Italy says it’s halting most travel and public gatherings to try to restrain the outbreak.
The Italian government on Monday night extended restrictions on personal movement and public events to the entire country, in a desperate effort to stem the coronavirus outbreak — an extraordinary set of measures in a modern democracy that values individual freedoms.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced in a prime-time news conference that public gatherings were banned and people would be allowed to travel only for work or for emergencies.
Those restrictions had been placed on the “red zone” created in northern Italy, covering about 16 million people, but Mr. Conte extended them to an entire nation of 60 million.
“We all have to renounce something for the good of Italy,” said Mr. Conte, saying that the government would enact more stringent rules over the entire Italian peninsula to make sure that everyone stayed “at home.”
“We have to do it immediately,” he said, explaining that special permission would be necessary for Italians who sought to move around the country for reasons of work, health or special needs. He said that schools and universities would remain closed as a result until at least April 3.
Italy has recorded more than 9,000 coronavirus infections and 463 deaths — well over half the toll for all of Europe — and the numbers continue to climb fast.
President Trump says he will discuss economic measures with Congress.
President Trump announced on Monday that he would work with Congress on measures to bolster the economy, following the steepest market drop in more than a decade, fueled by fear over the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House that he would meet with Senate leaders and House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss a “very substantial” payroll tax cut and legislation intended to protect hourly wage earners who may have to miss work because of the spread of the virus. He also said he would ensure that the Small Business Administration extends more loans.
“This was something that we were thrown into, and we’re going to handle it, and we have been handling it very well,” Mr. Trump said. He added: “The main thing is that we’re taking care of the American public, and we will be taking care of the American public.”
At the same news briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said that more than a million coronavirus tests have been distributed so far, and that another four million tests would be distributed by the end of the week.
Stocks plunge in the worst daily drop since 2008.
Stocks in the United States on Monday suffered their worst single-day decline in more than a decade, as the coronavirus and an oil price war fueled concerns about the state of the global economy.
The S&P 500 fell 7.6 percent on Monday, falling so swiftly in early trading that trading was briefly halted early in the day — a rare occurrence meant to prevent stocks from crashing. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2,000 points, or 7.8 percent.
The S&P index ended the day 19 percent below the peak it reached last month. A decline of 20 percent from that high would be seen as marking the end of the bull market that began exactly 11 years ago.
The drop was the worst for stocks in the United States since December 2008, when the country was still reeling from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the housing crisis that dragged the economy into a recession.
Stock markets in Asia and Europe also suffered steep losses on Monday.
The selling in stocks came after Saudi Arabia and Russia set off an oil price war over the weekend. Prices already had been falling as investors fretted that a looming recession triggered by the coronavirus was depressing demand.
But on Monday, prices plunged more than 20 percent, their sharpest decline since the Persian Gulf war of 1991. That led to a collapse in share prices of companies and businesses that service the oil and gas sector.
The cruise ship isolated off the California coast docks.
A cruise ship isolated off the coast of California amid a coronavirus outbreak has docked at the port of Oakland, and officials are preparing to quarantine the thousands of people who have been stranded on board.
Passengers who had been stuck inside their cabins for days cheered and smiled as the ship passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on Monday. “We’re home,” one passenger said.
They waved from their balconies as they approached the port, where portable hand-washing stations and a crew of employees in khaki uniforms awaited them.
State and federal agencies had been putting together a detailed plan for how to contain coronavirus cases from the vessel, which is carrying 2,421 passengers and 1,113 crew members. Last week, 45 people on the ship were tested for coronavirus and 21 tested positive, 19 of them crew members.
Everyone on board the ship, the Grand Princess, will be quarantined for 14 days, with the majority being held at military bases or on the ship itself.
It is expected to take two to three days to clear the ship, with priority given to the patients who tested positive and other people who need medical care.
California residents, who make up around 40 percent of the passengers, will be transferred to military bases across the state, including the nearby Travis Air Force Base. Foreign passengers will be sent home on charter flights from a section of Oakland International Airport where they can avoid contact with the general public, officials said.
Most of the crew members will remain onboard the cruise ship, which is expected to leave the San Francisco Bay within about three days.
The cruise ship company, Princess Cruises, offered all passengers on the Grand Princess full refunds for their trips, including airfare and most purchases on board. They were also offered credit for a future cruise.
More precautions are urged for Americans over 80.
Federal health officials are urging older Americans and their families to take a host of precautions against infection.
In addition to the basics recommended for everyone like washing hands often, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on Monday that people over 80 should:
Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated areas;
Stock up on medications, groceries and other necessities now;
Have a backup plan for health care if they are homebound;
Try not to make contact with high-touch surfaces in public areas;
Forget about traveling aboard a cruise ship.
Whether the advice should apply to younger Americans as well was uncertain. Dr. Messonnier said the available research supports extra precautions only for those 80 and older.
Older adults with additional health conditions are far more likely to become severely ill or die from a coronavirus infection than younger people are. According to a study of more than 72,000 patients in China, the death rate was less than 1 percent of those under 50, but rose to 8 percent for those in their 70s and 15 percent for those in their 80s.
The virus continues to spread across the U.S.
The United States faces an accelerating pace of new coronavirus case reports as well as the prospect of more sweeping measures to fight the spread of the virus. On Monday, the national total of infections surpassed 650 and the death toll hit 26.
A number of new cases have raised concerns about transmission in public places.
In Kentucky, a patient who tested positive had worked at a Walmart in Cynthiana, near Lexington, officials said. In Washington, D.C., a church rector who gave communion and shook hands with parishioners at Christ Church Georgetown was identified as a patient, prompting officials to urge hundreds of parishioners to self-quarantine.
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington said he was considering mandatory measures to keep people apart. School districts in several states have shut down, universities are moving classes online, companies are telling employees to work from home, and houses of worship are limiting services.
Senior Pentagon officials began practicing “social distancing,” holding meetings by videoconference in several rooms, rather than crowding into a single room. The Army announced on Monday that the commander of U.S. forces in Europe, Lt. Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, along with several members of his staff, had been exposed to the coronavirus and would self-quarantine as they wait to see if they develop symptoms. The general is based in Wiesbaden, Germany, but travels all over Europe.
In Georgia, the Fulton County school system, covering suburbs of Atlanta, announced it would close on Tuesday — the largest U.S. district to do so — after an employee tested positive.
U.S. officials are not yet talking about locking down whole cities, as China and Italy have done.
“I don’t think you want to have folks shutting down cities like in northern Italy — we are not at that level,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the leading American expert on infectious diseases, said in an interview. “Social distancing like in Seattle is the way to go.”
C.D.C. officials said on Monday that older people and those with chronic illnesses — groups with high fatality rates — should take immediate precautions, like stocking groceries and adequate medical supplies
The Justice Department warned makers of health care products on Monday against seizing on the crisis to illegally profit from the sale of face masks, sterile gloves and other health care products, by colluding to fix prices.
Boston calls off its St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The coronavirus outbreak has prompted the cancellation of one of Boston’s iconic events: the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
“This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution, to ensure that we are doing what is needed to keep the residents of Boston safe and healthy,” Mayor Martin J. Walsh said on Monday.
The parade, which draws thousands to South Boston, was scheduled to take place next Sunday, the weekend before the holiday.
Twenty-eight coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Massachusetts, and another 22 cases across the country have been traced to a recent business conference in Boston.
As coronavirus cases grow across the country, state and city officials have taken a close look at large public gatherings, where infections could easily spread from person to person. At least one other city with a historically prominent Irish population, Chicago, has also considered canceling its St. Patrick’s Day parade, but as of Monday afternoon, city officials said the parade was still on.
They added one caveat, asking people with “underlying health conditions to consider avoiding large crowds to minimize their risk of getting sick,” according to a statement from the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
As Italy began one of the largest-ever attempts to restrict the movement of people in a modern country, Israel on Monday imposed a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from abroad, and Saudi Arabia closed off air and sea travel to nine countries. Egypt limited access to its most famous temples along the Nile at Luxor, amid fears that the city had become a major international virus transmission point. About 136 crew members and guests from one Nile cruiser, the A Sara, have been in quarantine in Luxor, in southern Egypt, since Saturday.
But in China, where the disease began and most cases have occurred, the authorities continue to tout their success in beating back its spread, and began lifting some of the restrictions they imposed when the epidemic was racing out of control.
The first schools reopened in China on Monday, but experts cautioned that until very stringent restrictions on movement were lifted, it would be hard to gauge how successful the measures had been in defeating the virus.
Two Republican lawmakers who were recently with Trump will self-quarantine.
Four congressional Republicans, including two who were recently with President Trump, have said they would self-quarantine for two weeks after coming into contact with an attendee of a conservative conference who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Doug Collins of Georgia said on Monday that they had interacted, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with a person who has tested positive for the virus, and would isolate themselves voluntarily.
Two other Republicans, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, said on Sunday that they had come into contact with the same conference attendee, and would also self-quarantine.
Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, said he too had been advised that he may have been exposed at the conference, but would not self-quarantine. “I took the advice of the expert and returned to work,” he wrote on Twitter. “No one is panicking, and we are observing the recommended precautions.”
Mr. Gaetz boarded Air Force One with Mr. Trump on Monday, before announcing that he had been tested. A flamboyant ally of the president, he turned heads last week when he wore a gas mask on the House floor before a vote on an emergency virus-related spending bill.
Mr. Collins interacted directly with Mr. Trump on Friday, shaking the president’s hand and standing directly behind him as he toured the C.D.C. in Atlanta.
Congressional leaders have put off questions about potentially curtailing public access to the Capitol or even canceling legislative session, but they have begun preparing lawmakers and committees to work from home, and individual lawmakers are canceling large group gatherings and instituting new bans on shaking hands.
Mr. Collins is the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and has been deeply involved in last-ditch negotiations to try to stave off the expiration of three F.B.I. surveillance tools next week. He is also in the middle of a bitter Senate campaign against a fellow Republican, Kelly Loeffler, and will have to cancel a slew of campaign events.
New York now has 142 cases, including the official in charge of its airports.
New York has 142 confirmed cases, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday, and one of them is the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Rick Cotton.
The cluster of cases in Westchester County has grown to 98 cases, Mr. Cuomo said. Nineteen cases are in New York City, 18 are on Long Island (all but one in Nassau County), and four are in Rockland County. Three cases are farther upstate: one in Ulster County and two in Saratoga.
In New Jersey, where 11 cases have been confirmed, Gov. Philip D. Murphy declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency on Monday, effective immediately.
Mr. Cotton is one of the most prominent public officials in the United States to have contracted the virus. The agency he leads operates the metropolitan area’s three major airports, as well as numerous other transportation facilities including bridges and tunnels, bus terminals and seaports.
Colleges in the Northeast and West shift classes online.
University of California, Berkeley, and New York University are among the latest schools to suspend in-person classes and move to an online format.
“In our assessment of the current situation, including the likelihood that the Berkeley campus could have a coronavirus case here at any time, we believe that this is the best action for our campus community and the broader Berkeley community,” the school’s chancellor, Carol Christ, said in an email on Monday. Instructors who are not prepared for remote learning are being given two days to get up to speed and may cancel their classes until Thursday.
N.Y.U. said it would move to online learning on Wednesday, and that students could leave campus early for spring break if they want to take remote classes from home. After the break, N.Y.U. will continue to hold classes online through at least March 27.
Princeton University has said it would make a similar move starting on March 23, after its spring break.
The schools join a snowballing list of colleges and universities that have suspended in-person classes, including the University of Washington, Stanford, Columbia, Barnard, Rice, Fordham University and Yeshiva University.
Gatherings are canceled across Europe.
The number of infections in Europe continued to surge at an alarming pace, more than doubling in three days to more than 14,000 confirmed by Monday, with more than 520 deaths.
Italy, with 9,172 cases by Monday, surpassed South Korea over the weekend to become the country with the second-largest outbreak, after China. Italy, which has called off all religious services until at least April 3, also reported 463 deaths on Monday, an increase of 97 since Sunday.
Italy has ordered an unprecedented peacetime lockdown of its wealthiest region, where the outbreak is centered, restricting movement for a quarter of the country’s population. The move is tantamount to sacrificing the Italian economy in the short term to save it from the ravages of the virus in the long term.
Protests were staged in at least two dozen Italian prisons on Sunday and Monday, Italian news outlets reported, after the government halted almost all visits and cut down day-release programs, replacing them with more phone calls and video chats.
Ireland’s government canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades, including Dublin’s.
Germany, France and Spain each have well over 1,000 cases, and France’s culture minister, Franck Rister, announced that he had tested positive for the virus. Switzerland, the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden, Belgium and Norway each have more than 200.
The French government announced a ban on almost all public gatherings with more than 1,000 people, and said that the Champions League soccer game between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday would be played without fans in the stadium. A France-Ireland ruby game scheduled for Saturday was postponed.
Germany’s status as the only country with a large outbreak but no fatalties came to an end, with its first two coronavirus deaths.
In Britain, after a meeting of its emergency management committee, the government said that while it had not given up on containing the virus, it now accepts that the disease will spread quickly and lead to a significant outbreak. The country has not closed schools or canceled public gatherings, but the emergency committee discussed more aggressive measures it might take soon.
Saudi Arabia imposes travel restrictions to cut itself off from neighbors.
Saudi Arabia shut off air and sea travel to nine countries in an effort to slow transmission of the virus as the kingdom grappled with a simultaneous blow to its economy from a severe plunge in oil prices.
Effectively isolating itself from its neighbors, Saudi Arabia closed air and sea travel to the Arab states of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to Italy and South Korea. The kingdom had already closed its land borders, and travel to and from neighboring Qatar has been banned since 2017 because of a political dispute.
Internally, Saudi Arabia has cordoned off the Shiite-majority towns and villages in the area of the Qatif Governorate, where all 11 of the kingdom’s reported coronavirus cases have been identified. Shiite Saudis are far more likely than Sunnis to have traveled to Shiite-led Iran, a major hub for the transmission of the coronavirus.
Shiite Saudis have long complained of discrimination against them by the Sunni Muslim rulers of the kingdom and their ultraconservative clerical allies.
The kingdom has also suspended pilgrimages to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The virus outbreak is presenting challenges during the U.S. election season.
Washington State, the state hardest hit by the virus so far, is holding its 2020 primary on Tuesday. It votes by mail, which eliminates most concerns about viral transmission.
Looking ahead to November, Congress should right now be considering federal legislation that would address potential voting trouble, said Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California-Irvine’s law school. “What if one part of the country is affected, if it’s California or Florida?” he said. “The closer we to get to the election, the harder it’s going to be to come up with rules that look fair.”
Public health officials have said adults over 60 are most at risk and should avoid crowds. Joseph R. Biden Jr. is 77, Bernie Sanders is 78 and Mr. Trump is 73.
On Sunday, the Biden campaign said it “will lead by example in following expert advice and complying with reasonable risk mitigations.”
Mr. Sanders, asked by the CNN host Jake Tapper whether the three candidates should all limit their travel and avoid crowds, replied: “In the best of all possible worlds, maybe. But right now, we’re running as hard as we can.”
Reporting was contributed by Mitch Smith, Sarah Mervosh, Thomas Fuller, Jim Tankersley, Alan Rappeport, Anemona Hartocollis, Peter Baker, Roni Caryn Rabin, Elisabetta Povoledo, Declan Walsh, Matthew Haag, Carlos Tejada, David Kirkpatrick, Marc Santora, Steven Lee Myers, Claire Fu, Alissa J. Rubin, Gillian Wong, Jason Horowitz, Emma Bubola, Ellen Tumposky, Neil Vigdor, Russell Goldman, Eric Schmitt, Kirk Johnson, Campbell Robertson, Richard Pérez-Peña, Katie Benner, Patrick McGeehan, Isabel Kershner and Nicholas Fandos.