April 5 coronavirus news

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5:59 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for coronavirus.
Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for coronavirus. Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo

A 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 in humans. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

The tiger, named Nadia, along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions "had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover," a news release from the zoo said.

Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness, the USDA said in a release.

"Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries," the zoo's release said.

The zoo said the big cats were infected by a person caring for them who was either asymptomatic or had not yet developed symptoms.

"Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats," the release said.

5:45 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to hospital

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital on Sunday, according to a statement released by Johnson's office.

Johnson tested positive for coronavirus March 27.

"On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests," the statement read.

"This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

"The Prime Minister thanks (to National Health Service) staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government's advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives."

5:05 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

At least 331,151 coronavirus cases in the United States

There are at least 331,151 cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

At least 9,441 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

As of Sunday, there have been at least 18,906 new cases and at least 945 new deaths reported in the US.

CNN is keeping track of coronavirus cases across the US and an interactive map can be found here.

5:09 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Churches across the US hold Palm Sunday services despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders

Parishioners attend a Sunday morning worship service at City On A Hill Church in Houston, Texas. The service was held outside in the church's parking lot and the church practiced social distancing during the service.
Parishioners attend a Sunday morning worship service at City On A Hill Church in Houston, Texas. The service was held outside in the church's parking lot and the church practiced social distancing during the service. Mark Felix/AFP/Getty Images

Despite many states implementing stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, churches across the US are still holding service on Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus' monumental arrival in Jerusalem.

"We don’t get our rights to worship freely from the government we get those from God," said the Rev. Tony Spell with the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. More than 1,200 people attended his church Sunday.

We rather obey God than man," he said.

The Rev. Alvin Gwynn Sr. of Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, said he had a steady stream of people walking through the church, processional style, careful not to have more than eight or nine.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Sunday churches were allowed to stay open. Most churches are making services available online, he said.  

"Churches by and large do the right thing, they want to protect their parishioners," Hutchinson said. "There are a few that have a very small attendance and they socially distance, we don't recommend that but if it's within the guidelines then that's understandable."

Hutchinson did mention officials "had trouble with a church putting parishioners at risk. After the health department called them, "they took the right steps and are not meeting" with a large congregation, Hutchinson said.

4:53 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

African Americans account for 30% of coronavirus cases in Illinois

African Americans account for 30% of the coronavirus cases in Illinois, according to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Ezike said the disparity in health care access is a long standing issue for the black community.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is working to reopen hospitals in harder-hit communities with a large percentage of people of color.

"It's hard to make up for decades frankly, maybe centuries, of inequality" in access to health care, Pritzker said. "This virus doesn't discriminate."

The state reported 899 new coronavirus cases, including 31 deaths, Ezike said during a Sunday afternoon press conference.The total number of cases statewide is now 11,256 and the death count is 274, Ezike said.

 Ezike also reported that a second person involved in the outbreak at Stateville Prison has died. That person is one of 60 cases reported at the prison, Ezike said.

4:26 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Former FDA commissioner calls on CDC to release more data on coronavirus patients

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, is calling for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to publish more data on coronavirus patients in the United States.

That information is needed to help doctors navigate the new virus, said Gottlieb in a series of tweets Sunday. He served as FDA commissioner from 2017 to 2019.

Gottlieb cited anecdotes on how many patients die after being put on ventilators – and suggested that more reliable information is needed.

"Doctors are being forced to let clinical experience guide care decisions in absence of systematic data," Gottlieb tweeted.

They’re experimenting with fluids, high flow oxygen, prone positioning - in absence of systematic literature and data on what works and what doesn't. This isn’t acceptable."

He added that such publications "won't matter much in May. They're needed tomorrow. Today. Urgently."

While the CDC has published some information on coronavirus patients to help guide health care workers, much of it is based on data from China. The agency has also released limited data on hospitalization and underlying conditions among patients in the US.

4:49 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Boston mayor enacts stricter social distancing guidelines

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh prepares to give a televised address from his office at Boston City Hall on March 17.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh prepares to give a televised address from his office at Boston City Hall on March 17. Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Sunday new measures on social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus.

These measures include:

  • public health advisory for everyone in Boston except essential workers to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
  • Encouraging everyone to wear a mask covering over their mouth and nose when in public.
  • Closing city parks with recreational sports areas.
  • Encouraging residents 65 and older and with underlying health conditions to only take trips outside the house when "absolutely necessary" for food or medications.

"I cannot stress enough that the actions we take now through the next several weeks will help curb the spread of this virus, and save lives," Walsh said. "There is nothing that I won't do as Mayor of the City of Boston to protect our residents, and at this very critical time, we must do everything we can as Bostonians to protect one another. This is bigger than any one person -- this is about the greater good of our people. Stay safe, stay inside, and let's get through this together."

4:07 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Queen Elizabeth calls for unity during the coronavirus pandemic

A woman watches Queen Elizabeth II give a televised address on April 5, in Glasgow, Scotland.
A woman watches Queen Elizabeth II give a televised address on April 5, in Glasgow, Scotland. Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II addressed the coronavirus pandemic and offered reassurance in a rare televised speech on Sunday.

"Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it," the Queen said. "I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge."

She thanked caregivers and essential workers and delivered a message of hope and unity. The queen also talked about the difficulties of self-isolating, but pointed out that it is an opportunity to "slow down, pause, and reflect in prayer or meditation." The Queen rarely makes national addresses, typically speaking to the country only at Christmas time and when a new Parliament is installed.

She finished the speech saying that better days are ahead.

"We can take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again," the Queen said.

Watch the full address:

4:09 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Death Valley National Park closes due to coronavirus

Andia/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Death Valley National Park, which runs through California and Nevada, has closed as of April 4 citing public health concerns aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19.

All park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, a notice on the National Park Service’s website said.

CA-190 and Daylight Pass are open to pass-through traffic, the website added. Additionally, all permits to the park are cancelled and no new permits are being issued to limit the spread of Covid-19.