April 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Peter Wilkinson, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 9:30 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020
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4:53 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

African Americans account for 30% of coronavirus cases in Illinois

From CNN’s Hollie Silverman

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

From CNN's Arman Azad

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

From CNN’s Mirna Alsharif

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

From CNN's Elise Hammond

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

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

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.

3:23 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Police in Arizona arrest hospital employee accused of stealing protective equipment

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Prescott Police via AP
Prescott Police via AP

An employee at a Prescott, Arizona, hospital was arrested after being accused of stealing $1,700 worth of protective equipment and cleaning supplies, Prescott Police said in a statement on Saturday.

Keith Brown, 49, was arrested and booked into the Yavapai County Jail on one count of felony theft and one count of fraud, police said.

Brown worked in the housekeeping department of the Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus, who contacted police on Friday regarding suspicions that Brown had been stealing supplies.

While being interviewed by police, Brown admitted to stealing gloves, hand sanitizer, surgical scrubs, wash cloths, paper towels, masks, bleach cleaner, toilet paper, and an automatic hand sanitizer over the last three weeks, Prescott Police said.

According to Prescott Police, Brown has also been terminated from his job at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center West Campus.

Police say they are working with the hospital to return the items as soon as they are deemed safe to use.

4:13 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

American Medical Association president says US should prepare for a rough week

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Dr. Patrice Harris
Dr. Patrice Harris CNN

The president of the American Medical Association (AMA) said she agrees that this upcoming week could be potentially one of the worst of the coronavirus pandemic so far.

AMA President Dr. Patrice Harris stressed the importance of being prepared with personal protection equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators in hospitals.

"We definitely don't want to overwhelm our health system," Harris told CNN. "We need to be on the front side of that."

Harris said it is also important for people to continue social distancing and only going out for essential needs.

"There are things about this epidemic, pandemic, that we cannot control, but there are some things that we can control, and that is the physical distancing," she said. "As this epidemic evolved I have always said that individual actions lead to collective impact."

Some context: The US surgeon general said this week is going to be the "hardest and saddest" for "most Americans' lives," describing the upcoming period of the pandemic in the United States as a "Pearl Harbor moment" and a "9/11 moment."

There have been 321,762 confirmed cases and 9,132 deaths due to the coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.

4:13 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Defense secretary issues guidance on use of face coverings for Defense Department personnel

From CNN's Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 1.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 1. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

In a memo to Defense Department staff Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all individuals operating on Defense Department property worldwide should "wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers," effective immediately.

Esper said the directive would not apply to a service member’s personal residence on a military installation. 

"Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a service member's or service family member's personal residence on a military installation)," the memo said.
1:57 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Ford is making a face shield every 10 seconds, spokesman says

From CNN's Jake Carpenter

Face masks are seen in this image provided by Ford.
Face masks are seen in this image provided by Ford. Ford

More than one million face shields were made over the past week at the Ford subsidiary Troy Design and Manufacturing’s facility in Plymouth, Michigan, Ford spokesman Dan Barbossa told told CNN.

Ford is now making a face shield every 10 seconds at its facility outside Detroit, Barbossa added.

Over 120,000 face shields have been delivered to New York and the tri-state area already, and the millionth face shield produced is being delivered today to the New York City Procurement Center, Barbossa said.

There are 120 workers helping at the facility.

These face shields have been delivered to hospitals and first responders in over 16 states, Barbossa said.