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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11:16 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.
10:31 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

NBA commissioner confirms hiatus will be "at least 30 days"

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a press conference at the United Center on February 15 in Chicago, Illinois.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during a press conference at the United Center on February 15 in Chicago, Illinois. Stacy Revere/Getty Images

NBA commissioner Adam Silver appeared on "NBA on TNT" tonight where he discussed the decision to suspend the league’s season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus, saying that the NBA’s hiatus “will most likely be at least 30 days.” 

Silver didn’t rule out the possibility of the season being canceled.

10:40 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Fauci: "We will have a lot more cases" of coronavirus in the US

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci CNN

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believes the US will see "a lot more" coronavirus cases as the disease continues to spread.

Fauci's remarks were made tonight during CNN's coronavirus town hall where he also discussed the need to get the number of coronavirus cases in the US to stabilize.

"What we hope to do with both containment and mitigation is to get this peak to actually flatten out," Fauci said. "We will have a lot more cases. The question is are we going to blunt that peak? The things we are doing by preventing infections from coming outside in with the travel restrictions, which are totally appropriate, and I think very helpful as well as doing containment and mitigation from within."

Watch:

10:31 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Life is getting back to normal in China as the outbreak lifts

CNN Correspondent David Culver,
CNN Correspondent David Culver, CNN

CNN Correspondent David Culver, reporting from Shanghai, joined CNN's coronavirus town hall to describe the improving situation in China.

Just a few weeks ago, the country was reporting thousands of cases a day. Now, it's down to about a dozen a day on average — a huge drop.

"What we need to stress though is that it did not start out this way," said Culver. "Early on, go back seven weeks, they had allegations of cover ups, allegations of underreporting, really only 200 tests a day for a sitting population of 11 million."

Remember: Whistleblowers in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, like Dr. Li Wenliang, tried to warn people and sound the alarm as early as December — but were punished and censored by local officials. Li later died of the coronavirus.

What changed: The central government's involvement, Culver said.

"They pushed out the local government. They said, we're taking control. It became a military-like operation. They began ramping up production of face masks. Our daily lives changed drastically."

What China looks like now: Things are slowly getting back to normal, now that the outbreak seems largely contained in most of the country.

"Just today the parks are reopening in Shanghai, restaurants have given the all clear to have as many people as they need to party-wise to come in and book a table. Tourist attractions are starting to reopen," said Culver — a jarring difference from life in China just weeks ago, when people didn't dare go outside, and when major cities felt like ghost towns.

10:17 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

PGA Tour announces cancellation of The Players Championship

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

The PGA Tour announced late Thursday night that they are canceling The Players Championship taking place this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and events across all Tours through the Valero Texas Open on April 2.

“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point — and as the situation continues to rapidly change — the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause," the PGA said.
10:30 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Life under lockdown in Italy: Empty plazas, closed churches and quiet streets

CNN has kicked off its two-hour coronavirus town hall with a look toward Europe, where every member country of the European Union has reported infections.

"It's fairly eerie here, where we arrived just a few days ago and the streets were full of people, full of traffic," said CNN Correspondent Ben Wedeman from Bologna, Italy, where he has been reporting on the nationwide lockdown.

"Now you go out in the main square, the piazza, just up the street from where we are, it's empty. By and large, it just has completely transformed ordinary life in this city."

People can still go outside for a walk, jog, or run errands, said Wedeman — but people have to keep a certain distance from each other, and all public events or gatherings are canceled. That means even things like a children's soccer game are now prohibited under the emergency restrictions.

Churches are closed, even for people going in for private prayer — something that has never happened, even during wartime, Wedeman said.

Some context: Italy has been under total lockdown since Monday. The nationwide lockdown extended measures already in place in the northern Lombardy region to the rest of the country, affecting about 60 million residents.

This means restricted movement, schools closed, public services suspended, events canceled, and more.

Watch: