April 15 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 3:17 p.m. ET, April 17, 2020
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4:56 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

New Orleans mayor extends stay-at-home order until May 16

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has extended the city's stay-at-home order until May 16, her office announced Wednesday.

The mayor signed the proclamation Wednesday extending the order and prohibiting gatherings.

5:00 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Pelosi says testing inadequacies are "almost sinful"

Source: CNN
Source: CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she thinks any discussions on reopening the economy must be based on health care and science.

"The numbers are staggering but each individual story is heartbreaking to hear. So as we have discussions about how we open up our economy, this or that, we understand that this is an assault on the lives and the livelihoods of the American people, and that any decision to open up would be one that should be science-based and health-care-based," she told CNN.

Pelosi went on to say that's why testing is critical. She added that more than a month later, the US still doesn't have "the appropriate, adequate testing" to identify the challenge.

"So really we have been delinquent. We have to have a change in that," she said. "It's one thing to say well, it wasn't done right. But there's no excuse for us to not do it right as we go forward. It's so obvious. Almost sinful."


4:32 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Los Angeles sees record deaths for second straight day

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

For the second day in a row, Los Angeles County is reporting more coronavirus-related deaths than ever before.

Health director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday 42 people died, and another 472 coronavirus case were confirmed in the county.

4:23 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Tennessee schools will remain closed the rest of the academic year

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday that he has recommended that schools in the state remain closed the rest of the school year.

Dr. Penny Schwinn, the states Commissioner of Education, said at a news conference that schools will be open next school year and students will be going into new grades, but right now the focus is on the health and safety of students, teachers and the community.

4:27 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Maryland mandates face coverings in retail establishments and on public transportation

From CNN’s William Brown

Michelle Ervin exits a grocery store while wearing a mask in Annapolis, Maryland, on April 15.
Michelle Ervin exits a grocery store while wearing a mask in Annapolis, Maryland, on April 15. Susan Walsh/AP

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday an executive order mandating face coverings in public for people in retail establishments or riding on public transportation. 

The order comes on the heels of Maryland’s deadliest 48 hours of the pandemic, with 87 people reported dead so far this week.

Hogan urged leaders in Washington “to put aside partisan politics” and warned that without additional federal action states could face “devastating” consequences.

“We’ve asked the Trump administration to support the governors and states, and ask for their help in breaking this logjam in the US Senate so that we can continue working together to fight this pandemic and to get our states and our economies back on track,” Hogan said.

Maryland now has 10,032 confirmed Covid-19 cases, and 311 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

4:20 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

California governor announces assistance plan for undocumented workers

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California’s undocumented workers who have been forced out of work as a result of the pandemic will be eligible for payments in a new private-public partnership announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The workers are not eligible for federal stimulus payments. Undocumented workers make up about 10% of California’s workforce, Newsom said.

Because these workers pay approximately $2.5 billion in state and local taxes, Newsom has signed a Direct Disaster Assistance order, which will provide up to $500 for individuals and up to $1,000 for families.

The state will provide $75 million to fund the program and private philanthropists will give $50 million. Some philanthropic foundations that have signed on to donate include the Emerson Collective, the Zuckerberg Chan Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and Blue Shield Foundation.

4:14 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

New York state reports 213,779 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Elizabeth.Joseph

New York has reported an additional 11,571 coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 213,779 confirmed cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

Cuomo previously announced 752 people died from coronavirus on Tuesday in New York.

4:14 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

CDC changes how it's counting coronavirus cases to include probable cases

From CNN’s Amanda Watts and Mallory Simon

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now including confirmed and probable coronavirus case and death counts on their websites. Previously, the CDC was only counting confirmed and presumptive positive cases. 

“This change was made to reflect an interim Covid-19 position statement issued by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists on April 5, 2020. The position statement included a case definition and made Covid-19 a nationally notifiable disease,” its website says.  

The CDC is reporting 605,390 cases of novel coronavirus in the United States. The agency says at least 24,582 people have died. 

CNN relies on Johns Hopkins University for its tally and won’t always match the CDC’s count. Johns Hopkins has reported 613,187 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and 26,950 deaths.

4:14 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Stocks end lower following weak economic data

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

Kena Betancur/Getty Images
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday, after weak economic data and earnings weighed on the market all day.

Energy stocks led losses, after oil settled below $20 a barrel for the first time since 2002.

The Dow finished down 1.9%, or 445 points, and the S&P 500 fell 2.2%. It was the worst day for the two indexes since April 1.

The Nasdaq Composite broke a four-day winning streak, its longest since early February. The index closed down 1.4%.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.