Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020
21 Posts
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11:12 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Elective medical treatments can resume in some parts of New York, governor says

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said some elective medical treatments will be allowed to resume in some parts of the state.

"We're going to allow elective outpatient treatment, which means the number of beds will remain available," Cuomo said at a news briefing.

These procedures will only be allowed to resume in areas "without a Covid issue," Cuomo said, adding that New York City, Westchester County and other hard-hit areas will continue to cancel elective procedures.

Last month, Cuomo said canceling all non-elective surgeries across the state would free up 25-35% of hospital beds.

11:10 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

481 died from coronavirus in New York on Monday, Gov. Cuomo says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 481 people died from coronavirus on Monday in the state. 

The number of deaths in hospitals was 452, while 29 passed away in nursing rooms.

The number remained flat from Sunday, which saw 478 deaths.

11:07 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

New York governor: The definition of "good" is now "not terrible"

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said total hospitalizations of coronavirus patients in the state are "basically flat."

However, about 1,300 new people were hospitalized yesterday, Cuomo said.

"Our definition of 'good' has changed here. 'Good' is now 'not terrible,'" he said.

Watch:

10:52 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Florida governor asks reopening task force to focus on minimizing risk

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives updates about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on Friday, April 17, in Fort Lauderdale.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives updates about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on Friday, April 17, in Fort Lauderdale. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Florida governor’s task force team focused on reopening the state is discussing how to reopen the tourism industry this morning. Gov. Ron DeSantis called into the conference call to tell task force members to focus on minimizing risk. 

“Think in practical terms,” DeSantis said. He asked them to think of ways to minimize the risk of virus transmission.

It’s less about what businesses are essential or non-essential, DeSantis said, it’s about how businesses can operate safely.

DeSantis claimed the state has flattened the curve of cases and last night only 713 people were in ICU. 

10:42 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

NYC is creating its own reserve of equipment and supplies, mayor says

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City is creating a strategic reserve of vital medical equipment and supplies, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning.

De Blasio said the creation of the reserve came after the federal government couldn't provide enough supplies.

“We have learned the hard way that we cannot depend on the federal government in the future. I hate saying that, but I think it’s quite evident. We certainly can’t depend on the global market. We can’t depend on our nation to produce products that’s tragically not being produced enough in this nation, as we’ve seen in our hour of need,” he said.

The mayor says he hopes that will change, “but until that day comes, NYC, we will protect ourselves.” 

The New York City reserve will include face shields, surgical gowns, test kits and bridge ventilators, de Blasio said.

10:01 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

At least 31 NYPD members have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx/AP
John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx/AP

A New York Police Department employee died from coronavirus complications overnight, Commissioner Dermot Shea told CNN’s Jim Sciutto this morning, marking the 31st reported coronavirus-related death within the NYPD.

Shea didn’t name or provide additional details about the employee. 

About 13% of uniformed officers are out sick, which is “well over” regular sick out levels, Shea said, but noted today marks the 12th straight day of decreasing sick-out levels.

"We are still very, very concerned about our members that are in the hospital ... our thoughts and prayers are going out to them and to their families and really to the extended NYPD family as well," he said.

9:43 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Atlanta mayor: "We are not out of the woods yet"

From CNN's Tina Burnside

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Andrew Harnik/AP

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN that she is exploring legal options for the city after Gov. Brian Kemp authorized the reopening of business across the state. 

"I've searched my head and my heart on this, and I really am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on, other than getting people back to work" Bottoms said. 

Bottoms added that getting Americans back to work is "extremely important" but added there needs to be "strong and health communities" in order to have a strong economy.

She called Kemp's move "perplexing" and said she is urging "people to exercise common sense, listen to the science, and stay home."

Some background: Kemp announced yesterday that certain businesses can reopen this week in a move that breaks from the majority of state leaders and defies the warnings of many public health officials.

Kemp said specifically that fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, and massage therapy businesses can reopen as early Friday. Theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open on Monday, while bars and night clubs will remain closed for now.

Bottoms today also stated that the city is "not out of the woods yet" as numbers as of Monday evening show the death rate across the state up by 14%.

9:23 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Will students see any of the stimulus dollars going to colleges?

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Jean Chatsky, a finance journalist and CEO of HerMoney.com, is answering some of your most pressing questions about the coronavirus and their money. 

One college student asked: "I've heard billions of dollars from the stimulus are going to colleges and universities. As a college student, will I see any of that money directly?" 

Here's what she said:

“There was $12.5 billion in the CARES Act to go to 5,000 colleges and universities. And the universities have to disperse half of the money they received directly to the students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. Go to your college and university's website, see what they put up. Some of them are allowing students to apply for these grants, some are dispersing funds to students who receive Pell grants.”

Watch more:

11:27 a.m. ET, April 21, 2020

US authorizes first emergency Covid-19 test that allows patients to collect samples at home

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing on Thursday, April 16, in Washington.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing on Thursday, April 16, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

 The US Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for a new coronavirus diagnostic test that allows for patients to collect their own samples at home and then mail those samples to a lab for testing, the administration announced today.

The emergency use authorization was reissued to LabCorp, which intends to make its Pixel by LabCorp Covid-19 test home collection kits available to consumers in most states, with a doctor’s order, in the coming weeks, according to the FDA.

"Throughout this pandemic we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the agency's announcement.

"The FDA’s around-the-clock work since this outbreak began has resulted in the authorization of more than 50 diagnostic tests and engagement with over 350 test developers," Hahn said. "Specifically, for tests that include home sample collection, we worked with LabCorp to ensure the data demonstrated from at-home patient sample collection is as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital or other testing site. With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home."

The FDA noted that the emergency use authorization applies only to the LabCorp Covid-19 RT-PCR Test for at-home collection, which requires a nasal swab specimen for testing using the Pixel by LabCorp Covid-19 home collection kit.

The FDA said in its announcement, "It is important to note that this is not a general authorization for at-home collection of patient samples using other collection swabs, media, or tests, or for tests fully conducted at home."