For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.
The novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in industries around the world — from tech and sports to movies and music — as well as in politics. Many companies have shut factories and banned business-related travel; major cultural institutions like New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art have closed; political rallies have been canceled; and major tech industry events like the E3 gaming show, Facebook's F8, the Geneva Motor Show, Google I/O and Mobile World Congress have been called off.
March 11, the same day the WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic, brought news that the NBA will suspend the remainder of its season. Other cultural events like the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami have been postponed.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, emerged in the Wuhan region of China's Hubei province late last year and has symptoms similar to those of pneumonia. It was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, with Chinese scientists linking the disease to a family of viruses that includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). The disease has killed more than 4,700 people, and more than 127,000 people have been infected around the world.
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Here's how the outbreak is affecting some of the biggest names and events in tech, sports and entertainment.
- On March 11, the NBA decided to suspend the rest of the 2019-2020 season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Major League Soccer also made the call to suspend the season on March 12 as it "continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials."
- Several major Division I conferences in the NCAA, including the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and American Athletic Conference, said on March 12 that they would cancel their respective conference tournaments this week. Next week's March Madness tournament is still slated to take place, though games will be played without fans due to coronavirus fears.
- On March 12, the NHL joined the list of leagues suspending their season. The MLB said it was suspending spring training games and will delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks.
Cultural events and institutions
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York said on March 12 that it would temporarily close.
- The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was pushed back to October, and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami was postponed until next year.
- On March 12, WonderCon Anaheim, which was slated to take place in April, was postponed.
- In February, Disney temporarily closed its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong due to the coronavirus. The move was estimated to cost the company nearly $175 million.
- On March 12, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state public health officials called for canceling or postponing gatherings with 250 or more people until the end of March, as part of an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The move doesn't apply to situations like school attendance, work or essential public transportation. In a press conference, Newsom said the move doesn't include Disneyland.
- Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders canceled rallies leading up to primary elections in several states.
- Canceled its F8 developer conference, the company's biggest event of the year at which CEO Mark Zuckerberg updates the world on Facebook's developments and challenges; will hold local gatherings for developers and online events instead.
- Curtailed employee travel to China.
- Canceled a marketing summit scheduled for early March, which was expected to draw 4,000 people.
- Is giving the WHO free ads in order to provide health information.
- Expects delays in production of its Oculus VR headset.
- Banned ads that promise a coronavirus cure.
- Withdrew from the SXSW festival.
- Announced that a contractor in its Seattle offices has tested positive for coronavirus.
- Reportedly closed its Seattle office until March 9, with employees being encouraged to work from home at least until March 31.
- Will continue to pay hourly workers who can't do their jobs remotely.
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- Said it will miss its quarterly revenue guidance because of the effects of the coronavirus.
- Temporarily shuttered all of its 42 stores in mainland China, one of its biggest and most important markets; closed its corporate offices and contact centers in China.
- Forced to seek alternative sources for parts after suppliers in Wuhan closed because of the outbreak in that city.
- Reportedly warned retail stores that replacements for badly damaged iPhones will be in short supply.
- CEO Tim Cook has given most of his company's global workforce permission to work from home. The company has also reportedly restricted travel to Italy, China and South Korea, and is deep cleaning offices and stores.
- Reportedly confirmed that an employee of its Cork, Ireland campus has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation.
- Reportedly pulled out of SXSW festival.
- Many Apple retailers in New York City had reportedly run out of iPhone 11 devices as of March 6.
- Temporarily closing all its offices in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Restricted business travel to China and Hong Kong.
- Told employees with immediate family members returning from China to work from home for at least 14 days.
- Kept European offices open even though an employee in Zurich had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
- Canceled its Google News Initiative Summit scheduled for late April in Sunnyvale, California.
- Changed annual its cloud conference, which drew 30,000 attendees last year, to a digital-only event.
- Will continue to pay hourly workers who can't do their jobs remotely.
- Canceled its annual I/O developer conference, which was set to take place May 12-14 in Mountain View, California.
- Google is restricting visitors to its offices in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, canceling all in-person job interviews and telling Korean and Japanese employees to work from home, Google confirmed March 9.
- Google announced on March 10 a COVID-19 fund to cover paid sick leave for all temporary staff and vendors globally who have potential coronavirus symptoms or can't come into work because they're quarantined.
- Google confirmed recommending March 10 that all North American employees work from home.
Coronavirus in pictures: Scenes from around the world 39 Photos
- Announced it's "recommending" all Seattle, Puget Sound area and San Francisco Bay Area employees who are "in a job that can be done from home should do so through March 25." Company president Brad Smith also said it'll continue to pay its hourly campus workers their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced.
- Warned investors that revenue in the business segment that includes its Windows operating system and Surface devices would likely miss earlier forecasts.
- On March 11, mandated all employees worldwide to work from home.
- Pulled out of SXSW, where CEO Jack Dorsey was to have given a keynote address.
- Suspended all non-critical business travel and events for employees.
- CEO Jack Dorsey had originally planned to spend a few months in Africa in 2020 but said March 5 that he's reevaluating those plans "in light of COVID-19."
- Twitter confirmed March 6 that its Seattle office had been closed for deep cleaning after an employee was "advised by their doctor that they likely have COVID-19." The employee hasn't been in the office for several weeks.
- Will continue to pay hourly workers who can't do their jobs remotely.
- Removed more than 1 million listings for items claiming to cure or defend against the coronavirus, according to a report from Reuters.
- Removed thousands of items from merchants for price gouging.
- Said an employee at its Seattle headquarters has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and is now in quarantine.
- Told Seattle area employees to work from home if possible until the end of March.
- Withdrew from SXSW festival.
- Dell has reportedly told attendees of its 2020 tech conference that it's been moved to "a virtual setting" due to coronavirus concerns. Keynotes and some sessions will be online, according to the note. Dell Technologies World had been scheduled to go from May 4-7 in Las Vegas. Dell didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
- Pulled out of the SXSW festival.
- In early February told its employees not to come back to work at its offices in Shenzhen, China, until further notice.
- Plans to have its factories operating at normal capacity by the end of March, according to a report from Bloomberg.
- Will allow guests to cancel reservations without penalty if they've booked in China through April 1.
- Offered a new program called "More Flexible Reservations" that allows travelers to cancel eligible reservations without being charged, and requires hosts to refund the reservation regardless of any previous contracted cancellation policy. Airbnb's service fees for trips booked through June 1 will be refundable with travel coupons.
- Temporarily suspended roughly 240 user accounts in Mexico to prevent the spread of coronavirus after those users had come in contact with two drivers possibly exposed to the virus.
- Announced any driver or Uber Eats delivery person who's diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will get financial assistance for up to 14 days while the account is on hold.
- When ordering Uber Eats delivery, customers now have the option of leaving a note in the Uber Eats app asking the delivery person to leave the food at the door, rather than have an in-person transaction.
- Created a support team to help public health authorities in their response to the epidemic. The company said this team may temporarily suspend the accounts of riders or drivers confirmed to have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19.
- Strongly recommended employees to work from home in several countries where the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing, including the US, Canada, Japan, Europe and South Korea. The recommendation extends through April 6.
- Encouraged employees at its San Francisco headquarters to work from home after one team member was found to be "in contact with someone who was exposed to COVID-19."
- Has partnered with EO Products to distribute more than 200,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies to drivers. The company also said in mid-March that it would "provide funds to drivers should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under individual quarantine by a public health agency."
- Closed its new plant in Shanghai for a planned week and a half after the Chinese government told private companies to temporarily cease operations.
- Warned investors that the shutdown may "slightly" affect first-quarter profits.
- Reportedly said production of its popular Switch handset in China was "seeing some impact from the coronavirus."
- IBM tweeted March 9 it's encouraging employees who live and work in New York City or Westchester County to work from home until further notice if their job permits. Both areas are subject to coronavirus community spread.
- Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on March 5 asked all employees based in Seattle, Kirkland and Bellevue, Washington, to work from home for the entirety of March.
- Cloudflare is offering its Cloudflare for Teams, a suite of security tools, to small businesses affected by the coronavirus for free for six months. It's also helped launch an industry effort, called OpenforBusiness.org, to support small companies.
- The company is letting employees in affected regions work remotely.
- Cisco is giving governments, health care providers, businesses, educational institutions and nonprofits free use of its Webex collaboration and video calling tools.
- The telecommunications company is also offering security products like Cisco Umbrella, Duo Security and Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client to remote employees with free trials at no extra charge through July 1.
- Discord is easing the limit on its Go Live streaming service from 10 people at a time to 50, so teachers can conduct classes, co-workers can collaborate and groups can meet remotely.
- This will last for "as long as it's critically needed," CEO Jason Citron said in a blog post. He also warned that demand for the service is likely to surge, and it may suffer performance issues.
Tech Industry events
Several prominent industry events were canceled or revamped because of concerns over the coronavirus. They include:
- E3, the biggest gaming event of the year that was scheduled to open on June 9 in LA. Some exhibitors, including Microsoft and Ubisoft, will hold online events instead.
- Mobile World Congress, an annual industry gathering that had been scheduled to open on Feb. 24 in Barcelona.
- Facebook's March marketing summit and its F8 developer conference.
- The Geneva Motor Show, one of the largest car shows of the year, after the Swiss government banned all events of 1,000 people or more.
- The annual Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. Instead the company says some content will be offered online.
- Google I/O, the company's biggest event of the year, where the tech giant announces its newest products and initiatives.
- Chipmaker Nvidia decided to make its GPU Technology Conference, typically held in San Jose and attracting an audience of about 10,000 people, a digital-only event with a webcast planned March 24.
- Snap, the parent company of messaging app Snapchat, has decided to make its annual Snap Partner Summit an online-only event with a keynote scheduled for April 2.
Also, the annual Game Developers Conference, originally scheduled to take place March 16 to 20 in San Francisco, has been postponed to an unspecified date after exhibitors such as Amazon, Microsoft, Epic Games, Sony, EA and Facebook dropped out.
SXSW, which was slated to take place in March, was also cancelled earlier this month.
CNET's Corinne Reichert, Ben Fox Rubin, Jackson Ryan, Shara Tibken, Lynn La, Sean Szymkowski, Dara Kerr, Queenie Wong, Oscar Gonzalez, Dan Ackerman, Stephen Shankland, Chris Paukert, Erin Carson, Edward Moyer, Sean Keane and Abrar Al-Heeti contributed to this report.