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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6:01 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NYPD officers will patrol 'social hot spots' and inform people of state's social-distancing policies, law enforcement official says

From CNN’s Mark Morales 

New York police officers will by patrolling on foot and by vehicle Sunday night, watching for crowds of people and informing them about the statewide stay-at-home order. Their role will be more about education, than enforcement, a law enforcement official tells CNN.

Officers at each precinct will have a list of hot spots, stores and other locations in their sectors where people are known to congregate. They’ll keep an eye out for groups of people and if spotted, they will tell them to disperse, the official said.

The law enforcement official told CNN that if groups refuse to disperse, there won’t be arrests. Rather, officers will try to convince them that they need to leave and not be so close together, the official said.        

There aren’t enough patrol cars, so some officers will be on foot, canvassing the neighborhoods. So far, officers have had a big presence at supermarkets and food shops, making sure crowds are under control, but not having any overcrowding issues so far, the official said.             

The NYPD currently has 98 employees, 70 uniformed and 28 civilian workers, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

5:27 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Cuba will not allow tourists to visit starting Tuesday

From CNN’s Patrick Oppmann 

The Cuban government announced a series of new measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus on the island, where 20 percent of the population is 60 or older.

Starting Tuesday, tourists will no longer be allowed to travel to Cuba. Cuban citizens or residents arriving at an airport will be quarantined for 14 days at a Cuban hospital or similar institution.

Cuba is not just focusing on coronavirus locally. The nation has sent doctors as far away as Italy to combat the pandemic.

5:23 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Czech Republic reports its first coronavirus death

From Tomas Etzler 

The Czech Republic reported its first coronavirus death Sunday, according to Czech Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula. 

The victim was a 95-year-old male, the deputy health minister said.

5:51 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Utah Sen. Mike Lee self-quarantining after Sen. Rand Paul tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Clare Foran

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee is self-quarantining after fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tested positive for coronavirus, Lee said in a statement.

Lee's full statement is below:

"Upon learning that my colleague Sen. Paul tested positive for COVID-19, I consulted the Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress Dr. Harding. He advised me that because I have no symptoms or other risk factors, a COVID-19 test was not warranted. However, given the timing, proximity, and duration of my exposure to Sen. Paul, he directed me to self-quarantine for 14 days. That means no traveling or voting. But I will continue to make sure Utah’s voice is heard as we shape the federal response to the Coronavirus through phone, text, email and whatever other means are available."
4:57 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

French Parliament adopts state of emergency law

From CNN’s Barbara Wojazer

The French Parliament adopted the state of emergency law Sunday night.

The law gives a legal framework for the measures that have been put into place by the French government to mitigate the coronavirus crisis.

The law was passed in an almost empty Parliament, adapted in order to respect health and security measures. The law passed with 510 votes in favor and 37 votes against, according to the Parliamentary report.

On Thursday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made a plea in favor of the state of emergency to the Senate, saying: "The government needs it. I need it."

4:59 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

US Defense Department says 111 members of the military tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Barbara Starr

The US Department of Defense announced on Sunday that 111 members of the military have tested positive for coronavirus.

Here's the breakdown of positive cases from the department:

  • Military: 111
  • Civilian employees: 32
  • Dependent: 37
  • Contractor: 31

 On Friday, the DOD reported there were:

  • Military: 67
  • Civilian employees: 15
  • Dependents: 26
  • Contractors: 16
6:19 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

Louisiana governor issues statewide stay-at-home order

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order Sunday that will go into effect at 5 p.m. Monday and stay in effect until April 12, according to a news release from the governor's office.

"As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave," Edwards said. "I am implementing this measure to help prevent you from becoming infected or infecting someone else."

Edwards already issued an executive order closing all nonessential businesses in Louisiana.

4:47 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

More staffers and inmates with NYC corrections department test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

The New York City Department of Correction confirmed Sunday that five more staffers and 10 more inmates have tested positive for coronavirus, according to an email from spokesman Patrick Rocchio.

At least 17 department personnel have tested positive, according to the department, and 29 people in custody have tested positive, according to Correctional Health Services.

4:52 p.m. ET, March 22, 2020

NYPD commissioner says 98 employees have coronavirus

From CNN’s Kristina Sgueglia

An NYPD officer helps direct traffic at a coronavirus testing center in Staten Island, New York, on March 19.
An NYPD officer helps direct traffic at a coronavirus testing center in Staten Island, New York, on March 19. Anthony Behar/Sipa USA/AP

There are 98 members of the New York Police Department who have tested positive for coronavirus, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

Of the 98, 70 are uniformed and 28 are civilian employees. Shea said 95 of 98 are recovering at home.

He believes three remain hospitalized. One was discharged Sunday.

The belief at this time with limited information is that these people did not necessarily contract coronavirus at work, Shea said.

As society contracts this disease, so do we,” Shea said.

He said the "normal sick rate" for the NYPD is approaching about "double that rate," adding that he saw the numbers go up when the virus took hold roughly around March 17.

He said the department is in "very good shape" in terms of resources, but "we plan for it every day.”

"We are not at the point where we’re close to going to 12-hour tours," he said. "What we are doing, though, is planning for all eventualities."

People who were previously put on quarantine have come back to work, Shea said.