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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4:21 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US stocks fell dramatically today due to coronavirus

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Andrew Kelly/Reuters

US stocks sold off sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow falling into a bear market, defined as 20% below its most recent high.

The Dow finished 1,465 points, or 5.9%, lower.

Stocks erased all of Tuesday’s gains. Coronavirus fears again weighed on markets, as the World Health Organization designated the global outbreak a pandemic.

The S&P 500 dropped 4.9%. The index briefly fell into bear market territory in afternoon trading.

The Nasdaq Composite closed down 4.7%.

4:10 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Can I get coronavirus from products made in China?

Your coronavirus questions, answered


"The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting Covid-19 cases," the World Health Organization says.

"Even though the new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures," WHO said.

"If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water."

7:31 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Seattle public schools will close for at least 14 days

Seattle public schools will close tomorrow and remain closed “for a minimum of 14 days,” according to a notice from the district to parents.

In a letter to students’ families, the district says, “Together, we are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community.” The notice does not say if they will attempt to continue instruction remotely, although the district promises to have more details for parents on Thursday.

The school district says its first staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus Tuesday, but they expect the number of cases tied to the district to increase.

3:59 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Trump says he will be making a statement tonight

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he has “already made some decisions today” but “will be making some other ones that are important.”

He added that he will “be making a statement later on tonight" about what the country should do regarding the coronavirus. 

Trump made the remarks during a White House meeting with bankers to discuss the economy, jobs, and the coronavirus. 

“Prior to the coronavirus, it was just all go,” Trump said of the economy. “The numbers from a week ago were great... but now we’re hitting a patch and we’re going to have to do something.”

“Number one priority is the health of the country,” he added. 

Trump said he will make the statement around 8 p.m. ET.

3:55 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

All-member coronavirus briefings in House and Senate scheduled for Thursday

From CNN's Ted Barrett and Manu Raju

Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images/FILE
Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images/FILE

The House and Senate will both hold all-member coronavirus briefings on Thursday. 

The Senate will brief senators in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing room at 9:15 a.m. ET, according to Chairman Lamar Alexander’s staff. The briefing will be closed to the public.

The briefers for the Senate will include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health, among other groups and organizations.  

There is also an 8 a.m. ET all-House member briefing scheduled Thursday.

3:35 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

India suspends all tourist visas due to coronavirus

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

India will suspend all tourist visas to stop the spread of novel coronavirus, according to a statement from the government today. 

"All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020," the government's Press Information Bureau said in the statement. 

All travelers, including returning Indian nationals, "arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 will be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days," the statement said. 

Indian nationals are “strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.”

3:24 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

First coronavirus death reported in Los Angeles County

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A person has died from coronavirus in Los Angeles County, bringing California’s death total to four. 

The woman, who was in her 60s, was not an L.A. County resident but was in town visiting friends, Health Officer Barbara Ferrer announced at a news conference. She had a history of extensive travel recently, including a long layover in South Korea. 

Ferrer also reports six new cases of coronavirus infections in the county. 

Three of the new cases are household contacts of someone previously infected. One of those people is hospitalized. 

One person recently traveled to France and came home sick. 

Another person attended a religious conference in another state and was in close contact with someone who ended up testing positive. 

The source of the sixth person’s infection cannot be traced and is believed to be the second community-spread case in L.A. County.

3:22 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Trump is tweeting about coronavirus

From CNN's Ali Zaslav 

President Trump is going after congressional Democrats, while simultaneously tweeting about his administration's plans to tackle the growing coronavirus crisis. 

“Someone needs to tell the Democrats in Congress that CoronaVirus doesn’t care what party you are in. We need to protect ALL Americans!" the President tweeted.

He continued:

CNN’s Lauren Fox reported today that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and others are preparing to send a letter that will ask Trump to issue an emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic. 

Meanwhile in the House, Democrats plan to hold a vote tomorrow on a package they are currently assembling that would serve as a response to the pandemic, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday morning. 

3:18 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Italian medical chief dies from coronavirus

From Helena de Moura

Italy’s medical community is mourning the death of the head of the medical association in the northern Italian region of Varese, Italy’s state-run ANSA reported Wednesday.

Roberto Stella, president of the Medical Guild of Varese, died Tuesday night in Como, where the 67-year-old was hospitalized for respiratory failure due to coronavirus, the agency reported.

In a statement, Italy’s National Federation of Doctors and General Practitioners mourned Stella’s death, highlighting his contributions on a national level. They added that they hope the government will take notice of the dangers Italian doctors and nurses are facing.

“He was the example of the capability and hard work of family doctors,” said Silvestro Scotti, national secretary of the federation, said in a statement released Wednesday.

“His death represents the outcry of all colleagues who still today are not equipped with the proper individual protection needed."

Stella was a well-respected general practitioner both at the local and national level.