March 9 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Kara Fox, and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0803 GMT (1603 HKT) March 10, 2021
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6:32 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Maryland lifting quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers

From CNN's Laura Ly

Maryland is lifting its quarantine requirements and other restrictions for out-of-state travelers beginning at 5 p.m. ET Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday.

Currently, people who travel to Maryland – with the exception of people coming from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC – must immediately get a Covid-19 test upon arrival and self-quarantine until getting a negative result, or get a Covid-19 negative test result within 72 hours of arrival, according to state guidance.

State authorities will continue to encourage out-of-state travelers to get tested upon their return anyways, but the official restrictions will be lifted, the governor said. 

Hogan reiterated that Maryland's statewide mask order remains in full effect and employers in the state are still strongly encouraged to allow for telework where possible. 

Maryland's state of emergency also remains in effect because it allows for the use of National Guard troops, the receipt of federal funding, and for the state to maximize its testing and vaccination capacity, he said.  

Hogan cited improving health metrics for the reason why he is lifting restrictions, saying "the time is right."

"Our health metrics are great, as I said, and it's time to get our economy going," Hogan said. He acknowledged that the Covid-19 virus can mutate and their health metrics can change, but also said it was "time to get people back to work."

6:29 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Chicago adds 2 states and DC to emergency travel order

From CNN's Kay Jones

Chicago has added two states and the District of Columbia to its emergency travel order, the city's health department website shows. 

According to the latest information posted on the website, Texas, Nebraska and Washington, DC, were added to the Orange list. States that fall on this list are averaging 15 cases per 100,000 residents, the dashboard shows. 

Anyone coming into Chicago from the 24 states and Washington, DC, will be required to quarantine for 10 days, provide a pre-arrival negative test result in the 72 hours prior to arrival or be fully vaccinated, which is defined as two weeks after the final dose of the vaccine, the website shows.

All travelers should continue to maintain strict masking and social distancing, the guidance states. 

Chicago implemented the travel order in January to help combat the spread of Covid-19 in the city, as CNN previously reported. 

6:28 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Brazil reports deadliest Covid-19 day since pandemic began

From CNN's Tatiana Arias and Marcia Reverdosa

Brazil reported a record high of Covid-19 deaths Tuesday, data from the ministry of health shows. 

On Tuesday, Brazil reported at least 1,972 new Covid-19 deaths over a 24-hour period, bringing the country’s total death toll to about 268,370.

Brazil’s ministry of health reported at least 70,764 new Covid-19 cases, raising the country’s coronavirus case-count to about 11,122,429.

In the country’s southeastern state of Sao Paulo on Tuesday, a record number of 517 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded by state’s health authorities during the past 24 hours. 

As of Tuesday, Sao Paulo’s death toll stands at about 62,101 Covid-19-related deaths and at least 2,134,020 cases, according to official data.

Brazil continues to be the country with the third-highest case-count of Covid-19 cases worldwide after the US and India, and the second-highest Covid-19 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

6:10 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

House passes procedural vote to move Covid-19 bill to final vote tomorrow morning

From CNN's Kristin Wilson 

By a vote of 219 to 210, the House has passed a procedural motion that allows for a final vote on the Covid-19 stimulus package.  

One Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden from Maine, voted no. 

While just a procedural vote, the tally is a good indicator of how Democrats will most likely vote on the final bill tomorrow, which increasingly looks like it will pass on a close, and mostly party-line vote. 

There had been some concerns that progressives would balk at some of the changes made in the Senate version of the bill. 

6:31 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Kentucky expects to vaccinate 700,000 people this month

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said about 127,110 Kentuckians were vaccinated during the past week, breaking the previous record of 112,428 vaccinations set the week before.

“We are really ramping up to meet the moment and we are going to achieve this goal the President set of having a vaccine available for any Kentucky adult who wants one by the end of May,” the governor said. 

According to Beshear, Kentucky will be able to order about 8,500 additional Pfizer and Moderna doses for two weeks from now, and around 5,200 Johnson & Johnson doses for next week.

“We were told that we would have zero Johnson & Johnson for this week, so that's a good thing,” Beshear said, talking about the doses coming in the future.

“Then we think it's really going to take off, because both Pfizer's CEO has said we'll see a lot more, especially near the end of March, and the end of March is going to be significant, the end of April is going to be even more significant. So we expect by that point, again, to do 700,000 individuals vaccinated, this month. We'll do even more than that in April,” the governor added.

5:29 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Walgreens has administered approximately 5 million Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN's Ryan Prior

Walgreens staff prepare vaccines for Educational Staff at Kettering City Schools to receive the Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohios Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio on February 10. (
Walgreens staff prepare vaccines for Educational Staff at Kettering City Schools to receive the Covid-19 vaccine as a part of Ohios Phase 1B vaccine distribution in Dayton, Ohio on February 10. ( Megan Jelinger/AFP/Getty Images/FILE

Walgreens has administered approximately 5 million Covid-19 vaccines through its stores, dedicated clinics and long-term care facilities, according to a company statement.

In the more than 60,000 clinics the company initiated in long-term care facilities, Walgreens says it vaccinated the majority of residents and staff who opted to get a vaccine.

Now that the company is nearing the completion of its vaccination program for long-term care facilities, Walgreens is coordinating with the Biden administration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to vaccinate teachers, child care workers and school staff included in the next vaccine priority group, the statement added. 

The federal government aims for all school staff to receive their first dose by the end of March.

The pharmacy chain says it is receiving about 1 million vaccine doses this week from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Through that program, the company is supporting vaccinations across 43 states and jurisdictions. 

"Walgreens is incredibly proud of our more than 40,000 immunizers who ensured the successful administration of vaccinations in these facilities," said John Standley, the president of Walgreens. "With their deep experience, as well as increasing vaccine supply, we are making significant strides in accelerating access to Covid-19 vaccines."

5:03 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Novavax is manufacturing its Covid-19 vaccine in North Carolina and Texas

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The biotechnology company Novavax is currently manufacturing its coronavirus vaccine at 10 sites in eight countries — with two sites in the United States, in North Carolina and Texas, Dr. Gregory Glenn, president of research and development for Novavax, told CNN on Tuesday.

"They're all at different stages," Glenn said. "Some are earlier, but all are up and running and working on the vaccine. So, we expect to have a very large capacity."

4:56 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Maryland plans to remove all Covid-19 capacity restrictions on restaurants and other businesses

From CNN's Laura Ly

Maryland is removing all Covid-19 capacity restrictions on restaurants and other businesses on Friday, citing "significant improvements in [their] health metrics," Gov. Larry Hogan announced at a news conference Tuesday.

Although physical distancing will still be required, capacity limits will be lifted on all indoor and outdoor dining establishments, retail businesses, religious buildings, fitness centers, personal service locations, such as hair and nail salons, and indoor recreation centers, such as casinos, bingo halls, bowling alleys, and skating rinks, the governor said.

All changes will be effective on Friday starting at 5 p.m. ET, Hogan said. 

Large venues, such as for conferences, weddings, or concerts, may expand their indoor and outdoor capacity to 50%, Hogan said. 

"Masking, physical distancing, and other safety protocols will remain in place," the governor said.
4:58 p.m. ET, March 9, 2021

Here's how Covid-19 vaccines could combat coronavirus variants

From CNN's Ashley Ahn

CSIS
CSIS

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, outlined today two ways Covid-19 vaccines could combat coronavirus variants: vaccinated people could get specific booster shots against each variant that crops up or a shot that offers protection against several variants.

“Here is the challenge: Are we going to chase each variant in an almost 'whack-a-mole' way or are we going to try and get a vaccine that has a good degree of protection against several (variants) and get the level of virus so low that we don't really have an outbreak proportion,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event Tuesday.

Both strategies are being pursued in the US, Fauci said.