March 12 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Sheena McKenzie and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT) March 13, 2020
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4:40 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Disneyland will close due to coronavirus outbreak

Disneyland will close due to coronavirus concerns, the company announced today.

Beginning on Saturday morning, the theme park will be closed through the end of March, the park tweeted.

Disneyland's cast members will still get paid during the closure.

Here's what they tweeted:

4:30 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Sen. Lindsey Graham becomes latest member of Congress to self-quarantine

From CNN's Matthew Hoye

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close ally of President Trump, on Thursday became the latest member of Congress to announce that he is self-quarantining during the coronavirus outbreak.

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill grapple with how to contain the spread of coronavirus across the United States, nine members of Congress are now taking steps to either self-quarantine or otherwise isolate themselves as a precaution after coming into contact with an infected individual.

Five Republican lawmakers — Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas along with Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Doug Collins of Georgia, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Mark Meadows of North Carolina — are self-quarantining after interacting with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Two Democrats are also taking precautionary measures. California Rep. Julia Brownley announced on Monday that she and her staff are now working remotely after finding out that she recently came into contact with someone who tested positive. On Tuesday, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer announced that he will self-quarantine after learning that a friend he interacted with recently tested positive. 

On Thursday, Republican Sen Rick Scott of Florida also announced he is self-quarantining.

4:27 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

NCAA cancels March Madness

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that the annual Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Here's what the NCAA said in a statement:

"Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities."

The announcement also means sports like golf, lacrosse, tennis and the College World Series would also be canceled.

4:17 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Stocks plummet as Wall Street's 11-year bull market comes to a screeching halt

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

US stocks recorded their worst day since the 1987 crash Thursday, on rising fears about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Wall Street officially fell into a bear market with the S&P 500 dropping more than 20% from its February 19 peak. The Dow, a smaller index than the S&P, fell into a bear market Wednesday.

The S&P 500 closed down 9.5%. It was its worst day since October 19, 1987, known as “Black Monday.”

The index dropped 7% in the first minutes of trading, which triggered a circuit breaker and led the New York Stocks Exchange to suspend trading for 15 minutes.

The Dow finished 2,352 points, or nearly 10%, lower in its biggest one-day percentage drop since “Black Monday.” The index is now at a level not seen since summer 2017.

The Nasdaq Composite closed down 9.4%. It is now also in a bear market.

4:13 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New York City declares a state of emergency because of coronavirus

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York City has declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio said moments ago at a news conference.

“The last 24-hours have been very very sobering,” de Blasio said.

4:12 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

"Spring Break is over," says Miami Beach mayor

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

The city of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency, Mayor Dan Gelber said at a news conference.

“Spring Break is over,” he said.

Gelber said restaurants will remain open but that he is discouraging people from visiting Miami Beach and encouraging social-distancing guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4:07 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Trump is concerned about coming into contact with people infected with coronavirus, source says

From CNN's Jim Acosta

President Trump is telling people close to him that he is indeed concerned about coming into contact with people who have contracted coronavirus, including a Brazilian official who tested positive after coming face-to-face with him at Mar-a-Lago, a source close to the President said.

“He is very concerned about all the people he met who have it including the Brazilian,” the source said.

Earlier today in the Oval Office the President insisted he is not concerned about being exposed. 

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham later issued a statement saying, "Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time."

The source did not know whether the President has been tested or not. 

4:17 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Israeli airline El Al suspends most operations

From CNN's Oren Liebermann and Amir Tal

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images/File
Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images/File

Israeli airline El Al announced that it is suspending most of its operations beginning this Sunday, the company said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

The airline will maintain connections to New York, Newark, Toronto, London, Paris and Johannesburg, but flights to other locations, such as Moscow, Mumbai, and most destinations in Europe will be suspended.

The statement made no mention of when flights may resume.

3:56 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Greece closes courts, theaters and gyms

From CNN's Chris Liakos

Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images
Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images

Greece will close all of its courts and entertainment venues for at least two weeks, the health ministry said today.

This includes:

  • playgrounds
  • theaters
  • cinemas
  • entertainment centers
  • gyms

There were 18 new cases diagnosed today, bringing the total number to 117 cases.