March 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:49 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020
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1:02 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Health official's advice on coronavirus response: "Speed trumps perfection"

From CNN's Amanda Watts

World Health Organization health emergencies programme executive director Dr. Mike Ryan speaks at a coronavirus press briefing at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11.
World Health Organization health emergencies programme executive director Dr. Mike Ryan speaks at a coronavirus press briefing at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 11. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization is urging countries to act quickly and aggressively test to fight the novel coronavirus. 

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of health emergencies programme at the World Health Organization, recounted his past experience with Ebola outbreaks, with this advice:

"Be fast, have no regrets. You must be the first mover. The virus will always get you if you don’t move quickly.” 

Ryan said being prepared is paramount to keeping the virus at bay, adding, “If you need to be right before you move, you will never win.”  

“Speed trumps perfection. And the problem we have with society at the moment is everyone is afraid of making a mistake. Everyone is afraid of the consequence of error. But the greatest error is not to move. The greatest error is to be paralyzed by the fear of error,” Ryan warned.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said if there are countries that are actively looking and doing aggressive contact finding and starting to report high numbers of cases, “they shouldn’t be punished from that."

"It’s really important that we support countries in doing the right measures and sometimes that’s going to mean that case numbers are going to increase," she said.

“In many countries, it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Van Kerkhove added. “Please look for cases, please do testing and find those cases so we can turn the tide.”

12:55 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Colorado drive-up testing lab will be postponed due to weather 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Colorado health officials will postpone the drive-up testing site in Lowry, Colorado, until Saturday, weather permitting, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a statement Friday.

"Current weather conditions put both people being tested and laboratory staff at risk. Cold temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of personal protective," the statement said. 

Snow is in the forecast for the Denver-area Friday.

12:52 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Trudeau urges all Canadians to cut back on non-essential travel outside of country

From CNN’s Paula Newton

A view of Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Canada, on March 12.
A view of Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal, Canada, on March 12. Credit: Andre Pichette/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told all Canadians on Friday to curtail non-essential travel outside of the country.

The cruise ship season will be suspended until July, Trudeau said.

He said additional screening procedures will be added at Canadian airports. Trudeau said Canada would limit the amount of international travelers arriving in the country. He added that they would reduce the number of airports that would received international travelers.

“We will make those decisions based on the best information from our health officials,” Trudeau said. 

Trudeau said he has spoken with President Trump, other world leaders and health experts.

The Canadian government will announce a financial stimulus package in the upcoming days, he said.

“We will get through this together,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

12:44 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Louisiana Primary postponed two months over coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Keith Allen

The Louisiana Primary scheduled for April 4 will be postponed until June 20 due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said at a news conference Friday.

The move was made “to best protect the health and safety of Louisiana voters and voting officials,” Ardoin’s office said in a statement.

Louisiana has identified 33 positive cases of coronavirus in the state. 

12:50 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Trudeau says his wife's coronavirus symptoms are mild

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference on Friday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference on Friday. Credit: CTV

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, who tested positive for novel coronavirus has mild symptoms, but they will continue to take every precaution.

Trudeau said he is thinking of every family across the country who received the same diagnosis.

“I will remain in self-isolation for 14 days. I want to be clear: I have no symptoms. I’m feeling good and technology allows me to work from home,” Trudeau said, adding that the inconvenience is frustrating.

“We are all social beings after all,” the prime minister said.

12:37 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

First coronavirus-related death reported in Sudan

From journalist Yassir Abdullah in Khartoum

The Sudan Health Ministry announced Friday the death of a man from coronavirus infection. This is the first death related to the virus.

The ministry said the man was in his 50s and traveled to United Arab Emirates in early March.

12:59 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

UK postpones elections for a year over coronavirus

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy

T United Kingdom is delaying local and mayoral elections for a year, the UK Cabinet Office told CNN Friday, as part of an escalated response to delay the spread of coronavirus in the country.

The spokesperson said that the Cabinet will bring forward legislation to facilitate the postponement, adding that it will “work with the devolved administrations to ensure that they have the necessary powers to do the same.”

The delay also affects police and crime commissioner elections. 

12:34 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

People and companies can now contribute to the World Health Organization's coronavirus fund

From CNN’s Jacqueline Howard

The emblem of the World Health Organization is pictured at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 9.
The emblem of the World Health Organization is pictured at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 9. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Just days after declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the World Health Organization on Friday announced a new response fund that companies, philanthropies and people can donate to and help fight the spread of coronavirus, also known as or COVID-19.

“Until now, we have been relying mainly on governments to support the response. We thank all those countries who have supported WHO’s Strategy, Preparedness and Response Plan ... Now everyone can contribute,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Funds raised will be used to coordinate the response, to buy masks, gloves, gowns and goggles for health workers, to buy diagnostic tests, to improve surveillance and to invest in research and development," he added.

The WHO is the public health agency of the United Nations, and the new fund will be hosted by both the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.

“This pandemic is growing faster than our resources to respond. WHO has outlined a $675 million funding need for its COVID-19 response through April of this year alone,” Kate Dodson, vice president for global health at the United Nations Foundation, said during a phone call with reporters this week.

“We hope it will become the foremost way for individuals, businesses and philanthropies to get involved in this fight against this virus on a global scale,” Dodson said. “The funds will go to support the work of WHO and partners in solidarity with countries and communities around the world to track and understand the spread of the virus; ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get additional supplies and information; help ensure all countries can prepare, especially those with the weakest health systems; and accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests and treatments.”

12:29 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

West Virginia schools will close after today

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, right, and West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Executive Director Bernie Dolan address a news conference on Thursday at the state Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, right, and West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Executive Director Bernie Dolan address a news conference on Thursday at the state Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia. Credit: John Raby/AP

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said public and private schools will close after the end of class Friday.

Justice said today West Virginia will close its schools for "as long as we have to close."  

What other states are closing schools: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico have become the first US states to shut all K-12 schools over coronavirus concerns.