March 16 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 10:14 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020
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3:51 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

White House recommends people avoid gatherings of more than 10 people


The White House has issued guidelines for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 days to slow the spread," many of the guidelines are broad and have been what the administration and health officials have been saying from the start of the outbreak. 

Included in the guidelines:

  • People should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10
  • People should stay away from bars restaurants and food courts, and to not travel if possible. 

The guidelines also say states that have seen community spread should close bars, restaurants and other public places, though again, that is not a mandate. Several cities including Philadelphia and San Francisco, and entire states including Maryland have already issued the order for bars and restaurants to close as soon as this evening. 


3:33 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

France closes its borders to contain the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan


French President Emmanuel Macron said the country’s borders will be closed to contain the coronavirus outbreak starting at noon local on Tuesday.

Moments ago, Macron said he was prohibiting gatherings across France, including family and other social gatherings.

3:22 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Russia will close its borders to foreigners on Wednesday

From CNN’s Nathan Hodge and Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Russia will bar entry to foreigners with some exceptions starting Wednesday, the Russian government said in a statement Monday.

A readout published Monday of calls between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and other heads of government said that Russia would temporarily restrict foreigners from entering its territory, effective at midnight local time on Tuesday.

The restrictions will continue until May 1, the statement said.

Those restrictions, according to the statement, will not apply to employees of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the Russian Federation, to transportation workers and aircrews and to members of official delegations.

Exceptions will also be given to those visiting Russia in connection with the death of a close relative, or to individuals permanently residing in the Russian Federation, and to transit passengers.

3:19 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

France bans all family and social gatherings

From CNN’s Pierre Meilhan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced drastic measures, prohibiting gatherings across France, including family and other social gatherings.

The second round of the French elections will be also postponed, Macron said.

Earlier today, the city of Paris announced the closure of all public parks and gardens.

Macron said the country is “in a war” against the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are in a war… that’s why I decided that all reforms debated in parliament will be suspended,” he said. The government will draft a new legislation to face the crisis. 

A new military hospital will be deployed to reduce hospital congestion, Macron said.

3:17 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Indiana reports its first coronavirus death


Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state’s first death due to novel coronavirus. 

The patient had health issues and was in the high-risk category of being over 60, according to Dr. Ram Yeleti, the chief physician executive with Community Health Network.

The patient’s significant other is also infected, Yeleti said, so the two could not be together when the patient passed away.

The hospital had to use iPad conferencing so the two could see each other, Yeleti said. One nurse stayed in the room, so the patient didn’t have to die alone, the doctor said. 

Several healthcare workers have now been quarantined, Yeleti said. There are not enough beds, so hospitals stopped all elective surgeries this past weekend.

The Indiana State Department of Health reported that there are at least 24 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus.

3:18 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Ohio closes gyms, movie theaters and more


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered the closure of many facilities across the state in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, including....

  • Fitness centers
  • Gyms
  • Bowling alleys
  • Movie theaters
  • Recreational centers
  • Indoor water parks

These facilities must close by end of day Monday.

3:08 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

San Francisco orders residents to shelter in place

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

San Francisco’s mayor is ordering residents to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor London Breed announced in a tweet that residents will be required to stay home starting at midnight, except for essential needs.

“The most important thing you can do is remain home as much as possible,” Breed said in a tweet.

This shelter in place order will not apply to necessary government functions and essential stores, Breed said.

3:16 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Ohio governor recommends delaying primary until June

From CNN's Dan Merica

Voters take advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, in Steubenville, Ohio. 
Voters take advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, in Steubenville, Ohio.  Gene J. Puskar/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday that he is recommending moving the primary election that was slated to take place on Tuesday to June over fears around the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It is clear that tomorrow’s in person voting does not conform, and cannot conform with these CDC guidelines. We cannot conduct this election tomorrow, the in person voting for 13 hours tomorrow and conform to these guidelines,” DeWine said.  

“We should not be in a situation where the votes of these individuals, who are conflicted, are suppressed. It is therefore my recommendation after talking with the secretary of state, talking with the attorney general, talking with the lieutenant governor, that voting be extended until June 2nd. That no in person voting occur today, but rather that in person voting occur on June 2nd, but between now and then that absentee ballot voting be permitted.”

Important to note: DeWine, however, said he does not have the power to move the primary unilaterally and will now go to court to move the primary.

The move is a complicated one for Ohio officials, as voters have already started voting in the state where 136 pledged delegates are at stake.

The spread of the coronavirus has effectively stopped in person campaigning in the Democratic primary, forcing Biden and Sanders to cancel rallies and town halls. It has also had significant implications on down ballot races.

Ohio is now the latest state to move elections based on the spread of the coronavirus, joining Louisiana, where state officials moved the presidential primary to June, and Georgia, where elections officials will postpone the March 24 presidential primary to May 19. Wyoming Democratic Party Chair Joe Barbuto also announced Friday that "the in-person portion" of their state's caucuses were "suspended due to growing concern" over the virus.

But Ohio’s move is the most significant, given voting had already begun in the state and that it is a sizable delegate prize in the nomination fight.


2:58 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

There are now more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US

 A sign on a door at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, instructs people not to come into the courthouse if they feel sick as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States onMonday, March 16.
A sign on a door at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, instructs people not to come into the courthouse if they feel sick as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States onMonday, March 16. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

There are at least 4,008 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to the state and local health agencies, governments and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are 70 cases from repatriated citizens, per the CDC. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases detected and tested through US public health systems, there are 3,938 cases in 49 states, the District of Columbia and US territories, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 4,008. 

West Virginia remains the only US state without any confirmed cases.

At least 70 people have died.