March 11 coronavirus news

By Veronica Rocha, Fernando Alfonso III, Joshua Berlinger, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020
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6:29 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Tours of the US capitol will be halted for the coming weeks, sources say

From CNN's Phil Mattingly and Manu Raju

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/FILE
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/FILE

The Sergeant at Arms has informed congressional leaders they are preparing to announce that all Capitol Tours will be halted for the remainder of the month due to the coronavirus, according to two congressional aides. 

The House and Senate Sergeants at Arms will make the announcement soon, a source said. The exact timing is unclear.

6:23 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Arizona declares state of emergency due to coronavirus

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The state has reported nine confirmed cases of coronavirus, but Ducey said, “We are anticipating additional positive cases, and we're not taking any chances.”

Ducey, speaking at a news conference today, said the declaration will free up emergency funds and make it possible for health care workers to cut through licensing red tape.

He also issued an executive order that requires nursing homes to check workers and visitors for symptoms of coronavirus, as well as require insurance companies to cover the full cost of coronavirus testing for their policyholders.

6:19 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Trump may propose national emergency tonight to free up coronavirus aid

From CNN's Jim Acosta and Kristen Holmes

One of the proposals President Trump may lay out this evening is declaring a national emergency under the Stafford Act, which would free up aid, an administration official said.

That proposal is under active consideration, the official said.

Trump is expected to make a statement tonight at about 9 p.m. ET.

6:19 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

The Columbus Blue Jackets' home games will be closed to the public

The National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets will play their upcoming home games without spectators following a "mass gatherings mandate" from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

Columbus hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Read the team's full statement:  

The Columbus Blue Jackets are aware of Governor DeWine's announcement today that an order prohibiting mass gatherings in the state of Ohio is forthcoming. We have been in contact with the National Hockey League regarding this matter and will abide by the state's mandate. Remaining home games while the order is in effect, including tomorrow vs. Pittsburgh, will be played as scheduled, but with restricted attendance in compliance with today's announcement.

Admission to games will be limited to home and visiting club personnel, credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff and NHL officials. The games will be closed to the public.

The health and well-being of our community is our priority and we appreciate the understanding of our fans, corporate partners and guests under these extraordinary circumstances. Our games will continue to be televised regionally on FOX Sports Ohio and available on the Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station 97.1 The Fan or CD102.5 FM (select games) in Columbus.

The club will work with season ticket, club and premium seat holders on appropriate credits or refunds for affected games, while single-game buyers will receive a refund through their point of purchase. The club will be communicating to season ticket holders, partners and other affected parties with additional information soon.

6:06 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

NBC will suspend live audiences for these morning shows

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta

NBC will be suspending live audiences for the "Today" show and "Today with Hoda & Jena & Friends" beginning Thursday.

Read the network's full statement: 

“The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. As a precautionary measure, starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, we have decided to suspend live audiences for TODAY and TODAY with Hoda & Jenna & Friends. Per guidance from New York City officials, the company is hoping to do its part to help to decrease the rate of transmission in our communities. Our shows will continue filming on their regular schedule, and currently, there will be no impact on air dates.”
5:59 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

DC mayor declares state of emergency over coronavirus concerns

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a state of emergency, as well as a public health emergency, in Washington, DC, due to coronavirus.

There are six new cases of coronavirus in DC, bringing the total there to 10, according to Dr. Laquandra S. Nesbitt of Columbia Department of Health.

“Because of the nature of those cases, we anticipate that we will have additional cases in the District of Columbia,” Nesbitt said.

5:42 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

More than 1,100 cases of coronavirus confirmed in US

From CNN's Allison Flexner

There are at least 1,162 cases of novel coronavirus in the US, according to state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, there are 70 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through public health systems, there are 1,092 cases in 41 states and the District of Columbia, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 1,162.  

Four more people in Washington state have passed away due to the coronavirus, bringing the US death toll to 37. 

This includes presumptive positive cases that tested positive in a public health lab and are pending confirmation from the CDC, and confirmed cases that have received positive results from the CDC.

5:49 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Israel unveils billion-dollar package for businesses hit by coronavirus

From Elliott Gotkine, Andrew Carey and Michael Schwartz in Jerusalem

Israel’s government is introducing a financial package worth almost $3 billion dollars to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus shutdown, as the country’s hotels sector described the health scare as “the most serious crisis in the history of the hotel industry in Israel." 

Israel’s Hotels Association says occupancy rates in key tourist locations like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are currently down to 30% and warn they are expected to go lower as the restrictions on tourists from overseas comes into full effect. The association estimates costs to the sector of $100 million per month. 

Earlier this week: The Israeli flag-carrier El Al said it expected a revenue drop of $160 million in the first quarter of 2020. The company confirmed to CNN that around 1,000 employees, among them pilots, were being sent on unpaid leave. 

In the face of growing calls for the government to act, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a 10 billion shekel ($2.8 billion) financial package which, he said, would “allow the economy to continue to function.” 

7:12 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Italy to close all shops and venues across the country

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato in Rome

A waiter closes a pizza shop in Rome, on Wednesday, March 11.
A waiter closes a pizza shop in Rome, on Wednesday, March 11. Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Italy will close all restaurants, bars and shops across the country in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Wednesday.

Only pharmacies and supermarkets will be allowed to remain open, Conte added.

Restaurants will be allowed to be operational for food deliveries, but companies will be required to implement remote working for all jobs, except those that require physical presence, Conte added.

More on this: Italy recorded a jump of 2,313 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with the total tally now at 12,462, the country's Civil Protection Agency said.