April 7 coronavirus news

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9:12 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

How to help seniors and people with disabilities during the pandemic

From CNN's Mayra Cuevas, Chris Dawson, Jennifer Grubb and AJ Willingham

A person from Queens Community House delivers a meal to an elderly client in the Elmhurst neighborhood of New York City, on April 1.
A person from Queens Community House delivers a meal to an elderly client in the Elmhurst neighborhood of New York City, on April 1. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is overwhelming, and one of the most excruciating parts for many people is the feeling of utter helplessness in the face of widespread suffering and hardship.

Here's how to help seniors and people with disabilities in your community during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Deliver food: Help a senior citizen in your community by delivering a meal through Meals on Wheels.
  • Write a letter: Search for a senior center, memory care center or nursing home in your area and e-mail or call them to let them know you’d like to write some letters. They can let you know any specific requests, and where to send the finished product. (This works even better if several people participate.)
  • Check in: If you have elderly neighbors or friends, call them to see how they’re faring. Offer to do some non-contact chores, like putting the trash out, getting the mail or mowing the lawn.

CNN’s Impact Your World has compiled a list of donation opportunities and tips to help those affected by the crisis. You can read the full list here.

8:35 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Formula One places 50% of staff in temporary furlough while management and executives take voluntary pay cuts

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London

Formula One's Chief Executive Chase Carey speaks at a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on March 13, after the F1 Grand Prix of Australia was cancelled.
Formula One's Chief Executive Chase Carey speaks at a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, on March 13, after the F1 Grand Prix of Australia was cancelled. Clive Mason/Getty Images

Formula One has placed 50% of its staff into temporary furlough whilst the sport’s Chief Executive, Chase Carey, will take a significant voluntary salary cut as part of measures to reduce costs during the coronavirus crisis. 

In addition, Formula One directors and executives have voluntarily agreed to take a 20% pay cut.

The furloughing of staff will be in place to the end of May.

Staff will use the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays those placed on temporary leave 80% of their wages, to a maximum of £2,500 a month, in a bid to help companies retain their workforce and prevent redundancies during the crisis.

F1 teams furloughing: Three F1 teams – McLaren, Williams and Racing Point – have already furloughed sections of their workforce, with the teams’ drivers also taking a pay cut.

Races cancelled and postponed: The current F1 season is yet to start, with two races cancelled – Australia and Monaco – and six more postponed – Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan – so far.

The season is now scheduled to begin with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on Sunday 14 June, however, organizers have said they will make a decision after the Easter weekend on whether to proceed with the race.

Formula One has said it hopes to resume racing in the European summer and is working on a reduced and rejigged calendar of 15 – 18 Grands Prix, with the anticipation that the season end date will extend beyond the original end date of Sunday 29 November.

The sport’s rules dictate a minimum of eight races must be held for a season to be defined as a World Championship.

8:26 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Wisconsin's primary election is today. Here's the US Surgeon General's tips for voters.

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

 

A polling station set-up is pictured in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on April 6.
A polling station set-up is pictured in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on April 6. Scott Trindl via AP

Dr. Jerome Adams, the US Surgeon General, urged Wisconsin voters to maintain a safe six-foot distance from other voters and wear a face cloth or covering as they head to the polls.  

Wisconsin is holding its primary as scheduled today despite public health concerns. 

In an interview on "Today," Adams said "as a black man, I know that people have died for the right to vote. This is very important to our entire country." 

"If you're going to exercise your right to vote, do it as safely as possible," Adams told NBC's Savannah Guthrie. 

Some background: Every other state with an election scheduled for April postponed their contest or shifted it to by-mail voting only.

But Republicans in Wisconsin who have insisted on holding the election on schedule won two legal battles yesterday, as the state Supreme Court blocked Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' bid to delay it until June and the US Supreme Court reversed a lower court's ruling that gave voters six extra days to return their ballots by mail.

But Monday's court decisions mean Wisconsin is pressing forward — though votes won't be counted until at least April 13.

8:21 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

US Surgeon General says 90% of Americans are "doing the right thing" with social distancing

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 3.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 3. Win McNamee/Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that the majority of people in the United States are "doing the right thing" by staying home, social distancing and following other mitigation measures to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

"Over 90% of the country is actually doing the right thing right now," Adams told ABC's George Stephanopoulos during an appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday.

"I want the American people to know there is a light at the end of this tunnel and we feel confident if we keep doing the right thing for the rest of this month that we can start to slowly reopen in some places," Adams said Tuesday morning.

The US coronavirus death toll is nearing 11,000 as the country prepares for what the President said will be a "difficult" week and a half. But White House officials say they are encouraged by parts of the country that leaned in heavily to social distancing measures and are now seeing a slowdown in the rate of growth of coronavirus cases.

"I'm seeing mitigation work," Adams said Tuesday. "I am so impressed. I know I've said it a couple times with Washington and with California. Their public health officials there should be applauded because they've given us the blueprint for how we deal with this and the rest of the country."

8:20 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

The Italian mafia is taking advantage of the coronavirus lockdown, police warn

From CNN's Livia Borghese, Sharon Braithwaite and Lindsay Isaac

Police in Italy say they are concerned about criminal organizations, or Mafia, infiltrating "basic needs" sectors of industry and society under financial pressure during the coronavirus lockdown.

"The danger is high because mafia organizations have already started investing in sectors that are still essential during the Covid-19 lockdown: the agriculture-food chain, the supply of medicines and medical equipment, road transport, funeral services, cleaning, sanitation and waste disposal companies", the head of Italian Police, Franco Gabrielli said.

Head of Italian Police Franco Gabrielli addresses a press conference in Rome, Italy, in July 2018.
Head of Italian Police Franco Gabrielli addresses a press conference in Rome, Italy, in July 2018. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

These are sectors that don't require a lot of specialization, so "criminal groups can easily be able to offer services at competitive prices because the companies they control do not comply with environmental, social security and safety at work regulations.”

According to Gabrielli, mafia organizations, in particular the ‘most dangerous’ of them, the ‘Ndrangheta, "could finance the liquidity crisis of large companies, but also of small and medium-sized enterprises, which may not be able to meet their payments due to the lockdown."

By the end of the emergency lockdown, the criminal associations could have polluted the economy, controlling companies previously not infiltrated,” he warns.

8:10 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

School closures may only have a small effect on stopping coronavirus, study says

From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in London

Schools around the world have been shut to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but one team of scientists is questioning whether the havoc the closures are causing to millions of people is actually worth it — suggesting that the impact on the pandemic might be smaller than previously thought.

A new study by researchers at University College London said recent modeling studies of Covid-19 suggest that school closures alone would prevent only 2% to 4% of deaths — far fewer than other social distancing interventions.

The research, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health medical journal late on Monday, reviewed 16 studies looking at past epidemics of SARS, MERS and seasonal flu, as well as others modeling the spread of the novel coronavirus, and found that the evidence to support national closures of schools to combat Covid-19 is "very weak."

8:09 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

US Surgeon General: We'll have "a different normal whenever we do re-open"

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

 

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the US can "get back to some sense of normalcy" when a strong public health infrastructure is put in place, including widely available testing. 

"We know that normal is going to be a different normal whenever we do re-open. We know that once we get a vaccine we can get more back to the way we treat flu season," he said in an interview on “Good Morning America" today.

"We've got promising therapeutics, hundreds of trials going on across the country and we know that once we get testing out there more widely available ... and once we have a strong public health infrastructure in place to follow up positive tests and isolate case contacts that we will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy," Adams told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. 

Adams added US officials are "closely" watching how China and South Korea are reopening after strict coronavirus lockdowns. 

8:06 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in stable condition and good spirits

From CNN's Luke McGee

British police officers stand on duty outside St Thomas' Hospital in London, where Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care, on April 7.
British police officers stand on duty outside St Thomas' Hospital in London, where Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care, on April 7. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

The British Prime Minister has been in stable condition overnight and “remains in good spirits,” his spokesperson said on Tuesday. 

Boris Johnson is getting standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without assistance, the spokesperson added. 

Addressing speculation over Johnson’s condition, the spokesperson said: “He has not required invasive or non-invasive support,” and has not been diagnosed with pneumonia

Johnson was moved to an intensive care unit yesterday after his condition with coronavirus symptoms "worsened," his office has said.

7:59 a.m. ET, April 7, 2020

Crew member of USNS Comfort tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The USNS Comfort navy hospital ship is seen docked at Pier 90 in New York City on April 3.
The USNS Comfort navy hospital ship is seen docked at Pier 90 in New York City on April 3. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

A crewmember of the USNS Comfort tested positive for coronavirus, and has been isolated from patients and other crew members, a Navy spokesperson said Tuesday.

The US Navy hospital ship is currently docked in New York City harbor and had originally been designated as a space for non-coronavirus patients to alleviate the pressure from New York hospitals. On Sunday, President Trump said it could be used for coronavirus patients if needed.

 There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients. The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crewmembers and patients on board,” Navy spokesperson Lt. Marycate Walsh said.

Walsh said the crewmember had no contact with patients.

A US defense official tells CNN, “those who had contact with the crew member who tested positive have been tested and will remain in isolation for several days regardless of the test result, out of an abundance of caution."

The US military announced Monday night that the Comfort will take patients regardless of whether they tested positive for Covid-19. “Effective immediately, USNS COMFORT will accept trauma, emergency and urgent care patients without regard to their COVID status. The Javits New York Medical Station continues to be DoD's [the Department of Defense] primary facility for COVID-19 patients,” Walsh said.

A Navy official told CNN that the directive to treat coronavirus patients means the Comfort will now have half the capacity it would otherwise have, because of the need to separate COVID and non-COVID patients.