March 29 coronavirus news

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

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
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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.

2:14 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

New York Fire Department has more than 230 members with coronavirus

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

More than 230 members of New York's Fire Department have confirmed positive coronavirus tests as of Friday, according to the department.

The members include firefighters, emergency medical responders and civilians, the department said.

The department experienced the busiest four days in the history of EMS at the end of last week – “each day has broken a record,” the department said in email.

2:12 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

More than 14,000 National Guard personnel supporting coronavirus response

From CNN's Ryan Browne

A National Guard soldier holds a case of fresh coronavirus tests at a drive-through testing center at Lehman College in New York City on March 28.
A National Guard soldier holds a case of fresh coronavirus tests at a drive-through testing center at Lehman College in New York City on March 28. John Moore/Getty Images

There are now more than 14,000 Air and Army National Guard personnel supporting the COVID-19 response efforts at the direction of their governors, according to a news release from the National Guard.

Twenty-two states and two US territories now have the “authority to command active and reserve component troops under control of a state’s governor,” the release said.

“We are using every tool available to get through this national crisis as fast as possible and get our great American economic juggernaut back to work,” Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in a statement. “COVID-19 is the most immediate threat facing our nation, and the virus knows no state boundaries. What the National Guard is doing in the states is part of a nationwide war on the coronavirus.”

2:08 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

There are at least 130,478 coronavirus cases in US 

From CNN Health

According to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the United States through US public health systems, there are at least 130,478 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States. 

CNN Health also reported 2,314 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus. 

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


1:39 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

Travelers entering Florida should expect to be stopped and screened

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Vehicle checkpoint on eastbound I-10 near the Florida-Alabama state line.
Vehicle checkpoint on eastbound I-10 near the Florida-Alabama state line. Florida Highway Patrol

Motorists entering Florida will be directed to weigh stations by law enforcement officers who will allow travelers to either return to the interstate or to pull aside for further screening, according to a release from Florida Department of Transportation.

The measure is part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's order to limit community spread by requiring travelers on I-10 and I-95 coming from Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to isolate for a period of 14 days.

Travelers entering Florida will be required to complete a form, including each traveler’s contact information and trip details, the release said.

"Failure to complete the form and failure to follow any isolation or quarantine order from DOH are a violation of Florida law," according to the release.

Florida Highway Patrol "will staff the checkpoint at I-10 at the Alabama/Florida line, 24 hours a day with approximately 16 troopers in 12-hour shifts," FDOT said.

Travelers will be provided with a traveler card, "which has contact information and guidance in the event the traveler exhibits symptoms while in isolation that are attributed to" coronavirus, the release said.

4:35 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

New York governor on federal bill: 'The help we were waiting for from Washington never came'

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the bill that just passed by the federal government gives New York 1.9% of its budget to to use for coronavirus — which translates to about $5 billion.

Cuomo said other states got up 20% “that don’t even have coronavirus cases."

“We have more cases than anyone else, we got the lowest level of reimbursement in the bill," he said during his daily press conference Sunday.

He said the federal bill had no funding to help with the state's lost revenue.

Cuomo said Congress has to come back to Capitol Hill and pass another bill.

“We were all waiting for this last federal piece of legislation because we all believed it was gonna have money to help us with our revenue shortfall, and then it didn't," he said.

He said the state has $5 billion in the bill for health care and hospitals, adding “ironically our last problem is the health care budget.”

“The help we were waiting for from Washington never came,” he said.

The big problem is how do to fund the schools, and that’s where the state has “zero dollars,” he said.

8:38 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020

India's Modi apologizes for 'necessary' national lockdown

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized for a nationwide lockdown during his monthly radio address to the nation on Sunday morning.

"Let me seek forgiveness from all the countrymen. My conscience tells me that you will definitely forgive me as I had to take certain decisions which have put you in a lot of difficulty," Modi said.

Modi ordered the 21-day complete lockdown on March 24 in an effort to fight the coronavirus from spreading. All nonessential establishments, including shops, factories, and places of worship, are required to remain closed throughout the lockdown.

The decision left tens of thousands of India's migrant laborers scrambling to return to their hometowns, as they no longer had a means of income in India.

In his radio address, Modi asked poor Indians for their forgiveness. 

"Especially when I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking, what kind of prime minister is this who has placed us in this difficulty? I especially seek their forgiveness," Modi said. 

"I understand your troubles but there was no other way to wage a war against corona for a country like India with a population of 1.3 billion. It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it, therefore, such strong measures were absolutely necessary. Nobody likes to take such strong measures, however, looking at the situation all over the world, it seems this is the only option," Modi said.