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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8:19 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Two Los Angeles Lakers players have tested positive for coronavirus

Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images/File
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images/File

Two Los Angeles Lakers players have tested positive for coronavirus, the team announced in a statement.

Here's what the Lakers said in their statement:

"Following four Brooklyn Nets players testing positive for COVID-19, because Los Angeles Lakers’ players were exposed to them during our game against the Nets on March 10, our team physicians and public health officials recommended coronavirus testing for the players.  
We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive. Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician. 
All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team.
The health and well-being of our players, our organization, our fans, and all those potentially impacted by this situation is paramount. As always, we appreciate the support of our fans, family and friends, and wish everyone affected by this virus a speedy recovery."

The news comes after another NBA basketball team -- the Boston Celtics -- announced that one of their players had tested positive. Marcus Smart took to Twitter to confirm that he was the Celtics player infected with the virus.

8:07 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

CNN's coronavirus town hall will start soon


CNN's live global town hall is expected to start soon. The town hall will address facts surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are hosting the two-hour special, which starts at 8 p.m. ET.

You can watch the town hall in the video player above here, CNN, CNN International,, and on Facebook.

8:10 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Four members of a New Jersey family have died from coronavirus while two more are on life support

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

Four family members, a mother and three siblings, have all died after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Vincent Fusco, Jr., a man in his 50s, died today, according to Roseann Paradiso Fodera, a cousin of one of the family members who died and an attorney representing the family.

“This is an unbearable tragedy for the family,” Paradiso Fodera said. Her first cousin, Grace Fusco, was one of the four who passed away after being diagnosed as positive, she said.

Two of Grace's children, Carmine Fusco and Rita Fusco-Jackson, siblings to Vincent Jr., also died prior to Grace's death, Paradiso Fodera said.

The New York Times was the first to report about the family.

“The family’s biggest concern is that we have four members of one family who have passed, two on life support and one stable. All Covid-19 positive. Yet, 19 children, parents and grandchildren in this family tested on Saturday and they are anxious that their relatives have passed and they don’t know if they are infected or not,” Paradiso Fodera said.

Paradiso Fodera said the 19 were tested on Saturday, but they have yet to learn the results.

All family members were hospitalized at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey, except for Carmine, who was at a different facility in Pennsylvania when he died. Many family members who are not hospitalized are quarantined together.

“Why don’t the family members who are not hospitalized have the test results? This is a public health crisis. Why should athletes and celebrities without symptoms be given priority over a family that has been decimated by this virus?

“There must be an investigation by the CDC or NIH as to why this family was so susceptible to the virus,” Paradiso Fodera asked.

CNN’s Bonnie Druker contributed to this report.

8:05 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Boston Celtics player tests positive for coronavirus

Chris Elise/Getty Images/File
Chris Elise/Getty Images/File

Boston Celtics player Marcus Smart confirmed he tested positive for coronavirus.

Smart took to Twitter to announce the news, saying, “I was tested 5 days ago and the results came back tonight, which were positive. Ive been self quarantined since the test, thank goodness. COVID-19 must be taken w the highest of seriousness. I know it’s a #1 priority for our nations health experts, & we must get more testing ASAP.”

Smart also posted a video on the tweet.

Earlier, the team said the player is not exhibiting any symptoms, and testing was done after the player's exposure to a known positive case.

8:05 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

A man in his 30s is latest coronavirus death in Los Angeles County

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

The latest person to die from coronavirus in Los Angeles County is a man in his 30s. 

The man had an underlying health condition, and lived in a small community near Pasadena, California, Health Officer Barbara Ferrer said at a conference Thursday.

There are at least 231 cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

7:36 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

A second LAPD employee tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Sarah Moon

A second employee from the Los Angeles Police Department has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from LAPD. 

“The individual, who is a member of the Department’s senior staff exhibited flu-like symptoms last week and is resting at home. The employee is expected to make a full recovery,” LAPD said in a statement.

All of work spaces associated with this person will be disinfected by the end of the day Thursday, the department added.

On Sunday, the department said an LAPD officer was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The uniformed supervisor, who works LAPD's Pacific Division, which includes Playa Del Rey, Venice and Westchester, “exhibited flu-like symptoms around March 5. 

He is expected to make a full recovery, the LAPD said.

7:27 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Several airports want to close in wake of pandemic

From CNN's Geneva Sands

The Federal Aviation Administration has received several requests from federally-funded airports, asking to close and restrict airport access, according to the agency. 

The FAA generally does not allow closure of airports that receive federal funds and any request must be approved by the agency.

The agency is reviewing requests from Puerto Rico and Tangier, Virginia, an island town located in the Chesapeake Bay.

Earlier Thursday, CNN reported that Puerto Rico's governor, Wanda Vazquez Garced, wanted to redirect all flights to enter through the international airport to centralize screenings. "It's severe but I think we can" work with the FAA on this, she said.

According to the FAA, Vázquez and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority submitted proposals to restrict airport access and close airports in Puerto Rico. Additionally, the town of Tangier, in Virginia, wants FAA approval to close Tangier Island Airport. 

7:24 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Bank of America allows borrowers to pause mortgage, credit card payments during coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Rob McClean

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images/File
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images/File

Bank of America announced Thursday it will allow customers experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus to defer payments on mortgages and credit cards, among other measures.

"We’re going to continue to provide convenient access to the important services they count on, and the additional assistance and support they need during this difficult period," Dean Athanasia, president of consumer and small business at Bank of America, said in a statement.

Bank of America said it will work on a "case-by-case basis" to allow its customers to pause payments on credit cards and mortgages, as well as small business and auto loans. The bank added that deferred payments won't negatively affect customers' credit scores, but that borrowers will need to make those payments eventually.

7:28 p.m. ET, March 19, 2020

More than 13,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the US

From CNN's Allison Flexner

A person is taken on a stretcher into the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston after being tested for Covid-19 on Thursday.
A person is taken on a stretcher into the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston after being tested for Covid-19 on Thursday. David J. Phillip/AP

There are at least 13,133 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 US public health systems, there are 13,063 cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and other US territories, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 13,133. 

In total, 193 people have died.