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
109 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:59 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Federal disaster declaration issued for Washington

From CNN’s Sara Sidner and Leslie Perrot

The White House approved a request by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee for a federal disaster declaration Sunday, Inslee said in a tweet Sunday.

Inslee asked for the declaration in a letter to President Trump Friday to unlock a host of additional federal assistance programs for Washington residents affected by coronavirus, according to a statement from Inslee's office.

"We appreciate that the federal government has recognized the severity of the public health emergency in Washington state by declaring a major disaster and taking the first step toward additional assistance for Washingtonians," Inslee said. "However, today’s declaration does not unlock many forms of federal assistance we have requested to help workers and families who are badly hurting. We will continue working with our federal partners to deliver the full suite of disaster assistance that is sorely needed in our state, such as expanded unemployment benefits for workers who lose their paychecks as a result of the COVID-19 crisis."

The declaration grants the state’s request for assistance with crisis counseling and training to address the impact of the outbreak on the mental health of affected Washingtonians, Inslee's statement read. Other disaster assistance programs requested in Inslee’s letter remain under review by the White House, the statement read, including expanded unemployment assistance and basic food benefits.

6:53 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

At least 254,000 Americans have been tested for coronavirus

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

A nurse holds a coronavirus test kit at a drive-through test station in Royal Oak, Michigan, on Monday, March 16.
A nurse holds a coronavirus test kit at a drive-through test station in Royal Oak, Michigan, on Monday, March 16. Paul Sancya/AP

At least 254,000 Americans have so far been tested and received results for coronavirus and more than 30,000 have tested positive, Vice President Mike Pence said.

Pence noted that those numbers do not include local hospitals or private labs that have conducted tests.

The Vice President said that commercial labs should be caught up in the backlog of testing by the middle of the week. Commercial labs should prioritize inpatient testing, and new guidance will be sent on that tomorrow, Pence said.

This is the most explicit figure given by the administration about the actual numbers of persons tested versus the number of tests conducted. Each person would have at least a couple of tests.

6:43 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

More than 32,000 US coronavirus cases and 400 deaths

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

There are at least 32,149 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health's tally of cases that are detected and tested through US public health systems.

At least 400 people have died. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

6:41 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

New Orleans police create special team to investigate illegal gatherings

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman

The New Orleans Police Department created a special team of officers to investigate illegal gatherings, a tweet from the department said Sunday.


The team will work with the city's Safety and Permits Department and respond to any reports of gatherings reported to 311, the tweet said. Any businesses found to violate the city's order on gatherings may lose their license to operate within the city of New Orleans, according to the tweet.

Businesses could lose their licenses permanently if they do not adhere to orders from the city to close, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.

Another tweet from the department said it would take more incident reports by phone when appropriate to improve social distancing between officers and citizens.

If a citizen prefers an in-person response, an officer will be dispatched, the tweet said

6:50 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

At least 8 states have issued stay-at-home orders

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

The following states, in order of population, have issued stay-at-home orders:

  • California - 39.5 million – started Thursday
  • New York - 19.5 million - effective Sunday evening
  • Illinois - 12.7 million – started 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Ohio - 11.6 million – effective 11:59 p.m. Monday
  • New Jersey - 8.9 million – started 9 p.m. Saturday
  • Louisiana - 4.6 million – effective 5 p.m. Monday
  • Connecticut – 3.5 million – effective 8 p.m. Monday
  • Delaware – 967,171 – effective Tuesday 8 a.m.

(Population numbers based on 2018 Census estimates)

6:30 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

President Trump outlines National Guard activations for New York, California and Washington

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump announced Sunday he has activated the National Guard in New York, California and Washington, the state's hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump has already approved disaster declarations for New York and Washington and said the declaration for California should be approved soon.

The president announced that the missions will be federally funded but the governors of all three states "will be in command."

 President Trump said he has instructed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply:

  • Four federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York
  • Eight federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California
  • Three federal medical stations and three smaller medical stations with 1,000 beds for Washington

Trump said the supplies should be in New York and California within the next 48 hours. He said two US Navy hospital ships will be activated, one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast.

After some discussion, the USNS Mercy will be sent to Los Angeles and not Washington state. The USNS Comfort is on the East Coast and will likely be sent to New York.

6:17 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Senate taking procedural vote on economic stimulus

From CNN’s Clare Foran and Ted Barrett

The Senate is now taking a key procedural vote to advance a massive stimulus package even as congressional negotiators have not yet reached a final bipartisan deal to respond to the devastating toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on public health and the economy. 

The vote, originally set for 3 p.m. ET and later delayed until 6 p.m., will be taken on a shell bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using as a placeholder until a final deal is reached.

If the measure clears a 60-vote threshold Sunday afternoon, it could set up a final vote could happen as early as Monday, although opponents of the bill could put up additional procedural delays if they choose. 

Democrats have been expressing concerns over the legislation as it stands throughout the day as talks continue.


6:01 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Delaware announces 'stay-at-home' order that will last into May

From CNN’s Laura James

Delaware Gov. John Carney issued a statewide "stay-at-home" order that will go into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will remain in effect until May 15 or until the "public health threat is eliminated."

The order advises residents to stay at home whenever possible and closing all nonessential businesses due to coronavirus concerns, according to a press release from his office.

"This was not an easy decision, but it’s the right decision to protect the safety of Delawareans and Delaware families," Carney said. "If you have any questions about whether you should be staying home or going out, stay home. Go to work, and go straight back home. If you don't need food or other essential items, stay home." 

Delaware residents may leave their home for essential activities, such as getting groceries, picking up a prescription, seeing a doctor and engaging "in other activities essential to their health, and the health and well-being of their family members, including pets," Carney said.

"Delawareans may also engage in outdoor activity, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines," Carney said.

5:56 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Five GOP senators are self-quarantining after Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tests positive

From CNN’s Ted Barret and Clare Foran

There are now five Republican senators in self-quarantine or isolation – Sens. Rand Paul (who has tested positive for coronavirus), Mike Lee, Mitt Romney, Cory Gardner and Rick Scott.

That means that the 53-47 GOP majority is now reduced to 48-47. A stimulus bill will need 60 votes to pass in the Senate, meaning it will have to have substantial bipartisan support to get to 60.