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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9:45 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Anyone who arrives in Hawaii will be subject to a 14-day quarantine

Anyone arriving in the state of Hawaii -- including returning residents -- will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

The mandate, which is the first of its kind in the United States, will go into effect Thursday at 12:01 a.m. and remain in place until further notice, the state's governor David Ige said.

“We want this action to send a message to visitors and residents: we appreciate their love for Hawaii, at this time we believe our community is very, very important and we need to come together as a community to fight this virus,” he said at a press conference.

Ige said that while the economy will suffer from this move, it was necessary. Violators could be subject to a $5,000 fine and a year imprisonment.

9:38 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus is the most severe crisis since World War II, says Italian Prime Minister

From CNN's Valentina DiDonato in Rome

A girl watches Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announce the shut down of all non-essential production activities on March 21, in Rome, Italy.
A girl watches Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announce the shut down of all non-essential production activities on March 21, in Rome, Italy. Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that all "non-essential factories" must close as Italy faces "the most severe crisis since WWII."

That restriction applies to any factories not involved in producing food or medical equipment.

Speaking via Facebook live Saturday, Conte announced that the more severe measures were necessary due to the increasing number of coronavirus deaths.

Italy has recorded 53,578 cases and 4,825 deaths.

“The death of many of our citizens is a pain that we deal with everyday. The deaths we continue to hear of are not just numbers, they are people," he said.

All pharmacies, food stores, financial services and public transportation will continue to remain open in Italy, Conte said.

"(The measure) will allow us to return to our factories, our piazzas, hugging our friends again. We do this because we love Italy.”

9:27 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

302 people have died from coronavirus in the United States

A doctor examines Juan Vasquez inside a testing tent at St. Barnabas hospital in New York City on March 20.
A doctor examines Juan Vasquez inside a testing tent at St. Barnabas hospital in New York City on March 20. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

There are now at least 23,649 cases of coronavirus in the United States and 302 people have died from the virus, according to a CNN tally.

This includes cases in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

Here are the worst affected states:

  • New York -- 10,356 cases, 53 deaths
  • Washington -- 1,793 cases, 94 deaths
  • New Jersey -- 1,327 cases, 16 deaths
  • California -- 1,200 cases, 24 deaths

9:20 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Eritrea has reported its first case of coronavirus

From CNN's Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

Eritrea's Ministry of Information has reported the east African country's first case of coronavirus.

A 39-year-old Eritrean man tested positive for coronavirus, the ministry said.

The man has permanent residence in Norway and flew back to Eritrea Saturday morning local time via airline FlyDubai.

The man was exhibiting symptoms during the screening at Asmara International Airport. He was immediately quarantined and tested. 

9:16 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

US workers may get "unemployment insurance on steroids"

The United State's emergency stimulus package will help the workers hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Schumer told CNN’s Wolf Blizter on The Situation Room on Saturday night that a tentpole of the stimulus package was putting “workers first” by giving them “unemployment insurance on steroids.” 

“If you can’t work because your business is closed for all the obvious reasons, you will get your full pay from the federal government and unemployment insurance on steroids will cover all workers," Schumer said.
"It will cover part-time workers, workers who are independent, it will cover the freelancers, and you will be able to stay on this for four months."

Under this scheme, Schumer noted that workers would be “furloughed by their employer so that you can go back to work.” 

About 75 million residents of Connecticut, Illinois, New York and California have been ordered to remain at home to slow the spread of coronavirus.

9:12 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

US Department of Justice proposes denying visas to people who test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Jeremy Herb

The United States Department of Justice is petitioning Congress to change the law to deny asylum or visas to people who test positive for the coronavirus, according to a document obtained by CNN.

CNN previously reported that the Trump administration was trying to block asylum seekers, citing the virus. The State Department temporarily stopped processing routine visas at all embassies and consulates on Friday.

The Department of Justice has submitted a multitude of legislative proposals to Congress in order to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the judicial system, according to a document obtained by CNN.

Those include:

  • Requesting the suspension of the statute of limitations while the country is in a state of emergency;
  • Using video teleconferencing for preliminary court hearings;
  • Priority virus testing for federal agents.

DOJ has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

9:10 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

United Airlines slashed international flights. Now it's bringing some of them back

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

United Airlines is bringing back some of its international flights just one day after making significant international flight schedule cuts.

On Friday, United said it was slashing its April international schedule by 95%. However, on Saturday evening, the airline said it “knows some people around the globe are displaced and still need to get home” and will be adding some capacity back to its schedules. 

The changes mean the airline will operate at about 90% international capacity, it said. 

"This remains a fluid situation, but United continues to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world, especially in these challenging times," the company said in a press release.

8:52 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

US Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative for coronavirus

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal

United States Vice President Mike Pence and his wife have tested negative for coronavirus, his spokeswoman announced Saturday evening.

“Pleased to report that the Covid-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," his spokesperson tweeted.

Pence announced he and his wife would be tested Saturday afternoon after a staff member at his office tested positive for coronavirus.

8:46 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Bolivians should be at home "24 hours a day," the country's interim president says

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta.

Bolivia has announced a nationwide, 14-day "total quarantine" starting Sunday, according to Bolivian state media agency ABI.

The country's interim president, Jeanine Áñez, said Bolivians should “be at home 24 hours a day” and that only one person per family can leave at a time to go shopping. Public and private transport will be suspended.

Still operating: Pharmacies, hospitals and health centers will remain open as normal, she said. Permits will be given to employees in sectors that remain open.

Questions over election: On Saturday, the Bolivian electoral tribunal issued a notice on its website saying that the quarantine order impedes the body from carrying out preparatory activities ahead of May 3 elections.

The tribunal said that political groups and authorities should work together to decide on a “new date” that takes into account “scientific evaluations based on serious estimates about the probably evolution of the pandemic.”

An interim government has ruled Bolivia since former President Evo Morales fled the country following allegations of fraud in an October vote that would have given him a fourth term in office. Morales has said he was the victim of a coup.