Coronavirus updates: Harvey Weinstein reportedly tests positive, Merkel self-quarantines

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life across the globe. Health care systems scramble to control the virus and governments are instituting strict social distancing measures to try and flatten the curve. The situation is constantly evolving as the disease caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, rapidly spreads. The original epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, has seen a marked dropoff in cases while in Italy and neighbouring European nations, exponential increases in cases and deaths are occurring. 

CNET has been tracking the outbreak since it was first traced to a novel coronavirus in early January. We have compiled extensive resources to answer all your questions about the coronavirus, the best ways to protect yourself and others, where can and can’t go in lockdown and the best ways to stay healthy and entertained during long periods at home

This article describes the latest developments in the coronavirus outbreak each day. It is constantly updated as new information becomes available.

March 22

Weinstein reportedly tests positive

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Deadline. Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in March on sexual assault and rape charges and recently transferred to Wende Correctional Facility in New York. Deadline reports he has been placed in medical isolation, but public relations representatives of Weinstein have no knowledge of the positive diagnosis. 

GameStop backflips on decision to stay open

Days after defending its decision to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it was providing “essential retail,” video game giant GameStop is closing stores to customers. It will allow curb-side pickups and continue to trade online. 

“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, said in a press release announcing the change. “Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners.”  

Australian lockdown measures in place

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has announced stricter lockdown measures will now be enforced and the country’s pubs, restaurants, bars, clubs, gyms and other “non-essential” services will be shut from midday on Monday, March 23. Morrison also requested all Australians stay home unless travel is essential. 

“Those holidays that you may have been planning to take interstate over the school holidays are cancelled,” Morrison noted in a press briefing on March 22.   

Australia’s states and territories have also begun closing borders and will enforce 14-day quarantines for any domestic travellers. South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all announced any incoming travellers would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival by air, land or sea. 

Another sport gets postponed: Australian Rules Football

In light of the new lockdown measures in Australia, the Australian Football League (AFL) — the country’s preeminent professional sporting competition — has decided to postpone the season indefinitely. The AFL had decided to forge ahead with the first round of the season, playing in empty stadiums, but the new measures have made playing on untenable. 

Gillon McLachlan, AFL CEO, said it would be an understatement to call the coronavirus pandemic, “the most serious threat to our game in 100 years.” At the earliest, the AFL will continue its season in June, but a decision on its fate will not be made until the end of April. 

Senator Rand Paul tests positive

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has tested positive for coronavirus. In a tweet Sunday, Paul’s account revealed that he tested positive and is in quarantine. According to the tweet Paul is “asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,” with a follow-up tweet noting that his staff has been operating remotely and that he “expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends.”

Paul is the first US senator to test positive for the virus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered quarantine after being told that a doctor who gave her a pneumonia vaccine Friday has tested positive for coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, Merkel was put into quarantine shortly after a press conference on Sunday where she announced some “new measures to curb the spread of the virus.” The country has added a ban of gatherings of more than two people in a bid to slow the pandemic. 

If you’re interested in coronavirus news from before March 22, CNET has been tracking the outbreak in real-time here.

This article was originally posted on March 22 and is being constantly updated. 

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