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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9:15 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Los Angeles will stop issuing parking tickets for next two weeks, mayor says

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images/File
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images/File

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will stop issuing parking tickets for the next two weeks effective immediately.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Garcetti said there are more cars parked on city streets because people are working from home or are taking care of others.

More on Los Angeles: On Sunday, Garcetti ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until March 31 in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. His order also limits restaurants to takeout and delivery orders only.

8:27 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Social Security offices will close in-person services starting Tuesday

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

Beginning Tuesday, Social Security offices will close for in-person appointments and will only provide phone service. 

The agency said it is doing this to protect older Americans.

The agency has come under fire from the union representing SSA workers, which filed an OSHA complaint alleging that some workers weren't being allowed to telework, putting themselves and the people SSA services in danger from coronavirus.

The agency said despite closing in-person services, it will still be able to provide help online or over the phone. 

9:20 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

WWE will hold WrestleMania 36 in an empty Orlando arena

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Ethan Miller/Getty Images/File
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/File

World Wrestling Entertainment has announced that it is changing the setting of its flagship event WrestleMania. 

WrestleMania 36, which had been scheduled to take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, will now take place at the WWE's training facility in Orlando, Florida, in front of only essential personnel. 

The event will still take place as scheduled on April 5 at 7 p.m. ET.

All WrestleMania-related WWE events scheduled in Tampa will not take place.

9:31 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Seattle mayor announces $5 million in grocery vouchers to help families

From CNN’s Raja Razek

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday the city will provide "$5 million in grocery vouchers to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

"The new grocery voucher program will provide 6,250 families $800 in vouchers to purchase food, cleaning supplies, and other household goods at any Safeway store in Washington state," she said in a statement.

Families should be receiving a total of $800 in vouchers that can be used immediately "at any Washington state Safeway store to purchase food and household goods, not including tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, and fuel. Voucher use requires a free Safeway membership," according to the statement. 

This is the latest in a series of actions that Durkan implemented recently during the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle.

Over the past week, Durkan placed a temporary moratorium on residential evictions. Durkan also announced a relief package that included "deferred business taxes and a stabilization fund," according to the statement.

7:46 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

UFC will postpone its next three events

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

UFC president Dana White speaks during a press conference at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 6.
UFC president Dana White speaks during a press conference at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 6. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship is postponing its next three events, UFC president Dana White announced during an interview with ESPN.

The last of the postponed events was scheduled to have taken place on April 11.  

White said the UFC still plans to host its April 18 pay-per-view event, which is currently scheduled to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. White said they hope to keep the event at Barclays but will look at relocating it, including moving it outside of the US if necessary.

The UFC raised eyebrows last weekend by being one of the only major American sporting outfits to stage an event when they held their scheduled fights in an empty arena in Brasilia, Brazil.

9:45 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Minnesota orders temporary closures of restaurants, bars and other public places

Jim Mone/AP
Jim Mone/AP

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order on Monday requiring the temporary closure of all restaurants and bars to dine-in customers to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Walz also ordered the temporary closure of other public places, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs.

The order goes into effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. local time until March 27.

7:15 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Arizona's primary election will go on as planned Tuesday

From CNN's Andy Rose

Despite concerns about large groups of people being together in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, officials in Arizona say they will not be postponing the state's presidential primary scheduled for Tuesday. 

“Our election leaders have been working overtime to ensure that voting is safe,” Gov. Doug Ducey said at a news conference Monday.

Only Democrats will be going to the polls in Arizona on Tuesday. The Arizona Republican Party decided last year not to hold a primary, instead planning to give all of the state’s 2020 delegates to President Donald Trump without opposition.

Although Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has the authority to postpone the election in an emergency, she said, “We have no guarantee that there will be a safer time to hold this election in the near future.”

Hobbs said the decision is also in the best interests of the workers who are needed to tabulate the results.

"There are thousands of workers in communities across the state that must continue the job of counting the ballots in the days following the election,” Hobbs said. “The longer we wait, the more difficult and dangerous this will become.”

7:40 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Regal Cinemas will close its theaters until further notice

From CNN's Dave Alsup

An employee waits at an empty Regal Cinemas movie theatre in Washington, DC, on March 15.
An employee waits at an empty Regal Cinemas movie theatre in Washington, DC, on March 15. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Regal Cinemas announced on Monday the closure of all of its theaters as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

The company posted a statement on Facebook about the closures, which start Tuesday.

"Regal announces closure of all theatre locations starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as a precaution amid the current circumstances. All theatres will remain closed until further notice. Please check back soon. We look forward to serving you again as soon as possible," the company said in the statement.

Regal has 7,211 screens and 549 theaters in 42 states, according to the company's website.  

7:04 p.m. ET, March 16, 2020

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have left the hospital after coronavirus diagnosis

From CNN's Chloe Melas

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have left the hospital and are now self-quarantined at their residence in Australia as they continue to recover from novel coronavirus, Leslee Dart, a representative for Hanks, told CNN in a statement.

Hanks and Wilson announced they were diagnosed with COVID-19 and had been been hospitalized in isolation since last Thursday. They shared periodic updates on their illness and recovery on social media over the weekend.

The two were originally in Australia for pre-production on a film about Elvis Presley, in which Hanks is set to play Presley's manager.