March 20 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Joshua Berlinger, Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Steve George and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 9:27 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020
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7:18 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Yosemite National Park closed until further notice

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images/File
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images/File

Yosemite National Park in California is now closed until further notice.

Visitors are not permitted inside the park, and the closure will be enforced around the clock, according to the National Park Service.

Most national parks have announced facility closures, but this is the first full closure of a park. 

The NPS attributes the closure to a request from the local health department.

Known for its towering granite cliffs, Yosemite is one of the country’s most treasured national parks. Established in 1890, it was the country’s third national park.

7:05 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

More men than women in Italy are dying from coronavirus, says White House's response coordinator

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse/AP
Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse/AP

New numbers from the Covid-19 outbreak in Italy show more men are dying from the virus than women, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator told CNN.

“This new data about the male-female ratio is really quite striking,” Dr. Deborah Birx told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Friday evening.

“From age 50 on, almost twice as many men are dying as women. So that really makes us really have to look into that and understand that, and really, just having the knowledge of that helps us in the United States so we can be very specific in talking to the American people about who to protect and how to protect them,” she said.

Birx stressed the importance of underlying and pre-existing medical conditions when it comes to coronavirus infections.

“In Italy, again, most of the individuals who succumb to this disease had three other prior existing medical conditions,” she said.

7:01 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Epidemiologists deploying to investigate multiple coronavirus cases in SW Georgia county

From CNN's Jessica Jordan

Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health are being deployed to Albany in southwest Georgia to investigate multiple cases in the area, the health department said in a statement.

Dougherty County, where Albany is located, has 38 cases of coronavirus with six confirmed deaths, the statement said.

The team of experts will focus on investigations at Phoebe Putney Hospital and long-term care facilities in the area, according to the statement.

Albany is about 90 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida.

6:53 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Trump Organization closes parts of Mar-a-Lago due to coronavirus

From CNN's Betsy Klein and Kate Bennett

Joe Raedle/Getty Images/File
Joe Raedle/Getty Images/File

Parts of President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort have closed, a member tells CNN.

Club members have been getting daily briefings via email this week. The latest email, sent on Friday, said the main house, spa, and gym are closed. 

The beach club is open, but serving at half capacity, according to the member.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all beaches in Palm Beach County to close, although it’s unclear if that applies to private beaches and whether there will be a new update Saturday to reflect that information.

Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, a separate resort where the President often golfs, remains open.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization would not confirm that Mar-a-Lago was affected, but said in a statement, “various facilities are temporarily closed given local, state and federal mandates.

"We anxiously await the day when this pandemic is over and our world-class facilities can reopen," the statement said.

6:50 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Alabama's governor activates its national guard

Gov. Kay Ivey has authorized the activation of up to 100 Alabama National Guardsmen on an as needed basis in response to novel coronavirus, a statement from her office said.

The activation was done as a preparedness measure, the statement read, and that the guard had no "determined need for formal assistance" right now.

“I want to ensure Alabamians that our National Guard stands ready to be part of this team effort to combat this invisible enemy," Ivey said in the statement. “My administration has been given clear instructions to do everything possible to ensure the continuity of government while being flexible and responsible to the needs of our state."
6:48 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Miami Beach orders all hotels to shut down and establishes curfew

From CNN's Sara Weisfeldt

Lynne Sladky/AP
Lynne Sladky/AP

All hotels in Miami Beach have been ordered to shut down, and a new city-wide curfew will soon take effect, according to a city statement.

Hotels and commercial lodging establishments have also been ordered to evacuate all guests and renters from their premises by 11:59 p.m. Monday, the statement said. 

A city-wide curfew will also go into effect starting Tuesday from 12 a.m. until 5 a.m. until further notice, the statement said.

6:51 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Someone in vice president's office tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

Alex Brandon/AP/File
Alex Brandon/AP/File

Neither President Donald Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence had close contact with somebody in the vice president's office who has tested positive for coronavirus, Pence's press secretary said Friday.

“‪This evening we were notified that a member of the Office of the Vice President tested positive for the Coronavirus," Pence's press secretary Katie Miller said. "Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual. Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines.”


6:45 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

French city of Nice imposes curfew to fight coronavirus

From CNN’s Mia Alberti in Lisbon

Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

The city of Nice in France will impose a curfew beginning Saturday night to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Bernard Gonzalez, prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, told CNN affiliate BFM TV the curfew will be imposed to “stop the gathering of people in the streets.” 

“All who need to circulate can circulate: health professionals that need to keep moving around, as well as taxis,” Gonzalez said.

“But this is essentially to stop gatherings of people in the streets, even tonight in the center of Nice we are still seeing gatherings of young people. "

Gonzalez added the curfew will start at 11 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) and run until 5 a.m. (12 a.m. ET).

6:36 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers close over coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Evan Perez

The Department of Homeland Security, citing the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, shut down the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers on Friday.

The academy trains thousands of future officers and agents for 90 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies around the country. This means thousands of agents training to join DHS and other agencies, including Postal Inspection Service, ATF and others, are going home.

It also poses a potential problem as agents and officers for those agencies retire and aren’t replaced by new people who the agencies were counting on.