March 10 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Joshua Berlinger, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Sheena McKenzie, CNN

Updated 0215 GMT (1015 HKT) March 11, 2020
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10:59 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

United Nations closes New York headquarters to the general public

From CNN's Richard Roth

Valery Sharifulin\TASS/Getty Images
Valery Sharifulin\TASS/Getty Images

The United Nations has decided to close its New York complex to the general public and temporarily suspend all guided tours beginning at 8 p.m. ET today until further notice in the wake of coronavirus concerns, a spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General said in a statement.

The UN has not been advised of any coronavirus cases amongst UN staff in New York

“As the Secretary-General has said, the health and safety of staff is a matter of his utmost priority and concern,” spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
10:37 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Quick selfies are low risk, according to the congressional doctor

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

The House physician was asked in the Democratic caucus about whether members should be concerned if they see a colleague who was supposed to be self-quarantining at the congressional gym.

The doctor responded by describing to lawmakers a spectrum of contact and how concerning it should be, according to two members in the room.

Here are some activities that are not high risks, according to the physician:

  • A quick greeting or selfie
  • A short five-minute meeting with someone who isn't showing symptoms yet but tests positive

A lengthy meeting or close contact with someone who contracts the virus would be higher risk — and would likely require quarantining, the members said.

Hand-to-hand contact was to be avoided, the physician said.

10:39 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

If I have a weakened immune system, should I cancel my travel plans?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

People who are immunocompromised "are at higher risk from this illness, as well as other illnesses like the flu. Avoiding contact with ill people is crucial," Washington state's Snohomish Health District said.

Snohomish County is where the first US case of novel coronavirus was reported in January. Since then, more than 700 people in the US have been infected, and at least 26 have died — mostly in Washington state.

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, those with weakened immune systems often suffered more severe complications when sickened while traveling.

"While rates of infection may not differ significantly between healthy and immunocompromised travelers, the latter are at greater risk for severe disease," according to researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine.

Big efforts to keep travelers safe from coronavirus:

10:24 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

These 5 Broadway shows are selling discounted tickets this month

From CNN’s Taylor Romine 

A marquee at the Broadway Theatre in New York advertises the 'West Side Story' musical on February 7.
A marquee at the Broadway Theatre in New York advertises the 'West Side Story' musical on February 7. Credit: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Five Broadway shows will sell remaining tickets for $50 for all performances beginning Thursday through March 29, according to a statement from the shows' producers.

The five plays and musicals are: 

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • West Side Story
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  • The Book of Mormon

Producer Scott Rudin said in a statement that this is a great opportunity for affordable theater and that we all “could all use a few hours away from the evening news."

“As long as New York City is open for business, its beating heart remains the Broadway stage,” Rudin said.

10:02 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

How Kentucky is preparing for the coronavirus outbreak

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speaks about coronavirus at a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, on March 6.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear speaks about coronavirus at a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, on March 6. Credit: Bruce Schreiner/AP

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says the state is taking two new steps to prepare for the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  1. On pharmacies: Beshear is authorizing pharmacists to refill prescriptions up to 30 days. He's also temporarily allowing people to operate a pharmacy in an area without a pharmacy permit, so the state can set up mobile stations to serve people if necessary. Pharmacies can dispense drugs as needed for the coronavirus according to any protocols by the CDC and the Commissioner of Public Health.
  2. On nursing homes: Beshear is also implementing stronger restrictions on visiting nursing homes and long-term care facilities because seniors appear to be more susceptible to the virus, he said.

The state has six confirmed cases of coronavirus.

10:13 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

US stocks rebound after the worst day since 2008

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe  

US stocks rallied at today's opening bell. The market is set to rebound from its worst day since 2008, which included the worst point-drop on record for the Dow.

Stocks bounced back after the White House indicated it will propose a payroll tax cut to ease the burden from the coronavirus fallout.

Here's what the market looks like now:

  • The Dow opened 850 points, or 3.6%, higher.
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 3.4% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose 3.6%.


9:52 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Vatican closes sites to tourists

From CNN’s Hada Messia in Rome

A couple views the closed Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Tuesday.
A couple views the closed Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Tuesday. Credit: Fabio Frustaci/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Saint Peter's Square and Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City are now closed to tourists starting Tuesday because of the coronavirus, the Vatican press office said in a statement.

The Vatican's employee cafeteria will be closed to visitors starting tomorrow, but a delivery service will be available.

The pharmacy and the grocery store in the Vatican will remain open, the office said.

9:25 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Experts says "older adults" are at risk — but what does that mean?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "older adults" and people with serious chronic medical conditions "are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness."

Anyone over 60 and those with underlying health problems should try to avoid places with large crowds — such as movie theaters, busy malls and even religious services, top infectious disease experts say.

"This ought to be top of mind for people over 60, and those with underlying health problems," said Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime CDC adviser.

"The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people."

But why is age 60 often used as a threshold for those who need to be extra cautious?

"We now know more about who is at risk," US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said.

"(The) average age of death for people from coronavirus is 80. Average age of people who need medical attention is age 60."

9:38 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

British Airways cancels flights to and from Italy

From CNN Business' Robert North

A British Airways plane flies from Milan to London on March 5.
A British Airways plane flies from Milan to London on March 5. Credit: Laurel Chor/Getty Images

British Airways has canceled all its services to and from Italy after the Italian government placed the country on lockdown to try and contain the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, British Airways said: “In light of the Italian Government's announcement and the UK Government's official travel advice, we have contacted all customers who are due to travel today. Any travellers due to fly to or from Italy between now and April 4 can rebook to a later date up until the end of May, move their destination to Geneva or Zurich or receive a full refund.”

Italy has the highest number of confirmed virus cases outside China, with 9,172 infections, and 463 people have died.