March 29 coronavirus news

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

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
78 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:24 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Country singer Joe Diffie dies of complications from coronavirus

From CNN’s Steve Forrest

Joe Diffie performs at Country Thunder Milwaukee in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, in 2016.
Joe Diffie performs at Country Thunder Milwaukee in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, in 2016. Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

Grammy Award-winning country singer Joe Diffie, 61, died Sunday from complications of coronavirus, according to his publishing agency Adkins Publicity.

Two days before his death, Diffie released a statement saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.

"I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic."

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diffie was a 25-year member of the Grand Ole Opry. Some of his hits included "John Deere Greene" and "Home."

4:31 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Nigeria's President announces 14-day 'cessation of movement'

From CNN's Lauren Kent 

Both Nigeria's largest city and capital city will be under a "cessation of movement" for 14 days, said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in a Sunday address, which was published on Twitter.

Based on advice from the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Buhari issued an order prohibiting all movements in Lagos and Federal Capital Territory for 14 days. The order will go into effect Monday at 11 p.m. local time.

"As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can," said Buhari.

Citizens in areas effected by Buhari's order will be required to stay in their homes and businesses and offices "should be fully closed during this period," Buhari said. Businesses involved in health care, food processing and distribution, petroleum, power and private security are exempt from the order. Workers in telecommunications and the media who prove they are unable to work from home are also exempt.

4:31 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

CBS News executive dies from coronavirus

From CNN’s Brian Stelter

Maria Mercader
Maria Mercader Courtesy of CBS News

Maria Mercader, a CBS News producer and talent executive, has died of Covid-19 in New York, according to a news release from CBS News.

Mercader, 54, worked at CBS for three decades, most recently as a director of talent strategy. She "courageously fought cancer and related illnesses for 20 years, enduring numerous treatments and surgeries," CBS said.

"To her colleagues and family, she was an inspiration and a symbol of hope each time she returned to work after the latest medical setback threatened to end her life," CBS said.

"Maria was a friend to all," said Laurie Orlando, senior vice president of talent for CBS News. "It’s nearly impossible to be someone EVERYONE loves, but Maria was. She always had a warm hug, a word of advice or support and a big smile for everyone in her life. She was a bright light and will be sorely missed."

Mercader helped produce breaking news coverage during her years working on the foreign and national desks of CBS News, including the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 attacks, the release said. She won a business Emmy in 2004 for her work on a CBS "Sunday Morning" report on computer spam.

Mercader is survived by her father, Manuel and brother, Manuel, the release said.

7:11 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

There are at least 133,924 coronavirus cases in US

From CNN’s Shawn Nottingham

There are at least 133,924 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases detected and tested through US public health systems.

A total of 2,352 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

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

4:32 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Moscow orders citywide quarantine starting Monday

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina

An announcement on a screen urges people to keep 1.5-2m apart in a subway car in Moscow on March 29.
An announcement on a screen urges people to keep 1.5-2m apart in a subway car in Moscow on March 29. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS via Getty Images

Moscow imposed a citywide quarantine starting March 30 until further notice for all residents regardless of their age, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a statement. 

“(Since restrictions were imposed) movements in the city decreased by two-thirds, which this is very good,” Sobyanin said. "Although it is obvious that not everyone heard us."

Residents will only be able to leave their houses to get urgent medical help, go to a nearby grocery store or pharmacy, and to walk their pets in the proximity of 100m from their residence. The exception will be made for essential workers.

City officials will deploy a "smart monitoring" system to enforce these restrictions, Sobyanin said, and the city will develop a special pass system for people to get permission to leave their homes.

Public and private transportation, as well as leaving or entering the city, is still allowed, according to the statement.

3:44 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Ohio governor says state does not have enough N95 masks

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks in February.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks in February. Tony Dejak/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said his state does not have enough N95 masks to meet the demand of health care workers and first responders.

Many people who need the masks are using them longer than they would normally use them, DeWine said.

DeWine said he is hoping the Food and Drug Administration will give a full approval for the use of a mask-cleaning machine produced by Battelle.

The governor said he called President Donald Trump Sunday morning to express how urgently the approval is needed and said the President told him he would do all he could to get the approval.

Trump took to Twitter to express "hope" that the "FDA can approve Mask Sterilization equipment ASAP."

"As per Governor @MikeDeWine, there is a company in Ohio, @Batelle, which has equipment that can sterilize masks quickly," the President's tweet continued.

Battelle's machine is capable of sanitizing 80,000 N95 masks a day for reuse, DeWine said.

3:42 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

California state parks closed to vehicle access after 'visitation surge' Saturday

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A sign about the closure of the Innsdale Trail is posted at the trail's entrance near the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles on March 28.
A sign about the closure of the Innsdale Trail is posted at the trail's entrance near the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles on March 28. Mark J. Terrill/AP

California is temporarily closing vehicle access at its 280 state parks due to a surge in visitors on Saturday, according to a press release from the state department of Parks and Recreation.

"On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practices," according to the release.

Campgrounds have already been closed and certain parks and beaches were already closed to vehicles, the release said.

4:32 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

St. Louis nurse was one of first to die in area from coronavirus

From CNN's Hollie Silverman and Melissa Alonso

Judy Wilson-Griffin
Judy Wilson-Griffin SSM Health

Judy Wilson-Griffin, a nurse from St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the first people to die from coronavirus in the region, according to a statement from SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital.

Wilson-Griffin died Friday, March 20, according to the hospital.

She was a perinatal clinical nurse specialist and was also known for being an "incredible educator, leader and friend to all," the statement said.

Wilson-Griffin was "instrumental" in starting the St. Mary's Maternal Transport Program more than a decade ago, according to the statement.

"Her passion and dedication was second to none," an unnamed colleague is quoted as saying in the statement. "She was a hero in the truest sense."

2:25 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Canadian officials correct virus data, now say only 12% of patients hospitalized are under age 40

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Canadian health officials Sunday corrected erroneous data reported widely during a press conference Saturday.

In a tweet, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam apologized for the error and said: “I misspoke on the percentage of hospitalized cases.”

“There was an error made. Based on a subset of case reports with age and hospitalization data, 12% (not 30%) of those hospitalized were under 40 years of age,” Health Canada wrote in an email sent to CNN.

The statement attributed the error to a lag in ‘real time data’.

“The case report forms lag behind the real time data, while they provide more in depth information for epidemiological analysis,” the statement said.