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Coronavirus updates: National Guard will be activated to help 3 states

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President Trump has approved major disaster declarations in New York and Washington state, two of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Trump announced Sunday. California's request is still being processed.

The president also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working to assist states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. That includes activating the National Guard in those three states. 

As the White House Coronavirus Task Force gave its update Sunday night, the Senate failed to pass a procedural vote to move forward with an economic stimulus bill that could cost between $1.5 and $2 trillion. The absence of several senators who are self-quarantining due to the coronavirus sidelined several Republicans who were unable to vote.

Senator Rand Paul said Sunday he has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first known senator to contract the disease. Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney went into self-quarantine after close contact with Paul.

The number of coronavirus patients the U.S. has topped 31,000, putting the number of cases behind only China and Italy. The number of deaths topped 400. 

Italy marked grim milestones over the weekend with the deadliest days in the country so far. On Friday, 627 people died from coronavirus, a record that was broken Saturday, when an additional 793 deaths were recorded.

Worldwide, the number of coronavirus cases has increased to more than 329,000 and the number of deaths has topped 14,000, according to Johns Hopkins University

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for detailed information on coronavirus treatment and prevention. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Japan requiring 2-week quarantine for all visitors from U.S.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Monday that Japan will require all visitors from the United States to be quarantined for 14 days. That includes Japanese and Americans and is effective Thursday through the end of April.

He cited escalating COVID-19 infections around the world, especially in the U.S. and Europe in recent weeks.

Japan on Sunday raised a travel advisory for the U.S., urging the Japanese citizens not to make nonessential trips to the U.S.

 Abe noted the U.S. recently took similar measures and urged Americans not to make nonessential trips to Japan and required a 14-day quarantine for entrants. 

He said Monday's quarantine requirement is in line with measures taken by other countries.

-- The Associated Press

 

Secret Service employee tests positive

The U.S. Secret Service says one of its employees has COVID-19, but it's not saying whether that employee is an agent.

The service said in a statement early Monday that an employee tested positive for the disease and is in quarantine.

It said it did a thorough check and determined the employee hasn't had contact with any other Secret Service employee or person the service protects for almost three weeks. 

By Brian Dakss
 

South Korea ramps up screenings of air passengers from Europe

South Korea says it tested more than 1,440 passengers arriving from Europe for the coronavirus as the country tightens border controls to prevent the illness from re-entering from the West.

The office of Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun on Monday said 152 of the passengers who arrived on Sunday were tested at airport isolation facilities after exhibiting fever or respiratory symptoms.

The office says the other 1,290 passengers were taken to an employee training center of the SK business group in Incheon and that six of them have so far been sent home after testing negative.

South Korea began testing all passengers arriving from Europe on Sunday and enforcing 14-day quarantines on South Korean nationals arriving from Europe and foreigners entering the country from Europe on long-term stay visas.

Chung says his government is also considering expanding the measures to passengers arriving from North America. 

-- The Associated Press

 

First inmate in California state prison system tests positive for coronavirus

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed Sunday that an inmate in the California state prison system has tested positive for coronavirus. This is the first confirmed case in the system.

The patient is an inmate at the California State Prison in Los Angeles County, according to a statement from the CDCR and California Correctional Health Care Services. "The patient is in stable condition and is being treated on-sit," and has been in isolation since March 19, the statement said.

By Jordan Freiman
 

Team Canada won't send athletes to 2020 Olympics or Paralympics

Team Canada announced Sunday night they will not send athletes to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, which are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan this summer. The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee called for the games to be postponed for a year.

"This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health," COC and CPC said in a statement. "With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow."

By Jordan Freiman
 

Abortion in Ohio will continue, despite Attorney General order to stop

Clinics that provide abortion services in Ohio will continue to provide the procedure, despite an order from the state's Attorney General's office ordering them to stop. At least five of the state's six abortion providers say they will continue procedures.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health ordered all "non-essential and elective surgeries" be temporarily suspended to preserve protective gear for health care workers. Though the directive made no mention of abortion services, by Friday, the state's Attorney General's office had sent letters to two of Ohio's six clinics that provide surgical abortions, ordering them to "immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions." 

"Planned Parenthood's top priority is ensuring that every person can continue accessing essential health care, including abortion. We know your health care can't wait," said Iris E. Harvey and Kersha Deibel, the respective heads of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, in a statement provided to CBS News. "Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure." 

Read more here

By Kate Smith
 

Coronavirus stimulus bill fails in Senate

A procedural vote to move forward with the nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package failed in the Senate on Sunday, sending lawmakers back to the negotiating table.

Democrats blocked Republicans from reaching the 60 votes needed to clear the procedural hurdle, and the absence of several senators self-quarantining due to the coronavirus sidelined several Republicans. 

Futures for the S&P 500 fell by 5%, the AP reported, triggering a halt in trading.

—   Lex Haris and Melissa Quinn

 

Romney to self-quarantine after contact with Paul

Republican Senator Mitt Romney Mitt Romney has been ordered to self-quarantine after he came into contact with Senator Rand Paul, who has tested positive for coronavirus, Romney's office said.

"Since Senator Romney sat next to Senator Paul for extended periods in recent days and consistent with CDC guidance, the attending physician has ordered him to immediately self-quarantine and not to vote on the Senate floor," Romney's office said in a statement. 

Romney does not have any symptoms of the coronavirus but will be tested, his office added.

"He urges members to pass a relief package as quickly as possible that provides assistance for families, workers and small businesses," the statement said.

At the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, when a reporter asked about Romney being put in isolation, President Trump responded "gee that's too bad." 

By Melissa Quinn
 

Major disaster declarations approved in New York and Washington state

Trump gives update on coronavirus response 22:16

President Trump on Sunday said that the major disaster declarations in New York and Washington state have been approved. The announcement came during a coronavirus task force update from the White House. Mr. Trump will approve California's request "soon."

The president also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to assist states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Trump said four large medical stations with 1,000 beds each are going to be built in New York. Eight medical stations are heading to California over the next 48 hours. In Washington state, Mr. Trump said seven medical stations will be set up there.

Trump coronavirus task force update Sunday, March 22
President Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Getty

Read more here.

By Peter Martinez
 

Senator Mike Lee to self-quarantine

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah will be self-quarantining for 14 days at the direction of the attending physician of the U.S. Congress after Senator Rand Paul tested positive for the coronavirus, Lee said.

Lee said in a statement that "given the timing, proximity, and duration of my exposure to Senator Paul," he was told to self-quarantine. 

"That means no traveling or voting," the Utah senator said. "But I will continue to make sure Utah's voice is heard as we shape the federal response to the Coronavirus through phone, text, email and whatever other means are available."

Lee said he consulted with the attending physician after learning Paul tested positive and was advised a coronavirus test was "not warranted"  because he is not exhibiting symptoms and does not have other risk factors.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Ohio and Louisiana issue stay-at-home orders

Stay-at-home orders were issued Sunday in the states of Ohio and Louisiana. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Sunday that all residents must stay at home and all non-essential businesses must close. All public gatherings outside a single household are prohibited. The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday and will last until April 6, when it will be reassessed. 

DeWine, who has been aggressive in acting on coronavirus in Ohio, tweeted, "there is nothing in this order that we haven't already been talking about," and said it was not any different from what has been recommended for weeks. 

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ordered residents to stay at home except to visit the grocery store, pharmacy or engage in physical activity while maintaining social distancing of six feet. 

"In Louisiana we have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve; however, this is not enough. As our number of cases continue to grow, I am directing all Louisianans to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave," Edwards said. 

By Caroline Linton
 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in self-quarantine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in self-quarantine after the doctor she came into contact with has tested positive for coronavirus, according to spokesperson Steffen Seibert. 

"The chancellor will also continue her official business from home quarantine," Seibert said in the statement. 

Merkel will be tested regularly over the next few days, Seibert said, since it is too soon for a conclusive test.

— Anna Noryskiewicz and Caroline Linton

 

Rand Paul becomes first senator to test positive for coronavirus

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Sunday. He is quarantining himself as he recovers.

Paul's office said the senator is "feeling fine" and will return to Washington, D.C., after his quarantine period ends.

"He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person," his office wrote in a pair of tweets.

Paul's staff added that because those in his Washington office have been working remotely for the last 10 days, "virtually no staff has had contact" with the senator.

Paul is the first U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19. Last week, two members of the House, Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Florida, and Ben McAdams, a Democrat from Utah, announced they tested positive for coronavirus.

He also attended a lunch with other Senate Republicans on Friday and was working out in the Senate gym as recently as Sunday morning, congressional sources told CBS News.  

By Melissa Quinn
 

Gary Cohn urges Congress to look out for self-employed, contract workers

Gary Cohn, President Trump's former top economic adviser, urged Congress to ensure help is provided for the self-employed and independent contractors in a legislative package designed to address the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've got people that work at big companies. We've got people that work at small companies. And then we've got this big piece of the economy that's either self-employed or contract labor," Cohn said on "Face the Nation." "Think of people that work at stadiums and arenas. Think of people that work in catering businesses. Think of Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. They need to get compensated as well."

Cohn, who served as director of the National Economic Council, provided a roadmap for Congress for how those workers can get paid among the economic disruption.

"What I would encourage in the legislation, hopefully this is in there, we go back to those companies that hired part-time labor or hired labor as needed, and you go back and look at what you were paying them for the last month or the last two weeks and you go back and pay them that exact amount of money," he said. "And those companies can actually go to the two facilities that were created, borrow that money and be relieved of that debt and compensate their people as well."

While Cohn predicted the economic pain from the coronavirus outbreak will be "enormous," he applauded Congress for taking steps to ensure as many workers remain employed as possible and said the "massive" stimulus packages under negotiation are needed.

"What we're trying to do is keep everyone off unemployment, keep them on the books and records of their companies so they can return back to a normalized economy when it exists," Cohn said, adding that the goal is to allow Americans to immediately return to work when the economy turns around.

By Melissa Quinn
 

No deal yet on nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill

Republicans say a final agreement is close on a massive stimulus bill that would ease the impact on workers and companies from the complete shutdown of major parts of the U.S. economy. But key sticking points remain, as Democrats push for more worker protections and conditions on companies that receive bailouts. 

Key elements of the bill being negotiated include: 

  • Direct payments to American households: They could amount to $3,000 for a family of four, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. 
  • Enhanced unemployment benefits: The idea is to keep paying workers at their previous salary for as long as four months, reports CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes. 
  • Help for small businesses: Aid would come in the form of a $350 billion package of loans and grants to keep them afloat for six to seven weeks. Mnuchin described what he called "small business retention loans" to encourage keeping workers. "If you're a small business, you'll get two weeks of cash flow to pay your workers. You need to retain them. You'll also get some overhead. And if you do that, those loans will be forgiven," Mnuchin said.
  • Help for hard-hit industries, including the airlines and hospitals.
  • While there is broad agreement on the need for an immediate response, Democrats wants stronger legislative language that prevents companies that receive bailout money from firing workers or using it to buy back shares. They also want restrictions on which businesses can receive bailout money and on executive compensation.
By Lex Haris
 

Germany to ban gatherings of more than two people

German federal authorities said Sunday they will be banning gatherings of more than two people, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Families or those living in the same house will be exempt from the new order.

The measure will be enforced by police and will be in effect until April 19.

Germany is only behind Italy and Spain for the most infections in Europe. There are over 23,000 cases in Germany, and 92 people have died. 

By Caroline Linton
 

Head of hospital group warns of closures without government aid

Richard Pollack, the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said the health care industry needs at least $100 billion to continue to respond to the coronavirus crisis. 

"We're hoping to see legislation that provides us with assistance when it comes to increasing capacity, when it comes to paying for overtime, and very importantly, when it comes to helping us with cash flow to sustain our operations," Pollack said on "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "We could see hospitals close in this situation as well because they just don't have the resources."

Pollack said the "most immediate" need for health care workers is "personal protective equipment: the masks, the gowns, the goggles — that type of equipment to protect our health care heroes that are on the front lines."

"That is what is most essential now. If we don't protect our health care workers, the system will completely collapse. That's what's necessary," he said. "And that's why, in fact, we need to see the Defense Production Act employed in an aggressive manner."

Read more here.

By Stefan Becket
 

Cuomo says New York hospitals need to double capacity as deaths rise

Cuomo gives N.Y. coronavirus update 36:22

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is asking hospitals in the state to increase their capacity by 100% and waiving relevant state regulations to allow them to do so. Cuomo said the state might need 110,000 hospital beds, when only 53,000 are currently available.

"That is an obvious problem, and that is what we're dealing with," he said. The state death toll is now 114, the most of any state in the U.S.

Cuomo also said many New Yorkers are failing to grasp the severity of the situation and act accordingly. He said he has asked city officials to address "group activity in parks" and wanted a plan within 24 hours.

"There is a density level in New York City that is wholly inappropriate. You would think there is nothing going on in parts of New York City. I don't know what I'm saying that people don't get," the governor said. "There is no concept of social distancing in playing basketball."

By Stefan Becket
 

Flattening the curve: "This is no time to be selfish"

Dr. Jon LaPook on flattening the curve 02:58

Read the story here.

 

Lawmakers to resume talks over stimulus package

Congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin plan to meet Sunday to hammer out the details of the Senate's massive stimulus package ahead of the first procedural vote on the measure.

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell departed Capitol Hill on Saturday evening, he told CBS News that "drafting is underway, and we anticipate moving forward tomorrow with a bipartisan proposal."  

"We are moving ahead drafting and we're going to be able to produce a bipartisan agreement, and be on the floor on Monday," he said. He said in a statement that a procedural vote is set for 3 p.m. Sunday.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer struck an optimistic tone while emphasizing that Democrats have not seen portions of the legislation.

"Democrats very much want to reach a bipartisan agreement to address this major health and economic crisis," a spokesman for Schumer said. "There is not yet an agreement, and we still have not seen large parts of the Republican draft. We look forward to reviewing their first draft and negotiating a bipartisan compromise."

McConnell, Schumer, Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met at 11 a.m. in McConnell's office.

By Alan He
 

At least 38 inmates and staff at NYC jails test positive

At least 38 people have tested positive for coronavirus inside New York City jails, officials said, signaling the largest outbreak in American jails since the outbreak began. For weeks, activists and health officials have feared a potential outbreak would spread rapidly throughout the country's prison system.

Jacqueline Sherman, the interim chairwoman of the New York City Board of Correction, sent a letter to state and city officials on Saturday urging them to release inmates at higher risk of dying from an infection and to "rapidly" decrease the prison population. 

"Fewer people in the jails will save lives and minimize transmission among people in custody as well as staff. Failure to drastically reduce the jail population threatens to overwhelm the City jails' healthcare system as well (as) its basic operations," Sherman wrote in the letter, which was addressed to the five boroughs' district attorneys, the state's chief judge and the state and city corrections commissioners.

Read more here.

By Justin Carissimo
 

First federal inmate tests positive

An inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, has tested positive for coronavirus. The inmate is the the first confirmed case in the federal prison system.

"The inmate arrived at MDC Brooklyn on March 16, 2020," the Federal Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) office of public affairs said in a statement Saturday. "On March 19, 2020, he complained of chest pains and was taken to an outside hospital, where they performed a test for COVID-19. On March 20, 2020, he was discharged back to MDC Brooklyn and immediately placed in isolation. Today, the BOP was notified his test results for COVID-19 were positive."

The inmate is still in isolation and "all CDC guidelines are being followed," according to BOP. The other inmates who were being housed with the patient are being quarantined.

Two staff members at MDC have also tested positive for coronavirus.

By Jordan Freiman
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