March 22 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:30 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020
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6:19 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Louisiana governor issues statewide stay-at-home order

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order Sunday that will go into effect at 5 p.m. Monday and stay in effect until April 12, according to a news release from the governor's office.

"As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave," Edwards said. "I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else."

Edwards already issued an executive order closing all nonessential businesses in Louisiana.

4:47 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

More staffers and inmates with NYC corrections department test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

The New York City Department of Correction confirmed Sunday that five more staffers and 10 more inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, according to an email from spokesman Patrick Rocchio.

At least 17 department personnel have tested positive, according to the department, and 29 people in custody have tested positive, according to Correctional Health Services.

4:52 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NYPD commissioner says 98 employees have coronavirus

From CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia

An NYPD officer helps direct traffic at a coronavirus testing center in Staten Island, New York, on March 19.
An NYPD officer helps direct traffic at a coronavirus testing center in Staten Island, New York, on March 19. Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/AP

There are 98 members of the New York Police Department who have tested positive for coronavirus, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Of the 98, 70 are uniformed and 28 are civilian employees. Shea said 95 of 98 are recovering at home.

He believes three remain hospitalized. One was discharged Sunday.

The belief at this time with limited information is that these people did not necessarily contract coronavirus at work, Shea said.

As society contracts this disease, so do we,” Shea said.

He said the "normal sick rate" for the NYPD is approaching about "double that rate," adding that he saw the numbers go up when the virus took hold roughly around March 17.

He said the department is in "very good shape" in terms of resources, but "we plan for it every day.”

"We are not at the point where we’re close to going to 12-hour tours," he said. "What we are doing, though, is planning for all eventualities."

People who were previously put on quarantine have come back to work, Shea said.

6:05 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Spain announces 30-day travel restrictions

From CNN’s Jackie Castillo

Planes parked at Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain, on March 20.
Planes parked at Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain, on March 20. Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the temporary restriction of non- essential flights from Spain during a televised press conference Sunday.

The restrictions will be in place for 30 days and will not apply to residents of the European Union. The restrictions will begin at midnight Monday, local time, the Interior Minister’s Office announced on Twitter.

Besides the travel restrictions, Spain's military will transport infected patients from overcrowded hospitals to centers with ample space and supplies to treat them, Sanchez said.

The government vowed to deliver basic supplies like food to the elderly -- the population most in need -- so they can continue to stay in their homes.

Sanchez said Spain will establish a reserve of supplies to combat a possible pandemic in the future and thanked medical personnel for their heroic efforts.

4:19 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Syria announces first coronavirus case

From CNN’s Jomana Karadsheh and Eyad Kourdi

The Syrian Ministry of Health announced the country's first coronavirus case on Sunday, according to state news agency SANA.

The patient "came from abroad and appropriate measures have been taken to deal with the case," the ministry said, according to SANA.

3:52 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Canadian officials grow anxious as multitudes return from spring break

From CNN’s Paula Newton in Ottawa

Canadian officials pleaded with those returning from spring break to go home and quarantine for 14 days and then stay home indefinitely as public health officials worry about yet another wave of travel related coronavirus infections.

“I wish anyone could give a date at which point this will all be behind us, but that really depends not just on what we do today, but what we keep doing tomorrow and into next week and into next month,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outside his home where he remains in quarantine after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Canada’s Health minister was more blunt and suggested the government will use all measures in its "tool kit," including fines, if returning travelers do not abide by orders to stay home.

“When we say that you must stay at home for 14 days that means you stay at home for 14 days, you do not stop for groceries, you do not go visit your neighbors or your friends, that you rest in your house for 14 days, no exceptions,” said Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Health Minister.

By the numbers: Public health officials say there are now roughly 1,388 cases of Covid-19 in Canada, with at least 19 deaths.

They add that they have tested more than 90,000 people, and are testing more than 10,000 people per day. Test results are still taking a full 24 hours as Canada, like other countries, looks for ways to speed up those results.

4:08 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Louisiana governor issues executive order closing all non-essential businesses

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued an executive order closing all non-essential businesses in Louisiana on Sunday.

Edwards announced the order during a Sunday afternoon press conference.

These businesses include all outdoor and indoor entertainment venues; including, but not limited to, playgrounds, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, pool halls, race tracks, adult entertainment venues, and carnivals

All personal care businesses will also be closed, including, but not limited to, beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors and tattoo parlors. 

5:42 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

GOP senators extremely concerned about Rand Paul contracting coronavirus

From CNN’s Phil Mattingly

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Republicans expressed their concern after emerging from a closed-door lunch where they received news that Sen. Rand Paul had tested positive for coronavirus.

Three different GOP senators told CNN that Paul was in the gym with colleagues this morning and several pointed out how close the Kentucky senator had sat to others during Senate lunches in recent days.

"This is a different ballgame now," one Republican senator told CNN.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota said on the Senate floor that senators will be seeking medical advice.

"We’ll consult with the attending physician here at the capitol about appropriate measures for those of us who have been in contact with the senator, but this is the kind of situation that Americans across the country are dealing with right now and it underscores the importance of acting immediately to deliver more relief for the American people," Thune said.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah echoed similar concerns to reporters.

"All the senators are going to seek medical advice as to what action we should take to make sure that we don't in any way spread this virus ourselves," Romney told reporters. "We had a lunch together with Rand, and hope he's doing very well, but we have to determine whether any of us should self-quarantine as a result of being in the same room."

6:18 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Ohio announces 'stay at home' order due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN’s Sarah Jorgensen

Ohio has issued a statewide “stay at home” order due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine announced at a press conference on Sunday. 

The order, requiring all residents to stay at home except for “essential activities,” will go into effect on Monday night at 11:59 p.m., DeWine said, adding that order was signed by Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s Department of Health Director.

“Dr. Acton who has done such a phenomenal job has just signed an Ohio health director’s order. Dr. Acton just signed a stay at home order for all Ohioans. Other states have referred to this as shelter in place, we prefer stay at home. Either one, it’s pretty much the same thing,” DeWine said.

“Essential businesses” and restaurants for takeout will still be allowed to stay open. DeWine encouraged Ohioans to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

The “stay at home” order will remain in place until at least April 6, at which time state authorities would reassess the situation, DeWine said.