ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

Coronavirus shuts down major cities, Trump asks Americans to avoid groups over 10 people

A nationwide quarantine is not being considered "at this point."

Major cities are shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools to try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed at least 85 people in the United States.

There are at least 4,661 confirmed cases in the country. COVID-19 has reached 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Globally, there are more than 181,580 coronavirus cases and more than 7,130 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Monday's biggest developments:

  • Trump asks Americans to avoid restaurants, groups more than 10
  • Residents must shelter in place in Northern California
  • Italy's death toll climbs over 2,000
  • Canada bans foreigners from entry
  • Here's how the news unfolded Monday. All times Eastern.

    10:30 p.m.: Colorado is latest state to close bars, eliminate dining in

    Colorado joined the list of states that are closing food and entertainment businesses as U.S. public life grinds to a halt.

    Health officials in Colorado announced they are closing bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and casinos effective at 8 a.m. Tuesday for 30 days.

    "We understand the gravity of this public health order, and the disruption it will cause,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a statement Monday. "But we are weighing this disruption against the need to save lives. Based on the experience of other countries, the state of Washington, and modeling data, the sooner we begin social distancing measures on a large enough scale, the more quickly we can slow transmission of the virus, which translates into less people requiring hospitalization at the same time and more lives saved."

    Major cities including Washington, D.C., and Houston rolled out similar restrictions earlier Monday. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also announced that they would abide by the same rules for closures.

    The three states agreed to close gyms, movie theaters and casinos as of 8 p.m. Monday, with all restaurants and bars restricted to takeout and delivery only.

    7:30 p.m.: Thousands of McDonald's expected to close dining areas

    McDonald's officials said they plan to close the dining rooms in all company-owned U.S. locations at the close of business on Monday, and they have asked local franchise owners to do the same.

    "To align with increasing regulations throughout the country, effective at the close of business today, McDonald’s USA company-owned restaurants will close seating areas, including the use of self-service beverage bars and kiosks, and shift our focus to serving customers through Drive-Thru, walk-in take-out and McDelivery,'' the company said in a statement Monday night.

    The fast-food giant will also close all of its play places after Monday.

    McDonald’s, which owns about 5 percent of its nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants, said franchise owners are "strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures."

    "Franchisees are strongly encouraged to adopt similar operations procedures while keeping the needs of their people and communities at the center of their decisions," the statement said. "This guidance is supported by franchisee leadership and is expected to be adopted by the majority of franchisees."

    Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell are among the chains that are also reducing or eliminating on-site dining during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    6:15 p.m.: Justice Department cracking down on COVID-19 scams

    The attorney general is directing states to prioritize the prosecution of scammers, fraudsters and cybercriminals looking to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.

    "The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated," U.S. Attorney General William Barr wrote in a memo sent to U.S. attorneys offices around the country Monday evening. "Every U.S. attorney's office is thus hereby directed to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all criminal conduct related to the current pandemic."

    The memo also asks U.S. attorneys to work with the chief judges in their districts "to ensure that every appropriate precaution is taken to protect the health of those who practice in or are called before our courts."

    "It is vital that we work together to safeguard our justice system and thus the safety and security of our nation," Barr said.

    4:59 p.m.: Major shutdowns in DC, LA, Maryland, Washington state

    More states are forcing their establishments to close their doors Monday.

    In Washington, D.C., where there are 17 coronavirus cases, all gyms and theaters are closing as of 10 p.m. Monday.

    Bars and restaurants will remain open for carry-out or delivery only.

    Maryland shut down all bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms beginning at 5 p.m. Monday, the governor said. Drive through, carryout and delivery food services will still be allowed.

    "It’s impossible to know how long the threat will continue," Gov. Larry Hogan said. “We can’t afford to wait to take action.”

    Washington state is also shuttering its entertainment venues and recreational facilities, as well as limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out. The ban does not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies.

    Washington state has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus with at least 42 fatalities.

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also took action. The nation's second largest city is closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.

    Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.

    Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said.

    The announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.

    At least one person has died in Los Angeles County.

    4:12 p.m.: Restrictions in France, Canada, UK, Australia

    French President Emmanuel Macron announced that "the borders at the entrance to the EU and the Schengen area will be closed" starting Tuesday at noon.

    "We are at war," Macron repeated in his televised address Monday.

    All trips between non-European and European countries will be suspended for 30 days, but French nationals will be allowed to return to France.

    Canada is barring foreigners and non-residents from entry, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

    He said exemptions will be made for diplomats, air crews, some family members and for now, American citizens.

    Starting Thursday only four airports in Canada will accept international flights: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

    Trudeau is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for coronavirus.

    United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday asked the entire U.K. population to voluntarily avoid unnecessary travel, social contact, bars, restaurants and theaters.

    Those over 70 years old and with underlying conditions are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, so Johnson is asking them to self-isolate at home from the end of this week for a period of 12 weeks.

    Johnson said if one family member contracts coronavirus, the whole family should self-isolate for 14 days.

    Meanwhile, the Australian government is requiring citizens and foreign nationals to self-quarantine for 14-days upon entry.

    4:02 p.m.: Residents must shelter in place in Northern California

    All residents are being ordered to shelter at home in six counties in the San Francisco area.

    Travel must be limited to only essential needs for three weeks beginning March 17 in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

    "Temporarily changing our routine is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this pandemic," Santa Clara County public health officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. "The Health Officers from the largest jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area are united and we are taking this step together to offer the best protection to our respective communities."

    "It is not complete social shutdown,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, added in the statement. “You can still complete your most essential outings or even engage in outdoor activity, so long as you avoid close contact.”

    3:43 p.m.: Trump asks Americans to avoid restaurants, groups more than 10

    President Donald Trump on Monday urged all Americans to avoid restaurants, bars, discretionary travel and groups of more than 10 people.

    His administration released a list of guidelines Monday that included staying home and away from others if you are older or have a serious underlying health condition that could put you at increased risk.

    A nationwide quarantine is not being considered "at this point," Trump said at a briefing at the White House Monday.

    3:20 p.m.: Suspicious cyberactivity targets Department of Health and Human Services

    The Department of Health and Human Services experienced suspicious cyberactivity Sunday night related to its coronavirus response, administration sources confirmed to ABC News Monday.

    The suspicious activity HHS was not a hack but it may have been a distributed denial of service -- or DDOS -- attack, according to multiple sources.

    The distinction is important because there was no apparent breach of the HHS system, which could interfere with critical functions of the lead agency responding to the coronavirus contagion. The DDOS effort apparently had automated users -- called bots -- trying to overwhelm the public-facing HHS system in order to slow it down or even paralyze it.

    Officials believe any coordinated effort -- if there was one -- was not particularly successful and are satisfied that the system was not significantly affected.

    HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said in a statement: "HHS has an IT infrastructure with risk-based security controls continuously monitored in order to detect and address cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. On Sunday, we became aware of a significant increase in activity on HHS cyber infrastructure and are fully operational as we actively investigate the matter."

    "Early on while preparing and responding to COVID-19, HHS put extra protections in place," Oakley added.

    2:25 p.m. MLB pushes back season

    Major League Baseball is pushing back the start of the season until at least mid-May due to the CDC restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

    1:30 p.m.: Italy's death toll passes 2,000

    In the last 24 hours, 349 people have died from COVID-19 in Italy, bringing the country's total number of fatalities to 2,158, according to the country's Civil Protection Agency.

    Italy has recorded the highest number of deaths from coronavirus following China.

    Italy has a total of 27,980 confirmed in-country coronavirus cases.

    Residents of Italy remain under a mandated lockdown.

    Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with resources from the full ABC News team.

    12:24 p.m. SAT is canceled

    The College Board has canceled the May 2, 2020, SAT due to the pandemic.

    The June 6, 2020, SAT exam has not been canceled as of Monday. The College Board said it "will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as our top priority."

    11:17 a.m.: Supreme Court postpones March arguments

    The U.S. Supreme Court has taken the extraordinary step of postponing oral arguments for more than a dozen cases, including three involving subpoenas for President Donald Trump's financial records, citing "public health precautions" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The delay of cases is believed to be the most significant disruption to the court's business since the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic when several arguments were postponed for roughly a month, according to court records.

    The justices, many of whom are among the most at-risk for COVID-19 given their age and underlying health conditions, remain in good health and continue to work on court business from home or their private chambers, court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told ABC News.

    10:45 a.m.: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey issue joint closures

    The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said Monday they will abide by the same rules for closures.

    Gyms and movie theaters in the region will close as of 8 pm. Monday.

    Restaurants and bars are closing for eat-in services and will only be available for takeout and delivery services.

    Following the CDC guidelines, the three states will prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more.

    Supermarkets, medical offices and other essential services are able to remain open beyond 8 p.m. but must adhere to social distancing policies.

    The three governors said they believed this is the first region in the country to announce joint closure policies. The governors, all Democrats, said they were forced to act because of a lack of coordination from the federal government.

    The "federal government has to get more engaged," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told "Good Morning America" Monday.

    "There's been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn't work," he said. "It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else."

    Cuomo said the U.S. has "been behind this disease from day one. We saw the disease developing in China back in November. We weren't ready for it, and we've been playing catchup ever since."

    "The wave is going to break on the hospital system," he warned. "We don't have the capacity to build more hospitals quickly. The only way would be if the Army Corps of Engineers came in, worked with the states to retrofit existing buildings."

    Cuomo announced Monday that all schools in New York state will close beginning Wednesday.

    All non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is “strongly discouraged” from 8 p.m to 5 a.m., Gov. Phil Murphy added Monday.

    10:01 a.m.: Egypt stopping all flights

    Egypt is halting all domestic and international flights beginning Thursday, a government spokesman told ABC News.

    The announcement was made now to give tourists time to leave the country, cabinet spokesman Hany Younes said.

    "They are free to stay for as long as they want, but there will be no flights until March 31," Younes said.

    9:45 a.m.: Trading temporarily halted as markets plummet despite Fed intervention

    Trading on Wall Street was temporarily halted after markets plunged early Monday as the outbreak continues to upend business and travel across the world.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 2,250 points or 9.7% just after trading began. The S&P 500 fell more than 8%, triggering a "circuit-breaker" halt of 15 minutes.

    The major sell-off comes even after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement on Sunday that it's slashing interest rates to near zero and spending $700 billion to buy Treasury and mortgage bonds to help buoy the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

    9:31 a.m.: Peace Corps evacuating all volunteers

    The Peace Corps is suspending all activities around the world, evacuating its volunteers from dozens of countries, the organization announced Sunday night

    8:18 a.m.: NBA star on the 'scariest part about this virus'

    Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell, one of several NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19, has no symptoms, he told "Good Morning America" Monday.

    "If you were to tell me I could play in a seven-game series tomorrow, I would be ready to lace up," he said. "I'm blessed that's the case."

    Mitchell spoke to "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts via video Monday as he self isolates.

    "I don't have any symptoms -- I could walk down the street. If it wasn't public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn't know it," Mitchell said. "I think that's the scariest part about this virus -- you may seem fine, be fine, and you never know who you may be talking to, who they're going home to."

    What to know about Coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • 7:10 a.m.: China relaxes travel restrictions in Hubei

    China is relaxing travel restrictions in the hardest-hit virus province of Hubei and sending thousands of workers back to jobs at factories desperate to get production going again.

    The move comes as Chinese officials say the outbreak that spread from Wuhan starting in December has mostly run its course domestically, while they remain vigilant against imported cases.

    5:30 a.m.: First shipment of masks, test kits en route to US from Shanghai

    Chinese business magnate Jack Ma tweeted that a huge shipment of masks and coronavirus testing kits is now en route to the United States from Shanghai.

    3:53 a.m.: Australian journalist who met with Rita Wilson has virus

    An Australian television journalist said Monday he has the new coronavirus and assumes he contracted it while meeting with actress-singer Rita Wilson in Sydney.

    Nine Network entertainment editor Richard Wilkins, 65, said he was tested because he met Wilson at the Sydney Opera House on March 7 and again at Nine's Sydney studio on March 9. The result came back positive on Sunday.

    "I'm surprisingly very well," Wilkins told Nine by Facetime from his Sydney home, where he has self-isolated since Wilson's diagnosis.

    You could've knocked me over with a feather last night when I got that call. It took me a couple of minutes to reel from the news that they gave me. But I feel fine. I feel 100%," Wilkins added. "We're assuming this is from Rita. It may not be. They've all said it could be anyone, anywhere, any time, such is the prevalence of this thing."

    Wilson and her husband Tom Hanks have been isolated in an Australian hospital since they were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 12.

    ABC News' Devin Dwyer, Aaron Katersky, Patrick Reevell, Rebecca Jarvis, Taylor Dunn, John Santucci, Josh Margolin, Katherine Faulders and Will Gretzky contributed to this report.

    This report was featured in the Tuesday, March 17, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

    "Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.