U.S. has 68 confirmed cases of the virus. Besides the six suspected cases of community transmission, all of the other infected people had either traveled overseas or had been in close contact with those who traveled. The virus has transmitted from human to human in cases in Chicago and San Benito County, Calif., but in both cases, the infected person had close, prolonged contact with family members who had returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for the virus.

A CDC flowchart for assessing possible coronavirus cases as of Feb. 12 indicates that a patient must have either visited China, or had close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 within the last 14 days, in order for their possible exposure to the virus to be evaluated.

As of Feb. 26 the CDC had administered 445 coronavirus tests—not including those given to Americans brought back to the U.S. from Wuhan or the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Concerns over a shortage in tests to properly diagnose the novel coronavirus have prompted some states to take action. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said more than 8,400 people in the state are being monitored for the virus, and called for an expansion of the ability to conduct tests on people to detect the infection during a news conference on Feb. 27.

California is now working with the CDC to get access to more tests, Newsom said, adding that the state has “just a few hundred” testing kits, which he said was “simply inadequate.”

“We are not overreacting nor are we underreacting to the understandable anxiety many people have,” he said.

Health officials in New York state said they are developing their own test after encountering issues with tests provided by the CDC, according to reports in ABC 7 and BuzzFeed News.

Elsewhere in the U.S., 42 Americans evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess in Japan were confirmed to have the virus as of Wednesday.

CDC spokesperson Richard Quartarone tells TIME the patients are either at hospitals in Sacramento and San Antonio, or at the Nebraska Medical Center.

More than 300 American evacuees were flown out of Japan to air bases in Texas and California.

So far, cases have been diagnosed in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas. Globally, more than 82,000 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed or clinically confirmed as of Feb. 21 and some 2,800 people have died, according to a virus tracker from researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The vast majority of cases are in China, but diagnoses in the U.S. are expected to increase over the coming days and weeks, according to the CDC.

Cruise ship evacuees

On Feb. 17, the U.S. State Department evacuated more than 300 American citizens from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan. The Diamond Princess has the largest outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside China with at least 621 confirmed cases so far.

During the evacuation process, American officials learned that 14 of the more than 300 Americans who were to be flown back were infected with COVID-19 after being tested two to three days earlier, according to a joint statement from the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After consulting with HHS, officials with the State Department decided to allow the 14 individuals, “who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process,” the statement said.

The evacuees who are not hospitalized were being held in quarantine for 14 days after departing planes at Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. and Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, officials said.

The CDC said there are more than 100 American citizens who remained in Japan, including in hospitals. The CDC specified that these citizens will only be allowed to fly back to the U.S. if they test negative for and don’t show any symptoms of the virus during the 14-day period.

“If an individual from this cruise arrives in the United States before the 14-day period ends, they will still be subject to a mandatory quarantine until they have completed the 14-day period with no symptoms or positive coronavirus test results,” the CDC said.

The CDC also highlighted concerns with the quarantine process on board the ship, saying that it may have slowed the spread of the disease but that it “may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship.”

Washington

On Saturday, Washington State officials announced that one person had died from COVID-19 in King County, marking the first death from the disease in the U.S.

Health officials say the man was in his 50s and had no known history or travel or contact with a known COVID-19 case, suggesting he was infected by a human-to-human transmission in the general public, often referred to as a community transmission.

Officials also announced two other presumptive cases in King County, each linked to the LifeCare nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. Neither patient had reportedly traveled outside the U.S. At a press conference on Saturday, Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for public health of Seattle and King County said officials believe all three cases are cases of community transmission and were acquired in King County.

Officials are monitoring the nursing home and believe it is at risk for a possible outbreak of the virus. Officials added that they do not believe the man who died was connected to the nursing home.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency on Saturday in response to the new cases, and directed state agencies to use “all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.”

King County health officials said the man who died was in his 50s and was “a chronically ill person,” with “underlying risk factors for severe disease.” They said he died at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials also announced details about the two cases connected to LifeCare nursing home. One patient is a healthcare worker in her 40s, who also had no known travel outside of the United States. Officials said she is in satisfactory condition. The second is a woman in her 70s who is a resident at LifeCare nursing facility, who is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital.

Officials said over 50 individuals at LifeCare who are reportedly experiencing respiratory problems are being tested for COVID-19 and said “additional positive cases” are expected. At the press conference Duchin said officials are “investigating the situation as an outbreak.” He added that the CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to help identify any possible new cases.

Duchin added that officials believe the patients contracted the virus before being admitted to EvergreenHealth Hospital, and do not presently believe the two patients at LifeCare and the man who died were connected to one and other.

The first known case of the coronavirus in King County had only been announced the day before on Friday: A woman in her 50s who had recently traveled to Daegnu, South Korea.

According to Washington State Department of Health, two people have also tested positive for the virus in Snohomish County, bringing the total number of cases in the state up to six. Thirty-seven people in Washington State have been tested for the virus so far, and 294 people are under public health supervision, according to the official.

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. appeared in Washington on Jan. 21. A 35-year-old man presented himself to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Wash., after four days of cough and fever, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, which reported that he had recently been visiting family in Wuhan.

“The patient should be recognized for his decision to voluntarily isolate himself, seek proper medical care, and allow the details of his private medical treatment to be made public so that the world may learn from his case, and advance our understanding of novel coronavirus,” the Washington State Department of Health said in a public statement on Jan. 31.

The man was released from a Washington hospital on Feb. 4, according to the Associated Press.

“I am at home and continuing to get better,” the man said in a statement to the AP. “I appreciate all of the concern expressed by members of the public, and I look forward to returning to my normal life.”

Arizona

A single case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Arizona by the CDC on Jan. 26. The person had also recently returned to the U.S. after visiting Wuhan. The Arizona Department of Health Services said in a public statement that the person is “a member of the Arizona State University community who does not live in university housing,” and added that they were not severely ill but would be kept in isolation.

California

On Wednesday news broke that a California coronavirus patient was not tested for the deadly disease for four days—despite the hospital asking federal health authorities for a test.

The patient at the University of California-Davis Medical Center, who is a resident of Solano County, was the first U.S. case of possible human-to-human transmission in the general public—raising fears that the virus might be spreading in the country. It also raised questions about how prepared the U.S. health system is for a possible outbreak.

The California coronavirus patient was not tested for the deadly disease for four days — despite the hospital asking federal health authorities for a test. The patient is at the University of California-Davis Medical Center and is a resident of Solano County.

California officials announced a second possible community transmission on Friday, although Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department said in a statement, “the extent is still not clear.”

The first confirmed cases in the state were announced by the CDC on Jan. 26; the two patients had recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan.

On Jan. 29, the State Department announced a flight carrying 195 evacuees from Wuhan landed at the March Air Reserve Base in southern California. Later, on Feb. 5, the CDC announced 14-day quarantine sites at the Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif. and the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif., where more evacuees from Wuhan would be placed.

Two people who were quarantined at Miramar have since been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are now in isolation at the University of San Diego Health. A third person has been placed under investigation after developing symptoms that warrant testing, the hospital announced on Feb. 12.

Orange County and San Francisco have both declared states of emergency over the virus.

Illinois

The first case in Illinois was a woman in her 60s who had returned to the U.S. from Wuhan on Jan. 13, health officials said at a press briefing on Jan. 30. Her husband then contracted the virus, becoming the first confirmed case of person-to-person transfer of the virus in the U.S.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Feb. 12 that it became the first state in the U.S. to begin in-state testing for the virus.

Massachusetts

On Feb. 1, the CDC announced that a man in his 20s who lives in Boston was diagnosed with COVID-19, making him the eighth confirmed case in the U.S. He had also recently traveled to Wuhan.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the man sought medical care soon after his return to Boston. He has since been in isolation, and those who came in contact with him have been identified and are being monitored for symptoms, the agency said in a public statement.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said Monica Bharel, Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner, in the statement. “Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.”

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC announced the first case of COVID-19 in the state on Feb. 5. The person was only identified as “an adult with a history of travel to Beijing, China prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known cases while in China.”

Wisconsin health officials said in a public statement that the person is isolated at home, and is doing well.

Texas

The first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Texas is currently in isolation. The name of the individual has also not been released, but Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC division deputy director and current team lead at the JBSA-Lackland quarantine, told reporters at a Feb. 13 press conference that the person was a solo traveler.

Two additional Diamond Princess passengers are also in isolation in Texas as of Feb. 21, after they were determined to have the virus. The patients are being held at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease hospital, according to a public statement by the City of San Antonio.

The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the CDC announced Feb. 13 that the first person diagnosed was one of the Americans evacuated from Wuhan and transported to the military base on Feb. 7, after leaving Wuhan the previous day. There are currently 91 evacuees in a 14-day quarantine at the JBSA-Lackland military base, one of four designated quarantine sites for the roughly 800 Americans who have been evacuated from Wuhan.

On the morning of Feb. 11, the patient exhibited signs of a fever, McQuiston said. The person was transported to a hospital that morning, where samples were gathered and sent to the CDC overnight. Officials received the positive diagnosis around 6 p.m. on Feb. 12. “[That patient is] receiving excellent medical care,” McQuiston said at the Feb. 13 press conference. “They were, of course, not happy to learn of their diagnosis last night, and they do have loved ones in the United States that they are in contact with by phone, and we wish this individual well.”

Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, also said at the press conference that “the risk for us at this time to the community here is still considered low.”

Of the estimated 400 Americans aboard the Diamond Princess, 151 landed at the Lackland Air Force Base on the morning of Feb. 17. Of those, 144 asymptomatic Americans were assessed and transported to Lackland quarantine, according to the City of San Antonio.

The individuals who remain in quarantine are being monitored for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

By Jasmine Aguilera , Amy Gunia , Madeleine Carlisle and Sanya Mansoor

Source: First U.S. COVID-19 Death Thought to Be Community Transmission. Washington Governor Declares State of Emergency

The US has confirmed its first possible community transmission of COVID-19. The patient, who lives in California, has no known links to other cases or travel history to China. That brings the total number of infections in the US to 60, with most of them catching the virus outside the country. Subscribe to our channel here: https://cna.asia/youtubesub Subscribe to our news service on Telegram: https://cna.asia/telegram Follow us: CNA: https://cna.asia CNA Lifestyle: http://www.cnalifestyle.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/channelnewsasia Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/channelnews… Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/channelnewsasia

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