March 17 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 0220 GMT (1020 HKT) March 18, 2020
121 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:34 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

Florida's governor issues statewide executive order on bars, beaches and restaurants

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just issued an executive order to reduce crowds in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and beaches in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Here's how it breaks down, according to the governor's press release:

  • Bars and nightclubs: They are closed for the next 30 days.
  • Beaches: All parties accessing public beaches in the state of Florida must follow the CDC guidance by limiting their gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • Restaurants: They will now be required to limit customer entry to 50% capacity. Seating must be staggered and limited to ensure guests are separated by a distance of at least six feet, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Restaurants are encouraged to remain open and expand take-out and delivery services.
2:33 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

Disney postpones Marvel's 'Black Widow' due to coronavirus outbreak

From CNN’s Frank Pallotta

Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

"Black Widow," the new Marvel film starring Scarlett Johansson, has been postponed. The film was set to hit theaters on May 1. 

The company did not give a new release date for the film. 

Disney also announced that it would be delaying "The Personal History of David Copperfield," which was set to open on May 8, and "The Woman in the Window," which was scheduled to hit theaters on May 15.

The company did not say when it would release those films.

2:53 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

Macy's will temporarily close all stores in response to coronavirus

Scott Heins/Getty Images
Scott Heins/Getty Images

Department store Macy’s will be temporarily closing all stores by the end of business day today, according to a press release.

The closings include all Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, Macy’s Backstage, Bloomingdales the Outlet and Market by Macy’s stores.

According to the release, the company will continue to use e-commerce platforms:

“We will work with government and health officials to assess when we will reopen our stores and safely bring our colleagues back to work,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc.
2:20 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

The world's largest hotel chain is starting to furlough employees

From CNN’s Jordan Valinsky

Marriott International, the world's largest hotel chain, has started furloughing employees.

Tens of thousands of workers could be affected by the furloughs as demand dries up for travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All levels of Marriott employees could be furloughed — from housekeepers to general managers. There won't be job cuts on the corporate level yet. The company has also begun shutting down some of its managed hotels. 

Marriott said in a statement to CNN Business that its business has been "experiencing significant drops in demand" at its hotels because of the pandemic and is "adjusting global operations accordingly."

 "We are working quickly to mitigate the impact to our business while also focusing on assisting our associates, our guests and our owners," a Marriott spokesperson said. "While the ultimate impact is difficult to predict at this time given the fluidity of the situation, we remain confident in our long-term prospects."

The Wall Street Journal was first to report the news, which Marriott confirmed.

The company employs 130,000 people in the US and intends to rehire many of the furloughed employees once the virus is contained.

2:16 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

New Jersey has 89 new cases of coronavirus

New Jersey confirms 89 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 267, Gov. Phil Murphy just announced in an ongoing press conference.

2:15 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

New Mexico now has 20 confirmed cases

New Mexico public health officials now say the state has 20 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

CNN has previously reported 18 cases of Coronavirus in the state.

2:14 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

Vermont is changing the way it reports cases. There are now 10 cases in the state.

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Vermont will no longer report non-Vermont resident cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the state’s Department of Health spokesman Ben Truman.

Yesterday, the state was reporting 12 cases of coronavirus: 8 Vermont residents and 4 non-Vermont residents with coronavirus.

 Today, it is only reporting 10 cases of coronavirus among its residents.

2:25 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

Price tag for response package now $1 trillion, source says

From CNN's Manu Raju

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is pitching senators on a first wave of checks to Americans worth $250 billion, a source familiar tells CNN.

If the economy needs it, Mnuchin is proposing, there would be a second wave several weeks later, according to the source.

The source also says the price tag for the response package is now $1 trillion, although this is an estimate and could change. 


2:06 p.m. ET, March 17, 2020

There are now more than 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

There are at least 5,139 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 that are detected and tested through US public health systems, there are 5,069 cases in 49 states, the District of Columbia and US territories. That brings the total number of coronavirus cases to 5,139. 

In total, 97 people have died. 

West Virginia remains the only state not reporting any cases.