US coronavirus death toll crosses 2,000; Trump won't use enforceable quarantine in NY, NJ

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has reached 650,000.

March 29, 2020, 12:00 AM

The amount of novel coronavirus cases around the world and in the U.S. continues to skyrocket. By Saturday night, the number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases around the world surpassed 664,000.

It was just Thursday that the globe reached 500,000 cases, which was double the number of coronavirus cases from the week before.

The U.S. surpassed 124,000 diagnosed coronavirus cases Saturday, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. There are at least 2,190 deaths in the country.

At least 140,000 people have recovered from the virus during this pandemic.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

Today's biggest developments:

  • Global cases top 650,000
  • US cases cross 100,000; deaths top 2,000
  • Italy deaths reach 10,000
  • Trump will not use enforceable quarantine in NY
  • Here's how the news developed Saturday. All times Eastern.

    11:22 p.m.: Zaandam will pass through Panama Canal

    After initially being restricted from passing through the Panama Canal, the country has changed its tune and the cruise ship MS Zaandam will be allowed through.

    There are more than 130 people on the ship suffering from "flu-like symptoms," as well as two people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and four elderly passengers who have died.

    The MS Rotterdam, owned by Holland America, like the Zaandam, was also waiting to transit the canal.

    "We are aware of reported permission for both Zaandam and Rotterdam to transit the Panama Canal in the near future," Holland American said in a statement at 11 p.m. Eastern time. "We greatly appreciate this consideration in the humanitarian interest of our guests and crew. This remains a dynamic situation, and we continue to work with the Panamanian authorities to finalize details."

    11:02 p.m.: 1st inmate dies in federal prison of COVID-19

    An inmate has died from COVID-19 at FCI Oakdale in Oakdale, Louisiana, two sources told ABC News.

    This is the first known death inside the Bureau of Prisons.

    Patrick Jones, 49, was sentenced to 324 months in prison for or possession of 425 grams of crack cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a junior college, the BOP said in a press release.

    Jones was the first inmate inside the BOP to test positive on March 19. He was placed on a ventilator one day later and he died Saturday.

    Officials said he had preexisting conditions that contributed to his death.

    10:15 p.m.: Knicks, Rangers owner tests positive

    Madison Square Garden Company CEO James Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a spokesperson.

    Dolan, 64, took over as CEO of Cablevision, the powerhouse cable company, from his father, Charles, but is most known in New York City for being owner of the NBA's New York Knicks and NHL's New York Rangers.

    As chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company, he oversees those teams as well as television station MSG Network and owns the world famous Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

    Cablevision was sold in 2016 upon which time he left as CEO.

    9:18 p.m.: Trudeau's wife given all clear

    Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife, has been given a clean bill of health after previously testing positive for coronavirus.

    She said in a Facebook post Saturday night that she was cleared by her doctor and Ottawa Public Health.

    From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out to me with their well wishes. And to everyone who is suffering right now, I send you all my love.

    "These are challenging times," she wrote. "I know it’s not easy to be alone -- we are all social beings, me included! But just because we’re increasing the physical distance between us doesn’t mean we have to do the same emotionally. From social media to a simple phone call, there are so many ways for us to stay connected while we’re apart and actually deepen our relationships."

    Sophie tested positive for the virus March 13. Her husband said he never developed symptoms and continued working.

    8:59 p.m.: Maryland nursing home sees outbreak

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced tonight that a nursing facility in Mt. Airy, Maryland, was hit by an outbreak of COVID-19.

    A total of 66 residents have tested positive at the facility, with 11 currently hospitalized.

    8:26 p.m.: Trump says he won't use enforceable quarantine in tristate

    After threatening it earlier in the day, President Donald Trump now says he will not be using an enforceable quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

    Instead Trump said he has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a strong travel advisory "to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government."

    The CDC later issued its advisory, writing in a release, "Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply."

    The statement also said the governors of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey would have full oversight of implementing the advisory.

    The governors of each of the three states -- all Democrats -- had reacted strongly against the proposed measure.

    "That is not a quarantine, that is a lockdown," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in an interview on CNN, likening the restriction to Wuhan, China. "I don’t believe it would be legal. I believe it would be illegal."

    7:12 p.m.: US death toll surpasses 2,000

    The death toll from novel coronavirus passed 2,000 in the United States on Saturday evening.

    The number has increased dramatically in recent days, with the toll crossing 1,000 just Wednesday.

    There are now more than 30,000 deaths worldwide -- about one-third in Italy.

    5:40 p.m.: Hospitals in New York will allow partner in delivery room

    New York Presbyterian's hospital network will comply with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order requiring one partner be allowed in delivery rooms during childbirth.

    Previously, the hospital network had said no partners would be allowed in the delivery room to combat the pandemic.

    Cuomo's order applies to all hospitals in the state, both public and private.

    Mount Sinai, which instituted a similar obstetrics ban, also will comply with the order.

    Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Cuomo, announced the executive order would be issued on Saturday.

    4:01 p.m.: Infant dies after contracting COVID-19 in Illinois

    An infant was among the 13 new deaths reported in Illinois, the state's Department of Public Health reported.

    "If you haven't been paying attention, this is your wake-up call," Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the state's health agency, said. "We don't want to be one of the hotspots that the Surgeon General predicts Chicago could be.”

    No details around the infant's death were provided.

    Ezike said a full investigation was underway to determine the cause of death.

    “There has never before been a death associated with COVID-19 in an infant.

    The Department of Public Health noted that while older adults are at higher risk of severe illness, and more than 85% of deaths in Illinois are among individuals 60 years of age and older, people of all ages are suffering severe illness.

    There were also an additional 465 new cases in Illinois, where there is a total of 3,491 confirmed cases.

    3:00 p.m.: Global death toll surpasses 30,000

    The global death toll has reached at least 30,249, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

    Italy has the highest number of reported deaths, at more than 10,000, followed by Spain at more than 5,800.

    2:14 p.m.: Trump strikes more assertive tone on GM manufacturing ventilators

    President Donald Trump said he had compelled General Motors to manufacture ventilators, after saying the day before that "maybe we won't even need the full activation," referring to using the Defense Protection Act.

    "This week, I invoked the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to carry out federal contracts for ventilators and I think they're going to do a great job. I have to say that," Trump said in his speech at Norfolk Naval Base.

    The president also said that FEMA has "shipped or delivered" 11.6 million N-95 respirators, 26 million surgical masks and 5.2 million face shields.

    2:08 p.m.: New cases in Italy continue to slow, but deaths top 10,000

    The number of confirmed cases in Italy continue to slow, with 5,933 new cases reported Saturday -- a 6.8% increase in total new cases, down from Friday's 7.3%.

    It was the lowest percentage increase to date in the country. The total number of cases in Italy is now at least 92,472, health officials said.

    PHOTO: Hotel Winter Garden in Grassobbio has become a quarantine location for patients recovering from COVID-19 after discharge from a hospital in Bargamo, Italy, March 25, 2020.
    Hotel Winter Garden in Grassobbio has become a quarantine location for patients recovering from COVID-19 after discharge from a hospital in Bargamo, Italy, March 25, 2020.
    Filippo Venezia/EPA via Shutterstock

    In the province of Bergamo, the hardest-hit province, there was a nearly 50% drop in new reported cases, from Friday's 602 to Saturday's 289.

    However, the number of new deaths in the last 24 hours hit 889, bringing the total death toll to 10,023.

    1:44 p.m.: UN to donate 250,000 masks to NYC

    The United Nations will donate 250,000 protective face masks to New York City, an area now considered the epicenter of the pandemic.

    UN Secretary General António Guterres said the masks would go to medical professionals in the city who have been "working courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs in the hope that they play some small role in saving lives."

    The U.N. and U.S. Mission personnel are working with Mayor Bill de Blasio's office to quickly get the masks to medical facilities in New York City.

    PHOTO: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, addresses media while accepting 250,000 face masks donated to city health workers by the United Nations, to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, at UN Headquarters in New York City, March 28, 2020.
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, addresses media while accepting 250,000 face masks donated to city health workers by the United Nations, to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, at UN Headquarters in New York City, March 28, 2020.
    Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    1:26 p.m.: Pope, others in Vatican tested for coronavirus

    The Vatican press office confirmed Saturday that the Pope has been tested and neither he nor his closest aides have resulted positive.

    12:46 p.m.: Trump considering enforceable quarantine in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

    President Donald Trump said he may announce an enforceable quarantine in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas.

    Trump noted that he "doesn't want to do it, but may have to."

    “There's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short-term two weeks, on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn.

    The president said that he would restrict travel from those areas because "they're having problems down in Florida, a lot of New Yorkers going down, we don't want that." He later said such a quarantine would not apply to truckers from outside of New York who are making deliveries or traveling through the state.

    "It won't affect trade in anyway," Trump said.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo later responded to the possibility, saying he had not spoken to the president about such a measure and did not know what it would mean.

    Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also issued a statement, saying, "Our state has already called on residents to stay at home. Further, if interstate travel is absolutely necessary, our state has directed travelers to self-quarantine to prevent against further transmission of the virus." Lamont said that he looked forward to speaking to the president directly, "because confusion leads to panic."

    PHOTO: President Donald Trump departs the White House, in Washington, for Norfolk, Va., on March 28, 2020, to attend the departure ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Comfort headed to New York.
    President Donald Trump departs the White House, in Washington, for Norfolk, Va., on March 28, 2020, to attend the departure ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Comfort headed to New York.
    Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

    12:30 p.m.: More than 7,600 new cases reported in New York

    There are now 52,318 confirmed cases in New York, after 7,681 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference.

    The deaths in the state were up to 728 from 519.

    Cuomo did say there was a bit of good news: new hospitalizations and new ICU admissions went down in the last 24-hour period. He cautioned that one day does not prove a trend and the situation certainly could go the other way.

    There were 372 people admitted in to an ICU Friday and 172 admitted Saturday. For new hospitalizations, the number Friday was 1,154 and 847 for Saturday.

    “The overall line is still up,” Cuomo said. “This is good news on a one day number.”

    The governor also announced he was postponing the presidential primary in the state from April 28 to June 23, the date of the state's down ballot primary elections.

    12:16 p.m.: Trump approves disaster declaration for Massachusetts, Michigan

    President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Massachusetts and Michigan, ordering federal assistance to the states.

    Federal funding will now be available for crisis counseling for those affected in both states.

    12:09 p.m.: 1st uniformed NYPD death

    A New York Police Department detective has become the department's first uniformed officer to die after contracting coronavirus, police sources told ABC News.

    Detective Cedric Dixon was the officer who died. He was the third member of the department to die after contracting the virus, following a janitor and an administrative aid.

    “We are hurting, we are crying and we continue to fight,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Saturday afternoon.

    Dixon was 48. According to police sources, he had underlying conditions.

    11:46 a.m.: SeaWorld to remain closed

    The SeaWorld theme parks will remain temporarily closed, according to a statement from the company. The park had originally planned to open at the end of March.

    Animal care experts will still be onsite to care for the animals. "During this time, our animal care experts will continue to look after the health and welfare needs of the animals in our care," a statement from SeaWord read.

    "We look forward to welcoming our valued guests back to our parks soon," the statement continued.

    10:01 a.m.: Nearly 200 US cities lack emergency equipment: Report

    Nearly 200 cities in the United States do not have an adequate supply of tests kits or face masks for medical personnel and first responders, including police, fire, and EMTs, according to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

    About 88% of cities of the cities surveyed, or 186 cities, don't have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) other than face masks to protect the front-line workers, according to the report.

    The staggering statistics "illustrates the scope and severity of the need for COVID-19 emergency equipment in this nation's cities," according to a letter from the conference's executive director, Tom Cochran.

    One-hundred and thirty-one states have reported receiving no emergency equipment from their states, while 84% of those who are receiving help say it is not adequate for their needs.

    The report estimates that across the cities surveyed there is a need for 28.5 million face masks, 24.4 million PPE items, 7.9 million test kits, and 139,000 ventilators.

    There were 213 cities in 40 states that participated in the survey.

    "It is abundantly clear that the shortage of essential items such as face masks, test kits, personal protective equipment, ventilators and other items needed by health and safety personnel has reached crisis proportions in cities across the country," Cochran said in his letter.

    PHOTO:Industrial firm's employees manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), like face shields, to supply New York's health care workers and hospitals at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on March 26, 2020, in New York City.
    Industrial firm's employees manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), like face shields, to supply New York's health care workers and hospitals at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visits, on March 26, 2020, in New York City.
    Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

    9:53 a.m.: More than 8,000 new cases, 832 new deaths in Spain

    Spain reported 8,189 new cases of novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours, putting the total number of cases at 72,248, according to the Health Ministry.

    There have now been 5,690 deaths after 832 new deaths occurred. More than 4,500 still remain in intensive care.

    8:55 a.m.: German Aerospace Center to make masks

    The German Aerospace Center will make medical equipment using its 3D printers, according to a statement from the agency.

    The printers were tested and can successfully produce protective masks and valves for respirators, the statement read.

    The German Aerospace Center had been asked by the European Commission to help in producing much needed medical equipment as the world scrambles to combat the pandemic.

    The most powerful printer can produce up to 10 protective masks or 15 valves for ventilators per day, according to the agency. However, it's possible to increase the quantity through networking with other institutes and facilities.

    PHOTO: The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has stated that they have successfully tested the conversion of its 3D printer models to manufacture medical equipment during the coronavirus crisis.
    The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has stated that they have successfully tested the conversion of its 3D printer models to manufacture medical equipment during the coronavirus crisis.
    DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

    6:00 a.m.: Lockdown leads to drop in pollution in Europe

    Air pollution has dropped significantly across Europe as lockdowns have been adopted and residents are told to stay home, according to the European Space Agency.

    Satellite images from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P show the drop in nitrogen dioxide concentrations, which coincides with the quarantine measures, according to the agency.

    The most significant drops were in Milan, Paris and Madrid.

    Scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) have been using data from the satellite to monitor both weather and pollution over Europe. The images show the nitrogen dioxide concentrations from March 14 to March 25, comparing it to the averages from last year.

    "By combining data for a specific period of time, 10 days in this case, the meteorological variability partly averages out and we begin to see the impact of changes due to human activity," Henk Eskes, from KNMI, said in a statement.

    Other countries are also being monitored, including the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Scientists have said that right now there is a larger variability because of changing weather conditions, making it more difficult to observe any changes.

    4:43 a.m.: Rhode Island targeting New York travelers

    A day after announcing all vehicles with New York license plates will be pulled over by state police and travelers informed they must quarantine if they are staying in the state, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that the National Guard would go door-to-door to make sure New Yorkers are following orders.

    "We have a pinpointed a risk that we need to address, and that risk is New York City," Raimondo said Friday during her daily coronavirus media briefing. She said the 14-day quarantine for New York travelers is a law and will be enforced, "it's not a suggestion."

    Members of the National Guard will be stationed at bus and train stops, as well as airports to collect personal information form travelers when they arrive. State police officers are doing the same for vehicles they pull over. With that information, Raimondo said authorities would go hotels, vacation homes and any type of residence to keep track of New York travelers.

    All these measures, she said, are designed to let the state have time to get ready for the spread of COVID-19. If Rhode Island were to have an outbreak right now, she said the state and its healthcare system would be overwhelmed.

    "We are not ready for a surge of cases," Raimondo said.

    New York City currently has at least 26,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with 450 deaths. There are more than 44,000 cases in New York state. As of Friday, only 28 of the 203 diagnosed coronavirus cases in Rhode Island have required hospitalization. The state has no reported COVID-19 deaths.

    What to know about the novel coronavirus:

    ABC News' Aicha El-Hammar Castano, Josh Margolin, Luke Barr, Elizabeth Thomas, Aaron Katersky, Phoebe Natanson, Clark Bentson and Sarah Kolinovsky contributed to this report.

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