March 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:49 p.m. ET, March 13, 2020
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11:14 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Top infectious disease doctor would not fly for pleasure during coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Michael Nedelman

The US's top infectious disease doctor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta Thursday night that he wouldn't get on a plane right now due to the coronavirus outbreak unless absolutely necessary.

"I certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during CNN’s coronavirus town hall. "My job is the public health. If it had to do with the public health and I needed to do something for the public health, I might do that because I'm quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun — no way I would do it." 

"I'm a pretty healthy guy for 79," Fauci added.

11:04 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Charles Barkley has been tested for the coronavirus

Charles Barkley attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Charles Barkley attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Former NBA player and current "NBA on TNT" analyst Charles Barkley confirmed on-air on Thursday that he was tested for coronavirus at the suggestion of doctors after he wasn’t feeling well following a trip to New York City.

Barkley's announcement comes a day after the NBA postponed its season due to the virus.

Barkley, who called into TNT's Thursday show, said that he was in his second day of self-quarantine and was awaiting the results of the test.

Here's what he said:

"I went and took the coronavirus test late this afternoon. I have not gotten the results back. So, I'm just kind of in limbo right now. I'm really hoping it was just a bug. Like I said I was in New York earlier this week because that was a hot spot. And when I got to Atlanta I just wasn't feeling well. But I took the test, I haven't gotten the results back, but that's where I'm at right now."
11:11 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Don't make your own cleaning supplies. Soap and water will do just fine, expert says

At CNN's ongoing coronavirus town hall, one viewer asked whether they could make their own cleaning supplies like hand sanitizer.

The answer from our panel is clear: no.

"Do not make your own sanitizer and don't go out there and try to become your own chemist. Don't use vodka and recipes. Those are not effective and could be dangerous," said Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore Health Commissioner.

Soap and water will do the trick. "It's much more effective," Wen said — both to clean your hands, and to clean surfaces of your home. Liquid soap is best if possible.

Just remember to do it right: remember to wash commonly-neglected parts of your hands like your thumbs and fingertips, not just your palms or the back of your hands. Wash them frequently throughout the day, for 20 seconds each time. Stay conscious of the things you touch during the day and try not to rub your eyes or touch your mouth with unwashed hands.

Watch:

11:11 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Will the outbreak end during the summer? Don't count on it, expert says

One viewer raised the question during CNN's coronavirus town hall: Can we expect to see the virus die down in the next few months as we enter warmer summer months?

Here's what Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore Health Commissioner, had to say:

"I wish this were the case but at this point we just don't know," Wen said.

It's possible — past outbreaks like SARS in 2003 peaked in March and early April as the weather warmed up. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily what will happen this time around, as there are still a lot of factors placing us at risk, like the lack of a vaccine or treatment, and the higher rate of global travel now than a decade ago.

And even if it subsides in the summer, it isn't gone forever. The virus could become more prevalent in other parts of the world with different seasonal patterns, or even come back once winter arrives again next year — so "we cannot count on warm weather to get rid of Covid-19," Wen said.

10:49 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Tom Hanks says he and Rita Wilson are taking their situation "one day at a time"

Tom Hanks took to Twitter to update the public on his and wife Rita Wilson's health after the star couple were diagnosed with the coronavirus yesterday in Australia.

Here's what the actor said:

11:16 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Can coronavirus can be transmitted through the mail? An expert weighs in

Emily Mitchell, from Salt Lake City, is one of many Americans wondering whether the coronavirus can be transmitted through things like mail or money.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, assuaged Mitchell's concern tonight during CNN's coronavirus town hall by saying if the disease were to transfer onto something like mail, it would likely be a low concentration.

"Even if it is on there, would it be high enough of a concentration to actually be transmitted? Although it is important, I don't want to downplay the recommendations of wiping down the kinds of things you can easily wipe down. Doorknobs, screens, things like that. I think if you start thinking about money and mail and things like that, you can almost sort of immobilize yourself, which I don't think is a good idea," Fauci said.
10:43 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Universal Orlando will close starting Sunday

Universal Orlando announced it will temporarily close its theme parks after this weekend until at least the end of March, but possibly longer.

Universal Orlando’s hotels and Universal City Walk will remain open, according to the announcement.

Read the announcement here:

11:12 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

What to stock up on if your community goes on lockdown

People wait in line to enter a Costco Wholesale store before it opened in the morning on March 12 in Glendale, California.
People wait in line to enter a Costco Wholesale store before it opened in the morning on March 12 in Glendale, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images

At CNN's ongoing town hall, we're taking audience questions and answering them with medical experts weighing in.

One viewer asked: What supplies should I get in case my community locks down?

Here's what Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had to say:

  • Extra medication in case you can't get refills
  • Bottled water
  • Canned food

But he and CNN's Anderson Cooper acknowledged that sometimes health insurance doesn't allow for extra medication.

"We're looking at relieving a lot of regulations and other things to make it easier for people to cope with this .. really somebody should look at that," Fauci said.

People have been panic buying: Stores have sold out of face masks, hand sanitizer, food staples, and more.

The cleaning supplies can be good to have, especially soap and sanitizer — but one unusual item selling out is toilet paper.

It's not entirely clear what is driving the panic buying of toilet paper. The trend began in Hong Kong last month after rumors that border closures would cut off the supply from China — but the rumors were dispelled by the government, and there don't appear to be any similar rumors in the US.

10:37 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Someone who has contracted the coronavirus and got well can still transmit the disease, Fauci says

CNN
CNN

Just because someone who had the coronavirus is feeling better, that does not mean they still can't spread the disease, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci dispelled this misconception tonight during CNN's coronavirus town hall.

"You can become infected, get symptomatic, resolve the symptoms, feel well, and still share the virus. You can go back to your normal life when you have two consecutive tests for the coronavirus that are negative, separated by 24 hours. That is an excellent question. Just because you feel better or feel well does not mean you are not sharing the virus," Fauci said.