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Latest coronavirus updates: Wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tests positive for coronavirus

Here is a look at the latest COVID-19 headlines from around Houston, Texas, and the world for Thursday, March 12.

HOUSTON — We are continuing to track the latest headlines and updates regarding the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

>> This blog has been archived. READ THE LATEST UPDATES HERE, TAP HERE <<

A female in Houston is now the city's third COVID-19 case, it was announced Wednesday night. We've now learned she also visited the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, although Houston health officials say they do not believe she spread the virus on her March 8 visit. More info below in the live updates.

Follow this page for the latest updates throughout the day.

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 This blog has been archived. READ THE LATEST UPDATES HERE, TAP HERE <<

MARCH 12 8 p.m. — The wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The prime minister had tweeted earlier on Thursday that he is also self-isolating and monitoring until Sophie Grégoire Trudeau's results returned. Now, she's tested positive with COVID-19.

Trudeau's office said Thursday night that his wife is feeling well and will remain in isolation.

MARCH 12 7:47 p.m. The PGA Tour first said there would be no fans. Now there will be no players. In a late night decision, the PGA Tour canceled the rest of The Players Championship and said it would not play the next three weeks. Read more here.

MARCH 12 7:45 p.m.  Disney World announces its park will be closed for the remainder of March along with Disneyland Paris. Disney Cruise lines will suspend all departures from March 14 through the end of the month.

Here's a list of school closures:

These districts announced today they are closed for an extended period out of an "abundance of caution" and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most districts are canceling all classes from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20, including all school-related and after-school activities. Please click on your school district below or click here for specific information from your district.


MARCH 12 6:31 p.m.  Cirque du Soleil is canceling its ALEGRIA show that was scheduled to run in Houston from tonight until April 12. Organizers are asking ticket holders to keep their tickets until they receive further instructions.

MARCH 12 6:29 p.m.  The city of Conroe issues a disaster declaration.

MARCH 12 6:17 p.m.  The XFL is canceling the rest of its season, the league announced tonight. All ticket holders will receive refunds or credit towards future games, the league said in a statement.

MARCH 12 6:17 p.m.  The Montgomery County Jail is suspending all visitation until further notice "out of concern for our inmates and the general public." The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office reports that family and friends of inmates can communicate with them via phone or through the mail.

MARCH 12 5:50 p.m.  Spring Break will start a day early for all of Houston ISD, Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan said Thursday afternoon. Classes will resume Tuesday, March 31.

MARCH 12 5:17 p.m.  The Houston Symphony is canceling all its concerts the rest of March "in order to protect the health of audiences, musicians and staff."

MARCH 12 3:58 p.m.  Cy-Fair ISD joins the list of school districts that will close amid coronavirus concerns. The district noted that there are no confirmed cases within the district, but it will close from March 13 at 4 p.m. until March 22. The closure includes the Berry Center.

All before- and after-school care will be canceled during that time, including field trips and extra-curricular activities.

District officials said they plan to resume classes on March 23 but are monitoring the COVID-19 situation with local, state and federal officials.

MARCH 12 3:50 p.m.  Fort Bend ISD is canceling all classes for two weeks following spring break. 

"This is not an easy decision to make as the situation is changing minute by minute," Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre said. "But we understand how important it is for families to have as much notice as possible to make adjustments to their schedules and child care plans."

All after-school, extra-curricular and district-sponsored events are also canceled, except for UIL events, during that two-week period. 

The district said it's working on a plan to have meals available for students who are most in need.

The district said it plans to finalize "online learning logistics and training for staff" while students are out. 

MARCH 12 3:41 p.m.  All classes at Galena Park ISD have been canceled from March 16-22. All school-related activities, events, competitions and practices are canceled, too, the district announced. District officials said there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the district is acting out of an abundance of caution. 

MARCH 12 3:20 p.m.  Disneyland and California Adventure Park are closing Saturday, March 14, through the end of the month. Downtown Disney will remain open. Disneyland Resort said it will work with guests to change or cancel their visits. Read more here.

MARCH 12 3:20 p.m.  The NCAA has canceled all remaining winter and spring championships, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments. In a statement, the organization said, "This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities."

MARCH 12 3:19 p.m. — The Alley Theater has canceled all its performances through March 31 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

MARCH 12 2:33 p.m. — Montgomery County health officials confirmed its third presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The case is a man in his 40s who resides in northwest Montgomery County and his only travel is to Florida, officials said. Read more here.

MARCH 12 2:32 p.m. — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says coronavirus containment and mitigation are primary concerns. Additionally, the city of Houston is not disconnecting water through April since washing hands is paramount. Also, Asiatown Chamber donating 20,000 masks for first responders.

In regard to local testing, Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department said more machines have been ordered to conduct testing and more people have been trained to operate those machines. Persse said, “it’s not a simple test.”

Persse also said that research labs at local hospitals and medical schools are gearing up for testing and he expects them to be ready “within days.” Commercial labs are preparing for testing capability, too.

Dr. Umair Shah, the executive director of the Harris County Public Health system, stressed for everyone to use common sense to help overcome the virus. Shah said we hit a milestone in the past 24-36 hours in recognizing the community spread of the virus. “Now the time is for all of us to do what we can do individually … (and) make sure people use common sense.”

MARCH 12 2:16 p.m. — Major League Baseball has announced that spring training games are canceled. The MLB season to be delayed by at least two weeks. Read more here.

MARCH 12 2:12 p.m. — The UIL State High School Basketball Tournament in San Antonio has been suspended until further notice. The suspension will take effect following the conclusion of the 3A session this afternoon.  

MARCH 12 2:04 p.m. — Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo gives new recommendations for COVID-19: Cancel large gatherings with 200-plus people, seniors should avoid large gatherings, people with pre-existing conditions avoid large gatherings, employers should let people work from home if possible and schools not canceled.

MARCH 12 1:58 p.m. — Jury duty for all Harris County district courts has been canceled from March 13-20. If you've received a jury summons for those dates, you don't have to appear and you don't need to reschedule. The Harris County Board of District Court judges will meet every Thursday to determine if an extension is needed for the following weeks.

MARCH 12 12:55 p.m. — A female in Houston is now the city's third COVID-19 case, it was announced Wednesday night. We're now getting more information about that case, including details that she also visited the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Houston health officials do not believe she spread the virus on her March 8 visit, however. Read more here.

MARCH 12 12:42 p.m. — From Harris County Public Health: "Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is reporting an additional presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Harris County. This is the 6th case of COVID-19 and the 4th presumptive positive within #HarrisCounty, outside the city of Houston."

MARCH 12 12:30 p.m. — The National Hockey League decided to pause its season. Read more in the updates here.

MARCH 12 12:01 p.m. — Judge Mark Keough signed a declaration of local disaster for Montgomery County "in response to the current and anticipated needs to respond to the COVID-19 crisis."

RELATED: Montgomery County confirms 2nd presumptive positive case

The judge also ordered the following:

1. Any event sponsored or permitted by Montgomery County shall cease.  
2. Events greater than 250 persons shall cease at all public facilities across Montgomery County.
3. Any event greater than 250 persons held at private facilities is urged to cancel but should make those determinations within their organizations and with staff of those facilities.
4. Events of 250 persons or more that would include any population at severe risk of severe illness should cease.  The population at the greatest risk is anyone over the age of 65 and/or those with severe medical conditions as defined by CDC guidelines.
5. Nursing homes and senior living centers should limit the visitation of the public within their facilities.  

MARCH 12 11:58 a.m. — More national sports news: The NHL announced that it has asked teams not to hold morning skates, practices or team meetings on Thursday, "given the uncertainty regarding the next steps regarding the coronavirus." Read more national/world updates here.

MARCH 12 11:58 a.m. — Viking Cruises has announced it will suspend all ocean and river cruises until May 1. Chairman Torstein Hagen announced the decision in a letter to Viking guests posted on its website.  Read more national/world updates here.

MARCH 12 11:02 a.m. — The American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship has been canceled, the University of Houston says. The UH Men's team was on the road, on I-45 near Corsicana when the word came down. Coach Sampson informed everyone on the bus, and the bus turned around, the team tweeted. Other conferences have canceled their tournaments, too. Read more here.

MARCH 12 10:54 a.m. — University of St. Thomas in Houston cancels class at noon today through Fri, Mar. 13. The campus remains open. Spring break next week. Classes move online on Mon, Mar 23. Read more school closures here.

MARCH 12 10:46 a.m.  — Big news from the soccer world: Major League Soccer announced Thursday it is suspending its season. Houston Dynamo says it is a 30-day delay. Read more here.

MARCH 12 10:44 a.m. — From Fort Bend County: "Today, I've signed a public health disaster declaration for Fort Bend County. We’ve also directed all jurisdictions to prioritize COVID-19 prep/response," County Judge KP George tweeted.

RELATED: The difference between an emergency health declaration and disaster declaration

MARCH 12 10:25 a.m. — According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for coronavirus. The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night after discovering Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Read more national/world updates here.

MARCH 12 10:14 a.m. — The release of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt's sequel to the horror film "A Quiet Place" has been delayed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

MARCH 12 9:52 a.m. — Montgomery County Public Health District can confirm Montgomery County’s second presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The woman, who is in her 40s, recently traveled to New Orleans. Tap here to read more.

MARCH 12 9:50 a.m. — HCC is extending its spring break for students by two days. Staff will still return as planned the Monday after spring break. Here are the details.

MARCH 12 9:04 a.m. — Update out of California: Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued sweeping, statewide “guidance” in response to the coronavirus pandemic, asking Californians to postpone all non-essential gatherings through the end of March, including even small social gatherings in places where people can't remain at least six feet apart.

MARCH 12 8:58 a.m. — Trading resumes after early circuit breaker: World markets are enduring violent swings. An early plunge of 7% on Wall Street triggered a trading halt as a sell-off slamming global markets continued. The Dow Jones industrials dropped more than 1,600 points, or 7%, the S&P 500 fell a similar amount.

MARCH 12 8:49 a.m. — Congress is shutting down the U.S. Capitol, House and Senate office buildings to the public until April 1 in reaction to COVID-19.

MARCH 12 8:38 a.m. — Trading halted after stock market plummets at the open. Dow Jones is down about 1,700 points right now, 7%. This is the second "circuit breaker" of the week, an automatic trigger that halts trading for 15 minutes in an attempt to calm the market. Read more here.

MARCH 12 8:10 a.m. — Carnival's Princess Cruise line confirms it will suspend global operations for 60 days. "We will take our fleet of 18 ships out of service and reset the environmental conditions onboard, incorporating all the great learnings from the world's public health experts" the company's president said in a video on Twitter. (The cruise line does not operate out of Galveston.)

Earlier this week, officials said there are about 3,500 people stuck on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California, and some of them are coming to San Antonio for quarantine.

MARCH 12 7:40 a.m. — President Donald Trump's campaign has canceled an event in Wisconsin next week because of the coronavirus, the AP reports. The “Catholics for Trump” event was scheduled March 19 in Milwaukee. Reelection campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh tweeted the cancellation was made “out of an abundance of caution because of the coronavirus outbreak.”

MARCH 12 7:37 a.m. — Real Madrid's soccer and basketball teams have been put in quarantine after one of the club's basketball players tested positive for the coronavirus, the AP reports. The Spanish club says its soccer team was affected because it shares training facilities with the basketball team.

MARCH 12 7:32 a.m. — Medical experts say you should contact your doctor right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms and you've possibly been exposed to the virus, but sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between having the new strain of the coronavirus, the flu or just allergies. Here's how to know the difference.

MARCH 12 6:51 a.m. — LIVE CHAT: What questions do you have about the coronavirus? Dr. Carl Vartian is here with Michelle Choi KHOU to answer your questions. Watch & chat live right now on the KHOU 11 Facebook page, tap here.

MARCH 12 5:55 a.m. — Houston update: Harris County toll roads have eliminated the "physical handling and exchange of cash on the toll road system" to reduce coronavirus exposure to drivers and employees. Find the details here.

MARCH 12 5:48 a.m. — World news: The flame for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was lit in Greece, Thursday. The traditional ceremony was muted by the coronavirus pandemic that may threaten whether the Games go forward in July. Read more here.

MARCH 12 5:25 a.m. — Then-and-now photos show Rome tourist attractions nearly deserted in outbreak. View more here.

Credit: AP
FILE - This combo of two images shows people walking around Rome's Trevi fountain at 9.48gmt on Monday, June 12, 2017, top, and at 13.00gmt on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

MARCH 12 5:16 a.m. — Cruise ships may ban 70-year-olds without doctor's note amid coronavirus: The top cruise line trade organization has submitted a plan to the White House to ban any person over the age of 70 from boarding a cruise ship unless they have a doctor's note indicating they are fit to travel, according to multiple reports. Read more here.

MARCH 12 4:28 a.m. — US Dept of State issues a "Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider Travel" statement -- "The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19.  Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions.  Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice." Read more here.

MARCH 12 4:25 a.m. — Wall Street futures headed into Thursday trading were down 5% as investors did not appear to be put at ease following President Donald Trump's address to the nation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. Dow futures were down 1,200 at one point this morning. Read more here.

MARCH 12 4:19 a.m. — Europeans are swallowing their disappointment and trying to come to terms with the idea that they are now locked out of the United States by the new anti-virus travel ban.  Read more about President Trump's decision here.

MARCH 12 4:14 a.m. — Update out of the Middle East: A spike in cases in the Gulf helped push infections in the Middle East for the new coronavirus past 10,000 cases on Thursday, with most infected people either in Iran or having recently traveled there. Countries in the region have imposed varying levels of restrictions on travel, from wholesale halting of all commercial flights in Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia banning travel to 39 countries.

MARCH 12 3:53 a.m. — Update from China: Chinese authorities have taken several people into custody as part of their investigation into the physical collapse of a coronavirus quarantine facility that killed 29 people. Officials said that preliminary investigations had shown “serious problems exist in the construction, renovation and examination and approval" of the Xinjia Hotel.

MARCH 11 9:48 p.m. — Houston update: 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. 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 9:05 p.m. — Airlines respond to the president's ban on European travlers: American and Delta Airlines are both making flight adjustments after President Trump announced a 30-day travel suspension between Europe and the U.S. over the coronavirus pandemic. 

Delta Airlines released the following statement to WFAA: 

"The safety and health of our customers and employees is always our highest priority. Delta has and will continue to quickly make adjustments to service, as needed, in response to government travel directives. More information on Delta’s response to the COVID-19 virus is available here."

American Airlines says it currently serves seven airports in five countries within the Schengen Area, including France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. President Trump's travel directive will impact 14 out of 15 daily flights.

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. Read more here.

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. Click here to read more.

MARCH 11 7 p.m. — Rodeo vendors are scrambling after the cancellation of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The cancellation comes with great financial loss for the performers, technicians, vendors and all rodeo/NRG Park workers.

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 4:53 p.m. — CBS News says two of its employees at its New York broadcast center have tested positive for the new coronavirus. Read more here.

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.

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. Here is what that means.

View older entries here


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. 

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be 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.

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, not 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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