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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9:56 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

California needs 50,000 more beds, governor says

Gov. Gavin Newsom updates California's response to the coronavirus at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, California, on Monday, March 23.
Gov. Gavin Newsom updates California's response to the coronavirus at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, California, on Monday, March 23. Rich Pedroncelli/Pool/Getty Images

Predicting a three-month surge of coronavirus patients, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for 50,000 more hospital beds.

He had previously called for 20,000 more beds -- but increased data modeling has more than doubled the need, Newsom said today.

Hospitals are expected to cover about 30,000 beds as part of their current surge plans, and additional hospitals coming into play are providing about 3,000 more beds.

Negotiations are underway with convention facilities, fairgrounds, hotels, motels and skilled nursing centers to add the bed space, Newsom said.

In addition to the physical space, Newsom discussed the options of adding health care workers to help care for those patients, including adding fourth-year medical students into the system, and bringing back recent retirees.

9:32 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Amazon suspends thousands of sellers over coronavirus price gouging

Amazon says it has removed more than half a million listings that it believes are engaging in price gouging during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The online giant also says it has suspended nearly 4,000 accounts in the US for violating the company’s rules on pricing.

In its corporate blog, Amazon says it is monitoring sellers to make sure they are not price gouging or making false claims related to Covid-19.

Amazon says it has reached out to every state attorney general to help monitor price gouging.

“We are also proactively sharing information with state attorneys general and federal regulators about sellers we suspect have engaged in egregious price gouging of products related to the Covid-19 crisis,” Amazon’s statement reads.
9:32 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Cuba is going under lockdown over coronavirus concerns

From CNN’s Patrick Oppmann in Havana

Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images
Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Cuban officials on Monday announced they are limiting travel throughout the island and abroad for their citizens and closed all schools starting Tuesday for nearly a month to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  

The Cuban government will “regulate” Cubans ability to leave the communist-run island, said Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, “to protect their health, their family, neighbors and work comrades.” 

Marrero said Cubans would need to present a “humanitarian reason” for travel abroad and for Cubans traveling between different provinces on the island. 

Travel restrictions: Last week, Cuban officials said tourism is banned on the island starting Tuesday and that all Cuban and foreign residents returning from abroad would have to undergo supervised quarantine for 14 days.

Despite that announcement, Marrero said, more than 32,000 foreign tourists remained on the island. Starting Tuesday, he announced, tourists would be banned from leaving their hotels as the government worked to return them to their home countries. 

“No one can go into the street,” Marrero said of the tourists.

Life under lockdown: School classes would be suspended starting Tuesday until at least April 20. All Cubans are required to study in state-run schools.

Marrero also announced that Cubans waiting in “colas” or long lines for hard to find items would need to keep at least one meter (approximately 3 feet) in distance from other people.

He said additional police would be dispatched throughout the island to enforce the new measures.  

So far, Cuba has announced the island has 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 1,036 people have been hospitalized for observation.

9:28 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

US Olympic & Paralympic Committee says path to postponing 2020 Games is "most promising"

From CNN's David Close

In a statement released Monday night, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland and Chair Susanne Lyons said that the organization has heard the concerns from Team USA athletes regarding the upcoming 2020 Games, and that the “path toward postponement is the most promising.”

Hirshland and Lyons continued: “We encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors.”

9:27 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

More than 100 deaths reported in single day, brings US total to over 500

From CNN's Amanda Watts and Devon M. Sayers 

State health officials reported more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, according to CNN Health's Tally. 

This brings the total deaths nationwide in the United States to 520, with the state of New York having the most deaths in a single state with 157.

9:27 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Melania Trump has been tested for coronavirus

From CNN's Sarah Westwood and Kate Bennett 

Carolyn Kaster/AP
Carolyn Kaster/AP

First lady Melania Trump has been tested for coronavirus and is doing fine, President Donald Trump said at Monday's briefing.

This is the first time the President confirmed his wife was also tested for Covid-19.

The President, Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence have all been tested for coronavirus, and all were negative.

“The first lady was tested on the same night as President Trump was tested, out of an abundance of caution. The test was negative,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told CNN. Both Trumps were tested at the White House on March 13.