NYC Mayor says NYC schools will close for at least a month starting Monday
NYC orders all venues, theaters, nightclubs and other entertainment to close
NY Gov Cuomo says NYC schools will close "early this week"
NYC Mayor reports 4 new deaths
LA Mayor orders all entertainment venues, gyms, bars, restaurants to close
Italy reports largest one-day jump in cases; France also reports highest daily jump
CDC recommends postponing all gatherings for 8 weeks
US death toll hits 64
Pentagon says sailor aboard Navy ship has tested positive
Germany reports 1,000+ new cases bringing total to 5,813
Acting Homeland Security Secretary says lines at O'Haire are "unacceptable", says wait times have been fixed
Illinois Gov closes all bars & restaurants for dining in
US death toll hits 58, 1st death confirmed in Oregon
Google CEO says country-wide virus info site to launch Monday
LA Mayor orders bars to close, may also close dine-in restaurants
NFL season start likely won't be postponed, ESPN says
California confirmed cases climb 14% to 335
US confirmed case total hits 2,952
Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop cut hours
Connecticut, Mass. close schools
Case in Conn. double over night
Netherlands closes schools, restaurants
Germany closes borders to neighboring states
Poland bars foreigners
West Virginia last US state that's virus-free
Iran reports largest daily jump in deaths
Ohio closes bars, restaurants at 9pm Sunday
Trump speaks with grocery chain CEOs
Pence says he won't be tested
NYC Mayor says 'every option on the table' when asked if considering complete shutdown of city + schools
Washington DC mayor orders nightclubs to close and imposes new restrictions on bars and restaurants
Federal limits on trucker hours suspended to help hospitals and supermarkets alleviate shortages of critical items
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Update (1130ET): Shortly after New York's mayor de Blasio pulled the plug, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered the closing of all bars, nightclubs, gyms and entertainment venues from midnight March 16 until March 31.\
Restaurants will be limited to take-out and delivery
Grocery stores will remain open
"There is no food shortage and grocery stores will remain open. We’re taking these steps to help protect Angelenos, limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and avoid putting a dangerous strain on our health care system.
This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together."
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Update (1030ET): After announcing earlier that restaurants and venues would be enforced to ensure no more than 50% occupancy, Mayor Bill de Blasio just tweeted that he is ordering all "nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues to close". That leaves restaurants still open, but with max 50% occupancy, as the city encourages residents to order our and stay in instead of venturing anywhere outdoors.
Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close. The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9:00 AM.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 16, 2020
The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle. Tomorrow, I will sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 16, 2020
He added that this isn't a decision he takes lightly, and added that these places "are the heart and soul of our city."
This is not a decision I make lightly. These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.
This crisis will last months and it will get worse before it gets better.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 15, 2020
But it will get better.
From September 11th to the financial crisis, the world has always looked to New York City to respond and to lead.
And we always do.
It's time to show that to the world again.
That's just another hit to many of NYC's most vulnerable: artists and performers. They're called "starving artists" for a reason.
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Update (2000ET): After cutting off domestic travel for all military personnel, the Pentagon has just confirmed that a US sailor aboard a ship has tested positive, according to Reuters.
- U.S. MILITARY SAYS FIRST U.S. SAILOR ABOARD A SHIP TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS
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Update (1950ET): The CDC has issued guidelines calling for all events involving 50 or more people be delayed for 8 weeks.
The CDC cited conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies where more than 50 people will attend. They also confirmed more deaths: Two months since the first case, 3,365 cases have been confirmed across 49 states, West Virginia being the only exception. The death toll has climbed to 64 as of Sunday evening.
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Update (1840ET): As Mayor de Blasio finishes his press conference, here are a few more highlights: 1,800 schools will be affected by the shutdown, 75,000 teachers will be infected, as well as 1.1 million students, and over 1 million parents.
Mass Gov. Charlie Baker joined his southern neighbor and closed schools. He also banned gatherings of more than 25 people, and limited restaurants to take-out only.
In Germany, officials reported 1,228 new cases of coronavirus today, 5,813 cases in total. 283 cases in Berlin.
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Update (1825ET): Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said during a press conference Sunday night that he the number of confirmed cases had doubled to 20 in his state overnight, with new cases confirmed in New Haven, Fairfield and Hartford counties. The governor also ordered the closure of all public schools in the state, joining a list of states that is rapidly nearing 30.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker has declared a state of emergency on Sunday after 4 people in New Haven have tested positive with "preliminary testing". One of the four is the chief nursing executive of Yale New Haven Hospital. Three of the individuals are being treated at Yale New Haven hospital, while one is in quarantine at home.
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Update (1800ET): Following the massive lines of Americans returning to the US via O'Hare after news of Trump's travel ban, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security admitted that the situation was unacceptable as many complained they might have been exposed while waiting in line.
He insisted that the situation has now been fixed, and that wait lines will now be no longer than 30 minutes..
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on airport processing delays:— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 15, 2020
- Lines overnight "unacceptable"
- Made "necessary adjustments" to "course correct"
- Adjustments not made quick enough at Chicago O'Hare
- Average wait time now 30 minutes, per Wolf pic.twitter.com/qwEJzlf8hr
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Update (1755ET): NYC Mayor de Blasio has announced a crackdown on retaurants and bars, and said that the city's schools will close for at least a month, and may not reopen this semester, the longest school shutdown declared so far in the country. Schools won't reopen until at least April 20.
De Blasio also said the city now has 329 cases and 5 deaths from the virus, after reporting the city's first death yesterday. In addition, the city will crack down on bars, restaurants and venues at more than half capacity.
BREAKING: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces New York City public schools will be closed as of Monday.— ABC News (@ABC) March 15, 2020
"We will make a first attempt to restart our schools on Monday, April 20th." https://t.co/IxgeoPwNOL pic.twitter.com/BFDlW01Ipg
The NYC school district is the largest in the country, with 1.1 million students.
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Update (1730ET): NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that NYC schools will "close early this week" after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in a Queens student.
He also said the city must immediately formulate a plan to provide child care and meals to children who might go without during the closure.
NYC must have a plan in place in the next 24 hours for childcare for essential workers and a plan to make sure kids will continue to get the meals they need.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 15, 2020
NYC schools will close early this week.
This action is necessary to reduce density and mitigate the spread of #COVID19.
The decision comes after Mayor de Blasio stuttered through answers claiming closing schools wouldn't help stop the spread of the virus, and implied that the city hadn't decided to close schools because it didn't have a contingency plan in place.
Following Ohio's decision to close bars and restaurants starting Sunday night, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said Sunday that he would order all bars and restaurants in Illinois to close for dining-in service, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Update (1715ET): President Trump started tonight's press conference by celebrating the Fed's QE5. It was perhaps the first time he said something about the central bank (but notably not Powell by name) in more than a year.
"They didn't do it in five steps they did it in one step...people in the market should be thrilled."
"It's a big step and I'm very happy they did it. You won't hear anything bad from me [about the Fed] for at least a month or two."
He then moved on to name the grocery and food company CEOs he spoke with earlier.
* * *
Update (1705ET): ESPN reports that the start of NFL season won't be postponed - for now, at least.
Multiple people across the league now are anticipating that the start of the league year will not be moved and it will start on time, per sources. There still are ongoing conversations, and it still could change, but there is a different tone from teams as if it is happening now.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2020
Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said he would order bars in LA, and is also planning to close dine-in restaurants.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said bars in Los Angeles will close today and that dine-in restaurants may close as well. pic.twitter.com/FMTn52aPFC— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 15, 2020
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Update (1700ET): California's Gov. Gavin Newsom is delivering his daily update. The governor confirmed that the number of cases in the state had climbed 14% to 335 as of Sunday. He also reported 6 deaths, and said 8,316 tests had been conducted. Testing will increase as more labs start testing, he said.
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Update (1630ET): Germany joined the list of European nations reporting new coronavirus figures on Sunday, and like France and Italy, it reported its largest daily spike in new cases, confirming another 1,228 new cases for a new total of 5,813, a roughly 20% increase. It also reported 4 new deaths, bringing its national total to 12.
These charts show totals for a handful of outbreaks in North America and Europe:
Meanwhile, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company's coronavirus-info site would be ready for Monday.
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Update (1555ET): France just reported 901 new cases diagnosed on Saturday, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to ~5,400. The death toll climbed by 29 cases to 120.
Here's the latest recap on cases in Europe:
And finally, on Sunday, the total number of cases diagnosed outside China has surpassed the total number of cases confirmed during China's outbreak (though the true number of cases might still be higher in China, though nobody can be sure):
Total cases ex-China: 81,684 vs. total cases in mainland China: 81,003, according to data from Johns Hopkins
* * *
Update (1540ET): Per WSJ, US highway-safety regulators have suspended rules limiting daily driving hours for truck drivers, allowing truckers to drive as long and as far as they need to get loads to overwhelmed supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential and non-essential purveyors of goods as quickly as possible.
The move is intended to alleviate shortages of medical masks and hand sanitizer at hospitals and in pharmacies.
The Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the nationwide exemption late Friday, following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over the pandemic.
The move “will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently,” FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen said.
Some pointed out that suspending the limit could be dangerous, as some truckers might crash after becoming drowsy behind the wheel.
* * *
Update (1445ET): In New York, Gov. Cuomo has called on Trump to deploy the military to help fight the outbreak. In DC, the White House has just announced that President Trump has spoken with the CEOs of several grocery chains. Earlier, VP Pence said he would not be tested for the virus because doctors said a test would be unnecessary.
Spain and Portugal have also closed their borders for tourists.
The morning after being added to the US travel ban, the Irish government has asked all pubs to close until March 29, meaning they would be closed for St. Paddy's Day.
In Washington DC, the Mayor has closed nightclubs, and highlighted restrictions for bars and restaurants to comply with city bans on gatherings over 250.
(Thread) This notice clarifies the actions restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, and multi-purpose facilities must take to comply with the District of Columbia Department of Health’s (DC Health) Emergency Rulemaking to Prohibit Mass Gatherings effective March 13, 2020.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 15, 2020
1/ Restaurants and taverns licensed in DC are approved with various configurations, floor plans, and occupancy limits. To comply with DC Health’s prohibition of mass gatherings and achieve the public health goals of social distancing, restaurants and taverns shall:— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 15, 2020
2/ -Ensure that no more two hundred and fifty (250) people are present in the space at the same time— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 15, 2020
-Suspend the use of bar seating
3/ -Suspend service to standing patrons— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 15, 2020
-Limit individual table seating to six (6) persons or less
-Ensure that tables (including booths) that are occupied by patrons are separated by at least six (6) feet of distance
Here's some more on Trump's talk with the grocery chain CEOs.
Trump told the two dozen grocery and supply chain execs they “can help Americans feel calm and safe when shelves are stocked with the items they need. Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials,” per WH.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 15, 2020
In Ohio, Gov. DeWine has ordered all restaurants and bars to close to go along with his national emergency.
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Update (1320ET): the unceasing stream of grim case reports out of Italy continued on Sunday when the country's Civil Protection Service reported 3,590 new cases - the largest one-day increase (more than 20%) since the outbreak really took hold late last month - and 368 new deaths, another massive jump, raising the case total in the country to 24,747 and bringing the total deaths to 1,809 as of the end of Saturday, Italian newswire ANSA reports.
Italy remains the worst-hit country in Europe, and the worst-hit outside mainland China.
Another 2,335 have recovered from the virus since contracting it, 369 more than yesterday.
As China sends a medical team and supplies, complemented by a massive donation by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who is donating more than a million face masks and many Covid-19 test kits to the country, The situation in the north continues to aggressively deteriorate. The governor of Lombardy accused Rome of failing to comprehend the seriousness of the situation as the national lockdown continues.
"The situation is objectively very serious - the governor of Lombardy Attilio Fontana said in an morning in an interview with Repubblica - "the virus is underhand, disappears and reappears and I think there is a very wrong perception in Rome and beyond. The situation is objectively very serious."
In the Lombardy region alone, 4,898 patients have been hospitalized due to severe symptoms, 600+ more new patients than a day earlier.
* * *
Update (1250ET): As Mayor de Blasio dithers, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer called for a city-wide shutdown, including closing bars, movie theaters and restaurants on Sunday as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. Stringer said only "essential" services like police, fire and hospitals should remain open. Schools should shut, and it's not clear whether Stringer believes the subway should also close.
More than 600 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across New York state, according to health department data last updated Saturday night. Of the 613 state-wide cases, 269 have been confirmed in New York City.
Only essential services should remain open. No bars, restaurants, or movie theaters.— Scott M. Stringer (@NYCComptroller) March 15, 2020
And I am again calling for NYC schools to be shut down.
We cannot go on with business as usual.
New York State has already confirmed more than 600 cases and several deaths. During his interview earlier, de Blasio said he expects more than 1,000 cases will be confirmed in the city in the not-too-distant future.
De Blasio said earlier that "every option is on the table" when asked if he was considering a city-wide shutdown.
If you need another reminder of why bars and restaurants should probably be closed, let Becky Quick explain.
Asshole https://t.co/zuPv3Awypk— Becky Quick (@BeckyQuick) March 15, 2020
Meanwhile, in Germany, authorities have reportedly decided to close the country's borders with France, Austria and Switzerland, though commuters will still be allowed to travel. In Poland, all non-citizens have been barred as the country becomes the latest to institute full travel ban.
As it stands, the city's policy is as follows:
The informal schools and subway policy are (for now) the same: keep them open, hope most people won’t come. https://t.co/TqqOs4SRzH— Nicole of Hell's Kitchen (@nicolegelinas) March 15, 2020
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Update (1130ET): Despite complaints about strict testing requirements and a general sense of hysteria leaving thousands self-quarantined out of fear of spreading or catching the virus, the number of confirmed cases in NYC has skyrocketed from fewer than 30 earlier in the week to 269 as of Sunday morning.
Over the past week, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo have insisted that they will do everything possible to keep NYC's subway and its schools - which hundreds of thousands of children depend on for shelter and food - open. But on Sunday, with the mayor coming under increasing fire from public health activists warning that he might be putting immuno-compromised and other at-risk individuals in danger by denying that students who catch the virus as school could spread it to their parents asymptomatically (research suggests the virus can spread before symptoms emerge).
"Every option is on the table in a crisis," de Blasio said during an appearance on CNN Sunday morning. "We’ve never seen anything like this."
Meanwhile, some local officials are taking matters into their own hands, with the Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee urging all families in the borough to keep their kids home from school next week after a student at a school in Woodhaven tested positive.
From @NYCSchools: Confirmed case of #coronavirus at P.S 306 in Woodhaven, Queens. A School Safety Agent tested positive, and was last at work on March 6. Building will be deep cleaned today, will be open Monday pending health department confirmation— katie honan (@katie_honan) March 15, 2020
During the interview on CNN, de Blasio said that contingency plans are being "set up", but as one reporter pointed out, it doesn't sound like the city has a 'contingency plan' in place to handle the backlash from closing the city's schools, which is an incredibly rare occurrence: even one- and two-day closures due to weather in the winter are rare in NYC.
Sounds like @NYCMayor doesn't have a full contingency plan ready to #CloseTheSchoolsNow. Just now on CNN:— Julia Marsh (@juliakmarsh) March 15, 2020
“A variety of contingencies are being set up they are far from perfect”
“Those contingencies are being built as we speak”
As more professionals and white collar workers hunker down in their apartments, Goldman Sachs just announced that an employee at its London office had tested positive.
After declaring that it would no longer accept cruise ships stopping at the island earlier in the week, Puerto Rico's governor on Sunday declared a daily curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. due to coronavirus, prompting gyms, cinemas and "non-esential" stores to close at that time.
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Over the past week, Wal-Marts across the country have been overwhelmed by panicked shoppers stocking up on toilet paper and other non-essentials as the coronavirus hysteria has rattled communities coast to coast, in many cases before a single incidence of community spread had even been detected.
With many stores running out of stock before new shipments can arrive (some due to a mix of panic-buying and supply-chain disruption), Wal-Mart corporate has decided to compress the hours of its 24-hour stores across the country.
Beginning Sunday, and lasting until further notice, 24-hour Wal-Mart stores will be open from 6 am to 11 pm, according to a statement from the company.
As the largest grocer in the US, Walmart has been dealing with "a significant increase" in sales as customers panic buy groceries, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. But it's hardly alone in making changes to adapt to the new circumstances. Some grocers, including H-E-B, have adjusted by limiting purchases of food and cleaning supplies. Others, including Kroger, are advertising immediate job openings to keep up with heightened demand (with many suffering from pay reductions or other cash-flow problems, they might be able to help out a few people while keeping up with the massive demand).
Wal-Mart has also given managers discretion to limit purchases of items that are in high demand.
Stop & Shop, which is owned by Ahold Delhaize, said most stores will be open only between 7:30 am to 8 pm starting Monday. The company is also suspending its online delivery service.
President Trump is expected to hold a call with the CEOs of America's largest grocery chains on Sunday.
As we reported last night, the first death in the state of Louisiana tied to Covid-19 was announced by Gov. John Bel Edwards. A few hours alter on Saturday, a 70-year-old man in Multnomah County became the first person in Oregon to die from the coronavirus, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Officials said the man was hospitalized at the Portland Veterans' Affairs Medical Center and died Saturday. He tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.
According to the Washington Post, 2,952 cases of the virus have been confirmed by states and the CDC. Meanwhile, the death toll in the US climbed to 58 overnight.
According to USA Today, 20 states and a number of large urban school districts, including LA, the nation's second-largest - are shutting down all K-12 schools as part of a sweeping attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin have made plans to close all schools. Major metropolitan districts such as Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas, have also shuttered. And a growing number of smaller districts around the country have also chosen to close.
West Virginia is the last US state to have not confirmed a single case of the virus, though its governor, Jim Justice, insisted that the "monster" is "looming" over his state.
In a blow to the credibility of the mainstream news networks and their White House reporting staff, Trump revealed Saturday night that he had tested negative for Covid-19.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would commandeer hotels and motels across the state and press them into service as quarantine centers, if necessary.
The Trump Administration is riding high right now thanks to its twin triumphs of invoking the national emergency and winning a compromise with Dems. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that he "doesn't expect a recession" to result from the outbreak - yet another example of a Trump Administration official saying what needs to be said to try and keep the public's confidence from completely collapsing.
"Later in the year, obviously the economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus," Mnuchin said Sunday.
Over in Europe, the Netherlands reported a nearly 200-case jump on Sunday, bringing its case total up 176 to 1,135. Portugal, whose President is still in self-quarantine, saw confirmed cases climb to 245 from 169. Norway saw cases climb to 1077 from 907. In response, the country said it would close schools for two weeks, becoming the latest developed nation to step up its virus containment efforts. The country's PM also announced that restaurants and nightlife would be shuttered.
After Israel banned gatherings over 10 and closed its borders, its central bank on Sunday launched a QE program to buy government bonds.
Japan, which has largely faded from the headlines this week, confirmed a total of 31 new cases bringing its total to 1,513. Iran confirmed another 1,209 cases on Sunday, bringing its total to 13,938. Another 113 people died, bringing the death toll to 724, according to Anadolou, the largest daily jump on record.
During an interview with CNN Sunday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIH infectious disease specialist who is helping to direct the federal response, said that yes, of course it's possible that "thousands could die" from the outbreak.
But the goal is for the government to make sure the response is successful, and that this doesn't happen. To help the government, Fauci said Americans should brace to "hunker down" even more.