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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12:21 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Ivy League cancels basketball tournaments ahead of March Madness

The Ivy League women’s and men’s conference tournaments scheduled to start this Saturday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced

As a result, the league’s regular-season champions – Princeton’s women’s team (26-1) and Yale’s men’s team (23-7) – are automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments. 

The NCAA's March Madness tournament is just a week away.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

The league will implement “highly-restrictive, in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletics events. The League is also canceling all out-of-season practices and competitions,” effective immediately.  

Postseason competition for winter sports will continue, the league said.

12:13 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence announces no copays for coronavirus coverage with several insurance companies 

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

Vice President Mike Pence announced that several insurance companies had agreed to waive copays for coronavirus testing. 

“I’m pleased to report as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here either today or before today have agreed to waive copays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans,” the Vice President announced. Telemedicine would also be covered, and all the CEOs agreed to “no surprise billing,” Pence said.

The Vice President made the announcement during a meeting with representatives from insurance companies at the White House on Tuesday, sitting alongside President Donald Trump. 

Medicare and Medicaid, Pence said, already made it clear to their beneficiaries that coronavirus care would be covered.


12:00 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Trump says administration will help airline and cruise industry during crisis

President Trump just said during a meeting at the White House that the administration will help the airline and cruise industries during the coronavirus outbreak.

"They're two great industries and we'll be helping them through this patch, and so far I think it's been going very well," Trump said.

Speaking to reporters during a meeting with health industry CEOs, which was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump mentioned the cruise ship that docked in Oakland yesterday.

"You know all about the big ship that came in yesterday, and that's going along incredibly well, working with the state of California successfully, very successfully, also with Canada and with the U.K.," he said.


11:48 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

CDC director says there's not enough staff and equipment in public health labs

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget on Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, March 10.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget on Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, March 10. Andrew Harnik/AP

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said state and local public health labs are underequipped and understaffed.

"The truth is we've not invested, we've underinvested in the public health labs," Redfield said at a House Appropriations hearing for the 2021 CDC budget.

“There's not enough equipment, there's not enough people, there's not enough internal capacity, there's no surge capacity,” Redfield added.

“Public health labs, we built the technology in those labs to monitor flu, that uses a certain equipment, which we call thermocycler, that equipment, maybe a good lab could do 300 tests a day. University of Washington can use these high machines, like New York is about to do, those machines can do thousands, and thousands and thousands,” Redfield said.  

Redfield also said that 99% of the novel coronavirus cases recently confirmed were outside of China. According to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization, which were released on Monday, there were 3,948 new cases outside China and 45 new cases in China-- roughly 1%. 

“The epicenter, the new China is Europe. And there’s a lot of people coming back and forth from Europe. We’re starting to see these communities and we are moving quickly to understand how address Europe,” Redfield said. 

11:34 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

2 New York school bus drivers have coronavirus

Nassau County in New York has 19 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 17 yesterday – including two school bus drivers that transport between them about 80 students on several routes, according to the county executive.

They both drive small buses on Long Island, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at a news conference today.

Most of the families of those students have been contacted by the department of health, which is continuing to contact families.

There have been school closures in response to the positive tests – including schools in Oyster Bay, Locust Valley, Glen Cove and Westbury along with some private schools in the areas including Friends Academy, Portledge, Mill Neck Manor, Eastwood and Summit Lower School.

Curran said beyond the 19 positive cases there are;

  • 72 residents in mandatory quarantine
  • 74 in precautionary quarantine
  • 10 tests pending. 

Curran stressed that the priority is to “protect our seniors” adding it’s important to focus on “containing” as much as possible to “reduce community spread”

11:17 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Harvard asks students to move off-campus by the end of this weekend

Students walk near the Widener Library in Harvard Yard at Harvard University on August 13, 2019.
Students walk near the Widener Library in Harvard Yard at Harvard University on August 13, 2019. Charles Krupa/AP

Students at Harvard are being asked to move out of their dorms by Sunday, according to media relations director Rachael Dane. 

“Harvard College students have been asked to move out of their Houses and First-Year Dorms by Sunday, March 15 in an effort to de-densify our community,” Dane told CNN in an email. 

All academic courses will continue to be held remotely, she added.

Earlier today, Harvard's president said the school has asked students not to return to campus after spring break.

Harvard spokesman Jason Newton said any on-campus meetings after March 23 — the first day after spring break — will go virtual.

11:10 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

What it's like in Italy's ski resort towns, which are shut down because of coronavirus

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato in Rome

Filomena and Emidio Gasparri live in the mountains of Abruzzo in the town of Rivisondoli, which is known for its ski resorts.

Those resorts — which the local economy relies on — are now closed because of the government directive. 

Filomena said the closures are the "right thing to do."

“Now this situation is global, everyone is in tension," she told CNN.

Emidio agreed that closing the resorts was a good idea, adding that many people from the areas affected by the outbreak fled into the mountain region.

“They did well closing the ski resorts because it was becoming chaotic. the majority of people are not acting rationally. They search for refuge here, thinking that it would never arrive in the mountains," he said.

All of Italy under restrictions over coronavirus outbreak:

11:00 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Spain cancels flights to and from Italy

From CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro

The Spanish government has blocked direct flights between Spain and Italy as it looks to stop the spread and of coronavirus.

The government said in a statement it was making the decision because the vast majority of cases imported into Spain had been linked to Italy

11:21 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

US Senate leader on coronavirus: "We have overcome far, far greater challenges before"

From CNN's Ted Barrett

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

In his opening floor remarks today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was upbeat about the ability of the “well-equipped” United States to overcome the coronavirus. 

"We have overcome far, far greater challenges before," he said.

He urged House and Senate Democrats and Republicans to “put reflexive partisanship aside” as the government continues to respond to the crisis. 

McConnell said he looks forward to hearing the Trump administration’s pitch today for economic stimulus but did not indicate if he would support the proposal.