April 1 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:37 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020
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2:31 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Trump approves North Dakota disaster declaration

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein 

President Trump has approved a disaster declaration for North Dakota in response to coronavirus.

This is the 30th such declaration he has made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including 27 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

North Dakota has 142 coronavirus cases and three deaths, according to CNN's tally.

2:26 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

WHO says coronavirus guidelines could change because "we should always be in a learning mode"

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard


Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned during a media briefing in Geneva today that there is still much to learn about the current coronavirus pandemic — which means guidelines and recommendations for the public could evolve.

"This is still a very new virus, and we are learning all the time. As the pandemic evolves, so does the evidence, and so does our advice," Tedros said.

Tedros continued: "We have to constantly learn from our actions and adjust based on what we learn ... This is the first ever coronavirus pandemic and its behavior is still unknown and that’s why we should always be in a learning mode."

2:21 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

West Virginia prohibits all elective surgery, including abortions, attorney general says

From CNN’s Joe Youorski

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s order Tuesday prohibiting elective surgeries state-wide includes abortions, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

“Yes, it also applies to abortion facilities as well, but it’s a broad-based prohibition,” Morrissey said in a news conference with the governor.

Morrissey added that the state is doing this in order to conserve supplies, protective equipment and access to ventilators.

4:15 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Nearly 300 Homeland Security employees test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Nearly 300 US Department of Homeland Security employees have tested positive for coronavirus and more than 8,500 are self-quarantining and self-monitoring, according to data provided by the department to congressional staff and obtained by CNN.

As of March 30, the agencies within DHS with the most positive cases are US Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration, with 64 and 129 cases respectively, according to the data, which is broken down by component.

CBP and TSA also have hundreds of employees self-quarantining and self-monitoring: 640 in CBP and 4,084 in TSA.

Some federal agencies within the department — which has more than 240,000 employees — have shared data on positive cases within its ranks. TSA, for example, has posted the number of positive cases on its website, as has Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to the data obtained by CNN, more than 1,100 ICE employees are self-quarantining and self-monitoring and 29 have tested positive.

Some context: In early March, DHS announced that an employee in Seattle, Washington tested positive for the coronavirus.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Seattle District office, where the employee worked, was temporarily closed as a result. The number of cases within the department have since grown, as has been the case across the country. USCIS has 25 positive cases as of March 30.

2:11 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Most US hotel rooms are empty, new data shows

From CNN's Aaron Cooper

More than three-quarters of hotel rooms across the US were empty last week, according to new data from analytics and research group STR. 

The national occupancy rate for the week of March 22 was 22.6%, down 67.5% from the same time last year. 

It’s the worst week yet for national occupancy since the coronavirus crisis started. The week of March 15 posted 30.3% occupancy, while the week before was at 53%.

STR projects 2020 will be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy, even with an anticipated rebound after the crisis passes. 

Oahu Island in Hawaii posted the steepest drop in occupancy last week, down 86.4% from last year with just 10.5% of the rooms rented. 

In other hard hit areas, occupied hotel rooms in New Orleans fell nearly 85%, New York dropped nearly 82%, while Seattle plummeted more than 76% from last year.

3:05 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Florida stay-at-home order goes into effect on Friday

From CNN's Dan Shepherd

An aerial drone view shows the empty boardwalk on March 31, in Hollywood, Florida.
An aerial drone view shows the empty boardwalk on March 31, in Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday. 

According to 2019 Census data, the population of the state has over 21 million people.

Florida has 6,946 confirmed coronavirus cases and 86 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

Hear more:

1:58 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Coronavirus surge is beginning in northern New Jersey, health commissioner says

The Covid-19 surge is beginning in northern New Jersey, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said.

Some hospitals in the northern part of the state have asked ambulances to not bring patients to the hospital. Two hospitals called to say they needed ventilators, Persichilli said. 

Officials are looking at possible alternative sites, Persichilli said.

The field hospital will begin being staffed next week, she said.

At least 93 of the long-term facilities across New Jersey are reporting at least one positive Covid-19 case, she said.

About 5,200 healthcare professionals have volunteered to assist with the fight against the pandemic.

New Jersey currently has 22,255 coronavirus cases and 355 deaths, according to CNN's tally.

1:57 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Nevada governor issues stay-at-home order

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference in Las Vegas on March 17.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference in Las Vegas on March 17. Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun/AP

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a formal stay-at-home directive for Nevadans and extended the non-essential business, gaming and school closures today, according to a statement from his office. 

The stay-at-home order goes into effect at midnight Wednesday, according to the statement.

The closure of non-essential business, gaming establishments and schools is extended to April 30, according to the statement.

1:49 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

There are 2,900 New York City Fire Department members currently out sick

From CNN's Mark Morales

There are 2,900 New York City Fire Department members currently out sick, Jim Long, a spokesperson for the department, told CNN.

The 2,900 number is an overall count and it includes members who do not have illnesses or symptoms related to Covid-19, Long said.

So far, 282 members of the FDNY have tested positive for Covid-19. This figure includes firefighters, EMS personnel and civilians.

On Tuesday, FDNY EMS responded to 6,010 medical calls, Long said.