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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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.

6:37 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Fauci warns the US could be in for "a bad fall and a bad winter"

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Americans could be in for "a bad fall and a bad winter" if the United States isn’t prepared for the return of the coronavirus.

“If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well. If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter,” Fauci said on Tuesday during an Economic Club of Washington webinar. 

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

McConnell: "We are not there yet on testing"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on April 21, at Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on April 21, at Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Patrick Semansky/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged tonight a lack of coronavirus testing needed in order to safely reopen businesses across the country.

“We are not there yet on testing,” McConnell said in a phone interview on Fox News. “Not only what kind of test but how many of them actually will tell you something other than you don't have it at the moment.”

He continued: “We don’t yet have treatment, and we don’t yet have a vaccine. We've allocated $25 billion at that whole area of testing and treatment and vaccine in the bill that we just passed last week. That's all part of reassuring everyone that they can safely go back to work.”

 

6:04 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

More than 58,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US

Medical workers take in patients outside of a special coronavirus intake area at Maimonides Medical Center on April 28, in New York City.
Medical workers take in patients outside of a special coronavirus intake area at Maimonides Medical Center on April 28, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There are at least 1,008,066 coronavirus cases in the US, and at least 58,126 people have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

5:45 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Kentucky governor says businesses must follow protocols set by state to reopen

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about the novel coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on April 26.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about the novel coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on April 26. Ryan C Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/AP

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said businesses must continue to try to telework where possible as part of a list of rules they must follow if they plan to reopen in the weeks to come.

He said there must be a phased return to work for businesses and they must be able to provide onsite temperature or health checks. Masks and any other necessary personal protective equipment will also be mandatory.

Beshear said businesses must close common areas such waiting rooms, cafeterias and break rooms, and will need to enforce social distancing, limit face-to-face meetings, and provide sanitizer or hand washing stations.

Businesses will be required to make special accommodations for those especially at risk and there will need to be testing plans in place if an employee starts showing symptoms, he added.

5:42 p.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Bank of America submitted 184,000 loan applications. The SBA approved only 1,000.

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci

A Bank of America branch pictured on November 1, 2019 in New York City.
A Bank of America branch pictured on November 1, 2019 in New York City. Shutterstock

Bank of America sent 184,000 Payroll Protection Applications to the Small Business Administration on behalf of clients, but only 1,000 of those loans have been approved so far, according to a letter the bank shared with CNN.

Although the SBA didn’t immediately return CNN’s request for comment, a senior administration official defended the agency by citing the number of applications approved across all lenders. 

The SBA has approved over 500,000 loans valued at over $55 billion as of Tuesday afternoon, the official told CNN.

“To keep our clients informed and up to date, we have sent over 10 million emails to them. Today, we will communicate to each client whose application has been submitted to the SBA, advising them the loan application has been submitted, and we will notify each client promptly when the SBA has acted on the application," wrote Dean Athanasia, who is president Consumer and Small Business at Bank of America, in a memo to his senior leadership staff.

Bank of America has “another 48,000 client applications ready for the SBA,” Athanasia wrote in the memo.

“On Monday – after a 10-day delay waiting for additional funding from Congress, and then developing the additional guidelines for the program – the SBA began accepting PPP applications again,” Athanasia wrote.

The memo added, “since they reopened at 10:30 am on Monday, we have been uploading these to the SBA through their slower, more manual process."