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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

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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Eerie quiet at D.C. travel hub

The Main Hall of Washington's Union Station, a major transportation hub in the nation's capital, is mainly empty on Monday morning. Patrick Semansky / AP
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VA records one death from coronavirus, 25 positive test results

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it has administered more than 100 tests for COVID-19, and recorded four positive results, 21 presumptive positive results and one death.

The death occurred on March 14 in the Portland, Oregon, VA system. The four confirmed cases are in Palo Alto, California; Southern Nevada; Denver and Maine. Two of the patients are home quarantined and two are inpatients.

The 21 presumptive positive cases, meaning positive pending Centers for Disease Control confirmation, are in New Orleans, Denver, Portland (Oregon), Washington State, Atlanta, Fresno, Sioux Falls, San Francisco, New York City, Tucson, Vermont, Cleveland and New York’s Hudson Valley.

The VA urges “any Veteran with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath [to] immediately contact their local VA facility. VA urges Veterans to call before visiting – you can find contact information for your closest VA facility.”

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