Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 9:07 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020
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4:26 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Boston mayor extends coronavirus curfew to May 18

From CNN's Janine Mack

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh listens to a question at a press conference on March 13, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh listens to a question at a press conference on March 13, in Boston, Massachusetts. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Wednesday extended the city's coronavirus-related curfew to May 18.

The city's curfew began on April 6. 

At least 8,613 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Boston, the mayor said. At least 333 people have died.

Walsh urged runners and cyclists to wear face coverings outside.

"This is not considerate to the people around you and I understand why it's making people angry. It's sending the message that you're not necessarily concerned about them in the community," he said.

4:28 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

More than 80% of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Georgia were black, study suggests

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

An employee is seen bringing to-go orders to the bar while wearing disposable gloves in Bad Daddy's Burger Bar as it reopened for dine-in seating on April 27, in Decatur, Georgia.
An employee is seen bringing to-go orders to the bar while wearing disposable gloves in Bad Daddy's Burger Bar as it reopened for dine-in seating on April 27, in Decatur, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A new report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about hospitalized Covid-19 patients in Georgia finds that significant racial disparities persist: More than 80% of the patients were black.

But there was no significant difference between black and non-black patients when it came to dying during hospitalization or requiring intensive mechanical ventilation known as IMV.

The report, published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Wednesday, included 305 hospitalized adults with Covid-19, primarily in Atlanta. The researchers took a close look at the patients' characteristics and clinical outcomes, and found that 1 in 4 hospitalized patients had no recognized factors that put them at risk for severe Covid-19.

Data on race were available for 297 or 97.4% of patients in the study — the data showed that 247 or 83.2% were black, 32 or 10.8% were non-Hispanic white, eight or 2.7% were non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander, and 10 or 3.4% were Hispanic.

"Although frequency of IMV and fatality did not differ by race, black patients were disproportionately represented among hospitalized patients, reflecting greater severity of COVID-19 among this population," the researchers wrote in the report. "Public officials should consider racial differences among patients affected by COVID-19 when planning prevention activities. Approximately one quarter of patients had no high-risk conditions, and 5% of these patients died, suggesting that all adults, regardless of underlying conditions or age, are at risk for serious COVID-19–associated illness."

 

 

4:19 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Stocks finish higher on optimism surrounding potential coronavirus treatment

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday, as investors once again grew optimistic about a potential coronavirus treatment.

Gilead Sciences announced encouraging results for remdesivir, an antiviral drug tested as part of a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease study. Gilead finished up 5.7%.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve kept interest unchanged near zero and committed to using its “full range of tools” to support the US economy throughout this unprecedented crisis.

Here's how things closed today:

  • The Dow finished 2.2%, or 532 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 closed up 2.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite ended 3.6% higher.

4:18 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

FEMA prepares to send protective gear to nursing homes around the US

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez and Leyla Santiago

Emergency Medical Service workers unload a patient out of their ambulance at the Cobble Hill Health Center on April 18, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The nursing home has had at least 55 COVID-19 reported deaths.
Emergency Medical Service workers unload a patient out of their ambulance at the Cobble Hill Health Center on April 18, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The nursing home has had at least 55 COVID-19 reported deaths. Justin Heiman/Getty Images

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing to send personal protective equipment to nursing homes, which have struggled to obtain gear weeks into the pandemic as the death toll climbs.

A FEMA spokesperson told CNN the agency is preparing to coordinate shipments of equipment like surgical masks, gowns and gloves, to nursing homes across the nation.

The move comes weeks into the coronavirus response and targets facilities hardest hit by the pandemic. Nursing homes have been particularly vulnerable to coronavirus in part because of the slice of the population they serve: elderly residents who, data suggests, may be at higher risk of the illness. 

Despite that risk, health care workers at nursing homes have faced shortages of protective gowns, among other supplies. CNN reported last week that nursing homes, where severe cases of the virus spread especially easily, have been getting more help in recent weeks, depending on the state, but are still facing a catastrophic situation.

Other help: As the country moves toward reopening, the Trump administration is planning to send a tranche of supplies to some nursing homes, including those in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, among other states, according to a source familiar with the plans. 

FEMA's distribution of equipment to nursing homes is expected to kick off around May 1, or early next week, according to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in the US.

"Obviously we wish that we'd had that same focus on them starting in February, but we haven't, and there's nothing we can do about it. We're pleased that we have it now," Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, told reporters on a call Wednesday morning. 

President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, recently teased an upcoming announcement on the initiative, saying in a Fox appearance that the administration "will be surging different PPE to nursing homes."

"We're working with a lot of the governors who recognize the disproportionate risk that the older and the more vulnerable have," he added.

4:16 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Illinois now has over 50,000 cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Chris Boyette

There are at least 50,355 cases of coronavirus in Illinois, said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state's public health director. At least 2,215 deaths people have died from the virus.

As of midnight, 5,036 people were hospitalized in Illinois for Covid-19, Ezike said at a news conference.

At least 1,290 were in intensive care and 777 patients were on ventilators, she said.

4:07 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

NFL commissioner initiates staff furloughs and cuts his salary to zero

From CNN's David Close

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced staff furloughs, salary reductions and cuts in the NFL’s pension plan in a memo sent to the league office staff in New York and employees at NFL Films and NFL Network.

CNN obtained the memo from a source with knowledge of its distribution. The source also disclosed that Goodell had voluntarily reduced his own salary to $0 effective last month.

In the memo, Goodell discloses that the league is still preparing for a full 2020 season but acknowledges the “difficult decisions” that had to be made due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

"[I]t is clear that the economic effects will be deeper and longer lasting than anyone anticipated and that their duration remains uncertain. The downturn has affected all of us, as well as our fans, our business partners, and our clubs," Goodell said in the memo.

According to the memo, pay reductions are aimed at the management level who make more than $100,000.

Goodell said that those employees “who are unable to substantially perform their duties from home and/or whose current workload has been significantly reduced” will be furloughed.

He added that he hoped that the league will be able to reinstate those furloughed in due time. The commissioner also announced a permanent change to the contribution percentage in the league’s pension plan.

4:05 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Arkansas governor says restaurants can reopen on May 11

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson delivers a speech on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said his state will open restaurants for limited dine-in service on May 11.

Speaking at an afternoon news conference, Hutchinson said restaurant will only be able to operate at a third of their normal capacity. Additionally, restaurants will be limited to groups no larger than 10 people.

Hutchinson said if the state continues on a downward trend, they will move into a second phase by increasing to 67% of capacity at a later date.

 

4:03 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Large events will not be allowed in Rhode Island this summer, governor says

From CNN's Joe Sutton

Gov. Gina Raimondo
Gov. Gina Raimondo Pool

Large summer events are prohibited in Rhode Island this summer, Gov. Gina Raimondo said today. 

“If you’re planning a very large summer gathering, a 4th of July parade, a large music festival, a huge cultural event with hundreds and hundreds of people, you are not going to be able to have that event in the state of Rhode Island this summer with those people in person," Raimondo said.
3:51 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Fed chair says this is the worst economy in history

From CNN’s David Goldman

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Federal Reserve

How bad is the coronavirus economy? The worst ever, says Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

"We are going to see economic data for the second quarter that is worse than any data we have seen for the economy," Powell said. "There are direct consequences of the disease and measures we are taking to protect ourselves from it."

The recovery will be long and painful, but the economy could begin to bounce back significantly in the third quarter as businesses reopen, he added. While we won't go back to pre-coronavirus levels for quite some time, the third quarter could provide some economic relief.

"We will enter the new phase — and we are just beginning to maybe do that — where we will begin formal measures that require social distancing will be rolled back, gradually, and at different paces in different parts of the country. And in time, during this period, the economy will begin to recover," Powell said.

Powell also noted that unemployment shot higher for minorities in the United States —much faster than it has for white Americans.

Just a few months ago, the US labor market was the best-ever for minorities, Powell noted. Now, minorities are among the first to lose their jobs as stay-at-home orders have shuttered restaurants, movie theaters, retailers and many other businesses.

"It is heartbreaking, frankly, to see that all threatened now," Powell said. "All the more need for our urgent response and also that of Congress, which has been urgent and large, and to do what we can to avoid longer run damage to the economy."

Powell noted that people "who are least able to bear it have been the first to lose their jobs, and they have little cushion to protect themselves.

"That is a very big concern," Powell said.