March 11 coronavirus news

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11:51 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Italy has banned funerals. Here’s how some people are getting around the rule.

From CNN's Barbie Latza Nadeau in Rome

A priest comes out of a church in Rome to give a blessing over a coffin sitting in the trunk of a car.
A priest comes out of a church in Rome to give a blessing over a coffin sitting in the trunk of a car. Barbie Latza Nadeau/CNN

As part of nationwide quarantine measures, Italy has issued a ban on all public gatherings — including weddings and funerals.

But at least one group of mourners in Rome got around the restrictions by parking a hearse outside a church and having a priest come outside to give a blessing over the coffin as it sat inside.

Italians are finding ways of living under the national lockdown: Some people seen having their hair cut on the streets to circumvent the rule against booking new appointments to avoid packing people too close together.

Stores have been limiting the number of people allowed to enter, while bars and restaurants have been keeping tables apart and using tape to mark one-meter (three-foot) gaps between people.

The workaround came after public gatherings including funerals were suspended in Italy as part of nationwide quarantine measures.
The workaround came after public gatherings including funerals were suspended in Italy as part of nationwide quarantine measures. Barbie Latza Nadeau/CNN

4:00 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Can I get coronavirus by handling cash and credit cards?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

U.S. banknotes are pictured in Washington D.C. on March 3.
U.S. banknotes are pictured in Washington D.C. on March 3. Credit: Liu Jie/Xinhua/Getty Images

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Health Security, said he doesn't worry much about the possibility of getting coronavirus through handling money.

"So this is a respiratory virus, so it spreads through coughs and sneezes and the droplets that go out of your body. They go about six feet and fall to the ground. It can land on surfaces, it can remain viable on the surfaces, but that's not the main way that this is transmitting," he explained.

"I don't really, myself, worry about money or coins as a major way that this is transmitting," he added.

He urged people to wash their hands frequently, including after handling money, but reiterated "it's not the main way" the virus spreads.

Watch:

11:43 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US House will vote on Democrats' coronavirus economic plan tomorrow, lawmaker says

From CNN's Haley Byrd

US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer heads to a closed-door briefing on recent developments with the novel coronavirus on March 4, in Washington, DC.
US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer heads to a closed-door briefing on recent developments with the novel coronavirus on March 4, in Washington, DC. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says Democrats are finalizing their coronavirus package today and will hold a vote on it tomorrow.

He said there won’t be time for a Congressional Budget Office score of the bill. He also couldn’t provide reporters with a specific cost estimate, saying it will “probably be in the billions.”

“It’ll be much more costly if we don’t provide this relief,” he said of the bill.

Remember: The legislation is not expected to pass in the Senate, as talks between lawmakers and the Trump administration continue.

Hoyer yesterday appeared to rule out the White House’s proposed payroll tax cut from being included in future coronavirus response legislation, saying he thinks it is “a nonstarter.”

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

Pittsburgh cancels St. Patrick's Day parade

From CNN's Amanda Watts

The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is cancelling this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade due to concerns over novel coronavirus, according to a statement from the mayor’s office.

“Due to ongoing concerns over the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City of Pittsburgh today is joining cities around the globe – including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dublin, Ireland – in cancelling the St. Patrick’s Day parade planned for Saturday, March 14," the statement said.

“The health of our residents and visitors to our city must be our main priority,” Mayor William Peduto said. “This mitigation measure will help keep people in Pittsburgh and Western Pa. safe.”

There are currently 14 cases of coronavirus across Pennsylvania. None of those cases are in Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is, the statement said. 

11:32 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Disney says coronavirus outbreak has been "challenging"

From CNN’s Michelle Toh and Frank Pallotta

A general view shows the Disney Castle at Disneyland in Shanghai, China, on March 10.
A general view shows the Disney Castle at Disneyland in Shanghai, China, on March 10. Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger admitted that the coronavirus outbreak has been “challenging” for the company, but that it's strong enough to weather any downturn.

“I think it’s fair to say that we’re all sobered by the concern that we feel for everyone effected by this global crisis,” the former CEO said at Disney’s annual investor conference. 

“These are challenging times for everyone. But it’s also important to note that throughout our company’s nearly century long history Disney has been through a lot, including wars and economic downturns and natural disasters. What we’ve demonstrating repeatedly over the years is that we are incredibly resilient," he added.

How Disney has responded to coronavirus: Disney closed its parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong in January, warning that profits from its facilities in China could drop by $280 million in the current quarter.

The company has also temporarily shuttered its parks in Japan.

“Our future has always been bright, and it remains so for good reason,” Iger added. “In fact, when you think about the world today, what we create at the Walt Disney Co. has never been more necessary or more important.”

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.