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

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
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

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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United Airlines cuts capacity by 50 percent through May

United Airlines announced Sunday it will be cutting its capacity in half for April and May as Americans cut back on travel amid efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In a message to United employees, Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer, and J. Scott Kirby, president, said the company projects the cuts could be extended.

"We also now expect these deep cuts to extend into the summer travel period," Munoz and Kirby wrote. "Even with those cuts, we're expecting load factors to drop into the 20-30% range -- and that's if things don't get worse."

The company said its leaders would be taking a 50 percent pay cut. 

"We're also currently projecting that revenue in March will be $1.5 billion lower than last March," Munoz and Kirby wrote. 

Deaths continue to rise in Italy, Spain

The number of coronavirus-related deaths continued to rise Sunday in Europe’s hardest hit two countries, Italy and Spain.

Italy’s death toll rose to 1,809, a jump of 368 people in one day, Italy’s civil protection chief, Angelo Borrelli, said. The number of cases of across the country also continued to spike, with another 3,590 people testing positive for the disease.

Nearly 25,000 Italians have contracted COVID-19.

Spain, which declared a state of emergency Friday, reported Sunday that the number of deaths rose to 292, up from 84 on Thursday, the country’s health minister, Salvador Illa, said. The number of cases more than doubled, from nearly 3,000 to almost 8,000.

MGM Resorts to close all Las Vegas properties

MGM Resorts will close all of its Las Vegas properties, the hotel chain announced on Sunday. 

The company, which owns many major Las Vegas hotels including Aria, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York and The Mirage, said that starting on Tuesday it will "temporarily suspend operations at its Las Vegas properties until further notice."

Casinos on those properties will close on Monday, the company said.

More than 3,000 confirmed cases reported in the United States

As of March 15 there have been more than 3,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States, driven by more than 200 new cases in New York. At least 800 new cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.

See a map of the cases per U.S. state here, and see the day-by-day breakdown of new cases in the U.S. and the world here.

Steph Curry encourages social distancing

Sanders says ‘shut the president up’ while Biden says 'we're at war with the virus' at Democratic debate

The coronavirus dominated the start of the Democratic debate on Sunday night, with Bernie Sanders ripping President Donald Trump and Joe Biden laying out his plan to contain the outbreak.

“Shut the president up, right now,” Sanders said. Biden said, “We're at war with the virus,” and called for measures to contain the spread and bulk up the health care system. Sanders said the virus issue showed the importance of "Medicare for All," while Biden said the country first needs to deal with the crisis. 

Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas to close for 2 weeks

Wynn Resorts will close two of its Las Vegas properties for two weeks in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the company said Sunday.

CEO Matt Maddox said in a statement that Wynn Las Vegas and Encore will temporarily shutter for most employees on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Maddox said Wynn Resorts will continue to pay full-time employees during the closure.The company had earlier canceled large gatherings and installed thermal cameras at entrances to measure the temperatures of guests.

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."