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France cases jump, Wall Street reroutes traders

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. 

All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Global cases: At least 101,587, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 3,460, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 245, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 14, according to the CDC and state health officials.

2:54 pm: Restaurants implement preventative measures

Delivery drivers shouldn’t be eating customers’ fries, but as the number of virus cases rises in the U.S., restaurants are trying even harder to make sure that doesn’t happen. CapitalSpring, a restaurant investment firm with about 4,000 locations nationwide in its portfolio, is deploying tamper-proof packaging for food delivery orders for its restaurants.

Nationwide, restaurants are responding to the outbreak. McDonald’s, Dunkin’ and Starbucks are among the chains stepping up their in-store cleanliness efforts and creating crisis teams. In a time when labor costs have put pressure on profit margins, restaurants are adding more staff or extending hours to ensure that employees can keep up with increased cleaning efforts.

February same-store sales, which grew by 0.3% nationally, did not show a hit from the virus, but consumer fears could mean lower restaurant traffic in March, according to industry tracker Black Box Intelligence. —Lucas 

2:32 pm: Emerald City Comic Con postponed to summer 2020

Organizers of the Seattle-based Emerald City Comic Con announced they are pushing the event from its March 12 start to summer 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state.

“Our hearts go out to the entire Seattle community, everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus, and all of you, the nearly 100,000 amazing human beings who look forward to this event each year,” Reedpop, an offshoot of event organizer Reed Exhibitions, wrote in a statement Friday. “Our team was incredibly excited to see you at Emerald City Comic Con next week, however, fans, artists, exhibitors and the rest of the community are what make Reedpop events so special and it is our duty to make sure that your safety comes first.”

Earlier in the week, Reedpop stressed how a show like Emerald City can be a big driver of sales for local and traveling artists, who rely on conventions to grow their careers.

“We know that this decision is going to greatly impact many of our individual creators, small businesses and service workers,” the company said Friday. “To those whose careers depend on ECCC – we will do everything that we can over the coming days and weeks to highlight your work and we ask that our entire community support you as we realize your personal livelihoods may be impacted.”

Reedpop will be refunding all tickets for the event and is working with Visit Seattle and the Washington State Convention Center to find an alternate date for the convention during the summer. —Whitten

2:29 pm: Lufthansa slashes flights as virus hits bookings

Deutsche Lufthansa will slash up to half the flights across its stable of airlines from April as passengers balk at flying for fear of contracting the coronavirus, the company said on Friday.

“In recent days, the Lufthansa Group has been exposed to drastic declines in bookings and numerous flight cancellations due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All traffic areas are now affected,” it said in a statement.

The company, which includes Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines, also said it was considering temporarily grounding its entire fleet of 14 Airbus A380 superjumbos in Frankfurt and Munich. —Reuters

2:08 pm: France says it now has 613 confirmed cases

France has 613 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the head of the public health service, Jerome Salomon, said on Friday, which is an increase of 190 compared to a day earlier. During a press briefing, he added the death toll from the disease was still at nine and that 39 persons were in intensive care. —Reuters

Correction: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in France rose by 190 to 613. An earlier version of this headline misstated the increase. 

2:05 pm: Wall Street traders head to the suburbs

A person wearing a face mask walks along Wall Street after further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in New York, March 6, 2020.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Hundreds of Wall Street traders are changing their commutes. Starting Monday, Citigroup is sending traders and salespeople from its headquarters in downtown Manhattan to a backup facility in Rutherford, New Jersey in contingency plans tied to the coronavirus, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. JPMorgan Chase told traders yesterday that some of them can expect to work from locations in New Jersey and Brooklyn, while Morgan Stanley has begun to send some employees to its Purchase, New York office, according to people with knowledge of the plans.

As of Friday, there are 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York state, with several thousand people under precautionary quarantine. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday confirmed four cases in the city and warned against community spread. —Son

1:35 pm: General Motors tightens travel protocols

General Motors is tightening its travel protocols for employees amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Domestic and international travel for GM employees effective Friday “requires senior leader approval,” a company spokesman told CNBC. The Detroit automaker previously required such approval for international travel. A travel ban for GM employees remains in effect for China, South Korea, Italy and Japan, according to the company. —Wayland

1:21 pm: New York Gov. Cuomo says CDC coronavirus response is ‘absurd and nonsensical’

New York Gov. Cuomo criticized the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, calling it “absurd and nonsensical.”

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were slow to initially test people for the virus, he said, before — “in a tardy fashion” — changing the policy to allow states to test. The Trump administration’s management of the outbreak isn’t just “bad government and poor planning,” Cuomo said at a press conference, but will also “increase the fear.”

Local and state officials across the country have criticized the CDC’s testing criteria, scarcity of tests and poor communication. —Feuer

1:15 pm: Coronavirus threatens live events, entertainment festivals

1:01 pm: Texas reports five travel-related cases of coronavirus

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting four additional travel-related cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to five. Harris County Public Health and the Houston Health Department announced four cases on Thursday, March 5 in residents of Harris County who had recently traveled abroad. The first Texas case was announced by Fort Bend County Health and Human Services on March 4. These cases are among a group that traveled overseas together and were being monitored by public health because of a possible exposure to COVID-19. Travel-related cases in Texas don’t indicate spread within the state, Texas Department of State Health Services said. The immediate risk to most Texans remains low, the agency said. —Cullen

12:52 pm: Iran warns it could use ‘force’ to halt travel amid virus

Iranian authorities warned they may use “force” to limit travel between cities and announced the new coronavirus has killed 124 people amid 4,747 confirmed cases in the Islamic Republic. Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour did not elaborate on the threat to use force, though he acknowledged the virus now was in all of Iran’s 31 provinces. The threat may be to stop people from using closed schools and universities as an excuse to go to the Caspian Sea and other Iranian vacation spots. Semiofficial news agencies in Iran posted images of long traffic lines as people tried to reach the Caspian coast from Tehran, despite authorities earlier telling people to remain in their cities. Iran on Thursday announced it would put checkpoints in place to limit travel between major cities, hoping to stem the spread of the virus. —Associated Press

12:50 pm: Adidas reports one employee in Germany tests positive for coronavirus

German sportswear maker Adidas said it has one employee in Herzogenaurach who was tested positive for the coronavirus. “We can confirm that an Adidas employee in Herzogenaurach, Germany has been tested positive for the Coronavirus and is now receiving the appropriate medical care,” the company told CNBC. “As a precautionary measure, employees who are considered to be at risk because of close contact with that individual have been informed and were sent home immediately the day before yesterday, March 4, as was the affected employee. The affected employees will stay in home-quarantine for 14 days or can return to work if the test result is negative.” The company added that critical office areas at its headquarters were deep-cleaned on Wednesday evening to make the workplace safer for those that work onsite. “We continue to assess each situation on a case-by-case basis to determine what measures are necessary for our employees’ safety and wellbeing,” the company said. —Cullen

12:38 pm: CDC reports 213 coronavirus cases, including those under investigation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported 65 more cases of coronavirus in the country, which includes cases reported by individual states that were yet to be confirmed by the agency. As of 4 pm on March 5, the number of confirmed and presumptive positive cases stood at 213, the agency said. Cases detected among former passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship remains at 46, while 3 cases were detected in citizens repatriated from Wuhan, China, the CDC said. —Reuters 

12:35 pm: Italian coronavirus deaths jump to 197, cases climb to 4,636

A cleaner wearing a protective suit adjusts a sign that reads “Attention: this zone has been sanitised” at the San Paolo stadium, ahead of the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final between Napoli and Inter Milan, which has since been postponed as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, in Naples, Italy, March 4, 2020.

Ciro De Luca | Reuters

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen by 49 to 197, the Civil Protection Agency said, the largest daily increase in fatalities since the contagion was uncovered two weeks ago. The accumulative number of cases in the country, which has been hardest hit by the virus in Europe, totaled 4,636 against 3,858 on Thursday. The head of the agency said that of those originally infected, 523 had fully recovered versus 414 the day before. The contagion is focused on a handful of hotspots in the north of Italy, but cases have now been confirmed in each of the country’s 20 regions, with deaths recorded in eight of them. —Reuters

12:33 pm: New York state coronavirus cases triple over 48 hours to 33

The number of coronavirus cases in New York state has tripled over the last 48 hours to 33, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. “The number will continue to go up because it’s mathematics,” Cuomo said at a news briefing. “The more you test, the more you will find.” The state reported 11 cases on Wednesday, 22 on Thursday and 33 by Friday morning. There are roughly 2,700 people in New York City under “precautionary quarantine” with more than 1,000 others also in voluntary isolation across the state, Cuomo said. —Feuer

12:30 pm: City employees in Seattle may be required to work from home, mayor says

Seattle could implement a work-from-home policy for city employees if the coronavirus spread worsens, Mayor Jenny Durkan told CNBC on Friday. “If people don’t have to come into work and can work from home, we’re encouraging that and we may go to a mandatory state of that,” she said on “Squawk Alley.” King County, where Seattle is located, has at least 51 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. —Stankiewicz

12:28 pm: ‘False hope’ coronavirus will disappear in the summer like the flu, WHO says

It’s a “false hope” that coronavirus will be seasonal and subside in the summer, like the flu, the World Health Organization said Friday. “We have to assume that the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. “It’s a false hope to say, yes, that it will disappear like the flu.” Earlier in the outbreak, U.S. health officials said there was a hypothesis among mathematical modelers that the outbreak “could potentially be seasonal” and relent in warmer conditions. —Lovelace, Higgins-Dunn

12:25 pm: ‘No Time to Die’ box-office release delayed for coronavirus, but other films may not follow

On Wednesday, MGM, Universal and “No Time to Die” producers were the first in Hollywood to delay the release of a film because of the coronavirus outbreak, leading people to wonder if more studios would move their release dates. “All the studios are considering what to do with safety and loss mitigation in mind,” Schuyler Moore, an entertainment attorney at Greenberg Glusker, said in an email to CNBC. But, what might work best for MGM may not be ideal for other Hollywood studios. Even if a studio wanted to move a film’s release date, there is little flexibility in the movie release schedule for the rest of 2020. —Whitten

12:14 pm: Facebook closes London offices until Monday due to coronavirus

Facebook said it is closing its London offices until Monday after a visiting employee from Singapore was diagnosed with coronavirus. “An employee based in our Singapore office who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 visited our London offices February 24-26, 2020,” Facebook said in a statement. “We are therefore closing our London offices until Monday for deep cleaning and employees are working from home until then.” —Reuters

12:01 pm: US is considering discouraging some travelers from cruises

In this Feb. 11, 2020 photo, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco.

Scott Strazzante | San Francisco Chronicle via AP

The United States is considering ways to discourage some U.S. travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to four officials familiar with the situation. The officials, who asked to remain anonymous, said no decision has been made. The discussions are taking place ahead of a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence, who is in charge of leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and the cruise industry this weekend. —Reuters

11:31 am: University of Washington to temporarily move all classes online

The University of Washington is moving all of its in-person classes and exams online, starting Monday, as the state deals with a large uptick in COVID-19 cases. It is among the first U.S. public universities to do so due to the flu-like virus. The Seattle-located school plans to resume in-person classes on March 30. Campus services will remain open, including dining services, resident halls, and recreation facilities according to the memo, and athletic events will be held as scheduled. —Bursztynsky

11:27 am: Cameroon, Togo confirm first cases of coronavirus

Cameroon and Togo confirmed their first cases of coronavirus, bringing the number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa hit by the epidemic to five. The outbreak has largely spared that part of Africa so far, but since last month cases have been detected in Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. North African countries have registered more than two dozen cases. In the central African country of Cameroon, the health ministry said a 58-year-old French citizen who arrived in the capital Yaounde on Feb. 24 had fallen ill with the virus. It later said the man’s female partner had also tested positive. Togo said its case was a 42-year-old female resident of the capital Lome who had visited Benin, Germany, France, and Turkey in late February and early March. She was in a stable condition. —Reuters

11:18 am: Airline stocks rally on hopes for federal aid to offset effects of coronavirus

Airline stocks rebounded sharply after chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the White House is considering “targeted measures” to offset the negative impact on the industry. American Airlines jumped 4%, while United Airlines surged more than 7%. Alaska Air Group surged 8% and Southwest Airlines rose 3%. — Fitzgerald

11:13 am: Google internal emails reveal how execs are prepping employees for coronavirus response

Alphabet’s top executives are urging employees to stay motivated to run Google’s global infrastructure amid coronavirus fears. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company’s security and “resilience” teams are running a 24-hour command center to help executives monitor updates in real-time and coordinate across the company. It’s “kicked off a number of workstreams to prepare for how the virus could affect the welfare of our community,” Pichai said. The company told employees Thursday that all Bay Area employees would have the option to work from home on Friday “if roles allow,” a company spokesperson confirmed to CNBC. The company has several offices and thousands of employees across the region. By having a mostly-remote work day, Alphabet said it hopes to test its “business continuity processes.” —Elias

10:11 am: Three Biogen employees test positive for the virus

Three Biogen employees have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting in Boston last week, the biotech company confirmed to CNBC. “At the present time, these individuals are doing well, improving and under the care of their health-care providers,” Biogen spokesman David Caouette said. He added that all meeting attendees, with or without flu-like symptoms, have been directed to work from home for two weeks out of “an abundance of caution.” —Lovelace

10:02 am: Pennsylvania announces first cases

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said the state has confirmed its first two cases. One patient is from Wayne County in northern Pennsylvania near Scranton, Wolf said in a statement. The other is from Delaware County, just outside of Philadelphia, Wolf said, adding that the patient recently returned from an area of U.S. where COVID-19 is already present. Both patients are in isolation in their respective homes, he said. 

“Further spread of this virus throughout the nation will likely occur,” the state’s health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement. “We encourage people to prepare for potential life disruptions. The same family emergency plans and kits that we use to prepare for flu or norovirus, and even snowstorms and floods, are important now.” —Feuer

9:10 am: Employee at Seattle Seahawks stadium tests positive

Seattle Seahawks Field Seats

Source: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle-area officials announced late Thursday an employee of a 72,000-seat stadium in the city tested positive for COVID-19.

CenturyLink Field is home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC and the XFL football league’s Seattle Dragons. Local officials said the employee worked a Seattle Dragons XFL game on Feb. 22, which 22,060 people attended, according to the Seattle Times.

“Public Health has worked with the employee and the operator of the stadium, First and Goal, to evaluate potential exposures” at the Dragons game, King County said in a release, adding that the risk of infection to attendees was low. —Feuer

8:54 am: Coronavirus cases surpass 100,000 worldwide

COVID-19 cases surpassed 100,000 worldwide as the flu-like virus continues to spread outside of China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The total number of cases now stands at 100,055 as of 8 a.m. ET on Friday, according to data compiled by John Hopkins. The majority of the cases are in mainland China, followed by South Korea, Iran and Italy. Deaths in the U.S. climbed to 14, the data shows.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization called on all nations to “pull out all the stops” to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus as it continues to spread outside of China. —Lovelace

8:50 am: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accuses China of setting back coronavirus prevention efforts

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of putting the rest of the world “behind the curve” in trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Pompeo said it has proven “incredibly frustrating” to work with the Chinese government around obtaining data on the coronavirus, “which will ultimately be the solution to both getting the vaccine and attacking this risk.”

“Remember, this is the Wuhan coronavirus that’s caused this, and the information that we got at the front end of this thing wasn’t perfect and has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve,” Pompeo said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” —Stankiewicz

8:21 am: Trump cancels CDC visit after Pence said he planned to sign coronavirus bill there

President Donald Trump is no longer planning to travel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, an administration official said.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the government’s response to coronavirus, had said Thursday that Trump planned to sign an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill at the CDC. —Javers, Hirsch

7:20 am: What to do if you are boarding a plane

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020.

Kham | Reuters

7:15 am: Costco gets a sales boost from the coronavirus

People load Clorox into their car in the Costco parking lot after the first confirmed case of coronavirus was announced in New York State, in Brooklyn, New York, March 2, 2020.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Costco reported stronger sales than analysts were expecting, thanks in part to a boost from consumers stocking up at its stores to prepare for the new coronavirus. Throngs of shoppers this past weekend and into this week have flocked to Costco stores across the country to stock up on water, paper towels, sanitizing wipes and other household goods. The company told analysts Thursday it has been receiving deliveries daily. It also said that in some instances, it is placing limits on how much people can purchase. “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.” —Thomas

7:10 am: Egypt confirms 12 new cases on a cruise ship

Twelve new cases of coronavirus registered on a Nile cruise ship are all asymptomatic, the health ministry and World Health Organization said in a joint statement on Friday. The individuals are all Egyptian workers on the ship, which is heading to the southern city of Luxor, the statement said. The country had until now diagnosed three people with the virus, one of whom it said had fully recovered after receiving treatment. —Reuters

7:06 am: France’s Macron urges tight limits on retirement home visits

French President Emmanuel Macron urged citizens to avoid visiting relatives in retirement homes to prevent exposing them to possible coronavirus infection. “We must avoid visiting our elderly relatives as much as possible,” Macron said Friday during a visit to a retirement home in Paris. —Reuters

6:35 am: Iran says death toll rises by 17, to 124 people

Iran, which has one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks outside of China, reported a rise in its death toll to 124 people. A health ministry spokesman said in Tehran that there were 1,000-plus new infections, according to Reuters. —Clinch

5:35 am: Netherlands confirms first coronavirus-related death

The Netherlands’ National Health Institute on Friday confirmed the country’s first fatality as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. An 86-year-old man infected with coronavirus died in the port city of Rotterdam, health authorities said. As of Thursday, the WHO reported 38 cases of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. —Meredith

5:30 am: China invokes ‘force majeure’ to protect businesses — but companies may be in for a ‘rude awakening’ 

Widespread disruption brought on by the coronavirus outbreak has hammered global supply chains and spurred Chinese companies to declare “force majeure” — a provision that exempts them from contractual obligations. But experts warn that such a move may not work. According to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a government-linked entity, China has issued 4,811 force majeure certificates as of Tuesday due to the epidemic. They covered contracts worth 373.7 billion Chinese yuan ($53.79 billion), state media Xinhua reported. —Tan

4:40 am: Vatican City reports first coronavirus case

A tourist wear a protective mask in front of the Trevi Fountain downtown Rome, on March 3, 2020. – Italy urged tourists spooked by the coronavirus not to stay away, but efforts to reassure the world it was managing the outbreak were overshadowed by confusion over case numbers. Hotel bookings in Milan have plummeted to 20 percent, compared to nearly 90 percent normally at this time of year, while in Rome, far from the northern hotspots over 50 percent of bookings have been cancelled until the end of March, hotel association Federalberghi said. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)


The Vatican on Friday confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, Reuters reported, with health authorities confirming outpatient services in Vatican City clinics had been suspended to sanitize areas. A spokesperson for the city-state added that Italian authorities had been informed of the confirmed case. As of Thursday, Italy had reported 3,089 cases of coronavirus, with 107 deaths. —Meredith

Read CNBC’s coverage from the Asia-Pacific overnight: Vatican reports first case; ‘Impossible’ to cancel Tokyo Olympics

—CNBC’s Hugh Son, Michael WaylandKevin StankiewiczEamon JaversLauren HirschHarriet Baskas, Lauren Thomas, Sam Meredith, Joanna Tan, Matthew Clinch, Jennifer Elias, Sarah Whitten, Terri Cullen, Reuters, and Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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