Rhode Island governor announces 3 field hospital sites
From CNN's Carma Hassan
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says the state is readying for a surge of coronavirus patients. Right now, the state plans to set up three field hospitals: one at the Rhode Island Convention Center, one at a former bank and the last at a former Lowe’s warehouse building. “We believe that those three sites alone will get us well over a thousand additional hospital beds,” Raimondo said.
2:40 p.m. ET, April 3, 2020
WHO supports countries in their decisions around masks, official says
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard While the World Health Organization has not changed its position on whether the general public should wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic, it will support individual countries in making their own national recommendations around mask-wearing. "We can certainly see circumstances in which the use of masks both homemade and cloth masks at the community level may help in an overall comprehensive response to this disease, and we will support governments in making those decisions based on the situation they find themselves in terms of transmission," Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO executive director of health emergencies program, said during a media briefing in Geneva on Friday. Ryan said that wearing a mask in public doesn't necessarily protect the person wearing it, but rather helps to limit that person's likelihood of infecting others if that person is sick.
13 min ago
Turkey makes masks mandatory in public and shuts down traffic in 30 areas
From CNN's Gul Tuysuz Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just announced stricter measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. Here's a look at the measures: Masks will be mandatory in supermarkets, bazaars and work places, Erdogan said in a televised address today.Vehicular traffic is prohibited in and out of 30 major metropolitan areas as well as the province of Zonguldak, where there are high numbers of chronic respiratory illness, Erdogan said. Intercity travel is already restricted by plane and bus in Turkey. The new measure applies to private vehicles. The new measures also extend the scope of aged-based mandatory lockdown to people under the age of 20, Erdogan said. Turkey previously instituted a forced quarantine for people over the age of 65 and for people with chronic illnesses.
26 min ago
New Jersey is "a weakish behind New York" on coronavirus curve, Fauci says
New Jersey looks to be a week behind New York state on the Covid-19 curve, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci told New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “He looks at us as part of the New York metro area, it looked to him like we are weakish behind New York," Murphy said in a press conference.
19 min ago
More than 12,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported so far in the US today
There are at least 258,214 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States. There are 6,605 people who have died in the US from coronavirus. So far, on Friday, 12,641 new cases and 547 deaths have been reported, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins. The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus.
29 min ago
Army Corps of Engineers say they have received 750 requests for possible hospital facilities
From CNN's Jamie Crawford Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers said to date, they have received 750 requests for site assessments across the country to look into possible facilities that could be used in the coronavirus response. Semonite said the Corps has completed 673 of those site assessments. He said to date the Army Corps of Engineers is “not resource strained” in terms of being able to carry out site assessments as they continue their work running and setting up treatment sites across the United States.
1 hr 5 min ago
United Airlines working with the mayor to fly healthcare workers to NYC
From CNN’s Cristina Alesci In partnership with the mayor’s office, United Airlines will announce a program to provide free round-trip flights for medical volunteers from across the country who want to help in frontline fight against the Covid-19 crisis in New York City, according to United Airlines spokeswoman Karen Twigg May. May says that United is working with government agencies in other hotspots to expand the service to other places. In addition, May said there’s no cap on the number of free flights United will offer to volunteers.
“We will fly as many volunteers as our operation can support on any route we offer to NY,” May said.
1 hr 12 min ago
FDA to allow China's KN95 mask to be used in US as alternative for N95 masks
From CNN's Geneva Sands and Cristina Alesci The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday changed its position on a sought-after type of respirator from China, the KN95, announcing that the agency will authorize the mask for use in healthcare settings if it meets certain criteria. In response to continued respirator shortages, the FDA issued new guidance, authorizing KN95 respirators if certain criteria are met, including evidence demonstrating that the respirator is authentic. The move comes after conflicting government guidance caused confusion over how these masks should be used and whether they could be imported into the US. The FDA did not include these masks on its initial guidance for emergency use issued last month, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the KN95 masks are “expected to be suitable alternatives” to the N95 masks during the coronavirus pandemic when supplies are short. The differing guidance left suppliers hesitant to ship masks and US buyers wary of purchasing them. On March 28th, the FDA listed masks from six countries, including Mexico and Brazil, that it found “appropriate to protect public health or safety,” but left the Chinese masks off the list.
1 hr 20 min ago
New Jersey has 4,372 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, governor says
From CNN's Julian Cummings
The state of New Jersey has 4,372 new positive cases of Covid-19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in a press conference. To date, 29,895 people across the state have tested positive for Covid-19, Murphy said. A total of 646 people have died as a result of Covid-19 in New Jersey. That number includes 113 additional deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours, the governor announced.
1 hr 24 min ago
Pelosi says it's time to move another stimulus package
From CNN's Manu Raju and Haley Byrd House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Democrats could put on hold a host of their infrastructure priorities and instead advance a new stimulus measure that mirrors the historic $2.2 trillion stimulus package President Trump signed into law last week. “The acceleration of the coronavirus demands that we double down on the downpayment we made in CARES by passing a CARES 2 package. We must extend and expand this bipartisan legislation to meet the needs of the American people," she said in a statement on Friday.
She added: “It is imperative that we go bigger and further assisting small business, to go longer in unemployment benefits and provide additional resources to process UI claims and to give families additional direct payments. We must also provide the desperately needed resources for our hospitals, community health centers, health systems and health workers on the frontlines of this crisis. We cannot succeed in defeating this virus unless we more strongly support state and local governments with significantly more resources.”
Earlier on Friday: Pelosi indicated the Democrats’ infrastructure priorities, which they have advocated for as part of another legislative response to the pandemic, could be pushed off for a later bill.
1 hr 27 min ago
There are at least 257,773 coronavirus cases in the US
There are at least 257,773 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the country. There are 6,586 people who have died in the US from coronavirus. So far, on Friday, 12,200 new cases and 528 deaths have been reported, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus.
1 hr 41 min ago
London's Heathrow airport will start using just one runway
From CNN's Seb Shukla Heathrow Airport will “transition to single runway operations” due to the “unprecedented impact that the coronavirus outbreak is having on Heathrow’s operation.” In a statement to CNN, Heathrow said that single runway operations will commence on April 6. The airport will alternate which runway is used on a weekly basis: 27R or 09L. The statement continued to say that Heathrow will remain open so that it can “play a crucial role in helping to secure vital medical goods and food for the nation during the unprecedented epidemic." The change is the latest change at all major London airports due to the coronavirus outbreak. London City airport closed last month to all commercial and private flights. London Gatwick airport also closed the North Terminal.
1 hr 41 min ago
Half of the hospitals in Michigan's largest health system are at capacity, CEO says
From CNN's Jasmine Wright
Half of the hospitals inside Beaumont Health system, which describes itself as Michigan’s largest, are at capacity due to the increasing Covid-19 cases and it faces a crunch that includes its staffing, finances and supplies, CEO John T. Fox told CNN. The eight-hospital system located in the southeast region of the state is currently treating nearly 950 hospitalized, confirmed cases and an additional 91 who are suspected of having the virus as of 3 p.m. Thursday. “Our biggest rate limiter is staffing,” Fox said in an interview with CNN. “The politicians are getting on the podium and saying, ‘we're building a 900-bed field hospital over here, 500-bed one over there.’ But those are empty buildings of no value without the staff. They often don't have pharmacies, they don't have labs, they don't have a lot of things and so it becomes a fiction.” Fox also called on the state of Michigan to do more in terms of load balancing patients between hospitals in the state, as Beaumont has found it difficult to do on their own. Fox says price gouging among agency nurses factors into the inability to acquire more staff and sucks available funds from the system. Agency nurses are contracted by hospitals at a price to help supplement staff nurses temporarily. Twenty days ago, agencies would charge $60 an hour for nurses with everything included. That price has more than doubled, with the agencies bidding hospitals against one another to secure a nurse for $130, sometimes $150 an hour, Fox said.
1 hr 49 min ago
Health officials say it's "too soon to say" when the UK will hit its peak
From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London
Britain’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam says it is still “too soon to say” when the UK will reach the peak of the epidemic. Earlier on Friday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock had said the deadliest peak of the coronavirus outbreak in Britain could hit on Easter Sunday. “I defer to the scientists on the predictions,” he told Sky News. During the daily briefing on Friday, Hancock seemed to revise his statement saying “the truth is we don’t know."
2 hr 4 min ago
12 new coronavirus-related deaths reported in Pennsylvania
From CNN's Melanie Schuman
There are at least 12 new coronavirus-related deaths in Pennsylvania, which brings the total to 102, according to the commonwealth’s Department of Health. There are an additional 1,404 positive cases reported, according to a press release issued Friday. The total number of coronavirus cases is now 8,420 in the state. “The continued rise in cases combined with our increasing deaths from Covid-19 reflects the seriousness of this situation,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We need everyone to listen to the orders in place and to stay calm, stay home and stay safe. We know that these prolonged mitigation effects have been difficult for everyone, but it is essential that everyone follows these orders and does not go out unless they absolutely must.”
1 hr 57 min ago
UK government urges people to stay at home despite weekend warm weather
The British Health Secretary Matt Hancock and health officials in the United Kingdom have called on Britons to continue to stay at home despite an expected rise in temperatures across the country over the weekend.
“We absolutely cannot afford to relax social distancing measures,” he said. “If we do people will die.”
Hancock went on to say the UK had boosted “the number of critical care beds to care for coronavirus by over 2,500,” without taking into account the additional beds that will be available at several repurposed conference centers across the country, known as NHS Nightingale.
2 hr 44 min ago
New York governor, health commissioner say masks aren’t substitutes for social distancing
New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says “there’s no data to support the use of face masks” in protecting the public in the coronavirus pandemic. “Right now, there aren't data…except for those who are ill and those who are health care workers, and that's why we're reserving those for health care workers,” Zucker said. He added that they continue to look at data all the time and are examining it on a rolling basis. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he doesn’t want the public to ease up on practicing social distancing if they wear face coverings. “I think it's fair to say the masks couldn't hurt unless they gave you a false sense of security,” he said. "...Might it help? I think it's fair to say yes, but don't get a false sense of security that now you don't have to social distance and you don't have to take the normal precautions because you're wearing a bandana,” Cuomo said. Zucker agreed with the governor’s assessment.
2 hr 50 min ago
Head of New York funeral directors group says funeral homes are running out of storage
Michael A. Lanotte, the executive director of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, said deaths have increased dramatically in New York City. “Since yesterday afternoon I have heard from more and more funeral directors in the city that has reached the capacity to help families,” Lanotte told CNN Friday. “The biggest enemy is time,” Lanotte said, “You take the volume and the amount of time we have from death to final disposition, there is just not enough time in the day based on the volume. 2+2 does not equal 4 in this situation.” Lanotte said, “there is a lot of death happening in the hospitals, nursing homes, and in private homes.” Refrigeration is a big problem, Lanotte said, “In some cases there are funeral homes which have run out of storage, limiting their ability to help additional families.” “The volume is working against the process because the process takes time, we need extra storage," he said. Efforts are being made to increase mobile morgues, Lanotte said.
2 hr 57 min ago
New York will state take unused medical equipment and give them to hospitals in need, governor says
In an effort to combat the shortage of medical supplies to treat Covid-19 patients in the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is signing an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators and personal protective equipment from institutions that are not currently using them and "redeploy them to other parts of the state and other hospitals that do need them." Cuomo said that unused equipment will later be returned and those entities will be reimbursed. "Those institutions will either get their ventilator back or they will be reimbursed and paid for their ventilator so they can buy a new ventilator. I can't do anything more than that. But I'm not going to be in a position where people are dying and we have several hundred ventilators in our own state somewhere else."
Cuomo added: "If you don't get the ventilator back, I give you my personal word, I will pay you for the ventilator."
3 hr 23 min ago
There are now at least 102,863 cases in New York
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are now 102,863 coronavirus cases in the state. More than 14,000 patients are currently hospitalized. So far, 2,935 people have died in the state — that's up from 2,373, Cuomo said. "Highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started," Cuomo said.
2 hr 45 min ago
English Premier League will consider 30% pay cuts for players
From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London
English Premier League teams have agreed to discuss the possibility of their players taking 30% pay cuts and suspend the 2019-2020 football season indefinitely. All 20 clubs in England’s top-flight league and key stakeholders held a videoconference meeting today. The proposed 30% wage cuts of “total annual remuneration” would be brought about through “a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals,” the league said in a statement. The proposal will be further discussed by the Premier League, players and club representatives and the Professional Footballers’ Association, which is the trade union which represents professional footballers in England and Wales, at a meeting tomorrow. The League also agreed to immediately donate £20 million to the NHS to help support communities, families and vulnerable groups in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It was also announced that the 2019-20 season would not resume at the beginning of May as originally intended but “only when it is safe and appropriate to do so” adding that “any return to play will only be with the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows.”