March 10 coronavirus news

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1:34 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Schools and facilities will close for 2 weeks in this 1-mile containment area in a New York City suburb

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a containment area will be set up in the city of New Rochelle as Westchester County works to stop the spread of coronavirus. Schools and facilities within will be closed for two weeks, and the National Guard will deploy to this area to help support the community.

Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the area is a circle with a radius of about one mile.

Starting on Thursday, facilities and schools within the area will be closed for two weeks. The National Guard will help deliver food to homes and clean public spaces in the containment area, Cuomo said, describing the plan as a "dramatic action."

This will go on through March 25.

“We’ll go in, we’ll clean the schools and assess the situation," Cuomo said. “This will be a period of disruption for the community.”

 Cuomo described it as a “matter of life and death.”

New York is also setting up a satellite testing facility, partnering with Northwell Health, in New Rochelle, which is in Westchester County.

New Rochelle is “a particular problem,” Cuomo said, adding that “the numbers have been going up, the numbers continue to go up, the numbers are going up unabated.” 

Cuomo stressed the shutting facilities in the area is a "dramatic action" that applies to “large congregate facilities for gatherings,” including schools and temples, but not "everything."

12:47 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Greece closes all schools and universities for 2 weeks

A worker wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant inside a classroom at a high school in Athens, Greece on Friday, March 6.
A worker wearing a protective suit sprays disinfectant inside a classroom at a high school in Athens, Greece on Friday, March 6. Panayotis Tzamaros/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Greece will close all schools and universities across the country for the next 14 days because of coronavirus fears, the Greek health minister announced. 

The closure impacts all day care centers and education establishments beginning Thursday, Vassilis Kikilias said. 

The country's Health Ministry has confirmed five more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in Greece to 89. 

12:56 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

US public health labs have run 4,856 coronavirus tests, CDC says

Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said 4,856 novel coronavirus tests have been run in public health labs across the United States. 

Redfield said that number, which was last updated on Monday, does not include clinical labs or private labs.  

While speaking at a House Appropriations hearing for the 2021 CDC budget, Redfield said the CDC is working on a new reporting system to track tests which should be available soon.

“We've got a new reporting system that has CDC, public health labs. We're going to get direct dumps from LabCorp and Quest so people are going to see all the tests done, where they are done. We will have a surveillance system that does that,” Redfield said.

Earlier Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the department does not know how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus.

12:27 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

There are more than 170 coronavirus cases across New York

There are 173 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State, up 31 from yesterday, according to the New York Governor. 

This includes an additional 17 cases in New York City, bringing the city’s total to 36.

Westchester County has 108 cases and continues to be the county with the most confirmed cases.  

12:21 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Ivy League cancels basketball tournaments ahead of March Madness

The Ivy League women’s and men’s conference tournaments scheduled to start this Saturday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced

As a result, the league’s regular-season champions – Princeton’s women’s team (26-1) and Yale’s men’s team (23-7) – are automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments. 

The NCAA's March Madness tournament is just a week away.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

The league will implement “highly-restrictive, in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletics events. The League is also canceling all out-of-season practices and competitions,” effective immediately.  

Postseason competition for winter sports will continue, the league said.

12:13 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence announces no copays for coronavirus coverage with several insurance companies 

Vice President Mike Pence announced that several insurance companies had agreed to waive copays for coronavirus testing. 

“I’m pleased to report as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here either today or before today have agreed to waive copays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans,” the Vice President announced. Telemedicine would also be covered, and all the CEOs agreed to “no surprise billing,” Pence said.

The Vice President made the announcement during a meeting with representatives from insurance companies at the White House on Tuesday, sitting alongside President Donald Trump. 

Medicare and Medicaid, Pence said, already made it clear to their beneficiaries that coronavirus care would be covered.

Watch:

12:00 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Trump says administration will help airline and cruise industry during crisis

President Trump just said during a meeting at the White House that the administration will help the airline and cruise industries during the coronavirus outbreak.

"They're two great industries and we'll be helping them through this patch, and so far I think it's been going very well," Trump said.

Speaking to reporters during a meeting with health industry CEOs, which was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Trump mentioned the cruise ship that docked in Oakland yesterday.

"You know all about the big ship that came in yesterday, and that's going along incredibly well, working with the state of California successfully, very successfully, also with Canada and with the U.K.," he said.

Watch:

11:48 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

CDC director says there's not enough staff and equipment in public health labs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget on Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, March 10.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget on Capitol Hill, on Tuesday, March 10. Andrew Harnik/AP

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said state and local public health labs are underequipped and understaffed.

"The truth is we've not invested, we've underinvested in the public health labs," Redfield said at a House Appropriations hearing for the 2021 CDC budget.

“There's not enough equipment, there's not enough people, there's not enough internal capacity, there's no surge capacity,” Redfield added.

“Public health labs, we built the technology in those labs to monitor flu, that uses a certain equipment, which we call thermocycler, that equipment, maybe a good lab could do 300 tests a day. University of Washington can use these high machines, like New York is about to do, those machines can do thousands, and thousands and thousands,” Redfield said.  

Redfield also said that 99% of the novel coronavirus cases recently confirmed were outside of China. According to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization, which were released on Monday, there were 3,948 new cases outside China and 45 new cases in China-- roughly 1%. 

“The epicenter, the new China is Europe. And there’s a lot of people coming back and forth from Europe. We’re starting to see these communities and we are moving quickly to understand how address Europe,” Redfield said. 

11:34 a.m. ET, March 10, 2020

2 New York school bus drivers have coronavirus

Nassau County in New York has 19 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 17 yesterday – including two school bus drivers that transport between them about 80 students on several routes, according to the county executive.

They both drive small buses on Long Island, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said at a news conference today.

Most of the families of those students have been contacted by the department of health, which is continuing to contact families.

There have been school closures in response to the positive tests – including schools in Oyster Bay, Locust Valley, Glen Cove and Westbury along with some private schools in the areas including Friends Academy, Portledge, Mill Neck Manor, Eastwood and Summit Lower School.

Curran said beyond the 19 positive cases there are;

  • 72 residents in mandatory quarantine
  • 74 in precautionary quarantine
  • 10 tests pending. 

Curran stressed that the priority is to “protect our seniors” adding it’s important to focus on “containing” as much as possible to “reduce community spread”