March 12 coronavirus news
Catholic churches across Rome have been ordered to completely close due to the spread of coronavirus and worshippers are exempt from attending Sunday mass.
Pope Francis’ cardinal in charge of the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, said on Thursday that all churches in the city, whether active parishes or just open to the public, will shut down until April 3.
A church historian in Rome has said this is the first time that all churches in Rome have been closed to the faithful.
In a statement on the Church of Rome website, the Cardinal said the shutdown was necessary due to a “sense of belonging to a human family exposed to a virus of which we still don’t know the nature of or how it propagates. The faithful are therefore dispensed from the obligation of fulfilling Sunday celebration.”
“We are living in a very serious health situation each one of us is asked to have the utmost attention, because any imprudence in observing health measures could harm other people,” he added.
Rudy Gobert, the All-Star center for the NBA's Utah Jazz, took to Instagram on Thursday to thank people for their support after he was diagnosed with coronavirus.
He also apologized for his actions seen in a now viral video of him earlier this week deliberately touching microphones and recorders following a media session.
"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus," he said.
Gobert's positive test came shortly before the Jazz were due to tip-off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. The NBA postponed the game just before it started, and shortly thereafter postponed the entire season.
Donovan Mitchell, Gobert's teammate and fellow NBA All-Star this season, announced Thursday afternoon that he, too, had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Women's Tennis Association Tour will cancel the next two scheduled tennis tournaments, WTA CEO Steve Simon announced Thursday.
"Due to safety and health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, as well as the travel restrictions imposed on entering the United States from Europe, the Miami Open and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston will not be held at this time," he said in a statement.
He continued: "There isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers, and fans who attend our events, along with the general public. We are disappointed but the decision has been made in the interest of public health and safety, which is the top priority. The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season."
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.