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

(NEW YORK) — 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.

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.

1:50 p.m.: Canada bans foreigners from entry

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.

1:45 p.m.: Restrictions in the UK

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.

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.
As the number of coronavirus cases rises, why is Italy being hit so hard?

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

Residents of Italy remain under a mandated lockdown.

12:33 p.m.: Cyberattack on Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) experienced a form of cyberattack Sunday night related to its coronavirus response in an attempt to slow down its operations, administration sources confirmed to ABC News Monday.

The assault targeting HHS was not a hack but 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 the effort was not particularly successful and are satisfied that the system was largely able to repel the intrusion.

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 March 14 exam had been scheduled for March 28, but that is also now canceled.

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.”

11:52 a.m. Major shutdowns in Maryland, Washington, Los Angeles

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

Maryland will 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 will also shutter its entertainment venues and recreational facilities and limit restaurants to delivery and take-out. The ban will 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 is also taking 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.

“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.

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 City to limit all restaurants, states work together

New York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning.

All restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery.

“Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told “Good Morning America” Monday that 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 said the “federal government has to get more engaged.”

“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 then banded together with the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut Monday as they said their states would abide by the same rules for closures.

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

“This is a virus that knows no borders,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The 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.

10:01 a.m.: Egypt halting 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 novel coronavirus 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.

The intervention did not appear to be enough to quell investors’ worries about the economic impacts of the outbreak on businesses. Local governments including in New York and Los Angeles announced over the weekend they were shuttering businesses such as bars and entertainment venues.

9:37 a.m. New York City to limit all restaurants to take-out and delivery

New York City will close all nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues as of Tuesday morning.

Also, all restaurants, bars and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery.

“Our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told ABC News’ Good Morning America Monday that 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 said the “federal government has to get more engaged.”

“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.”

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.

9:22 a.m. Health and Human Services experiences cyber attack

The Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyber attack Sunday night related to it’s coronavirus response, administration sources told ABC News.

The attempt was to slow down operations, according to sources. The nature and origin of the attack is still under investigation.

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.”

7:28 a.m. Stock futures pointing down at least 5%

As it stands, stock futures are pointing down 5%. They’re “limit down” which means that they have hit their limit and can’t go any lower until markets open.

“Limit down” is similar to circuit breakers when the market is open to keep stocks from heading into free fall. Stocks are expected to fall even further as there are exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which mimic the S&P 500 which are down around 9% right now.

The first circuit breaker kicks in if S&P 500 falls 7%.

7:16 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells ABC News that federal assistance and a unified approach is needed to take on coronavirus

“Look, we have 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,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America.

Cuomo continued: “You have to get ahead of this, right? It’s not fighting the last war, it’s fighting the next war. The next war is going to be overwhelming our hospital systems. You look at any of these projections and you see that coming. When you see that chart of the curve, I see it as a wave and the wave is going to break on the hospital system. 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 also railed against what he called the “patchwork quilt” approach has so far allowed to go on.

“This federal government has to get more engaged,” Cuomo said. “There’s been no country that has handled this that has not nationalized it. This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work. It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.”

Said Cuomo: “If I say you can’t go to a bar in New York, you know you’ll go to New Jersey, you’ll go to Connecticut, you’ll go to wherever you can be served. That’s the last thing we want. Set the national standards and let’s live with them. Otherwise, again, you come up with this ad hoc system that’s not going to work.”

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. Jack Ma says first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai

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

The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/LTn26gvlOl

— Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020

The shipment is said to contain 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks. Ma has urged international cooperation to fight the health crisis.

5:13 a.m. Russia closes borders with Belarus

Russia has announced it is closing its border with Belarus, one of its major entry points to Europe, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Goods will still be allowed to cross the border, but the passage of people will no longer be permitted.

Substantial restrictions of flights to Europe from Russia also begin today. All flights to European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland are to be halted, except for those leaving from a single terminal at one of Moscow’s airports and flying to the countries’ capitals. Currently only two of Russia’s borders have no restrictions linked to the virus — Finland and Azerbaijan.

It comes as Russia steps up its measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

4:36 a.m. Roche Diagnostics has received emergency approval for a new coronavirus test it developed

The company received emergency approval late Thursday night from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to send half a million tests to labs across the country from its North America headquarters in Indianapolis.

“For us, it’s been all about how do we make sure the patients who need to test, get the test at the time they need it,” Randy Pritchard, senior vice president of marketing for Roche, said.

In six weeks, the company was able to develop the test when it normally takes about 18 months to identify a virus and submit something to the FDA, Pritchard said.

With the new test, you can have results as fast as three days as opposed to days with some current tests.

3:53 a.m. Australian TV 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.

3:20 a.m. Santa Monica closes pier due to public safety concerns

Santa Monica has issued an executive order to temporarily close the Santa Monica Pier to the public as part of its local emergency proclamation beginning at 6 a.m. on Monday, according to a statement from Santa Monica officials.

“We welcome thousands of guests to our Pier each and every day, so we take this step out of the deepest desire to keep people at home and healthy,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “We love our Pier and the joy it brings to everyone that visits, but in this moment, we must take aggressive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The City team is closely monitoring CDC, State, and County Health Department guidance to determine when and/or how the Pier can be reopened to the public.

“We are in full support of this temporary closure to the public amid this health crisis. Though this will heavily impact the Pier businesses, in this historic moment it is the right thing to do,” said Negin Singh, executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation. “We know that once we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, our Pier will play an important role in serving the public with our great food, attractions, performers and free, world-class events. We all look forward to welcoming you back.”

12:21 a.m. Washington to shut down bars, eliminate in-person dining

Washington state is following the national trend shuttering entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out.

Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night local time announcing that he will sign the statewide proclamation on Monday.

The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, although other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy, the statement said.

“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said.

Washington’s King Country, which includes the county seat of Seattle, has been one of the centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

12:11 a.m. Los Angeles closing bars, clubs and gyms

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will be closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.

Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.

The order extends to libraries, recreation centers and zoos.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said. In addition, the announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.

The executive order, which came an hour after New York City made a similar announcement, puts the United States’ two largest cities under unprecedented restrictions during a national health crisis.

The Los Angeles closures go into effect Sunday at midnight local time.

“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.

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