March 11 coronavirus news

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4:55 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

NCAA recommends that March Madness be played without spectators

From CNN's David Close

The National College Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that the organization is recommending that upcoming sporting events should be held without spectators.

“We recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance,” the NCAA said.

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments will be played as planned. The first games to tip for March Madness will be on March 17.

Here's the NCAA's full statement:

The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.
4:51 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Austria to close schools because of coronavirus fears

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt

Schools in Austria will be closed until April because of the spread of coronavirus, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday.

For children in secondary school, classes will be canceled next Monday and taught online.

"There will be no more lessons in these schools. Lessons ... will continue by digital means," Kurz said in a joint news conference with officials including the education minister Heinz Fassmann, according to Austria's state broadcaster ORF. 

Primary schools will suspend classes next week. However, the government will provide childcare, if no other alternative is available for parents. Kurz said that the government does not want grandparents, who are considered high risk for coronavirus, to take over childcare duties. Children in kindergarten should also stay at home if possible. 

Austria's education ministry has launched an educational hotline. The hotline is "intended to support parents, pupils and teachers in accessing work materials and information on existing online learning platforms in the event of classroom cancellation,'' according to the website. 

 

4:42 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Dallas cancels its St. Patrick's Day Parade

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

Dallas has canceled its St. Patrick’s Day Parade and block party due to novel coronavirus, according to a public announcement from the city. 

The event was scheduled for March 14.

The City of Dallas Convention and Event Services canceled the special event permits following a review of the parade and block party.

Here's what Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said about the decision:

“While our region still has only a few ‘presumptive positive’ COVID-19 cases that appear to be related to travel, we are actively making contingency plans for the spread of this illness. Before we made the final decision, I gathered input from our healthcare leaders and our public health partners, discussed the ramifications for our police and firefighters at the parade; met with Governor Abbott; and reviewed how COVID-19 has spread in other parts of the country and the world. An event of this scale, without adequate public health protections, cannot be allowed to occur at this time. Our primary concern is the health, safety, and welfare of our residents, and we will continue to take action accordingly.”
4:35 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Trump downplays need for economic stimulus due to coronavirus

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump seemed to downplay the need for an economic stimulus due to the coronavirus during discussions with top executives from national banks today regarding the impact the virus is having on businesses.

"[I[f we get rid of the problem quickly, everything solves itself, we don’t need stimulus,” Trump said in a Cabinet Room meeting.

Trump said a payroll tax holiday would be great but Democrats don’t like it and he’s trying to figure out why. The President added that the administration will work with small businesses and give out a lot of small business loans, as the banks are too.

The bankers in the room also discussed the economic impacts. Citigroup's Michael Corbat said it is not a financial crisis. Steven Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, said the virus “requires a mobilization.” 

The President said he will make both economic and health-related announcements at 8 p.m. ET. During the spray, Trump touted “tremendous strides from CDC and others.”

4:28 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Delaware's first presumptive coronavirus case is a University of Delaware professor

From CNN's Mirna Alsharif

Delaware’s first presumptive coronavirus case is a University of Delaware professor, the school confirmed.

University spokesman Peter Bothum would not identify or provide further information about the professor but said the people who have come into contact with him have been notified.

4:23 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

New York City mayor says it could take six months for things to feel normal again

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City could take at least six months to get back to some sense of normalcy because of coronavirus.

The mayor said New York City now has 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus. That number is up from the 48 previously reported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier today.

4:25 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Two CBS News employees test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Oliver Darcy

Mary Altaffer/AP/FILE
Mary Altaffer/AP/FILE

Two employees at CBS News have tested positive for coronavirus, according to an internal memo sent to CBS News employees obtained by CNN.

The employees work in two different buildings and employees in both locations are being asked to work from home, according to the memo by CBS News president Susan Zirinsky.

“We are asking that employees in both buildings work remotely for the next two days while the buildings are cleaned and disinfected. In addition, we have identified employees who may have been in direct contact with these individuals in question, and they will be asked to self-quarantine and work remotely for the next 14 days," Zirinsky wrote.

Zirinsky went on to say that the CBS News offices are expected to be open Monday.

4:21 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

US stocks fell dramatically today due to coronavirus

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

Andrew Kelly/Reuters
Andrew Kelly/Reuters

US stocks sold off sharply on Wednesday, with the Dow falling into a bear market, defined as 20% below its most recent high.

The Dow finished 1,465 points, or 5.9%, lower.

Stocks erased all of Tuesday’s gains. Coronavirus fears again weighed on markets, as the World Health Organization designated the global outbreak a pandemic.

The S&P 500 dropped 4.9%. The index briefly fell into bear market territory in afternoon trading.

The Nasdaq Composite closed down 4.7%.

4:10 p.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Can I get coronavirus from products made in China?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

No.

"The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through goods manufactured in China or any country reporting Covid-19 cases," the World Health Organization says.

"Even though the new coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days (depending on the type of surface), it is very unlikely that the virus will persist on a surface after being moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures," WHO said.

"If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant to clean it. After touching it, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water."