Virus update: Disease clusters grow, campuses empty as U.S. tries to contain outbreaks

Seven weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S., alarming clusters of the coronavirus swelled on both coasts Tuesday, with 70 cases now tied to a biotech conference in Boston and infections turning up at 10 nursing homes in hard-hit Washington state.

Airlines are cutting capacity, people are working from home, major public events that raise millions of dollars for local communities have been canceled, including this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston.

Here’s what’s happened in the last 24 hours:

First, some new numbers: South Dakota confirmed its first 5 coronavirus cases, and 1st death. New Jersey officials confirmed the state’s 1st death in a case of the new coronavirus. Oregon health officials said Tuesday that a 15th person in the state has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders canceled campaign events in Ohio amid coronavirus concerns there.The Dow gained back more than 1,100 points. Stocks surged as hopes build for a Trump administration response to economic threats from the virus.Iran said the virus has killed 54 more people, raising death toll to 291 amid 8,042 cases in Islamic Republic.Italy said its coronavirus infections have topped 10,000 and deaths have risen to 631 overall.In the U.S., the Ivy League canceled men’s and women’s basketball tournaments because of concerns about spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Spanish soccer league said matches in two divisions will be played without fans for the next two weeks.

Those over age 60 and with a serious medical condition — including lung or heart problems, kidney disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system — are particularly vulnerable to the new virus. In others, symptoms are mild.

Health authorities urge people to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap, stay home if they feel ill and avoid touching their face with unwashed hands.

For full reports on developments in the past 24 hours, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for a photo gallery of key events and live updates from verified social media accounts.

Photos: Virus impact deepens worldwide

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