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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7:15 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Elective medical procedures and outpatient health operations can resume in West Virginia tomorrow

From CNN’s Will Brown

Elective medical procedures and outpatient health care operations like dentistry will be permitted to resume beginning tomorrow morning in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice announced at a news conference today.

“Tomorrow officially opens West Virginia,” Justice declared.

Health providers must have adequate personal protective equipment inventories and are required to follow guidance issued by their boards and associations in order to open.

Justice’s proposal to reopen West Virginia, called The Comeback, is a six-week plan dependent on cumulative positive cases remaining below 3%.

The next phase allows restaurants, churches, and professional services like salons to open with restrictions on May 4.

“We can’t stay where we’re at,” Justice said. “If we stay where we’re at, we’re going to lose way, way, way more." 

He also said reopening schools this academic year “is completely off the table.”

Justice was asked to respond to President Trump’s suggestion earlier this week that states consider reopening schools.

“In West Virginia, that’s not going to happen,” Justice said.

6:36 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Here's the latest coronavirus update from North Dakota

 From CNN’s Chris Boyette

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, right, speaks during a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota on April 18.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, right, speaks during a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota on April 18. Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune/AP

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s signed an executive order Wednesday allowing certain businesses to reopen Friday.

The new order goes into effect at midnight Friday, but businesses may not open until after 8 a.m. 

Here's what we know about the order:

  • Businesses that qualify: Bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, health clubs and athletic facilities, cosmetologists, salons, barber shops, tattoo studios, tanning and massage facilities have been asked to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommendations from the North Dakota Department of Health.
  • The recommendations: Businesses should maintain 6 feet of distance, inform all employees and customers that they should avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever, provide for contactless payment systems, provide hand sanitizer and encourage the use of face masks.
  • Movie theaters can reopen: They must limit admittance to 20% of normal operating capacity, allow for proper spacing between groups by keeping at least two empty seats between parties in any row and mark every other row closed, among other requirements. 

There are at least 1,033 coronavirus cases in North Dakota and at least 19 people have died, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

6:26 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Florida governor releases more details about reopening parts of the state in May

From CNN’s Jason Morris

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a Covid-19 news conference on April 27, at the Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a Covid-19 news conference on April 27, at the Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Chris O'Meara/AP

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shared specifics for his phase one reopening that is set to begin on May 4.

Schools will remain in distance learning, visits to senior living facilities will remain prohibited and elective surgeries can resume on May 4, DeSantis said today during a news conference.

Restaurants can reopen if they offer outdoor seating with 6 feet worth of space between tables and indoor seating is capped at 25% capacity.

Retail businesses can operate at 25% of indoor capacity.

Bars, gyms, and personal services such as hair dressers will remain closed, DeSantis said.

Churches will remain on “voluntary social distancing” and movie theaters will remain closed. 

“I just think it’s practically difficult to do the social distancing. Indoor environments, I think, are more likely for transmission, so even though you could have done that on phase one, I think prudence dictates that we go a little slow on that,�� DeSantis said.    

"I do want people to be able to get into gyms, and if I get some guidelines that make sense and I see it is okay, then we will obviously reevaluate that. And I would say the same with some of the personal services, like the hair dressers," DeSantis added.

DeSantis said that Florida’s phase one reopening will focus on walk-up and drive-up testing, with a total of 11 state-supported walk-up sites across the state.  DeSantis said that walk-up testing is a concept the state rolled out about two weeks ago and that about 6,300 tests have been administered so far.  

6:39 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

More than 60,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 1,036,652 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 60,475 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins reported 24,070 new cases and 2,120 reported deaths. 

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

6:12 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Some state parks in Missouri to reopen in May

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Sunrise on the Meramec River near St. Louis, Missouri at Castlewood State Park.
Sunrise on the Meramec River near St. Louis, Missouri at Castlewood State Park. Shutterstock

Missouri's Department of Natural Resources announced a phased approach to reopening state parks during a news conference on Wednesday.

Between May 4 and May 15, park lodging, dining marinas and retail stores will reopen with limited services and locations, Director of the Department of Natural Resources Carol Comer said. 

On May 11, Castlewood State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and Weston Bend State Park will reopen for day-use with limited parking. Some trails in these parks may be closed to ensure social distancing is possible, Comer said. 

On May, 18, the off-road vehicle riding area at St. Joe State Park will reopen with a limited number of one-day permits available. 

Camping in state parks will remain suspended through May 18, after which officials will reassess.

6:38 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Trump says he doesn't think federal bailout funds should go to "sanctuary cities"

From CNN's Jason Hoffman, Rob Frehse and Janine Mack 

President Donald Trump speaks about reopening the country, during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, April 29, in Washington DC.
President Donald Trump speaks about reopening the country, during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, April 29, in Washington DC. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said he does not think states that have so-called "sanctuary cities" should receive federal bailout funds.

He added that it “will be a subject that will be discussed.”

“I don’t think you should have sanctuary cities if they get that kind of aid. If you’re gonna get aid to the cities and states for the kind of numbers you’re talking about, billions of dollars, I don’t think you should have sanctuary cities,” Trump said.

When asked specifically if he will prevent aid from going to sanctuary states and cities, Trump responded: “We shouldn’t have to pay anything anyway, because all they do is make it very hard for law enforcement.”

He added: “I don’t see helping cities and states if they’re going to be sanctuary, because all sanctuary means to me is that it’s protecting a lot of criminals, and others, many people.”

Watch:

6:04 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Retail businesses and salons to reopen in Kentucky in May, governor says

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

 

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

Manufacturing, construction, vehicle or vessel dealerships and dog grooming and boarding businesses in Kentucky will be allowed to reopen May 11, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

This guidance also includes professional services operating at 50% capacity. Horse racing can also happen with no spectators, Beshear said.

On May 20, retail and houses of worship will be allowed to reopen, the governor said.

As a final step in the state’s first phase of reopening, starting May 25, social gatherings of 10 people will be permitted again. Barber shops, salons, cosmetology businesses and similar services will be allowed to reopen as well, according to Beshear.

Restaurants, movie theaters, campgrounds, youth sports, summer camps and daycares will be part of a possible June reopening, Beshear said.

5:59 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Maryland governor says nation's food supply chain could be gravely impacted by Covid-19 cases in state

From CNN’s Pamela Wessmann

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks at a news conference on April 29, in Annapolis, Maryland.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talks at a news conference on April 29, in Annapolis, Maryland. Brian Witte/AP

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he has warned the federal government the nation’s food supply chain could be gravely impacted by Covid-19 cases in his state. 

The governor said he just completed a call with the White House, the governors of Delaware, Virginia, and 15 other states, that have meat processing plants.

"This is a serious public health concern and a threat to Maryland’s agricultural industry and to the nation’s food supply chain," he said during his daily news conference.

Hogan said he is receiving federal assistance and is grateful to the Trump administration, particularly Vice President Mike Pence and theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention for their swift response.

The governor said the issue has become a multi-agency and multi-state effort.

5:48 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Trump says he'll start traveling again next week

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

President Donald Trump speaks about reopening the country, during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, on April 29, in Washington DC.
President Donald Trump speaks about reopening the country, during a roundtable with industry executives, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, on April 29, in Washington DC. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said he will travel to Arizona next week, after weeks of staying in Washington because of Covid-19.

The comments came during a meeting with industry leaders at the White House on Wednesday.

Asked if he is going to start traveling soon, Trump responded, “I think so.”

“I think I’m going to Arizona next week, and we look forward to that, and I’m going to I hope Ohio very soon,” Trump said. "[W[e’re going to start to move around.” 

Trump said he hopes that “in the not-too-distant future we’re going to have some massive rallies.”

“And people will be sitting next to each other,” he added. “I can’t imagine a rally where you have every fourth seat full. Every six seats are empty for everyone you have full, that wouldn’t look too good.”