Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 10:39 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020
34 Posts
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1:04 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Colorado orders all critical employees to wear masks and gloves

From CNN's Gregory Lemos  

Denver Police Department officers wear face masks as they patrol on their bicycles on Wednesday, April 22.
Denver Police Department officers wear face masks as they patrol on their bicycles on Wednesday, April 22. David Zalubowski/AP

The Colorado Department of Public Health announced Thursday it is now requiring all workers in critical businesses and critical government functions to wear "non-medical masks and gloves while at work to protect the health and welfare of the public," according to a statement Thursday. 

"The main reason to wear a non-medical mask is to protect others," the statement said.   

The order, which will remain in place until May 17, defines critical businesses as banks, child care facilities, pharmacies, and grocery stores.  

The statement also asks all Coloradans to wear a mask anytime they go outside, including their own backyards.  


12:39 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Governors urge Trump administration to allow federal employees to continuing work from home

The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the mayor of Washington, DC are urging President Trump to allow federal employees to continue working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, and Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to the Trump administration, saying more than one-fifth of the nation's federal workforce live in these areas, according to a statement from the leaders.

“While of course any essential employee should continue to report to work, we know that a continued federal telework policy will help save lives by allowing more of our region’s 360,000 federal employees to work from home,” the governors wrote in a letter to Michael Rigas, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

The letter said deciding which essential employees must still report to work in-person "is a hard balancing act between ensuring the continuation of critical government functions and ensuring the safety and well-being of employees."

The letter continued: "We encourage the Administration to help ensure the safety of the federal workforce and our residents as we work together to fight this pandemic. Failure to do so could lead to a rise in cases and delay our ability to re-open the region."

12:36 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Gov. Cuomo slams Mitch McConnell's state funding comments: This is "just dumb"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over remarks he made about providing funding to states in the coronavirus pandemic.

McConnell said in a radio interview that he'd "be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route" instead of getting federal funds.

"Sen. Mitch McConnell goes out and he says maybe the states should declare bankruptcy. This is one of the really dumb ideas of all time," Cuomo said.

Some background: The House of Representatives will vote today on a roughly $480 billion coronavirus relief package to deliver aid to small businesses and hospitals and expand Covid-19 testing, but it does not include funds for state and local governments.

"Not to fund state and local governments is incredibly short-sighted. ... How do you not fund police and fire and teachers and schools in the midst of this crisis? Yes, airlines are important, yes, small business is important, so are police and fire and health care workers, who are the frontline workers," Cuomo said in his daily briefing.

"You're not going to fund the state government? You think I am going to do it alone? How do you think it is going to work? ... You want to see that market fall through the cellar? Let New York state declare bankruptcy. Let Michigan declare bankruptcy. Let Illinois declare bankruptcy. Let California declare bankruptcy. You will see a collapse of this national economy. So, just dumb."

Cuomo also said McConnell's rhetoric further divided the nation with his "blue-state bailout" term.

"If there's ever a time for humanity and decency, now is the time. And if there was ever a time to stop your obsessive political bias and anger, which is what it's morphed into ... now is the time. And you want to politically divide this nation now with all that's going on? How irresponsible and how reckless."

Cuomo later called McConnell a "grim reaper."

12:38 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

DC creates advisory group to reopen the city

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Pool

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of the 'Reopen DC Advisory Group' this morning.

The group, consisting of government and community leaders, will form recommendations for reopening the District of Columbia.

It will have 12 committees focusing on different areas, and will be led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School. Recommendations from the group are expected in May.

Bowser emphasized that the advisory group will tackle what she called "longstanding...racial inequities" in the district when planning for reopening.

She said that this is a “once in a generation opportunity to reopen our city in a way that builds a more equitable DC.”

The current stay-at-home order in Washington is in place until May 15. Bowser reiterated that before phase one of the reopening can begin, a downward trend of positive coronavirus cases must occur over two weeks. 

Additionally, hospitals must have the capacity to treat everyone and there needs to be a widespread contact tracing capacity.

By the numbers: As of Thursday morning, there have been 155 new positive coronavirus cases in Washington, DC, bringing the total number of positive cases to 3,361. There were 12 additional deaths, bringing the total to 139.

12:27 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

114 new coronavirus cases linked to Texas beef plant

From CNN's Gregory Lemos 

There are 114 new coronavirus cases linked to the JBS Beef plant in Cactus, Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said Thursday in a statement.  

DSHS said JBS Beef contacted them last week to make sure they were taking appropriate steps to keep their employees safe, the statement said.

JBS brought a photo of the plant to a meeting, which DSHS reviewed and then made recommendations. DSHS was also given a tour of the plant  "and noted that they were following all of the best practices for an essential business to remain in operation." 

DSHS is currently involved in an "epidemiological investigation" to determine who the infected employees have been in contact with.  

"There is community spread in the area," the statement said.  
12:33 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Virtual race of Triple Crown winners planned for the traditional Kentucky Derby date

From CNN's David Close

Country House and Code of Honor head to the first turn during 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 04, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Country House and Code of Honor head to the first turn during 145th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 04, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. Rob Carr/Getty Images/FILE

With the 146th Kentucky Derby now scheduled to run on Sept. 5, the home of the famed Triple Crown race will now host a virtual "Run for the Roses" on the original date of the race.

The virtual race, set for May 2, will pit all 13 of the Triple Crown winners against each other utilizing “data algorithms including historical handicapping” to determine a winner.

Organizers look to raise $2 million for coronavirus emergency relief funds.

Kevin Flanery, the President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in a statement, "For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions."

"We will celebrate the annual excitement of our traditional date with our fans and community by offering ways for us to join together for a great cause," he added.
12:28 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Cuomo says New York will perform more testing in "African-American, Latino communities"

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is going to do more coronavirus testing in African-American and Latino communities.

He said that while New York did not have same health disparities that other states saw, he still thinks it's important to address the issue.

"There could be a number of factors of why you can have higher percentages of positives in the African-American, Latino community. There were existing health disparities, there were existing comorbidities, underlying illness and diabetes and et cetera," Cuomo said.

Cuomo also said another reason he thinks these minorities have a higher percentage of coronavirus cases is because many of them are essential workers.

"While many other people had the opportunity to lock down at home, as terrible as that was, the essential workers have to get up every morning and go out and drive the bus and drive the train and deliver the food and do all those essential services that allowed people to stay-at-home," Cuomo said.

"Also you have more people in the New York City area. More people getting on subways, getting on buses. More people dealing with that density," he added.


12:15 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

New York death toll is not an accurate reflection of Covid-19 fatalities, governor says

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

The approximate 15,500 coronavirus deaths across the state of New York is not an accurate reflection of the overall death toll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The state’s death toll only accounts for lives lost in hospitals and nursing homes, and doesn’t account for lives lost at home.

“We still have to compile all that data,” Cuomo said.
12:20 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

New York governor says state will undertake investigation of nursing homes

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated that nursing homes are a top priority for the state to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The state will perform an investigation into nursing homes to make sure they are following additional rules during the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

"We're going to undertake an investigation of nursing homes now to make sure they're following the rules. It's going to be a joint Department of Health and attorney general investigation. ... They get paid to take care of a resident and they have to do it in accordance with state rules, and if they don't, we will take appropriate action," he said.

Cuomo said nursing home visitors and workers...

  • Must have their temperatures taken
  • Must quarantine any residents with coronavirus
  • Needs to notify family members of coronavirus cases
  • Should transfer any residents to another facility if they cannot give them adequate care

Cuomo said if nursing homes do not follow the rules, they will be subject to a fine or may lose their license.