March 28 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Brett McKeehan, Veronica Rocha, Amy Woodyatt and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 3:33 p.m. ET, March 29, 2020
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3:53 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

There are at least 111,980 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

A doctor from SOMOS Community Care prepares to test a patient at a drive-through testing center at Lehman College in New York City on March 28.
A doctor from SOMOS Community Care prepares to test a patient at a drive-through testing center at Lehman College in New York City on March 28. John Moore/Getty Images

There are at least 111,980 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 its public health systems,

Rhode Island reported its first deaths, only three states remain that haven’t recorded a coronavirus death, Hawaii, West Virginia and Wyoming.

So far, 1,858 people have died in total in the US from coronavirus. 

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

For the most up-to-date US numbers compiled by CNN, please check this map which automatically refreshes every 10 minutes.

3:49 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Pence spoke with Michigan's governor on Saturday

From CNN’s Jeremy Diamond

In another sign of how Vice President Mike Pence is managing relationships with certain Democratic governors differently than President Trump, Pence spoke with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday morning, per a tweet from her account.

Whitmer, whom Trump has criticized for being insufficiently "appreciative" and "way in over her head" in recent days, posted on Twitter that she had a "good call with @VP this morning " and that the state of Michigan had just received a delivery of 112,000 additional N95 respirators.

Some context: Trump on Friday said he had advised Pence not to call Whitmer or other governors who have been critical of the federal response.

"I tell him — I mean, I'm a different type of person — I say, 'Mike, don't call the governor of Washington. You're wasting your time with him. Don't call the woman in Michigan,'" Trump said during a Friday news conference.

"You know what I say? If they don't treat you right, I don't call," Trump said, before noting that Pence is "a different type of person" and will "call quietly anyway."

CNN reached out to Pence’s office for comment.


4:06 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Ohio governor asks manufacturers to help produce personal protection equipment

From CNN's Liz Turrell

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in February.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in February. Tony Dejak/AP

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has asked for any manufacturers who can help produce critically needed personal protection equipment for the state’s health care workers to contact his office.

DeWine said “it should be a no secret to anyone that we have a real, real shortage” of these health care items.

"If you are a manufacturer and you can make any of this stuff, we need to hear from you right away.” DeWine said during a press conference Saturday. "We received our share from the national strategic stockpile. But just like every other state, it was simply not enough.”

DeWine outlined the top 10 items the state needs:

  • Surgical gowns
  • Face surgical masks
  • Gloves (nitrile vinyl, or butyl)
  • N95 particulate respirators
  • Isolation gowns
  • Face shields
  • Thermometers
  • Foot coverings
  • Tyvek coveralls
  • Ventilator tubing

2:34 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Trump sends off Navy hospital ship bound for New York City

From CNN’s Jason Hoffman

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump delivered remarks in front of the USNS Comfort before it departed for New York on Saturday.

Trump expressed his gratitude to “the dedicated service members who will soon be on the front lines of this fight.”

“This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York,” Trump said.

Trump said the ship was supposed to be undergoing maintenance for four weeks, but was finished and ready to sail in four days.

Trump said that the USNS Comfort would not treat patients with coronavirus but rather provide surge capacity for those with other urgent care needs.

“Their mission will be to care for New Yorker’s who do not have the virus but who require urgent care. In other words, they'll be using this, people will be coming out of hospitals who don't have the virus and they'll be on this ship where they have great operating rooms and great facilities and the places in-bound, on land will be where people that have the virus will be,” Trump said.

The President added that the ship is scheduled to arrive in New York on Monday and begin treating patients on Tuesday.

Details of the ship: Trump touted the capabilities of the USNS Comfort and outlined what is onboard the ship.

“It is fully loaded with 12 operating rooms and they are fully equipped. 1,000 hospital beds, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, digital radiology, a cat scan, two oxygen producing plants, and a helicopter deck which will be used very actively,” Trump said.

2:32 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Trump gives update on how many supplies FEMA has distributed

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

President Trump shared updated figures on how many medical supplies the Federal Emergency Management Agency has distributed to states during the coronavirus outbreak.

The figures were shared during his remarks before the USNS Comfort hospital ship departed Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday. The ship is headed to New York City.

“FEMA has shipped or delivered 11.6 million N95 respirators, 36 million surgical masks, 5.2 million face shields...We have millions and millions of new medical items being made as we speak and purchased. 4.3 million surgical gowns, 22 million gloves and 8,100 ventilators," Trump said.
2:19 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Trump says he'll make decision “very shortly” on possible quarantines for New York, surrounding area

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

During a ceremony to see off the Naval hospital ship USNS Comfort from Norfolk, Virginia, President Donald Trump reiterated he will make a decision “very quickly, very shortly” on whether to place a quarantine on parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to help battle coronavirus.

In his various comments Saturday on the possibility of quarantines, Trump has not detailed exactly which areas would be covered. 

The President did say in a tweet that he is considering putting a quarantine on “hot spots” in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; seeming to indicate it would be the portions of the states seeing the largest outbreaks. 

In his speech in Norfolk, Trump said that “this does not apply to people such as truckers from outside the New York area who are making deliveries or simply transiting through. It won't affect trade in any way.”

2:11 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

France orders 1 billion face masks from China

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad in London and Fanny Bobille in Paris

France has ordered 1 billion face masks from China, French Health Minister Olivier Véran confirmed in a press conference on Saturday.

Speaking alongside Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, Véran said the country could produce 8 million face masks a week but consumed 40 million each week.

A week ago: Olivier Véran said France had ordered over 250 million masks amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

2:08 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

New York City hospital develops way to use one ventilator to support two patients

From CNN's Paula Newton

Ben Hider/Getty Images
Ben Hider/Getty Images

New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center physicians have developed and implemented a strategy to enable a single mechanical ventilator to fully support two patients simultaneously in carefully selected patients under the right conditions, according to a statement from a spokesperson.

"The rigorous, detailed protocol for this strategy has been shared with other hospital systems, the state of New York, and our hospital associations. The aim of developing and openly sharing this information is to help hospitals address a critical shortage of these life-saving machines by increasing the number of patients who can be supported with existing supply," a statement from the medical center said.
1:46 p.m. ET, March 28, 2020

Rhode Island governor confirms first coronavirus-related deaths, issues stay-at-home order

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the state's first two coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday in a press conference.

"These were the first two deaths and will certainly not be the last two," Raimondo said at the press conference. "I will say that this is, for me and for all of us, a reminder of the stakes that we face."

The governor also issued a stay-at-home order state-wide on Saturday.

Raimondo's decision comes after she announced that only 50% of residents are complying to social distancing restrictions already in place. The governor said that half of the state’s population is gathering in parks, hosting and attending house parties and not complying to social distancing in grocery stores.

"I've said it last week, I'm going to say it again, knock it off. You're risking the lives of everyone in this state," warned Raimondo.

Raimondo also said that the state now has a total of 239 coronavirus cases, a 39 case increase from Friday.