Feb 27, 2020 - Health

Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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State Department warns Americans against cruise ship travel

The Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying 21 people infected with the novel coronavirus, about 25 miles off the coast of San Francisco on Sunday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department issued an advisory Sunday warning U.S. citizens against traveling on cruise ships after a second vessel carrying American citizens was impacted by cases of the novel coronavirus.

Details: "U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship," the statement warns. "CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment."

Go deeperArrowMar 9, 2020 - Health

Golden Princess held off New Zealand as passengers quarantined over coronavirus

The Golden Princess in Sydney Harbour in 2017. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Passengers on another Princes Cruises ship have been prevented from disembarking over the novel coronavirus, this time off the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) officials confirmed at a news conference Sunday.

The big picture: New Zealand has introduced some of the world's toughest border restrictions to combat the virus.

Go deeperArrowMar 15, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus: Columbia University the latest to cancel in-person classes

Columbia University's Low Memorial Library in New York City. Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images


Columbia University announced Sunday night it canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday and plans to hold remote lessons for the rest of the week after a member of its community was quarantined following exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The Ivy League school is the latest educational institution to suspend in-person classes and move studying online in response to the outbreak as the virus continues to spread across the U.S., which now has more than 500 cases, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

Go deeperArrowMar 9, 2020 - Health