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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5:16 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Connecticut officials looking into how to safely open businesses at the end of May

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont outlined the industries that could reopen on May 20.

He said at a news conference today that state officials were looking into how to safely open outdoor only restaurants, outdoor zoos and outdoor museums, university research programs, hair and nail services and the remaining retail businesses that are currently been deemed as nonessential.

Some offices would also open but individuals would be encouraged to continue to work from home when possible. Outdoor recreation such as camping and mountain biking would also reopen. 

The recommendations are being made based on industry types that can be reopened safely and where social distancing can be maintained, Lamont said.

Ultimately it will be up to each individual business to decide if it feels comfortable reopening on May 20, Lamont stressed.

Lamont said he has not made a decision yet on schools – which are currently closed through May 20. He said he will provide an update on schools “early next week.”

5:38 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Tennessee releases new guidelines for businesses reopening on May 6

From CNN's Alta D. Spells

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington DC on April 30.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington DC on April 30. Alex Brandon/AP

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has shared a series of rules businesses like barbershops and hair salons must follow before before reopening May 6.

The guidelines apply to "close contact personal services" in 89 of the state's 95 counties, according to the guidelines shared by the state online.

Some of the guidelines include:

  • Verbal and temperature screenings for all employees
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Increased hygiene practices like changing protective garments on a regular basis
  • Washing hands between each customer
  • Employees must wear a cloth face covering

Other protocols that businesses will need to observe include not offering any self-serve food or beverages and prohibiting congregation.

The new guidelines limit certain services that require the removal of face coverings. Services like beard shaving/trimming and facials will not be allowed in phase one, the guidelines state.

5:03 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Trump announces additional steps to protect seniors

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Trump outlined additional steps the administration will take to protect seniors from coronavirus, saying the Federal Emergency Management Agency will send supplemental shipments of personal protective equipment to all 15,400 Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing homes in America.

He also said that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will provide states with $81 million dollars from the CARES Act to increase inspections of nursing homes.

Trump announced that a new rule will be finalized this week requiring information about coronavirus cases in nursing homes to be reported directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and testing data be posted online. The new rule will also require nursing homes to report cases to residents and their family members. 

The President also announced the formation of the “Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes.”

Trump said the commission will be made up of leading industry experts, doctors and scientists, resident and patient advocates and others. The commission will convene in May and issue recommendations for additional steps to protect seniors, he added.

4:57 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

FEMA providing masks to energy and food essential workers in North Carolina

From CNN’s Will Brown

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is launching a campaign to distribute face masks to North Carolina’s energy and food supply workers, Michael Sprayberry, the state director of Emergency Management, announced Thursday.

Sprayberry said that FEMA will ship the masks directly to companies for workers who have jobs where social distancing is difficult.

North Carolina Emergency Management will also receive an additional 149,000 cloth masks to distribute to workers in the food supply chain.

4:59 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

JBS partially reopens Minnesota plant to help euthanize hogs

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher and Konstantin Toropin

JBS has announced that it is partially reopening its plant in Worthington, Minnesota, "to provide producers with a humane euthanasia option for market hogs," the company said in a statement today.

A small staff of "approximately 10 to 20 team members" will facilitate the process of putting down hogs that farmers are unable to keep and feed on their farms, the company statement said. JBS anticipates that approximately 13,000 hogs could be euthanized per day, the statement said. 

Hog carcasses will be rendered, sent to landfills, composted or buried, the statement added.

“None of us want to euthanize hogs, but our producers are facing a terrible, unprecedented situation,” Bob Krebs, president of JBS USA Pork, said in the statement.

Some background: JBS announced the plant's closure last Monday over Covid-19 concerns. The Worthington plant employs more than 2,000 people and processes 20,000 hogs per day, according to an earlier a company statement.

Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson said all plant employees were tested for Covid-19 over the past weekend. He said "close to 500" tested positive.

4:56 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Los Angeles County will not provide coronavirus testing for asymptomatic residents

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Health Services Director Christina Ghaly
Health Services Director Christina Ghaly

Los Angeles County will not provide coronavirus testing for low risk and asymptomatic residents, according to Health Services Director Christina Ghaly.

Ghaly said the focus will instead be on people living in institutional settings like nursing homes, homeless shelters and jails. That includes both people with symptoms and those without.

Ghaly acknowledged the psychological reassurance of knowing whether you are infected, but warned that a test captures only one moment in time.

“A negative test one day, doesn’t mean you won’t be infected the next day,” Ghaly said.

Those who wouldn’t necessarily qualify for testing in Los Angeles County can still go to the city to be tested. People showing symptoms will be prioritized.

4:48 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Ohio governor says stay-at-home order will be extended

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

The Ohio Channel
The Ohio Channel

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed today that the state’s stay-at-home order, which was set to expire May 1, will be extended with certain exceptions.

“So, the decision has been made, I made the decision to have the stay-at-home order still in effect,” DeWine said.

The governor said people can certainly continue to go to the grocery store, they can meet with their own family in a home, they can take walks, and “they can do a number of different things.”

“The social distancing is really the key to about everything, and people just keeping that distance. And that’s what we need to continue to do as we move to get back to work,” DeWine added.

4:42 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

No new coronavirus-related deaths reported in Utah over the past 24 hours

From CNN’s Kay Jones

Utah state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said that the state saw a 3.5% growth rate of Covid-19 cases in the past day, up to 4,495 total cases statewide. 

The total number of hospitalizations rose slightly to 383, up 13 from the day before but the state is not reporting any additional deaths over the past day. As of Thursday, 45 people have died in Utah.

Some more context: Earlier today, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order that will place Utah under a lower, “moderate risk” protocol beginning on midnight May 1, according to a statement on the governor’s website. 

Restaurants and bars will open for dine-in services but with “strict requirements.” The requirements include limiting tables to groups of 10, enforcing social distancing, and face coverings for staff. 

Dunn said that there will be some individuals who need to continue to practice extra precautions to prevent infection. These individuals include those over the age of 65, individuals at long-term care facilities and those who have underlying health conditions. 

4:41 p.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Tyson to temporarily close Nebraska beef plant for cleaning

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher and Konstantin Toropin

This Monday, April 20, 2020 photo, shows the Tyson Fresh Meats beef processing complex in Dakota City, Nebraska.
This Monday, April 20, 2020 photo, shows the Tyson Fresh Meats beef processing complex in Dakota City, Nebraska. Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal via AP

Tyson Foods said it will temporarily stop operations at its Dakota City, Nebraska, beef facility to complete a deep cleaning of the entire plant, according to a statement released by the company.

The statement said the facility will stop operations between May 1 through May 4.

“Team member safety has and continues to be top priority for us and we’re grateful for our team members and their critical role in helping us fulfill, to the best of our ability, our commitment to helping feed people in our community and across the nation,” said Shane Miller, the senior vice president and general manager of beef enterprise at Tyson Fresh Meats.

Tyson said the plant is one of the largest beef processing plant in the country, employing about 4,300 people and producing enough beef to feed about 1.8 million people a day.

"However, with increased absenteeism over the last few weeks, the company has scaled back production," the statement said.