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

2 members of U.S. Congress test positive, New York City cases double

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: People walk in Times Square as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Manhattan, New York City
People walk in Times Square as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in New York City on March 18, 2020.Andrew Kelly / Reuters

The number of coronavirus cases globally topped 200,000 Wednesday, as people in the United States and in countries across the world adjusted to life under lockdowns and isolation.

The concern about the economic consequences of the pandemic spurred another widespread decline in stock prices, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing down over 1,300 points on Wednesday. Many major stock indexes around the world were down more than 4 percent.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are currently more than 201,000 confirmed cases and 8,000 deaths related to the coronavirus around the world.

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 19 Coronavirus news.

Refugee admissions to U.S. suspended due to coronavirus, official says

The Trump administration has suspended refugee admissions until April 6 due to the coronavirus outbreak, a State Department spokesperson says.

The decision was taken after the U.N. refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday announced a temporary halt to resettling refugees. The international organizations cited border closures and travel restrictions prompted by the epidemic, and concerns the refugees could be exposed to the coronavirus.

Due to the temporary suspension by international aid organizations, “we notified our implementing partners to expect a refugee arrivals pause from March 19 through April 6,” a State Department spokesperson said in an email.  “We will work with our implementing partners to plan for a resumption of refugee arrivals on or after April 7.”

The Trump administration already drastically cut the number of refugees admitted to the United States to record low levels before the coronavirus outbreak.

Sick staff spread coronavirus in Seattle nursing home

Staff members who worked while sick at multiple long-term care facilities contributed to the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable elderly in the Seattle area, federal health officials said Wednesday.

At least 30 coronavirus deaths have been linked to Life Care Center in Kirkland. A report Wednesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the most detailed account to date of what drove the outbreak.

For full story 

NYC mayor slams Nets over testing, Trump weighs in

New York Mayor City Bill de Blasio ripped the Brooklyn Nets after the team announced three of its players who showed no symptoms were tested for the coronavirus. The three were among four players who tested positive for the virus, the team said.

"We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested," de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. "Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick."

President Donald Trump weighed in Wednesday when he was asked about who gets priority in testing for the virus.

NBC's Peter Alexander asked the president at a news conference if professional athletes should get expedited testing.

"No, I wouldn’t say so," the president said. "But perhaps that’s the story of life. That does happen on occasion, and I’ve noticed where people have been tested fairly quickly. "

Read full story here.

Afternoon roundup of coronavirus coverage

Inside the National Quarantine Center, there is no fear of coronavirus. There is only urgency. [Esquire]

Hospital workers make masks from office supplies amid U.S. shortage [Bloomberg]

Amazon’s warehouse workers sound alarms about coronavirus spread [The Washington Post]

Hollywood production has shut down. Why thousands of workers are feeling the pain [The Los Angeles Times]

Census suspends field operations until April 1

The U.S. Census Bureau suspended its field operations Wednesday until April 1 as the nation grapples with the global coronavirus pandemic. 

U.S. Census Bureau director Steven Dillingham said in a statement that the agency is taking this step to protect the public and census takers. The agency began sending questionnaires earlier this month in mailboxes across the nation. More than 11 million households have responded, Dillingham said.

He added that in late May census takers will begin visiting households that have not responded to help complete the count, which determines where federal dollars are dispersed and the allocation of congressional seats in each state.

This is the first census that is online and Dillingham strongly encouraged the public to respond to the census using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet online at Individuals can also respond by phone or mailing back their questionnaires.

Princess Beatrice's wedding reception at Buckingham Palace canceled

Princess Beatrice of York at an event in Portugal in 2018.David Fitzgerald / Web Summit via Getty Images

Princess Beatrice and her fiancé, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, are "reviewing" their wedding plans and canceled their May 29 reception due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to ITV's Chris Ship. 

“The couple will carefully consider government advice before deciding whether a private marriage might take place," Ship tweeted Wednesday, citing a Buckingham Palace statement. 

Mozzi and Princess Beatrice, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, got engaged in Italy in September. The Palace announced in February that the wedding was going to take place at The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London, with a reception hosted by the Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. 

The couple decided to forgo the reception because they “are particularly conscious of government advice in relation to both the wellbeing of older family members and large gatherings of people," Ship tweeted. 

The wedding may end up taking place amongst a small group of family and friends. 

World health officials warn against using phrases like 'Chinese virus'

The World Health Organization on Wednesday addressed President Trump's use of the term "Chinese virus" when referring to the coronavirus.

"It's really important that we be careful in the language we use, lest it lead to profiling of individuals associated with the virus," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, said during a media briefing.

"The pandemic of influenza in 2009 originated in North America, and we didn't call it the North American flu," Ryan added.

The WHO previously released guidelines for naming diseases, which recommends avoiding proper names of the people who first identified the pathogens, animals associated with the illness, or places where they were discovered.

Photo: Nepal prepares for quarantine

A soldier walks near a model quarantine zone Wednesday at the Nepalese Army headquarters in Kathmandu amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Trump on 'the story of life'

England's death toll up to 99, up to 104 in all of the U.K.

Another 32 coronavirus deaths have been reported in England, bringing that nation's death toll from the pandemic to 99, officials said Wednesday.

"Patients were aged between 59 and 94 years old and had underlying health conditions," according to a statement from the National Health Service. "Their families have been informed."

The death toll in all the United Kingdom was at 104, officials said.