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Coronavirus catch-up: Masters canceled, a faster test, and a China update

March 13, 2020, 4:43 PM UTC

The news surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is coming at a breathtaking pace. And even the most avid newshounds are having a hard time keeping up.

President Donald Trump will address the nation at 3 p.m. ET today to address efforts to contain the virus and, reportedly, declare a national emergency. That will certainly impact Wall Street in some fashion. 

As markets fluctuate like an out-of-control roller coaster and major tournaments and gatherings are canceled, postponed or thrown into limbo, it’s causing anxieties to flare and work habits to shift. Staying informed can help ease those to some degree. Here’s the latest on the pandemic and its impact on both businesses and nations.

U.S. gives ’emergency’ authorization to new Roche coronavirus test that’s 10 times faster

Roche Holding AG said it won emergency approval from the U.S. government for a highly automated coronavirus test, potentially speeding up the ability to test patients by a factor of 10.

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The Masters Golf Tournament suspended

Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, announced Friday that the tournament is being postponed indefinitely, saying “Unfortunately, the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread Coronavirus COVID-19 have led us to a decision that undoubtedly will be disappointing to many, although I am confident is appropriate under these unique circumstances.”

The Masters was set to begin April 9.

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China’s number of daily new coronavirus infections has fallen into the single digits

New infections of the coronavirus in China dropped to single digits for the first time since the country began reporting daily numbers in mid-January.

As of March 12, China has eight new cases and seven additional deaths, said the National Health Commission on Friday. The dramatic plunge to a single-digit increase—from the height of nearly 15,000 cases added in one day on Feb. 13—is another sign that viral outbreak has come under control at its epicenter for now, despite accelerating its spread in Europe and the U.S.

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Inside the White House meeting that led Trump to make his Oval Office coronavirus speech

Donald Trump sat in the Oval Office Wednesday before the biggest speech of his presidency, listening to his aides argue about whether barring Europeans from traveling to the U.S. would trigger a global depression.

The medical experts on his team were adamant: The best way to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus was to buy time by keeping Europeans out, they said, with the hope the virus may naturally ebb in the warmer weather, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, pushed back strongly, saying the economic cost would be steep.

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Gauze, test kits, viral drugs: As coronavirus ravages markets, it also mints billionaires

The COVID-19 wealth boom has spread across Asia, from producers of rapid-test kits to vaccine developers. It also has reached the West, boosting shares of San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology Inc., which is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health on coronavirus research.

The rise of these stocks may be a sign that investors desperate to find a bright spot in a gloomy global economy see no end in sight for the pandemic, with sustained demand for products used in fighting or treating the outbreak.

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Trump administration awarding two companies $1.3M for fast COVID-19 tests

President Donald Trump’s administration announced Friday it is awarding $1.3 million to two companies trying to develop rapid COVID-19 tests that could detect whether a person is positive for the new coronavirus within an hour.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it is awarding $679,000 to DiaSorin Molecular, of Cypress, California, and $598,000 to QIAGEN, of Germantown, Maryland, to accelerate development of their tests.

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Alex Jones must stop selling fake coronavirus cures, orders New York Attorney General

New York’s attorney general is demanding that conspiracy monger Alex Jones stop hawking phony coronavirus treatments.

Attorney General Letita James’ office sent a cease-and-desist letter Thursday saying it’s “extremely concerned” by Jones’ claims that toothpaste, dietary supplements, creams, and other products sold on his website can prevent and cure the disease, known as COVID-19.

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More coronavirus coverage from Fortune:

How to get a refund on your Broadway tickets after coronavirus shut down
—ECB’s Lagarde to coronavirus-ravaged Italy: You’re pretty much on your own
—Some of the most extreme ways companies are combating coronavirus
—How luxury designers in Italy’s fashion heartland are facing coronavirus
—Amazon tells employees to work from home if they can. Warehouse workers can’t
—Why Dollar General thinks coronavirus can help business
—Coronavirus may not be all bad for tech. Consider the “stay at home” stocks

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