March 21 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan, Jack Guy, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 0215 GMT (1015 HKT) March 22, 2020
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4:49 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Illinois 'stay at home' order takes effect at 6 p.m.

From CNN’s Deanna Hackney 

A person walks down a sidewalk in Chicago, Illinois, on March 20.
A person walks down a sidewalk in Chicago, Illinois, on March 20. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker reminded Illinois residents that a "stay at home" order will go into effect for the state at 6 p.m. Saturday – an announcement he originally made on Friday.

“Please remember that the grocery stores and gas stations and pharmacies will all be open tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday, and every day after that, and they are constantly being restocked," Pritzker said at a press conference Saturday.

Pritzker issued a "call to action" for all former physicians, nurses, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners and respiratory care therapists who have recently left their fields to "come back and join the fight against Covid-19."

Pritzker said the state will be waiving fees and expediting license renewals so the health care professionals can rejoin the workforce quickly.

4:37 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Ohio closing most adult day services except for settings of fewer than 10 people

From CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued an order Saturday that closes adult day services across the state with exception of settings of fewer than 10 people.

More than 26,000 citizens, mainly people with developmental disabilities, leave their homes to receive group-based services during the day, according to DeWine. These groups can vary between four to 100 members.

Some locations have already closed or downsized, he said, adding that families and guardians are making or have made tough decisions to keep people home.

Small groups and services in a person’s home can continue while following proper precautions, DeWine said.

The state is working with providers to ensure there is a place for each person to go and individuals will continue to receive the services they need, he said.

4:32 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

There are now at least 22,397 coronavirus cases in the US 

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

There are 22,397 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems.

At least 278 people have died.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

4:21 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

France reports 562 coronavirus-related deaths

From Pierre Bairin and Ya Chun Wang in Paris

Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

France has seen a jump in deaths linked to coronavirus infections, according to new figures released by the Health Ministry on Saturday.

The number of people who have died in France since the beginning of the epidemic is now at 562, according to the Health Ministry.

The number of people testing positive is 14,459 as of Saturday.

According to the Health Ministry, 6,172 people have so far been hospitalized, with 1,525 in intensive care, 50% of whom are under 60 years of age.

4:03 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

There are more than 5,000 coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Simon Cullen

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom has climbed to 5,018, according to an official update from the Department of Health and Social Care on Saturday.

The update also says 72,818 people have been tested so far in the UK, the department said.

In total, 233 people with coronavirus have died across the country, the department added.

3:52 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Turkey imposes partial curfew for people over 65 and those with chronic conditions

From CNN's Gul Tuysuz

A man carries groceries down an empty street in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 21.
A man carries groceries down an empty street in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 21. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Turkey announced a partial curfew for citizens older than 65 years old and for those who have chronic conditions starting at midnight on Saturday.

The partial curfew prohibits senior citizens and those with chronic illnesses from using public transportation, being in parks and leaving their homes, the Turkish interior ministry said in a statement.

For those who live alone and are covered by the curfew, social support will be available through provincial governorships, the statement said.

The conditions covered by the partial curfew include chronic pulmonary obstruction disease, asthma, chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, liver disease and those taking immunosuppressants, the statement said.

3:09 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Trump on China: "I wish they'd told us earlier" about coronavirus

From CNN’s Jason Hoffman

President Trump said he wished China had told him earlier about coronavirus, according to remarks he made at the White House on Saturday.

“I have great respect for China, I like China… I have a tremendous relationship with President XI. I wish they could have told us earlier about what was going on inside. We didn’t know about it until it started coming out publicly," Trump said.

Trump added that China “was very secretive and that’s unfortunate.”

The President went on to criticize China saying, “they knew they had a problem earlier, I wish they could have said that.”

Trump said that when he first realized how bad the virus could be he “started doing the closings.” The first travel restrictions related to coronavirus went into place on February 2.

2:59 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Vermont governor announces business closures due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Jessica Jordan

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott issued an advisory today directing gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities to close all in-person operations no later than 8 p.m. ET on March 23. 

The advisory also included hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors.

3:04 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Trump continues to defer to others on whether the Olympics should be canceled

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

A woman walks beneath a Tokyo 2020 banner on March 19, in Tokyo, Japan.
A woman walks beneath a Tokyo 2020 banner on March 19, in Tokyo, Japan. Carl Court/Getty Images

President Trump said the decision on whether to hold the Tokyo Olympics as planned this summer is “totally up to them,” referring to the Japanese government. 

The President praised the “beautiful” venue that Japan has already built, and said he did not want to influence the decision being made.

"They have built one of the most beautiful venues I've ever seen. They are all ready to go. It's not late, not over budget, it was just done flawlessly and it is beautiful and they're sitting back and saying, you know, I told him, I said, that's your decision and it is his decision," Trump said Saturday during a press conference. "I know he is going to make it soon. I don't what it is going to be and I didn't think I should be influencing it at all."

Some context: The head of USA Swimming wants the Olympics to be postponed to 2021, calling it "the right and responsible thing to do" in a letter to the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee

Tim Hinchey III, the CEO of USA Swimming, asked the group to advocate for the change because "the right and responsible thing to do is to prioritize everyone's health and safety and appropriately recognize the toll this global pandemic is taking on athletic preparations."