Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 4:37 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020
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2:50 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Tripadvisor lays off 25% of its staff

From CNN’s Jordan Valinsky

Tripadvisor announced today that it will lay off 900 employees, or roughly 25% of its workforce, because of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on demand for travel.

More than 600 employees working in the US and Canada and nearly 300 employees working outside those two countries will be affected.

The company also said it would put a "number" of employees on furlough for an unspecified time and shutter its San Francisco and Boston offices.

"All of these actions, while difficult, will give TripAdvisor greater financial flexibility and enable us to better manage the business through this time of incredible uncertainty and instability," CEO Steve Kaufner said in an open letter.

TripAdvisor's stock is down 40% for the year.

2:44 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Colorado receives more than $10 million in federal funding for coronavirus research

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

Healthcare workers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment check in with people waiting to be tested for Covid-19 on March 12, in Denver, Colorado.
Healthcare workers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment check in with people waiting to be tested for Covid-19 on March 12, in Denver, Colorado. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Colorado received more than $10 million from the US Department of Health and Human Services to provide additional funding for epidemiological work and lab testing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the Colorado State Joint Information Center.

The funding is part of various federal aid programs which provide assistance to states dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have our work ahead of us to slow the spread of Covid-19, and this additional funding will allow us to bolster our testing, case investigation, contact tracing, and outbreak investigation work at a critical time," Rachel Herlihy, the state’s epidemiologist said in a statement.

The CDC will provide further guidance on the specific spending parameters later this week, but generally the money is for a two-year period and is intended to go towards programs that "enhance case investigation, contact tracing, and outbreak response, especially in high-risk settings and among at-risk populations," for example, the statement said.

3:00 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Mike Pence is the only one visible not wearing a mask during Mayo Clinic tour

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

  

Vice President Mike Pence is touring the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, today, speaking with health care workers and plasma donors. He’s currently touring a coronavirus testing lab and getting an explanation of its capabilities. 

Strikingly, Pence is the only person visible in the video not wearing a face mask. Dr. Stephen Hahn with the Food and Drug Administration is touring the facility along with the Vice President, and he, unlike Pence, is wearing a mask. 

Mayo Clinic tweeted that Pence had been notified of its "masking policy" before today's tour, but then later deleted the tweet.

Watch:

2:10 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

More than a million cases of coronavirus reported in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

 

A medical professional works at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Hospital on April 28, in Somerville, Massachusetts.
A medical professional works at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Hospital on April 28, in Somerville, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There are at least 1,002,498 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The number of confirmed US coronavirus cases topped 500,000 on April 10, according to Johns Hopkins’ tally.

2:05 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Trump to order meat processing plants to stay open

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

Shoppers browse in the meat section at a grocery store on April 28, in Washington, DC.
Shoppers browse in the meat section at a grocery store on April 28, in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump is expected to sign a five-page executive order under the Defense Production Act today that compels meat processing plants to remain open, CNN has learned. 

Trump is expected to sign the order after some companies, like Tyson, were considering only keeping 20% of their facilities open. The vast majority of processing plans could have shut down, which would have reduced processing capacity in the country by as much as 80%, an official familiar says. 

By signing the order, Trump will declare these plants as a part of critical infrastructure in the US.

The administration is also working with the Labor Department on issuing guidance about which employees should remain home. This is to protect facilities that are required to stay open from liability issues.

Trump previewed the order earlier today during an Oval Office spray with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that he expects to sign an executive order later in the day related to the food supply chain.

“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe, and that’ll solve any liability problems,” Trump told reporters. 

The President also underscored that “there’s plenty of supply. It’s distribution.”

“It was a unique circumstance because of liability,” he added.

2:03 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Students sue California universities over campus fees during coronavirus

From CNN's Stella Chan

Students cycle past Kearney Hall on the campus of UC Davis on February 28 in Davis, California.
Students cycle past Kearney Hall on the campus of UC Davis on February 28 in Davis, California. Nick Otto/Washington Post/AP

Students at the University of California and the California State University System are suing for the balance of their campus fees, according to court papers filed in Los Angeles and Oakland yesterday.

The suit filed in Los Angeles against the California State University System said:

“CSU's decision to transition to online classes and to instruct students to leave campus were responsible decisions to make, but it is unfair and unlawful for CSU to retain fees and costs and to pass the losses on to the students and/or their families. Other higher education institutions across the United States that also have switched to e-learning and have requested that students leave campus have recognized the upheaval and financial harm to students and/or their families from these decisions and have provided appropriate refunds.”

Similarly, the Oakland filing against the University of California says it “has improperly retained monies paid by Plaintiff and the other Class members for these fees for services that are no longer available,” according to the filing. 

Campus fees include health facilities, health services and student activities. Most students were not eligible for stimulus funds, said the suits.

Campuses have been closed to students since March and moved to distance learning platforms for over 700-thousand students.

School is in session through at least May for both university systems.

1:48 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Alabama governor will allow stay-at-home order to end Thursday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday the current stay-at-home order will not be extended beyond Thursday, April 30. 

Ivey said she will instead issue a safer-at-home order that will go into effect at 6 p.m. ET Thursday. 

Under the new order, all employers, retail stores and beaches will be allowed to open subject to good sanitation and social distancing rules, the governor said. 

Ivey said the state is not out of the woods.

She encouraged all Alabamians to stay home and follow good sanitation practices. 

1:45 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Supreme Court outlines new rules as justices plan for first-ever phone hearings

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

The US Supreme Court is seen amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 15, in Washington, DC.
The US Supreme Court is seen amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 15, in Washington, DC. Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

When the Supreme Court hears arguments next month by phone for the first time in the court's history, the justices will change their normal protocol and try to avoid their familiar interruptions.

The justices will ask their questions in order of seniority, with Chief Justice John Roberts going first, the court announced today.

Under normal circumstances, the court is considered a "hot bench," with justices frequently interrupting each other and the lawyers before them. Roberts has had to step in as a kind of traffic cop at certain times.

Under the new system that will be in place for arguments beginning on Monday, a justice will get the chance to exhaust his or her line of questioning before the next justice begins.

If there is time, according to a release from Kathy Arberg, the Court's public information officer, any remaining questions can be asked after the first round is over.

Arberg said the changes were made in "keeping with public health guidance in response to Covid-19."

In all, the court will hear 10 cases over the next two weeks. The most noteworthy cases fall on May 12 concerning President Trump's bid to shield his financial records from release.

The sessions will mark the first time in history that members of the public will be able to listen in to arguments real time.

Keep reading.

1:54 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

New Jersey reports over 400 more coronavirus deaths

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy updates the state on the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey on April 24.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy updates the state on the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey on April 24. Chris Pedota/The Record/AP

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced 402 additional fatalities, bringing the total to 6,442 deaths related to Covid-19 in the state.

An additional 2,887 positive cases were reported in New Jersey, pushing the statewide total to 113,856.