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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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.

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 

Pool
Pool

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.