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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1:52 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota

From CNN's Betsy Klein, Jason Hoffman and Nikki Carvajal

Adding to a growing list, President Trump has approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota.

These are the 46th and 47th disaster declarations approved by the President in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including 42 states, the US Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico.

1:40 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

New Jersey adds nearly 3,500 positive coronavirus cases

New Jersey has recorded another 3,482 positive Covid-19 cases to bring the state total to 37,505.

There have been 917 deaths in the state, up from 846 reported yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted.

Read Murphy's tweets:

4:16 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

There are least 321,762 coronavirus cases in the US

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases in the United States, there are at least 321,762 cases of coronavirus in the US and 9,132 people have died.

On Sunday, there have been at least 9,517 new cases and at least 636 new deaths reported in the country.

On Friday, there were 1,169 new deaths reported in the US. On Saturday, 1,344 people died from the disease.

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus.

1:18 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

This reporter tested positive for coronavirus. Here's what she wants you to know.

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Sarah Maslin Nir is a New York Times reporter who was covering the coronavirus pandemic before she tested positive herself.

"I was in bed for six days. Putting my phone to my ear, holding my hand up like that was exhausting," she told CNN today.

She said the United States has less stringent guidelines on how long you have to quarantine after you test positive. In New York state, you can leave the house three days after your last symptom, Maslin Nir said.

"China requires two post symptomatic tests within 48 hours that show you have no coronavirus, and then 14 more days of quarantine. So I'm following China's guidelines and still considering myself quarantined," she said.

Now that she has recovered, she said she wants people to understand how easy it is to spread the virus. Even those who are asymptomatic infect about 2.2 other people on average, according to Maslin Nir.

"It's not suicidal to go out into the world. It's homicidal behavior. I truly believe that people should take incredible precautions," she said.

1:01 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

Louisiana governor says state could run out of ventilators by end of the week

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks inside the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge on April 3.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks inside the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge on April 3. Gerald Herbert/AP

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday said his state could run out of ventilators by the end of the week if the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to surge in his state.

"Every day we get new information that informs our modeling. We now think it's probably around the 9th of April before we exceed our ventilator capacity based on the current number on hand and that we're a couple of days behind that on ICU bed capacity being exceeded," he told CNN this morning. "As we achieve success in slowing the rate of spread, we also push out that date. And critically important is the number of people who will present to the hospital and not be able to get a (ventilator) or a bed, it's a smaller number."

By the numbers: Louisiana has emerged as one of several coronavirus hot spots across the United States with a surge in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

The state has more than 12,000 cases and more than 400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Early Sunday, the nationwide death toll had gone up to at least 8,503 people, with at least 312,245 infected, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins.

4:17 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

New York surgeon writes letter about rationing care for patients who don't have the coronavirus

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, John Bonifield and Minali Nigam

WPIX
WPIX

In a haunting letter to his friends and colleagues, a Columbia University surgeon describes how coronavirus has forced doctors to ration care for very sick patients who don't have the virus, but still need medical procedures.

"We have had to make decisions that I personally have never had to contemplate before," wrote Dr. Emile Bacha, director of the pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "We have had to ration care and make decisions about who is considered an urgent or emergent case." 

Bacha explains that nurses have been deployed to care for coronavirus patients, and that safety gear is scarce. 

"The lack of Personal Protective Equipment is galling. Who would have thought that a simple plain surgical mask, something we use and discard multiple times a day during normal times, would become a rationed product in one of the richest cities in the world?" he wrote. 

He said his pediatric heart surgery program was down to one operating team, "barely."

4:18 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

US Northern Command deploys 1,000 medical personnel to New York City

From CNN's Jamie Crawford

US Northern Command, which oversees US military operations in North America, said it was "deploying a combined total of 1,000 Air Force and Navy medical providers to the New York City area in next 3 days," according to a press release sent Sunday.

"Approximately 300 of these uniformed medical providers will work from the Javits Center and the rest will deploy to other area locations to expand local medical capabilities in the war against Covid-19," the release said.

During an interview with CNN, Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke of the effort.

"The mayor and I talked as recently as Thursday. I spoke to the governor on Friday. What we plan on doing now is deploying over 1,100 additional doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to New York. The bulk of them will go to the Javits Center and then as of late yesterday, we agreed to deploy a few hundred of them to 11 New York City hospitals that are also seeing a deficiency when it comes to medical staff," Esper said on CNN Sunday morning.

4:19 p.m. ET, April 5, 2020

New Jersey has secured 500 additional ventilators, the governor says

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tours the new Field Medical Station at the Meadowlands Exposition Center on April 2.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tours the new Field Medical Station at the Meadowlands Exposition Center on April 2. Michael Mancuso/NJ Advance Media via AP

The state of New Jersey has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having "multiple" conversations with the White House, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Sunday.

The tweet goes on to say, ventilators are the state's top need right now.

"I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can," Murphy said.  

Read Murphy's tweet:

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.