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Coronavirus live updates: White House wants people to stay home, avoid groups larger than 10

For the next 15 days, the White House is recommending everyone work from home, avoid bars and restaurants, and avoid groups of more than ten people.

Key updates:

  • The Kentucky Derby has been postponed until Labor Day weekend
  • "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" are suspending production temporarily
  • NASCAR postpones more races, says it will try and return in May
  • UFC finally postpones next three events
  • WWE WrestleMania 36 will be produced on closed set
  • Life Time fitness shuttering gym locations across the country amid new coronavirus outbreak
  • McDonalds to close seating and play areas in company-owned restaurants in the U.S.
  • Amazon will hire 100K workers to keep up with increased orders
  • White House tightens guidelines on travel and eating out.
  • The Dow industrials took a 2,997-point nosedive on Monday as fears deepen that the coronavirus outbreak will throw global economy into recession.  
  • The CDC announced its first employee with COVID-19, however that person was not involved with coronavirus response 
  • NBC Universal will make new movie releases available online.
  • Officials in six San Francisco Bay area counties have issued a shelter-in-place mandate affecting nearly 7 million people. 
  • MLB delays season 8 weeks
  • Canada will close its border to non-citizens, but still allow Americans
  • The Supreme Court will be postponing arguments. 
  • A clinical trial for a vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus began Monday, but it will still be at least a year to validate a potential vaccine.

'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' suspending production

"Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" have temporarily suspended production, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Originally the game shows announced plans to keep filming new episodes, just without audiences. 

On Monday, the "Jeopardy!" Twitter account said they're going to pause filming new episodes for now. 

Kentucky Derby postponed 

Sources have confirmed to TEGNA's Louisville station, WHAS11 News, that the 146th runnings of the Kentucky Oaks and Derby will be moved to Labor Day weekend, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The races will take place on Sept. 5, 2020.

RELATED: Sources: Kentucky Derby postponed until September

UFC postpones next 3 events

The UFC has postponed its next three scheduled events through April 11. The mixed martial arts promotion has finally given up on President Dana White's determination to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic. White insists he will hold UFC 249 on April 18, although he doesn't have a venue for it.  

The UFC finally joined nearly every other major worldwide sports organization in postponing its events only after White heard about the White House's recommendation to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

NASCAR has postponed five more races

NASCAR says it will delay five more weekends of races as it tries to do its part to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. NBC sports reports that the hope is races will return to Martinsville Speedway May 8-9. 

NASCAR said Monday, "in accordance with recent CDC guidance, NASCAR is currently postponing all race events through May 3rd, with plans to return racing in Martinsville. We appreciate the patience of our fans and we look forward to returning to the racetrack. We intend to hold all 36 races this season." 

WWE WrestleMania 36 will be on closed set at training facility

WWE WrestleMania 36 will not take place as originally scheduled because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, WWE said it canceled WrestleMania and all related events in the Tampa Bay area after working with local partners and government officials.

Instead, WrestleMania 36 will be produced on a closed set at WWE's training facility in Orlando, Florida. 

RELATED: WWE WrestleMania 36 closed to the public, will still stream live online

Trump says US 'may be' headed toward recession 

President Donald Trump says the United States “may be” headed toward a recession as the economy continues to be battered amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump spoke to reporters Monday at a White House briefing as cases in the U.S. continue to spike.

The president says his administration’s focus is on stemming the virus. Once the spread of the virus is stopped, Trump said he believes the U.S. economy will see a “tremendous, tremendous surge.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 11% Monday afternoon.

The president also is pledging federal support for airlines struggling because of the pandemic, saying he’s “going to back the airlines 100%.”

Trump also says governors that need ventilators, respirators, masks and other equipment for medical professionals should first try to acquire the items on their own before turning to the federal government for help.

Stock markets plunge nearly 3,000 points 

The Dow closed down 2,999 points after trading was halted for 15 minutes this morning following a 2,250 point drop shortly after opening. This is the third time in two weeks trading has paused. 

The 12.9% drop in the Dow was its worst since 1987.  

Amazon will hire 100,000 workers to help with surge or orders

Amazon says it seeks to hire 100,000 people to keep up with the crush of orders. The company will temporarily offer $2 per hour raises.

RELATED: Amazon looks to hire 100,000 to keep up with orders amid coronavirus pandemic

McDonalds closing seating and play areas amid virus outbreak

The fast food chain announced that it's going to shutter all seating and play areas in its company-owned restaurants in the United States after restaurants close Monday. The company said, "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.''  

Life Time fitness clubs to temporarily close amid outbreak 

On March 16 the gym chain said they are closing all of their gym locations temporarily starting on the night of Monday March 16, and will keep members updated on when they'll reopen at a later date. The company said, "our entire organization is committed to your health and well-being."

LA Fitness will close locations for the rest of the month

The popular gym chain says it will close all of its locations nationwide from March 16 until "at least" April 1.

Alamo Drafthouse locations closing

In a statement Monday the company said, "We are deeply saddened to announce that all Alamo Drafthouse Cinema corporate-owned locations, and all (but one) franchise-owned locations, are now closed until further notice. All shows have been canceled, and all tickets will be refunded."

The company emphasized, "This news – this situation – is devastating."

Regal theaters are closing all of their locations "indefinitely"

Tennessee-based Regal theater announced Monday they will be closing all theater locations from Tuesday, March 17 amid the new coronavirus outbreak. The company says that all theaters will stay closed until further notice. 

In a statement the company said, "we have made the difficult decision to close our theatres. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible."

CDC announces first employee with COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus. The person is isolated and in good condition, according to a statement from the organization. 

The employee was not involved in any COVID-19 response efforts and has not been at the workplace since March 6, at which point they did not have any symptoms. Once they were feeling sick, the person stayed home from work. 

Senator Lindsay Graham tested negative for new coronavirus 

The South Carolina Senator wrote on Twitter saying the head of the House Physicians Office notified him that his coronavirus test came back negative. 

Part of Sen. Graham's tweet reads, "I’m very grateful and like everyone else will follow the best practices to stay negative."

President Trump outlines new nationwide guidelines on travel, eating out 

During a press conference on Monday, President Trump said his administration "strongly recommends" that for the next 15 days Americans to avoid groups bigger than 10, discretionary travel, eating at restaurants and bars and food courts and do schooling from home.

The White House also urged all older Americans and those with underlying health conditions to stay home and away from other people.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci says the recommendations are commensurate to the crisis and warns that, "They will fail if people don't adhere to them"

Trump says the U.S. could be coping with the virus until July or August," and maybe "longer than that.”

In a statement Charter said, "to ease the strain in this challenging time, beginning Monday, March 16, Charter commits to the following for 60 days:

  • Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
  • Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely. Charter will continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, high speed broadband program to eligible low-income households delivering speeds of 30 Mbps.
  • Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use.
  • Spectrum does not have data caps or hidden fees."

Universal moves new releases to on-demand

The coronavirus pandemic has cracked Hollywood's traditional theatrical window. Universal Pictures on Monday said it will make its current and upcoming films available for on-demand rental, becoming the first major studio to turn directly to home viewing in light of the virus. 

The studio said it will put movies currently in theaters — “Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Emma” — up for rental on-demand beginning as early as Friday. It also said that “Trolls World Tour," one of the the only major release left on the April film-release calendar, will open “day-and-date,” debuting in theaters and on-demand services as a $19.999 rental simultaneously.

RELATED: Universal moves new releases to on-demand, AMC limits crowds

San Francisco implements mandatory lockdown

Effective midnight Monday, six San Francisco Bay area counties will require residents stay at home except for "essential needs." 

"Necessary government functions and essential stores" will remain open, according to city mayor London Breed. 

"The most important thing you can do is remain home as much as possible. There is no need to rush out for food or supplies, as these stores will remain open," Breed said on Twitter. 

The order issued Monday affects nearly 7 million people and urges residents to stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order affects the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa, as well as the city of Berkeley.

People should work from home unless they provide essential services such as public safety, sanitation and health care.

Actor Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19

Idris Elba announced on Twitter Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. He said he was not experiencing any symptoms but got tested because he was exposed to a person who tested positive. 

RELATED: Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19

"Now's the time for solidarity, now's the time for thinking about each other," he said in a video message to his fans. 

MLB delays season 8 weeks

Major League Baseball will be delaying its season by eight weeks, in accordance with CDC guidelines to limit gathers of 50 or more people. On March 12, the league previously announced it would postpone opening day by at least two weeks. 

Clubs remain "committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins," Monday's statement said. 

Canada to close border to all non-citizens, excluding Americans

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will close his country's border to non-citizens-- with the exception of Americans.

Other exceptions include air crews, diplomats and immediate family members of Canadian citizens. 

RELATED: Trudeau closes Canadian border to non-citizens

NFL draft to be closed to public, proceed as scheduled

The NFL has announced that the 2020 draft will proceed as scheduled, but without a public audience. The event is scheduled to take place April 23-25 in Las Vegas. The selection process will be televised.

RELATED: NFL to limit upcoming draft

ACT reschedules April test date

The ACT college entrance exam is postponing its April testing until June. 

"The safety of students and test center staff is ACT’s top priority. ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)" the organization said in a statement. 

All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from the ACT with information on how to reschedule to June 13 for free. Students will also have the option to reschedule for a different national test date.

RELATED: April ACT test rescheduled for June amid coronavirus concerns

Surgeon general: U.S. cases are where Italy was two weeks ago

The U.S. surgeon general says the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has reached the level that Italy recorded two weeks ago. It's a sign that infections are expected to rise in America as the government steps up testing and financial markets continue to fall. 

Dr. Jerome Adams told Fox News on Monday the U.S. is at a critical inflection poinnt.  Two weeks ago, there were 1,700 cases of coronavirus in Italy. Now, Italy is reporting an estimated 25,000 cases and more than 1,800 deaths. So far, 65 people have died in the United States.  

RELATED: US surgeon general: US cases are where Italy was 2 weeks ago

Supreme Court postponing arguments for March session

The Supreme Court is postponing arguments for its March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1) because of the coronavirus. 

The Court will hold its regularly scheduled conference on Friday, March 20. Some Justices may participate remotely by telephone. The Court will issue its regularly scheduled Order List on March 23 at 9:30 a.m.  

The court building is still open for official business. though some employees are working remotely. Filing deadlines will not be extended. 

The Court’s postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented, it said in a statement Monday. The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. It also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks. 

RELATED: Supreme Court postpones arguments due to coronavirus

White House cancels Easter Egg Roll

The Office of the First Lady has announced it will cancel its annual Easter Egg Roll. The event was slated for April 14. 

"The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now," First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement. 

Stock market trading halted

The stock market halted trading for 15 minutes after the Dow plunged 2,250 points shortly after opening on Monday. This is the third time in two weeks trading has paused.

Stocks lost 8% in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as huge swaths of the economy come closer to shutting down due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Markets around the world are down by similar percentages despite emergency actions taken by the Federal Reserve late Sunday to prop up the economy and get financial markets running smoothly again. 

The Fed on Sunday cut its key interest rate to near zero. The Bank of Japan also announced more stimulus Monday. The price of crude oil dropped more than 6%. Bond prices soared as investors sought safety.

First U.S. volunteer gets experimental coronavirus vaccination

U.S. researchers have given a healthy volunteer the first shot of an experimental coronavirus vaccine as anxiously awaited testing opens. Monday’s milestone is just the first step in a long process.

The effort is one of several worldwide hunting for protection against COVID-19, even as the pandemic grows. The study is run by scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle. 

The shots were developed by the National Institutes of Health in record time after the new coronavirus exploded from China. Experts say it will be at least a year before any vaccine is ready for widespread use.

Warren Buffet's daughter exposed to virus

The daughter of billionaire investor Warren Buffett has been exposed to the new coronavirus and has isolated herself at her Omaha home for two weeks.

Susie Buffett told the Omaha World-Herald on Sunday that she feels fine and doesn't think she's contracted COVID-19, which is caused by the virus that originated in China.

She says she's not the least bit worried and says she hopes talking about her exposure brings down the fear in other people. She also says she hasn't been around her 89-year-old father, Warren, since her exposure last week.

RELATED: Inslee to temporarily shutdown bars, restaurants in Washington state during coronavirus outbreak

IOC official says no deadline for decision on Olympics

The leader of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says there is no May deadline to cancel the games and he remains confident the event will go ahead despite sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.

John Coates, who will have to go into government-mandated self-isolation when he returns to Australia this week from Olympic business in Europe, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “It’s all proceeding to start on the 24th of July.”

Former IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the end of May loomed as a possible deadline for the IOC to make a call on the Tokyo Olympics.

But Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney paper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it, too.

Coates says “it’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There is four months to go.”

21 Czech towns locked down

Czech authorities are ordering a lockdown of 21 towns and villages in an area some 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of the capital to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

The health authority in the nearby city of Olomouc barred residents from leaving those places and no one without residency can travel there.

The extraordinary measure initially for two weeks includes confining people to their homes except to shop for food and medicine and go to and from work.

Bars, restaurants closing to increase social distancing

Lawmakers and organizations across the U.S. are taking steps to curtail large gatherings as much as possible to encourage and perhaps even force social distancing in an effort to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus.

Even the nation's top infectious disease official said Sunday he would like to see a 14-day national shutdown imposed, but it does not appear President Donald Trump would order that.  

The CDC is recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more in U.S. be canceled or postponed over the next eight weeks because of the pandemic. 

Officials and businesses on Sunday took forceful measures to halt the virus's spread. Theme parks closed, Florida beaches shooed away spring breakers and governors called for shutting down bars and restaurants temporarily or only allowing take-out or delivery options.

RELATED: Tennessee brothers donate hand sanitizer, other items they bought hoping to make profit

Starbucks going "to go" for US, Canada stores

Starbucks announced Sunday that customers in the U.S. and Canada can only get their orders "to go" for at least two weeks to increase social distancing. Customers can order at the counter, drive-thru, or through the Starbucks app. But they cannot dine-in.

Starbucks locations in places where there is a high amount of social gathering such as malls and university campuses will temporarily close.

Australian TV editor suspects Rita Wilson gave him virus

An Australian television network entertainment editor has tested positive for the new coronavirus after meeting Tom Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson, in Sydney. Hanks and Wilson have been isolated in an Australian hospital since they were both diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 12.

Nine Network entertainment editor Richard Wilkins said Monday that 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.

Turkey closes bars, nightclubs

Turkey is closing bars and nightclubs to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, meanwhile, reported on his Twitter account 12 more coronavirus cases, including seven people who had returned from European countries and three from the United States. The update raised Turkey's confirmed cases to 18.

Turkey has stepped up measures to contain the spread of the virus, including suspending flights to several countries and closing schools and universities.

Peace Corps evacuations

The Peace Corps is evacuating all of its volunteers and suspending operations in dozens of countries.

Director Jody Olsen says Sunday's decision comes as "international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day." She said the agency wanted to avoid leaving volunteers stranded in host countries.

Her statement stressed that posts would not close, but didn't provide a timeline for resuming operations.

Louis Vuitton to make hand sanitizer for France

French luxury conglomerate LVMH will use its facilities to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic hand sanitizing gel to be provided for free to French authorities to help face the virus crisis.

The group that owns Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy said all the production sites of its perfumes and cosmetics in France will take part in the effort “as long as necessary.”

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