March 22 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 10:30 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020
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6:18 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Ohio announces 'stay at home' order due to Covid-19 concerns

From CNN’s Sarah Jorgensen

Ohio has issued a statewide “stay at home” order due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine announced at a press conference on Sunday. 

The order, requiring all residents to stay at home except for “essential activities,” will go into effect on Monday night at 11:59 p.m., DeWine said, adding that order was signed by Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s Department of Health Director.

“Dr. Acton who has done such a phenomenal job has just signed an Ohio health director’s order. Dr. Acton just signed a stay at home order for all Ohioans. Other states have referred to this as shelter in place, we prefer stay at home. Either one, it’s pretty much the same thing,” DeWine said.

“Essential businesses” and restaurants for takeout will still be allowed to stay open. DeWine encouraged Ohioans to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

The “stay at home” order will remain in place until at least April 6, at which time state authorities would reassess the situation, DeWine said.

5:43 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

'All the senators are going to seek medical advice' after Rand Paul tests positive for coronavirus, Romney says

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

Sen. Mitt Romney attends a Senate GOP lunch meeting in Washington, DC, on Friday, March 20. Sen. Rand Paul, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, also attended the meeting.
Sen. Mitt Romney attends a Senate GOP lunch meeting in Washington, DC, on Friday, March 20. Sen. Rand Paul, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, also attended the meeting. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, said all senators will be seeking medical advice on what action to take after their colleague, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.

“All the senators are going to seek medical advice as to what action we should take to make sure that we don't in any way spread this virus ourselves,” Romney said. “We had a lunch together with Rand, and hope he's doing very well, but we have to determine whether any of us should self-quarantine as a result of being in the same room."

Romney added: "Very, very unhappy to hear that Rand Paul has been diagnosed with Covid-19... wish him the very best he's compromised given health conditions he's had in the past and so we'll be praying for him and thinking about it.”

Earlier Sunday: Paul confirmed his positive test on Twitter where his official account said, "He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person."

5:44 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

There are now more than 30,000 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

There are at least 30,565 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of cases that are detected and tested in the country through US public health systems.

Health care workers administer a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility in Jericho, New York, on March 21.
Health care workers administer a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility in Jericho, New York, on March 21. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

So far, 384 people have died in the US.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

2:53 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Opera singer Placido Domingo tests positive for novel coronavirus

From CNN's Natasha Chen

Opera singer Placido Domingo performs in Hamburg, Germany, in 2019.
Opera singer Placido Domingo performs in Hamburg, Germany, in 2019. Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Opera singer Placido Domingo has tested positive for Covid-19, the artist confirmed on his Facebook page.

"I feel it is my moral duty to announce to you that I have tested positive for COVID19. My Family and I are all in self-isolation for as long as it is deemed medically necessary," the Spanish singer said.

Domingo added he is currently in good health but had experienced "fever and cough symptoms."

Some background: Domingo, a world-renowned opera singer, resigned as general director of Los Angeles Opera last year, after accusations of sexual harassment.

On March 10th, CNN’s Stephanie Elam reported that L.A. Opera’s independent investigation into 10 allegations of sexual harassment by Domingo were found to be credible. Domingo willingly participated in an interview but denied all allegations.

5:45 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

IOC will consider rescheduling Olympics, says cancellation not on the agenda

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

Theh Iternational Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 22.
Theh Iternational Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 22. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee executive board announced Sunday that the group has decided to step up scenario-planning for the 2020 Tokyo Games in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The options that the IOC are currently considering include modifying operational plans to allow the games to begin on schedule on July 24 as well as changing the start date for the games. 

The IOC said it is confident that it will have finalized these discussions within the next four weeks. This scenario-planning will allow for the best decision in the interest of the athletes and everyone else involved, the IOC added.

The IOC executive board decided that cancellation of the Tokyo Games would not solve any problems or help anybody, and thus decided cancellation is not on the agenda.

The IOC points out that conditions in Japan have improved significantly, though globally there has been a dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases.

5:45 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Boston Police Department officer tests positive

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

A member of the Boston Police department has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Sgt. Detective John Boyle.

Authorities were notified last night and are conducting a thorough cleaning of the facility where the officer was stationed at.

The male officer will remain at home until medically cleared, Boyle said.

Public health officials are looking into contact tracing from this infected officer, Boyle said.

The department, which has about 2,000 officers, continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first responder guidelines with regards to protocols in the wake of the virus.

Boyle said the health and safety of department members is the utmost priority.

6:03 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

A New York hospital system is barring visitors, including partners, during childbirth

From CNN Health’s Michael Nedelman

A health care system in New York is no longer allowing visitors, including partners, for its patients about to give birth, citing coronavirus risk.

"For the time being, we really do need to exclude all visitors, including partners, for women admitted in labor," Dr. Dena Goffman, chief of obstetrics at Columbia University Medical Center, said Sunday during a daily leadership briefing for the NewYork-Presbyterian health care system.

Goffman described the move as a "very difficult decision and not one taken lightly."

NewYork-Presbyterian has also made the decision to test all women in labor who are admitted to labor and delivery units for Covid-19, regardless of symptoms.

Goffman said there had been a number of patients with little to no symptoms upon admission, and others with atypical symptoms, who were later found to test positive for the novel coronavirus. Moreover, "many symptoms of labor and of pregnant women really mimic some of the symptoms of Covid-19," including fatigue and shortness of breath, she added.

"As a result, these women were not identified by our usual screening, infection prevention and control, or testing processes, and therefore our practices for protection for Covid-19 were not implemented. In this case, many staff members were exposed," Goffman said. 

Testing women in labor, she added, would allow doctors to isolate newborns who may have been exposed to the virus, thus preventing outbreaks in neonatal ICUs and well-baby nurseries. 

Absent in-person visitors for these patients, Goffman said the hospital system was looking into ways to allow families to participate virtually in childbirth, perhaps through tablet computers.

"We recognize that we will need to provide additional support for moms, as well as mom and baby pairs, as they're in the hospital through the duration of their stay," she said.

2:22 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

UK to introduce "shielding measures" for vulnerable people amid coronavirus outbreak

Ian Vogler/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Ian Vogler/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's 1.5 million most vulnerable citizens are being told to stay at home for the next 12 weeks to help shield them from coronavirus.

Communities Minister Robert Jenrick says authorities will be writing to those who’ve been identified to offer them assistance to maintain social distancing during the outbreak. This includes providing food, so they don’t have to leave the house 

The announcement was made at Sunday’s daily press briefing at Downing Street, alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson said the measures being announced today were foreshadowed in the government’s response plan.

“This shielding will do more than any other single measure that we are setting out, to save life,” Johnson said.
2:12 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Spain to extend coronavirus state of emergency as deaths soar

From CNN's Rob Picheta

Spain plans to extend its state of emergency for another 15 days, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Sunday, as the number of Covid-19 deaths soars in the country.

Sanchez addressed citizens in a televised briefing on Sunday, after meeting with health and security officials.

He said he expected Parliament to approve his request to lengthen the order, which has been in place for over a week.

By the numbers: It comes with the country's death toll from the virus accelerating. The country's health ministry said on Sunday that another 394 had died in just the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed fatalities to 1,720.