Restrictions on daily life grow as U.S. death toll climbs

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
A traveler talks with a security officer at Washington Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation's capital, on March 16, 2020.
A traveler talks with a security officer at Washington Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation's capital, on March 16, 2020.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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The Dow Jones plunged nearly 3,000 points as U.S. states and major cities are following European nations and capitals in shutting down schools, bars and theaters to try and delay the spread of coronavirus.

California officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, that requires people to stay home except for essential needs, and the governor of Ohio is recommending postponing the state's primary elections originally scheduled for Tuesday.

New York, Los Angeles and Washington state have all announced public buildings will be shut temporarily, amid fears that the number of cases will continue to grow beyond the confirmed 4,000. The National Security Council stressed Sunday night that there is no U.S.-wide shutdown or national quarantine.

A long list of European nations that have enacted severe countrywide lockdowns, including France, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland. Italy, the worst affected European country, has recorded more than 1,800 coronavirus-related deaths so far and expects some 90,000 infections by the end of April.

The U.S. death toll climbed to at least 85, with 25 of those deaths associated with the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington.

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De Blasio warns outbreak could bring something like another Great Depression

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Monday that the coronavirus outbreak could result in something as bad as the Great Depression.

"We have the historical playbook, and this, if you want to know what this whole thing is going to play out as, one part the Great Recession we went through a few years ago, one part the Great Depression, one part the 1918 flu epidemic," he said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," saying those are three models to use in considering how to manage the outbreak.

De Blasio said it's going to take "massive direct relief to Americans" to replace lost paychecks because of the crisis.

"We're going to have to recreate economic capacity," he said. "If you don't have money, you can't pay the rent, you can't buy food, you can't buy medicine. So, we have to understand this as a pure war footing, right down to rationing if you need it."

A Barcelona supermarket shows how Spain is getting used to the new social distance

People keep their distance as they wait their turn at a supermarket in Barcelona, Spain, Monday.David Ramos / Getty Images

Connecticut couple spends 67th anniversary separated after nursing home visits banned

Bob Shellard held a sign outside his wife's nursing home in Stafford Springs, CT, on Saturday that read "I've loved you 67 years and still do. Happy Anniversary."

The couple had to celebrate their 67th anniversary on Saturday separated by a window because the governor temporarily banned nursing home visits due to coronavirus.

Bob used to visit his wife, Nancy, at the nursing home everyday before the new rules went into place, and told NBC Connecticut they haven't spent a single one of their 66 previous anniversaries apart.

"It makes me feel bad because I want her down with me and I know she can't be," Bob said of Nancy.

Nancy waved blew kisses to Bob from her window, according to the local affiliate.

The couple got married in their early-20s and have four children together.

"I can only hope that I have half as much as what they have shared over the years," their daughter Laura Mikolajczak said.

'Disaster waiting to happen': Cuomo warns 'major crisis' at hospitals could be weeks away

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Monday that he needs the U.S. military to step in and help expand hospital capacity because otherwise "this is a disaster waiting to happen." 

Cuomo said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he needs the Army Corps of Engineers to retrofit old building and dorms to create more intensive care units beds; about 80 percent of New York's hospital ICU beds are already occupied, he said. 

"My priority is turning to the hospital system, because that's where we're going to have a major crisis, and it's weeks away," said Cuomo, who added that he plans to announce additional measures Monday.

In a separate interview on "Morning Joe" after Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed that the military must get involved to create emergency ICUs all over the country. "If we don't have those medical facilities, if we don't have those ventilators and those supplies, you're going to be losing thousands and thousands of lives that could have been saved," he said. 

Another prominent political figure dies of coronavirus in Iran: state media

Iran's state media reported Monday another senior political figure has died of coronavirus.

Isna news agency said Grand Ayatollah Hashem Bathaie Golpayegani has died of COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, Sunday night. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts, a body tasked with choosing the country's supreme leader.

Iran has been one of the global hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 15,000 cases and 853 deaths. The virus has sickened and killed several members of the country's political elite.

Paris is quiet as France shuts down to curb coronavirus

Public transport was quiet in Paris on Sunday as France shut shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities with its 67 million people told to stay at home. Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

Arnold Schwarzenegger encourages people to stay at home 'as much as possible'

Brothers donate 17,700 hoarded bottles of hand sanitizer after officials open probe

Matt and Noah Colvin went viral after a New York Times article detailed a 1,300 mile trip they took around their home state of Tennessee and neighboring Kentucky to buy 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer and thousands of packages of antibacterial wipes to sell them on Amazon for between $8 and $70.

The brothers were dragged on social media for hoarding the products necessary to fight the coronavirus, and the Tennessee Attorney General's Office opened a price gouging investigation.

Colvin stopped selling the in-demand antibacterial supplies at a markup after Amazon got wise to COVID-19-related price gouging and moved to stop it. Over the weekend, he wrote on his seller's page that he would be donating his remaining stock "to a local church and first responders."

A reporter with NBC affiliate WRCB was on the scene of one of the Colvins' at least three storage areas filled with the crucial goods as they were collected Sunday. 

Read the full story here.

'TODAY' staffer tests positive for coronavirus

A "TODAY" employee working at 30 Rockefeller Plaza has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, NBC News announced Monday.

"Last night we learned a colleague of ours on the Third Hour of 'TODAY' has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus," Savannah Guthrie, an anchor of the show, said. "So, out of an abundance of caution, Craig [Melvin] and Al [Roker] have taken the morning off."

The employee is experiencing mild symptoms and receiving medical care, according to an email sent from NBC News President Noah Oppenheim.

"As you know, we have been preparing for this possibility and are taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our teams," Oppenheim wrote in the email.

NBC News has identified employees in close contact with the affected employee and has asked them to self-isolate. The entire staff of the 9 a.m. editorial team was asked to work from home on Monday, according to Oppenheim's note.

"We are just trying to play exactly by the rules," Hoda Kotb, another anchor of the show, said on air. "We hope and wish they come back soon."

'Very frustrating': Impeachment attorney Daniel Goldman explains coronavirus testing ordeal

Attorney Daniel Goldman, who was counsel to House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, said Monday that it was "very difficult" and "very frustrating" to try to get tested for the coronavirus. 

Goldman revealed Sunday on Twitter that his test returned positive and said in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he had what felt like a "medium-strength flu" for three days. He went to both urgent care and a New York hospital, both of which said they couldn't do anything for him. 

"I had not been in contact with anyone who I knew to be positive for coronavirus, and now, basically, that meant I could not get tested," said Goldman, a former MSNBC legal analyst.

Other tests, for the flu and a full viral panel, came back negative, Goldman said, and he decided to drive from New York to Connecticut last Friday to get tested for the coronavirus at a curbside clinic. After he tested positive, his wife and children had to get tested over the weekend and are awaiting the results.

Goldman said he suspected that he contracted the virus during a trip to London the previous weekend and said he did not take the threat of the illness seriously.

"I didn't take it seriously enough, but everybody really needs to take this seriously," he said. "Anybody can get it anywhere. Whatever we hear about the limited number of cases, we just don't know. There's way insufficient testing to know how many people have it."

Petition demands U.K. schools and colleges closure

An online petition to close public schools and colleges in the U.K. to help stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic gained nearly 600,000 signatures as of Monday morning.

The petition calls on the British government close schools and colleges in the coming weeks or as soon as possible to prevent further spread.

Unlike other European nations that have already entered nationwide lockdowns, shutting down places of mass gatherings to curb the spread of the virus, the U.K. government has yet to shut down educational institutions, bars, restaurants and shops.

It’s expected to provide an update on its next steps Monday afternoon. So far, 1,391 cases of coronavirus have been identified in the U.K., including 35 deaths.