Coronavirus live updates: The Masters is postponed, student loan payments stop considered

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 135,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 4,977, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 1,701, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 40, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Here are today’s key headlines:

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered the doors to major sporting events, concerts, and Broadway plays. It could also keep the public from hearing major arguments at the Supreme Court, which announced it would close indefinitely on Thursday.

That includes high-profile cases scheduled for later this month over whether President Donald Trump may keep his tax returns shielded from investigators and an April dispute over a policy that makes it easier for employers to deny insurance coverage for contraception.

Eleven national progressive and civil rights groups representing millions of members urged the top court not to let that happen. The coalition is pressing the justices to broadcast all of its arguments live to the public while the building remains closed to spectators. —Tucker Higgins

Ford Motor and General Motors have instructed employees who can work from home to do so beginning Monday due to the coronavirus.

The new guidelines do not include factory workers or those who must physically be present to do their duties.

The protocols come days after Michigan, where both automakers have major operations, confirmed its first cases of COVID-19. —Michael Wayland

Spain’s leader says he is declaring a state of emergency for two weeks, a measure that will let him “mobilize all resources,” including the military, to contain a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the televised announcement Friday as health authorities confirmed Spain has more than 4,200 infections, with nearly half of those in Madrid. That was an increase by a third compared to one day earlier. So far 120 patients have died.

Sánchez says the special measure allows the government to limit free movement, legally confiscate goods and take control of industries and private facilities, including private hospitals. Authorities can also order measures to ensure food supply and the country’s industrial output.

He says “it’s an emergency that affects the life and health of all. The government is going to protect all citizens,” warning that cases could skyrocket to more than 10,000 next week. —Associated Press

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration would consider suspending people’s student loan payments for at least three months during the coronavirus.

Outstanding education debt has outpaced credit card and auto debt, with the average monthly bill clocking in at nearly $400. Consumer advocates say borrowers will need the financial relief amid job losses and income insecurity. —Annie Nova


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