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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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.

5:36 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US State Department employees suspended from non-essential travel due to coronavirus

From CNN's Kylie Atwood and Jennifer Hansler

US State Department employees have been suspended from all non-essential travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, a State Department official and two other sources familiar told CNN.

One source said that a cable went out to all missions worldwide informing them that only mission critical travel is recommended and that diplomatic posts and State Department bureaus need to report travel.

Another source explained that the criteria for “mission critical” varies from country to country and it’s up to the chief of mission to interpret it. Previously planned trips by top State Department employees were postponed due to this new guidance, the State Department official said. 

The official said that the State Department does not have any cases of coronavirus among its employees, but the department is preparing for that day to come.

Part of that preparation was a note sent to employees last week telling them to make sure their telework agreements were up to date.

If an employee at the main State Department building in Washington comes down with the virus, the plan would be to clear out the whole office, send everyone in the office home to self-quarantine and deep clean the office, the State Department official said.

Right now they do not plan to shut down the entire building if there is just one case but they would reassess if the outbreak spread at all, the official said.


5:28 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

4 new coronavirus deaths reported in Washington state's King County

From CNN's Andy Rose

The health department of King County, Washington, says it has confirmed four more deaths due to the novel coronavirus today. The department is also reporting 44 additional positive test results. 

Three of the four new deaths reported were residents of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. The fourth person was a patient at Redmond Care and Rehab. Three of the four people who died were in their 90s, according to the health department. 

The new results raise the number of coronavirus cases in Washington state to 325. The statewide death toll is 28.

5:20 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Late night shows will go without audiences because of coronavirus

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta

Some of the most popular late night shows, including CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" and "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon are pulling their audiences because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Citing an abundance of caution over the spread of the novel coronavirus, New York-based late night shows "Late Night with Seth Meyers," HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" and TBS' "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" will begin to tape their broadcasts without a live studio audience.

"The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority," NBC said in a statement, adding that "as a precautionary measure" the "Tonight Show" and "Late Night" will suspend live audiences starting on Monday, March 16.

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," which is the highest-rated show in late night, said in a statement that there has not been any "specific developments at The Ed Sullivan Theater to cause concern for audiences with plans to attend the show tonight, tomorrow, or who have attended in recent weeks."

The decision to go without an audience was made in regard to the virus and "the uncertainty of the situation for future weeks" as coronavirus continues to spread around the world.

5:12 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US House races to complete coronavirus relief package by Thursday, lawmakers say

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Democratic members said there is no price tag yet on the coronavirus relief bill that will be voted on by the chamber on Thursday.

Text of the legislation will be released soon and the House Rules Committee will vote to approve the rule for floor debate tonight.

The bill details many of the items that was laid out by Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week. That includes ensuring everyone has access to testing, including undocumented immigrants, paid leave and food stamp assistance.

“We’re focused right now on the health and well-being of every day Americans, of the American people. We want to put families first," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, of New York, said this afternoon.

He continued: "We’ve got to find common ground with the White House and the Senate to provide necessary relief given the economic trauma will result from the manner in which the coronavirus has been mismanaged by the White House."

5:01 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Joe Biden's campaign rallies in Chicago and Miami will now be "virtual events"

From CNN's Sarah Mucha

Joe Biden’s rallies scheduled for Friday in Chicago and on Monday in Miami will now be “virtual events,” according to a campaign statement.

The campaign said it consulted with elected officials in Illinois and Florida before announcing its decision.

"As a result of those conversations and at the request of elected officials in Illinois and Florida, we will no longer hold large crowd events on Friday and Monday in those states," the campaign said in a statement.

"Tomorrow, Vice President Biden will deliver remarks on the coronavirus pandemic, Friday’s and Monday’s events will become virtual events, and the campaign will make announcements about additional details on the format and timing of the virtual events and on future events in the coming days," the campaign said.