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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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.

4:36 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US grocery chain wants its workers to have access to protective masks and gloves

Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images/FILE
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images/FILE

National grocery chain Kroger said in a statement that its wants the government to help secure its workers masks and gloves.

"Our associates are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates," a Kroger spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement continued:  

"We’ve let our associates know they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers — after health care workers — to have access to protective masks and gloves."
4:26 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Texas sees spike of more than 300 coronavirus cases today

From CNN's Ashley Killough 


Texas saw a spike of more than 300 positive coronavirus tests on Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference.

The state now has 715 people who have tested positive and 11 deaths. 

Previously, the state was reporting 410 cases. They have added 305 cases today.

4:14 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

US stocks closed up today

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe  

US stocks ended in the green on Tuesday, recouping all of Monday’s losses as investors grew optimistic about the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Dow recorded its biggest point gain on record. The index closed up 11.4%, or 2,113 points.

The S&P 500 finished up 9.4%.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 8.1%.

4:00 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

French finance minister says industry is at 25% capacity across the country

Industries across France are at "about 25% capacity," with some industrial sectors dropping in capacity by some 80%, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday. 

"Many industrial sectors have also been hit hard. French industry, depending on our evaluations, is at about 25% capacity...some great industrial sectors have their business dropping by 80% or 85% — as is notably the case with the car industry," Le Maire said during a press conference. 

Le Maire called on the European Union to "do much more" to support France through this period of economic downturn, warning that there is "no comparison in recent history" to a situation like the Covid-19 outbreak.

"All sectors are affected, some more violently than others because their activity has totally stopped. I'm thinking of tourism, the aviation industry, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, the leisure industry, the events industry...all of these sectors have a drop in business of 90 to 100%," Le Maire said. 

3:59 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Los Angeles sheriff orders all gun stores shut down, and instructs deputies to enforce closures

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks 

L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva  Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images/FILE

Gun stores in Los Angeles have been declared a nonessential business and have been forced to close, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement Tuesday.

Villanueva also announced the department will add 1,300 deputies to beef up patrols.

"There are hundreds of businesses which, through no fault of their own, do not fall under the Governor’s definition of critical infrastructure," the sheriff said. "As a result, I have instructed my deputies to enforce closures of businesses which have disregarded the Governor’s order (gun stores, strip clubs, and other non-designated businesses)."

This directive comes after reports that gun stores in Los Angeles have seen an increase in sales due to coronavirus concerns.

3:58 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Joe Biden coughed into his hand on live TV and was quickly corrected


While appearing on CNN via teleconference, former Vice President Joe Biden coughed into his hand — and Jake Tapper immediately corrected his technique.

"You know, you're supposed to cough into your elbow," Tapper said, noting he learned about the method while covering the Obama administration.

"Actually that's true," Biden said. "But fortunately I'm alone in my home, but that's okay. I agree. You're right."

"It's kind of old school, to do it with your hand. Do it into your elbow, you're supposed to do it," Tapper added.

Biden, who is 77 years old, said he's been following health care and government officials' advice on social distancing and is staying home.

"I've been staying in place, not going out, not gathering at events," he said.

Biden said he has no symptoms of coronavirus so he hasn't been tested for it.

Watch the moment:

3:47 p.m. ET, March 24, 2020

Georgia health system asks other hospitals for assistance because it's "quickly reaching a critical mass"

 From CNN’s Angela Barajas

Phoebe Putney Health System, in southwest Georgia, is now reporting roughly a third of the deaths in the state. 

CEO Scott Steiner said in a statement that the hospital system is "quickly reaching a critical mass."

Steiner went on to say the health system's main hospital “has been more severely impacted by COVID-19 than any other hospital in Georgia, and our entire health system is one of the hardest hit in the state."

Phoebe Putney Health System has asked other hospitals to take in its Covid-19 and non-COVID patients.

"Several hospitals that currently are not being severely impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency have agreed to accept patients from our main hospital to free up capacity for our ever-growing number of COVID-19 patients," a Putney spokesperson said.

The hospital is currently awaiting the results of more than 1,000 people who were tested for coronavirus.