US coronavirus death toll surpasses 100; Kevin Durant tests positive

There are more than 6,300 confirmed cases in the United States.

March 17, 2020, 11:06 PM

States are shutting down restaurants, bars, gyms and schools to try to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has now killed at least 110 people in the United States.

There are at least 6,300 confirmed cases in the U.S, with COVID-19 reaching all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Globally, there are more than 197,490 coronavirus cases and more than 7,940 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Today's biggest developments:

  • Italy's COVID-19 death toll reaches 2,500
  • White House looking to send cash directly to Americans
  • US death toll surpasses 100
  • Law enforcement scales back across US
  • New Jersey unemployment system crashes
  • A souvenir seller waits for business in Dublin, March 17, 2020. The St Patrick's Day parades across Ireland were cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
    Peter Morrison/AP

    Here's how the news is unfolding today. All times Eastern. Please refresh for updates.

    10:15 p.m.: Major automakers agree to "rotating partial shutdown"

    During a meeting with Ford, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler, the United Auto Workers union said the Big 3 carmakers agreed to "review and implement rotating partial shutdown of facilities" amid workers' concerns about spreading coronavirus.

    The automakers also agreed to extensive deep cleaning of facilities and equipment between shifts, as well as extended periods between shifts, according to UAW.

    UAW said it had "strongly requested" that the three companies cease production entirely for two weeks "to safeguard our members," but those requests were denied.

    9:20 p.m.: California says schools likely won't reopen until fall

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom told parents that they should prepare for the possibility that schools will not reopen before the summer break.

    "Plan and assume that few, if any, schools will open before the summer break," Newsom said Tuesday evening, calling it "unlikely" many would reopen before the next school year.

    Newsom said currently 98.8% of schools in the state were closed, and said the small, rural schools that remain open would also shutter.

    Shelter in place orders are already in effect in some California counties and Newsom projected that more counties would likely adopt similar strategies within the next few days. There are currently 472 cases of coronavirus in the state.

    In this March 12, 2020 file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters about the state's response to the coronavirus during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.
    Rich Pedroncelli/AP, File

    8 p.m.: Sen. Gardner to self-quarantine following contact with resident

    Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., announced that he would self-quarantine after coming in contact with a Colorado resident who was visiting Washington, D.C., and later tested positive for coronavirus.

    "While I am not showing any symptoms at this time, I have made the decision to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution with an effective date of March 11th at the recommendation of the Tri-County Health Department," Gardner said in a statement Tuesday.

    At least 10 members of Congress, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., have also announced plans to self-quarantine amid the ongoing pandemic.

    None have tested positive for the disease.

    7:30 p.m.: Kansas to close schools for duration of 2019-2020 semester

    Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ordered the closure of all K-12 schools through the end of the school year, citing "unprecedented circumstances."

    "The reality of this pandemic is that it cannot be controlled statewide if school buildings return to normal operations," Kelly said at a press conference Tuesday.

    So far, at least 17 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Kansas, with one fatality.

    Schools will use remote learning, though the specifics have not yet been worked out, she said.

    6:40 p.m.: New Jersey shuttering indoor shopping malls, amusement parks

    In a state known for its shopping malls, coronavirus will shut them down as of 8 p.m.

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued the order for all indoor shopping malls and amusement parks to close tonight until further notice.

    In Hoboken, one of the nation's most densely packed cities, the mayor has imposed a form of a citywide self-isolation, instructing people to only leave home when absolutely necessary.

    "What we do now could have lasting consequences for generations to come," Mayor Ravinder Bhalla said Tuesday.

    6:15 p.m.: Coronavirus death toll surpasses 100 in US

    Five more deaths in Washington state and two in Colorado has pushed the national death toll to at least 107.

    The Weld County, Colorado, Health Department identified one of the victims as a male in his 70s and warned that people over the age of 60 and those with chronic illnesses were at "higher risk for severe illness and death."

    "Protecting our high-risk populations from COVID-19 is imperative," Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, said in a statement. "We are strongly suggesting people practice social distancing in order to prevent future COVID-19 deaths and protect our workforce. Every single reduction in the number of contacts you have per day will have a significant impact on the virus's spread."

    In Washington, where 53 people have now died, three deaths were announced in King County and two in Snohomish County.

    5:30 p.m.: Kevin Durant tests positive

    Basketball star Kevin Durant was among four Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive on Tuesday.

    Durant told The Athletic that he was feeling fine and urged the public to "be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine."

    All four players are isolated, the team said.

    4:46 p.m.: 'Confinement' orders to go into effect in Belgium

    Residents of Belgium are expected to follow confinement orders beginning at noon Wednesday, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said.

    All gatherings are forbidden. Citizens must stay home except to go to work, the bank, the grocery store, the pharmacy, doctors' appointments or to help others, Wilmes said.

    Travel outside of Belgium is also forbidden unless it's considered essential, Wilmes said.

    A man walks across a Midtown Manhattan street, March 17, 2020 in New York.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    4:10 p.m.: 4 Brooklyn Nets players test positive

    Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for coronavirus and only one of the four is showing symptoms, according to a statement from the NBA team.

    All four players are isolated, the team said.

    Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell, who has tested positive for COVID-19, told "Good Morning America" Monday, "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."

    "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," he said.

    At least three other players, including Mitchell, Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert and Detroit Pistons player Christian Wood, have tested positive.

    4:03 p.m.: NYC mayor proposes shelter-in-place, state says no

    In New York City -- where there are 814 confirmed COVID-19 cases -- a shelter-in-place order has not been ruled out as an option, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

    A man crosses a 7 Avenue in a nearly empty Times Square in New York City, March 14, 2020.
    Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    De Blasio said there would be "leeway" for going to the grocery store and the pharmacy. But he noted, "We would have to create that from scratch."

    But Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor of New York, shot the idea down, saying in a statement, "Any blanket quarantine or shelter in place policy would require State action and as the Governor has said, there is no consideration of that for any locality at this time.”

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated the point when he called into local news station NY1 and said, "There's not going to be any quarantine. ... There's not going to be any 'you-have-to-stay-in-your-house' rule."

    A man walks across a Midtown Manhattan street, March 17, 2020 in New York.
    Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    3:50 p.m.: New Jersey unemployment system crashes

    In New Jersey, where restaurants and bars are shut down, so many people applied for unemployment Monday that the state system crashed, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

    "Workers whose place of employment has closed or whose hours have been cut as a result of this emergency are in all likelihood eligible to receive either full or partial unemployment insurance benefits," Murphy said, "for however long they will be out of work or working fewer hours."

    2:40 p.m.: Florida closes all bars, limits beach access

    All bars and nightclubs in Florida will close for the next 30 days, but unlike other states, Florida will keep restaurants open.

    Florida restaurants must limit access to 50% capacity and stagger seating to keep customers at least 6 feet apart, according to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    The governor is directing residents to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance by limiting their gatherings to no more than 10 persons.

    1:30 p.m.: Italy's death toll reaches 2,500

    At least 345 Italians have died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 2,503, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency.

    Italy has the second-highest number of fatalities from coronavirus, following China.

    Italy has been on lockdown now with a total of 31,506 confirmed cases.

    A view of the empty Piazza del Popolo square during the emergency blockade of Coronavirus in Rome, March 17, 2020. Italy now has more than 27,000 covid-19 cases, 2,158 are dead and 2,749 are recovered.
    Angelo Carconi/EPA via Shutterstock

    12:25 p.m.: White House looking to send cash directly to Americans

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is looking at sending checks directly to American households that are hurting – possibly within the next two weeks.

    "The president has instructed me, we have to do this now. This is now," Mnuchin said at a White House briefing Tuesday.

    Mncuhin also said there's every intention to keep the markets open, though he floated the possibility of shortening market operating hours if that was deemed necessary.

    "Americans should know that we are going to do everything to make sure that they have access to money to their banks, to the money in their 401k, and to the money in stocks,” he said.

    "After Sept. 11, the only reason why the markets were [closed] was because the technology was disrupted," he said, explaining there are no such problems in this moment of crisis.

    Carmine's Ybor restaurant is closed early due to the coronavirus pandemic keeping patrons away in the Ybor City neighborhood in Tampa, Fla., March 16, 2020.
    Octavio Jones/AP, FILE

    President Donald Trump wouldn't get into too many details about a possible stimulus plan but emphasized that the government is "going big."

    Referring to the virus as an "invisible enemy," the president expressed resolve to prop up the economy as needed.

    “We don’t want airlines going out of business, we don’t want people losing their jobs and not having money to live when they were doing well four weeks ago,” Trump said.

    12:01 p.m.: Law enforcement scales back across US

    Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are curtailing low-level operations in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

    PHOTO: New York State Police Troopers are fitted for N95 protective masks at a New York State emergency operations incident command center during the coronavirus outbreak in New Rochelle, N.Y.,  March 17, 2020.
    New York State Police Troopers are fitted for N95 protective masks at a New York State emergency operations incident command center during the coronavirus outbreak in New Rochelle, N.Y., March 17, 2020.
    Mike Segar/Reuters

    Some agencies are limiting police runs to only violent or serious incidents and are opting to handle other reports via citations, phone calls or online reports. The measures are designed to cut back on person-to-person contact, like the number of people going through police stations and jails.

    In Chicago, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told ABC News "that certain crimes can be handled via citation and misdemeanor summons as opposed to physical arrest."

    In Tulsa, Oklahoma, police told residents that if they "need to make a police report and there is no suspect present, please consider using our online reporting system."

    In Brooklyn, New York, prosecutors said they'll "immediately decline to prosecute low-level offenses that don’t jeopardize public safety.”

    11:17 a.m.: 8th TSA officer tests positive

    A TSA officer at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19.

    The officer's last work day was March 17, the agency said.

    This marks the 8th TSA officer to test positive for COVID-19. The other cases are in California, Florida and Georgia.

    With the coronavirus outbreak, the TSA has screened 5 million fewer people in the first two weeks of March 2020 compared to 2019.

    The airline industry has "ground to a halt," Mnuchin said Tuesday, calling coronavirus "worse than 9/11" for airlines.

    Passengers wear protective suits, amid the outbreak of coronavirus, at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, China March 17, 2020.
    Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    Spending on travel in the U.S. is expected to fall by $355 billion for the year, which is six times the impact of Sept. 11, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the U.S. Travel Association.

    10:55 a.m.: New York governor preaches kindness in time of 'chaos'

    In New York state -- home to 19.5 million people -- all schools are closed for two weeks.

    Restaurants in the state are restricted to only takeout and delivery. Bars and gyms are also shuttered, and more closings statewide could help continue to flatten the curve, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

    Twelve people have died in New York state. The state has 1,374 cases of coronavirus.

    A man walks through a nearly empty Times Square - 42nd St. subway station during the morning rush in New York City, March 16, 2020.
    Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Cuomo said he's worried the rising number of cases will crash the health care system, noting the 19% hospitalization rate among those infected.

    "We have to get down that rate of spread," he said. "We cannot accommodate the numbers that demand on the hospital system."

    Cuomo said the state is working to create more space in hospitals and temporarily build other facilities to house the sick.

    The governor then got personal, opening up at his news conference about how difficult it is to not see and hug his own daughter during this time of "chaos."

    "It is a hard time on every level," he said. "It is a frightening time on every level."

    Subway passengers space out their seating during a during rush hour on a subway, March 17, 2020 in New York City. The subway is normally crowded but many people are staying home out of concern for the spread of coronavirus.
    Mark Lennihan/AP

    He urged New Yorkers to "be a little bit more loving, a little bit more compassionate, a little bit more comforting, a little bit more cooperative. And we will get through this time."

    "We will lose people, yes. Like we lose people every year with the flu," Cuomo said. "We're gonna be challenged and tested."

    Cuomo also stressed that the federal government needs to do more. "We cannot do this on our own," he said.

    9:34 a.m.: San Francisco Bay Area residents shelter in place

    Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area are moving forward with isolation procedures, ordering residents to shelter in place for non-essential activities.

    Two pedestrians cross an empty street, on March 16, 2020 in San Francisco.
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
    An empty tapioca milk tea store is seen on Irving Street prior to the citywide shelter in place order, amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in San Francisco.
    Stephen Lam/Reuters

    At least 11 people have died from coronavirus in California.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom is closing all dine-in restaurants, health clubs and gyms in the Golden State. Newsom also told residents they should stop gathering in groups entirely for the foreseeable future.

    8:10 a.m.: Millennials must protect older generations, says Dr. Birx

    White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stressed that "the army of millennials" must be taking "every single precaution to protect their parents and grandparents."

    Empty chairs are seen at the deck of a local restaurant that is closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hoboken, N.J., March 16, 2020.
    Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    "If you look at every large city across America at the census bar graph, you'll see that in every single case the largest numbers, about 22% in many cities, are millennials," Birx said Tuesday in an interview with "Good Morning America."

    She went on, "The millennials are incredibly good about getting information out in a clear way, but more importantly, they are incredibly good about understanding how to protect one another, how to protect their parents and how to protect their grandparents. Right now we need the army of millennials out there doing everything that they can to protect themselves from getting infected because we know a lot of their cases will be mild or asymptomatic, and making sure that they're doing every single precaution to protect their parents and grandparents."

    Hand sanitizer is seen inside Darrell's Diner amidst coronavirus-related event cancellations in The Villages, Fla., ahead of the upcoming Democratic primary, March 14, 2020.
    Yana Paskova/Reuters

    Dr. Birx also compared the new pandemic to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

    "We know a lot more than we knew in the early days of HIV," she said. "It was really inspiring to me to watch people who were sick themselves going to the street not because it was going to help them but because it would help the group coming behind them. They were already too ill. I guess that's what I'm asking every American to do now, to do whatever they can to help the Americans ahead of them, to make sure they don't get infected."

    6:16 a.m.: Iran's coronavirus death toll climbs to 988

    Iran says COVID-19 has killed 135 more people, a 13% spike that has raised the death toll to 988. Iran has over 16,000 total coronavirus cases.

    What to know about coronavirus:

    6:04 a.m.: France goes into lockdown

    French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the borders at the entrance to the EU and the Schengen area are closed beginning Tuesday at noon.

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

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

    "Outdoor gatherings, family or friendly gatherings will no longer be allowed, meeting friends in the park, family, in the street will not be possible" he added in his address to the nation, advising French people to "read," "find a sense of the essential" and "the meaning of things."

    Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said all pedestrians, commuters, passengers and drivers must be able to justify their trips with a downloadable document that includes a reason.

    "Stay at home," Castaner said. "These are confinement measures along the lines of our Italian and Spanish neighbors."

    The penalty for infraction to these rules will be a 38 euro ($42 U.S.) fine, which will be quickly raised to 135 euros.

    Exceptions are made for when trips are essential, such as seeking health care or helping a dependent relative. Other exceptions include exercising or walking one's dog.

    5:00 a.m.: Russia mobilizes to shield economy from impact of coronavirus

    With a total of 93 recorded cases so far, Russia’s government is moving to prepare a broad spectrum of measures to try to shield the country’s economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

    In addition to a $4 billion support fund, the state will also increase state guarantees for some companies by enlarging the list of firms deemed strategically important. It is looking at delaying tax payments, as well as penalties for businesses, as well as short-term loans. The Russian rouble currency has strengthened in response to some of the announcements.

    Russia’s foreign ministry has also called on the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran that it says are preventing it from combating the coronavirus outbreak effectively.

    Iran has recently said it is suffering from a shortage of key medical equipment and medicines needed due to the sanctions imposed as part of the U.S.' "maximum pressure" campaign.

    Russia’s foreign ministry has accused the U.S. of putting millions of Iranians at risk and called on it to lift them immediately and end its "inhuman policy."

    ABC News' Brian Hartman, Mike Levine, Aaron Katersky, Josh Margolin, Jordyn Phelps, Mina Kaji and Will Gretsky contributed to this report.==

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