April 2 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:23 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020
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1:35 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Massachusetts governor says peak number of hospitalizations could come in 8 days


Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said today that based on projections, they estimate the state could see between 47,000 to 172,00 cases of coronavirus during the course of the pandemic.

Baker said that’s approximately 0.7% to 2.5% of the total population of Massachusetts.

The modeling also indicated that hospitalizations would potentially peak between April 10 and April 20, Baker said.

The governor added that the model is based on Wuhan and Massachusetts has factors that could improve the projections, for example, they have less population density, less smokers, and they implemented social distancing measures.

1:33 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Oklahoma orders residents to stay home until April 30

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has issued a stay-at-home order for all 77 counties in the state until April 30, Stitt said in a series of tweets Wednesday night.  

All non-essential businesses will remain closed during this time; that includes, gyms, barbers, tattoo and massage parlors, Stitt said. 

"I don’t make these decisions lightly but based on the data, we need to take action," Stitt said. 

Oklahoma has 3.943 million residents, according to the US Census Bureau. 

1:15 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

New Jersey has 3,489 new confirmed cases of Covid-19

News 12 New Jersey
News 12 New Jersey

The state of New Jersey has 3,489 new positive cases of Covid-19, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in a press conference today.

To date, 25,590 people across the state have tested positive for Covid-19, Murphy said.  

There are 537 people who have died from the coronavirus in New Jersey. That number includes 182 additional deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours, the governor announced.  

1:02 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Some Americans could wait 20 weeks to receive stimulus checks, IRS says

From CNN's Manu Raju and Lauren Fox

President Donald Trump signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House, Friday, March 27, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty, and Vice President Mike Pence watch. 
President Donald Trump signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House, Friday, March 27, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty, and Vice President Mike Pence watch.  Evan Vucci/AP/FILE

Americans likely won't begin to see direct payments from the coronavirus stimulus bill until at least April 13 and it could take 20 weeks for all the checks to be mailed, Trump administration officials told lawmakers, according to a House Democratic memo obtained by CNN.

The timeline means tens of millions of Americans will have to wait to get badly needed assistance, despite repeated suggestions from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the money would go out as soon as April 6.

Mnuchin said this past Sunday after passage of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that payments would not go out until mid-April.

Some context: CNN reported in March that former IRS officials said the wait would likely be weeks or months.

Initially, the IRS will make about 60 million payments, likely in the week of April 13, for taxpayers who provided their direct deposit information through their 2018 or 2019 tax returns, the memo from the House Ways and Means Committee says.

Three weeks later, on the week of May 4, the IRS expects to start issuing paper checks to individuals whose bank information isn't already on file, a process that will take much longer.

According to the committee, the paper checks will be issued at a rate of about 5 million per week, and that it could take up to 20 weeks to issue all the checks. Individuals with the lowest income, based on adjusted gross income, will receive their checks first.

1:06 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

UK to test 100,000 people per day by end of the month, health official says

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

NHS workers are swabbed at a drive-in facility to test for the novel coronavirus,in Chessington, England on Thursday, April 2.
NHS workers are swabbed at a drive-in facility to test for the novel coronavirus,in Chessington, England on Thursday, April 2. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom will test 100,000 people per day for coronavirus by the end of this month, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced Thursday.

“That is the goal and I am determined we will get there,” Hancock said.

The UK has not currently been able to reach its current target of 25,000 tests per day.

Hancock set out the government’s order of priority for testing people for coronavirus: Patients first, expanding to NHS staff and their families, critical key workers thirdly and “over time we will expand to community."


12:57 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Global coronavirus death toll passes 50,000

The global death toll from coronavirus climbed past 50,000 on Thursday.

So far, at least 50,230 have now died from the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

12:55 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Pelosi announces House committee on coronavirus crisis to exercise oversight of pandemic response

From CNN's Clare Foran, Haley Byrd and Manu Raju

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a new bipartisan House select committee on the coronavirus crisis that will exercise oversight of the federal response to the pandemic and be chaired by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

The speaker told reporters Thursday on a conference call that the committee's immediate focus will be on "the here and now," not the Trump administration's initial response to the pandemic, though she said there will come a time when such a review will be appropriate.

She said the committee will "have an expert staff and the committee will be empowered to examine all aspects of the federal response to coronavirus and to ensure that the taxpayers dollars are being wisely and efficiently spent to save lives, deliver relief, and benefit our economy."

Pelosi said the committee will be able to exercise oversight and would have the authority to issue subpoenas.

"It's no use having a committee unless you have subpoena power," Pelosi said.

"We would hope there would be cooperation," she added. "We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there."

12:50 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

A Chicago police officer has died from coronavirus

From CNN's Melissa Alonso


Chicago Police Officer Marco Di Franco, a 21-year veteran of the department, died after testing positive for Covid-19 last week, Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said Thursday at a briefing with officials. 

He worked in the narcotics section and was "held in high esteem" by his commander, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

Di Franco, 50, was hospitalized over the weekend and died with "family by his side," city officials said. He had been using a "one person" patrol vehicle and it is not clear how he contracted the virus, Beck said. 

Lightfoot "implores the small segment" who has not "gotten the message" to stay home and save lives to honor Di Franco's life and service.

He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 7 and 10, as well as his brother who worked in the same department. His family is currently quarantined, city officials say. 

12:43 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Doctors setting up "hot sites" for people with coronavirus symptoms in England

From CNN’s Jo Shelley in London

Some general practice physicians in England are setting up so-called "hot sites" for people who have symptoms of Covid-19, according to Laura Sharpe, the chief executive of City & Hackney GP Confederation, a membership body for the GP surgeries in the City of London and Hackney borough.

The idea is to keep people with symptoms, who need to see a doctor, away from those without and therefore to minimize the spread of the virus.

“If they [doctors] feel like someone needs a face-to-face examination, and they have suspected Covid-19 symptoms, then we need somewhere for those people to be brought to, if we can’t visit them in their home,” Sharpe told CNN on Thursday.

The first site in the City of London and Hackney is due to open next week, and they are looking at opening additional sites in north and east Hackney. 

“We’ve had an amazing response from GPs,” Sharpe said. “They have signed up in droves to do a session here and there across the rota of the first hub that will open next week.”