March 27 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, James Griffiths, Steve George, Amy Woodyatt, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 8:04 a.m. ET, March 28, 2020
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1:35 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Louisiana sees spike in coronavirus cases

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Louisiana has reported at least 441 new coronavirus cases and 36 deaths since yesterday.

There are at least 2,746 cases of coronavirus and 119 deaths in the state, according to the Department of Health's website.

The majority of cases are in Orleans Parish, which includes the city of New Orleans.

1:28 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Trump administration appears to back off Easter timeline to relax coronavirus guidelines

From CNN's Betsy Klein

After repeatedly suggesting that social distancing guidelines could be lifted – at least in some places – in time for Easter Sunday, the Trump administration appears to have backed off that timeline.

During a town hall interview with Fox News and subsequent one-on-one interview with Fox’s Bill Hemmer, Trump raised the prospect, at one point saying there would be “packed churches all over our country.” Trump again floated the idea during Tuesday’s press briefing.

The idea was widely criticized and was not supported by any prominent politician or doctor.

CNN's Jim Acosta reported Tuesday that the coronavirus task force received plenty of feedback from public health experts sounding the alarm over easing the social distancing guidelines next week, a source familiar with the matter said. Although Trump has talked about reopening the country by Easter, the source said, the President hasn’t reached a final decision on exactly when the government’s guidelines would be relaxed to get the economy back up and running.

When Trump talked up the idea of packing churches on Easter, the source continued, the president knew it was more wishful thinking than a realistic goal.

“He was being himself,” the source said.

On Wednesday, Trump’s language softened: “I would say by Easter we'll have a recommendation, and maybe before Easter,” he said at the briefing.

By Thursday, Trump did not reference the Easter timeline at all – neither during the briefing nor his interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity. Thursday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN Trump provided an "aspirational projection to give people some hope."

And Friday morning, Vice President Mike Pence called it an “aspirational goal” during an interview with CNBC.

1:22 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Rate of coronavirus infection in UK doubling every three to four days

From CNN's Nada Bashir in London 

The rate of infection in the UK has been doubling every three to four days according to "best scientific analysis" UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said on Friday. 

Gove added that these figures were a "powerful reminder" of the "need for all of us to act."

1:28 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Frustrated nurse urges people to stop stealing supplies from hospital

From CNN's David Williams

Sonja Reinert, a labor and delivery nurse at Emory Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, posted an emotional video on Facebook Friday, urging people to stay home and stop stealing their supplies.

She said they don't have enough personal protective equipment or other supplies. They've had to hide, gloves hats and even hand sanitizer because people have been stealing it.

"We had stuff just disappear. We had to hide them because people would just take them,” Reinert said.

“I think that’s what’s the most shocking is that people walking into a hospital and think they can just take something," she added.

Reinert said hospital administrators are doing everything they can to get the supplies they need. She went on to ask the public for face masks and supplies, adding, "please consider donating them because we don't have anything."

Reinert said they test any patients with a cough for coronavirus, but the results don't come back for three days. They've been treating any patients with symptoms as if they have the disease.


1:12 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

WHO official on coronavirus: "Young people are not invincible"

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Mallory Simon

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO infectious disease epidemiologist
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Data is continuing to show that younger people are being hospitalized with Covid-19, World Health Organization officials said during a media briefing in Geneva on Friday. 

"Young people are not invincible," said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO infectious disease epidemiologist.

"What we know from data across a number of countries — including data from China, including data from the US and Italy and Iran and Korea and Japan and others — is that this virus can cause mild disease," Kerkhove said. "But we do have reports and there are some publications now that describe severe infection in children."

Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of health emergencies program, said during the briefing that in Korea, 20% of the deaths were in people under 60 years of age; in Italy, up to 15% of people in intensive care were under 50; and in Germany and other countries, up to 10% to 15% of people under 50 with disease will have moderate to severe infection. 

"This Covid-19 virus is capable of causing infection and severe disease in people of all ages," Kerkhove said.

1:04 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

How the House plans to overcome one GOP congressman

From CNN's Manu Raju

House TV
House TV

The US House is debating the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill now. Here's what we're expecting next:

  • As soon as debate ends, the House will vote by voice.
  • Then, Thomas Massie will ask for a recorded vote (he tweeted earlier today he'd do this).
  • Someone will suggest an absence of a quorum.
  • Then all the members who came back to Washington will show up.
  • Massie will then again ask for a recorded vote again.
  • Then the chair will ask for a sufficient second. That requires one-fifth of the members to rise and be counted. That won’t happen.
  • Then, the House will approve the stimulus by voice.

What this is about: Massie tweeted that he will seek a recorded vote, meaning that members would be required to show up in person and vote on the historic stimulus bill. 

Leadership has hoped to pass the measure by a voice-vote.

1:25 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Italy records highest daily jump in coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Nicola Ruotolo in Rome and Sharon Braithwaite in London

Medical staff get ready to receive a Covid-19 patient arriving by helicopter at the Spedali Civili Hospital, in Brescia, Italy, Friday, March 27.
Medical staff get ready to receive a Covid-19 patient arriving by helicopter at the Spedali Civili Hospital, in Brescia, Italy, Friday, March 27. Luca Bruno/AP

The number of people who died of coronavirus in Italy has risen by 969, the biggest daily jump since the crisis began. 

The total number of deaths now stands at 9,134, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency. 

There has been an increase of 4,401 cases of coronavirus in the past day, the Civil Protection Agency said. 

The total number of recorded coronavirus cases in Italy, including deaths and those who recovered, now stands at 86,498.

Clarification: The 969 figure includes 50 deaths that were not included in Thursday’s figures.

12:41 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Alabama governor orders all nonessential business to close


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday she is ordering the closure of all nonessential businesses in the state due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

All nonessential businesses are being asked to close at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Ivey said they have broken their nonessential businesses into four categories:

  • Entertainment, athletic venues, nonessential “close contact” service establishments, and nonessential retail stores.

The businesses will remain closed through April 17. 

Ivey went on to say that she will not be issuing a statewide shutdown. 

As of Friday morning, Alabama has recorded 540 cases of coronavirus.

12:35 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Vermont will close schools for the remainder of the year

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said in a news conference today that he has closed in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year, but is asking schools to continue virtual learning.

He said he fully understand this is hard and the impact it will have on families, but he believes it is important to keep people safe.