March 30 coronavirus news

By Amy Woodyatt, Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:41 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020
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8:39 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

All farmers markets in Los Angeles will be suspended

All farmers markets in Los Angeles will be temporarily suspended, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at a news conference today.

The farmers markets have become too crowded, he said.

The city will require all farmers markets to submit plans immediately that enforce physical distancing and ensure safe operations. Garcetti explained that it will likely result in one entrance and one exit with people safely lined up to enter.

He reminded Los Angeles residents that if there are too many people to simply wait before going.

8:27 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Rent the Runway lays off retail workers after store closures due to coronavirus

From CNN's Kate Trafecante

Designer clothing rental company Rent the Runway is laying off retail staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the company said it has had "to make some difficult decisions in the short term to thrive in the long term which include temporary store closures and retail role eliminations."

Rent the Runway primarily operates online, but has brick and mortar locations in New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. 

The company did not provide CNN with the number of employees affected, but did say it would continue to provide health insurance coverage.

"While we don’t have a sense of how long our business will be impacted, we remain committed to serving and supporting our employees and customers during this challenging time,” the company added.
8:23 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

First coronavirus cases reported in Los Angeles homeless population

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Two people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles are infected with coronavirus – the first known cases among the homeless population in the county, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Additionally, a person who works in an L.A. County homeless shelter has also contracted the virus.

Gov. Gavin Newsom previously announced a homeless person had tested positive in California, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. It’s unclear where that person lives.

Ferrer also announced seven additional deaths and 342 new cases in Los Angeles County overnight. There are 2,474 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles County, Ferrer said.

Nearly 60,000 people were counted as homeless in Los Angeles County in 2019 — a 12% increase over the previous year.

8:42 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

There are more than 160,000 coronavirus cases in US

From CNN Health

Two members of the New York City Fire Department's EMS team wheel a patient into Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, on March 30.
Two members of the New York City Fire Department's EMS team wheel a patient into Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, on March 30. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

There are at least 160,008 cases of coronavirus in the US and 2,948 people have died from the virus, according to CNN Health's tally of US cases that are detected and tested. 

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Hawaii and Wyoming are not reporting a death from coronavirus. 

Hear more:

7:54 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Fact check: Trump's past comments about the virus were not "all true"

From CNN's Daniel Dale

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta asked President Trump what he has to say to Americans who are upset with him for having repeatedly downplayed the virus in February and early March.

Acosta read out a series of Trump quotes, including a February 23 remark in which Trump claimed the virus was “very much under control in this country” and a March 10 remark in which Trump said, “It will go away. Just stay calm, it will go away.” 

Trump responded, “If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true: stay calm, it will go away. You know it is going away.”

Facts First: Trump’s previous comments were not “all true.” The virus was clearly not “under control” in February – nor was it under control in mid-March, when Trump made another version of the claim, and nor is it under control today. 

And Trump was misleading when he said on March 10 that the virus “will go away." While the virus may eventually be eliminated in the United States, Trump did not mention that thousands of Americans could die before this happened, nor that the country could have to implement drastic measures to try to slow its spread.

Experts also warn that there could be a second wave of the virus in the US even after the immediate crisis is over.

"#COVID19 won't go away. It'll infect the southern hemisphere as they winter and will want to come back to U.S. in fall," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who formerly served as Trump's Food and Drug Administration commissioner, wrote on Twitter after Trump's comment on Monday. "But we'll have a massive surveillance system by then, and I believe more than one drug to both prevent and treat infection. Our tool box will be very different."

7:52 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Fact check: Trump again touts unproven drugs for coronavirus

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

A packet of hydroxychloroquine pills.
A packet of hydroxychloroquine pills. Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump and members of his administration on Monday again mentioned two drugs that could potentially help combat the coronavirus. 

Over the weekend, large drugmakers announced that they were providing millions of doses of the drugs to the federal government, and the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approval for the Trump administration’s plan to send the drugs to hospitals across the country. 

The medicines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are anti-malaria drugs that have been used off-label at hospitals to treat coronavirus patients. 

Facts First: While public health officials are hopeful that the drugs will work against coronavirus, Trump's tone hasn't matched the science, which is extremely limited and anecdotal at this early stage. 

Trump's over-the-top optimism has been tamped down by the medical professionals on the White House task force handling the pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top public health official on infectious disease, said the proof is only anecdotal. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was similarly careful with his language on Monday, and referred to the drugs as "potential Covid-19 treatments.”

Trump has repeatedly touted the drugs in recent weeks, even though there hasn't been any clinical trials in humans proving that they work for coronavirus. Earlier this month, Trump tweeted that the drugs "have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”

CNN Health’s Arman Azad wrote about this on Sunday. He said: “Thus far, there is little scientific evidence that chloroquine, or its closely-related analogue hydroxychloroquine, are effective in treating Covid-19… While there's limited evidence on the efficacy of chloroquine, or hydroxychloroquine, the FDA said the drugs’ benefits outweighed their risk."

7:11 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Coronavirus death rate is lower than previously reported — but it's still deadlier than flu, study says

From CNN's Arman Azad

How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu. 

The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die.

That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed – but it’s still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu. 

When unreported infections aren’t taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.

That’s because death rates typically only consider reported coronavirus cases, which tend to be more severe, and thus brought to the attention of health care workers. Asymptomatic cases – or mild cases – may not always be counted.

That death rate, though, went up in older adults, with approximately 7.8% of those over age 80 estimated to die after infection. And deaths were estimated to be exceedingly rare in children younger than nine, with a fatality rate of just 0.00161%.

For age groups younger than 40, the death rate was never higher than 0.16%, according to the study. Out of 1,000 young adults infected, then, about 1 or 2 could die, with the youngest people facing the lowest risk.

Experts stress that it’s difficult to estimate a virus’ death rate during an epidemic.

7:29 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

78% of Americans are under stay-at-home orders

A person walks along a nearly empty street in Washington, DC, on March 27.
A person walks along a nearly empty street in Washington, DC, on March 27. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At least 256,008,318 Americans, or 78% of the US population, are under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, according to a CNN count.

The US Census Bureau estimates the total US population at 328,239,523

This count includes local city and county orders as well. This count includes local city and county orders as well. The numbers were tallied using census data.

7:00 p.m. ET, March 30, 2020

Unemployment claims could hit 4.5 million, Moody’s Analytics predicts

From CNN's Alison Kosik

Moody’s Analytics predicts initial unemployment claims from last week could be 4.5 million, which would be the highest in history, as US businesses shutter to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The weekly data is set to be released Thursday morning. Initial jobless claims soared to a record 3.28 million in the week ended March 21, according to the Department of Labor.

“COVID-19 has caused unemployment to surge and we look for U.S. initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits this week to total 4.5 million, compared with the 3.283 million in the week ended March 21," said Moody's Chief Economist Mark Zandi in a statement.  

However, Zandi said these high weekly numbers will not be reflected in this Friday's upcoming March jobs report, which tracks job loss through the first two weeks of March.

"Though new filings surged over the past couple of weeks, the unemployment rate for March likely won’t increase that much. The household survey, which is the basis for the unemployment rate, is conducted in the week that includes the 12th; initial claims were up around 70,000 to 281,000 during that week," Zandi said.