March 19 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:42 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020
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1:57 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Miami-Dade County mayor closes businesses, parks, beaches and recreational facilities

From CNN's Erika Henry


Mayor of Miami-Dade County Carlos A. Gimenez signed emergency orders closing all parks and beaches Thursday morning. 

Gimenez went on to say that it applied to all publicly owned and privately run parks, beaches and recreational facilities under Miami-Dade’s jurisdiction. 

He also signed an emergency order closing all non-essential retail and commercial establishments in the county by 9 p.m. Thursday, including casinos. 

The mayor went on to say that he reached out to the Miccosukee Tribe, as Miami-Dade does not have jurisdiction over casinos run by tribes. Other non-essential establishments that must close by 9 p.m. include shops, beauty salons, spas and nail studios, sporting goods stores, book stores, jewelry stores and malls.

“I know that it must be frustrating that every day we have new closures, but it is necessary," Gimenez said.

The mayor emphasized that grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies and gas stations would remain open. Restaurant kitchens will remain open for pick-up and delivery only. 

"Everyone should practice social distancing when going about their business at these stores," Gimenez said.

Medical facilities, doctor offices, banks, child and adult day care centers will remain open “at this time," the mayor said. Gimenez also said that construction sites and hardware stores and pet supply stores can remain open.

1:46 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Oklahoma reports first coronavirus death

From CNN's CNN's Melissa Alonso and Brad Parks

Oklahoma health officials announced Thursday that the state's first coronavirus death is a man in his 50s from Tulsa County.

There are 44 cases of coronavirus in state, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said in a statement.

"There continues to be a shortage of complete testing kits, delaying the availability of test results. Due to this critically low supply, OSDH is working with health care providers to prioritize test completion for vulnerable populations," the statement said. 
1:41 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

TJMaxx and Marshals closing all stores globally due to coronavirus outbreak 

From CNN's Richard Davis

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The parent company of retail stores TJMaxx and Marshals announced on Thursday that it is temporarily closing all stores globally to “prevent the further spread of this virus.”

Ernie Herrman, CEO and president of TJX Companies, wrote in a letter that the company is also temporarily closing its online business platforms as well all as its distribution centers and offices.

During closures, the company plans to pay all store, distribution and office associates.

“We thank our customers for shopping our stores and e-commerce sites and look forward to serving you again in the near future,” Herrman said.

1:35 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Indiana will close schools until at least May 1

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the state would be closing schools until May 1.

“As we get nearer to May 1, we may have to close permanently,” he said.

There are 56 cases of novel coronavirus in Indiana. Of those cases, two deaths have been reported.

1:48 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

American Airlines will ground about half its fleet next month

From CNN’s Joshua Replogle and Greg Wallace

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

American Airlines is grounding nearly half of its fleet and canceling 55,000 flights next month, according to an internal message sent to employees obtained by CNN.

The airline also expects “demand to fall even more before it gets better," the message stated.

The striking numbers in an internal email from American Airlines President Robert Isom include a reduction of international flights by 75% and domestic flights by 30% in April, “with plans to reduce it even further in May.”

The message said American would park 130 wide body and 320 narrow body planes. The airline has told regulators that its core fleet includes 942 aircraft.

The airline, which is the world's largest, also said it is continuing efforts to reduce the number of employees it pays, by expanding voluntary leave programs and “offering an early out” to employees with at least 15 years of service.

“With minimal operations, we need a smaller staff,” Isom wrote. 

The note did not disclose any furloughs or layoffs, and the airline has declined to comment on whether it is considering such cuts.

2:06 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Italy surpasses China in number of coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Mia Alberti, Nicola Ruotolo and Valentina Di Donato

Health workers provide first Aird in front of Sant'Orsola Hospital  on Wednesday, March 18, in Bologna, Italy.
Health workers provide first Aird in front of Sant'Orsola Hospital on Wednesday, March 18, in Bologna, Italy. Massimo Cavallari/Getty Images

Italy has just surpassed China for the most number of deaths related to COVID-19.

The total number of cases in the country rose to 41,035 on Thursday, which includes 5,322 new cases, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said at a news conference.

The number of deaths in Italy has reached 3,405. Italy has become the deadliest center of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The current number of deaths in China stands at 3,242, according to the World Health Organization.

1:12 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Chinese coronavirus experts warn northern Italy's lockdown measures are not enough

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London and Nicola Ruotolo in Rome

Sun Shuopeng, left, Vice President of China's Red Cross leaves the Red Cross headquarters in Rome after a press conference on Friday, March 13.
Sun Shuopeng, left, Vice President of China's Red Cross leaves the Red Cross headquarters in Rome after a press conference on Friday, March 13. Alessandra Tarantino/AP

The coronavirus measures in place in the hard hit Lombardy region of northern Italy are “not strict enough,” according to Chinese medical experts helping the country deal with the crisis.

The situation in Lombardy right now "is similar to what we experienced two months ago in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of COVID-19," the Chinese Red Cross vice president, Sun Shuopeng, said Thursday in a press conference in Milan, Italy.

"In the city of Wuhan after one month since the adoption of the lockdown policy, we see a decreasing trend from the peak of the disease," Sun Shuopeng said. "Here in Milan, the hardest hit area by COVID-19, there isn't a very strict lockdown: public transportation is still working and people are still moving around, you're still having dinners and parties in the hotels and you're not wearing masks. We need every citizen to be involved in the fight of COVID-19 and follow this policy.” 

He advised Italians to stop all “economic activities and cut the mobility of people.”

Everyone should just stay at home, he added.

1:07 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

California's Ventura County issues shelter-in-place order for senior citizens

From CNN's Stella Chan

Ventura County is ordering residents ages 70 and older to shelter-in-place until at least April 1, joining other regions of California attempting to stem the spread of coronavirus.

“All individuals currently living within Ventura County, equal to or older than 75 years of age, or equal to or older than 70 years of age with an active or unstable comorbidity, are ordered to shelter at their place of residence from March 18, 2020 to April 1, 2020," the country said in its order.

The order adds: "Exceptions shall only exist as necessary to seek medical care, nutrition, or to perform essential work in healthcare or government."

Violation of this order is a misdemeanor and could result in a fine or imprisonment.

“We have no plans on arresting 75-year-olds,” said Ashley Bautista, a Ventura County spokesperson. However, the cost for violation is to illustrate how serious coronavirus is to the community.

By the numbers: Ventura County has 13 cases of coronavirus. The state of California has 834 cases, including 17 deaths.

1:08 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Dutch Health minister resigns one day after fainting in parliament

From CNN’s Mick Krever in London

Dutch Minister Bruno Bruins speaks during a debate about the developments surrounding the coronavirus, in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Wednesday, March 18.
Dutch Minister Bruno Bruins speaks during a debate about the developments surrounding the coronavirus, in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Wednesday, March 18. Phil Nijhuis/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

The Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Bruno Bruins, has resigned, the Dutch government said in a statement to CNN.

The announcement comes one day after he collapsed during a parliamentary session.

Bruins was responsible for the Netherlands’ COVID-19 response.

After collapsing Wednesday, Bruins tweeted last night that he had been suffering from “faintness because of over-exhaustion and intensive weeks.”

He said at the time that he was doing better, and was looking forward to “getting back to work to fight the corona crisis as well as possible.”

Until a new appointment is made, Minister Hugo de Jonge will take over Bruins’ responsibilities.