IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

All 50 states report coronavirus cases, U.S. death toll crosses 100

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: A worker wearing a mask watches a road in New York on March 17, 2020.
A worker wearing a mask watches a road in New York on Tuesday. Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

The United States and European nations are stepping up measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus and counteract its economic impact, as the numbers of deaths and infections continue to grow.

The U.S. death toll surpassed 100 on Tuesday as all 50 states have now reported cases, and the E.U. announced sweeping restrictions on most travel within the 27-country bloc.

The White House announced Tuesday that it is looking to send checks directly to Americans in order to soften the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement comes as many parts of the U.S. have taken extraordinary measures to health the spread of the coronavirus. California officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, that requires people to stay home except for essential needs.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading March 18 Coronavirus news.

San Francisco reverses course on pot shops, says they can stay open

San Francisco announced late Tuesday that marijuana dispensaries may stay open during the city's shelter-in-place order, reversing an earlier decision that drew complaints from stores and their customers. 

"Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents," the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in a tweet. "Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time, while practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations." 

City health officials had earlier put a halt to pot shop sales under emergency measures related to the coronavirus pandemic, the San Francisco Chronicle reported

Sanders tackles coronavirus in primary night speech

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Tuesday outlined his coronavirus proposals in a speech from his campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C. — items that include sending households $2,000 a month for the duration of the crisis.

Sanders opened his address by saying the country was "facing an unprecedented series of crises" that he believes will require a $2 trillion stimulus to avoid "economic catastrophe."

His lengthy list of proposals included government covering all coronavirus-related medical bills, speed up testing, invoke emergency powers to scale up production of supplies like surgical masks and ventilators, and provide substantial unemployment insurance to those who lose jobs as a result of the outbreak.

Sanders enters Tuesday's primaries trailing frontrunner Joe Biden in the NBC News projected delegate count.

Midway Airport tower in Chicago closed after employees test positive for coronavirus

The air traffic control tower at Chicago’s Midway International Airport was closed Tuesday after “several” technicians there tested positive for coronavirus, the Federal Aviation Administration said. 

The airport is still open but is operating at a reduced rate, according to the agency.

“The air traffic control tower at Midway Airport is temporarily closing while we ensure a safe work environment for air traffic controllers and technicians,” the FAA said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

Kevin Durant among Nets players who tested positive for coronavirus

Kevin Durant, one of the biggest stars in basketball, tested positive for coronavirus. 

Durant told The Athletic that he was one of the four Brooklyn Nets players who were confirmed to have had the virus and were in self isolation. The NBA team announced the players' condition earlier Tuesday and said that all four were in isolation. 

"Everyone be careful, take care of yourself, and quarantine," Durant said in a statement. "We're going to get through this."

Cases confirmed in all 50 states as U.S. death toll reaches 100

The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 100 on Tuesday.

In addition, West Virginia, the last remaining state without a confirmed coronavirus case, reported its first. There are more than 5,800 cases in the U.S.

More than half of the deaths, 53, are in Washington state. There have been 12 deaths in New York, nine in California, six in Florida, four in Louisiana, three in New Jersey, two in Virginia, two in Indiana, and one each in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas.

The first coronavirus death in the U.S. was reported on Feb. 29, in Washington state. 

A timeline of Trump's public statements about the coronavirus threat

After weeks of downplaying the risks posed by the coronavirus outbreak and lashing out at his critics, President Trump has since embraced a more urgent approach and sober tone as he’s implored Americans to do their part to help stem the spread.

From insisting a week ago that the virus will “go away” if Americans “just stay calm,” the president now admits the pandemic is “not under control.”

His previous statements also contradict his assertion Tuesday that he “felt that it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

Here is a link to a timeline of the Trump administration's response to the virus crisis, including filters to highlight Trump's public statements and tweets.

Employee at Sing Sing prison tests positive

Sing Sing Correctional Facility overlooking the Hudson river in Ossining, N.Y.Mary Altaffer / AP file

An employee at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York, has tested positive for the coronavirus, NBC News has confirmed. Two other people, neither outwardly showing symptoms, have been tested, and those results are pending, according to the state Corrections Department. 

"People are really worried," Sing Sing inmate Jermaine Archer said. "I was still in Sing Sing for 9/11, and I remember that, and people have the same looks on their faces when I walk by."

Bianca Tylek, executive director of Worth Rises, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on prison labor, told NBC News that she was particularly concerned about the elderly population in prison and whether adequate accommodations would be made.

Read the full story here.

Florida governor refuses to shut down beaches amid spread of coronavirus

People crowd the beach, while other jurisdictions had already closed theirs in efforts to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Clearwater, Fla., on March 17, 2020.Steve Nesius / Reuters

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to issue an order to close the state's beaches, despite fears regarding that spread of coronavirus.

He instead signed an order that would limit parties on the beach to 10 people per group and forced any businesses authorized to sell liquor to reduce occupancy by half, DeSantis told reporters Tuesday.

"What we’re going to be doing for the statewide floor for beaches, we’re going to be applying the CDC guidance of no group on a beach more than 10 and you have to have distance apart if you’re going to be out there," DeSantis said. "So that applies statewide."

A video posted Monday by NBC affiliate WFLA showed people packed together on Clearwater Beach. The state has 192 confirmed coronavirus patients and five deaths due to COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

Tom Hanks provides update from home: 'No fever but the blahs'

Tom Hanks provided fans yet another update on his condition a week after he and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus

Hanks and Wilson were released Monday from the Australia hospital where they were under medical supervision to self-quarantine at home. 

"Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs," Hanks said. 

The bad news is apparently that Wilson is sweeping the floor with him during games of Gin Rummy. But Hanks continued his message of calm in his latest update."I travelled here with a typewriter, one I used to love," Hanks said. "We are all in this together. Flatten the curve." 

Michael Cohen asks to finish prison sentence at home amid coronavirus outbreak

WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer, is requesting to serve the remainder of his three-year prison sentence at home due to unsafe prison conditions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to Judge William Pauley on Tuesday, Roger Bennet Adler, Cohen’s attorney, argued that Cohen’s sentence should be modified “as a consequence of the Bureau of Prison being demonstrably incapable of safeguarding and treating B.O.P. inmates who are obliged to live in close quarters and are at an enhanced risk of catching coronavirus.”

Prisons and correctional facilities can be overcrowded and unhygienic, making inmates particularly vulnerable to an outbreak of the virus. The tight living quarters can make it hard to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines on social distancing, and in many facilities, disinfectants such as hand sanitizer are not allowed due to the alcohol content.

Click here for the full story.

Navajo Nation confirms first case of coronavirus

The Navajo Nation on Tuesday reported its first case of the coronavirus: A 46-year-old tribal member with a recent travel history, leaders said. The person was taken to a hospital in Phoenix, and family members and other contacts were being isolated. 

Leaders of the Navajo Nation, the largest tribal reservation in the United States with 350,000 members, have been warning in recent weeks of the virus' spread into Indian country and the need for more testing and medical supplies.

"We call upon our Navajo people to do their best to remain calm and make good decisions by staying home to prevent the spread of the virus among our communities," tribal President Jonathan Nez said in a statement.