Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:02 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020
42 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
1:43 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Louisiana reporting the lowest number of patients on ventilators since March 25

From CNN’s Kay Jones

For the first time since March 25, Louisiana has less than 200 patients with Covid-19 on ventilators.

Today's report by the Louisiana Department of Health showed that people hospitalized with the virus went up slightly to 1,512 while the total ventilator usage dropped by 26 to 194.

Statewide numbers: The total number of cases in the state went up over the past day, bringing the total number of cases to 29,996.

The number of deaths is now at 2,042, up 51 from Monday's report. 

1:31 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

New Jersey reports more than 2,000 new cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Gov. Phil Murphy
Gov. Phil Murphy Pool

New Jersey reported 2,494 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 130,593, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

The governor cautioned that there are still some “lagging results” from the past couple of days, so the numbers could change. 

The state is also reporting 334 new deaths. New Jersey has now reported a total of 8,244 total coronavirus-related deaths.

New Jersey has seen a slow-down in the rate of new cases reported, Murphy said, and hospitalizations have started to tick down as well.

Hospitalizations: At least 5,328 patients are currently being treated in hospitals – a decrease of nearly 3,000 over the last three weeks. There has also been one full week of declining numbers of patients being treated in intensive care units, with about 1,534 patients currently being treated.

Murphy cautioned, however, that there is still a ways to go before the state can fully reopen safely.

“This is the fight of our lives, it’s not two dimensional,” Murphy said.

1:27 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Antibody tests will be available at drive-through testing sites, Florida governor says

From CNN’s Lindsay Benson


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced today that antibody tests will be deployed to drive-through testing sites. 

"We're also going to be announcing this week the deployment of antibody tests at our drive-through testing facilities. So the antibody tests test whether your body has developed antibodies which means that you have had the disease in the past," DeSantis said. 

The governor said they've "already received 200,000 antibody tests for serological testing."

"We've done a survey of all the hospitals that may need some, so we're going to send them to any hospital that wants it, clearly it's important for the doctors and the nurses. So we're going to do that, and then we're going to have lanes dedicated to antibody testing at our drive-through sites," DeSantis said.

"We're also going to likely do our own state of Florida study where we can try to determine the prevalence in different parts of the state," he added.

1:25 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

"Many millions" of doses of vaccine in human trials could be available by end of year, CEO BioNTech says

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac


An experimental coronavirus vaccine entering into human trials in the US, could be available in “many millions” of doses by the end of 2020, the CEO of BioNTech told CNN. 

The German drug maker has partnered with US giant Pfizer to distribute a potential vaccine which is already in human trials in Germany. Uğur Şahin believes the regulatory approval process could be sped up from what is historically an 18-month time frame due to the global pandemic. 

“So the approval of any drug is based on the evaluation of a potential benefit and remaining risk," Şahin told CNN. "The benefit of a vaccine in a pandemic situation is much greater and therefore an approval or an authorization of a vaccine in a pandemic situation has to follow other rules than we have seen in the past."

He believes Covid-19 will be responsive to a vaccine which is he calls the “most important aspect” of vaccine development. He said the second aspect is the “very encouraging” preclinical data.

“We see vaccine responses, we see strong vaccine responses at even low doses. And we believe that this vaccine response, since we have seen that in different animal models will also translate into vaccine responses in human subjects," he said. 

If it is approved by the regulators, Sahin said the partners are “prepared to go as fast as possible" to get the vaccine to the population.

1:06 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Miami-Dade Police have issued 459 violations and made 1 arrest since reopening parks

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

A Miami-Dade police officer directs traffic on May 2, as hundreds of cars and trucks hauling boats lined up waiting to get into Blackpoint Marina in Homestead, Florida.
A Miami-Dade police officer directs traffic on May 2, as hundreds of cars and trucks hauling boats lined up waiting to get into Blackpoint Marina in Homestead, Florida. David Goodhue/Miami Herald/AP

Since the reopening of parks last Wednesday, Miami-Dade Police have issued 459 violations and has made one arrest, according to the department’s press office.

According to the department, the violations included verbal warnings for noncompliance of reopening rules, like wearing masks, social distancing, no picnics and no large gatherings. Strict operation hours are also enforced. In one case, there were about 30 people congregated at a park taking graduation pictures, per police.

As for the arrest, Miami-Dade Police say a 35-year-old man was arrested Saturday at Hobie Beach for resisting an officer without violence and a health and safety violation, two misdemeanors. Police say the man was running with his dog on a closed beach. An officer told the man to run on the pavement. Later, the officer saw the same man with his dog on the waterline. At that point, the man provided the officer with a fake name and ignored the officer’s command, per police.

Miami-Dade Police say there is no booking photo because the man was issued a promise to appear.

According to MDPD no parks have been closed in the county due to non-compliance by park goers.

Yesterday, Miami Beach Police announced it had issued nearly 8,000 warnings over the weekend for people violating social distancing and face mask rules. Miami Beach Police announced the closure of South Pointe Park until further notice, due to non-compliance.

Miami Beach is in Miami-Dade County.

1:02 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Schools should be ready for phased reopening and more closures later, pediatrics group says

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

 A classroom sits empty at Kent Middle School on April 01, in Kentfield, California.
 A classroom sits empty at Kent Middle School on April 01, in Kentfield, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/FILE

Schools should be ready to reopen in phases, perhaps starting with reduced hours, before returning to full activity amid the coronavirus pandemic, a large pediatricians’ group said Tuesday.

Schools should also plan for intermittent closures in the future if the virus begins to rebound, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in new guidance.

So far, 46 states and Washington, DC, have announced school closures through the end of the academic year. Four more states have widespread closures but have not decided whether to cancel the rest of the school year.

A lot depends on factors that cannot yet be predicted: how the virus is spreading both nationally and in local communities, how much testing is available, and whether state and local health departments are able to control spread via testing and contact tracing, the group said.

Schools will also have to be ready to clean and sanitize all areas, screen, monitor and test students and staff and limit student interactions. That may include having students stay in one room, with teachers moving from class to class.

The organization indicated it supports efforts to get back to school if it can be done safely.

“While some school districts have implemented distance learning, this is not generally believed to replicate the in-person learning experience,” the group said in its guidance.

“Such districts may also experience a widened divide in academic progress, with certain children able to access distance learning and continue to grow academically, while others might experience difficulty accessing or engaging with virtual instruction,” the guidance said.

12:52 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

United Airlines warns management and administrative workers of "at least" 30% cuts to come

From CNN's Pete Muntean

Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images/FILE
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images/FILE

In a memo that went out to about 11,500 workers, United Airlines’ EVP for Human Resources, Kate Gebo, says its management and administrative team could be reduced by at least 30% in October after funding from the CARES Act runs out.

In the meantime, the airline is asking these workers to take 20 unpaid days off. Some are being asked to work a four-day work week.

“The reality we are faced with, especially heading into what would normally be our busiest time of year, is daunting to say the least,” Gebo wrote.

More context: It’s the latest in a series of memos that have come to light from United, including one from its COO telling workers to consider voluntarily leaving the company and one from its chief pilot warning of furloughs.

Gebo also told workers they should consider leaving the company voluntarily.

“At this point, we’re planning for an M&A population that will be at least 30% smaller than it is today, with some work groups impacted more significantly than others. Affected employees will be notified in mid to late July for an October 1 effective date. Given the upcoming reductions, I have to ask each of you to seriously consider if choosing a voluntary separation with a robust benefits package might be right for you,” she wrote.

12:52 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

House leaders say they are moving forward with coronavirus response investigations

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi House TV

House Democratic leaders say they plan to move forward with investigations into the US response to the coronavirus crisis despite President Trump rejecting calls for witnesses to testify and Republicans not yet cooperating with their plans to move ahead with new oversight plans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer both told CNN the House would proceed with its reviews into the US response and how nearly a $3 trillion worth of federal programs are being implemented.

Hoyer said that the House would soon begin conducting its hearings "virtually" and said they would move ahead regardless of what the GOP decides to do.

"This President has done everything in his power to undermine the Congress' constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the executive branch," Hoyer said.

"This President has no sense of his responsibility to the Constitution with the people of this country and to the Congress' authority to conduct oversight. So we're going to pursue oversight. We're going to pursue it ... virtually," he said.

Some background: The comments come after the White House said no members of the coronavirus task force would testify in May before Congress unless approved by Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Trump called the House a “bunch of Trump haters” when asked why Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, would testify before the Senate next week — but not the House this week.


12:36 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020

Michigan Medicine cutting personnel and spending due to coronavirus-related losses

From CNN’s Alec Snyder

Michigan Medicine, the medical center which includes the University of Michigan’s medical school, announced a plan today to claw its way out of $230 million in projected losses this and next fiscal year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The changes will include cuts to personnel and infrastructure, according to a release on Michigan Medicine’s website.

At least 1,400 employees will be either laid off or furloughed, while 300 additional vacancies will go unfilled due to a hiring freeze. A new inpatient facility that had been planned will also halt construction.

The necessary cutbacks come after the medical center was forced to cancel elective procedures and suspend many services.

“While we don’t take any of these decisions lightly, we believe it is a preferable outcome to broad salary reductions and allows us to preserve as many jobs as possible,” said Michigan Medicine CEO Marschall S. Runge.

Runge is among those taking a pay cut. His salary will be decreased by 20% and he has asked many leaders and department chairs to take salary cuts ranging from 5% to 15% of their current salaries.

The center announced it will be phasing out other services and perks to save money. These include suspending merit increases, retirement matches, tuition reimbursement, supply reduction, consulting and discretionary expenses.

A Covid-19 Employee Emergency Needs Fund will give grants to employees with the fewest resources in need of financial help due to the pandemic, the release said.