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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3:08 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

51 Italian doctors who contracted coronavirus have died since the start of the pandemic

From Sharon Braithwaite in London

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in Italy, 51 doctors who tested positive for the disease have died, the Italian Association of Doctors said Friday.

The news of the death toll comes after an urgent call for medical protective equipment from the president of the association, Filippo Anelli, on Thursday.

By the numbers: Since the beginning of the epidemic, 6,414 health workers have been infected by coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the Italian National Institute of Health.

Out of the 51 deceased doctors, 32 were working in Lombardy, the Italian region worst-hit by coronavirus.

2:59 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Today marks the most reported coronavirus deaths in the US in a single day

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

There have been at least 265 reported coronavirus deaths in the US on Friday, according to a count by CNN. 

This is the most reported deaths in the United States since the pandemic outbreak.

  • Thursday: There were 253 reported deaths in the US.
  • Wednesday: There were 233 reported deaths in the US.
  • Tuesday: There were 164 reported deaths in the US. 

There have been at least 1,451 total reported deaths in the US.

2:36 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

There are now at least 95,000 coronavirus cases in the US

John Minchillo/AP
John Minchillo/AP

There are at least 95,174 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems.

At least 1,451 people have died. 

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

2:32 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Virginia does not have enough personal protective equipment or testing material, governor says

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia does not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) or testing material to keep up with demand, Gov. Ralph Northam said during a news conference Friday.

A disruption in the supply chain in China coupled with the increased demand have resulted in a global shortage, Northam said.

Some context: Virginia is competing with their own health care system, as well as other states and the federal government for more PPE, Northam said.

Northam said they need a national solution and hope that manufacturers in the US can produce more equipment. 

2:29 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Doctors from all specialties joining the US coronavirus response, official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Even physicians who are not infectious disease specialists or pulmonologists are training and joining the frontlines in response to the US coronavirus crisis, Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, said during a teleconference with reporters on Friday.

"We are hearing that there are individuals from other specialties being drawn into clinical care," Orlowski said.

"All physicians have a foundational understanding of health care and medical practice and our expectation is that active physicians keep this knowledge up," Orlowski said. "I’ve seen very quick training programs to get people back up to speed in the use of PPE, in the use of ventilators."

Orlowski added that such trainings are to ensure that physicians are safe to work in areas that might not be their specialty. 

"It is always the physician's and people around them's responsibility to make the decision if they’re ready to practice in that expanded area," Orlowski said. "Safety and quality remains a high priority — the number one priority — even though people are having to work fast and work smart."

2:29 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Democratic congressman tests positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Alex Rogers

Carolyn Kaster/AP
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Rep. Joe Cunningham has tested positive for Covid-19.

Cunningham, a Democrat from South Carolina, said he's been in self-quarantine since March 19, when he "received word from the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress that I had been in contact with a member of Congress who had since tested positive for COVID-19."

"While I otherwise feel fine, since March 17th I have been unable to smell or taste, which I learned this week is a potential symptom of COVID-19. I have been in contact with my doctor since I entered self-quarantine," he said in a statement.

Several other members of Congress have previously tested positive for coronavirus, including Sen. Rand Paul. Cunningham did not say which lawmaker he had contact with.

2:16 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Armani switches production in factories to make overalls for health workers

From CNN's Valentina Di Donato in Rome

Stephanie de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images
Stephanie de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Italian conglomerate the Armani Group's production plants have now switched to manufacturing single-use overalls for health care workers battling coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Facebook. 

The Armani Group closed its shops and hotel in Milan on March 10 to minimize the spread of the virus.

The company also said it donated two million Euros to Italy's Civil Protection Agency and hospitals most effected by coronavirus.  

2:44 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

Cuomo says Trump's tweet about ventilators in storage was "incorrect and grossly uninformed"

From CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to President Trump’s tweet that there are thousands of federal government ventilators found in a storage facility in New York and that the state “must distribute now.”

Here's what Cuomo said:

 “That is incorrect and grossly uninformed. The point is, we have ventilators in a stockpile and we didn’t send them to the hospital yet. Of course we didn’t — that’s the whole point. The hospitals don’t need them yet. The hospitals aren’t at their apex. The hospitals have enough ventilators today, but their numbers are going up. We’re planning for an apex, a high point, in about 21 days – that’s when we need the 30,000 ventilators, not today. Right now we’re putting them in a stockpile," Cuomo added.

"So the point is, ‘well they’re in a stockpile, you must not need them is just ignorant – of course you don’t need them today! You need them when you hit the apex, which is 30,000. We’re not there yet," he said.


2:01 p.m. ET, March 27, 2020

The first NBA players who tested positive have been medically cleared

From CNN Sports Jabari Jackson

The Utah Jazz said all of their players and team personnel, including center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell, have completed their self-isolation period and are medically cleared by the Utah Department of Health. 

 "The UDOH has determined that all Jazz players and staff, including Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert who tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, no longer pose a risk of infection to others," said the NBA team in a statement released Friday.

Earlier this month, Gobert and Mitchell became the most high-profile athletes known to have been diagnosed with Covid-19. On March 11, the Jazz were set to play the Oklahoma City Thunder before it was ultimately postponed because of coronavirus fears – prompting NBA commissioner Adam Silver to suspend the NBA season.

The team says the players have been in isolation/quarantine since the season was postponed.

After being medically cleared, all players and staff will continue to practice distancing while limiting their time outside to essential activities as recommended by the NBA and CDC.