March 12 coronavirus news

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

Updated 10:06 PM ET, Thu March 12, 2020
14 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:39 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

New York cancels its St. Patrick's Day parade

The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City has officially been canceled, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. 

The statement said the governor had discussed the issue with the parade organizers, as coronavirus cases and anxieties ramp up in the city and state.

"Following those conversations, I recommended and the parade's leadership agreed to postpone this year's parade due to the high density and the large volume of marchers and spectators who attend," said Cuomo in the statement.
"While I know the parade organizers did not make this decision lightly, public health experts agree that one of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade's leadership for working cooperatively with us."

The parade was originally set to take place on March 17.

New York now has 216 cases -- the second highest number of any state. Washington is the hardest-hit US state, with 373 cases and 30 deaths, and California follows New York, with 133 cases and four deaths, according to CNN's tally.

8:15 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

South Korea confirms 114 new coronavirus cases and 6 more deaths

From CNN's Hyoungjoo Choi in Seoul

Workers wearing protective gear disinfect as a precaution against coronavirus at a subway station in Seoul on Wednesday, March 11.
Workers wearing protective gear disinfect as a precaution against coronavirus at a subway station in Seoul on Wednesday, March 11. Kim Sun-woong/Newsis via AP

South Korea confirmed six new deaths and 114 more cases of the novel coronavirus yesterday, according to the South Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). 

That raises the national death toll to 66 and the total confirmed cases to 7,869.

The number represents a drop again in new daily cases -- on Monday, the country had recorded 131 new cases, the lowest single-day increase in weeks, sparking cautious hope that the worst of the outbreak may have passed.

Then, a new cluster was identified in Seoul -- and the number of new cases shot up to 242 on Tuesday.

The drop back down to 114 new cases on Wednesday appears to fall more in line with the previous downward trend.

73 cases were from Daegu: The southern city is at the heart of the national outbreak, and this is the lowest daily increase in Daegu since February 26.

8 cases were from North Gyeongsang province: This province surrounds Daegu -- about 89% of cases nationwide are from Daegu and North Gyeongsang combined.

19 cases were from Seoul: The capital has seen a recent rise, after a cluster was identified at a call center -- 102 cases had links to the office. The building where the call center is located has been closed and disinfected, and Seoul has designated the area an "infectious disease special zone."

12:10 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Here's what is happening with the US coronavirus outbreak

US President Donald Trump addresses the Nation from the Oval Office about the widening novel coronavirus in Washington on March 11.
US President Donald Trump addresses the Nation from the Oval Office about the widening novel coronavirus in Washington on March 11. Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

A lot is happening right now in the US as organizations around the country prepare to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're just tuning in, here's where things stand right now:

  • US suspends travel from Europe: President Trump announced Wednesday night that travel from 26 European countries will be suspended for the next 30 days, starting Friday at midnight.
  • 43 states now have coronavirus: North Dakota confirmed its first case today, making it the 43rd state (plus Washington, DC) to report coronavirus infections.
  • Tom Hanks infected: The two-time Academy Award winning actor says he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have been diagnosed with coronavirus. In a statement posted to Instagram, Hanks said the two were traveling in Australia when they were tested. 
  • NBA suspends season: The NBA has announced Wednesday night that the season is being suspended after a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
  • Numerous tournaments affected: The NCAA’s Big 12 and Big Ten conferences announced Wednesday that they will play their college basketball conference tournament games without fans in attendance.
  • More states declare state of emergencies: As coronavirus continues to spread across the US, 23 states and Washington, DC, have declared a state of emergency. Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Washington, DC, all made their declarations Wednesday.
  • Congressional staffer tests positive: An employee in Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office is the first publicly known case of a congressional staffer testing positive for coronavirus. The staffer had no known contact with Cantwell, who represents Washington state, or other members of Congress.
8:15 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

The US now has 1,267 cases of the coronavirus

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

There are at least 1,267 cases of the coronavirus in the United States, according to state and local health agencies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

70 cases are repatriated from overseas, like citizens evacuated from China or the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

1,197 cases were detected and confirmed on US soil, spread out across 43 states and Washington, DC.

These figures include presumptive positive cases -- meaning the patient tested positive in a public health lab and is pending confirmation from the CDC.

The US death toll is now at 38, after another patient died in Washington state.

8:15 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Coronavirus test result for Utah Jazz player came right before tip-off

Officials learned a player from Utah Jazz had tested positive coronavirus right before the tip-off of their game with Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, the Jazz said in a statement.

The player's symptoms had "diminished over the course" of the day so a test for COVID-19 was performed, the team said.

"A preliminary positive result came back right before tip-off of the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City game," the team statement said. "Subsequently, the decision was correctly made by the NBA to postpone the game. When it was determined that the individual would be tested, we immediately informed the league office. The health and safety of our players, our organization, those throughout our league, and all those potentially impacted by this situation are paramount in our discussions."

Because of the positive result, the game was postponed with the NBA later announcing that they were suspending the season.  

The Jazz added that they are “working closely with the CDC, Oklahoma and Utah state officials and the NBA to determine how to best move forward as we gather more information. The individual is currently in the care of health officials in Oklahoma City. In coordination with the NBA and state officials, we will provide updates at the appropriate time.”

8:25 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

European officials say they were blindsided by Trump’s new travel restrictions

From CNN's Alex Marquardt, Kylie Atwood and Nicole Gaouette

US President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening Coronavirus crisis on March 11, in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the widening Coronavirus crisis on March 11, in Washington, DC. Doug Mills/New York Times/Pool/Getty Image

Europe appears to have been largely blindsided by President Trump’s announcement earlier today that the US was suspending travel from 26 European countries.

Several European ambassadors in Washington tell CNN they didn’t know this was coming, despite having been in contact with the administration over the past few days.

One ambassador in DC said there was “no indication” Trump would go to the lengths he did, while another spokesperson said German officials had no advanced warning this was coming.

“We knew something was coming on travel from Europe (more restrictive travel advice) but not this drastic," the Belgian ambassador told CNN. "What is not understandable is the exception for the UK and the lack of national measures [domestically].”

The Trump administration notified ambassadors after the announcement: Several European ambassadors expressed a need for clarity as they worked to digest what these new measures mean. They had received calls from the State Department after the announcement -- but they "have not yet answers to our questions,” said one ambassador.

State Department officials say they didn’t know precisely what Trump was going to roll out, given the fact that multiple options were on the table. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Australian Foreign Minister less than five hours before Trump’s address -- and gave no indication of the announcement coming tonight, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Pompeo did acknowledge that things were going to continue to be painful, and increasingly so, for the next six weeks or so.

8:24 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Hubei, epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, reports its lowest number of new cases in months

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang in Beijing

Workers in protective suits clean up a makeshift hospital converted from a sports venue after it officially closed in Wuhan on March 8.
Workers in protective suits clean up a makeshift hospital converted from a sports venue after it officially closed in Wuhan on March 8. Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP

Mainland China reported 15 new coronavirus cases yesterday -- continuing the week-long trend of dramatically falling numbers, according to China's National Health Commission.

Six of those cases were imported from overseas -- meaning they weren't locally transmitted in China.

Hubei province, where the coronavirus pandemic began back in December, reported eight new cases -- the lowest to be reported from Hubei since the outbreak began.

The drop in new daily cases is especially striking given that just a month or two ago, the country was reporting around 2,000 new cases per day.

China has now reported 80,793 cases and 3,169 deaths. Of the total cases, 62,793 have recovered and been discharged from hospital, according to the NHC. 

8:24 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Trump misrepresents Europe travel ban during primetime address, causing confusion

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond

In a primetime address to millions of Americans, President Trump misrepresented the travel restrictions he is imposing on travel between the United States and Europe.

Trump said "we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days" before adding that there will be "exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings."

Those exemptions are far more extensive than the President made them out to be. They apply to all US legal permanent residents, citizens and some of their family members, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security. 

The travel restrictions Trump is enacting are in fact far more similar to those enacted on China.

The ban also does not apply to all of Europe but to nations in the Schengen zone. That includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

What this means: Americans and US permanent residents who are in Europe will still be allowed to fly to Europe and be allowed back into the United States during this 30-day period. 

They will simply be screened upon entry to the United States and face quarantine or restrictions on their movement in the US for 14 days. 

However, it is not clear whether airlines will still fly the routes if passenger demand from European nationals dries up because of the ban. 

Trump also appeared to correct himself on a ban on cargo. In his speech he said, "There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval. " 

A few minutes ago, the President tweeted, "...please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods." 

This is not to say the President is not taking an extremely severe step, but it is not the all-encompassing suspension on travel between the United States and Europe that the President portrayed.

8:24 a.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Trump cancels trips to Colorado and Nevada due to the coronavirus outbreak

From CNN's Betsy Klein 

President Trump will no longer travel to Colorado and Nevada at the end of the week. 

“Out of an abundance of caution from the coronavirus outbreak, the President has decided to cancel his upcoming events in Colorado and Nevada,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.