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Trump tells Americans to avoid gatherings of over 10 people and Ohio Gov. delays primary

San Francisco orders nearly 7 million not to leave home "except for essential needs."
Image: Two pedestrians cross an empty California Street on March 16, 2020 in San Francisco.
Two pedestrians cross an empty California Street in San Francisco on Monday.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump tells Americans to avoid gatherings of over 10 people, San Francisco orders the public to stay home, and Ohio's governor defies a court order and delays the primary election.

Here are the latest developments in the global effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump tells Americans to stay home to 'defeat' coronavirus

The Trump administration's coronavirus task force released new guidelines on Monday to slow the spread of coronavirus, including closing schools, and avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people, discretionary travel, bars and restaurants.

The administration later said the guidelines are in effect for 15 days and may change after that time.

When asked about how long the crisis could go on, Trump said "people are talking about July, August."

He urged the country to come together and take action immediately.

"We will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together." (Video)

Here are some of the other major developments:

  • San Francisco took dramatic steps to stop the spread of coronavirus — ordering 6.7 million people in the Bay Area not to leave home "except for essential needs" beginning at midnight Monday. It's the largest city to impose an in-home curfew or other stay-home order in the U.S. so far.
  • In Ohio, the governor defied a judge's decision not to postpone the state's primary election. Gov. Mike DeWine said the state would not open polls Tuesday because of the coronavirus outbreak. "To conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk," DeWine said.
  • Wall Street had a grisly start to the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding by 3,000 points, or 13 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed the day with a decline of around 12 percent each.
  • Monday's massive sell-off came despite emergency action from the Federal Reserve over the weekend. Trump said Monday the economy "may be" heading toward recession as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In a major change of pace, Chinese health officials said Tuesday there were 21 new confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 20 were imported cases. The only new domestic case was recorded in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated.
  • Idris Elba became the latest high-profile celebrity to announce he's tested positive for coronavirus, but said he's feeling fine.
  • And on the good news front, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are no longer hospitalized. They are now self-quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Get the latest updates on the pandemic in our live blog.

Some states have seen a 'phenomenal increase' in coronavirus tests — but America still lags far behind

Some states have seen a desperately needed increase in their bandwidth to test for the coronavirus in recent days — but the United States' testing capacity still lags far behind other nations.

Identifying who is sick is a key part of mitigating a pandemic. So far, the ability to freely test anyone showing symptoms, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath, has eluded U.S. public health officials.

NBC News' Elizabeth Chuck takes a look at what's behind the coronavirus testing crisis in the U.S. that's been bedevilling efforts at containment.

Image: A medical personnel member takes samples of Lee Dinzik at a "drive-thru" coronavirus testing lab set up by a local community center in West Palm Beach
A medical personnel member takes samples at a "drive-thru" coronavirus testing lab set up by a local community center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday. Chandan Khanna / AFP - Getty Images

Coronavirus upends justice system as states close courts and halt trials

The Supreme Court postponed oral arguments on Monday, including its plans to hear a case involving President Donald Trump's efforts to block release of his tax returns.

In Los Angeles, the highly anticipated murder trial of real estate heir Robert Durst was delayed — along with all other criminal and civil trials.

Across the country, attempts to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus have thrown the criminal justice system into disarray as officials try to limit large courthouse gatherings, including juries, while also making sure that people accused of crimes aren't deprived of their due-process rights.

"The ramifications could be catastrophic if not managed properly," one defense lawyer said.

With widespread school closures, teachers and families brace for massive experiment in online education

As of Monday afternoon, 35 states had mandated school closures in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus; at least 35.9 million children are now displaced from their classrooms, according to a tally by Education Week.

As school leaders look for ways to minimize the disruption to children's learning — and try to avoid extending the school year through the summer — teachers at thousands of schools all across the country are scrambling for ways to teach children who are holed up at home.

But it's a Herculean task.

"You can't simply snap your fingers and say, 'Tomorrow you're going fully virtual.' It takes planning and training, and we don't have time for that," said one education expert.

Analysis: Trump finally paints a bleak coronavirus outlook. Is it enough?

For the first time Monday, Trump laid out a truly bleak picture of America in the time of coronavirus — pointing to an "invisible enemy" he said could plunge the nation's economy into recession and possibly even require quarantines of geographic "hot spots," if not the whole country.

Now can he fix it? NBC News' Jonathan Allen asks in a news analysis.

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  • Despite the outbreak, Tuesday’s primaries in the key battleground states of Florida, Arizona and Illinois are still on as the presidential campaigns adapt to new rules.
  • Joe Biden has vowed to pick a female running mate. We take a look at the strength and weakness of five possible contenders.
  • NFL blockbuster: DeAndre Hopkins has reportedly been traded to the Cardinals.

THINK about it

The Irish in America want green cards, not green beer for St. Patrick's Day, filmmaker Sadhbh Walshe writes in an opinion piece.


Cooking at home more while you're shut in? Here are chef's tips on the best cast iron cookware.

Quote of the day

"You cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we don't know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test."

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday.

One new reality thing

OK, so the coronavirus pandemic has brought cities around the world to virtual standstills and forced millions to hunker down at home for the foreseeable future.

If you're looking to get your mind off the alarming headlines (or simply pass the time), here's a guide to 25 of the best movies and shows you could watch during your self-quarantine.

Image: "Fleabag," "Watchmen" and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
"Fleabag," "Watchmen" and "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" could be good ones to watch.BBC; HBO; Focus Features

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Be safe and stay healthy, Petra Cahill