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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9:40 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus is "almost a perfect killing machine" for elderly patients, US nursing home association head says

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

The Life Care Center nursing home, where some residents have died from the novel coronavirus, is pictured in Kirkland, Washington on March 5.
The Life Care Center nursing home, where some residents have died from the novel coronavirus, is pictured in Kirkland, Washington on March 5. Credit: Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Relatives and friends should not visit patients in nursing and assisted living centers as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, the head of the United States' largest association of long-term and post-acute care providers told CNN.

"We are encouraging all people, including family members and loved ones, to not visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities," American Health Care Association President Mark Parkinson said Tuesday.

"Until we get this under control, our new guidance, as of today, is to family members, to loved ones: Don't visit the facilities; instead, come up with an alternate way to communicate," he said, including phone, text, FaceTime or Snapchat.

"The grim reality is that, for the elderly, COVID-19 is almost a perfect killing machine," Parkinson said.
9:13 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus case reported at Toronto mining conference that Justin Trudeau attended

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, Canada, on March 2.
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, Canada, on March 2. Credit: Cole Burston/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Ontario has confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus likely from community spread at a mining conference that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended.

A man in his 50s tested positive for the virus after returning from the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s conference in Toronto, Public Health Sudbury and Districts in Northern Ontario said in a statement.

The conference ran from March 1 to 4 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at the conference on March 2. The event is one of the largest mining conferences in the world with thousands of attendees from dozens of countries.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury’s Medical Officer of Health, said there is no need for attendees to self-isolate at this time.

“Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection and as a precautionary measure, we are asking those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor for symptoms for 14 days,” says Dr. Sutcliffe. 

9:06 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

New York governor: "Like it or not, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A subway passenger uses a tissue while holding a handrail on a train in New York City, on Tuesday.
A subway passenger uses a tissue while holding a handrail on a train in New York City, on Tuesday. Credit: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will ask the state's business leaders to reduce workplace density during the coronavirus outbreak.

Possible tactics include running two shifts of workers and letting workers who can work from home to do so.

He said in a city like New York City, “there’s no such thing as social distancing, you’re always within six feet of a person.” 

“We really need to take more aggressive actions. This is not going away on its own," he added. “Like it or not, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions, and we’re going to have to start to act united to reduce the density, more testing more testing more testing that’s the only way to reduce the spread.”  

“We don’t want to overreact but we understand we have to take aggressive actions and we’re looking at all those large gatherings today and I will have an announcement either later today or tomorrow.”

 Cuomo said the state cases as of this morning are at 193 — but added, “we’re going to get another tranche of numbers in the next couple of hours.”

“We test around-the-clock now so the number constantly adjusts, but it is constantly going up and that shouldn’t give people alarm," he said.

Cuomo said he anticipates the number of cases will keep going up for weeks, and warned that the virus is “much more advanced than we are seeing in any of these numbers.” 

8:48 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US lawmakers will ask Trump to declare a national emergency

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is preparing to ask President Trump to issue a national emergency declaration for the coronavirus.

Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Gary Peters will join Schumer in writing the letter.

What this could mean: A declaration would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to use the more than $40 billion available in the Disaster Relief Fund to assist state and local governments in their efforts to mitigate spread of COVID-19 and protect public health.

FEMA is providing support to state partners like first responders, providing them supplies, like gloves, hand sanitizers and masks, and working closely with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

8:58 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Naomi Campbell wears hazmat suit to LA airport

From CNN's Tamara Hardingham-Gill

Naomi Campbell has long been an advocate of staying germ free while traveling.

The supermodel last year posted a video of her intense pre-flight ritual, which involved wiping down everything close to her airplane seat with Dettol anti-bacterial wipes.

So it's perhaps no surprise the 49-year-old has opted to step things up following the novel coronavirus outbreak 

Campbell posted several images of herself boarding a plane at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday wearing a hazmat suit, a pair of goggles, a face mask and pink latex gloves.

Read the full story here

8:58 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Ukraine shuts schools and cancels events after just one case recorded

From Anastasia Graham-Yooll

Medics participate in a coronavirus response exercise at a hospital in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 28.
Medics participate in a coronavirus response exercise at a hospital in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 28. Credit: Stringer/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Ukraine has approved measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus including a three-week quarantine for all schools and a ban on gatherings of more than 200 people.

Gatherings of "state importance" may be exempt and sporting events may take place without spectators, according to a statement on the government's website.

The statement did not specify when the measures would come into force.

Ukraine's capital Kiev will introduce "anti-epidemic measures" from Thursday until the end of March, the city's mayor Vitali Klitschko said Wednesday.

The measures listed by Klitschko include:

  • Shutting down kindergartens, schools, and universities.
  • Restricting mass gatherings and events, including conferences and concerts.
  • Closing movie theaters.
  • Installing "high security and doctor patrols" at shopping malls.

“Friends, don’t panic,” said the mayor in his statement. “We have to be responsible and keep the hygiene protocol. If you’re not feeling well, see the doctor at once.

“Considering the global environment, and the dynamics of the spread coronavirus, there is potential for the state of emergency in the capital."

Ukraine has one case of the virus reported earlier this month, and Kiev has none.

8:44 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Quarantine measures imposed in Spain will affect more than 1.5 million students and their families

From CNN's Laura Perez Maestro in Madrid

A sign with information about coronavirus is posted at a closed school in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday.
A sign with information about coronavirus is posted at a closed school in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday. Credit: David Benito/ Getty Images

New measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in Spain's "significant transmission areas" take effect today, with more than 1.5 million students affected in Madrid alone.

All schools, nurseries, universities will remain closed for 15 days in the regions of Madrid (where 3,650 institutions will close) and La Rioja, and the Basque cities of Vitoria and Labastida. Four schools in the region of Asturias will close, too.

The Spanish government asked companies to allow employees to work from home where possible and be flexible with hours. It said it will help families financially so they can cover the cost of childcare while these measures are in place.

Patricia Avila, finance director for a logistics company in Madrid and a mother of one, told CNN: “I am lucky, my company allows me to work remotely from home. But I am sure this will last more than 15 days, probably until after Easter at least. I will have to rely on my family and will have to work remotely to deal with this situation, but I can’t be as efficient, there are meetings you have to do in person, it is going to be difficult even for me.”

Regarding the government’s promise of financial aid for families, she said: “I don’t trust them, they won’t be able to help everyone, we don’t even know how long this will last.

“And again, I am lucky, my colleague is having to use her holidays to look after her children while the schools are closed, another colleague has asked for unpaid leave.”

Avila said she was heading to the grocery store after finding the shelves empty the day before.

The Health Ministry’s emergencies coordinator, Fernando Simon, said 2,002 people had tested positive for coronavirus and 47 had died, with half of the cases appearing in Madrid.

He said some hospitals in Madrid were "saturated" and "under stress," but the authorities were solving the uncertainty around a lack of medication.

8:30 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast looks at the history of viral outbreaks

Each day, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is breaking down the latest news about the coronavirus on the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast.

In the wake of the coronavirus, what lessons can be learned from past viral outbreaks? In today's episode, Gupta turns to Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of historical medicine, for key context.

You can listen to it here.

8:29 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Big West tournament to be played without spectators

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The Long Beach State and Cal Poly women's basketball teams play in an empty Walter Pyramid arena during the Big West tournament in Long Beach, California on March 10.
The Long Beach State and Cal Poly women's basketball teams play in an empty Walter Pyramid arena during the Big West tournament in Long Beach, California on March 10. Credit: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze/Getty Images

The Big West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the US will be played without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced Tuesday.

The Big West Board of Directors, comprised of the chief executive officers of the nine member universities, strongly feel that this is a prudent way to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus while being sensitive to our student-athletes who have pointed towards playing in the tournament all season,” said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. 

He added: “Many of our institutions are developing plans to minimize the interaction of individuals on their campuses that could include the downsizing of events."

The women’s tournament started Tuesday night in Long Beach, California. Both tournaments will be played in Anaheim, California, from Thursday.