Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 10:39 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020
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4:08 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Illinois governor announces modified stay-at-home order that expires May 30

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Illinois Office of the Governor
Illinois Office of the Governor

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will sign a modified version of the state's stay-at-home order that will go into effect on May 1 and extend it through May 30, he announced in a news conference today.

In the new order, face coverings or a mask must be worn by anyone over the age of two when in public, if a 6-foot social distance can’t be maintained.

Retail stores that are not considered essential may take phone and online orders for delivery or outside store pick-up. 

Some state parks will have a phased reopening, and groups of no more than two people will be allowed to go fishing or boating. Golf will also be permitted under strict conditions. 

Animal grooming, greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries are now considered essential businesses. The businesses may open if the stores are following social distancing. Employees and customers must wear face coverings.

4:04 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Minnesota schools will remain closed for remainder of academic year

From CNN’s Sharif Paget in Atlanta


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday an order to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

“Today’s executive order will continue distance learning until the end of the school year,” Walz said at a news conference. 

“There is no joy in this but there is an awful lot of thanks,” the governor said before thanking students, teachers and parents for their patience during this time. 

Walz also spoke directly to students: “You will not be defined by staying home and missing proms and missing graduations, you will be defined by understanding how interconnected our world is and what it means to come together to try and solve hard problems.”

“The closeness of the classes of 2020 will be much closer than any that has come before," he added. “This ties you together in a way that has never been seen.”


3:58 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Domestic terrorists will likely continue to exploit pandemic, DHS warns

From CNN's Geneva Sands

Domestic terrorists "probably will continue to threaten violence" in response to the Covid-19 pandemic until the virus is contained and the normal routine of US societal life resumes, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 

The federal government has been warning that the pandemic is likely to be exploited by violent extremists.   

In an intelligence note issued today, DHS warned the southwest region that recent incidents in Florida and nationwide highlight Covid-19 as a driver of violent threats. 

For example, on March 24, an individual was arrested for allegedly threatening to blow up the Orlando Police Department’s headquarters and other buildings, because people are being “put... out of work” due to the Covid-19 crisis. 

As the Covid-19 threat expands throughout the US, the violent extremist threat has the potential to increase in "frequency and severity," the note said. 

The pandemic has created a new source of anger and frustration for some individuals, according to DHS, and as a result, extremist plots will likely involve individuals seeking symbolic targets of personal grievance.

3:47 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

California implements loan relief during pandemic

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Californians who saw their federal stimulus checks vanish after being garnished by banks will get that money after all.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order today that retroactively denies banks the ability to collect debts from CARES Act payments. The order is effective immediately.

For those people who had money taken, Newsom told banks, “You gotta give ’em back.”

The governor noted one major caveat in the debt relief; it does not apply to child support or spousal support. Any deductions for that will remain in force.

Other developments: Newsom also announced an agreement for student loan relief.

Of the 24 student loan service providers in California, 21 of them are offering forbearance on loans for more than a million Californians struggling to pay that debt.

Loan holders will get a 90-day reprieve with no late fees or fines, and no reports to credit bureaus.

3:43 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

South Carolina governor says he's approaching reopening with "lighter touch"

From CNN’s Sara Rudolph


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said that when it comes to reopening, “we want to go as quickly as we can, as safely as we can to restore our economic vigor while also restoring our economic health.”

At the first meeting of accelerateSC — the advisory team created to revitalize South Carolina’s economy — McMaster said “the last thing any of us want is to have a relapse…it’s probably going to happen some places, but we do not want that to happen here.”

The governor said his state has approached reopening “a little bit differently” from other states, with a “lighter touch.”

While other states designated businesses as essential or nonessential, South Carolina looked at what activities posed the greatest risk and focused on minimizing those activities.

Some background: McMaster announced earlier this week that South Carolina would reopen some beaches and retail stores.

McMaster said he spoke to President Trump yesterday and that the President said, “we were doing an excellent job in South Carolina.”

3:37 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

Yesterday was the deadliest day in California during the pandemic

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom Pool

Yesterday marked the deadliest day for coronavirus in California with at least 115 deaths, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in his daily update on the status of Covid-19 in the state.

“This disease killed more people in the state of California in the last 24 hours than in any previous 24 hours,” Newsom said.

The governor noted some small glimmers of hope, with the numbers of hospitalized people and intensive care unit patients showing slight decreases.

“We are seeing some stabilization of that curve,” the governor said, but he cautioned that “we aren’t out of the woods yet.” 

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in California has climbed to more than 37,000.

3:33 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus in New York City

Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020 in Brooklyn.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Thursday, April 2, 2020 in Brooklyn. Mary Altaffer/AP/FILE

New York City has 10,290 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 5,121 probable coronavirus deaths, according to the city website.

About those numbers: The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test but their death certificate lists “COVID-19” or an equivalent as the cause of death

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is at least 15,411.

There have been at least 141,754 coronavirus cases in the city and approximately 36,723 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

3:26 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

US Navy hospital ship could leave New York City this month

From CNN's Ryan Browne

Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The US Naval hospital ship that has been docked off the coast of New York City will depart the area as early as the end of the month, according to a US Navy official. 

There are currently 39 patients still aboard USNS Comfort, and officials are working to ensure that they are safely transferred or discharged prior to the ship’s departure.

The current plan is for the Navy hospital ship to return to its home port in Norfolk, Virginia.

About the ship: Earlier this week New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the hospital ship was no longer needed, just about two weeks after requesting that the ship treat Covid-19 patients. 

On April 6, President Trump granted New York state’s request that the ship begin treating Covid-19 patients. The ship’s original task was to treat only non-coronavirus patients to relieve the burden from local hospitals.

3:25 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

South Dakota governor says coronavirus relief money comes with too many conditions

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she is anticipating "substantial decreases" to state sales tax revenue and says the federal relief funds that have been allocated to her state come with too many conditions to be of use.

"Congress did send South Dakota $1.25 billion to us, but they tied our hands on how we can spend it," Noem said today at a news conference. 

But, she explained that "the only way I can spend this money is on Covid relief."

Noem wants to able to use the money "to replace revenue loss." 

The governor asserted that Congress wants her to "go out and create a bunch of new government programs" with the relief fund.

"I don't want to blow more than a billion dollars growing government creating massive new programs that aren't really necessary," she said.

"You listen to members of Congress and the White House — they say they don't want to bail out States that have been irresponsible. I understand that," Noem added.

However, Noem, whose state constitution requires it maintain a balanced budget, contends that her state has been responsible.

"It is not conservative to force a governor to spend money in areas that's not necessary and not allow me just to conduct business in a responsible manner that South Dakota always has," she explained.

She added: "I need Congress to allow states like South Dakota that have made good decisions, wise decisions that have balanced our budgets to make sure that we have the flexibility to do what's responsible."