March 10 coronavirus news

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3:31 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Since a plane's cabin keeps circulating air, will I get sick if another passenger is sick?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Most viruses don't spread easily on airplanes because of how the air circulates and is filtered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Modern commercial jets recirculate 10-50% of the air in the cabin, mixed with outside air.

"The recirculated air passes through a series of filters 20--30 times per hour," the CDC says.

"Furthermore, air generally circulates in defined areas within the aircraft, thus limiting the radius of distribution of pathogens spread by small-particle aerosols. As a result, the cabin air environment is not conducive to the spread of most infectious diseases."

Still, try to avoid contact with anyone sneezing or coughing. And if you're feeling sick, cover your entire mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.

3:26 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

No visitors allowed at VA nursing homes during coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Zack Cohen

 

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is adopting a “no visitor” policy during the coronavirus outbreak.

This means "no outside visitors" will be allowed to see residents at any of the 134 VA-run nursing homes. These facilities are home to more than 41,000 veterans across the country.

The only exceptions to the no visitor rule will be in "compassionate cases" — when veterans in hospice units are in their last stages of life, the VA said in a statement.

"In those cases, visitors will be limited to a specific Veteran’s room only," the VA said.

The same “no visitor” policy will also be extended to the VA’s 24 major spinal cord injury and disorder centers.

Additionally, VA nursing homes will suspend new admissions and home staffers will be screened for coronavirus daily.

5:12 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Lawmakers in DC advised to use "Star Trek" greeting instead of shaking hands

From CNN's Clare Foran, Lauren Fox and Jeremy Herb

Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock makes the Vulcan salute in the 2013 movie "Star Trek: Into Darkness." 
Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock makes the Vulcan salute in the 2013 movie "Star Trek: Into Darkness."  CBS/Getty Images

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill must now deal not only with the threat of coronavirus to the American public, but also the risks they themselves face from the virus as it continues to spread.

The disease was a topic of discussion during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic caucus this morning with members receiving advice on how to interact with others as the virus spreads, a person familiar with the meeting told CNN.

The attending physician asked members to stop touching others during personal greetings, suggesting that members instead use the "live long and prosper sign," a light-hearted reference to a salute and greeting accompanied by a hand gesture in the television series "Star Trek." 

Uncertainty and concern over potential exposure to the virus has heightened in the past 24 hours as several lawmakers have now opted to self-quarantine or take other steps to isolate themselves after coming into contact with infected individuals.

Coronavirus inspires people to get creative with greetings:

2:39 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

How can I stay safe on a plane?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant inside an airplane bound for New York at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on Wednesday, March 4.
Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant inside an airplane bound for New York at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, on Wednesday, March 4. Suh Myoung-geon/Yonhap/AP

It's not the cabin air you need to worry about. It's keeping your hands clean.

Always be mindful of where your hands have been, travel medicine specialist Dr. Richard Dawood said.

Airport handrails, door handles and airplane lavatory levers are notoriously dirty.

"It is OK to touch these things as long as you then wash or sanitize your hands before contaminating your face, touching or handling food," Dawood said.

"Hand sanitizers are great. So are antiseptic hand wipes, which you can also use to wipe down armrests, remote controls at your seat and your tray table."

2:13 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Coachella will be postponed because of coronavirus concerns, sources say

From CNN's Chloe Melas and Sandra Gonzalez

Festival goers attend Coachella on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California.
Festival goers attend Coachella on April 21, 2019 in Indio, California. Presley Ann/Getty Images for Coachella

One of music's largest events will be delayed over coronavirus concerns.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival organizers will postpone the event, potentially until October, two sources with knowledge of the matter tell CNN.

The festival, which typically attracts about 100,000 attendees per day, had been set to take place on two weekends: April 10-12 and April 17-19 in Indio, California.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Coachella for comment.

A date change would follow last week's cancellation of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

Both events, which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, join a host of others — from concert tour legs to conferences — that have canceled or rescheduled as the number of global cases of coronavirus continues to climb.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean were scheduled to headline Coachella. It is not yet known if they would perform in October.

Other artists set to perform had included Calvin Harris, Big Sean, Lewis Capaldi, Charlie XCX, Flume, 21 Savage, Lana Del Rey and Lil Nas X.

2:23 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Trump says White House doctor did not advise him to be tested for coronavirus

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he did not get tested for coronavirus even after he met with some lawmakers who had been exposed to the virus because the White House doctor said he didn't need to.

"I don't think it's a big deal. I would do it," Trump said when asked why he hadn't been tested. He added that he feels "very good."

"It's something I would do, but again, spoke to the White House doctor -- a terrific guy a talented guy. He said he sees no reason to do it," Trump said.

At least five members of Congress have announced that they would self-quarantine after coming into contact with an individual who has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference.

That includes Rep. Doug Collins, who shook Trump's hand when the President went to Georgia on Friday to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Rep. Matt Gaetz, who rode with Trump in the presidential limousine and took Air Force One back to Washington with him on Monday.

Watch:

7:05 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

At least 168 coronavirus patients died in Italy in the past day

From CNN’s Ben Wedeman in Bologna, Italy

Medical personnel work inside one of the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the hospital of Brescia, in Northern Italy, on Tuesday, March 10.
Medical personnel work inside one of the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the hospital of Brescia, in Northern Italy, on Tuesday, March 10. Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/AP

Deaths in Italy from coronavirus have risen sharply in the past 24 hours, with 168 new deaths reported, Angelo Borrelli, head of Italy's Civil protection Agency said on Tuesday. 

On Monday, there was an increase of 97 deaths.

The deaths announced today bring the total number of coronavirus deaths in Italy to 631. There are now 10,149 recorded cases of coronavirus in Italy.

See life under lockdown in Italy

2:01 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

World Trade Organization meetings canceled after staffer tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, March 2.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, March 2. Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The World Trade Organization has suspended all meetings after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo informed WTO members of the cancellations at WTO headquarters in Geneva. They'll go into effect tomorrow and last until March 20, according to a statement from the organization. 

“We take the health of Secretariat staff and our members very seriously which is why we have taken this unprecedented step," Azevêdo said. "We are monitoring the situation very closely and will take whatever measures are necessary to protect health and safety.”

The WTO has a coronavirus task force in place to monitor developments and is taking all precautions necessary in response to the evolving situation, the statement adds.

1:51 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

March Madness will go on as planned

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's Mach Madness tournaments are still scheduled to kick off next week as planned.

NCAA President Mark Emmert says that neither the organization’s appointed coronavirus advisory panel nor the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “have advised against holding sporting events.” 

Here's Emmert’s full statement:

“NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play. As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”

The first games for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament are next Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio.

Earlier today, the Ivy League announced its weekend tournaments are canceled. As a result, the league’s regular-season champions – Princeton’s women’s team and Yale’s men’s team – are automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments.