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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6:17 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Despite federal guidelines, President Donald Trump suggests 'sanitizing' and reusing medical masks

From CNN’s Matthew Hilk

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Despite federal guidelines, President Trump Saturday suggested health care workers sanitize and reuse masks when treating coronavirus patients, rather than "throwing away" masks that are in short supply.

Suggesting that health care workers instead clean and reuse the masks, the President said:

We have very good liquids for doing this, sanitizing the masks, and that that's something they're starting to do more and more. They're sanitizing the masks."

It is unclear which type of mask the President was describing, but FDA guidelines for the common N95 respirator masks state they "should not be shared or reused."

Neither the FDA nor CDC guidelines suggest the possibility of sanitizing masks for safe reuse.


6:31 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

St. Louis to begin 30-day mandatory 'stay at home' order Monday, mayor says

From CNN’s Deanna Hackney

Jeff Roberson/AP
Jeff Roberson/AP

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has issued a mandatory "stay at home order" for city residents beginning 6 p.m. Monday "to prevent further spread" of coronavirus.

The new restrictions will last for 30 days, Krewson said at a press conference Saturday. Thirty days was chosen because it spans the approximate length of two Covid-19 incubation cycles.

Residents are allowed to go to the grocery store, doctor's office, pharmacies and other preapproved types of businesses as long as a six-foot distance is kept between one another. 

6:18 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Chile reports first coronavirus death

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes 

An 82-year-old woman in Chile died from coronavirus, making her the nation's first death, according to the country's health ministry Saturday.

The woman had other conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the health ministry said.

The woman attended a family gathering of approximately 20 people on March 4 and that four people in the family "cluster" have tested positive for coronavirus, the health ministry said.

6:19 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Uganda announces first coronavirus case

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes 

The Ugandan Ministry of Health announced the country's first case of coronavirus Saturday on the ministry’s Twitter account.

The ministry said the patient is a 36-year-old Ugandan man who arrived in the country on Saturday after taking an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Dubai. The patient showed symptoms that included high fever and poor appetite.

Ugandan Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the passenger was identified by a temperature check in the airport.

"The passenger manifest has been retrieved and all contacts are known as we are in position of the passports of all the travelers that came on that plane," Aceng said.

6:04 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Berlin limits gatherings to no more than 10

From CNN's Susanna Capelouto 

The city of Berlin limited gatherings to no more than 10 people Saturday. Restaurants in the city can only offer takeout and delivery. 

The tightened restrictions in Germany's capital come a day after the southern state of Bavaria issued restrictions of movement for its residents, allowing only those who have a reason to leave their homes. 

5:51 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Missouri governor says social distancing order will go into effect Monday

From CNN’s Deanna Hackney 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said the social distancing order he announced Friday will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and last until April 6 unless it is extended.

At a Saturday press conference, Parson said:

  • Missourians should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts. The use of drive-through delivery or pickup is allowed.
  • No visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes or assisted living homes unless it is to provide “critical assistance."
  • All schools will remain closed.

In addition, the filing and/or payment of state income taxes has been extended to July 15 and an automatic extension of driver's license renewals and vehicle registrations by two months has been granted. 

6:00 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Lebanon to use security patrols and checkpoints to prevent people from leaving homes

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz

Police patrol a street in Beirut, Lebanon, on March 16.
Police patrol a street in Beirut, Lebanon, on March 16. Bilal Jawich/Xinhua/Getty Images

Lebanese Security Forces are implementing a plan to prevent people from leaving their homes to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country, Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said during a press briefing Saturday.

These plans include security patrols, setting up checkpoints on small, main and international roads to impose the procedures," Diab said, adding that “violators will be prosecuted by the judicial authorities.”

Diab asked the Lebanese people to cooperate with the government.

"I call upon you to implement a self-curfew, because the state alone cannot face this crawling epidemic, the responsibility here is, an individual, social and official responsibility, we are in grave danger, and our victory can only be achieved through the integration of the state, the society and the citizen."

Earlier Saturday, the Lebanese Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan tweeted that the country has "slipped into the (virus) outbreak" phase, as the number of cases increased by 81 cases in the last 48 hours.

On Sunday, Lebanese Minister of Information Manal Abdul Samad said in a press conference that "public and private gatherings are banned" and that people are "obligated to stay in their homes unless there is an extreme necessity" to leave them.

5:48 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

FAA lifts ground stops at New York area airports after air traffic controller and trainee test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Michael Callahan

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Saturday via Twitter that ground stops in New York have been lifted after an air traffic controller and a trainee tested positive for coronavirus.

5:21 p.m. ET, March 21, 2020

Apple to donate masks in US and Europe, CEO says

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted Saturday that the tech company will be donating "millions of masks for health professionals in the US and Europe."

To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you," Cook tweeted.