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

Top US health official says NBA should consider playing games without crowds

Spectators look on as RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks walks on court during a game against the Washington Wizards, at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Spectators look on as RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks walks on court during a game against the Washington Wizards, at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC on Tuesday. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

When asked if he thinks NBA games should go on during the outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would not suggest it.

“We would recommend there not be large crowds, if that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it,” Fauci said while speaking in front on the House Oversight Committee about the novel coronavirus response.

“As a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread,” Fauci added. 

11:02 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Is coronavirus especially harmful for pregnant women?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Long story short: There's not enough data yet, considering this coronavirus just emerged in humans a few months ago.

The vulnerability of "older adults" has been well documented, but researchers "do not have information from published scientific reports about susceptibility of pregnant women" to this coronavirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Based on limited case reports, adverse infant outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) have been reported among infants born to mothers positive for Covid-19 during pregnancy," the CDC says.

"However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection, and at this time the risk of adverse infant outcomes is not known."

11:05 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Chicago River won't be dyed green for St. Patrick's Day, mayor says

Workers dye the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick's day in March 2019, in Chicago, Illinois.
Workers dye the Chicago River green in celebration of St. Patrick's day in March 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago is postponing its annual tradition of dying the city's river green for St. Patrick's Day, "out of an abundance of caution," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a morning press briefing. 

Earlier today, officials announced that the city's St. Patrick's Day parade, set for Saturday, was postponed.

"Having a parade at this time posed unnecessary risk to the public's health" drawing millions of people from around the world to the city, Lightfoot said. Lightfoot will work with organizers for possible days to have the St. Partick's Day events in the future. 

City officials said going to polling locations for the Illinois 2020 primary — scheduled for Tuesday — is still safe. Lightfoot reminded residents that they can still cast ballots in the mail. 

10:47 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

3 California TSA employees test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske said three San Jose, California, TSA employees with coronavirus are all receiving medial care.

"We have identified their coworkers that have sustained contact with them within the last 14 days and placed those individuals on weather and safety leave until the 14 day window closes," he said in an opening statement before House Homeland Committee.

The TSA has "thoroughly disinfected" the worksite at the San Jose airport, he added.

4:09 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US government makes it easier for airlines to cancel flights

From CNN's Greg Wallace

People walk through an international departure terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, on March 7.
People walk through an international departure terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, on March 7. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that due the coronavirus-related flight cancelations, it will waive a requirement that the industry says could otherwise lead to airlines running empty flights. 

The requirement normally requires that airlines use 80% of their assigned runway slots at several busy airports — including LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy in New York and Reagan National in Washington, DC. 

There are four other airports — Chicago O'Hare, Newark Liberty, Los Angeles International and San Francisco — at which the agency has a formal schedule review and approval process. The FAA said it will give credit to airlines for flights that were canceled at those airports due to the virus.

Most major US airlines have moved to cancel a significant portion of their flights due to the outbreak, raising the possibility that they will not meet the targets. Without the waiver, the airlines risked losing their slots. 

The agency said the waiver is good through the end of May.  

10:35 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Top US health official says "it's going to get worse"

From CNN's Suzanne Malveaux on Capitol Hill 

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is one of several officials testifying in front of the US House Oversight Committee, told Chair Carolyn Maloney that the country should expect things to get worse.

Here's how their exchange went down:

Maloney: “Is the worst yet to come Dr. Fauci?”

Fauci: “Yes it is... Things will get worse...The bottom line it’s going to get worse.”

10:19 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Kentucky suspends inmates' visitation rights because of coronavirus

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

Governor Beshear speaks in February.
Governor Beshear speaks in February. Bryan Woolston/AP

Kentucky is suspending visitation rights for those held in state prisons and similar institutions in light of the coronavirus, Gov. Andy Beshear announced today.

Inmates will instead be allowed one free call, and up to two contacts through controlled social media. 

Beshear said there are eight cases of coronavirus in the state, and all patients are "stable, doing well.” 

"A couple of these individuals may almost be through this," Beshear said. "And that is very, very good news." 

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

Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade canceled because of coronavirus concerns

Brian Kersey/Getty Images
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

The Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade — one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the US — has been canceled, organizers announced on their website. 

The parade was slated for Saturday afternoon. Each year, Chicago's parade and river dyeing attracts hundreds of thousands of people to downtown.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker are expected to give updates at a novel coronavirus briefing later this morning. 

Illinois has reported 19 coronavirus cases as of yesterday. 

9:59 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

When will the coronavirus epidemic end?

Your questions, answered

No one knows for sure. President Trump suggested this coronavirus could subside by the warmer summer months — but scientists say it's too early to tell.

"The short answer is that while we may expect modest declines in the contagiousness of (novel coronavirus) in warmer, wetter weather and perhaps with the closing of schools ... it is not reasonable to expect these declines alone to slow transmission enough to make a big dent," wrote Dr. Marc Lipsitch, director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar responded to Trump's suggestion that coronavirus could weaken in warmer weather.

"What the President is saying is, we hope it will respond the way regular coronaviruses do and be heat responsive," Azar said.

"But it also could just as equally respond the way SARS — a coronavirus adaptation — responds and continue in the warm season."