The United States announced Friday it would be taking new measures to combat a coronavirus outbreak, including denying entry to foreign nationals who had recently visited China and imposing 14-day quarantines on American citizens returning from mainland China.

More than 11,800 people have been diagnosed with the rapidly spreading virus. More than 250 have died, all of them in China. The State Department told Americans not to travel there and advised those who are already there to consider leaving.

Following a quarantine order issued Friday, which government officials said was last used in the 1960s, evacuees held at a base in California will have their movements tightly controlled for 14 days after they left China because health experts are still uncertain about how readily the virus spreads.

Here is what we know:

●The United States has issued a “Level 4” travel advisory for China, its highest level of caution, over the rapidly spreading outbreak.

●Beginning Sunday, the United States will funnel all flights from China to the United States through seven airports.

●Americans returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days will face a mandatory quarantine. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days.

●The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global public health emergency, requiring states to ramp up their responses.

●Are you in isolation or quarantine because of the coronavirus? We want to hear your story.

1:40 a.m.
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Virginia’s Richmond Ballet recasts lead roles because the original dancers cannot travel from China

WASHINGTON — Xu Yan and Li Wentao of the National Ballet of China will no longer perform the lead roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in Richmond Ballet’s production of “Swan Lake” because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Due to widespread concerns regarding the coronavirus, both the Chinese and American governments have advised against travel between the countries; therefore, Xu Yan and Li Wentao are not able to come to Richmond at this time,” the ballet said Friday in a statement.

The show is scheduled for Feb. 14-16 at Dominion Energy Center. American Ballet Theatre dancers Sarah Lane and Cory Stearns will perform the roles of Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried at two performances, while Richmond Ballet dancers Cody Beaton and Fernando Sabino will fill in at another two performances.

Lane performed as Natalie Portman’s dance double in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ 2010 film “Black Swan.”

12:50 a.m.
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Airlines are taking away amenities such as hot meals and blankets amid growing coronavirus concerns

WASHINGTON — In the wake of the coronavirus’s spread, airlines are temporarily modifying amenities on flights coming from China, hoping to cut down on potentially infectious interactions between passengers and cabin crew members.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways and Taiwan’s China Airlines, along with its subsidiaries Mandarin Airlines and Tigerair Taiwan, are among the carriers implementing changes in response to the outbreak, as first reported by Reuters.

Since Monday, China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines reportedly have stopped distributing hot meals, cloth napkins, blankets, pillows, towels, magazines and newspapers on flights between the self-governing island of Taiwan and China (including Hong Kong). Passengers may get drinks and disposable headphones on request. Tigerair Taiwan has halted duty-free services and removed all items from seat-back pockets, except for safety information and sick bags.

On Wednesday, Cathay Pacific Airways announced it would take similar precautions.

Read more here.

12:15 a.m.
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More than 11,800 cases are confirmed in China, health officials say

WASHINGTON — The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in China climbed to more than 11,800 on Saturday morning, Beijing time, according to that country’s health officials. The total includes 10 cases on the self-governing island of Taiwan.

The new figure is roughly nine times the number of confirmed cases in China a week ago. The outbreak began in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.

More than 250 deaths in China have been attributed to the coronavirus. No deaths have been reported in other countries.

11:30 p.m.
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Spain confirms its first case of the novel coronavirus

WASHINGTON — A person on the island of La Gomera, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, has that country’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, the national health ministry announced late Friday. The patient is being kept in isolation and is among five people whom health officials are observing after they came into contact with a person in Germany who has the virus.

10:50 p.m.
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Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner says U.S. policies should focus on preventing virus from spreading

WASHINGTON — Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said authorities should assume the virus is already circulating in the United States at low levels, “so policies focused on trying to prevent its introduction may have limited impact.”

Gottlieb stressed that the goal should be trying to prevent the virus that is already here and undetected from developing into larger outbreaks. Doctors, for example, should be urged to scrutinize very unusual or severe cases of viral pneumonia, he said, adding, “We shouldn’t rely on travel history alone to tip us off to potential cases because some spread may already be occurring.”

10:45 p.m.
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A top European music school suspended students from East Asia over coronavirus concerns

ROME — The prestigious Santa Cecilia music school here on Wednesday singled out students from East Asia, barring them from class over coronavirus concerns.

The students learned of the move in a message from the conservatory’s director, Roberto Giuliani, sent to faculty members, who forwarded it by email and WhatsApp to those affected.

The message — which used the term “Oriental,” an adjective considered derogatory when used to describe people — asked East Asian students not to show up for at least a week “due to the well-known events related to the Chinese epidemic” and to undergo medical examinations before readmittance.

The announcement caught many students by surprise. Authorities had yet to confirm a case of the virus in Italy.

Read more here.

10:35 p.m.
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California man is seventh person in U.S. diagnosed with coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Health officials confirmed a seventh case of the novel coronavirus in the United States, this one in Northern California, where a man who recently returned from a trip to Wuhan was diagnosed Friday.

The man returned to Santa Clara County on Jan. 26 and “self-isolated” at home before seeking care, according to Sara Cody, the county’s director of public health. She said he is not ill enough to be hospitalized, so he remains isolated at home.

Cody said health officials are investigating the man’s contacts with other people, but she said he has had very limited contact with individuals outside his family since returning home.

This is the third confirmed case to be reported in California and the first in the northern portion of the state.

10:25 p.m.
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Cruise lines ban anyone who has recently been to China as coronavirus fears spread

WASHINGTON — Cruise lines are putting strict measures in place amid concerns about the novel coronavirus, including preventing anyone who has been in China — with the exception of Hong Kong in some cases — in the previous 14 days from getting on board.

The cruise industry’s trade association said late Thursday that its members, which include the world’s largest operators, had suspended crew movements from China and would deny boarding to any crew member or guest who traveled from or through the mainland during the prior two weeks.

Passengers can be screened a number of ways, including questionnaires and checks of their travel documents to show where they have recently visited. Some cruise lines will also put mandatory health screening measures in place for some or all guests before they board.

9:55 p.m.
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Public health officials worry other health crises could worsen as the coronavirus outbreak stretches on

WASHINGTON — As global and national responses start to kick into gear to tackle the novel coronavirus, public health experts worry about the longterm impact of the outbreak on other diseases, which could miss out on attention and resources.

“If this persists for more than a few weeks, we should anticipate that other public health activities would receive less attention,” said Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory University Hospital’s Serious Communicable Diseases Unit. “There are only so many people out there [working on these fields]. People are being pulled from different divisions.”

There is, for example, still an ongoing Ebola crisis in eastern Congo. This is the second outbreak of the deadly disease in less than a decade. During an outbreak in West Africa from 2014-2016 — the largest recorded yet — Ribner said there was a notable rise of other diseases in the region.

So many resources were being devoted to the Ebola outbreak, he said, that addressing other communicable diseases and areas of concern such as prenatal care for women became of secondary concern.

9:21 p.m.
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To combat coronavirus, U.S. to deny entry to foreign nationals who recently visited China and quarantine some returning Americans

WASHINGTON — Declaring a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the president has imposed a temporary ban on entry for foreign nationals who have been to China in the last 14 days.

Americans returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days will face a mandatory quarantine. Other Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days.

White House officials said starting Sunday, they would begin funneling all flights from China to the United States through seven airports, where there would be enhanced screening.

White House officials at a briefing on Friday said the risk to Americans was “low” and they wanted to keep it that way.

White House officials said they were taking the enhanced steps because it has been found that coronavirus can spread by people who show no symptoms, making it much harder to contain.

8:41 p.m.
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Canada confirms fourth coronavirus case in woman who initially tested negative

TORONTO — A fourth person in Canada has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Canadian public health officials said Friday.

The woman, who is a student in her 20s at Western University in London, Ontario, returned from a trip to Wuhan on Jan. 23. Her parents were sick, but their illnesses were thought to be “mild,” so they weren’t tested for the virus at a hospital there, said Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health for the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

The woman was not symptomatic on her flight home and wore the “equivalent of a surgical mask” out of an abundance of caution, said Mackie. She felt unwell the following day and went to London’s University Hospital. She was tested for the virus and is in isolation at home, where she is “perfectly well now,” Mackie said. She has not been out in public since returning from China and recovered after three days, he added.

Tests for the coronavirus run in Ontario came back negative, but some of the five tests run at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Manitoba came back as “weakly positive,” with low levels of virus in the sample, said David Williams, the chief medical officer of health for Ontario. She was then switched from a negative case to a positive one.

Officials would not provide any details about the woman’s flight because she was not symptomatic while traveling and they continue to assert that the virus cannot be transmitted if a person is not experiencing symptoms.

The patient with Canada’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was discharged from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center on Friday and will remain in self-isolation at home with his wife, who is also suffering from the virus.

Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, said a patient must test negative for the virus on two tests at least 24 hours apart to be discharged from the hospital.

7:55 p.m.
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Diarrhea could be less common, potentially infectious, feature of the novel coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Scientists know that the novel coronavirus infects the respiratory system. But a subset of infected patients have also reported diarrhea, leaving scientists unclear as to the cause and consequence of this gastrointestinal discomfort.

Diarrhea similarly presented in some patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a closely related coronavirus that caused a global public health crisis in 2003. Scientists even determined that the SARS virus could be shed in stools, making sewage a potential infection vector, said Davidson Hamer, a professor of global health and medicine at the Boston University School of Public Health and School of Medicine.

“SARS could infect the intestinal lining,” he said. But “it’s too early to tell” whether that’s also the case with this novel coronavirus, he cautioned.

“Diarrhea may be a symptom, and based on what we know from SARS, there could be shedding of the virus in the GI [gastrointestinal] tract, but we don’t know that for sure,” Hamer said.

Scientists know much more about other viruses that infect the gastrointestinal tract, such as the highly contagious norovirus and others like it, colloquially grouped as the stomach flu. Nausea and vomiting are the most common norovirus symptoms, followed by others such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and loose stool.

There aren’t any vaccines against SARS or this novel coronavirus, but there are for the viruses that cause the flu. Public health officials highly recommend the flu vaccine each year to protect against it.

Antibiotics target bacteria, so they don’t work against viruses. However, bacteria can develop in a respiratory tract damaged by viruses. For infections such as pneumonia doctors may recommend antibiotics along with antiviral medicines.

7:15 p.m.
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Market drops further, with Dow sliding more than 2 percent

The Dow Jones industrial average on Friday plunged more than 575 points, or about 2 percent, as investors fear the spreading coronavirus that has brought China to a near-standstill will stall global growth.

The Dow erased its 2020 gains and was off to its worst start of a year since 2016. The broad Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was barely hanging on to a gain for January. The Nasdaq composite index remained up a comfortable 2.3 percent for the year with two hours of trading remaining on Friday.

The deadly virus presents a huge threat to the global economy, as it affects China’s workforce and dampens its powerful manufacturing industry. It is forcing global firms with roots in the country to freeze operations and seek ways to reorient supply chains.

6:55 p.m.
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United joins American, Delta in canceling flights to China

WASHINGTON — United became the third major U.S. carrier to halt flights to China, citing risks linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement Friday afternoon, the airline said that it will suspend all operations between its hub cities in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai beginning Feb. 6.

Until then, the airline will continue to operate select flights to ensure its U.S.-based employees and customers, are able to return home. However, the airline will continue operating one daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong.

United will operate its last flight from China to the United States on Feb. 5. The last flights from the U.S. to China will be February 4. The airline said it expects to resume service March 28 but will continue to monitor the situation.

Earlier on Friday, Delta and American announced they would not longer offer service to China. American began suspending flights on Friday; Delta said it will halt flights in early February. Many international carriers, including British Airways, Air France, Lion Air and Lufthansa group had previously announced they were canceling flights to China.

All three U.S. carriers had previously said they would reduce the number of flights to China, but on Friday they said the U.S. Department of State’s decision to increase its China travel advisory to Level 4, its highest level of caution, prompted them to cancel service altogether.

“As always, the safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops,” United said in a statement.