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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6:26 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Russian coronavirus aid arrives in New York

From CNN's Kylie Atwood 

A plane carrying medical supplies from Russia landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday, April 1.
A plane carrying medical supplies from Russia landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Wednesday, April 1. TASS/Getty Images

Russian medical supplies to help the US combat the Covid-19 pandemic landed in New York on Wednesday afternoon, the Russian mission to the UN tweeted out.

The mission tweeted that the supplies would “help local communities and hospitals in their crucial action against the spread of #coronanvirus.”

The New York Air Traffic Controller thanked the Russian pilot when the plane landed at JFK airport. 

“Romeo Foxtrot Foxtrot 8460 Heavy, we sincerely thank you for all the assistance you are bringing in,” the controller said. “Have a good day.”

The shipment includes personal protective equipment including masks, ventilators, and antiseptics a State Department official told CNN. The US will put all Food and Drug Administration approved items to immediate use, a senior administration official said on Tuesday. 

Some context: The shipment comes just days after President Trump and President Vladimir Putin spoke over the phone.

The Russian assistance was not mentioned in the readout of their call provided by the White House. But earlier this week Trump said that "Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice."

Last month, before that phone call, the State Department urged diplomats worldwide to ask for medical supplies from their host countries, but said that they would not be asking Russia.

5:23 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

National stockpile deploys its last round of shipments

From CNN's Kristen Holmes

The Strategic National Stockpile is deploying the last round of shipments in its inventory, depleting the bulk of its protective gear, a source familiar told CNN.

The official said the stockpile was never meant to serve as the only source of protective gear for the entire coronavirus response and the states would need to get more supply from the private market. 

The official stressed that the stockpile, which is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, will never be completely depleted as they always retain a small percentage for the most critical needs. 

Some context: Since the start of the pandemic, officials have been sounding the alarm that there was never going to be enough gear for a 50-state response.

On Tuesday, President Trump said the government would hold onto 10,000 ventilators to ensure they had the ability to deploy quickly if they need the units in the future.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the agency's planning for the Covid-19 pandemic response "acknowledged that the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) alone could not fulfill all requirements at the State and tribal level. Therefore, as the vice president stated last night, the federal government will exhaust all means to identify and attain medical and other supplies needed to combat the virus."

A Department of Homeland Security official told CNN the stockpile is "near depletion because the numbers are low."

"When you see demand is outpacing supply, then we go to the people [states] who are asking for equipment and ask if they are exhausting all of their sources," the official said. "We are having to balance places that don't have any [PPE], versus someone on the verge, but not there yet."
5:39 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Connecticut governor says newborn died of coronavirus

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in Guilford, Connecticut, on Sunday, March 29.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont in Guilford, Connecticut, on Sunday, March 29. Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media/AP

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the state reached a “tragic milestone” with the death of an infant with coronavirus.

“A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived,” Lamont tweeted. "Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was Covid-19 positive. This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to Covid-19."

Read Lamont's tweets:

5:19 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Florida religious services exempt from stay-at-home executive order

From CNN's Stephanie Gallman

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference in Miami Gardens, Florida, on March 30.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference in Miami Gardens, Florida, on March 30. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship are “essential business” and therefore exempt from this stay-at-home executive order announced this afternoon. 

The stay-at-home order issued by 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.

Some context: Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne said he wouldn't close the doors of his Tampa, Florida, megachurch until the End Times begin. The police weren't willing to wait that long.

On Monday, Florida sheriff's deputies arrested the evangelical pastor, who has continued to host large church services despite public orders urging residents to stay home to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Howard-Browne has been charged with two counts: unlawful assembly and a violation of health emergency rules. Both are second-degree misdemeanors, Chronister said at a press conference Monday.

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

Gun retailers deemed "essential service" by federal government

From CNN's Kelly Mena

People wait in line at Martin B. Retting gun shop in Culver City, California, on March 24.
People wait in line at Martin B. Retting gun shop in Culver City, California, on March 24. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

As states around the country issue "stay-at-home" orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, firearm and ammunition retailers have been designated an "essential service," according to updated guidance from the federal government. 

Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, identified "firearm and ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges" as critical infrastructure in the updated "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce" advisory, which was issued over the weekend.

The list is intended to be advisory and not to be considered "the exclusive list of critical infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions that should continue during the Covid-19 response across all jurisdictions."

"Individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements and discretion," the advisory states.

Some context: The Covid-19 health crisis has prompted at least 30 states and the District of Columbia to issue stay-at-home orders that force the closure of "non-essential services."

Firearm retailers haven't been specifically mentioned in some states' lists of essential businesses, so they're assumed to be non-essential.

5:22 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Georgia governor announces state-wide shelter-in-place to go into effect Friday

From CNN’s Lindsay Benson

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp held a press conference Wednesday afternoon and announced that a state-wide shelter-in-place will go into effect on Friday.

"Tomorrow, I will sign a state-wide shelter-in-place order, which will go into effect on Friday, and run through April 13, 2020. This date is in line with our public health emergency order," Kemp said.

Kemp also added that public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.

"I will sign an executive order today closing K through 12 public schools for the rest of the school year," Kemp said.

He added that "online learning will continue."


4:54 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

California reports 1,200 more coronavirus cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

More than 8,000 people in California have coronavirus, and 171 people have died as a result of the virus, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a virtual press conference.

Today’s count adds 1,223 more Covid-19 patients to California’s tally – an increase of more than 17% from yesterday — for a total of 8,155 cases in the state.

The governor is keenly focused on how many coronavirus patients are hospitalized, especially in intensive care units.

There are 774 patients in ICU beds. That number has quadrupled in the past six days. Hospitalizations from the virus have tripled in that same time frame and currently stands at 1,855 people.

Los Angeles County has 513 new cases and 11 deaths, state Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced today. In a matter of 48-hours, more than 1,000 more coronavirus cases have been confirmed in L.A. County.

4:40 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

New York City hospitals need millions more N95 masks and surgical masks by Sunday, mayor says

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

New York City hospitals still need 3.3 million N95 masks, 2.1 million surgical masks, 100,000 isolation gowns and 400 ventilators by this coming Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference today.

He estimated that the city needs an additional 2,500 to 3,000 ventilators over the course of next week.

De Blasio has been warning for roughly the past week that Sunday, is a crucial day for New York, as he expects the demands to continue to increase in the following weeks.

5:41 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Former NYPD commissioner will oversee distribution of coronavirus medical supplies across NYC hospitals

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Former New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill in New York City on August 19, 2019.
Former New York Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill in New York City on August 19, 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former NYPD commissioner James O’Neill has been appointed to oversee the supply and distribution of personal protective equipment and medical equipment within New York City hospitals as the demands continue to grow as a result of the coronavirus crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press release on Wednesday.

In this role, O’Neill will “create, operationalize and manage a supply inspection regime within the hospitals to ensure the rapid turnaround of new supplies and verify each hospital is pushing needed equipment to frontline health care workers,” according to the mayor’s office.