Over 3,000 cases in the U.S.; airport chaos due to new screenings

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Image: People wait in line to go through customs at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on March 14, 2020.
People wait in line to go through customs at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on March 14, 2020.Austin Boschen / via AP

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Americans are racing to cut vacations short and re-book flights home this weekend as Europe continues to lock down towns and cities amid the spread of coronavirus.

The CDC said Sunday that all events of 50 people or more should be canceled for the next eight weeks, guidance that advocates for people to engage in "social distancing" through early May.

New York City announced it would close public schools, and many cities around the country ordered bars and restaurants closed, with some even issuing curfews, to encourage social distancing. Meantime, brick-and-mortar retailers began shutting down stores.

Stock futures plunged Sunday night, despite unprecedented emergency action from the Federal Reserve, which announced a rate cut.

The United States has surpassed 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll climbed to at least 61, with 25 of the deaths associated with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington.

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CDC says gatherings of 50 or more should be canceled for next eight weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Sunday that people throughout the United States should avoid events of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.

The announcement comes as some major cities have already put in place bans on large events and ordered bars and restaurants to close. 

"This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus," the CDC said.

The CDC noted that its guidance "is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials."

Robert Durst murder trial delayed

The murder trial of real estate scion Robert Durst will be delayed until next month because of concerns over coronavirus, California court officials said Sunday.

In a statement, Los Angeles County Superior Court said jurors in the case should return on April 6.

Durst, 76, was charged with one count of murder in the 2000 death of his close friend, Susan Berman.

Berman was found lying face down in her Los Angeles home with a gun shot wound to the back of her head. Durst, who was the subject of the HBO series "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," has maintained his innocence.

5 deaths reported in New York City

The number of confirmed cases and deaths from coronavirus rose sharply in New York City in recent days, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday.

Five people have died from the disease and more than 300 have tested positive for it, he said in a news conference.

On Friday, there had been no reported deaths in the city, he said, and the week began with several dozen confirmed cases. Those who died were between 53 and 82 and had preexisting conditions like emphysema, diabetes and heart disease, he said.

Restaurants, bars close

Nike, Lululemon to temporarily close stores

Apple, Lululemon and Nike are among some of the country’s leading retailers that announced temporary store shut downs in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Lululemon and Nike announced Sunday they will close their stores through March 27. They both said employees will be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work. Apple closed all of its stores outside of China through March 27 last week, but its online stores and App Store remain open.

Under Armour and Abercrombie & Fitch announced separately they will close their doors through March 28. Under Armour said it will pay team members for the house they were scheduled to work. Abercrombie & Fitch warned the store closures would have “material adverse impacts” on its financial performance and withdrew its first-quarter and full year forecast.

Patagonia, Urban Outfitters, Lush Cosmetics, Warby Parker and Allbirds are among other retailers closing stores in response to the virus.

California governor asks seniors, people with chronic conditions to self-isolate

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday asked all Californians who have chronic conditions or are over age of 65 to self-isolate at home in a bid to protect them.

“We are doing so with our eyes wide open at the magnitude of what that means,” Newsom said at a news conference.

He added that state officials were working on providing medicine, food and other supplies to the state’s 5.3 million seniors, a population that public health officials have said is more vulnerable to the disease.

Newsom also asked nightclubs, brewpubs and wineries to close their doors — though he did not order them to do so, saying he was confident they would follow his guidance. Restaurants can remain open, Newsom said, though he asked businesses to reduce their patrons by half. And he said customers should remain 6 feet or more away from each other in an effort to reduce the possibility of spreading or catching the disease.

Officials are also trying to move the thousands of homeless people who are in encampments or on the streets across California into sites that Newsom said would allow for appropriate “social distancing.” He said the state is “procuring” hotels and motels “in real time” and using hundreds of trailers for the effort.  

Dow futures plunge 1,000 points after Fed's crisis action

Stock futures plunged Sunday night, despite unprecedented emergency action from the Federal Reserve.

Dow futures fell by 1,000 points, triggering the "limit down" threshold after the Fed announced a rate cut that brings the central bank's borrowing rate to a range of between 0 and 0.25 percent.

Investors remain skeptical that even such bold moves will move the needle as the coronavirus outbreak takes its toll on the U.S. economy.

“They had no choice, but it won’t be enough in the grand scheme of things,” Jeff Mills, chief investment officer of Bryn Mawr Trust, told Bloomberg.