March 18 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan, Steve George, Angela Dewan and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 9:37 p.m. ET, March 18, 2020
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10:43 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Southern California’s Palm Springs issues shelter-in-place order

From CNN's Stella Chan

Southern California’s Palm Springs has ordered residents to shelter-in-place and limit activities to those only essential to daily lives.

The city joins several Northern California counties with the order in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Palm Springs is in Riverside County which has 13 cases of coronavirus, including three deaths.

10:35 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

There are at least 6,184 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

A nurse screens patients for COVID-19 virus testing at a drive-up location outside Medstar St. Mary's Hospital on  Tuesday, March 17, in Leonardtown, Maryland.
A nurse screens patients for COVID-19 virus testing at a drive-up location outside Medstar St. Mary's Hospital on Tuesday, March 17, in Leonardtown, Maryland. Win McNamee/Getty Images

There are at least 6,184 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.

According to the CDC there are 70 cases from repatriated citizens. According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through public health systems, there are 6,114 cases in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other US territories, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 6,184. 

In total, 112 people have died in the US.

10:27 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Majority Leader says Senate will pass the House coronavirus bill while it works on a "more comprehensive package"

Senate TV
Senate TV

Speaking on the Senate floor just now, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "we're going to pass the House's bill, but its imperfections will just make our more comprehensive package even more urgent." 

On the legislation that the Senate is working on, McConnell added that the senators will not leave Capitol Hill "until we deliver it."

More context: Last week, the US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan legislative package in response to the spread of coronavirus in the early hours of Saturday morning following intense negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration. Following the vote, President Trump tweeted his support for the legislation that includes provisions for paid emergency leave and free testing for COVID-19.

10:23 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Eurovision has been canceled in the wake of the outbreak

By Tara John in London

NurPhoto via Getty Images/FILE
NurPhoto via Getty Images/FILE

The Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled for the first time in its 64-year history over the coronavirus outbreak, organizers announced Wednesday. 

The 2020 contest was due to take place in May in the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

Organizers said conversations were ongoing about holding the 2021 contest in Rotterdam.

“We would like to pay tribute to all the host broadcaster team in the Netherlands and our 41 Members who have worked so hard on planning this year’s event,” the statement from the organizers said.

“We are all as heartbroken as they are that the Eurovision Song Contest will not be able to be staged in May and know that the whole Eurovision family, across the world, will continue to provide love and support for each other at this difficult time," the statement said.

10:06 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Singapore to implement 14-day mandatory quarantine for all inbound travelers

From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Travelers ride on a cart as they pass through a transit area at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, March 17.
Travelers ride on a cart as they pass through a transit area at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, March 17. Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Singaporean government has announced that all travelers entering the country will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day home quarantine starting Saturday.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said that "Stay at Home Notices" will be issued to all inbound travelers, the notice requires all visitors to remain in their place of residence for 14 days after entering Singapore.

The notice also requires visitors to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day home quarantine. The Ministry of Health added that rules banning entry for travelers who have been in France, Germany, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea and Spain will continue to be enforced.

The Ministry of Health also announced that all Singaporeans "are advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect" to further reduce the risk of further importation of the novel coronavirus. 

9:46 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Trump confirms US-Canada border will be closed to non-essential traffic

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

President Trump confirmed on Twitter that Canada and the US will close their border to non-essential traffic. 

"We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!" Trump wrote on Twitter. 

Read Trump's tweet:

9:47 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Scotland and Wales to close schools, possibly through summer

Scotland and Wales became the first countries in the United Kingdom to announce school closures, saying schools would close at the end of Friday for the Easter holiday and indicating they may not reopen for summer. 

"It is now inevitable" that schools and nurseries will close, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Wednesday. "My planning assumption now is that schools will close to pupils at the end of this week and I wanted today to give parents notice of that now."

“From next week, schools will have a new purpose. They will help support those most in need, including people involved in the immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak,” according to a statement from Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams.

Schools in England and Northern Ireland, the other nations in the UK, remain open for now.

Schools in the Republic of Ireland have been closed.

9:45 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

Stocks tumble again

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Mark Lennihan/AP
Mark Lennihan/AP

US stocks tumbled at Wednesday’s open, erasing the gains from the prior day’s rebound.

Here's how things look right now:

  • The S&P 500 opened 5.4% lower. If the index falls 7%, trading will be halted for 15 minutes.
  • The Dow opened 6%, or 1,275 points, lower.
  • The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.7%.

9:39 a.m. ET, March 18, 2020

New York City mayor plans to bring up "shelter-in-place" order with governor today

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on NBC's Today Show, “I think an honest conversation about shelter-in-place has to happen,” noting the decision “can only be made with the State of New York,” adding he will be speaking with the New York governor later today.

When asked if he will recommend to the governor that the city do a shelter-in-place while the city faces a growing coronavirus pandemic, de Blasio said he is “almost” to that point – saying “we have a little more to make sense of” first, including how to get people food and medicine, “but it has to be considered seriously starting today.” 

Some context: On a local radio program today, de Blasio said his shelter-in-place comments Tuesday were intended to "mentally, emotionally, humanly prepare people for something that well might be happening soon," but he added that he doesn't accept media accounts that he and the governor are arguing over this. He reiterated that the city and state are working closely together.

Yesterday after earlier comments from the mayor on the potentiality of a decision on a possible shelter-in-place, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said "any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require state action and as the governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time."