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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1:37 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Massachusetts governor bans gatherings of more than 250 people

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

Gov. Charlie Baker attends a press conference announcing the postponement of the Boston Marathon on March 13.
Gov. Charlie Baker attends a press conference announcing the postponement of the Boston Marathon on March 13. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an order Friday prohibiting gatherings of more than 250 people.

These gatherings are “subject — but not limited to — community, civic, public and leisure gatherings, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals and any similar event or activity that brings together 250 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time,” Baker said at a news conference.

Transpiration hubs, medical facilities, shopping centers, polling centers and other spaces where more than 250 people are in transit are exempt from the order.

The order also doesn’t include restaurants, “provided that they should, whenever possible encourage social distancing”

1:29 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Nike encourages US-based employees to work from home

From CNN’s Alison Kosik

The Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon
The Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon Natalie Behring/Getty Images

Sportswear giant Nike announced on Friday that they are encouraging US-based employees to work from home through March “if their jobs allow,” according to a statement. 

The company’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon will remain open, Nike said.

“We will continue to monitor developments and make decisions that prioritize the safety of our teammates as necessary,” the company said in a statement.
1:23 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

California's largest school districts will close starting Monday

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks at a press conference on Friday.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner speaks at a press conference on Friday. KTLA

California's two largest school districts — Los Angeles Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District — will close starting Monday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The districts said the decision was made in part "to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

In a joint statement, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner and SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten said the following: 

“California has now entered a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is evidence the virus is already present in the communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread. We believe closing the state’s two largest school districts will make an important contribution to this effort. For that reason, we plan to close, effective Monday, March 16.
Later today, we will be providing students, parents and staff with more information on our plans to continue providing learning opportunities for students during the closure. We have also directed staff at both districts to prepare to continue providing nutrition and other supports through family resource facilities.”
1:11 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

These California theme parks will temporarily close due to the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Stella Chan

The coronavirus pandemic has continued to impact local attractions and recreation in Southern California.

The latest theme parks in California to announce closures are Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

The theme parks will temporarily close tomorrow through the end of March. 

“As of today, many states have declared a state of emergency and are recommending that all non-essential gatherings of large groups be postponed or canceled,” Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom said in a statement.

Elsewhere, “Hamilton” and “The Spongebob Musical” ticketholders will be refunded for canceled performances at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater.

1:10 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Delta will cut overall capacity by 40% and park up to 300 aircraft

From CNN's Greg Wallace and Joshua Replogle

An empty line is seen at the Air France and Delta Airlines check-in desks in the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on March 12.
An empty line is seen at the Air France and Delta Airlines check-in desks in the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on March 12. Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines announced that due to the coronavirus, it is facing worse conditions and making deeper cuts than after the 9/11 terror attacks.  

“The speed of the demand fall-off is unlike anything we’ve seen – and we’ve seen a lot in our business,” CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees that was obtained by CNN. 

The company will make an “overall capacity reduction in the next few months of 40 percent – the largest capacity reduction in Delta’s history, including 2001,” Bastian wrote. “The situation is fluid and likely to be getting worse.”

The airline will park up to 300 aircraft. 

1:06 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020

Scotland reports first death from coronavirus

From CNN's Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

Scottish Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood reported the country's first death of a patient with coronavirus on Friday.

"The patient, who was being treated by Lothian Health Board was an older person who had underlying health conditions," Calderwood said in a statement.

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.