March 26 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Emma Reynolds and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0252 GMT (1052 HKT) March 27, 2020
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10:50 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

10:22 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Increasing supply of necessary medical equipment for Covid-19 will not resolve the crisis, US surgeon general says

From CNN's Gina Yu

Although the United States government is making every effort to provide necessary supplies in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, supplies will only help so much, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said at a town hall for the American Society of Anesthesiologists on Thursday.

“We will not supply our way out of this problem,” he said.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force has provided 9 million N95 respirators from the Strategic National Stockpile, and it has worked with manufacturers to increase production of N95 respirators to 100 million a month, according to Adams.

He also said the national stockpile purchases 0.1% of all national supplies, while the remaining 99.9% are utilized by commercial and private markets.

“A lot of the capacity that folks are looking for is already out there. It’s sitting on shelves in surgery centers. It’s sitting in hospitals. It’s just misaligned,” Adams said. “I really want you all to think about how you can help us fix that misalignment.”

Other ways to increase supplies are elimination of elective surgeries and converting anesthesia ventilators to ICU ventilators, according to Adams.

He also talked about the importance of testing. “By this time next week, we expect to be close to two million tests,” he said.

Other than provision of medical supplies to areas that need them most, Adams reiterated the importance of the general public taking social distancing and good hygiene practices seriously. According to Adams, the disease runs its course about six to eight weeks after strict social distancing, as seen in China and other parts of Asia.

By decreasing the number of infected people, he explained, the demand for supplies would also decrease. “The way we get out of this crisis is to lower demand,” he said.

10:20 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

24 detainees have tested positive for coronavirus in a Chicago jail

From CNN's Brad Parks

At least 24 detainees at Cook County Jail in Chicago have tested positive for coronavirus, the sheriff's office said in a statement Thursday.

The jail complex currently houses around 5,400 detainees. A total of 89 detainees exhibiting flu-like symptoms have been tested so far. Of those, 24 tested positive, two negative, while an additional 63 have pending test results.

Additionally, nine Cook County Sheriff’s Office employees have now tested positive for coronavirus.

Outbreaks have previously been reported in prisons and jails in China, and there have been calls for non-violent prisoners to be released in the US to reduce overcrowding and prevent the spread of the virus among detained populations.

10:15 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

CNN's town hall on the coronavirus pandemic has ended. Here are the highlights

CNN's global town hall on the coronavirus town hall has just ended for the night.

We talked about the situation in China, Europe, and the US, answered questions from our audiences, and had special guests like Bill Gates and Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • This isn't over yet: The US has not yet peaked, and we won't be able to return to normal life by April, said Bill Gates and top US infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • We need more testing: There is still a lot we don't know about the disease and how long it will last -- but ratcheting up testing and collecting more data will give us a better idea in the coming weeks and months.
  • Stay vigilant: We all still need to be continuing preventative measures like thoroughly washing our hands, social distancing, and home isolation.
  • But also take care of yourself: Mental health is especially important in times like these, and there are resources in your community or through remote means that can help combat feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and depression.
  • We will recover: The economy is taking a hit, and the nation is facing extraordinary circumstances. But because the economy is on artificial pause, it will likely recover faster than previous recessions, according to CNN anchor and business editor Richard Quest, and the country will be able to go back to normal once we manage to contain the crisis.

Scroll through our posts below to catch up on the town hall.

10:09 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

What Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky is doing to stay in shape during the coronavirus pandemic

Katie Ledecky competes in the Women's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines on March 4.
Katie Ledecky competes in the Women's 1500 LC Meter Freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines on March 4. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Like all Americans, Katie Ledecky has been forced to adjust her lifestyle under self-quarantine as the country struggles against the coronavirus pandemic.

Ledecky shared how she is training during this challenging time during an interview on CNN's coronavirus town hall Thursday night.

"Yes, so typically I train at Stanford. I'm a student at Stanford, and everything around here is closed down in the bay area, all the pools, everything. During these last couple of weeks we've been able to swim in some backyard pools, just very small groups. And really I'm not doing anything besides staying in my apartment trying to stay in shape the best I can. But pretty much doing what everyone else is, hunkering down," Ledecky said.

One of the motivations for Ledecky to stay in shape are the Olympic games which have been postponed to 2021.

"Goal setting has been crucial to me and keeps me motivated every day to get out of bed and work out hard. And I want to represent team USA next year and do it really well. I think it's going to be really cool if everything comes together. Hopefully that, hopefully we can continue to fight this disease and reduce the spread and be able to compete in Tokyo. But I think when we get there, it's going to be a true celebration of the world being able to come together again," she said.


10:00 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Katie Ledecky: Postponing the Olympics is "disappointing but certainly the right call"

Katie Ledecky reacts after winning at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Des Moines, Iowa, on March 6.
Katie Ledecky reacts after winning at the TYR Pro Swim Series at Des Moines, Iowa, on March 6. Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Countless sporting events have been canceled or postponed around the world over the coronavirus pandemic.

The most notable is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which has been postponed until 2021. It was originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9.

Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky joined CNN's ongoing town hall to talk about the postponement.

It's "obviously disappointing, but it was certainly the right call," she said. "It doesn't really make sense to bring everyone from around the world together in the middle of a pandemic."

The next steps forward will depend on the new dates for 2021, which will determine the scheduling for trials and training.

For now, Ledecky is hunkering down and social distancing like everybody else. "I'm not doing anything besides staying in my apartment trying to stay in shape the best I can," she said.

9:59 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

We need to take care of our mental health during this pandemic, psychiatrist says

The coronavirus pandemic isn't just having a public health and economic toll on the world -- it threatens our mental health, too.

But there are things we can do to combat feelings of helplessness, panic, depression, and anxiety, said psychiatrist Dr. Christine Moutier on CNN's ongoing coronavirus town hall.

Here's one way to change your mindset:

"Think about what you have in your control and what you don't have in your control. Those are facts. You can get your head around that and you can move towards what is actually in your control, which actually is a lot. These are the choices we can make for ourselves and our families right now."

If you feel like you want to reach out to a professional for help, but are in self isolation or home quarantine, there are telehealth options and online resources that could offer remote counseling, she added.

"It's a time when people with a history of mental health conditions need to take extra special care of their mental health right now."
9:42 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

California is the next New York, and New York is the next Italy, says LA mayor

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a press conference on the novel coronavirus on March 4 in Los Angeles, California.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a press conference on the novel coronavirus on March 4 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Crobyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

With the growing number of coronavirus cases, California is the next New York and New York is the next Italy, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters Thursday.

"In the same way that New York is now the next Italy, and Italy is the next Iran, and Iran is the next China, no matter where you live, you are the next next, this virus doesn't care where you live," said Mayor Garcetti, echoing comments he previously made to CNN.

The rate of increase in the number of cases was doubling every three to four days, but today’s number shows a new rate of increase. Cases are now doubling less than every two days and if this rate continues, we will be where New York is today, Garcetti said.

"These are neighbors, these are not statistics. These are the loved ones that are in our families and our communities and our workplaces," Garcetti added.

The mayor also announced that the city is partnering with fashion brand Reformation to help produce masks with guidance from health care company Kaiser Permanente.

The city has launched LA Projects to collaborate with garment and apparel manufacturers to mass produce non-medical masks for non-medical staff at hospitals, grocery workers, and other Angelenos on the front lines. The goal is to produce 5 million non-medical masks, Garcetti said.

9:37 p.m. ET, March 26, 2020

Travel to Hawaii drops by 87% after new coronavirus restrictions

From CNN's Andy Rose

Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor David Ige asked people to postpone their visits to the state for 30 days, and most people are listening.

In a Thursday evening press conference, Ige said flights to Hawaii this week are down 87% compared to the same week in 2019.

"We must try to stop visitors from coming to Hawaii in order to stop the spread of Covid-19 into our communities,” Gov. Ige said

The state is backing up its request for fewer visitors with an order that all arrivals -- residents and visitors -- immediately enter a 14-day quarantine upon entering the state. Visitors must spend that time in their hotel room at their own expense, or face a possible criminal charge if they ignore the order.

“Only 38 total people flew into Kauai's airport (Thursday),” said Tim Sakahara with the state’s Department of Transportation. Arrivals are interviewed before being allowed to leave the airport, and must fill out a form giving details on where they will be spending their quarantine.

Gov. Ige says they are also working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to find places where a field hospital could be set up if one is necessary. A site survey already has been done at the exhibition hall of Hawaii Convention Center, according to Ige.