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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5:08 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Trump declares "national emergency"

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump declared a "national emergency" on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the action would "open up access to up to $50 billion," which he described as "a large amount of money for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease."

Trump also urged states to set up emergency operation centers immediately.


3:32 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

NOW: Trump is speaking about the coronavirus pandemic


President Trump is now speaking from the White House about the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is likely to make an emergency declaration that would free up tens of billions of federal dollars to combat coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the decision.

3:10 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

AMC will reduce capacity by 50% in all US movie theaters

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta 

Noam Galai/Getty Images/FILE
Noam Galai/Getty Images/FILE

AMC Theatres announced on Friday that they are proactively reducing the maximum capacity of each of its theaters by at least 50%, according to a press release.

Beginning Saturday through April 30, the movie theater chain will cap ticket sales for each of its theatre’s auditoriums to an amount equal to 50% of the normal seating capacity.

Adam Aron, CEO and President of AMC Theatres, said “with this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”

The company is also enhancing its cleaning protocols by cleaning “hightouch” point areas at least once per hour, the company said.

2:57 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Denmark will temporarily close borders to non-citizens on Saturday, prime minister says

From CNN’s Anastasia Graham-Yooll and Zahid Mahmood in London

Denmark will temporarily close its borders for non-citizens in a move to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said on Friday.

"All tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot prove a creditable purpose of entering Denmark, will be denied entrance at the Danish border," Frederiksen said at a news conference late Friday in Copenhagen.
2:47 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Boston and Miami airports will be used to divert passengers from European regions

From CNN's Geneva Sands

Boston and Miami will be added to the list of 11 airports that are being used to divert passengers traveling to the US from European regions that are part of a travel ban, a senior official with US Customs and Border Protection said.

The new airports — Miami International Airport and Logan International Airport — go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday, the senior official said on a press call, adding that "anyone already en route is not impacted by this,"

Some background: President Trump announced the ban during an address on Wednesday. The ban would affect most foreign nationals who were in Europe's Schengen Area — 26 countries stretching from Iceland to Greece — in the past 14 days. American citizens, green card holders, some family members and a few other groups are exempt from the travel ban but will face additional health screening and restrictions when they arrive.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN that Americans coming home will be funneled through 13 different airports.

“They'll be screened and then we're going to ask every American and legal resident returning to the united states to self-quarantine for 14 days," Pence said. 

These are the other airports: 

  • California: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • California: Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX)
  • Georgia: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Hawaii: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • Illinois: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Michigan: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • New Jersey: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • New York: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Texas: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Virginia: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Washington state: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
2:34 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Venezuela has its first cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Stefano Pozzebon in Caracas and Helena DeMoura in Atlanta

Two Venezuelan nationals are the nation’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus, Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced on state-run VTV Friday.

The confirmed cases are a 41-year-old woman who traveled to the United States, Italy and Spain, Rodriguez said. The second case is a 52-year-old man who traveled to Spain, she said.

Both are in quarantine. 

Rodriguez said the Venezuelan government is ordering all passengers who traveled on Iberia flight 6673 on March 5 and 8 to go into “immediate obligatory quarantine.”

3:30 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Louisiana governor orders schools to be closed starting Monday

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Friday plans to limit public gatherings and close all public schools.

All K-12 public schools will be closed starting Monday and all gatherings of more than 250 people will be banned until April 13. Classes will resume on April 13, he said.

"We are at an inflection point now and we are going to take bold action to minimize the further spread of this illness. That is why I am issuing this order today, ending all events of more than 250 people, closing our schools, and reducing the amount of face-to-face public interaction at state government buildings,” Gov. Edwards said in a statement.

Correction: This post has been updated to include the correct photo of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

2:30 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Pelosi says the House will pass coronavirus legislation today


US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act today.

"The three most important parts of this bill are testing, testing, testing," she said.

Pelosi said the legislation "facilitates free coronavirus testing for everyone."

She added that the bill secures paid leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and family and medical leave "for those affected by the virus." 

She said that the legislation will also strengthen unemployment insurance.

It's unclear if the White House supports this legislation.

Watch her remarks:

2:06 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Disney pauses production for some live-action movies

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta

Disney will pause production on some of its live-action films, according to a Disney studio spokesperson.

“While there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our productions, after considering the current environment and the best interests of our cast and crew, we have made the decision..,” the Disney studio spokesperson said.

The movies include:

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Home Alone
  • The Last Duel
  • Nightmare Alley
  • Peter Pan & Wendy
  • Shrunk 

Disney said that they will continue to assess the situation and restart “as soon as feasible,” the spokesperson said.