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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3:13 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Arkansas governor defends decision to not issue stay-at-home order for state

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP
Staton Breidenthal/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP

Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended his decision not to issue a stay-at-home order for the state of Arkansas this afternoon during a press conference.

Hutchinson said that the aggressive measures that he has taken — including closing schools, closing restaurants and bars (except for delivery or takeout), closing salons, barbershops, massage parlors, movie theaters, bowling alleys — have helped curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state. 

"So the strategy of a targeted response to this emergency virus situation Arkansas is proven to be successful in bending the curve, lowering the apex of the curve and reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said if he was to issue a stay-at-home order, it would put a 100,000 people or more out of jobs.

Arkansas has 624 confirmed coronavirus cases and 10 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

2:58 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

UK considers "immunity certificates" for those who have recovered from coronavirus

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Sarah Dean

The United Kingdom is “looking at” the idea of an “immunity certificate” — or passport — for people who have had coronavirus and have got the antibodies, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Thursday.

People with the passports would be able to show them “and get as much as possible back to normal life," he said.

Asked if an immunity passport is a possible way out of the lockdown, Hancock said: “That is an important thing that we will be doing, that we are looking at.”

However, he cautioned: “It's too early in that science to be able to put clarity around that. I wish that we could but the reason that we can't is because the science isn't yet advanced enough.” 

Hancock said the "number one thing people can do to get out of this as fast as possible" is to stay at home and follow social distancing measures.

3:30 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Pennsylvania is reporting more than 1,200 new coronavirus cases today

From CNN’s Daniel Shepherd

Pennsylvania is reporting 1,211 new cases today of novel coronavirus, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine.

There have been 90 coronavirus related deaths in the state and all are adults, Levine said.

So far, 730 people have been hospitalized since March 6 and 216 of those hospitalized needed intensive care, according to Levine.

She added that 345 of the state’s cases are healthcare workers.

According to Levine, 10% of the 695 nursing homes in Pennsylvania currently have at least one case of Covid-19.

Hear more:

2:52 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Indiana closes public schools for rest of the academic year

From CNN's Jessica King

Indiana’s K-12 public schools "shall not conduct in-person instruction for the remainder of the year, and school buildings shall remain closed,” unless otherwise stipulated in an executive order, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction for the Department of Education said in a press conference with state officials including Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Thursday.

The schools will be delivering remote instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, Dr. Jennifer McCormick said.

2:48 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

There are now at least 2,900 cases of coronavirus in Ohio

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 2,902 cases of coronavirus and 81 deaths in the state, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, said during a news conference.

Acton said that social distancing is making a difference in the case counts.

The peak for the state is expected between April 15 and May 15, Acton said. 

2:41 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

More than 468,000 people in Ohio applied for unemployment in the last two weeks

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The Ohio Channel
The Ohio Channel

There are 468,414 people in Ohio who have applied for unemployment in the last two weeks, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said during a press conference Thursday.

That figure represents 100,000 more people that have applied in the first three months of 2020 than the total of people who applied in 2019, Husted said. In 2019, there were 364,603 jobless claims statewide.

The state has created a job search website on their coronavirus website to help people find jobs.

Additionally, the state has expanded staffing and hours to continue to process unemployment applications, Husted said.  

2:39 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Ohio extends stay-at-home order until next month

The state of Ohio has extended its stay-at-home order for all non essential workers and businesses until May 1, Gov. Mike DeWine said during a news conference.

The previous order was set to expire on Monday, DeWine said.

Anyone coming into the state has been asked to quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions can be made based on locations and work schedules, according to DeWine.

Additional provisions in the new order include a dispute resolution panel, stores establishing new occupancy numbers to account for social distancing and stores creating lines for social distancing, DeWine said.

The dispute resolution panel is for cases where similar businesses are being treated differently in different health districts. There are 113 health districts in the state, DeWine said.

The state will not be regulating weddings or funerals and will be leaving "it up to people's good judgment," DeWine said. Receptions have to follow rules, not more than 10 people coming together.

State parks will remain open — but they could be closed if people don't stick to social distancing guidelines, DeWine said.

2:00 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Live now: Lisa Ling and Andrew Yang discuss coronavirus and racism

Lisa Ling and Andrew Yang are live now, discussing coronavirus and racism.

You can watch it below:

1:46 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump approves disaster declaration in Virginia

From CNN's Jason Hoffman and Betsy Klein 

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

This is the 33rd such declaration Trump has made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including 29 states, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Virginia has 1,652 confirmed coronavirus cases and 35 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.