States reopen in US as coronavirus pandemic persists

Updated 9:57 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020
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6:34 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

North Dakota governor says Covid-19 testing backlog is "close to 5,000"

From CNN’s Julie Gallagher 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said the Covid-19 testing backlog from over the weekend is close to 5,000 tests.

The backlog was due to a temporary shortage of deep well plates.  

“Well, we estimate that I think that the backlog right now is close to 5,000 that are stacked up from over the weekend in terms of tests that have been collected, but those tests are stable and the virus can live and so we don’t have to worry about retesting any of those folks yet,” Burgum said.

6:35 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

More than 1,000 people have died from coronavirus in Chicago

From CNN's Omar Jimenez

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city had reached the “sad milestone” of 1,000 coronavirus deaths in the city. 

The Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed that 1,014 people have died.

The number of coronavirus deaths in Chicago has now more than doubled the amount of homicides in the city for all of 2019. 

6:22 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Campgrounds in North Dakota will open this weekend

 From CNN’s Julie Gallagher 

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announced today that campgrounds in the state will open in a limited capacity on May 9.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation previously announced campgrounds were to remain closed until May 21 due to Covid-19.

“I’m excited to announce that the campgrounds are going to be open on a limited basis now on May 9, not on May 21, so we are pulling that forward,” Burgum said.

There are a few caveats to the campgrounds reopening on May 9:

  • Little Missouri State Park will still remain closed until May 21.
  • Campsites will have limited occupancy and service. 
  • Cabin rentals will remain closed until further notice. 
  • All vehicle passes and camping registration must be completed online.
6:23 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Mississippi governor to allow outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people

From CNN's Pamela Wessmann

A person walks by the Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson on Wednesday, April 8.
A person walks by the Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson on Wednesday, April 8. Rory Doyle/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said outdoor gatherings for up to 20 people will be allowed.

“I don’t want to wait if there are steps that we believe we can safely take now to ease the burden on Mississippians fighting this virus," he said.

He will also allow dining in restaurants subject to strict guidelines. The guidelines include that servers wear masks and there be no more than 50% capacity in the restaurants.

"Hopefully it will help overcrowding in grocery stores," he said.

6:19 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Illinois governor says people "persistently defiant" of stay-at-home order "can be put in jail"

From CNN's Raja Razek

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press briefing on May 3.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press briefing on May 3. Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he believes local law enforcement needs to step in if people continue to defy the state's stay-at-home order.  

"When people are being persistently defiant, I do think that local law enforcement needs to step in. You know, but it's up to the mayor, and it's up to the local law enforcement to make those decisions," Pritzker said at a news conference today.

In response to a question about the church in Lena, whose pastor held service with dozens of people in attendance last weekend, Pritzker said, "We have always asked local enforcement, local officials to enforce these orders. The best way to do that, of course, is a reminder to the pastor and to the parishioners that they are putting themselves and others in danger by holding a service like this."

As for people in any county defying the stay-at-home order of no more than 10 people, the governor said, "We are asking them to disperse...we just don't want people getting sick."

"I will say, however, if people are persistently defiant, they can be put in jail," he added. "And I am not suggesting that that's the best answer or the first answer, but it is something that is an option for local law enforcement."

Numbers in the state: Illinois reported 2,341 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total to 63,840, with 2,662 deaths in the state. 

6:15 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

More than 250,000 people have died from coronavirus around the world

Workers remove a body from a home in Manaus, Brazil, on May 4.
Workers remove a body from a home in Manaus, Brazil, on May 4. Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus worldwide has surpassed a quarter of a million, according to a tally of cases by Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins reported 250,687 deaths and 3,573,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide as of 6 p.m. ET Monday.

6:01 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Kentucky to start the second phase of reopening health care

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky will begin the next phase of reopening health care in the state on Wednesday, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

This second phase will include outpatient gastrointestinal procedures, radiology procedures, diagnostic non-urgent cardiac procedures, outpatient orthopedic procedures, outpatient ophthalmological procedures, outpatient ear, nose and throat procedures, and outpatient dental procedures, Stack said.

The Battelle system will also be available to all health care providers for use to clean N95 masks.

Gov. Andy Beshear also announced that the state has started a partnership with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Distillers Association. The groups will provide masks and hand sanitizer to small businesses as the state reopens its economy.

5:54 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Small communities in Washington can open earlier than the rest of the state, governor says

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Businesses in many smaller communities in Washington state may be allowed to reopen this week under an order signed Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee. 

Counties can ask for an exception to state coronavirus regulations on businesses, which remain some of the strictest in the country.

In order to apply, a county must have fewer than 75,000 people, with no new Covid-19 cases for three consecutive weeks.

Some context: Washington begins “Phase 1” of its reopening plan across the state Tuesday. 

Nonessential businesses will still be prohibited from having customers in their stores, but some non-contact businesses like lawn care and car washes can resume. This phase is set to last for at least three weeks.

5:48 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

Workers at Tyson Foods pork plant in Iowa return to work

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher and Pamela Kirkland 

The Tyson Foods pork plant is seen on April 22, in Perry, Iowa.
The Tyson Foods pork plant is seen on April 22, in Perry, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

Tyson Foods resumed operations at its pork processing plant in Perry, Iowa, today, the company confirmed to CNN.

"All team members returning to work at our Perry facility have been tested, and we have implemented enhanced safety protocols to ensure our efforts meet or exceed local, state and federal guidelines," Tyson said in a statement.

The new safety protocols include taking the temperatures of workers, conducting wellness checks and screening employees for symptoms and requiring the use of face coverings, according to the statement.

The plant closed down more than two weeks ago to "test team members and conduct deep clean of the entire facility," according to Tyson.

It is not known how many Covid-19 cases are linked directly to the Perry plant, since neither Dallas County Public Health nor Tyson Foods have made that information available. 

The Tyson plant in Waterloo is now the only pork plant with operations fully suspended at this time.