April 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:02 a.m. ET, April 4, 2020
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1:48 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

US officials issue new guidance to reduce the spread of coronavirus in long-term care facilities

From CNN Jen Christensen

The Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, on April 2.
The Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, on April 2. Ted S. Warren/AP

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in consultation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued new guidance Thursday to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities like nursing homes.

Long-term care facilities are now advising:

  • To immediately start screening staff for symptoms and start temperature checks. Every resident should also have their temperature checked every day.
  • Patients and residents who are entering the facilities should also be screened for Covid-19.
  • Staff should wear a face mask inside the facility.
  • If there is a Covid-19 case in the facility, health care personnel should wear full personal protective equipment for the care of all residents, regardless of a resident’s diagnosis or symptoms.
  • Residents are encouraged to cover their noses and mouths when staff are in their room. “Residents can use tissues for this,” the guidance said. “They could also use cloth, non-medical masks when those are available.”
  • Facilities should use the same staff for the same patients, regardless of symptoms or Covid-19 status. The goal is to decrease the number of different staff interacting with patients and residents, and the number of times staff interact with patients. The hope is a staff member who works with the same resident would be able to detect symptoms early, if the patient or resident gets infected.
  • Facilities are encouraged to separate infected patients and residents from those who are not sick.

The CDC said Tuesday that around 400 long-term care facilities have at least one Covid-19 patient. The elderly and people with underlying health conditions face greater risks of complications if they contract the virus.

1:39 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Sailors from USS Roosevelt being moved to Guam hotels, US Navy commander says

From journalist Mindy Aguon in Guam and Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta

The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier sits on the outskirts of Apra Harbor, Guam, on April 1.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier sits on the outskirts of Apra Harbor, Guam, on April 1. CNN

Authorities have begun moving sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested negative for coronavirus to hotel rooms in Guam, a US Navy commander said Friday.

The first group of 180 sailors were moved from the aircraft carrier into commercial lodging in Guam's Tumon district Thursday night local time, Adm. John Menoni, the Navy's commander for the Marianas joint region, said at a news conference.

Another 300 to 500 sailors will be moved in the next 12 to 24 hours, he said.

During the military transportation process, the sailors are maintaining proper social distancing.

A US defense official told CNN on Thursday that 114 sailors from the aircraft carrier have tested positive for coronavirus. They represent more than 10% of all cases across the US military.

They're being moved just a day after the ship's commander was relieved of duty for showing "poor judgment," days after writing a memo warning Navy leadership that decisive action was needed to save the lives of the ship's crew.

Read more:

1:56 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

"The strength of 1.3 billion Indians is with us," PM Modi says in address to the nation

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

Homeless people and stranded migrant workers stand in circles marked on the ground to maintain social distance as they wait for free food in New Delhi during India's nationwide lockdown, on April 2.
Homeless people and stranded migrant workers stand in circles marked on the ground to maintain social distance as they wait for free food in New Delhi during India's nationwide lockdown, on April 2. Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Indian public for abiding to the coronavirus lockdown in a televised speech Friday, saying,“The discipline and spirit of service you have displayed during this period is unprecedented.”

Marking the 10th day of a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the virus, Modi urged citizens stuck at home not to panic.

“Today, when millions of people are inside their homes, some of us might wonder how will they fight this battle against coronavirus alone ... But please remember, none of us are alone. The strength of 1.3 billion Indians is with and every one of us,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi asked the public to switch off all lights and stand on balconies for nine minutes on Sunday, April 5 with lit candles, diya (small oil lamps), torches or cell phone flashlights to show solidarity and the strength of the public in the fight against coronavirus.

"This is to show that we are not alone, all 1.3 billion people of India stand together," Modi said. 

More than 2,300 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in India, according to the country's Ministry of Health. Another 232 cases have been reported across the country since yesterday evening New Delhi time.

Fifty-six people have died, the ministry said.

1:13 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

As China goes back to work, many wonder if the country's coronavirus recovery can be trusted

From CNN's David Culver

A chef lowers his face mask, worn as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, while he smokes a cigarette outside a restaurant in a quiet tourist area in Beijing on April 2.
A chef lowers his face mask, worn as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, while he smokes a cigarette outside a restaurant in a quiet tourist area in Beijing on April 2. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

As the United States and much of the rest of the world locks down over the novel coronavirus pandemic, China is cautiously opening back up.

Travel restrictions in place across most of the country are gradually being relaxed, and next week people will be allowed to leave Wuhan -- where the virus was first detected late last year -- for the first time in more than two months.

But as China appears to be turning a page on the virus, new questions are being raised about how much the numbers being reported can be trusted, and whether the worst of the outbreak has truly passed.

That was a suggestion Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying angrily refuted Thursday, saying the country "has been giving open, transparent and timely updates to the world."

"On international public health security, we should listen to World Health Organization and experts on epidemiology and disease control rather than several politicians who are habitual liars," she said.

Read the full story here:

12:59 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Wuhan official warns residents not to go out unless necessary

From CNN’s Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Residents of Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province and ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic, should only go outside when necessary as the city begins to open up following two months of lockdown, officials said.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Wang Zhonglin, Wuhan's Communist Party chief, said people in Wuhan should keep practicing epidemic prevention and control measures as life slowly returns to normal.

He also said that residents must take precautions like wearing masks when they leave home and then take their temperature once they return.

12:49 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Los Angeles mayor recommends people cover their faces in public

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is advising people in his city to wear some sort of face covering in public.

The issue of who should wear face masks and when has become hotly debated, especially due to potential shortages of personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers.

"Los Angeles is a leader in responding to this global crisis, and that’s why I want to share the latest guidance from public health experts on how you can help protect yourself and those around you from infection. As we learn more about this virus, we will continue to update our guidance so we don’t just flatten the curve, but get ahead of it," Garcetti said.

"Early data suggests that many who are infected with Covid-19 do not have symptoms, which is why everyone should wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures -- most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing in all settings."

The city's guidance can be found here

US public health officials at first advised against wearing masks, but may be shifting course. On Monday, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, told NPR that his organization was reviewing its guidelines and may recommend general mask use to guard against community infection. President Trump said the government plans to release new recommendations on face masks in the coming days.

The World Health Organization has refrained from advising the general public from wearing masks. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the WHO's Covid-19 response, chimed in on the current debate about when to wear face masks and who should be wearing them at CNN's coronavirus town hall Thursday.

She said the organization currently recommends that people who are ill or caring for the sick wear normal medical masks, while the more efficient N95s should be saved for frontline health-care workers. The WHO is studying other options, like whether the general public should use scarves to cover themselves.

"We have to prioritize the use of masks for frontline workers, if that is one thing I can stress," Van Kerkhove said. "Medical masks, respirators, gloves, gowns, these are people who are putting their lives on the line to help us, to care for other people and they must be protected," she said.

Read more about the face mask debate here:

12:29 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

China to hold national day of mourning for "martyrs" who died fighting coronavirus

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

China will hold a day of national mourning on Saturday for the "martyrs" who died while fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak inside the country, the government said.

During the commemoration, national flags will fly at half-mast whilst people across the country observe three minutes of silence.

"Air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief," China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

The announcement comes after Chinese authorities revealed on Thursday that one of the first whistleblowers Dr. Li Wenliang had been awarded the "martyr" title.

Read more about Dr. Li:

12:19 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

At least 10 US states have closed school for the year as part of social distancing measures

From CNN's Chris Boyette

At least 10 US states have closed schools through the end of the school year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

They are:

Schools in California are currently closed and both Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's superintendent of public instruction have said it is unlikely they will be able to re-open before the end of the year.

12:12 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

More than 245,000 coronavirus cases in the US as of late Thursday Eastern Time

From CNN's Joe Sutton

At least 245,213 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. Of those, 5,983 patients have died.

On Thursday, 28,491 new cases and 846 deaths were recorded, according to Johns Hopkins. The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

Wyoming is the only state not to have reported a death from coronavirus.