Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:15 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020
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5:02 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Certain businesses in Georgia can reopen at the end of the week, governor says

From CNN’s Kevin Conlon

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp listens to a speaker during a tour of a massive temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, April 16, in Atlanta.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp listens to a speaker during a tour of a massive temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, April 16, in Atlanta. Ron Harris/Pool/AP

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced today the incremental reopening of certain business this week.

Here are some businesses that can reopen as early as Friday:

  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Bowling alleys
  • Body art studios
  • Barbers and hair and nail salons
  • Estheticians

Theaters and restaurants can open on April 27. Bars, night clubs and music venues will remain closed for now. 

No local ordinance can restrict the openings, which will be implemented statewide. All businesses that reopen must follow social distancing guidelines and screen employees for illness, the governor said.

4:51 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

South Carolina governor allows some businesses to reopen

From CNN’s Natasha Chen and Lindsay Benson

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks to reporters on Monday, April 13, in West Columbia, South Carolina.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks to reporters on Monday, April 13, in West Columbia, South Carolina. Meg Kinnard/AP

South Carolina Gov. McMaster said he wants to “slingshot back around the competition” to get back to business so he's allowing some stores to reopen today.

Retail, department and sporting goods stores, as well as flea markets, will be allowed to open at 5 p.m. today at 20% capacity, or five people per 1,000 square feet.

Speaking at a news conference, he said he’d like to “stomp on the gas” and accelerate as fast and as safely as they can. McMaster announced a group called “Accelerate SC” with 29 participants across various industries.

Beaches will be reopened beginning at noon Tuesday.

4:38 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

More than 41,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus

There have been at least 776,513 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 41,313 people have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

As states begin to include “probable deaths” in their counts, so will JHU. In the upcoming days, these changes may show as surges of deaths in the United States. 

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 17,046 new cases and 636 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.  

8:35 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Illinois will ramp up testing at long-term care facilities

From CNN's Chris Boyette

 

Employees of Symphony of Joliet nursing home go to work at the nursing home in Joliet, Illinois, on Friday, April 17.
Employees of Symphony of Joliet nursing home go to work at the nursing home in Joliet, Illinois, on Friday, April 17. Nam Y. Huh/AP

llinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is beginning to ramp up testing in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Staff in facilities with known Covid-19 cases will be given pre-shift wellness checks, including taking temperatures. Testing will be ramped up as well. 

“We continue to operate under the assumption that a resident displaying symptoms of Covid-19 has Covid-19, and should be isolated accordingly and receive the appropriate care,” Pritzker said.

The state is also working to test all residents and staff at facilities without known Covid-19 outbreaks.

“This testing at non-Covid facilities will allow us to identify early the presence of COVID-19 in a facility and isolate those cases before widespread transmission,” the governor said.

5:51 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

California governor on demonstrations: "I deeply understand the anxiety of protesters"

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Protesters demonstrate against stay-at-home orders that were put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak on Friday, April 17 in Huntington Beach, California.
Protesters demonstrate against stay-at-home orders that were put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak on Friday, April 17 in Huntington Beach, California. Mark J. Terrill/AP

California Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed protests over his statewide stay-at-home order at a news conference today.

"I deeply understand the anxiety” of protesters," he said.

Newsom said his administration shares the same desires and goals to reopen the state, but he warned, “The worst mistake we can make is a personal decision based on politics and frustration that puts people’s lives at risk and ultimately sets back the cause of economic grown and economic recovery.” 

“If you’re going to protest, do so in a way that not only protects your health, but that of others," he said.

Some background: Hundreds of protesters gathered Friday in Huntington Beach, California, to demand the state reopen. Many protesters ignored the state’s social distancing guidelines during the demonstration.

5:51 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

California will send 70,000 laptops and tablets to students this week

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Michelle Hansen, principal at Phoebe A. Hearst Elementary School, hands a laptop computer to the parent of a student that attends the school in Sacramento, California, on April 10.
Michelle Hansen, principal at Phoebe A. Hearst Elementary School, hands a laptop computer to the parent of a student that attends the school in Sacramento, California, on April 10. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California will send approximately 70,000 laptops and tablets to students in the next week in an effort to close the technology gap that is creating an obstacle in distance learning.

Gov. Gavin Newsom detailed the tech boost, which provides Apple iPads, Google Chromebooks, along with Microsoft Surface Pros and Lenovo devices, to students. He said the need is quadruple what’s currently being done.

Seven buses will also be converted into mobile hotspots as part of a pilot program, Newsom said. If successful, the buses will be rolled out statewide.

4:12 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

US stocks finish sharply lower

From CNN's Anneken Tappe

US stocks finished lower on Monday, amid a historic selloff in the oil market.

US oil futures settled in negative territory for the first time in history as demand for the commodity remains thin and storage capacity in the US is at its limit. The May futures contract is also about to expire, which made trading more erratic.

Here's where things stand: 

  • The Dow closed 2.5%, or 592 points, lower. It was the worst day for the index since April 1.
  • The S&P 500 finished down 1.8%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 1% lower.

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

4:16 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Businesses in Tennessee are allowed reopen on May 1, governor says

From CNN's Erica Henry

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, center, visits a storm-damaged area Tuesday, April 14, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, center, visits a storm-damaged area Tuesday, April 14, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mark Humphrey/AP

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced today the order for Tennesseans to remain at home will expire April 30, with the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties allowed to reopen on May 1.

“Our Economic Recovery Group is working with industry leaders around the clock so that some businesses can open as soon as Monday, April 27,” said Lee. “These businesses will open according to specific guidance that we will provide in accordance with state and national experts in both medicine and business.”

The administration said they will work with individual counties to plan their own reopening strategies.

“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” said Lee.

“Social distancing works, and as we open up our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it," he added.
4:01 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

New Jersey governor: I respect protesters' rights, but "I literally don't agree with them"

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia and Rebekah Riess

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey on Saturday, April 11. 
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's removes his mask before giving his daily press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey on Saturday, April 11.  Chris Pedota/The Record/AP

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that while he respects the rights of protesters rallying against stay-at-home orders, he doesn't agree with them.

“While I respect their right to protest, I wish they would do it virtually from home and responsibly, No. 1, and No. 2, I literally don’t agree with them," he said.

“We want people to stay home,” he added, “and to stay away from each other.”

He said based on facts, data, and science the course of direction for the state is “unmistakable” and “unambiguous.” The facts are “overwhelmingly on the side of doing what we’re doing," Murphy said.

Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged anyone gathering to protest to be safe.

When asked about the protesters at the Ohio capitol today, DeWine said, “I have full respect for protesters, but I just ask them to be safe.” 

“My job is to listen to the people of Ohio and guide us in a way that gets us through this, by losing as few people as possible, while trying to put our economy back together,” the governor added.