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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Supreme Court announces it will delay oral arguments

The Supreme Court said Monday that it will delay oral arguments in light of the coronavirus outbreak. That means the justices will not be in the courtroom to resume hearing oral arguments next week.

Among the high-profile cases on the schedule was the March 31 argument on President Donald Trump's efforts to shield his tax returns and other financial documents from Congress and a New York prosecutor.

N.Y., N.J. and Connecticut announce widespread closures Monday night to combat coronavirus

Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut announced in a conference call that starting Monday night at 8 p.m., all restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and casinos will be ordered closed, while no events of more than 50 people will be permitted in their states.

Bars and restaurants will still be able to provide takeout and delivery services after the 8 p.m. closure.

Cuomo told reporters on the call that they felt it necessary to agree "to a common set of rules that will pertain in all of our states" so that people wouldn't "even think about going to a neighboring state because there's going to be a different set of conditions."

Speaking at a press conference with reporters, Cuomo called on the federal government to create national guidelines so that different states aren't each doing their own measures, saying that creates the appearance that the country is in "chaos" and "out of control."

Norwegian airline temporarily lays off 7,300 staff

A European airline plans to temporarily lay off more than 7,000 staffers as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the aviation industry.

The airline, Norwegian, said in a statement Monday that around 90 percent of its workforce would be laid off for an unspecified amount of time as the majority of its flights are grounded. The airline operates mainly out of the United Kingdom and carried 6 million passengers from there last year.

“What our industry is now facing is unprecedented and critical as we are approaching a scenario where most of our airplanes will be temporarily grounded,” CEO Jacob Schram said.

“It is indeed with a heavy heart we have to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 of our colleagues, but we unfortunately have no choice. However, I want to emphasize that this is temporary, because when the world returns to normalcy my goal is to keep as many of our dedicated colleagues as possible,” Schram added.

The scene in Italy

Hospital personnel look out the window of the Gemelli hospital where coronavirus patients are being treated in Rome on Monday. Italy on Sunday reported its biggest day-to-day increase in infections — 3,590 more cases in a 24-hour period — for a total of almost 24,747. And 368 more deaths brought its toll to 1,809, more than a quarter of the global death toll.Cecilia Fabiano / AP

Italy to spend $28 billion on coronavirus measures

Italy's government announced Monday its plans to spend 25 billion euros ($28 billion) to tackle a growing coronavirus epidemic.

The money will allow the hiring of more doctors and nurses and provide legal and economic incentives for businesses producing medical devices.

It will also be used to boost the country's economy by placing a moratorium on both businesses and personal mortgage repayments, deferring tax and bill payments and providing economic support for all workers facing temporary layoffs.

“We were the first country to put in place 25 billion euros in support of our economic system," Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said after the injection of funding was announced Monday. "This is a powerful package. We don’t think we can fight this flood with rags."

The hardest-hit country in Europe, Italy has nearly 25,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,809 deaths. 

White House cancels Easter Egg Roll amid coronavirus fears

The White House has canceled its annual Easter Egg Roll as a precaution against the coronavirus, first lady Melania Trump's office announced Monday. 

“The health and safety of all Americans must be the first priority, especially right now,” the first lady said in a statement. “I deeply regret this cancelation, but we need to make difficult decisions in the short term to ensure a healthy country for the long term. During this time, I encourage everyone to listen to state and local officials, and follow CDC guidelines in order to help protect the health and well-being of everyone.”

The annual event, which officially dates back to the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878, was scheduled to take place on April 13.  

Dow now trading at same level as it was when President Trump took office

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now trading at almost the same level as it was when President Donald Trump took office.

After a brutal week for all three major averages, the Dow plunged again just minutes into Monday's trading session, falling 10 percent to around 20,600. When Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017, the Dow was at around 20,000 points.

Checking temperatures at the White House

Workers from the White House Physician's Office check the body temperatures of people entering the White House with a forehead temperature scanner on Monday. The White House is now routinely checking the temperatures of people who may be in close contact with President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence. Win McNamee / Getty Images

Wall Street plunges again, despite unprecedented crisis response package from Fed

Wall Street plunged again on Monday, despite emergency action from the Federal Reserve over the weekend to shore up the economy by infusing markets and Main Street with easier access to cash.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by 2,200 points at the opening bell, with the S&P 500 falling by 7 percent, triggering a circuit breaker that halted all trading on the exchange floor for 15 minutes. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by around 6 percent. When trading resumed, all three major averages extended their losses.

The chaos came just over 12 hours after the Fed unleashed a series of crisis response measures, slashing rates to almost zero on Sunday night, injecting cash into Treasurys, and announcing coordinated efforts with central banks across the world to ensure liquidity as the coronavirus pandemic takes a hold on the global economy.