Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Elise Hammond and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 10:54 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020
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6:51 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Illinois governor says state parks, golf courses and retail stores will reopen with strict social measures

From CNN's Raja Razek

Lydia Ross, director of public art for the city of Chicago, watches as a mask with a depiction of the Chicago flag is placed on the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza on April 30, in Chicago.
Lydia Ross, director of public art for the city of Chicago, watches as a mask with a depiction of the Chicago flag is placed on the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza on April 30, in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state's modified stay-at-home order will allow more flexibility "where it is safe" to do so.

The order will go into effect Friday, May 1.

State parks, golf courses, retail stores, and garden centers are some of the few places that are reopening with strict social measures. 

Elective surgeries that have been put off due to the crisis can also now be scheduled in surgery centers and hospitals, Pritzker said.

He also will require everyone in the state to wear a face mask when possible.

"Tomorrow will be the first day where adults and any children over the age of two and everyone medically able to tolerate a face covering will be required to wear one in public places where they can't maintain a 6-foot social distance," he said.
6:19 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Protesters in Michigan demonstrate against stay-at-home order

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

Michigan State Police says claims that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was trapped inside the Capitol building by demonstrators protesting against her stay-at-home order are false.

Roughly 400 to 700 people descended on the state Capitol today, according to Michigan State Police.

The capitol was open to the public today, but due to social distancing rules in place, only 275 individuals were allowed inside at a time, with certain sections of the building being closed off, according to Lt. Brian Oleksyk.

Oleksyk said it was a very peaceful protest, “they were chanting peacefully and that was it.”

State Police made one arrest, which took place outside of the Capitol, where one protester had assaulted another, Oleksyk said.

All protesters had dispersed by 5 p.m., as had most of the police detail that was there to assist with the crowd. 

Both the House and Senate were in session Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press. 

Michigan Sen. Dayna Polehanki had tweeted this afternoon, saying that protesters were directly above her, “men with rifles yelling at us.”

“Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” Polehanki’s tweeted.

Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich’s said while he encourages "people to voice their disagreements with their government," this is not what happened today.

"This protest wasn’t about the stay-at-home order, it was an opportunity for a small group of folks – very few of whom were engaging in social distancing or wearing masks – to show off their swastika posters, confederate flags, nooses hanging from cars and signs calling for murder. Threatening Capitol police, staff, press, and elected members is not how we do business here in Michigan," Ananich said in a statement. "We support robust debate and we support both the first and second amendments. We will not condone physical intimidation or causing chaos in the middle of a global pandemic.”

Watch:

6:08 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Trump says he has no problem wearing a face mask

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Kevin Liptak 

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he would have no problem wearing a face mask when he travels to Arizona next week, adding it will depend on the conditions on the ground. 

“As far as where I am going in Arizona, I’m gonna have to look at the climate. I’d have no problem wearing a mask.” Trump said. “I'm supposed to make a speech, I just don't know, should I speak in a mask? You are going to have to tell me if that is politically correct, I don’t know. If it is, I’ll speak in a mask." 

Trump said he doesn’t wear a face mask in the White House because he is in large rooms and is socially distanced from others.

However, Trump has repeatedly been surrounded by large groups of people in close proximity, at his multiple press briefings in the small White House briefing room and at Thursday's event when he signed the proclamation declaring Older Americans Month.

This is a reversal from Trump's previous comments, when he said last month he wouldn't wear a face mask himself, saying it was impossible to imagine greeting world leaders in the Oval Office with his face covered. 

"I don't think I'm going to be doing it," he said, suggesting it was hard to envision such a thing in the Oval Office: "Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I just don't see it." 

6:03 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Some casinos in Mississippi could reopen before Memorial Day weekend, governor says

From CNN's Janine Mack

A sign announcing closures is seen outside the closed Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Tuesday, March 17.
A sign announcing closures is seen outside the closed Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Tuesday, March 17. Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Some Mississippi casinos could reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Tate Reeves said during a news conference on Thursday. 

The state’s casinos have been closed since mid-March.

Reeves said he was confident that by Memorial Day some of the facilities would be open, but it would not be the exact same way it was before the pandemic.

Reeves said that he is working with the venues to ensure social distancing in a way that is safe for Mississippi.

5:58 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Orange County officials lash out at decision to close beaches after weekend crowds

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A sign announcing beach closures is seen at Huntington Beach, California, on Thursday, April 30.
A sign announcing beach closures is seen at Huntington Beach, California, on Thursday, April 30. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Orange County officials are lashing out at California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to close beaches in the area.

"(It's) a clear example of unnecessary government overreach. His actions are arbitrary and capricious and is an act of retribution against Orange County," said Michelle Steele, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “This is not acceptable and there is no rational basis for this action. 

Orange County officials learned about the order just 15 minutes before the governor’s announcement, said Don Wagner, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Both Wagner and Steele blamed "misleading photographs" for the decision.

“The telephoto lens distorted what was going on on the beach," Wagner said. “We know that because we’ve seen photos from other angles.”

“The photographs I saw, quite honestly, are a stark contrast to what I believe the governor is acting on,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said, adding “I have no desire to enforce any aspect of that through arrest.” 

“I would urge the governor to trust the locals,” Wagner said.

5:56 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Mississippi governor says there is no food shortage and no need to hoard

From CNN's Janine Mack

Gov. Tate Reeves provides reporters an update on the state's response to COVID-19 in Jackson, Mississippi on April 29.
Gov. Tate Reeves provides reporters an update on the state's response to COVID-19 in Jackson, Mississippi on April 29. Rogelio V. Solis/AP

There is no food shortage in Mississippi due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Tate Reeves said in a news conference Thursday. 

“I want to be clear. Very, very clear: We are not at immediate risk of any shortage,” Reeves said. “You do not need to hoard. You do not need to empty the shelves of your local grocery store. That will do more harm than good. You will get what you need.”

Mississippi farmers, ranchers, truckers and those working at meat processing plants are making sure the food supply chain is intact, he said.

"No one should ever have to worry about keeping food on the table," Reeves tweeted. 

Mississippi has reported 6,815 positive cases and 261 deaths due to the coronavirus, said Dr. Thomas Dobbs with the Mississippi State Health Department. 

 

 

5:31 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

More than 120 employees test positive for Covid-19 at Missouri pork processing plant

From CNN's Brad Parks

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said more than 120 employees have tested positive for Covid-19 at Triumph Foods pork processing plant in St. Joseph.

The announcement comes after the state health department partnered with local health officials to offer testing to more than 2,000 employees at the plant earlier this week.

“We appreciate the willingness from employees of Triumph Foods to be tested and the collaboration with local health care providers to help prevent further spread of COVID-19 in this community,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said in a statement. “Partnering with providers and local health departments to test people, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, is part of our “box-in” strategy with this virus moving forward.”

Employees with positive results are being notified by the city's Health Department and will be told to isolate.

At the request of the city's Health Department, the state is sending support staff to assist with contact tracing efforts and more testing is to be expected as close contacts of patients are notified.

5:28 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Who do you want to say "thank you" to? CNN wants to know.

Is there someone that you’d like to thank and show your appreciation toward during the coronavirus pandemic?

Send us your story, telling us who they are and why you’re thankful.

Please include your name and phone number, and we may be in touch with you about featuring your message of thanks on CNN.

5:32 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Former CDC director says being outdoors is "a great way to reduce risk"

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delivers remarks during a press conference in Washington, DC on September 29, 2016.
Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delivers remarks during a press conference in Washington, DC on September 29, 2016. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, said Thursday that some activities can resume around the country because "we’re basically over the worst of this phase of the pandemic." 

“Things are getting better and we can gradually resume some activities,” Frieden said at a coronavirus media briefing sponsored by the Aspen Institute.  “On the other hand, we’re getting back, not to normal, we’re going to get back to a new normal. And that’s going to include physical distancing, hand sanitizer, face masks and avoidance … of large gatherings where many people come together in one place." 

When it comes to summer vacations, beach trips are still a go, Frieden said. Social distancing is still necessary, though, he said.

“Yes, in fact, outdoors places are much safer than indoor places. Beaches, parks, bicycling, hiking. These are great things to do. They’re great for the spirit, and outdoors is a great way to reduce risk," he added. “Now to have a 100,000 people on a crowded beach, that’s a little different, but with sensible precautions, the great outdoors is a great way forward.”