April 4 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 6:32 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020
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5:36 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Arkansas governor issues occupancy guidelines for out of state travelers

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has directed vacation rental properties, motels and hotels not to issue occupancy to "out of state recreational travelers" in an executive order issued Saturday.  

It's been a challenge as "people leave New Orleans or they go from another hot spot, they see the opportunity to come to Arkansas," Hutchinson said at a press briefing. 

Occupancy should only be issued to health care workers, first responders, airline crew, journalists, Covid-19 patients or work related travelers, Hutchinson says.

Hutchinson has not issued a stay-at-home order "primarily because most people are making responsible choices," Hutchinson said in a statement Friday.

4:47 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

California governor says 126,000 people have been tested for coronavirus statewide

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

A medical technologist catalogs samples at the UCLA clinical microbiology lab in Brentwood, California, on March 28.
A medical technologist catalogs samples at the UCLA clinical microbiology lab in Brentwood, California, on March 28. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that 126,700 individuals have been tested for coronavirus statewide, according to a press conference he held on Saturday

“That testing number may sound high to some. It is low to many others and certainly to me,” Newsom said.

Out of the 126,700 tests that have been administered, the state is still waiting on results for 13,000 individuals.

"We have substantially reduced that backlog, a lot of that had to do with the commercial labs stepping up,” Newsom said. 

The governor admittedly "owned up" to the largest county in the state not providing data collection in real time to Californians saying, “you deserve better and more and we are going to do just that.”

What else is being done: In the last week or so, Newsom’s office created a newly formed task force led by private and public sector leaders tasked with handling coronavirus testing headed by co-chairs Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, and Dr. Charity Dean, an Assistant Director at California Dept. of Public Health.


3:44 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

JP Morgan Chase still having issues processing Paycheck Protection Program applications

From CNN’s Christina Alesci

JPMorgan Chase is still having issues processing the thousands of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications it received through the online portal that went live Friday, according to an executive familiar with the process.

The problem isn’t tied to JPM’s system—it stems from the lack of clear guidance from the government about the program’s requirements and the lack of a streamlined way to transfer information from the bank’s customers to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on day one, said the person.  

“The biggest struggle so far has been in locking down the SBA on what information we need to send them in order to get a loan number,” said the person. “And that loan number is the most important thing because that’s what allows us to then fund the customer.”

It’s becoming clear that the government didn’t plan this out well and that the volume is greater than it expected, the person said.

Officials at the Treasury Department and SBA pushed back on the criticism, citing the fact that smaller lenders have been able to process the application.

“Billions of dollars in loans have been registered on the very first day of activity. We are continuing to update guidance and work with lenders to ensure that all eligible borrowers and lenders are able to participate in this critical program to provide much-needed relief to hardworking Americans and businesses,” said a Treasury spokesman.

But it appears the administration rolled out the program before providing the larger lenders the tools they need to process large volumes, said the person familiar with JP Morgan Chase’s progress in processing the PPP applications.

A bottleneck: Right now, on the front end, the bank’s online portals are taking thousands of applications, but the applications are getting stuck because the back-end requires bank representatives to call each applicant for more information.

That’s because the front-end online application has been streamlined to the most basic questions, which don’t give the bank enough information to complete the SBA form. As a result, a bank rep has to call each applicant. 

“The volume is going to be small in the beginning,” said the person.

8:22 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

There are more than 300,000 coronavirus cases reported in the US

There are now 300,915 cases of coronavirus and 8,162 deaths in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Saturday, at least 22,962 new cases and at least 1,010 new deaths were reported in the US, according to Johns Hopkins.

8:23 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Brooklyn medical center to use rain ponchos and garbage bags due to gown shortage

From CNN's Elise Hammond 

A medical worker walks past a testing tent outside SUNY Downstate Medical Center on March 27.
A medical worker walks past a testing tent outside SUNY Downstate Medical Center on March 27. John Minchillo/AP

Dr. Wayne Riley, the president of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, said medical staff will have to start using rain ponchos and garbage bags instead of surgical gowns.

Riley told CNN the medical center only has enough gowns to last about one and half days.

"We cannot wait for the national stockpile to supply us. As we all know, the national stockpile is pretty diminished. So we're going to get creative," he said Saturday.
8:24 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Some of your coronavirus questions answered

From CNN's Elise Hammond 

A panel of experts have been answering your questions about life in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are some of the most common questions:

Q: Should I worry about contracting the virus from mail and newspapers?

A: Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician: "There is not evidence you may contract the coronavirus from mail and newspapers but that said if you want to be on the safer side we know that Covid can live on cardboard for about 24 hours. If you want to take the extra precaution you can effectively quarantine that mail, say in your garage or someplace, for about 24 hours then open it up and wash your hands well after you do it."

Q: There's a lot of talk about social distancing but what do you do when you are on an overcrowded subway or bus?

A: Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician: "For one, of course, maintain social distancing as much as you can. If you can stay six feet away from other people on the bus or subway, do so. Other than that, I would absolutely want someone to be wearing a mask the entire time they are on there, even a cloth mask. Then you can do two other things. You can wear an outer layer you carefully remove when you get out of the subway or bus or wear gloves. But key point, we are seeing a lot of people wear gloves and I do have t say you have to remove them carefully or you eliminate the effect. So you pinch the outer glove with one hand and take your clean finger to remove the other so you're not touching the outside. Of course wash your hands afterwards."

Q: How do I talk to my 65-year-old father about limiting his visits to the store without sounding like I am scolding him?

A: Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst: "The relationships that are happening between adult children and their parents and kids who suddenly arrive back home, there is pressure going on and anxiety going on that things are being heard in critical ways or people are saying things in irritable ways which is all very understandable. But if you realize that your parent is used to being 'the parent' and you simply say, hey, I love you and I'm really just worried about you so I'm asking you not to do this because I understand it puts you at greater risk and for me, my worry, my anxiety, I would really feel better if you wouldn't do it which is different than saying, hey. I know better and I told you so."

Q: Mosquito season is about to start. Should we be concerned about mosquitos transmitting Covid-19?

A: Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician: "We know mosquitos can carry other viruses, but there is not evidence right now they can actually transmit coronavirus from one person to another."

3:18 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Coronavirus death toll in France climbs to 7,560

From CNN's Barbara Wojazer in Paris

A total of 7,560 people in France have died after contracting coronavirus, France's Director-General of Health Jérôme Salomon said Friday.

Of those who have died, 5,532 individuals had been hospitalized, while 2,028 died in care homes for the elderly, Salomon added.

Speaking during a press briefing in Paris, Salomon confirmed that a total of 68,605 people have so far tested positive for the virus; of those, 28,143 have been hospitalized, while 6,838 people are currently being treated in intensive care units. 

Some context: On Friday, Salomon announced that the increase in patients needing intensive care is slowing down, telling members of the press that the "constant need to find new places in ICU is increasing less rapidly" across the country. 

3:16 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

There are at least 297,575 coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 297,575 cases of coronavirus in the US and 8,098 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Saturday, at least 19,622 new cases and 946 deaths in the US have been reported, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins. 


8:25 p.m. ET, April 4, 2020

Coral Princess cruise ship, with 2 dead and several ill aboard, has docked in Miami

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

The Coral Princess cruise ship arrives at PortMiami on April 4.
The Coral Princess cruise ship arrives at PortMiami on April 4. Lynne Sladky/AP

The Coral Princess cruise arrived at Port Miami Saturday with two deceased passengers and several others who "are not fit to travel," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a briefing on Zoom.  

"I want to offer my condolences to the families of loved ones of the two people who died from Covid-19 on that ship, it is heartbreaking news," Gimenez said. 

There are two other passengers on the ship who "need immediate medical attention" and will be taken to Larkin Hospital. There are more people "that will be transported to other hospitals in Florida," Gimenez said. 

There are about 15 passengers "that are not fit to travel" because they are "still ill," they will remain onboard until cleared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Gimenez. 

"All of the passengers are being screened before heading to the airport to get to their final destination," Gimenez said. 

The Coral Princess had 1,020 passengers and 878 crew; of those 993 passengers and 840 crew were "deemed fit to travel," Gimenez says. 

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Princess Cruises said: "All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to report that two guests passed away on Coral Princess. Our hearts go out to their family, friends, and all who are impacted by this loss. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences." 

The Coral Princess departed Santiago, Chile, on March 5 and attempted to disembark guests in Brazil and later Fort Lauderdale before arriving in Miami.