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Maryland cracking down on stay-at-home order violators

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 732,153
  • Global deaths: At least 34,686
  • US cases: At least 143,055
  • US deaths: At least 2,513

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

12:09 pm: Violators of Maryland stay-at-home order could face prison time, $5,000 fine

Members of the Maryland Army National Guard work to set up a triage tent in the parking lot outside of the emergency room at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center on March 19, 2020 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order with a stay-at-home directive for the entire state. He said those who violate the order would be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The order is effective 8:00 p.m. Monday.

“No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason,” Hogan said at a press briefing.

Residents will still be allowed to leave their homes for food, medicine or medical attention. The state previously closed all nonessential businesses. —Hannah Miller

11:54 am: WHO says early data shows some drugs ‘may have an impact’ on coronavirus, but more research is needed

World Health Organization officials said early research shows that some drugs “may have an impact” on fighting the coronavirus, but the data is extremely preliminary and more research needs to be done to determine whether the treatments can reliably fight COVID-19.

There is “some preliminary data from non-randomized studies, observational studies, that indicate some drugs and some drug cocktails may have an impact,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters. “A number of drugs” have shown promise in treating other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS, that may be helpful in fighting COVID-19, he said.

“Some of those drugs may impact the length of disease, some may impact the severity of disease and the dosages of those drugs when they’re given to what patient at what stage of the disease has not been standardized,” Ryan said. “We have never had a comparison group where we’ve had a randomized approach to treatment with the drug or not treatment with the drug.” —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

11:43 am: Feds charge Georgia man with billing for fraudulent COVID-19, cancer testing claims

Federal prosecutors have criminally charged a Georgia man for allegedly conspiring to defraud federal and private health-care benefit programs “by submitting fraudulent testing claims” for coronavirus and genetic cancer screenings, authorities announced Monday.

The man, 49-year-old Erik Santos is accused in a complaint by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of New Jersey of one count of conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, and a single count of conspiring to commit health care fraud. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of both counts.

Prosecutors said that during a phone call on March 19 Santos explained how he viewed the coronavirus outbreak as a chance to make money.

″[W]hile there are people going through what they are going through, you can either go bankrupt or you can prosper,” Santos said on that call, according to prosecutors. —Dan Mangan

11:37 am: Cramer warns stock market short sellers about betting against science in coronavirus crisis

CNBC’s Jim Cramer argued that stock market short sellers are unwisely doubting the ability of scientists to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

“This is a day where you say, if I’m short I’m betting against science, not betting against the lackadaisical attitude of many people in the country, ” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.”

Short sellers take positions on the hope that the market will drop.

Cramer’s comments came shortly after Johnson & Johnson announced plans to start human trials on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine by September, earlier than the pharmaceutical giant had previously stated. The company also said the vaccine could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021. —Kevin Stankiewicz

11:24 am: Coronavirus death toll in Italy’s Lombardy rises by around 458 in a day

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in the northern region of Lombardy, the epicentre of Italy’s contagion, has risen by around 458 in a day to some 6,818, a source familiar with the data said.

The daily deaths were up from Sunday’s tally of 416.

The number of cases in the region, which includes the country’s financial capital Milan, increased by some 1,154 to around 42,161, the source said.

The increase in cases was much smaller than the 1,592 new cases registered on Sunday and the 2,117 new cases on Saturday. —Reuters

11:09 am: Macy’s will start furloughing most employees this week as it copes with significant sales losses

Macy’s store in New York City.

SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Macy’s said the majority of its employees will be furloughed beginning this week as it copes with significant sales losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer declined to say how many employees will be affected by the furloughs. It said it’s lost most of its sales, even as it remains open online, and that’s why the cuts are necessary. Sales have plummeted since all of its stores temporarily closed in mid-March. The retailer has suspended its dividend, drawn down a line of credit, frozen hiring and canceled some orders.

“While these actions have helped, it is not enough,” the company said in a statement. —Melissa Repko

10:58 am: Trump says US officials should have ‘good idea’ if malaria drug works in three days

President Donald Trump said U.S. health officials should have a “good idea” whether an anti-malaria drug being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 is effective in fighting the coronavirus in “the next three days.”

“Hydroxychloroquine is something that I have been pushing very hard,” Trump said Monday morning during an interview on Fox News.  “I think we’re going to have a good idea over the next three days because it’s been used now in New York at my request — 1,100 people. It’s been used. I think that’s better than testing it in a laboratory. But the doctors tell me no.”

There are no proven therapies for the treatment of COVID-19 and U.S. health officials expect a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months. —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr.

10:48 am: Carnival suspends another month of cruises

Carnival Cruise line, which is owned by parent Carnival, said it has extended its suspension of North American operations until May 11. The announcement is an extension of a 30-day suspension of North American operations announced on March 13.

“As COVID-19 continues to impact global health and commerce, we are sorry to extend our pause in our operations until May 11,” Carnival Cruises said in a statement. The company said it is working with customers and travel agents to refund affected purchases. —Will Feuer

10:40 am: Historic $2 trillion CARES Act will be an economic lifeline for gig workers and freelancers

The $2 trillion federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act, signed into law by President Trump on Friday, will be a lifeline to many gig workers and freelancers. The law takes unprecedented steps to provide a social safety net for the self-employed.

It offers an additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance, bringing weekly payouts to the $800- to $900-a-week range when state benefits are added, to workers including the self-employed. —Elaine Pofeldt

10:05 am: February pending home sales jump over 9% annually, ahead of major coronavirus impact 

A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale in San Anselmo, California.

Justin Sullivan | California

Homebuyer demand was strengthening markedly just before COVID-19 began its spread across the U.S.

Pending home sales, which measure signed contracts on existing homes, rose a stronger than expected 2.4% in February compared with January. Sales were up a steep 9.4% annually, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the highest pace in exactly three years.

“February’s pending sales figures show the housing market had been very healthy prior to the coronavirus-induced shutdown,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Numbers in the coming weeks will show just how hard the housing market was hit, but I am optimistic that the upcoming stimulus package will lessen the economic damage and we may get a V-shaped robust recovery later in the year.” —Diana Olick

9:56 am: Virtual and solo home touring soars amid coronavirus fear 

Like all interaction in the age of COVID-19, home touring is moving online and going solo. Zillow, a home listing site, said it saw a 191% increase in the creation of 3D home tours in the first weeks of March, compared with the average number created in February. Even before the coronavirus, listings including a 3D Home tour were saved by users 50% more, and those homes sold on average 10% faster.

Redfin, a real estate brokerage, saw a 494% increase in requests for agent-led video home tours two weeks ago. At the beginning of last week, 18.9% of tour requests from Redfin.com were video-chat tours, up from 0.2% at the beginning of March, a 94-fold increase. —Diana Olick

9:43 am: USNS Comfort arrives in New York City to treat non-coronavirus patients 

The USNS Comfort passes the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 30, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

The USNS Comfort is set to dock some time around 10 a.m. and it will be ready to take in patients within 24 hours. While the ship won’t be able to treat people with COVID-19, its 1,000 beds and 12 operation rooms are ready to bolster the health care system. —NBC News 

9:34 am: Dow rises 200 points as Wall Street continues last week’s rebound after virus measures extended 

Stocks rose on Monday, building on a strong rally from last week as the U.S. extends measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 227 points higher, or 1.1%. The S&P 500 climbed 1.5% along with the Nasdaq Composite. —Fred Imbert 

9:30 am: Yum Brands CEO to forgo 2020 salary to fund general manager bonuses 

Yum Brands CEO David Gibbs will forgo the rest of his base salary in 2020 to fund one-time $1,000 bonuses to the company’s nearly 1,200 restaurant general managers across KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill. 

His salary will also help fund the Yum Brands Foundation Global Employee Medical Relief Fund, according to a Monday regulatory filing. The fund will provide financial hardship grants to those directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including company and franchise restaurant employees. Yum plans to also accept donations to the fund.

King stood to make $900,000 from his salary this year, excluding any performance-based bonuses. —Amelia Lucas 

9:21 am: Facebook commits $100 million to support news media hurt by the virus crisis 

Facebook pledged $100 million in financing and advertising spending to support news organizations, including local publishers in the U.S., reeling from pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook’s donation includes $25 million in emergency grant funding for local media, and $75 million in marketing spend for news organizations globally, it said. The social network said the first round of its grants went to 50 local newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada. —Reuters 

9:15 am: Cepheid’s rapid coronavirus test may eventually be used in mobile locations

The 45-minute COVID-19 test developed by Cepheid may eventually be able to determine results from mobile locations, Dr. David Alland, chief of infectious diseases at Rutgers’ New Jersey Medical School, told CNBC. Rutgers University is validating the test from Cepheid, which last week received emergency authorization from the FDA. 

“We hope ultimately to have these tests up in .. mobile vans so we can go around testing that way,” Alland said on “Squawk Box.” “Since the results are so fast, you get actionable information that we think will be very helpful with decisions about quarantine, hopefully about treatment.” —Kevin Stankiewicz 

9:00 am: How the US fell behind countries like South Korea in coronavirus testing 

The deadly coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks, and exposed a weak spot in the United States’ preparedness for a public health emergency. In the critical first weeks of the outbreak in the U.S., one problem after another prevented doctors, clinics, and labs around the country from testing enough people. Now, the U.S. is months behind in understanding the true scope of the virus. Testing capacity is finally ramping up, but is it too late?

8:54 am: Stock futures rise as investors brace for another volatile week 

U.S. stock futures were slightly higher Monday morning, following sharp gains last week, as the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. continued to rise at an alarming rate over the weekend.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 135 points higher, indicating an opening gain of about 70 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also rose slightly. Earlier, futures had pointed to opening gains.

A 6% drop in crude prices capped gains for the stock futures as big declines in oil has triggered selling in other areas of the markets. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were last seen at $20.28 per barrel. —Fred Imbert

8:44 am: Amazon workers plan to strike at Staten Island warehouse to demand protections 

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island plan to strike on Monday to call attention to the lack of protections for employees who continue to come to work amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Nearly 100 workers at the facility, known as JFK8, plan to participate in the work stoppage. The employees will walk out and “cease all operations” until their demands are heard by site leadership, said Chris Smalls, a management assistant at JFK8 and a lead organizer of the strike.

Smalls and other associates said they’ve grown increasingly concerned about coming into work after an employee tested positive for the virus there last week. An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC it was supporting the individual who is in quarantine and asked anyone who was in contact with the individual to stay home with pay for two weeks. The facility has remained open. —Annie Palmer

8:32 am: Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 US deaths

The White House coronavirus response coordinator said that she is “very worried about every city in the United States” and projects 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths as a best-case scenario.

In an interview on “TODAY,” Dr. Deborah Birx painted a grim message about the expected fatalities, echoing that without doing any measures they could hit as high as 2.2 million, as coronavirus cases continue to climb throughout the U.S.

“I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5000 cases very quickly,” Birx said.

“I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines” she added. —NBC News

8:21 am: UK’s Prince Charles, 71, out of self-isolation and in good health

British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation after seven days and is in good health, his spokesman said.

After consultation with his doctor, he is now out of self-isolation, his Clarence House office said. He will resume meetings and take exercise in accordance with government and medical guidelines.

However, his wife Camilla, who tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in self-isolation until the end of the week in case she too develops symptoms. —Reuters

8:16 am: Tokyo Olympics get a new date

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers said the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.” —Associated Press

8:12 am: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to go into quarantine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he will enter self-quarantine after an aide tested positive for coronavirus.

The office said that Netanyahu has undergone a test and will remain in quarantine until he receives results or is cleared by the health ministry and his personal doctor. His close advisors are also isolating. His office says the step is a precaution prior to the conclusion of an epidemiological investigation. Netanyahu’s adviser for parliamentary affairs, Rivka Paluch, tested positive.

More than 4,300 Israelis have been infected with the new virus and 15 have died. —Associated Press 

8:01 am: New US cases outpace world

7:59 am: Johnson & Johnson says human testing of its coronavirus vaccine to begin by September

Johnson & Johnson said human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus would begin by September and that it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

J&J also said it has committed more than $1 billion of investment along with U.S. agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research. —Will Feuer

7:28 am: Trump extends distancing guidelines

President Donald Trump reversed himself on Sunday evening, extending the national social-distancing guidelines to April 30 in an effort to keep the projected death toll in the U.S. from reaching 100,000. 

Trump’ previously said he wanted the country to reopen for business by Easter. Public health experts have warned that loosening restrictions by Easter, on April 12, would result in unnecessary death and economic damage. Trump had suggested that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak within two weeks.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won,” Trump said at an evening press briefing. The president claimed Sunday that Easter was just an “aspiration” and he hopes the country will “be well on our way to recovery” by June 1. —Emma Newburger

7:25 am: Virgin Atlantic asks UK for financial help

Sir Richard Branson

Getty Images

Virgin Atlantic asked the U.K. government for emergency financial help in addition to the coronavirus package made available to all British companies, a source familiar with the situation said.

Britain-based Virgin Atlantic, which is 51% owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group and 49% by Delta Air Lines, made a proposal to the government’s advisor Rothschild and is hoping to get a response by  early next week, the source told Reuters on Monday.

It was not clear whether Virgin could receive commercial loans and guarantees or whether the government could take a stake in the airline. British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said in a report of a transport committee meeting published on Friday that everything was on the table. —Reuters

7:21 am: Spain’s health emergency chief tests positive

A healthcare worker dressed in protective gear takes samples from a driver at a drive-through testing point for the COVID-19 disease at the University Hospital in Burgos on March 28, 2020.

Cesar Manso | AFP | Getty Images

Spain’s health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who leads the country’s response to the coronavirus epidemic and maintains regular contact with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has tested positive for the virus, a top health official said.

Speaking at a daily news conference where she replaced Simon, Maria Jose Sierra said the trend in daily infections had changed since the introduction of lockdown measures, with new infections now rising at roughly 12% a day, compared with around 20% before March 25. —Reuters

7:18 am: Italy’s death toll surpasses 10,000 as prime minister warns of rising ‘nationalist instincts’

Italy is the worst-hit country by the pandemic so far in Europe, with the highest number of deaths and cases among its 60 million citizens. Now, it’s prime minister is warning that Europe is not doing enough to help Italy.

“If the EU does not live up to its vocation and its role in this historical situation, will citizens have more confidence in it or will they permanently lose it?,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte asked during an interview with El Pais.

He added that the risk of a higher anti-EU sentiment was “obvious” as a result. “Nationalist instincts, in Italy, but also in Spain and elsewhere, will be much stronger if Europe is not up to the task,” he said. —Silvia Amaro

7:15 am: Apple supplier Foxconn’s profit down 24% in last quarter of 2019

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn reported a 23.7% fall in profit in the last three months of 2019 as it braces for the impact from the coronavirus pandemic that has hit demand from key customers such as Apple.

Foxconn, which assembles iPhones at factories in China, reported net profit of $1.6 billion, according to Reuters calculations, slightly above average consensus estimates compiled by Refinitiv. The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer did not give any explanation for the decline in the same period a year earlier.

Foxconn is among manufacturers worldwide grappling with the fallout from coronavirus restrictions that have disrupted supply chains and hurt demand. —Reuters

6:55 am: US crude dips below $20 as lockdowns hurt demand

Oil prices fell sharply, with U.S. crude briefly dropping below $20 and Brent hitting its lowest level in 18 years, on heightened fears that the global coronavirus shutdown could last months and demand for fuel could decline further.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, was down $1.92, or 7.7%, at $23.01, after earlier dropping to $22.58, the lowest since November 2002. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $1.03, or 4.8%, to $20.48. Earlier in the session, WTI fell as low as $19.92.

The price of oil is now so low that it is becoming unprofitable for many oil companies to remain active, analysts said, and higher-cost producers will have no choice but to shut production, especially since storage capacities are almost full.

“Global oil demand is evaporating on the back of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and social-distancing measures,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo. —Reuters

6:43 am: Carnival’s Cunard extends suspension of cruises to May 15

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is among the ships registered in Bermuda.

Source: James D. Morgan | Cunard Line

Carnival’s luxury cruise ship operator Cunard said it will extend the suspension of all voyages by a month to May 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Carnival, also the operator of two coronavirus-stricken Princess cruises, already temporarily suspended several of its ships due to concerns over the rapidly spreading COVID-19 crisis.

Cunard, which extended the suspension from April 11, said it would provide a 125% credit for future cruise to travelers impacted by the suspension. The credit can be redeemed against a new booking before the end of March 2022.

Theme park operator Walt Disney and several other retailers have also extended temporary closures as the health crisis worsens. —Reuters

6:08 am: Sweden defends its more relaxed coronavirus strategy

While the rest of Europe imposes severe restrictions on public life and closes borders and businesses, Sweden is taking a more relaxed approach to the coronavirus outbreak.

Unlike its immediate neighbors Denmark, Finland, and Norway, Sweden has not closed its borders or its schools. Neither has it closed nonessential businesses or banned gatherings of more than two people, as the U.K. and Germany have.

The country’s lead epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told CNBC on Monday that although his country’s strategy to tackle the virus was different, the aim was the same.

“My view is that basically all European countries are trying to do the same thing — we’re trying to slow down the spread as much as possible to keep health care and society working … and we have shown some different methods to slow down the spread,” he told CNBC.

“Sweden has gone mostly for voluntary measures because that’s how we’re used to working,” Tegnell added. “And we have a long tradition that it works rather well.” — Holly Ellyatt

5:53 am: Boris Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings has coronavirus symptoms

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, has symptoms of coronavirus and is self-isolating at home, Sky News said Monday.

He started developing symptoms over the weekend and will be staying in contact with the rest of the Downing Street team during his quarantine period, No. 10 has confirmed, Sky reported.

Johnson and his health minister, Matt Hancock, announced on Friday they have tested positive for the virus. Prince Charles also has COVID-19. — Holly Ellyatt

5:02 am: UK lockdown could last six months; US and Europe prepare for longer restrictions

The lockdown in the U.K. to stop the coronavirus outbreak could last six months, government officials warned on Sunday, as the U.S. and other European nations also announced prolonged restrictions on public life.

Speaking at the U.K.’s daily press conference on the latest coronavirus news, the U.K.’s deputy chief medical officer said a lockdown could last, in some form, for months.  “Over time, probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review,” Jenny Harries said, “We will see where we’re going.”

“We need to keep that lid on and then gradually we will be able to hopefully adjust some of the social-distancing measures and gradually get us all back to normal. So I think three weeks for review, two or three months to see whether we’ve really squashed it. But about three to six months ideally,” she said. — Holly Ellyatt

Correction: An earlier version misidentified Yum Brand’s CEO. The CEO is David Gibbs.

Read CNBC’s full coverage from the Asia-Pacific team overnight: Australia plans $80 billion more stimulus as global cases cross 700,000. 

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