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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4:21 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

West Virginia limits gatherings to no more than 5 people in multiple counties

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in 2019.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in 2019. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is expanding an executive order he issued Friday limiting gatherings to no more than five people to include three more counties. 

Monongalia, Harrison and Kanawha counties are now included in an order which originally included Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, Justice said in a press release.

These are the restrictions, according to the governor:

  • Limiting groups to a maximum of five people.
  • Directing all businesses to require employees to work from home to the maximum extent possible. 
  • Directing the local health departments to establish the maximum occupancy of and proper social distance within essential businesses and taking action to enforce these health regulations. 
  • Directing the West Virginia National Guard to provide logistical support and services to assist county agencies.
  • Directing the West Virginia State Police to assist with enforcement of local county orders.
12:48 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Various coronavirus treatments are being tested in New York, governor says

State of New York
State of New York

A coronavirus vaccine and other treatments to fight the virus are being tested, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

He said doctors in New York are working with the Food and Drug Administration. Some of the treatments that are being tested are the use of plasma, antibody treatment and the use of hydroxychloroquine.

Cuomo also said they are testing a rapid testing programs which could play a part in protecting vulnerable populations and getting people back to work.

"We liberate people who go back to work because we know that they're not in a vulnerable category and they're negative," he said. "That is going to be the answer, I believe."


11:33 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Fauci on coronavirus in US: "We are struggling to get it under control"

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 1.
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on April 1. Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, says the US does not have the coronavirus under control, “to say we have it under control, Margaret, would be a false statement. We are struggling to get it under control.” 

Fauci warned Americans in an interview on CBS with Margaret Brennan, that “it is going to be a bad week” ahead as there is an escalation in cases, but that “within a week or a little bit more” we should see the curve begin to flatten.

He again underscored the importance of social distancing measures, and said that mitigation is working.

Fauci said that it was crucial for the coronavirus to get “globally under control,” or it could become seasonal. He also said that efforts for a vaccine and the beginning of clinical trials will hopefully mean the US is more prepared if there is a resurgence of the virus.

This morning Fauci said in the next week or two the US will have a much greater capacity to perform the types of testing needed before society can return to normal, though they are not “100% there yet.”

Some context: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines, recommending that Americans wear some sort of face protection when out in public.

When if Fauci wears a mask, he said that if he goes into a situation where he cannot control whether or not he is 6ft away from people, that he would and does wear a mask. He said the mask is an “adjunct to help protect you and protect others.”


2:33 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

New York hospitals are "being asked to do the impossible," governor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the health care system is facing operational challenges due to hospitals being over capacity.

"They are being asked to do the impossible," Cuomo said.

He said hospitals are being asked to manage the same amount of staff and resources.

"That is putting a tremendous amount of stress on the health care system," Cuomo said. "You're asking a system to do more than it has ever done before, more than it was designed to do with less."

He said the way to get through it is to use a surge and flex the system to balance the patient load between private and public hospitals in the area.


11:19 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Pentagon workers told to bring face coverings to work Monday

From CNN's Barbara Starr

Some Pentagon workers began receiving emails from their office administrators over the weekend to come to work Monday with at least one face covering, according to an official who received one of the messages.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during an interview Sunday that such a directive for Defense Department staff and troops would likely be coming very soon following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

12:38 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Deaths over past few days dropping "for the first time" in New York, governor says

State of New York
State of New York

The number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping “for the first time," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today during a press conference.

The significance of that is “too early to tell” he added.

Cuomo added that ICU admissions are also down, daily intubations are down “slightly” and the hospital discharge rate is “way up” and that’s “great news.”

He said there is a "shift to Long Island" adding "upstate New York is basically flat… as Long Island grows the percentage of cases in NYC has reduced."

The total number of intubations are down across the state, Cuomo said.

As of April 4, there were about 316 people intubated in the hospital, that number is down from 351 reported the day before.


11:15 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020

There are 122,031 total coronavirus cases across New York

New York has a total of 122,031 cases of Covid-19 across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Sunday.

There are now 4,159 people who have died in the state which is up from 3,565 the day before, Cuomo said.

There were 575 new hospitalizations across the state, the governor said.

Of those hospitalized for Covid-19, 74% have been discharged, Cuomo said.


10:36 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Economist warns about reopening economy prematurely

From CNN's Elise Hammond

A renown economist is warning about the consequences of opening the economy back up too quickly after the coronavirus.

Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist and winner of Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008, told CNN that it is better for businesses to stay shut down longer rather than starting prematurely and pointed to the flu pandemic in 1918.

"The cities that did more social distancing and stayed with it not only had much lower death rates, they did better economically," Krugman said. "So everything now says this is not the time to worry about GDP. Don't worry about dollars."

Krugman said opening the economy too fast would cause more deaths and a bigger economic slump.

"We need to provide disaster relief. We need to provide aid to people who are not getting incomes, and that makes it tolerable," Krugman said. "We need go on as long as it takes."

10:15 a.m. ET, April 5, 2020

US surgeon general: This week is going to be the "hardest and the saddest" for most Americans

From CNN's Sarah Westwood

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

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

"I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel," Vice Admiral Jerome Adams said on "Fox News Sunday."

Officials are warning the next two weeks will be crucial in the fight to stop the spread of the virus. Early Sunday, the nationwide death toll had surpassed 8,500 people, with more than 312,000 infected, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Some context: While speaking at Saturday's coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, President Trump said that this week and next will probably be the toughest in the fight against coronavirus and that "there will be a lot of death."

"This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately, but a lot less death than if this wasn't done but there will be death," Trump said.