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Latest coronavirus updates: Lakewood Church suspends in-person services

Here's a quick look at the latest COVID-19 headlines from around Houston, Texas and the world for Wednesday, March 11.

>> This blog has been archived. View the latest live blog here. <<

This is a live blog of events as they happened.

Today's top headlines:

Events canceled | School closures/changes | Map of cases | List of Houston-area cases | How to protect your pets | Coronavirus symptoms and prevention

Latest updates:

Here are the latest updates from around the Houston area and the world (all times are Central/Houston time):

>> This blog has been archived. View the latest live blog here. <<

MARCH 11 9:48 p.m. -- Lakewood Church will not hold public services this weekend. Its services will be broadcast exclusively online.

"While there will be no services held at the church building located at 3700 Southwest Freeway this weekend, we will continue to monitor the situation week by week and hope to resume the assembly in the very near future," Lakewood said in a statement.

Services will be broadcast on Facebook, Youtube, Roku and on both JoelOsteen.com and LakewoodChurch.com, as well as on SiriusXM Channel 128 at the following times (Central time zone):

Saturday at 7 p.m.

Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Sunday at 2 p.m. (Spanish Language Services)

Sunday at 7 p.m. (Young Adult Service)

Click here for more information.

MARCH 11 9:28 p.m. -- Harris County will not be calling any jury trials for the remainder of March.

MARCH 11 8:37 p.m. -- The Houston Health Department announced a new presumptive positive case of coronavirus in Houston, bringing the city’s case total to three.

A female who is 15 to 25 years old is currently experiencing mild symptoms and is quarantined in her home. Officials said she recently traveled to New York.

MARCH 11 8:35 p.m. -- The NBA has suspended its season after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.

The test result was reported shortly prior to the tip-off of Wednesday night’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. At that time, the game was canceled. The affected player was not in the arena, officials said.

"The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice," they said in a statement. "The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

MARCH 11 8:15 p.m. -- President Donald Trump says all travel from Europe to the United States will be suspended for the next 30 days amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump says he is suspending all travel between the U.S. and Europe for 30 days beginning Friday as he seeks to combat a viral pandemic. Trump made the announcement Wednesday in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers. Click here to read more.

MARCH 11 6:30 p.m. -- UH classes are canceled for next week. The university will remain open, but faculty and staff have the option to work remotely. Classes will resume online March 23. Resident students are encouraged to stay home, but dorms are open for those returning. Click here for details.

MARCH 11 5:45 p.m.  Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed a declaration of local disaster for public health emergency. Here's what that means.

MARCH 11 3:35 p.m. — More Houston-area events will be canceled or change.  Here's a list we're keeping.

MARCH 11 3:35 p.m. — The NCAA said only essential staff members and limited family members will be allowed to attend March Madness games.

MARCH 11 1:51 p.m. — Authorities banned large gatherings in Seattle and in San Francisco -- including pro baseball and basketball games -- in an effort to control the coronavirus outbreak.  

MARCH 11 1:44 p.m. — World news: Guatemala is barring Europeans to try to keep the new coronavirus out of the Central American country. Health Minister Hugo Monroy said Wednesday that “starting tomorrow, entry by all European citizens is prohibited.”

MARCH 11 1:20 p.m. — The Montgomery County patient attended the Houston rodeo BBQ cook-off late last month, Houston mayor confirms. Read more here.

MARCH 11 12:34 p.m. — Mayor Sylvester Turner says by the end of the day he will sign a 7-day emergency health declaration for the City of Houston. He says the decision means there will be a limit on city-sponsored public gatherings. The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is directly impacted - the rest of the 2020 rodeo season has been canceled starting tonight.

The rodeo grounds will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to a statement released by rodeo officials.

CONFIRMED INFORMATION: Statement from the rodeo just now. The Housto... n Livestock Show & Rodeo closes at 4 p.m. today. Ticket refund info to follow. LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: khou.com/.../285-1700bfab-1e04-4de4-a02f-...

The Tour de Houston scheduled to begin later this week has also been canceled. City produced or cosponsored events will be canceled, the mayor says.

MARCH 11 11:40 a.m. — The World Health Organization has officially classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.

MARCH 11 11:34 a.m. — We are aware of unconfirmed reports that the rest of this year's Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo has been canceled. City officials, county officials and the rodeo will hold a live press conference at 12 p.m. Watch live on this page at that time to get the details.

MARCH 11 10:30 a.m. — A person familiar with the deliberations tells The Associated Press that if Major League Baseball is unable to play in front of fans at a team's home ballpark because of the coronavirus outbreak, the sport's first preference likely would be to shift games to the visiting team's stadium if possible. Baseball's preference is to play in front of fans and not in empty stadiums but will rely on local officials to make the call in each city. Opening day is March 26.

MARCH 11 10:25 a.m. — Montgomery ISD will be closed early for spring break for a "deep cleaning" out of an "abundance of caution." No classes Thursday or Friday and through next week. Will resume March 23. List: How Houston-area schools are reacting to the outbreak.

MARCH 11 10:20 a.m. — Houston-area update: As reported yesterday, a man in his 40s is the first presumptive positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case in Montgomery County. They say he has not traveled recently, and everyone he has had close contact with is in self-quarantine. If the virus case is confirmed by the CDC, this could be the first community-spread case in the area. Read more here. Also, watch the press conference held by authorities there this morning:

MARCH 11 9:57 a.m. — Stocks are opening sharply lower on Wall Street. As of 9:57 a.m. Central, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1,000 points. Read more.

MARCH 11 9:29 a.m. — Texas update: The man with the first "presumptive positive" case of COVID-19 in Tarrant County has been identified as the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth officials said Wednesday morning. Read more here.

MARCH 11 9:07 a.m. — College students in Dayton protest sudden campus closing because of virus get peppered by police: Multiple Ohio colleges and universities canceled in-person classes and moved instruction online at least through March. Among those was the University of Dayton, where overnight police launched “pepper balls” containing an irritant to disperse a gathering of hundreds of students angered by the announcement that university housing was shutting down, the AP reports.

MARCH 11 8:45 a.m. — Tokyo Olympic head shoots down comments about delaying games: The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee says he has received an apology from a board member who said the Olympics should be delayed a year to two because of the coronavirus. Read more national/world updates here.

MARCH 11 7:53 a.m. — Scientists were close to a vaccine four years ago that could have been effective against the coronavirus that is crossing the globe. But they couldn't get the funding to send it to clinical trials, according to reporting by NBC News. Read more here.

MARCH 11 6:41 a.m. — The Italian government announced Wednesday it is earmarking 25 billion euros (nearly $28 billion) to confront the coronavirus. A decree expected by Friday will outline spending of about 12 billion of the euros ($13.4 billion). That will include measures to support health services and the civil protection agency and to support the labor market.

MARCH 11 5:55 a.m. — Update from California: Three Transportation Security Administration screeners at San Jose International Airport in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports. Read more national/world virus updates here.

MARCH 11 5:49 a.m. — Update out of Texas: Alvarado Independent School District, in North Texas, is closing all campuses Wednesday due to possible COVID-19 exposure, officials say. Tap here to read more.

MARCH 11 5 a.m. — The U.S. caseload has reached 1,000 according to the Associated Press and outbreaks on both sides of the country are stirring alarm. Dozens of cases are being tied to a conference in Boston. Italy has reached more than 10,000 infections and the death toll has risen to 631, mainly among among its aging population. Read more national/world virus updates here.

MARCH 11 4:52 a.m. — Wall Street is poised for another significant drop at the opening bell on the heels of struggling Asian markets over the coronavirus.

MARCH 11 4:30 a.m. — The Democratic presidential debate Sunday in Phoenix between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will not have an audience, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez has announced. There will also be no media, CNN said in a statement. The spin room and press filing center are being eliminated "at the request of the campaigns and out of an abundance of caution." Read more national/world virus updates here.

MARCH 11 4:30 a.m. — Washington state bans large gatherings: Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee will announce social distancing plans. A source confirms to KING 5 News that Inslee will ban gatherings and events of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Read more about this situation here.

MARCH 11 12:56 a.m. — 'I woke up and took my temperature - it was 101' | Seattle woman who survived coronavirus shares her story. Tap here to read her story.

MARCH 10 11:10 p.m. — St. Thomas' Episcopal School in Houston is closing its doors for the next two weeks after finding out that a student was possibly exposed to the novel coronavirus. Read more here.

MARCH 10 11:00 p.m. — Four Houston Chronicle employees attended a journalism conference in New Orleans last weekend where another attendee tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. Read more here.

MARCH 10 10:39 p.m. — Louisiana update: Three more presumptive cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Louisiana Tuesday night, including the first in St. Tammany Parish. That brings the total presumptive cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Louisiana to six.

MARCH 10 10:10 p.m. — As COVID-19 continues to spread, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are increasingly hard to come by, and now there’s another item that’s topping the list: toilet paper. Sanitizer is easy to understand, but why toilet paper? Read/watch the full story here.

MARCH 10 8:30 p.m. — Harris County reports an additional presumptive positive case. Health department officials said the case is a woman between 20 to 30 years old who was temporarily living abroad in Italy. They said she is from the southwest quadrant of Harris County; authorities also released her Lufthansa/United flight numbers to alert the public. Read more here.

MARCH 10 4:30 p.m. —  A man in Montgomery County is the first presumptive case in the county. Total number of cases in the Greater Houston area now reaches 13. Read more here.

MARCH 10 2:43 p.m. —  Harris County has launched a call center resource for unincorporated Harris County residents who do not have access to healthcare and are looking to visit a doctor due to coronavirus-related care. Read more here

MARCH 10 1:05 p.m. — Harris County provided information about coronavirus in other languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Korean. 

MARCH 10 11:37 a.m. — The City of Houston has asked 35 travelers to self-quarantine for two weeks after coming back from a trip to Egypt planned by the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Read more here

MARCH 10 10:59 a.m. — A Harris County Public Health spokesperson said the four Harris County patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have all been discharged from the hospital and are "doing well."

MARCH 10 10:54 a.m. — A North Texas man in his 30s, his wife and their 3-year-old child have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials confirm. The man had traveled to California for a business trip and it is presumed he was in contact with someone who already had coronavirus. Read more here.

MARCH 10 10:52 a.m. — Airlines are slashing flights and freezing hiring as they experience a sharp drop in bookings and a rise in cancellations in the face of the spreading coronavirus. Delta said Tuesday that travel demand has fallen so badly in the past week that it expects one-third of seats to be empty this month on flights within the U.S. Read more national virus headlines here | View travel waiver info from airlines and rail/bus

MARCH 10 10:20 a.m. — The Ivy League announced it will be canceling its men's and women's basketball tournaments because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Read more national virus headlines here.

MARCH 10 10:12 a.m. — Texas Children's updates its visitation policy: Until further notice, we will be implementing visitation restrictions for all inpatient areas. Inpatient areas to include Texas Medical Center Campus, West Campus, The Woodlands, and Pavilion for Women. Visitations will be limited to 2 visitors, 18 years of age or older. Ill visitors will be asked to leave. Read the full update here along with other hospitals' restrictions.

MARCH 10 10 a.m. — Watch Live: Coronavirus preparedness meeting held by Texas House Committee on Public Health. Tap here to stream it live right now.

MARCH 10 8:55 a.m. — President Trump has not been tested for coronavirus, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham confirms to CBS NEWS.  Four GOP members of Congress — Senator Ted Cruz and Congressmen Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar and Doug Collins — are quarantining themselves after learning they had contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, or coronavirus, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington last month. Two of them had some exposure to Mr. Trump after the conference. Read more here.

MARCH 10 8:51 a.m. — After calling off South by Southwest on Friday, Austin and Travis County leaders are taking another look at future events due to coronavirus concerns. The Travis County Commissioners Court is expected to meet Tuesday morning to talk about the fate of Rodeo Austin, which attracts at least 200,000 people during the two-week event. The event is set to start on March 14, but that could change. Read more here.

MARCH 10 8:46 a.m. — Stocks are surging on Wall Street following the market's worst day since the financial crisis of 2008. The Dow jumped nearly 800 points, or 3.3%, making up less than half of its plunge from the day before. Overseas markets were also higher. Read more here.

MARCH 10 8:11 a.m. — Paid sick leave: As coronavirus cases continue to rise, some U.S. legislatures want to make sure every worker has paid sick leave. Emergency paid sick leave legislation has been considered to provide paid sick days immediately to workers in light of the coronavirus crisis and in preparation for future public health emergencies. Read more here.

MARCH 10 6:56 a.m. — Italy enters its first day under a nationwide lockdown after a government decree extended restrictions on movement from the hard-hit north to the rest of the country. Panic buying erupted, prompting the government to assure citizens that supermarkets will remain open and stocked.

Credit: APTN
Residents in the Italian capital formed long queues at supermarkets to stockpile food on Monday night, after Premier Giuseppe Conte put the entire country on lockdown to combat the coronavirus

As the crisis deepened in Italy, there were more signs of normalcy returning to China, where President Xi Jinping’ made his first trip to the virus’ epicenter of Wuhan. 

MARCH 10 6:42 a.m. — Global stock markets are rebounding from record-setting declines. Sentiment was helped somewhat after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would ask for a tax cut and other steps to ease the pain of the spreading coronavirus outbreak. The gains follow the biggest one-day drop for Wall Street and many European indexes since the 2008 financial crisis. 

MARCH 10 6:35 a.m. — Five people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Virginia, state health officials said. The latest cases include the wife of a Fairfax man in his 80s who tested positive after returning from a cruise on the Nile River, the Virginia Department of Health said in a news release late Monday.

MARCH 10 5:37 a.m. — Pearl Jam says it is postponing the North American leg of its Gigaton world tour because of concerns over the new coronavirus. Read more here.

MARCH 10 4:37 a.m. — Xi visits virus' epicenter as fears of recession grip world. China’s president visited the center of the virus outbreak as Italy begins a sweeping travel ban and people worldwide brace for the possibility of recession. President Xi Jinping’s trip to Wuhan came as parts of his country are returning to normalcy, and is a sign that the threat is diminishing in China as the virus spreads west.

MARCH 10 4:29 a.m. — About 2,000 on virus-hit cruise ship still await disembarkation. Thousands of passengers aboard a cruise ship struck by the novel coronavirus are waiting anxiously Tuesday for their chance to leave the vessel, even if means being shipped to military bases for weeks of quarantine. After days of being forced to idle off the Northern California coast, the Grand Princess docked Monday in Oakland with some 3,500 passengers and crew aboard. Several hundred were released from the ship, including some requiring hospital care and a group of Canadians who were flying home.

MARCH 10 3:20 a.m. — A lot of people stand to lose if Olympics are canceled by coronavirus. For now, the International Olympic Committee says the games are on, but depending on how well contained the threat is 4 1/2 months from now when the Games are supposed to open, that could change. Read more here.

MARCH 10 12:21 a.m. — Pre-market trading shows Wall Street is set to open with at least a partial bounce back from Monday's 2,000-point Dow Jones selloff -- the largest point drop in history. It comes after President Donald Trump announced efforts aimed at stabilizing economic concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.

MARCH 9 10:56 p.m. — The Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals may need to be postponed to October due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports. If they can't, they may be canceled. Read more here.

MARCH 9 10:04 p.m. — All in-person classes at Ohio State University are suspended until March 30 over concerns about the coronavirus. Similar decisions have been made at college campuses across the country.

MARCH 9 8:48 p.m. — A Dell employee returning to India from Austin, Texas, has tested positive for the coronavirus, KVUE confirmed Monday. Read more here.

MARCH 9 6:48 p.m. — On-going: Rice canceled in-person classes and undergrad teaching labs this week amid concerns about the coronavirus. The campus remains open and scheduled events with fewer than 100 people are still happening. Tap here for the latest from Rice.

MARCH 9 6:39 p.m. — Senator Sanders goes after President Trump over coronavirus: "Donald Trump does not have a natural ability to understand the coronavirus, and his reckless statements are confusing people in this country and all over the world," Sanders said at a roundtable discussion on Monday. "This is going to impact economies all over the world. And I think this is, obviously, a difficult issue. But it would certainly help if the world and the people of our own country had confidence that the administration of the United States of America, that our government, was making decisions based on science."

MARCH 9 6:36 p.m. — Update from HISD: Out of an abundance of caution, the Houston Independent School District said several individuals have been placed on a 14-day self-quarantine. The district did not specify if these individuals are teachers, administrators or students, but said the individuals either recently returned from a country on the CDC travel warning list or they are closely related to someone who did. Read more updates here.

MARCH 9 5:15 p.m. — 'Kind of like walking on the moon': Grand Princess passenger from Texas talks about unprecedented situation off the coast of California. Kathleen Reed is one of eight people from Granbury and one of the 3,500-or-so passengers on board the Grand Princess cruise ship, which had been circling off the coast of California for days. The reason? COVID-19. Read/watch the full story here.

MARCH 9 4:05 p.m. — Because cancer patients are uniquely vulnerable to coronavirus, MD Anderson Cancer Center is screening patients and visitors and limiting visitation. View the latest hospital policies here.

MARCH 9 1:45 p.m. — Houston-area education unions are calling on districts to take all the necessary steps to combat the coronavirus. On Monday, several unions, including a custodial union, asked the Houston Independent School District for extra time in sanitizing classrooms and school buses to fight off the spread of the virus. Read more here.

For older headlines, visit this page.


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Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild. 

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk. 

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed. 

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Stay up to date on coronavirus

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus 

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members 
  • Use different utensils and dishes 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, hot your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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