Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:50 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020
27 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:01 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will launch a contact-tracing program, Gov. Cuomo says

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol in Albany, New York, on April 22
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol in Albany, New York, on April 22

New York will work with New Jersey and Connecticut to launch a "nation-leading contact-tracing program," Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this morning.

"This is going to be a massive undertaking," he said.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will help develop the first-ever testing/tracing/isolation programs, Cuomo said.

John’s Hopkins University and Vital Strategies will help with the tracing operation, he added.

Contact tracing is a virus containment strategy that involves finding sick people, isolating them and then tracing everyone with whom they've been in contact with. Those contacts are then put into quarantine.

12:02 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Gov. Cuomo said he and Trump put politics aside at yesterday's meeting

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had a “productive” meeting with President Trump yesterday at the White House.

“To me, a productive visit means we spoke truth. We spoke facts. We made decisions, and we have a plan going forward. And that was accomplished yesterday. And I feel good about it personally,” Cuomo said.

The governor said political differences were placed on the back burner during the meeting. 

“By the way, these are people in the White House who, politically, don't like me. You know, that's the fact, right? You see the President's tweets. He's often tweeted very unkind things about me and my brother. … We’ve had conflicts back and forth. But we sat with him. We sat with his team. And that was put aside. Because who really cares how I feel or how he feels? Who cares? Get the job done,” he said.

Cuomo referred to his call to keep politics out of the health pandemic: “When you're at war, you're in a foxhole. … I don't care what your politics are. I don't care what you think about my politics. It doesn't matter. We both have a job to do. Let's do the job. That was the spirit of the meeting yesterday,” Cuomo said.

Watch the moment:

12:08 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Vermont continues to report a downward slope of coronavirus cases

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Streets sit empty in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, on April 19.  
Streets sit empty in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, on April 19.   Brian Snyder/Reuters

Vermont is reporting a downward slope of coronavirus cases and less Vermonters are going into the urgent care or hospital emergency settings with symptoms that might sound like Covid-19, officials said today.

"As you’ve been hearing, our efforts to flatten the curve are starting to make a difference, but this isn’t over yet, and continuing to take action to protect yourself and those around you is really still critical," said Vermont Commissioner of Health Dr. Mark Levine said. 

A month ago, 6% of urgent care or ER visits were for Covid-19 type-symptoms. Now those visits are in the 1% to 2% range, Levine said.

There have been approximately 40 coronavirus deaths in Vermont, Levine said, and they have assessed the first 29 deaths.

11:48 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

At least 474 died from coronavirus in New York on Tuesday

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 474 people died across the state from coronavirus yesterday.

That is down from 481 deaths in the state on Monday.

The governor said the death toll updates are "the worst news that I have to deliver every day, and the worst news that I've ever had to deal with as governor as New York."

However, he said death rates are no longer increasing every day and the toll "seems to be on a gentle decline."

11:50 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

New York governor: "We are actually in a much better place"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol in Albany, New York.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol in Albany, New York. Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that, while it feels like the state has been under restrictions for "terribly long," New York is now "in a much better place."

"When you look at the reality of the situation, We are actually in a much better place," he said.

"We're at a relatively good place," he added.

Hospitalization and intubation rates are down. However, the number of new people going into the hospital each day is still "troublingly high," Cuomo said.

11:32 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Nearly 100 coronavirus cases linked to another Tyson plant

A Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Washington state is now linked to 91 cases of Covid-19, a local health department reports.

The beef plant, located in Wallula, had their first case of the disease on April 1, Walla Walla County health officials said in a statement. Tyson began to put mitigation efforts in place 5 days later, on April 6, the statement added.

The cases are now spread out over the two-county Benton-Franklin Health District and Walla Walla County, officials for both areas said.

The Walla Walla County health department, the agency that oversees the plant, said they have "been in daily communication with Tyson to ensure the required mitigation measures are put in place" since April 6.

"In addition to the prevention measures we have required Tyson to implement, we are also requiring Tyson to allow the DCH to test all employees for COVID-19,” said Meghan DeBolt, Director of the department, in the later statement.

The plant remains open at this time.

Earlier, today, Tyson said it will suspend operations at its Waterloo, Iowa, pork plant after nearly 200 coronavirus cases were linked to the plant.

11:25 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Wife of coronavirus victim: "This is real. We are not actors."

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Detroit bus driver Jason Hargrove died from Covid-19 just days after posting an impassioned video plea to warn residents about the seriousness of coronavirus.

His wife, Desha Johnson-Hargrove, described him as a “gentle giant,” an “amazing father” and an “all-around great man.”

“He proudly put that uniform on every day. Even after he was sick, not even understanding how sick, not even understanding that he had actually had the virus at the time … but his mind was still on going to work every day and transporting the people of Detroit,” Johnson-Hargrove told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. 

Johnson-Hargrove said her message to people is to just stay home while coronavirus continues to affect the US. 

“This is real. We are not actors. We are real people. We are real hurting people that have suffered a tremendous loss. And all I can ask is that everyone follow and obey the orders of your state, of your county, of your cities, whatever they may be. Stay home. … It’s that simple — just stay home.” 

Eric Colts, his best friend and fellow bus driver, said he is still uneasy about going to work, even with personal protective equipment, including and masks.

“In my line of work, you never know who you're picking up from the next stop to the next stop. That's something we don't know. So to say I feel safe, I can't really say that, because we're just not sure,” he said.

Watch more:

11:20 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Dozens of cruise ships full of crew members are still off the coast of Florida

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

The Norwegian Gem cruise ship leaves the Port of Miami on April 14, in Miami Beach.
The Norwegian Gem cruise ship leaves the Port of Miami on April 14, in Miami Beach. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The US Coast Guard says nearly 65,000 crew members are still on 87 cruise ships in Miami’s USCG 7th District, which includes the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

At least 18 passengers remain on board, according to the USCG.  

About 30,600 crew members are on 43 vessels in and around US ports, while 34,300 crew are on 44 cruise ships in and around the Bahamas and Caribbean, per the USCG. 

The passengers are awaiting final coordination and clearance for repatriation.

11:30 a.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Tyson plant closure may be too late to stop coronavirus spread, Iowa mayor says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

A Tyson Fresh Meats plant stands in Waterloo, Iowa, on an unknown date.
A Tyson Fresh Meats plant stands in Waterloo, Iowa, on an unknown date. Jeff Reinitz/The Courier/AP

Tyson said it will suspend operations at its Waterloo, Iowa, pork plant after nearly 200 coronavirus cases were linked to the plant.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart said while he’s happy the plant — which is the the company’s largest pork plant — is closing temporarily, he’s afraid it may be too late to stop the spread. 

“At this particular point, we believe that it was too late. We went from 21 cases of Covid on April 9 to about 380 yesterday, and we even doubled that number in two days from 191 to 380. So at this point, closing, cleaning, testing people, is the best scenario for it,” Hart said in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow.

“And I understand the impact that this has on our national food chain, but in order to be able to stop the spread, this was the best course of action to support the workers that prepare our food.” 

Hart previously told CNN’s Dana Bash that he was concerned about frontline workers at the plant, many of whom are minorities and immigrants. The plant is one of the city's largest employers, with some 3,000 workers.

Tyson now says all workers will be able to get testing.

“It hurts when it feels like your pleas to people falls on deaf ears. This isn't a political issue. It's not a Republican, not a Democrat [issue]. This is a humanitarian issue. And we needed proactive steps to be able to squash this spread,” he said.