March 29 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Jenni Marsh, Amy Woodyatt and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
98 Posts
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8:32 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

US stock futures down after Trump extends social distancing guidelines to April 30

From CNN’s Clare Duffy

Pedestrians walk outside the New York Stock Exchange on March 24.
Pedestrians walk outside the New York Stock Exchange on March 24. Samuel Rigelhaupt/Sipa USA/AP

US stock futures were lower Sunday night after President Donald Trump announced an extension of the social distancing guidelines to April 30.

Dow futures were down 371 points, or about 1.7%. S&P 500 futures fell around 1.8% and Nasdaq futures were down around 1.5%. 

Stocks turned positive last week, and the Dow even left the bear market after climbing more than 20% from its recent low as lawmakers and central bankers around the world made progress on measures to bolster economies weakened by coronavirus.

7:33 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Self-swab testing for coronavirus to be implemented this week, HHS assistant secretary says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

After the US Food and Drug Administration approved the use of self-swab testing for the novel coronavirus, it will be implemented this week, said Adm. Dr. Brett P. Giroir, assistant secretary for US Department of Health and Human Services during a White House press conference Sunday evening.

It was a very big thing that the FDA approved last week and it will now be implemented this week," Giroir said.

With this approval, people with suspected coronavirus can use a foam swab in their nose to collect a nasal sample that they then would put in a plastic bag and submit for testing.

Self-swab testing not only could be more comfortable for the general public, but Giroir said that it also eliminates the need for health care workers to change their personal protective equipment each time a test is performed.

"Instead of having a provider stick this all the way in the back of your nose, that's uncomfortable but it also requires PPE changes every time it's done," Giroir said.

"This not only increases the speed but it eliminates all those changes of PPE," Giroir said. "So we will be implementing that this week, which will increase speed but also save our precious resources as we build them up in the stockpile and out to hospitals."
8:33 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Birx says that '12 different models' impacted decision not to loosen social distancing guidelines

From CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said during a Sunday briefing at the White House that "we've reviewed 12 different models" in deciding whether to continue the social distancing guidelines.

Birx emphasized that officials brought "that data and that evidence to the President to consider for extending, which is not a simple situation when you ask people to stay home for another 30 days."

"They have to know that we've really built this on scientific evidence and the potential to save really hundreds of thousands of American lives," she said.

7:10 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

There are at least 137,047 cases of coronavirus in the US

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman

There are at least 137,047 cases of coronavirus in the United States as of 7 p.m. ET Sunday, according to CNN Health's tally of cases detected and tested through US public health systems.

A total of 2,400 people have died in the United States from coronavirus.

For the most up-to-date US numbers compiled by CNN, please check this map which automatically refreshes every 10 minutes:

7:07 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

New Yorkers will be fined $250-500 for not adhering to social distancing policies

From CNN’s Laura Ly

New York City residents who violate social distancing policies will receive a summons and fines ranging from $250 to $500, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

People will be fined if they are told by officers to disperse, keep moving or maintain distance, but they continue to violate policies anyway.

"If you ignore that order … we’re going to have to fine you. We’re going to give people every chance to listen and if anyone doesn’t listen, then they deserve a fine at this point," de Blasio said.

6:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

'Entirely conceivable' that more than 1 million people in the US could contract coronavirus, Fauci says

From CNN’s Allie Malloy

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters in the Rose Garden Sunday that it’s "entirely conceivable" that more than 1 million people in the US could contract coronavirus but added that mitigation and extending guidelines through April will hopefully curb those numbers.

"The number I gave out is, you know, based on modeling," Fauci said, explaining the models he discussed on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning.

Fauci said it was possible up to 100,000 could die from the virus.

"What we’re trying to do is not to let that happen," he said.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the decision to extend the mitigation process until the end of April a "wise and prudent decision."

He added that he and Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, discussed the plans and that the President accepted their recommendation.

6:34 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Trump extends social distancing guidelines until April 30

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Donald Trump announced Sunday he is extending social distancing guidelines until April 30.

"We will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread. On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data and strategy to the American people," Trump said.

Modeling shows that the peak of the death rate will likely hit in two weeks, Trump said.

"The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks, so I will say it again, the peak, highest point of death rates, remember this, is likely to hit in two weeks. Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," Trump said. 

Trump said he hopes the country will be on its way to recovery by June 1.

"We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening," Trump said.

7:05 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Singer-songwriter John Prine hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms, family says

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

John Prine pictured in his office in Nashville on June 20, 2017.
John Prine pictured in his office in Nashville on June 20, 2017. Mark Humphrey/AP

Musician John Prine was hospitalized Thursday after a "sudden onset" of coronavirus symptoms, according to a statement posted by his family on his verified Twitter account.

Prine was intubated Saturday night and continues to receive care but "his situation is critical," the statement said.

Prine has fought several battles with cancer, including surgery that removed a piece of his neck and changed the tone of his voice, deepening it and giving it a gravelly sound. In 2013, he had surgery for lung cancer.

6:31 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

More clinicians and ventilators have been sent to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens

From CNN’s Laura Ly

New York Mayor de Blasio said Sunday that 169 clinicians -- physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants -- have been sent recently to Elmhurst Hospital to assist in treating coronavirus patients.

De Blasio said 55 ventilators have been sent to Elmhurst over the past two weeks.

The Queens hospital has been among the hardest hit in New York City, although the number of cases in other NYC hospitals is expected to follow Elmhurst's lead, de Blasio said.

Within Elmhurst Hospital, staffers have been moved from outpatient areas to assist in the ICU. Staff from central office are moving in and taking on roles in the ICU and in the emergency department, de Blasio said, adding that the city will keep moving personnel to help Elmhurst and every other hospital that needs it.