March 26 coronavirus news

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10:06 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

All Mormon temples are closing worldwide

A closed sign is shown at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bountiful Temple Tuesday, March 24, in Bountiful, Utah.
A closed sign is shown at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bountiful Temple Tuesday, March 24, in Bountiful, Utah. Rick Bowmer/AP

All Mormon temples worldwide are closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the Mormon Church, announced the closures in a statement on Wednesday.

"After careful and prayerful consideration, and with a desire to be responsible global citizens, we have decided to suspend all temple activity Churchwide at the end of the day on March 25, 2020. This is a temporary adjustment, and we look forward to the day when the temples will reopen," the statement said.

"Please be assured of our sincere love and appreciation for your devotion and faith."

The church is based in the United States, but has 16.3 members worldwide, according to its website.

9:56 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Japan issues a travel alert for the whole world

By CNN's Emiko Jozuka and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at the Japan-UK Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan, in February.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at the Japan-UK Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo, Japan, in February. Credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan’s foreign ministry issued a travel alert for the entire world on Wednesday for the first time as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates. 

The ministry raised its travel alert to level 2 on a four-level scale, urging people in Japan to refrain from non-essential overseas trips.

The latest move is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, as Japan has seen a rise in people testing positive after returning from overseas trips.

Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi also warned that people traveling abroad may find their mobility restricted or be unable to find flights home if the country they visit issues a lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Earlier this week, the foreign ministry also requested that those returning to Japan from the United States self-quarantine for two weeks.

9:45 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Japan reports its biggest one-day jump in cases

Japan reported 98 new cases of the coronavirus and two more deaths on Wednesday, marking the country's largest single-day jump in new infections since the outbreak began.

Some 41 of the new cases come from Tokyo. The capital's governor urged continued vigilance in a news conference yesterday, telling citizens not to make unnecessary trips outside this coming weekend.

These 98 new cases bring Japan's total to 2,003, with 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The death toll stands at 55.

9:49 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Top health official says coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in the US

From CNN's Jen Christensen

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Wednesday, March 25, in Washington.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Wednesday, March 25, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

The coronavirus pandemic is “accelerating” in the United States and “there are other parts of the country which we need to get a better feel for what is going on,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Wednesday night.

"The way we do that is by increasing testing and identifying people who are infected, isolating them getting out of circulation, and then do contact tracing," Fauci said. “New York City is dominating the situation in the United States. About 60% of the infections are in the New York City metropolitan area, and 56% of the new infections are coming from the New York City metropolitan area."

Fauci added: "I mean, I have spoken to the political officials in New Orleans and in the state of Louisiana. They are now shutting things down in a very vigorous way. It is likely that that should have been done a little bit sooner -- not blaming anyone on that but you get caught unaware because the nature of this outbreak.”

9:48 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

There are at least 65,201 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

An Air Force member exits a tent builded as makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25, in New York City.
An Air Force member exits a tent builded as makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25, in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

There are at least 65,201 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to CNN Health’s tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through public health systems,

So far, 928 people have died. 

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

9:30 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

LA mayor warns there may be "a second or third explosion" of cases in the fall

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned today that the pandemic may not be over quickly, and that "we may see a second or third explosion of (coronavirus) as we do in the flu season."

The new surge of coronavirus cases could come as early as October or November, Garcetti said.

He also added that the stay-at-home orders are showing great results so far. Los Angeles County residents have moved the least out of anyone in Southern California, he said.

“When we move less, it’s like winning the gold medal,” Garcetti said. “Everybody is safer at home."
9:33 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

New York City hospital sets up makeshift morgues to prepare for coronavirus deaths

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras, Elizabeth Joseph, Priscilla Alvarez and Mark Morales

A makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Wednesday.
A makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Wednesday. Credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

At New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, a makeshift morgue including tents and refrigerated trucks is being set up in preparation for what may be a surge in the need for autopsies.

"We're in a public health crisis, and the city has declared a state of emergency. As part of that declaration, agencies like OCME have enacted emergency contingency plans to help prepare for every possible outcome,” New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said in a statement to CNN.

A similar plan was utilized after September 11 attacks. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has a request from New York and other states for assistance in mortuary operations. 

“FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) has received requests for HHS Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) from the States of Hawaii, New York, and North Carolina. These requests are currently in the review and approval process,” a FEMA spokesperson told CNN. 

New York City has longstanding contracts with companies to also provide refrigerated trucks to store bodies, but that plan has not been put in to effect just yet. If and when it is, those trucks would likely be stationed at various locations including makeshift hospitals such as the Javits Center.

9:33 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Two different Boston hospitals each have more than 40 employees that tested positive

From CNN's Ellie Kaufman

A sign for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
A sign for Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Credit: Jodi Hilton/Getty Images

Two different Boston hospitals tell CNN that they now each have more than 40 employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has 45 employees that have tested positive, Brigham Health Media Relations Associate Serena Bronda told CNN.

“Employees who have tested positive are not working until after they have been cleared by Occupational Health Services,” Bronda said.

Massachusetts General Hospital has 41 employees who have tested positive, but most are believed to have contracted the virus somewhere other than the hospital, said Senior Public Affairs Officer Terri Ogan.

“Based on hospital data, our broad implementation of CDC-guided infection control procedures throughout the hospital, and the extent of community spread now ongoing in Massachusetts, it’s believed that the vast majority of these individuals did not contract the virus at work,” Ogan said in an email.
8:46 p.m. ET, March 25, 2020

US hotels were mostly empty last week, new data shows

From CNN's Aaron Cooper

New data shows nearly 70% of the hotel rooms in the United States were vacant last week, according to data and analytics group STR. 

That national occupancy rate is a 56% decline from the same week last year. The average occupied room cost is about $93, also down from last year. 

The San Francisco area and New York recorded the worst declines, with less than 17% of hotel rooms in both cities occupied, according to STR. That represents an 80% decrease from this time last year.

Many hotels across the country have closed entirely. One example, The Boston Harbor Hotel, a luxury property in downtown Boston, closed last Saturday, according to its website, and hopes to reopen May 18.