The number of global coronavirus cases surged past 300,000 on Sunday, with more than 13,000 deaths worldwide, according to John Hopkins University, which reported that China, Italy and the U.S. had the most people diagnosed with the respiratory illness.
The news came as the number of Americans under virtual lockdown grew to over 80 million on Saturday, and Ohio issued new shelter-in-place orders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is herself in quarantine after a doctor who treated her tested positive for coronavirus, her press office announced Sunday.
And Sen. Rand Paul became the first known U.S. Senator to test positive for coronavirus.
“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,“ the senator’s Twitter account said on Sunday.
Elsewhere, China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19. On the same day, China's National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 23 Coronavirus news.
Outdoor exercise banned in new restrictive order in Italy's Lombardy region
The governor of Italy's Lombardy region, one of the hardest hit areas in the coronavirus epidemic, signed a new order Saturday imposing even more stringent restrictions on residents.
The order, signed by Attilio Fontana and valid until at least Apr. 15, banned outdoor exercise and implemented temperature checks at supermarkets and pharmacies.
The new, tougher measures come as the number of coronavirus deaths across Italy reached 4,825, with 53,578 cases confirmed to date.
Meanwhile, country's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addressed the nation in a Facebook live stream Saturday night to announce that every plant in the country that's not absolutely necessary to guarantee essential goods and services will be shuttered effective Sunday.
Police in Arizona say man stole 29 test kits
A man was wanted by authorities in Tucson, Arizona, for allegedly walking off with 29 coronavirus test kits, police said Saturday.
The suspect was dressed as a delivery driver and made off with the kits as the city's El Rio Health Center was just about to close Friday night, Tucson police said in a statement.
The move was all for naught, authorities said, as the kits are virtually useless outside a lab, and the center has already replaced them.
"Do not buy kits from anyone claiming to have Corona Virus Test Kits or COVID-19 Test Kits," the department said. "It is a scam! There are currently no home test kits for the virus."
China reports 46 new COVID-19 cases, ending 3-day streak
China ended a three-day streak of reporting no new coronavirus cases on Saturday after 46 people tested positive positive for COVID-19.
On the same day, China's National Health Commission also reported six new deaths. Five of the deaths occurred in Wuhan in Hubei province, where the outbreak originated late last year.
China said 45 of the new cases were imported.
Colombia reports first COVID-19 death
Colombia reported on Saturday the country's first death from COVID-19.
The patient was a 58-year-old taxi driver from the coastal city of Cartagena, health minister Fernando Ruiz said in a tweet.
The driver had recently transported Italian tourists and developed symptoms two days later on March 16, Ruiz said. He was first tested on March 13 but two tests came back negative.
Multiple people who came into contact with the taxi driver, including his sister, a doctor and a passenger, also tested positive for coronavirus, according to Martha Ospina, director of Colombia's National Institute of Health.
More than 200 people have tested positive for the virus in Colombia, according to the health ministry.
L.A. police could start 12-hour shifts, raising COVID-19 fears among rank and file
LOS ANGELES — As residents settle in for weeks of isolation, police Chief Michel Moore has told officers he hopes the city’s stay-at-home initiative designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus can be gently enforced.
He said most residents were following the "Safer at Home" order, which allows essential businesses to remain open and critical public functions to continue but directs most other people to stay home and avoid gatherings.
“Enforcement of it is through awareness, through education, through outreach,” Moore said in a video message and an internal memo to Los Angeles Police Department officers, which also directed the rank-and-file to begin providing security at emergency shelters for the homeless.
He told officers the city is entering a new phase in its response to the pandemic and could begin to move officers to 12-hour shifts with fewer days off as soon as Monday.
New Jersey issues stay-at-home order
New Yorkers tie the knot at park after marriage bureau closes
The New York City marriage bureau shut down Friday as part of the city's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. But that didn't stop some New Yorkers from finding a way to tie the knot anyway.
Alex Brook Lynn and her husband, Adam Levy, planned to have a normal wedding. But as COVID-19 cases rose and the illness was declared a pandemic, they decided to speed up the process to get Lynn on Levy's insurance. Upon hearing the news of the marriage bureau's closure, the pair knew they had to figure out a plan B. So, they went to the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse and found a judge to marry them in Collect Pond Park, right across the street.
"There's no one I would rather go through dystopia with," Lynn told NBC News.
A few friends were there to witness them say their vows, Lynn said. And following the ceremony, the judge ended up marrying another couple that was in the park.
"There's this constant hustle in the city and when it's working for good, it can be really good and it can feel safe in the city," Lynn added.