March 12 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Sheena McKenzie and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 10:06 PM ET, Thu March 12, 2020
187 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:51 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New York governor announces first public drive-through coronavirus testing facility on East Coast

From CNN's Bob Frehse

New York state will have the first public drive-through coronavirus testing facility on the east coast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

Officials will start testing people by appointment only in New Rochelle starting Friday, Cuomo added. New Rochelle residents who have been quarantined will be tested first, he said.

5:48 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

NCAA basketball game official tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's David Close

The Colonial Athletic Association has announced that a game official working the CAA Conference Championships has tested positive for coronavirus.

The CAA Conference tournament ran from Saturday through Tuesday.

Read the CAA's full statement: 

"The Colonial Athletic Association has been made aware that a game official who worked at the 2020 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The official did not exhibit symptoms of the virus until 72 hours after the game he worked, but out of an abundance of caution the conference has made the involved institutions and tournament personnel aware of the situation so they can take proper precautionary measures.”
5:43 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian in Atlanta

Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran's former foreign minister and current adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently in quarantine at his home, Tehran's Masih Daneshvari Hospital told Iran's semi-official news agency ISNA. 

According to ISNA, Velayti recently spent several days at Masih Daneshvari Hospital working with hospital staff discussing the best ways to combat coronavirus across the country. 

Hospital officials tell ISNA that Velayati started exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms on Wednesday at which point he was tested for the virus and results showed he had contracted it. Reports indicate that Velayati is quarantined and in good condition. 

6:04 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

All Kentucky public and private schools to cease in-person classes for at least two weeks

From CNN's Keith Allen


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has recommended that all public and private schools throughout the commonwealth cease in-person classes for at least two weeks due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking at a news conference in Frankfort this afternoon, Beshear called this “a big, but necessary step,” and said he made the announcement today in order to give faculty and staff time to put together in-home assignments, as well as giving parents time to prepare for the closure.

Beshear specifically chose the terminology “ceasing in-person classes” in order to give individual superintendents flexibility to keep school cafeterias open even when classes are not in-session, he told reporters this afternoon.

5:34 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Utah bans large gatherings for two-week period

Utah is banning all mass gatherings of more than 100 people, starting next Monday, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Gov. Gary Herbert said the ban – which includes houses of worship – will be in effect for two weeks. The order does not apply to K-12 schools, although all districts were asked “to prepare to close.”

Anyone who is over the age of 60 or has immunity problems is encouraged to avoid any gatherings of 20 or more people. An exception is made for businesses like grocery stores. Anyone who is sick is being told to stay home.

5:42 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New study details first known person-to-person coronavirus transmission in the US

From CNN’s Arman Azad

A woman who traveled from China to Illinois in mid-January likely transmitted novel coronavirus to her husband through "prolonged, unprotected contact," according to research released Thursday. 

None of more than 300 people who came into contact with the two patients after they showed symptoms, however, developed symptoms of their own.

The findings, published in the medical journal The Lancet, detail the first known transmission of novel coronavirus in the United States, and suggest that the virus may transmit most easily through extended contact with infected people, not brief or casual exposures.

Dr. Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, who co-led the research, stressed that health care providers should still "rapidly triage and isolate individuals suspected of having [the virus]" and notify local health departments.

That's because, according to the study, "infection control measures within the hospital setting and an aggressive public health response" to these first cases might have prevented widespread coronavirus exposure. And it's possible that other patients — those with more severe illness, for example — may transmit the virus more easily.

The researchers cautioned that their findings are preliminary and based on a single transmission event, which might not represent the population at large.

The study had other limitations, too. Because they relied on memories to reconstruct people's movements, investigators might not have identified everybody who came into contact with the coronavirus patients.

5:26 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center could be closed for months, mayor says

Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center could be closed for months, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference today.

This comes after an announcement was made to cancel events of 500 or more people across the state, de Blasio said.

5:28 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus case confirmed at Fiat Chrysler facility in Indiana

From CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich

Auto giant Fiat Chrysler confirmed today that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 at one of its facilities in Kokomo, Indiana, according to a statement from the car maker.

“FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] is working with local area health authorities in Kokomo, Indiana, to support the treatment of an employee who tested positive for COVID-19. The employee, who works at the Kokomo Transmission Plant, is currently receiving medical care,” the statement read.

The employee’s immediate co-workers have been placed into quarantine along with others in the facility who the person may have come into direct contact with. FCA has deep cleaned and disinfected the employees working area.

The company is also “deploying additional sanitization measures across the entire facility, retiming break times to avoid crowding and deploying social spacing,” according to the statement.

More context: The United Auto Workers union, which represents 400,000 members, is actively monitoring the situation and working with Fiat Chrysler on precautions and measures necessary to “protect our members and everyone who works in our facilities,” said United Auto Workers Vice President Cindy Estrada. 

The FCA Kokomo plant currently remains open.

5:21 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Seattle Symphony livestreamed recordings of performances as comfort offering

From CNN's Joe Ruiz

The show must go on. Sorta.

While the home of the Seattle Symphony has canceled all public events through the end of the month, the Symphony has said it will continue to offer its performances online "to offer strength, comfort and unity" while many public gathering places are closed to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

“I believe music has the power to transform lives and bring people together in new and surprising ways,” shares Music Director Thomas Dausgaard. “Even though we can’t gather at Benaroya Hall, I’m so happy we’ll still be sharing musical moments together, whether you’re at home in Seattle or halfway across the world.”

The first rebroadcast is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. ET) on Thursday night. More details about the streaming schedule can be found on the Symphony's website.