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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7:19 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

US coronavirus deaths surpass US Vietnam War casualties

From CNN's Keith Allen 

In less than three months, more Americans have died from coronavirus than the number of US service members killed in the Vietnam War, according to updated numbers from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday afternoon.

The American death toll in the Vietnam War was 58,220, with the fighting stretching out for more than 10 years.

According to Johns Hopkins’ tally of cases in the United States, at least 58,365 people have died in the US from coronavirus in just 82 days.

The first known US coronavirus-related fatality was Feb. 6.

Hear more:

7:21 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Minnesota farmers facing "very sobering situation" as processing plants close

From CNN’s Dan Shepherd

Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen
Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen CNN

Minnesota's Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said he wasn’t surprised by President Trump’s proposed executive order to work to keep meat processing plants open.

Petersen said Minnesota farmers are facing a “very sobering situation” as they try to keep their plants open.

Minnesota started “depopulating” its hog and turkey populations — about 70,000 animals each week, he said.

Petersen said the state is open to anything that would get processing plants running again, but it has to be done in a way that makes workers feel safe.

“Our plants in Minnesota want to run, they don’t want to start and stop, but they (the companies) want to do it right," Petersen said.

Out of the 24 hog, poultry and turkey plants operating in Minnesota, only four of them have been closed, according to Petersen. The problem is that most of their hogs go to two of the plants that were closed in South Dakota, he said.

6:52 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Wyoming will reopen gyms and personal services businesses Friday

From CNN's Andy Rose

Wyoming will allow gyms and personal services business like hair and nail salons to reopen Friday under tight restrictions.

"These new orders start our process of getting this part of Wyoming’s economy up and running again,” Gov. Mark Gordon said.

Under the new rules taking effect May 1, gyms and salons will have to maintain social distancing and also keep contact information of all their customers to allow for contact tracing in case of a future outbreak. Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited, including inside businesses.

In-person dining will continue to be prohibited and restaurants can only allow up to five people at a time indoors to wait for their food to be picked up. All employees in a retail businesses must wear masks.

6:51 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Some North Dakota businesses to open with industry-specific guidelines

From CNN's Chris Boyette

North Dakota Governor's office
North Dakota Governor's office

Some businesses in North Dakota are set to reopen on Friday, Gov. Doug Burgum announced today.

Qualifying businesses, such as bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, health clubs and athletic facilities, cosmetologists, salons, barber shops, tattoo studios, tanning and massage facilities, will be asked to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommendation from the North Dakota Department of Health.

These guidelines include maintaining 6 feet of distance, providing contactless payment systems and informing all employees and customers that they should avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever.

6:38 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Personal protective equipment donated from Turkey arrives in the US

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler, Priscilla Alvarez and Gul Tuysuz

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured in Istanbul, on April 23.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured in Istanbul, on April 23. Turkish Presidency/AP

A Turkish military plane carrying thousands of donated medical supplies landed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday evening.

The plane was met by Turkish Ambassador to the US Serdar Kılıç and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker.

In remarks on the tarmac, Kılıç said he would deliver a letter from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to President Trump.

He said the shipment was dispatched upon Erdogan’s instruction and “testifies to the Turkish people’s will to support our longstanding ally, United States, in its ongoing difficult fight against Covid-19.”

“We hope that this aid will help alleviate the enormous burden shouldered by the devoted health workers in the United States who work day and night to save lives of the others at the expense of risking their own life,” he said.

Reeker said the shipment was “an important demonstration of NATO unity and the strength of US-Turkey ties and our strong historic relationship.”

“On behalf of the Secretary, the President and the people of the United States of America, thank you for this generous gift to the United States,” he said.

According to the Turkish Presidency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the cargo contains 500,000 surgical masks, protective coveralls, 1,500 goggles, 400 N95 masks and 500 face shields.

The Turkish Presidency said that there were 2,000 liters of disinfectant also on board.

6:36 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Gyms in Tennessee will reopen in 89 counties on Friday

From CNN's Raja Razek

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said gyms in 89 of Tennessee's 95 counties will be allowed to reopen on Friday, May 1. 

"Restaurants are beginning to open. Retail outlets are set to open tomorrow, and today we are announcing that gyms will be allowed to reopen on Friday," Lee said. 

Gyms must reduce capacity to 50%, utilize social distancing, and remove shared equipment, he said.

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey also spoke at the news conference announcing the state has met the White House's new testing guidance.

"President Trump asked last night for states to do 2% of their population of testing each month. We have already done that in the month of April, and we are making plans to do that going forward," Piercey said.

"About 135,000 tests have been done this month. That's about 2% of our state's population," she added. 

6:33 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

South Dakota governor says Mt. Rushmore fireworks on July 3 will happen

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial pictured on April 23, in Keystone, South Dakota.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial pictured on April 23, in Keystone, South Dakota. Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she worked with President Trump and the Department of Interior to ensure that a July 3 fireworks display at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial would happen.

"We’re excited that this will be happening at Mount Rushmore. We’ve been working on this for quite some time," Noem said.

"I want to thank the President and the Department of Interior for working with us to make it happen," she added.

When asked about implications of a large gathering during the nationwide Covid-19 pandemic, Noem was unconcerned.

"We’ll continue to evaluate what the crowd looks like and how we'll be able to facilitate that event but regardless of how many people will be there, the fireworks will go off and I can't think of a better way for us to celebrate America’s birthday," Noem said.

6:32 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Coronavirus task force did not meet for the third day in a row

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

The White House coronavirus task force did not meet for a third day in a row, a source familiar with the schedule tells CNN.

This is rare given that until this weekend, the task force had met nearly every day since it was assembled, though there was a brief break on Easter weekend. 

This change could be an indication of what's to come.

CNN reported Monday that White House intends to scale back the large meetings. Smaller groups of members on the task force are still meeting, the source added. 

The task force has its first meeting this week scheduled tomorrow. 

6:31 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

MLB allows teams to offer ticket refunds

From CNN's Kevin Dotson

A ticket booth at Fenway Park is seen on what would have been the home opening day for the Boston Red Sox against the Chicago White Sox on April 2, in Boston, Massachusetts.
A ticket booth at Fenway Park is seen on what would have been the home opening day for the Boston Red Sox against the Chicago White Sox on April 2, in Boston, Massachusetts. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Major League Baseball will allow teams to offer refunds on tickets for missed games beginning Wednesday, a source familiar with the league's decision tells CNN.

This is not a league mandate, and each team will be free to make its own decision regarding ticket refunds. 

MLB still considers all games missed so far this season as being postponed, not canceled.