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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6:09 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Apollo Theater cancels its public programs

 Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/FILE
 Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images/FILE

Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater is canceling all of its theater-produced public programs starting Friday through April 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The cancellation includes these programs:

  • WOW — Women of the World Festival
  • Amateur Night at the Apollo
  • School Day Live
  • Historic Tours
  • Live Wire
  • Apollo Comedy Club
  • Apollo Music Café events

The Apollo Theater and African Film Festival’s Africa Now! concert on April 4 has also been been postponed until the fall. 

5:59 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Tribeca Film Festival postponed due to coronavirus

From CNN's Marianne Garvey

New York's Tribeca Film Festival, which was scheduled for next month, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public while also supporting our friends, filmmakers and storytellers who look to Tribeca as a platform to showcase their work to audiences," Jane Rosenthal, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, said in a statement. "We will be back to you shortly with our plans.”

The festival lineup of 115 films was set to run April 15 - 26.

5:58 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Cruise line executive says the industry doesn't need a bailout over the coronavirus crisis

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

The cruise industry is crafting proposals to address the coronavirus crisis, but they’re not looking for a government bailout, according to one cruise line executive.

“We’ve been through hundreds of things – hurricanes, and other health crises like SARS that we’ve lived through and grown from. Taking cash from the government is not how the cruise industry works,” said the executive.

Industry cruise line leaders proposed a number of forward-looking initiatives that were jointly discussed with the Trump administration as part of the coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence, according to a source familiar with the situation. Discussions are ongoing and industry leaders are waiting to hear back from the administration about the proposals, added the source.

Industry under stress: The cruise line industry has taken a financial hit since the coronavirus outbreak in January.

Carnival’s Princess Cruises announced today that it would be suspending all voyages for 60 days in response to the coronavirus outbreak on two of its ships. Royal Caribbean on Tuesday extended its credit line by $550 million and withdrew its first quarter and full year 2020 outlook.

Shares of Carnival and Royal Caribbean both dropped 31% today.  

5:51 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New York governor announces first public drive-through coronavirus testing facility on East Coast

From CNN's Bob Frehse

New York state will have the first public drive-through coronavirus testing facility on the east coast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

Officials will start testing people by appointment only in New Rochelle starting Friday, Cuomo added. New Rochelle residents who have been quarantined will be tested first, he said.

5:48 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

NCAA basketball game official tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's David Close

The Colonial Athletic Association has announced that a game official working the CAA Conference Championships has tested positive for coronavirus.

The CAA Conference tournament ran from Saturday through Tuesday.

Read the CAA's full statement: 

"The Colonial Athletic Association has been made aware that a game official who worked at the 2020 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The official did not exhibit symptoms of the virus until 72 hours after the game he worked, but out of an abundance of caution the conference has made the involved institutions and tournament personnel aware of the situation so they can take proper precautionary measures.”
5:43 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian in Atlanta

Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran's former foreign minister and current adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently in quarantine at his home, Tehran's Masih Daneshvari Hospital told Iran's semi-official news agency ISNA. 

According to ISNA, Velayti recently spent several days at Masih Daneshvari Hospital working with hospital staff discussing the best ways to combat coronavirus across the country. 

Hospital officials tell ISNA that Velayati started exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms on Wednesday at which point he was tested for the virus and results showed he had contracted it. Reports indicate that Velayati is quarantined and in good condition. 

6:04 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

All Kentucky public and private schools to cease in-person classes for at least two weeks

From CNN's Keith Allen


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has recommended that all public and private schools throughout the commonwealth cease in-person classes for at least two weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at a news conference in Frankfort this afternoon, Beshear called this “a big, but necessary step,” and said he made the announcement today in order to give faculty and staff time to put together in-home assignments, as well as giving parents time to prepare for the closure.

Beshear specifically chose the terminology “ceasing in-person classes” in order to give individual superintendents flexibility to keep school cafeterias open even when classes are not in-session, he told reporters this afternoon.

5:34 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Utah bans large gatherings for two-week period

Utah is banning all mass gatherings of more than 100 people, starting next Monday, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Gov. Gary Herbert said the ban – which includes houses of worship – will be in effect for two weeks. The order does not apply to K-12 schools, although all districts were asked “to prepare to close.”

Anyone who is over the age of 60 or has immunity problems is encouraged to avoid any gatherings of 20 or more people. An exception is made for businesses like grocery stores. Anyone who is sick is being told to stay home.

5:42 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New study details first known person-to-person coronavirus transmission in the US

From CNN’s Arman Azad

A woman who traveled from China to Illinois in mid-January likely transmitted novel coronavirus to her husband through "prolonged, unprotected contact," according to research released Thursday. 

None of more than 300 people who came into contact with the two patients after they showed symptoms, however, developed symptoms of their own.

The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, detail the first known transmission of novel coronavirus in the United States, and suggest that the virus may transmit most easily through extended contact with infected people, not brief or casual exposures.

Dr. Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, who co-led the research, stressed that health care providers should still "rapidly triage and isolate individuals suspected of having [the virus]" and notify local health departments.

That's because, according to the study, "infection control measures within the hospital setting and an aggressive public health response" to these first cases might have prevented widespread coronavirus exposure. And it's possible that other patients — those with more severe illness, for example — may transmit the virus more easily.

The researchers cautioned that their findings are preliminary and based on a single transmission event, which might not represent the population at large.

The study had other limitations, too. Because they relied on memories to reconstruct people's movements, investigators might not have identified everybody who came into contact with the coronavirus patients.