March 20 coronavirus news
New Orleans will join other major US cities and states as its residents have been told to stay home by the city's mayor.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued an order urging residents to stay at home Friday during an afternoon news conference.
She said the order is based on a guidance document from the health department.
Residents should stay home whenever possible and go out for critical needs only, Cantrell said. The city is moving toward limited functions and operations, she said.
At the same news conference, Jennifer Avengo, the director of the city's health department, said the city would be testing a federal drive-through testing pilot program at three sites (two in Orleans Parish and another in Jefferson Parish).
The testing site would focus on symptomatic first responders and health care workers, Avengo said, and the intent is for the testing to expand to symptomatic high-risk residents.
CNN's Kay Jones contributed to this report.
Colton Underwood, who starred in Season 23 of "The Bachelor" in 2019, announced in an Instagram post on Friday that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
"I have been following all of the social distancing rules since last week. My symptoms started a few days ago, I was tested and just received my results today. For anyone out there that is hesitant to self quarantine... please do yourself and your loved ones a favor and stay home. We will all beat this and come out stronger on the other side," Underwood wrote.
The 28-year-old said in an accompanying video that his primary symptom was exhaustion, adding he is recovering and self-isolating for the foreseeable future.
Italy has imposed stricter quarantine measures across the country, according to a new order issued by the Italian Health Minister and obtained by CNN.
Access to parks, play areas, and public gardens will be prohibited starting Saturday.
The order also bans jogging and other "outdoor physical and leisure activities," which will now only be allowed in the "vicinity of the people's homes." They must maintain a distance of one meter (3 feet) from each other.
People are also prohibited from moving from one residence to the other including holiday homes.
The new order lasts until at least March 25.
As medical workers in Italy struggle to treat patients with coronavirus, a large number of them have contracted the virus themselves.
Seventeen doctors have died from Covid-19 and there are a total of 3,654 medical staff who are infected, according to the country's National Health Institute.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said they still don’t know the full extent of the danger the state is facing from coronavirus because they still don’t have enough testing kits.
“The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health received a notice yesterday that all of Nevada’s requests to the federal government [for test kits] are on an indefinite backlog without any estimate of a timeline for delivery,” he said at a news conference Friday.
Sisolak said the state has made “countless calls” to ask and “even beg” for more testing materials, but the government has no guidance for when the backlog will be cleared.
In the meantime, Sisolak is responding with a new emergency order taking previous guidance for non-essential businesses to close, and now making it mandatory.
“I am not asking them anymore,” he said. “I am telling them they must close their doors.”
The governor said businesses that refuse to follow the order could be fined or have their business licenses revoked.
A second Transportation Security Administration officer at the Orlando airport has tested positive for the coronavirus, the agency said Friday.
The officer last worked at the airport’s west security checkpoint on the afternoon of March 11, TSA said.
Earlier this week, the agency reported an officer who worked at the same checkpoint also tested positive. That officer’s last shift was a day earlier – March 10.
It is unclear if the two officers worked any shifts together or used the same equipment. The agency did not disclose further information about their work schedules or assignments.
The latest case is the 15th the TSA has reported.
Fashion designer Christian Siriano says his staff is standing by with sewing machines, ready to make masks.
Earlier today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would pay a premium price for medical supplies like masks.
"If you are a business that doesn't manufacture these exact items, but if you have equipment and personnel and you believe that you could manufacture these items ... If you will make them, we will give you funding to do it," Cuomo said.
The American Medical Association has called on the Trump administration to “leverage every tool at its disposal” to address a shortage of protective equipment and coronavirus tests.
In a statement Friday, the doctors’ group said that “critical shortages in test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) remain unaddressed.”
In response to the growing shortage, President Trump signed an executive order earlier this week that allows him to exercise wartime powers under the Defense Production Act, but the AMA said that “it is unclear to what degree that authority is being utilized.”
Shortages of critical protective equipment are “posing a significant risk for our ability to treat COVID-19 patients and contain the spread of this pandemic,” the AMA said in its statement.
The president of the group, Dr. Patrice Harris, described doctors taking drastic measures to make do: “Physicians don’t have enough masks; they are wearing a single mask all day, cleaning them at home, and sewing their own protective gear,” she said.
On Thursday, CNN reported on guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address shortages during the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency said that health care workers could consider using masks beyond their designated shelf life, reusing them between multiple patients, and even – as a last resort – consider using scarves and bandanas as protective equipment.
Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles is closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic, a representative at the golf club confirmed to CNN Friday.
Owned by President Trump, the 18-hole golf course is located in Rancho Palos Verdes, 30 minutes south of Los Angeles International Airport. It is generally open to the public.