Coronavirus in California: Cruise Ship Quarantine

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News about the coronavirus outbreak continued to spur anxiety around the world on Thursday, dominating conversation in California, even as Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race and the results of California’s elections further crystallized. (Ms. Warren, as of Thursday afternoon, had notched about 12 percent of the vote in the state.)

A day after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as a result of the outbreak, six new cases were announced in Santa Clara County, bringing the total there to 20, while two cases were confirmed in San Francisco.

The first person to die from the virus in California, a 71-year-old man in Placer County, had previously traveled on a Grand Princess cruise ship, now idling off the coast.

And on Thursday evening, according to The Mercury News, Sunnyvale officials said city emergency medical workers may have been exposed to the virus after administering aid to a man they later learned had been on a cruise with two people who were suspected of having the virus, although it wasn’t immediately clear if it was the same cruise. The man died.

Nurses begged for protective gear and better planning on the part of their employers, my colleagues reported.

And in Silicon Valley, tech giants told employees to work from home.

Officials warned of an unsettling possible new reality, in which “extreme social distancing” might be necessary, resulting in big sporting events being played without spectators.

But experts and leaders alike continued to emphasize that risks were low if people take basic precautions. And please, please: Don’t panic.

Here’s what else you should know:

  • You can find all the latest announcements from Mr. Newsom and state officials here, including that health insurance companies have been ordered to waive out-of-pocket costs for preventive testing. [California Department of Public Health]

  • Companies could lose billions as a result of the outbreak. But business insurance may not help. [The New York Times]

  • The Los Angeles Marathon is on this Sunday, despite concerns. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Events around the Bay Area, however, have been canceled. Here’s a list. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Organizers of California’s big festivals, like Coachella, are watching the outbreak. Even if they don’t cancel events, they’re worried about the impact on the live music industry. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • The Port of San Diego and cruise lines that stop there are taking more aggressive precautions. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

  • Here’s everything you need to help you figure out how to prepare. [The New York Times]

  • And, no, you can’t use Tito’s Vodka to make hand sanitizer. [Austin American-Statesman]

[Follow all the latest updates about the coronavirus outbreak from Times journalists around the world.]


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Read more about why the census is important, and why officials are worried about an undercount in California. [The New York Times]

  • Explore how your neighborhood voted in the presidential primary with this map. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Lawmakers are finalizing rules for how power companies can implement power outages when wildfire risk is high. Utilities will most likely have to improve their communication. [CalMatters]

Here’s more about the chaos that Pacific Gas & Electric caused last year with its widespread power shut-offs. [The New York Times]

  • Most parents charged in the college admissions scandal were accused of trying to get one or two children into college. Prosecutors say the former chief of Pimco paid bribes for at least four children. He was sentenced to nine months in prison. [The New York Times]

  • Classes at the University of California, Santa Cruz, were canceled all day on Thursday and service centers were closed as demonstrators came out in force to support striking graduate students. Supporters also rallied on other U.C. campuses. [Santa Cruz Sentinel]

If you missed it, here’s why students are protesting. [The New York Times]



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