More than 245,000 people worldwide -- including more than 14,000 people in the United States -- have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as schools, businesses and public events are closed or canceled.
Live updates for Friday, March 20, continue below:
Arizona health officials report state’s first death
Update 6:50 p.m. EDT March 20: A man in his 50s is the first person in Arizona to die due to coronavirus. The man had underlying health conditions according to Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
Canadian who was on cruise ship in Japan dies
Update 6:50 p.m. EDT March 20: Japan’s health ministry says a Canadian man who was a passenger infected with the coronavirus while on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess died of COVID-19 pneumonia..
The ministry offered condolences to the man, who is only identified as a man in his 70s. The ship that had carried an infected passenger early in its voyage returned to its home port Yokohama near Tokyo in early February. The 3,711 on board remained on the ship for a two-week quarantine that was much criticized as ineffective as allegedly making the vessel “an incubator.”
The Canadian is the eighth confirmed death from among those on the ship, where 712 people were infected and transferred to hospitals during the quarantine. A total of 551 have recovered and left hospitals, the ministry said. Of about 1,000 passengers who were allowed to return home after the 14-day on-board quarantine, seven later tested positive.
Member of Vice President’s office tests positive
Update 6:50 p.m. EDT March 20: A member of the Office of the Vice President has tested positive for COVID-19 according to Bloomberg News, citing the Official Account of Press Secretary for Vice President of the United States.
Testing recommendations limited to the very sick
Update 6:30 p.m. EDT March 20: Testing supply shortages are the latest stumble in a botched effort to track the spread of coronavirus that has left the U.S. weeks behind many other developed countries.
Dwindling supplies include both chemical components and basic swabs needed to collect patient samples.
There are “acute, serious shortages across the board” for supplies needed to do the tests, said Eric Blank, of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, which represents state and local health labs.
Stocks sink to its worst week since 2008 financial crisis
Update 4:30 p.m. EDT March 20: Stocks sank to their worst week since the financial crisis of 2008 as traders went into full retreat out of fear that the coronavirus will plunge the U.S. and other major economies into deep recessions.
The Dow industrials dropped more than 900 points, extending their weekly loss to 17%. The price of U.S. crude oil also took another nosedive as investors anticipate a sharp drop in demand for energy as manufacturing, travel and commerce grind nearly to a halt.
New York became the latest state to extend a mandate to nearly all workers stay home to limit the spread of the virus.
Illinois Gov. issues statewide stay at home order
Update 4:20 p.m. EDT March 20: Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker has ordered residents to stay home and nonessential businesses to close beginning Saturday to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Army shifts to mobile, virtual recruitment due to COVID-19 threat
Update 3:50 p.m. EDT March 20: The U.S. Army is shifting recruitment operations to mobile and virtual avenues to limit in-person contact as officials try to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are very confident in our ability to operate in the virtual space, as it has become a primary method of talking to potential soldiers in recent years,” Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, USAREC commanding general, said Friday in a statement. “While face-to-face discussions are valuable when discussing options to serve in the U.S. Army, we are able to work around that, if necessary. Right now, I think that is necessary for the health and safety of our force and those around them.”
Michigan halts non-essential medical and dental procedures
Update 3:35 p.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan ordered a halt of non-essential medical and dental procedures beginning “as soon as possible.”
Whitmer said procedures should be scratched by Saturday afternoon unless necessary to “preserve the health and safety of a patient.”
“By postponing all non-essential medical and dental procedures, we expect to reduce the strain on the health care system and protect people,” the governor said.
Netflix creates $100 million fund to support creative community
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT March 20: Officials with entertainment streaming giant Netflix announced the creation of a fund to help support the creative community in the face of the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came after concerns about the spread of COVID-19 prompted several sets to close. Netflix officials said Friday that nearly all television and film production has been shut down worldwide, “leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs.”
“These include electricians, carpenters and drivers, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis,” the company said in a statement. “This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community.”
The company plans to donate $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA COVID-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and Actors Fund Emergency Assistance. Another $1 will be split between Canada’s AFC and Fondation des Artistes.
Coronavirus cases top 1,000 in California
Update 3:15 p.m. EDT March 20: Health officials in California said 1,006 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state as of Thursday night.
The numbers do not include passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship, which recently docked in Oakland.
A majority of the cases, 522, were under investigation. Officials said 108 of the cases were determined to have been a result of person-to-person coronavirus exposure. Eighty-six cases were travel-related.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system.
Pentagon reports 2 coronavirus cases
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT March 20: The Pentagon has its first two confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Air Force confirmed Friday an active duty airman who works at the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia and had been inside the Pentagon on Monday has tested positive.
The individual has received medical treatment and has self-quarantined at home.
Also, an Air Force defense contractor who works in the Pentagon has tested positive for the virus and has been self-quarantined since March 7, the Air Force said.
Florida governor orders restaurants to suspend dine-in services
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida issued an executive order Friday directing restaurants to suspend dine-in food and alcohol services across the state, WFTV reported.
DeSantis said restaurants will be allowed to continue with take-out or delivery services, according to WFTV.
Trump lashes out at reporters during Coronavirus Task Force update
Update 2:35 p.m. EDT March 20: For a second straight day in the White House Briefing Room, President Donald Trump ridiculed reporters for their questions about the coronavirus, as he argued his administration was doing all it can to confront what he has described as an “invisible enemy.”
“We haven’t been given the credit we deserve,” the president said near the end of an at times combative 90-minute briefing.
After explaining why he was hopeful that a drug used to combat malaria might be successful in dealing with the coronavirus, Trump lost his cool after a follow up question from Peter Alexander of NBC.
“What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now, who are scared?” Alexander asked, in what seemed to be a softball question for the President.
“I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say,” President Trump responded. “I think it’s a very nasty question.”
UK government closes cafes, pubs, bars
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT March 20: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday ordered that cafes, bars and restaurants across the United Kingdom close due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson said businesses will still be able to provide take-out services but will have to close in-person services beginning after closing time Friday.
“You may be tempted to go out tonight and I say to you, please don’t,” Johnson said during a news conference Friday. “You may think that you are invincible but there is no guarantee that you will get it. ... You can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on.”
Ohio governor reports state’s 1st coronavirus death
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said Friday that the state saw its first death connected to the COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, according to WHIO-TV.
“It was someone who (Lt. Gov. Jon Husted) and I knew very well,” DeWine said in a statement posted on Twitter. “He was very well respected by everyone who knew him. All of us extend our deepest sympathy.”
He was identified as Mark Wagoner Sr., a prominent attorney who had been on the board of elections in the Toledo area, according to WHIO-TV.
Death toll surpasses 4,000 in Italy
Update 2:15 p.m. EDT March 20: The death toll associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus has risen to 4,032 in Italy, health officials said Friday.
On Friday, officials reported 627 new deaths. The country with the second-most number of fatal cases, China, reported 3,242 deaths from COVID-19, according to numbers from the World Health Organization.
Italy has an older population than China’s, but only has 60 million people to China’s 1.4 billion people. Medical experts say the new virus is killing people over 65 at a much higher rate than other age groups.
DC mayor announces 1st COVID-19 death in US capital
Update 2:10 p.m. EDT March 20: Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia said Friday that officials have confirmed the first death related to the 2019 novel coronavirus in the U.S. capital.
The patient was identified as a 59-year-old man who was admitted last week to a hospital with a fever and a cough. Officials said he also had underlying medical conditions.
“I share our love and condolences with the patient’s family and friends,” Bowser said in a statement. “As a community, we must continue to support one another during these uncertain times. Everyone must do their part so that we can blunt the spread and protect our families, friends and neighbors.”
Truck drivers work nonstop amid COVID-19 outbreak
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT March 20: Truckers are driving across state lines, fighting traffic and various weather conditions to carry vital supplies to where they need to go in America amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we slow down, the world stops,” Patrick McGuigan, a long haul truck driver based in Florida, told WJAX. “Before all this, it was just a job to me.”
1st coronavirus death confirmed in Massachusetts
Update 2 p.m. EDT March 20: Health officials in Massachusetts announced the state’s first confirmed death due to the 2019 novel coronavirus, WFXT reported.
The patient was identified as a Suffolk County man in his 80s who had preexisting health conditions, according to WFXT.
As of Friday, officials said 328 coronavirus cases have been identified in the state.
Carnival cruise ships could be used in COVID-19 response
Update 1:50 p.m. EDT March 20: President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he’s heard from Carnival Cruise officials who have offered to provide the ships to utilize as part of the response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
“(Company officials) said he was willing to lend ships for helping people in L.A., New York, Miami -- wherever,” Trump said during a Coronavirus Task Force meeting Friday. “We don’t need that yet.”
Company officials announced Thursday that they were offering the government use of the ships “as temporary healthcare facilities to treat non-COVID-19 patients, freeing up additional space and expanding capacity in land-based hospitals to treat cases of COVID-19.”
Top infectious disease doctor: Aerosol transmission of COVID-19 possible
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT March 20: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that health officials are still investigating whether there is aerosol transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
If so, it would mean that infectious particles remain in the air for a period of time and can be inhaled by a susceptible person, spreading the virus.
Fauci acknowledged Friday that aerosol transmission of the coronavirus is a possibility, but he emphasized that, “There’s more evidence that there’s direct transmission of droplets between people who are close together.”
“It doesn’t change the benefits of social distancing policies,” he said.
‘I’m not hearing’ reports of Americans not being able to get COVID-19 tests, Trump says
Update 1:20 p.m. EDT March 20: At a Coronavirus Task Force news conference President Donald Trump said he’s “not hearing” reports that Americans seeking testing for COVID-19 have been unable to get tests.
“I really think it’s important that not everyone be tested," Trump said. “If you feel great ... it’s just not a good thing to be doing.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he’s heard from people who have had trouble getting tested for COVID-19 and that the government is still working toward meeting demand.
“We are not there yet because otherwise people would be never calling up saying they can’t get a test,” Fauci said. “That is a reality that is happening now. Is it the same as it was a few weeks ago? Absolutely not.”
He emphasized that the inclusion of the private sector in the fight against the 2019 novel coronavirus has had a positive impact on getting tests out to states.
Top infectious disease doctor says no clinical evidence shows antimalarial drug effective against COVID-19
Update 12:45 p.m. EDT March 20: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that clinical evidence has yet to prove the efficacy of an antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump as effective against COVID-19.
“The president feels optimistic about (the efficacy of chloroquine),” Fauci said. “I’m saying it might, it might be effective.”
Fauci highlighted that clinical trials have yet to determine the effect of chloroquine on COVID-19 symptoms.
“While we’re making it available for people who might have the hope it might work, we’re also collecting data,” Fauci said. “We think it’ll be safe, but I like to prove things first.”
Pence urges Americans to ‘heed the instructions of your local authorities’
Update 12:35 p.m. EDT March 20: Vice President Mike Pence on Friday urged Americans to “heed the instructions of your local authorities” as officials try to stymie the spread of COVID-19.
“The threat of serious illness to the average American remains low,” Pence said. “Every American can do your part.”
‘No one is immune’ to coronavirus, official says
Update 12:25 p.m. EDT March 20: White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized Friday that “no one is immune” to COVID-19.
“We don’t know if the contagion levels are different at different age groups but we know it is highly contagious to everyone,” Birx said Friday at a Coronavirus Task Force news conference. "Do not interpret mild or moderate disease as lack of contagion or that you are immune.”
The statement came after technology entrepreneur Elon Musk claimed on Twitter that “kids are essential immune” from the 2019 novel coronavirus.
CDC order will bar people coming to US without travel documentation
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT March 20: The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an order which will allow for migrants to be stopped on America’s borders and immediately returned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The CDC order directs the department to suspend the introduction of all individuals seeking to enter the U.S. without travel documentation," acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Friday at a Coronavirus Task Force news conference. "That’s for both the northern and southern border.”
Officials said the order will go into effect beginning at midnight.
Several front-line Homeland Security officials have tested positive for COVID-19, Wolf said.
US-Canada border to be closed to non-essential travel at midnight
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT March 20: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that America’s northern border will be closed to all but essential traffic beginning at midnight.
People who need to cross the border for work or other, unspecified essential reasons will still be allowed to do so, Pompeo said. President Donald Trump had announced the measure Wednesday.
Pompeo reiterated Trump, who said non-essential travel will also be barred between the U.S. and Mexico.
US working with Mexico to close border to non-essential travel
Update 12 p.m. EDT March 20: President Donald Trump confirmed reports Friday that he is working with officials in Mexico to close America’s southern border to non-essential travel.
“We’re treating the borders equally,” Trump said. “As we did with Canada, we’re ... working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry.”
Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. and Canada agreed to temporarily close their border to non-essential traffic.
Student loan payments suspended for 60 days, Trump says
Update 11:55 a.m. EDT March 20: President Donald Trump said Friday that student loan payments will be suspended without penalty for 60 days to help Americans struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Today (Education Secretary Betsey DeVos) directed federal lenders suspend student loan payments for the next 60 days,” Trump said at a Coronavirus Task Force news conference.
The president said interest on all federally held student loans is also being temporarily waived as are standardized testing requirements for K-12 students.
Coronavirus Task Force holding news briefing Friday
Update 11:50 a.m. EDT March 20: Officials with the federal Coronavirus Task Force are holding a news conference Friday to update the public on ongoing efforts to stymie the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Florida Keys closed to tourists beginning Sunday
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT March 20: The lowest southern portion of the continental United States -- the Florida Keys -- will be closing Sunday amid fears of the new coronavirus.
The chain of islands, connected by a single highway and a series of bridges, will take the unprecedented move to close to tourists for two weeks, WWSB reported.
Indiana primary elections pushed back to June
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana said Friday the state’s primary election has been pushed back from May 5 to June 2, the Indianapolis Star reported.
“The right of citizens to elect their leaders in a free and open election is one of the cornerstones of America,” Holcomb said Friday, according to the newspaper.
7,102 coronavirus cases reported in New York
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Friday that the number of COVID-19 cases in his state have grown to 7,102.
The number is the highest in the country. The second-most cases have been reported in Washington, where 1,376 cases have been reported. The third-most cases, 1,044, have been reported in California.
Cuomo noted that the numbers likely reflect the high number of tests being performed in New York and not necessarily a higher-than-average amount of cases in the state.
The test show what “was the reality. The tests are just demonstrating what was,” Cuomo said.
New York ordering non-essential workers to stay home
Update 11:20 a.m. EDT March 20: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Friday that non-essential workers are now being ordered to stay home as officials work to contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
“This is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said Friday at a news conference.
Scripps National Spelling Bee canceled due to coronavirus
Update 11:15 a.m. EDT March 20: Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced Friday that the group is suspending finals for the competition due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The bee had been scheduled for the week of May 24 at its longtime venue, a convention center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just outside Washington.
Scripps said it would try to reschedule the bee for later this year but it did not commit to a new date. It’s possible the bee won’t be held at all.
Senator asks ethics committee to review his decision to sell stock amid COVID-19 crisis
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT March 20: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said Friday that he’s asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate his decision to sell as much as $1.7 million in stocks just before the market dropped in February amid fears about the coronavirus epidemic.
Senate records show that Burr and his wife sold between roughly $600,000 and $1.7 million in more than 30 separate transactions in late January and mid-February, just before the market began to fall and as government health officials began to issue stark warnings about the effects of the virus. Several of the stocks were in companies that own hotels.
The decision prompted questions about whether the sales were prompted by briefings senators began getting on the virus in January. Burr denied there were any connections between the two in a statement Friday.
“I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13,” Burr said Friday in a statement.
“Understanding the assumption many could make in hindsight however, I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency.”
Burr wasn’t the only lawmaker to sell stocks just before the steep decline due to the global pandemic. Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a new senator who is up for re-election this year, sold off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in late January.
State Department suspending visa services
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT March 20: State Department officials announced Friday that the department is suspending routine visa services at all U.S. embassies and consulates amid the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.
As of Friday, officials said embassies and consulates would be cancelling all routine immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments.
“As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services,” State Department officials said. “Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.”
NBC News employee dies of COVID-19, network says
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT March 20: A longtime NBC News employee died Thursday after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the news network.
Larry Edgeworth was an employee at NBC News’ New York City headquarters. He had spent 25 years as an audio technician at the network.
He is survived by his wife and two sons, according to NBC News.
In an email sent to staff members and reported by NBC News, the network’s chairman, Andy Lack, said, “We are doing everything we can to support his family during this very difficult time.”
Deadline to file taxes pushed back to July
Update 10:10 a.m. EDT March 20: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged Americans to file their taxes Friday after the IRS earlier this week extended the tax deadline from April to July.
“I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money,” he said in a tweet.
On Wednesday, officials with the IRS revealed details of the push back, which was prompted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
UN World Food Programme director diagnosed with COVID-19
Update 10:05 a.m. EDT March 20: David Beasley, director of the United Nation’s World Food Programme, said Thursday in a statement that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Beasley said he decided to self-quarantine at his home in South Carolina after he began to feel ill last weekend.
“So far, my symptoms have been relatively light, and I am in good spirits," Beasley said. "I am lucky to be close to my family and I have access to excellent medical support.”
He said he and his team at the World Food Programme were working Thursday to trace anyone who might have been exposed to coronavirus by him while he was still unaware of the infection.
“It is my full intention to continue working and joining all of you virtually on a regular basis, throughout the period of self-isolation that I must now strictly observe,” he added.
Non-profit founded by Andrew Yang to spend $1 million on families affected by COVID-19
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT March 20: Humanity Forward, the non-profit organization founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, plans to spend at least $1 million to help families struggling due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus crisis has been devastating on so many levels, but right now the first level is that people are running out of money to be able to feed themselves, their family,” Yang said Friday in a video posted on Twitter. “They’re not sure if they’re going to have any money coming in for a while, and we can’t wait for others to act. We have to act ourselves.”
Officials with Humanity Forward committed Friday to giving basic income payments to those most impacted by the coronavirus crisis, beginning with lower income residents affected in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City. The non-profit also announced it would give $50,000 out in micro-grants of $250 to $500 to people who reach out to them with need on Twitter.
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, NY and NJ to close tattoo parlors, salons
Update 9:05 a.m EDT March 20: A four-state coalition including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York plans to temporarily close several shops beginning Saturday amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Twitter that officials in the states will close barber shops, nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors and similar services beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
“These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo said.
Walmart looking to hire 150,000 workers
Update 9 a.m. EDT March 20: Walmart is joining the list of companies that are trying to add workers as demands increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The retailer is the largest private employer in the U.S., and it’s adding 150,000 temporary workers by the end of May to work in stores, clubs, distribution centers and fulfillment centers, CNN reported.
Death toll tops 1,000 in Spain
Update 8:45 a.m. EDT March 20: The death toll from COVID-19 has reached 1,002 in Spain, The Guardian reported Friday.
Numbers released by Spain’s health ministry showed 19,980 cases have been reported in the country, including 1,141 which required admission to intensive care units, according to The Guardian.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace canceled indefinitely
Update 7:46 a.m. EDT March 20: The Changing of the Guard ceremony at London’s Buckingham Palace has been canceled until further notice amid novel coronavirus concerns, Royal Communications said in a Friday statement.
“In line with Government advice to avoid mass gatherings, it has been agreed that the ceremonial of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle will be postponed until further notice,” the statement read, adding, “Advice will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with a view to restarting when appropriate.”
Olympic torch arrives quietly in Japan as coronavirus questions loom over 2020 Games
Update 5:39 a.m. EDT March 20: With the novel coronavirus pandemic looming over the 2020 Olympic Games, the iconic Olympic torch landed almost unnoticed in Japan from Greece on Friday.
According to The Washington Post, most members of a sizeable entourage slated to accompany the torch’s arrival either did not make the trip in hopes of avoiding exposure to the virus or were asked to stay home for their own safety.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee, told the Post foregoing the heraldry was an “agonizing decision.”
“We originally planned to have children here to welcome the flame. But, prioritizing their safety, we’ve decided to do without them,” Yoshiro Mori said, adding, “We will do our utmost in preparing for a safe and secure event.”
Read more here.
Tesla halting production at California, New York plants as coronavirus concerns swell
Update 5:25 a.m. EDT March 20: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla will temporarily suspend production at its factories in California and New York beginning on Monday.
According to USA Today, the electric car maker faced growing pressure to comply with shutdown orders from local health authorities to blunt the spread of COVID-19 infections sweeping the globe.
“In the past few days, we have met with local, state and federal officials. We have followed and are continuing to follow all legal directions and safety guidelines with respect to the operations of our facilities, and have honored the federal government’s direction to continue operating,” Tesla said in a statement. “Despite taking all known health precautions, continued operations in certain locations has caused challenges for our employees, their families and our suppliers.”
Read more here.
Domino’s hiring 10,000 as coronavirus pandemic drives customers indoors
Update 5:07 a.m. EDT March 20: As layoffs and business closures intensify amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Domino’s has announced it will hire 10,000 workers to meet increased delivery demand.
According to The Washington Post, deliveries account for roughly 55 percent of the company’s sales, which totaled more than $14.3 billion in 2019. Domino’s operates more than 17,000 stores in more than 90 markets.
“While many local, state and federal rules are closing dine-in restaurants, the opportunity to keep feeding our neighbors through delivery and carryout means that a small sense of normalcy is still available to everyone,” Domino’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Allison said in a statement, adding, “Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry.”
Domino’s spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre-Petko told the Post the new hires could involve "anything from delivery driver to pizza maker to customer service representative or manager.”
Global coronavirus death toll tops 10,000, worldwide cases near 250,000
Update 3:05 a.m. EDT March 20: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,000 early Friday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the three months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 244,500 worldwide.
On Thursday, Italy’s death toll reached 3,405, surpassing China’s 3,249 fatalities by 156. Total infections across Italy reached 41,035, including 5,322 new diagnoses on Thursday alone.
Antarctica remains the only continent untouched by the pandemic. Elsewhere:
• The United States surpassed 14,200 confirmed infections, resulting in 195 deaths.
• Authorities in China recorded a second consecutive day with zero local infections.
• Iran has recorded 18,407 cases, resulting in 1,284 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 18,077 infections, resulting in 833 deaths.
• Germany has reported 15,320 cases, resulting in 44 deaths.
• France has confirmed 11,010 infections, resulting in 372 deaths.
• South Korea has recorded 8,652 cases, resulting in 94 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 2,716 cases, resulting in 137 deaths.
Toyota, Honda, Nissan halting all US production as coronavirus cases mount
Update 2:15 a.m. EDT March 20: Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Nissan have all announced they will idle their U.S. plants in a bid to blunt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
• Toyota will halt all shifts at North American facilities from March 23 until April 3.
• Nissan is suspending manufacturing at its U.S. plants, beginning today through April 6.
• Honda will suspend production for six days, beginning March 23. A statement issued by the company indicates roughly 27,600 Honda associates will be affected and production is expected to decline by about 40,000 vehicles during the temporary shutdown.
Argentina enacts nationwide lockdown amid coronavirus concerns
Update 2:05 a.m. EDT March 20: Authorities in Argentina have ordered the country’s roughly 45.5 million inhabitants to remain in their homes in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
According to CNN, Argentina President Alberto Fernandez explained in a televised address late Sunday in the capital of Buenos Aires that the emergency measures would remain in effect until the end of the month.
To date, the country has reported 128 coronavirus cases, resulting in three deaths.
China records no new local coronavirus cases for second day
Update 2 a.m. EDT March 20: Chinese officials confirmed early Friday that all 39 new coronavirus infections recorded in the country on Thursday were imported from abroad, marking the second consecutive day without locally acquired diagnoses.
To date, China has reported a total of 81,193 novel coronavirus cases, resulting in 3,248 deaths.
Walmart set to hire 150K temp workers, offer employees cash bonuses as coronavirus spurs shopping sprees
Update 1:55 a.m. EDT March 20: In a bid to better navigate a nationwide shopping surge attributed to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Walmart announced late Friday it will pay $550 million in cash bonuses to hourly workers and hire as many as 150,000 temporary workers to meet demand, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The company said it will pay a $300 cash bonus to full-time hourly workers and a $150 bonus to part-timer workers, the Journal reported.
Read more here.
State-by-state breakdown of 13,229 US coronavirus cases, 195 deaths
Update 12:55 a.m. EDT March 20: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 13,200 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands late Thursday night.
According to state and local health agencies as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are at least 13,229 confirmed cases of the virus, which have resulted in a total of at least 195 deaths to date, CNN reported.
Of the confirmed deaths, 74 have occurred in Washington state, 32 in New York and 19 in California.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York is now the hardest hit with more than 5,200 confirmed cases – more than three times any other state – followed by Washington with 1,376 and California with 910.
The figures include 21 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and 49 repatriated citizens. The repatriations include 46 sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three others retrieved from the outbreak’s epicenter in Wuhan, China.
The complete state-by-state breakdown – including presumptive cases – of the 13,159 cases detected on U.S. soil is as follows:
• Alabama: 78
• Alaska, Montana: 9 each
• Arizona, New Hampshire, Rhode Island: 44 each
• Arkansas: 62
• California: 910, including 19 deaths
• Colorado: 183, including 2 deaths
• Connecticut: 159, including 2 deaths
• Delaware: 30
• District of Columbia: 39
• Florida: 426, including 8 deaths
• Georgia: 287, including 10 deaths
• Hawaii: 16
• Idaho: 23
• Illinois: 422, including 4 deaths
• Indiana: 56, including two deaths
• Iowa: 38
• Kansas: 34, including 1 death
• Kentucky: 47, including 2 deaths
• Louisiana: 392, including 10 deaths
• Maine: 52
• Maryland: 107, including 1 death
• Massachusetts: 328
• Michigan: 334, including 1 death
• Minnesota: 89
• Mississippi: 50, including 1 death
• Missouri: 24, including 1 death
• Nebraska: 27
• Nevada: 84, including 1 death
• New Jersey: 742, including 9 deaths
• New Mexico: 35
• New York: 5,298, including 32 deaths
• North Carolina: 96
• North Dakota: 15
• Ohio: 119
• Oklahoma: 44, including 1 death
• Oregon: 88, including 3 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 185, including 1 death
• Puerto Rico: 6
• South Carolina: 8, including 1 death
• South Dakota: 11, including 1 death
• Tennessee: 154
• Texas: 156, including 4 deaths
• US Virgin Islands: 1
• Utah: 63
• Vermont: 22, including 2 deaths
• Virginia: 94, including 2 deaths
• Washington: 1,376, including 74 deaths
• West Virginia: 2
• Wisconsin: 106
• Wyoming: 18
The Associated Press contributed to this report.