April 9 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT) April 10, 2020
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5:56 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

All visitors to Utah will be required to register their travel plans with state due to pandemic

From CNN's Andy Rose

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears his face mask during a media briefing on April 9, in Salt Lake City.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wears his face mask during a media briefing on April 9, in Salt Lake City. Rick Bowmer/AP

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has issued an executive order requiring everyone traveling into the state to register their travel plans with the state. 

The order applies to all adults starting Friday morning, whether they arrive by air or by ground. 

In a press release, the governor’s office says all visitors will get instructions on how to register via an automatic text message when they arrive in the state. 

“Our goal is to trace potential cases of Covid-19 in inbound travelers,” Herbert said.

The state says they will share only general information they collect on travel, with no personally identifiable information released publicly.

5:53 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Florida’s Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood extend closure though May 31

From CNN’s Natasha Chen

View of the entrance of Universal Studio Hollywood closed on April 2, in North Hollywood, California.
View of the entrance of Universal Studio Hollywood closed on April 2, in North Hollywood, California. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in Florida will remain closed at least through May 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Thursday.

The company also address employee compensation during the closure.

“Our team members will be paid at 100 percent through April 19, but as we enter a more prolonged closure period, we need to take additional measures. Beginning April 20, nearly all our team members will be paid at 80 percent of their pay – and we will ask them to adjust their work accordingly. A small group of team members will be asked to continue working at 100 percent and will continue to be paid at that level.  We have also made the difficult decision that we will furlough our part-time hourly workers beginning May 3. During this time, we will fully cover the cost of benefit plans for those team members who have them. All of these team members remain in our thoughts – and, while we don’t yet know when, we look forward to returning them to work one day," the company said.
5:47 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Louisiana governor issues grant to help feed children impacted by coronavirus

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday he approved the first grant from the governor’s Covid-19 Response Fund, which will help a nonprofit organization feed children through the summer across South Louisiana. 

The fund issued a $100,000 grant to the Three O’Clock Project, which expanded its meal distribution services after some public school systems shuttered their cafeterias.

“Feeding our state’s children is one of the many challenges we have faced during this Covid-19 pandemic. Daily nutrition is essential to fighting child hunger, and this grant will ensure that Louisiana’s children will still receive meals during this challenging time in our state,” Edwards said.
5:43 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Roughly 140,000 new unemployment claims filed in Massachusetts in the last week

From CNN's Taylor Romine

Massachusetts has seen 140,000 new unemployment claims filed over the last week, Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press conference on Thursday.

In total, 470,000 new claims have been filed over the last three weeks, the governor said. For reference, in a typical month roughly 7,000 to 10,000 claims are filed, he said.

Baker announced on Thursday that a new hospital site will open at the Boston Convention Center on Friday which will have a total of 1,000 beds; 500 will be used for medical and 500 for the homeless/unsheltered population.

The medical beds will be dedicated to those who were in the hospital and are now recovering, but need a lower level of care. The site will be called Boston Hope.

Massachusetts has also received 100 more ventilators from the federal stockpile and five have been donated from Boston Children’s Hospital, Baker said.

Some context: In his briefing on Wednesday, Baker cited a report from the Pioneer Institute that said as many as 25% of the state’s working population could be unemployed by June. 

 

5:41 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Louisiana "doesn’t currently know" the race of the individuals who test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Pierre Meilhan

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference on April 9.
Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference on April 9. Pool

The state of Louisiana “doesn’t currently know” the race of the individuals testing positive for coronavirus, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday.

The governor told reporters in Baton Rouge that there is more reliance on the private labs for testing in order to help the state’s capacity to test but "reporting is uneven" in terms of timing.

Commercial labs represent about 90 percent of the overall testing in Louisiana, according to Edwards.

“We’re asking them to report the results, more timely and we’re also asking them to report more information with the results. We don't know currently from private labs the race of the individuals whose test results are at issue,” Edwards said.

The state cannot compare the percentage of the ethnicity of people who test positive for Covid-19 with the percentage of the ethnicity of people who die from the virus, the governor explained.

5:37 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

OPEC and Russia agree to cut oil production by 10 million barrels a day amid coronavirus impact

From CNN’s John Defterios in Abu Dhabi

Julio Cortez/AP
Julio Cortez/AP

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia have reached a tentative agreement Thursday evening to cut oil production by 10 million barrels a day for May and June, a senior OPEC source told CNN.

The deal would see the output cut easing to 8 million barrels a day from July to December followed by 6 million barrels a day from January 2021 to April 2022. ​

Non-OPEC member Mexico, however, is expressing reservations about the length of the agreement​, according to the source. 

Iran, Libya and Venezuela would be exempted from the output cuts due to sanctions or lost production.

Oil prices gave up earlier gains to trade lower with expectations that the 23 producers of the OPEC+ alliance would cut up to 15 million barrels a day.

Some context: Today’s emergency OPEC virtual meeting follows pressure by President Trump who last week called on Saudi Arabia and Russia to deliver big productions cuts. The meeting has still not finished.

G20 Energy Ministers are expected to meet tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET “to foster global dialogue and cooperation to ensure stable energy markets and enable a stronger global economy.”

5:25 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Orleans mayor urges residents to stay home

From CNN’s Maria Cartaya

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell asked residents to continue to follow the stay at home mandate as the city continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"The data tells us it’s working," she said.

Cantrell urged residents to not “break the rules” and stay home during Easter weekend.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director of New Orleans Health Department, said the city is working with local healthcare institutions to set up mobile testing to help communities impacted the most by severe illness and death. 

“We are nowhere near the end of this crisis,” Avegno said. “Hospitalizations and deaths are still on the rise, and we expect them to increase for some time.”

5:20 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

NYC medical examiner to hold bodies up to 14 days due to coronavirus impact on funeral industry

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) issued a memo Thursday extending the time a body will be kept in their custody to 14 days.

The memo was obtained by CNN from Mike Lanotte, the director of the NY State Funeral Directors Association, and confirmed by OCME.

"The NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner acknowledges the significant impacts of the pandemic to the funeral industry which may in turn further impact families who have lost a loved one, whose body may be within our custody," the memo said.

Funeral director Patrick Kearns, upon hearing the news, told CNN, "I’m very relieved, because now we don’t have the idea that people are going to be sent to mass burials and the psychological stress that puts on families.” 

Kearns called the news, “a workable timeframe for us."

Some context: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he will be signing an executive order to bring additional funeral directors into the state to help with the high number of deaths.

5:22 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Washington governor promises to look into prison health concerns after disturbance

From CNN's Andy Rose

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference, on April 6, in Olympia, Washington.
Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference, on April 6, in Olympia, Washington. Ted S. Warren/AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state is taking a close look at how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in their prison population after an inmate revolt at one facility Wednesday. 

The Department of Corrections said the disturbance at the Monroe Correctional Complex – which involved more than 100 inmates – was prompted by concern after six minimum security prisoners tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Last night’s disturbance ended without injury and we recognize the grave concerns of the incarcerated individuals and their families about Covid-19 in correctional facilities all over the state,” Inslee said in a written statement. 

Inslee said they are concerned with balancing “the needs of incarcerated individuals with public safety.”