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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12:56 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York City playgrounds will be shut down, governor says

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City playgrounds will soon close.

The decision came after he repeatedly warned young people to follow social distancing guidelines and not congregate in public areas.

"I've said this 100 different ways, but compliance is still not where it should be," Cuomo said. "So, we're going to take more dramatic actions. We are going to close down the New York City playgrounds. I've talked about this for weeks."

He added that he's working with Mayor Bill de Blasio on the closures. Open areas in parks will stay open, he said.


12:49 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Doctors and local officials call on Tennessee governor to mandate stay-at-home order

From CNN's Gregory Lemos

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on March 16
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on March 16 Mark Humphrey/AP

A growing number of doctors and local leaders are calling on Gov. Bill Lee to issue a stay-at-home order in their state or, they warn, Tennessee "will become the next epicenter" of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Dr. Aaron Milstone, a Franklin County based acute care pulmonologist, and nine other medical leaders who represent thousands of doctors, sent a letter to Lee urging him to "act swiftly."

"It is our estimation that we have little time to “flatten the curve” on the current situation," the letter reads. "China and South Korea have made great progress by imposing restrictive measures. We ask that Tennessee do the same."

Milstone's letter was accompanied by a letter from the Members of the Middle Tennessee Delegation urging the governor to listen to the outcry from the medical community.

 "Our ability to manage the pandemic at the local level is limited and varied," the letter read. "We feel strongly that the quickest path to recovery is a uniform response to this challenge." 

Milstone joined with the Tennessee Medical Association to organize an online petition that, as of Wednesday morning, had over 30,000 signatures of both doctors and residents in support of the governor issuing a stay at home order. Nearly every medical association and over 100 mayors across the state have endorsed this cause as well, according to Milstone.

12:51 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York governor predicts state coronavirus cases will peak at the end of April

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that the state will hit its apex for coronavirus cases "roughly at the end of April."

"Which means another month of this," he added.

The governor said at that point, based on the projections, New York will need 110,000 Covid-19 hospital beds and 37,000 ventilators.


12:46 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

At least 1,941 people have died from coronavirus in New York, governor says

 At least 1,941 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died across New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference from Albany.

“That number will continue to go up,” he said.

At least 391 of those people have died in the past 24 hours, he said.

Cuomo said at least 83,712 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York.


12:35 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Spain in stabilization phase, state of emergency measures working, health minister says

From CNN’s Max Ramsay in London, Mia Alberti in Lisbon and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

A woman crosses the empty Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on Wednesday, April 1.
A woman crosses the empty Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on Wednesday, April 1. Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

Spain is “effectively in a phase of stabilization, according to the data we have learned today," Salvador Illa, minister of Health, said in a press conference in Madrid on Wednesday.

Illa cited the increase in the total number of cases (which includes deaths and recovered) at 8% as of today, the lowest percentage rise since Spain declared the state of emergency on March 14.

Illa said the new figure is down from the average 20% rate recorded between March 15 and 25 and has been falling since.

Speaking earlier at the Spanish government’s daily coronavirus technical briefing, María José Sierra, an official from the country’s center for health emergencies, said the lower numbers help “evaluate the measures we’ve been taking very positively."

Sierra said there were around 6,000 ICU beds in the country after “a lot of mobilization” to increase ICU capacity. She added that in many communities “ we are seeing less pressure on the ICUs."

Both Illa and Sierra urged caution, saying strict isolation measures need to continue.

Spain’s government has come under criticism from opposition parties, some health workers and unions for reported shortages of ICU facilities, lack of sufficient personal protective gear and overstretched health workers.



12:34 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Pence says US could have "coronavirus largely behind us" by June if guidelines are followed

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images
Pete Marovich/Pool/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence said the worst of the coronavirus for the United States could be over by early June if all guidelines are followed. 

“I hope people look at what happens if all of us continue to do our part, and that is by some time in early June, we could well have the coronavirus largely behind us as a nation, reopen our country, put America back to work,” Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. 

“I never want to minimize the loss. I just want to make sure people know there is light at the end of the tunnel. We can save lives between now and the summertime by putting these guidelines into practice,” Pence said. 

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that while there are early indications that social distancing appears to be working, the US could see another surge of the coronavirus in the fall.

Pence said he agrees with that assessment. “We believe that the likelihood is that, just like the flu, that the coronavirus will likely manifest again either in the fall or in the winter of next year.”


12:21 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

There are at least 188,637 coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 188,637 cases of coronavirus in the the US and 3,911 deaths, according to CNN Health's tally of US cases that are detected and tested in the country through its public health systems.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus. 

For the most up-to-date US numbers compiled by CNN, please check this map which automatically refreshes every 10 minutes.

12:39 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Pence casts blame on CDC, China when pressed on US coronavirus response

From Betsy Klein

 Vice President Mike Pence sought to cast blame on the Centers for Disease Control and China when pressed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on why the US was so late in understanding the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I will be very candid with you and say that in mid-January the CDC was still assessing that the risk of the coronavirus to the American people was low. The very first case, which was someone who had been in China – in late January around the 20th day of January,” Pence said. 

He continued:

“But I think the American people grateful for the fact that while a lot of other things were going on in Washington, DC, before January was out, the President stood up the White House coronavirus task force, assembled a whole of government response,” going on to outline the President’s actions since then, including travel bans.

Pressed again by Blitzer, he later added, “The reality is that we could’ve been better off if China had been more forthcoming,” adding that the “outbreak was real in China… long before the world learned in December.”


12:22 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Will the US issue a nationwide shelter-in-place order? Here's what Pence said.


While the White House has issued national social distancing guidelines through April, federal officials have not mandated a nationwide shelter-in-place order. Many individual states however, have issued those kinds of restrictions.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer just asked Vice President Mike Pence why the Trump administration hasn't given such an order.

"At the present moment, we truly do believe that the strong actions taken in places like California and Washington and New York and New Jersey are appropriate," Pence said. "We fully support those efforts."

Pence added that officials continue to look at "every option."

"We're going to continue to bring the president the best recommendations based on real-time data and science for what every state, what every community should be doing," he said.