Coronavirus live updates: US death toll surpasses 100; Kevin Durant tests positive – National News


Samara Heisz/iStock(NEW YORK) — States are shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools to try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has now killed at least 100 people in the United States.

There are at least 5,853 confirmed cases in the U.S.

COVID-19 has reached all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Globally, there are more than 196,000 coronavirus cases and more than 7,800 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Today’s biggest developments:

  • Italy’s COVID-19 death toll reaches 2,500
  • White House looking to send cash directly to Americans
  • Law enforcement scales back across US
  • New Jersey unemployment system crashes


Here’s how the news is unfolding today. All times Eastern. Please refresh for updates.

6:15 p.m.: Coronavirus death toll surpasses 100 in US

Two people in Colorado dying from the novel coronavirus has pushed the national death toll to at least 102.

The Weld County Health Department identified one of the victims as a male in his 70s and warned that people over the age of 60 and those with chronic illnesses were at “higher risk for severe illness and death.”

“Protecting our high-risk populations from COVID-19 is imperative,” Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, said in a statement. “We are strongly suggesting people practice social distancing in order to prevent future COVID-19 deaths and protect our workforce. Every single reduction in the number of contacts you have per day will have a significant impact on the virus’s spread.

5:30 p.m.: Kevin Durant tests positive

Basketball star Kevin Durant was among four Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive on Tuesday.

Durant told The Athletic that he was feeling fine and urged the public to “be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine.”

All four players are isolated, the team said.
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4:46 p.m.: ‘Confinement’ orders to go into effect in Belgium

Residents of Belgium are expected to follow confinement orders beginning at noon Wednesday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said.

All gatherings are forbidden. Citizens must stay home except to go to work, the bank, the grocery store, the pharmacy, doctors’ appointments or helping others, Wilmes said.

Travels outside of Belgium is also forbidden except if it’s considered essential, Wilmes said.

4:10 p.m.: 4 Brooklyn Nets players test positive

Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for coronavirus and only one of the four is showing symptoms, according to a statement from the team.

All four players are isolated, the team said.

Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell, who has tested positive for COVID-19, told “Good Morning America” Monday, “I don’t have any symptoms — I could walk down the street. If it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it.”

“I think that’s the scariest part about this virus — you may seem fine, be fine, and you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to,” he said.

4:03 p.m.: NYC mayor proposes shelter-in-place, state says no

In New York City — where there are 814 confirmed COVID-19 cases — a shelter-in-place order has not been ruled out as an option, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

De Blasio said there would be “leeway” for going to the grocery store and the pharmacy. But he noted, “we would have to create that from scratch.”

But Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor of New York, shot the idea down, saying in a statement, “Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require State action and as the Governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time.”

3:50 p.m.: New Jersey unemployment system crashes

In New Jersey, where restaurants and bars are shut down, so many people applied for unemployment Monday that the state system crashed, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

“Workers whose place of employment has closed or whose hours have been cut as a result of this emergency are in all likelihood eligible to receive either full or partial unemployment insurance benefits,” Murphy said, “for however long they will be out of work or working fewer hours.

2:45 p.m.: Shelter-in-place order possible in NYC

In New York City — where there are 814 confirmed COVID-19 cases — a shelter-in-place order has not been ruled out as an option.

“Even though a decision has not yet been made… New Yorkers should be prepared for a shelter in place order,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

He added that he expects a decision in the next 48 hours.

Should any shelter-in-place order come the New York Police Department does not anticipate police enforcement.

“We would encourage, urge and educate,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement provided to ABC News. “We are confident New Yorkers will do what is necessary to get through this crisis.”
2:40 p.m.: Florida closes all bars, limits beach access

All bars and nightclubs in Florida will close for the next 30 days, but unlike other states, Florida will keep restaurants open.

Florida restaurants must limit access to 50% capacity and stagger seating to keep customers at least 6 feet apart, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The governor is directing residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance by limiting their gatherings to no more than 10 persons.

1:30 p.m.: Italy’s death toll reaches 2,500

At least 345 Italians have died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 2,503, according to Italy’s Civil Protection Agency.

Italy has the second-highest number of fatalities from coronavirus, following China.

Italy has been on lockdown now with a total of 31,506 confirmed cases.

12:25 p.m.: White House looking to send cash directly to Americans

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is looking at sending checks directly to American households that are hurting – possibly within the next two weeks.

“The president has instructed me, we have to do this now. This is now,” Mnuchin said at a White House briefing Tuesday.

President Donald Trump wouldn’t get into too many details about a possible stimulus plan but emphasized that the government is “going big.”

Referring to the virus as an “invisible enemy,” the president expressed resolve to prop up the economy as needed.

“We don’t want airlines going out of business, we don’t want people losing their jobs and not having money to live when they were doing well four weeks ago,” Trump said.

12:01 p.m.: Law enforcement scales back across US

Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are curtailing low-level operations in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Some agencies are limiting police runs to only violent or serious incidents and are opting to handle other reports via citations, phone calls or online reports. The measures are designed to cut back on person-to-person contact, like the number of people going through police stations and jails.

11:17 a.m.: 8th TSA officer tests positive

A TSA officer at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19.

The officer’s last work day was March 17, the agency said.

This marks the 8th TSA officer to test positive for COVID-19. The other cases are in California, Florida and Georgia.

With the coronavirus outbreak, the TSA has screened 5 million fewer people in the first two weeks of March 2020 compared to 2019.

10:55 a.m.: New York governor preaches kindness in time of ‘chaos’

In New York state — home to 19.5 million people — all schools are closed for two weeks.

Restaurants in the state are restricted to only takeout and delivery. Bars and gyms are also shuttered, and more closings statewide could help continue to flatten the curve, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Twelve people have died in New York state. The state has 1,374 cases of coronavirus.

Cuomo said he’s worried the rising number of cases will crash the health care system, noting the 19% hospitalization rate among those infected.

“We have to get down that rate of spread,” he said. “We cannot accommodate the numbers that demand on the hospital system.”

Cuomo said the state is working to create more space in hospitals and temporarily build other facilities to house the sick.

The governor then got personal, opening up at his news conference about how difficult it is to not see and hug his own daughter during this time of “chaos.”

“It is a hard time on every level,” he said. “It is a frightening time on every level.”

He urged New Yorkers to “be a little bit more loving, a little bit more compassionate, a little bit more comforting, a little bit more cooperative. And we will get through this time.”

“We will lose people, yes. Like we lose people every year with the flu,” Cuomo said. “We’re gonna be challenged and tested.”

Cuomo also stressed that the federal government needs to do more. “We cannot do this on our own,” he said.

Cuomo made a point to thank President Donald Trump for his partnership, saying he spoke to the president Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Trump had a tele-conference with the country’s governors.


9:34 a.m.: San Francisco Bay Area goes on lockdown

Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area are moving forward with isolation procedures, ordering residents to shelter in place for non-essential activities.

At least 12 people have died from coronavirus in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is closing all dine-in restaurants, health clubs and gyms in the Golden State. Newsom also told residents they should stop gathering in groups entirely for the foreseeable future.

8:10 a.m. Millennials must protect older generations, says Dr. Birx

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stressed that “the army of millennials” must be taking “every single precaution to protect their parents and grandparents.”

“If you look at every large city across America at the census bar graph, you’ll see that in every single case the largest numbers, about 22% in many cities, are millennials,” Birx said Tuesday in an interview with ABC News’ Good Morning America.

She went on, “The millennials are incredibly good about getting information out in a clear way, but more importantly, they are incredibly good about understanding how to protect one another, how to protect their parents and how to protect their grandparents. Right now we need the army of millennials out there doing everything that they can to protect themselves from getting infected because we know a lot of their cases will be mild or asymptomatic, and making sure that they’re doing every single precaution to protect their parents and grandparents.”

Dr. Birx also compared the new pandemic to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“We know a lot more than we knew in the early days of HIV,” she said. “It was really inspiring to me to watch people who were sick themselves going to the street not because it was going to help them but because it would help the group coming behind them. They were already too ill. I guess that’s what I’m asking every American to do now, to do whatever they can to help the Americans ahead of them, to make sure they don’t get infected.”

6:16 a.m. Iran says new coronavirus has killed 135 more people

Iran says new coronavirus has killed 135 more people, a 13% spike that has raised the death toll to 988 amid 16,169 total infections.

6:04 a.m. France goes into lockdown at noon

In his address to the nation on Monday evening, President Emmanuel Macron announced that from noon on Tuesday, “and for at least a fortnight”, trips for French citizens and residents will be greatly reduced.

“Outdoor gatherings, family or friendly gatherings will no longer be allowed, meeting friends in the park, family, in the street will not be possible” he added, advising French people to “read”, “find a sense of the essential” and “the meaning of things”.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner stated later in the night that all pedestrians, commuters, passengers and drivers must be able to justify their trips with a downloadable document attesting on one’s honor the reason for one’s trip. It will be up to everyone to fill it out to specify the nature of their trip.

“The watchword is clear,” Castaner said. “Stay at home. These are confinement measures along the lines of our Italian and Spanish neighbors.”

The penalty for infraction to these rules will be a 38 Euro ($42 U.S.) fine, which will be quickly raised to a higher level of 135 Euros.

Exceptions are made for when these trips are essential for activities which cannot be interrupted. For work when telecommuting is not possible, for seeking health care, for imperative family reasons, to come to the aid of a dependent relative for example or for separate parents. Other exceptions are allowed for short trips, to take out your dog or have a physical activity.

“But without grouping into a group”, Castaner warned. “To put it simply, I would say we can get some air yes, but certainly not play a soccer match,” he stated.

5:52 a.m. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have been released from hospital and placed into self-isolation

Chet Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and stepson to Rita Wilson, confirmed that his parents have been released from the hospital in a video posted to Instagram.

“They’re still self-quarantined obviously, but they’re feeling a lot better so that’s a relief,” Chet Hanks said.

5:21 a.m. China’s Foreign Ministry says Trump “Chinese Virus” tweet a “smear”

China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, not mentioning President Donald Trump by name, called the tweet “a smear” and that China “expresses its strong anger and opposition to that.”

“Some politicians in the U.S. associated the coronavirus with China, and smeared China. China expresses its strong anger and opposition to that,” Shuang said on Tuesday. “We call on the U.S. to stop finger pointing at China. The utmost priority is for the international community to cooperate on fighting the virus. The U.S. should focus on its top priority, and play a constructive role in international cooperation on health security.”

5:00 a.m. Russia mobilizes to shield economy from impact of coronavirus

With a total of 93 recorded cases so far, Russia’s government is moving to prepare a broad spectrum of measures to try to shield the country’s economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to a $4 billion support fund, the state will also increase state guarantees for some companies by enlarging the list of firms deemed strategically important. It is looking at delaying tax payments, as well as penalties for businesses, as well as short-term loans. The Russian rouble currency has strengthened in response to some of the announcements.

Russia’s foreign ministry has also called on the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran that it says are preventing it from combating the coronavirus outbreak effectively. Iran has recently said it is suffering from a shortage of key medical equipment and medicines needed due to the sanctions imposed as part of the U.S.’ “maximum pressure” campaign. Russia’s foreign ministry has accused the U.S. of putting millions of Iranians at risk and called on it to lift them immediately and end its “inhuman policy”.

3:57 a.m. Dutch Prime Minister announces opposition to nationwide lockdown, calls it “impractical”

The Netherlands will not impose a national lockdown over coronavirus because it would have to be in place for too long to make a difference, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on TV on Monday.

“It wouldn’t be a matter of days or weeks. In that scenario, we would actually have to shut down our country for a year, or even longer, with all the consequences that follow,” he added.

1:10 a.m. San Francisco Police Department going door to door to make sure bars and clubs are complying with public health order

The San Francisco Police Department tweeted that they would be visiting bars and clubs throughout the city to make sure they are in compliance with the city’s public heath order.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the directive to shut down all of the state’s bars, clubs, breweries and taprooms on Sunday when he announced the virus had killed six people in California.

“These are profoundly significant steps and they are significant steps from two days ago,” Newsom said in a news conference. “We’re guided deeply by what’s happening, not just by anxiety, not just by fear, but by a very pragmatic response to meet this moment without creating other unintended consequences.”

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