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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8:08 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

San Diego County extends stay-at-home order indefinitely

From CNN's Alexandra Meeks

An aerial view of empty streets in San Diego, California.
An aerial view of empty streets in San Diego, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

San Diego County has extended its public health order indefinitely, Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten said at a news conference Wednesday.

The order was set to expire tomorrow, April 30.

"As you heard from the governor yesterday, any jurisdiction opening up is contingent upon the guidance and direction from the governor of California," Wooten said. "We cannot open back up until the state gives the green light to do so, so yes, we are extending it tomorrow indefinitely."

The current county health order requires all people to remain in their homes or at their place of residence, except for employees or customers traveling to and from essential businesses or activities. Beginning May 1, all people in San Diego must wear face coverings anywhere in public if they come within 6 feet of another person, the order mandates. 

County officials also said they are hoping to relax more restrictions for parks and golf courses by next week if public places and businesses can enforce social distancing. 

The county loosened restrictions on Monday to allow swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking in the ocean and bays. Recreational boating is still banned. 

8:38 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

Kushner calling Trump's coronavirus response successful is "laughable," Susan Rice says

From CNN's Josiah Ryan 

CNN
CNN

Former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice dismissed senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner’s claim that the administration’s coronavirus response has been a “great success story,” telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer the President’s son-in-law’s words were “ridiculous” and would be “laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.”

“I don’t know how anybody, with a straight face, can call this a great success and declare this a mission accomplished moment when more than 60,000 Americans are dead,” she said.

Rice went on to rebuke Kushner’s claim that much of the country would be back to normal by June and his stated hope that by “July the country is really rocking again.”

“This is the beginning, not the end of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States,” she said. “Dr. Fauci, whose judgment I trust implicitly, has just said that he believes the second wave in the fall is inevitable and that’s the pattern of pandemics of the past.”

Speaking on “Fox and Friends” earlier in the day, the President’s son-in-law painted a rosy picture of the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic calling a “great success story” — less than a day after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million.

When Kushner was pressed on the same program on coronavirus testing levels in the US, he said the question shouldn’t be why did it take so long, but, “How did we do this so quickly?”

Watch:

8:00 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

NYPD says less than 1,000 members are out sick with coronavirus

From CNN's Bob Frehse

John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx/AP
John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx/AP

There are 964 members of the New York Police Department out sick with the coronavirus, the NYPD announced Wednesday evening.

This figure represents 745 uniformed members and 219 civilian members, according to the NYPD’s daily coronavirus report.

As many as 2,800 members of the NYPD were out sick with the coronavirus on April 14, but it’s unclear if that represents the peak number for the department. CNN has reached out to the NYPD for more information. 

As for the overall sick report, 7.7% of the NYPD's uniformed workforce was out sick Tuesday, down from an April 9 high of 19.8%.

There are 4,959 members of the NYPD who have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 3,958 members of the NYPD have returned to full duty after recovering from the disease.

“And let’s remember and pray for the 37 members of the service that have died due to coronavirus-related illness,” the NYPD added in the report.

7:34 p.m. ET, April 29, 2020

New Hampshire reports 6 new coronavirus-related deaths

From CNN's Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

New Hampshire has recorded 50 new Covid-19 cases and six new deaths due to the virus, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette said at a news conference today.

There are now 2,054 people diagnosed with Covid-19 and 66 total deaths in the state, she said. There are 259 people who have been hospitalized in New Hampshire due to coronavirus and more than 19,800 people have been tested. 

Shibinette announced that two additional long-term care facilities in the state have reported Covid-19 outbreaks.

One facility is the Hackett Hill Healthcare Center in Manchester, where 22 residents and two staff members tested positive for Covid-19. The other outbreak is at the Mountain Ridge Center in Franklin where 13 residents and two staff members have tested positive for Covid-19. 

Gov. Chris Sununu announced the release of funds to assist homeless individuals in New Hampshire during the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services has committed an addition $3 million from the CARES Act to do three things in New Hampshire:

  • Provide dollars in the form of staff stipends for eight weeks for the direct care staff working with people experiencing homeless
  • Provide additional dollars to shelters
  • Provide more dollars to community agencies to support permanent housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness

Looking to the future: Sununu said the state was looking at ways to “phase in” reopening the economy, and said that on Friday he will be making an announcement regarding the stay-at-home order.

The state is looking to be flexible regarding certain areas of the state where they believe they can open in a smart and responsible phased approach that is “always putting public health first,” Sununu said.

All of this has to be done with increased testing, which the state is constantly working on, Sununu said. There are five new testing sites across New Hampshire for individuals who cannot access hospitals or urgent care locations. These new testing sites are located in Lancaster, Plymouth, Tamworth, Rochester and Claremont and the tests sites are up and running now, Sununu said.

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.