April 8 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Fernando Alfonso III, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:35 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020
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4:42 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Washington state will close a coronavirus field hospital

From CNN's Andy Rose

Military personnel set up a field hospital at CenturyLink Event Center on March 31.
Military personnel set up a field hospital at CenturyLink Event Center on March 31. Karen Ducey/Getty Images

As confidence grows that the state may be nearing its peak of new coronavirus cases, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday they are giving back a military field hospital that was intended to deal with a surge of patients. 

The hospital – set up at an event center adjacent to the CenturyLink Field sports stadium in Seattle – will be available to FEMA to be redeployed to another state.

"We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with Covid-19 cases,” Inslee said in a statement

The decision to return it was made with the approval of the leaders of the Seattle and King County governments. Inslee said the state still has the ability to increase its hospital capacity by 1,000 beds quickly in case of a surge, even without the military hospital.

The decision comes three days after Inslee returned more than 400 ventilators the state received from the Strategic National Stockpile back to the federal government. At the time, Inslee said Washington had a sufficient supply of ventilators on its own, while states like New York faced a bigger immediate need.

4:31 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

170 Detroit police officers have tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Jennifer Henderson 

170 Detroit police officers that have tested positive for coronavirus, Mayor Mike Dugan said today. 

Denise Fair, Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Detroit, said Detroit has 5834 confirmed cases and 240 confirmed deaths.

The city saw an increase of 333 positive cases and 26 deaths since yesterday.

4:22 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

At least 66 people died in this New York county in the last 24 hours

From CNN’s Sonia Moghe

At least 66 people died in Nassau County on Long Island in the last 24 hours, and while the number of Covid-19-related hospitalizations are hitting a plateau, the death rates continue to spike, according to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

A total of 566 people have died of Covid-19 complications in Nassau County, according to the state Department of Health.

Earlier Wednesday at a briefing, Curran said the county’s supply of ventilators is not as much of an issue as its need for protective equipment like masks and gowns. She said there have been more ventilators freed up as patients recover or pass away.

“Unfortunately, the majority of people who are on ventilators for an extended period of time do not make it. So it is a combination of those who’ve passed away and those who’ve gotten better,” Curran said today.

Data provided to CNN by Curran’s office shows health care workers are using 935,000 gowns per week. As of last night, the county’s stockpile had 1,200 gowns available to share with healthcare workers.

“We have a shortage of gowns and we need more right now,” Curran said in a statement to CNN.

4:33 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

New technology will allow California to sterilize and reuse N95 masks

From CNN's Donald Judd

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

California will utilize new technology from the company Battelle that allows for the sterilization and reuse of N95 masks as early as this week, Mark Ghilarducci, with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, announced today.

“It's a technology that is designed to get on the ground, and actually bring in a used N95 mask and do a sterilization and cleaning process that makes them basically new again,” Ghilarducci told reporters Wednesday. “And this is new technology that has that has been certified by the FDA, and CDC, and it will be here in California, here within the next week. As capability, we’ll have the ability to clean up to 80,000 masks per day.”

CNN's Julia Chatterley interviewed Battelle’s CEO, Lewis Von Thaer, Wednesday morning, who said that using hydrogen peroxide in vaporized form, “we proved that we could reuse these masks, basically decontaminate them for reuse up to 20 times with no degradation.”

“I'm very happy to report we're up and operating in Ohio today,” Von Thaer told CNN. “Just going online in Seattle and Stonybrook, Long Island, and we'll soon be online in Boston in the next few days… our goal is to set up regional systems and multiple hospitals come into that region because we can clean so many masks at one time.”

4:18 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

So far today, more than 1,300 people in the US have died from coronavirus

There are at least 419,975 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

At least 14,262 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

So far today alone, Johns Hopkins has reported 21,166 new cases and 1,367 deaths. 

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

4:13 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

At least 130 health care workers have tested positive for coronavirus in Arkansas, health official says

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

At least 130 health care workers have tested positive for coronavirus in Arkansas, Dr. Nathaniel Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, said Wednesday.

Among the 946 total cases in the state, 61 are nursing home residents and a total of 18 people have died from the virus, Dr. Smith said.

According to Smith, the ethnicity breakdown shows at least 67% of the cases are white and more than 23% are black, in a state where the black people represent 15% of the population.

4:09 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

US stocks surge higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks ended higher today, buoyed by investors’ optimism about slight improvement in new coronavirus infections data.

Here's where things closed:

  • The Dow closed up 3.4%, or 780 points. It was the index’s first close above 23,000 points in nearly a month.
  • The S&P 500 finished 3.4% higher. 
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed up 2.6%. 

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.


3:53 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Aircraft maker cuts back production as airlines defer deliveries

From CNN’s Chris Isidore 

A worker prepares to install an engine on an Airbus SE A220 plane on the assembly line at the Airbus Canada LP assembly and finishing site in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, on February 20.
A worker prepares to install an engine on an Airbus SE A220 plane on the assembly line at the Airbus Canada LP assembly and finishing site in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, on February 20. Valerian Mazataud/Bloomberg/Getty Images/FILE

European aircraft maker Airbus announced Wednesday it would cut production by about a third, as the troubled airline industry is being forced to defer deliveries due to the plunge in air traffic.

Airbus said the reduced schedule was designed "to adapt to the new coronavirus market environment." The company delivered only 122 of the 182 planes it built during the quarter because of "customer requests to defer deliveries," it said.

It will now build about 40 of the A320 each month, down from 60 per month of its best-selling single-aisle jet. The A330 will produce two a month from nine, and the A350 production has been scaled back to six a month from between nine and 10.

Airbus has temporarily halted production at numerous plants in Europe and North America due to health concerns. The reduced production schedule will be in place when the plants resume work. Rival Boeing, which reports its deliveries and orders next week, also has temporarily stopped building commercial jets as well.

More than half the 22,000 planes in the global commercial airline fleet have been grounded in the crisis, according to tracking firm Cirium, and that number is climbing as airlines slash their schedules, or cancel all flights in some cases, due to a combination of travel restrictions and passengers' health concerns.

3:53 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Massachusetts reports more than 1,300 new cases of coronavirus

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Massachusetts reported 1,365 new cases of Covid-19, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 15,202.

At least 81,344 tests have been conducted so far in Massachusetts, Baker said, and the state continues to see a rise in the percent of people testing positive.

On Monday, about 30% of all tests conducted were positive and on Tuesday that number was similar at 28%. 

The state expects to see the peak in cases occur sometime between April 10 and April 20, Gov. Baker said.