March 24 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 1:09 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020
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6:05 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

New York City now has nearly 15,000 cases

From CNN's Laura Ly

Doors open into the emergency department at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York, on March 23.
Doors open into the emergency department at St. Barnabas Hospital in New York, on March 23. Misha Friedman/Getty Images

New York City currently has at least 14,776 cases due to Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Tuesday. 

De Blasio said the idea that the city could be back to normal in April is “absolutely inconceivable."

He added that he believes April will be “unquestionably worse” than March and that he fears May could be worse than April.

5:08 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

First inmate in Texas prison system tests positive for coronavirus

A 37-years-old man is the first inmate in the Texas prison system to test positive for coronavirus, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The inmate is currently in isolation at a Galveston, Texas hospital, according to department spokesperson Jeremy Desel. The inmate had been assigned to the Lychner State Jail when he reported a cough and shortness of breath three days ago.

There are currently 140,500 inmates in the Texas prison system. Previously, the department had a prison employee diagnosed as positive.  

5:36 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

First ICE detainee tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

The exterior Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey.
The exterior Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey. Anne-Marie Caruso/ Content Services

A 31-year-old Mexican national is the first detainee to test positive for coronavirus in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the agency announced Tuesday.

The detainee, who has been held at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, has been quarantined and is receiving care, ICE said, adding that the agency “is suspending intake at the facility until further information is available.”

Immigrant advocates and lawmakers have warned about the potential spread of coronavirus in detention facilities, which have a checkered history of dealing with illnesses.

As part of its efforts to stop coronavirus from spreading, the agency recently announced it was temporarily suspending social visitation at ICE facilities "as a precautionary measure" – meaning family members, friends and advocates who used to be able to visit detained loved ones in person can't anymore, at least for now.

5:33 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Connecticut sees spike of 200 cases in one day

From CNN's Sheena Jones

A health worker waits for new patients a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Cummings Park in Stamford, Connecticut, on March 23.
A health worker waits for new patients a drive-thru coronavirus testing station at Cummings Park in Stamford, Connecticut, on March 23. John Moore/Getty Images

Connecticut has seen a spike of 200 more cases since yesterday, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference Tuesday.

The state now has a total of 618 cases, up from 400 previously reported.

The governor said he placed orders for a million N95 respirator masks and 3,000 thermometers.

5:31 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Tony-award winning playwright Terrence McNally dies due to complications from coronavirus 

From CNN's Dave Alsup

Playwright Terrence McNally at his New York City home on March 2.
Playwright Terrence McNally at his New York City home on March 2. Al Pereira/Getty Images

Four-time Tony award winning playwright Terrence McNally dies due to complications from coronavirus, according to his publicist Matt Polk. He was 81.

McNally died Tuesday in a hospital in Sarasota, Florida. Polk said the cause of death was due to complications from coronavirus.

McNally was a lung cancer survivor with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Polk said.

McNally is known for such plays as "Ragtime" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

7:21 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

First known teen death from coronavirus in the US

From CNN’s Arman Azad, Jamie Gumbrecht, Jon Passantino and Cheri Mossburg

The death of a person under the age of 18 in Los Angeles County is believed to be the first from the novel coronavirus in the United States.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday the victim was a teen, who L.A. County health officials said lived in Lancaster, California.

Coronavirus-related deaths in children remain rare.

“In the mortality data that has been provided to us, there has been no child under 15 that has succumbed to the virus in Europe,” Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a White House briefing on Monday. “There was the one 14-year-old in China. So we still see that there is less severity in children, and so that should be reassuring to the moms and dads out there.”

According to studies released previously, a 10-month-old infant and a 14-year-old boy died after being infected with the novel coronavirus.

The 10-month-old infant who died had a pre-existing condition called intussusception, where one part of the intestine slides into another, potentially blocking the passage of food. The child experienced multi-organ failure and died four weeks after being admitted to a hospital in Wuhan, China, according to research published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The 14-year-old boy from Hubei province in China died on February 7. No further details were available on his death, which was reported in a study published last week in Pediatrics that looked at 2,143 children with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

4:41 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Wall Street firm warns that lifting US coronavirus restrictions early could backfire

From CNN's Matt Egan

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

There is a great debate raging over when to lift the tough health restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump said Tuesday he wants the country "opened up and just raring to go by Easter." The goal is to limit the severe financial damage caused by shutting down large parts of the economy.

But Morgan Stanley is warning that there are real risks to that strategy.

"If the White House were to relax the social distancing measures 'soon,' well ahead of the necessary timeline to have a significant impact on our view, it would raise the risk of increasing the peak or delaying the time to peak," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a report Tuesday.

In other words, rather than flattening the curve, the government would be making it worse.

If anything, the Wall Street firm is growing more concerned about the coronavirus outlook in the United States, which now has more than 50,000 confirmed cases.

"High positive testing rates and mixed lock down measures raise [the] risk that our base case forecast may be optimistic," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.

4:35 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Florida governor plans to expand order mandating self-isolation for travelers from New York City area

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

The Florida Channel
The Florida Channel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he plans to expand the executive order he issued for travelers from the New York City area.

During a news conference Tuesday, DeSantis said anyone who has traveled from the New York City area to Florida in the last three weeks will need to self-isolate and also provide a list of people they have been in close contact with in Florida. Travelers will also have to provide an address in Florida where they will self-isolate.

DeSantis said he will sign the expansion to the executive order Tuesday.

DeSantis said that members of the Florida National Guard were at Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday, providing information to travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in compliance with the executive order he issued Monday, which requires travelers from those states to self-isolate for 14 days. DeSantis added that the effort will be expanded to smaller airports as well.

The surgeon general of Florida will be issuing a health advisory that encourages anyone 65 or older to stay home for the next 14 days. Also anyone with chronic conditions —regardless of age —is encouraged to stay home. 

DeSantis also announced an expansion of the group gathering guidance to no social or recreational groups of 10 people or more, even in private residences.

4:32 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Greta Thunberg says she believes she had coronavirus

Climate activist Greta Thunberg said she believes she had coronavirus and has recovered. 

Thunberg said in an Instagram post that she isolated herself the last two weeks.

She said she started experiencing symptoms about 10 days ago.

“I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever. In Sweden you cannot test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves. I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances," she wrote.

The teenage activist said the main thing she wants to tell people is that she didn’t feel that ill and wouldn’t have suspected coronavirus.