March 12 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT) March 13, 2020
195 Posts
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6:30 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Smithsonian Museums and National Zoo close to the public

From CNN's Adrienne Winston

The Smithsonian Institute has released a statement saying, “all Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, metropolitan area and New York City, including the National Zoo will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14.”

The statement did not give an end date to the closures and said “updates on a week-to-week basis on our websites.”

6:28 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

School districts across Georgia to close due to the coronavirus

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Numerous school districts around Georgia will be closing due to rising coronavirus concerns.

Here are some of the districts and when they are closing and for how long as of this afternoon:

  • Cobb County Schools: Will close March 16 until further notice
  • Marietta City Schools: Will close March 16 for at least two weeks
  • City Schools of Decatur: To close indefinitely starting March 13
  • Fulton County Schools: Will close March 16 until further notice
  • Atlanta Public Schools: To close on March 16 for at least two weeks
  • DeKalb School District: Will close March 16 until further notice
6:27 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Portugal to close all educational establishments on Monday over coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Isa Soares

Portugal will close all educational establishments in order to try to contain the outbreak of coronavirus, the country's Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in a news conference on Thursday according to Portugal's state broadcaster RTP Noticias. 

Cruise ships will be able to dock in Portugal, but only Portuguese passengers who are returning home will be allowed to disembark, Costa said according to the broadcaster.

The government will also limit visits to nursing homes in order to protect the most vulnerable section of the population, he said.

These measures will go into effect on Monday, RTP Noticias reported.

6:22 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

San Francisco public schools will close for three weeks

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

 Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews KGO

San Francisco Unified School District will close for the next three weeks, starting Monday, and extending through the previously scheduled spring break.

“This is not business as usual,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews announced, adding, “This will require a measured, sustained response.”

In closing all schools, Matthews said this comes in an effort to prepare for a potentially longer closure. 

“As testing increases, so will our number of positive cases,” he warned.

San Francisco Unified School District is California’s seventh largest, with more than 57,000 students.

6:13 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New Jersey courts suspending all new jury trials to help minimize exposure to coronavirus

From Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

The New Jersey court system is suspending all new jury trials until further notice to help minimize exposure to coronavirus, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today.

“While jury trials are a critical component of our justice system, this extraordinary step is necessary to protect the health and safety of the community,” Rabner said. “At the same time, we will make every effort to keep our court system running in the face of this health crisis.”

“We are in full support of the Judiciary’s response to this public health emergency,” Gov. Phil Murphy added.

Acting administrative director of the courts Judge Glenn Grant said it was a critical decision. 

“It is imperative that we take action to avoid large public gatherings at our court facilities,” Grant said. “At the same time, we will leverage our technological capabilities so that other court proceedings can continue with minimal disruption to our justice system."


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.