Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:33 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020
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6:13 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

FDA approves first at-home COVID-19 test kit

From CNN's Jason Hoffman 

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn Pool

President Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration has approved the first at-home COVID-19 test kit this week during the White House press briefing.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the at-home test was developed by LabCorp.

Hahn said the test would require a doctor's referral. 

“This is a test where under certain circumstances with the doctor's supervision, a test can be mailed to a patient and they can perform the self-swab and then mail it back and get the results after that time, all under the guidance of a licensed physician,” Hahn said.
6:00 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Pence says more than 5 million Americans have received a coronavirus test


Vice President Mike Pence says the US has tested roughly 5.1 million Americans for coronavirus.

This update was provided moments ago during the White House coronavirus task force briefing.

"As of this morning, 5.1 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus," Pence said. "As testing increases dramatically across the country, cases will increase as well. But people should not be discouraged by those numbers."
5:46 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

New York City reports 10,746 confirmed coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Rob Frehse

New York City has 10,746 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 5,102 probable coronavirus deaths, according to the city website.

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 as the cause of death “Covid-19” or an equivalent.

CNN reached out to the department Friday afternoon for an explanation on why the probable deaths dropped by 19 compared to yesterday.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is 15,848.

There have been 146,139 coronavirus cases in the city and approximately 37,995 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

5:48 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Washington state governor blasts Trump for not using Defense Production Act

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, speaking about the shortages of personal protective equipment in his state, slammed Trump for delaying his use of the Defense Production Act.

"As you also know, I have been very robust in urging the President to get off the dime and start producing some PPE with the Defense Production Act," Inlsee said. "Unfortunately he waited weeks before he did that and so we've been delayed."

The DPA gives Trump authority not only to order private companies to produce and expedite production of certain essential items — in this case, ventilators, masks and other essential medical resources — but also to allocate such materials. 

"We've not had supplies that we would have liked and Republican and Democrat governors share that view and have for some period of time," Inlsee added.

He said the federal government is "starting to do a little more work to produce more PPE and we're grateful for that" but he stressed that "we need to continue to ramp up the manufacturing."

Washington has 85 million pieces of PPE that are "in the queue or in the supply chain" to the state, he said. Inlsee added that private businesses and prisons have also been working to make PPE for the state as well.

5:42 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Florida to allow pharmacists to test for Covid-19

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

The Floriday Channel
The Floriday Channel

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has instructed his surgeon general to give licensed pharmacists the power to order and administer Covid-19 tests.

The governor made the announcement during a news conference Friday.

DeSantis said the effort is a step towards making testing more “simple” and “accessible” in Florida.

5:27 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Obama says the US needs "a comprehensive testing program"

Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto/Getty Images/FILE
Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto/Getty Images/FILE

Former President Barack Obama says the US needs a comprehensive testing program "if we want life to approach anything like normal anytime soon.”

“It’s not going to be cheap, but it will ultimately pay off many times over in saved lives, saved businesses, and saved jobs," Obama said in a tweet today.

By the numbers: The US is testing about 150,000 people per day.

Germany, with a smaller population, is testing 120,000 per day, according to The New York Times. Harvard researchers have argued that unless the US could be testing 500,000 per day by May 1, the economy won't be able to open up.

5:11 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Virginia doesn't plan to reopen before May 8, governor says

From CNN’s Will Brown


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam does not anticipate reopening the state before May 8, he said in a news conference Friday.

Northam outlined his “Forward Virginia” plan and explained that phase one of reopening will require downward trends in new cases and hospitalizations for 14 days; increased testing and contact tracing and a sustainable supply of hospital beds and personal protective equipment.

Northam compared the recovery to the aftermath of September 11.

“Americans were fearful of getting on an airplane and flying, understandably so, and so a lot of modifications were made and in time people again became comfortable,” Northam said. “That’s what we’re doing with all of our efforts.”

Northam said Virginia’s goal is to eventually process 10,000 tests per day. The state processed 4,000 tests each of the last two days.

Northam also said that he is not considering reopening the state by region or county.

5:05 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Illinois records its highest increase in new coronavirus cases in 24 hours

From CNN's Chris Boyette 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike Pool

Illinois has recorded 2,724 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest number of new cases in a single day, said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

This brings the total state count to 39,658 cases, Ezike said at a news conference Friday.

“Yesterday we also saw the greatest number of test results that were reported in a 24 hour period, with over 16,000 specimens. Obviously when you test more people, you are going to find more cases,” Ezike said.

There were 4,828 people hospitalized and 25% of those patients were in intensive care, according to Ezike

Ezike also announced 108 new Covid-19-related deaths, bringing the state total to 1,795.

4:58 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Grocery stores in Detroit have 2 weeks to get all employees tested for Covid-19, mayor says

From CNN’s Sharif Paget

State of Michigan
State of Michigan


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said on Friday he was “disturbed” to hear that grocery stores are not making a greater effort to get all employees tested for Covid-19.

Speaking at today’s news briefing, Duggan warned that he will “crackdown” on them if they fail to get all their workers tested by May 11.  

“We will take appropriate legal action to ensure that the residents of Detroit are safe,” he said, adding that two weeks is plenty of time for grocery stores to get everyone tested.