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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10:36 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Chicago opens refrigerated warehouse to hold more than 2,000 bodies

From CNN’s Omar Jimenez

CNN
CNN

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago announced the opening of its surge center Thursday to expand capacity and ease overcrowding at hospital morgues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 66,000-square foot refrigerated warehouse will have the capacity to hold more than 2,000 bodies, according to a release from the county.

“While my hope is that we have made plans that we will not have to utilize, I realize that my administration has a responsibility to prepare for a surge in deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We are working diligently to ensure that the victims of this virus are treated with dignity while under our care.”

The county has also acquired 14 refrigerated trailers and is in the process of securing six more to support the surge center. The trailers will be prepositioned at hospitals that are experiencing surges so their morgues are not overwhelmed.

In a statement Thursday, the Medical Examiner’s Office said they plan to scale up their existing case management system to accommodate the caseload at the surge center.

“We are the last physicians these individuals will ever have and we take that responsibility very seriously,” said Cook County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar. “We treat these patients with dignity and respect. We treat them the way we would want our loved ones to be treated.”

10:33 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

More US Navy ships report coronavirus outbreaks

From CNN's Barbara Starr and Jennifer Hansler

USS Ronald Reagan
USS Ronald Reagan Mass

There are now cases of coronavirus affecting US Navy ships beyond the USS Theodore Roosevelt. 

In addition to the Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan — which is currently in Yokuska, Japan, in maintenance — has 15 positive cases. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Hyten also said Thursday that there is a “small outbreak” of coronavirus on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

“But it’s not a huge breakout, it’s not a big spike at this point. There’s been physical separation of sailors on that ship,” he said at a Pentagon briefing. Hyten said they are watching it “very closely before the Nimitz goes out.”

10:25 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Spain will extend its state of emergency until May

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez delivers a speech during the plenary session at Lower Chamber of Spanish Parliament, in Madrid on Thursday, April 9.
Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez delivers a speech during the plenary session at Lower Chamber of Spanish Parliament, in Madrid on Thursday, April 9. Mariscal/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expects to extend the country's state of emergency into May to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I am convinced that in 15 days we will have to do it because we won’t have put an end to the pandemic," he said.

Sanchez told Spanish lawmakers on Thursday about this possibility as he asked them to approve a separate extension until the end of April.

The prime minister said he believes his government would not have been able to convince the opposition to approve its request for an extension if he had asked for a month, instead of two weeks. 

“I prefer to come into this chamber every 15 days to ask for an extension to the State of Emergency,” he said.

There are more than 152,000 cases of coronavirus in Spain, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

10:21 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Professional basketball players will play H-O-R-S-E on television this Easter Sunday

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Mark J. Terrill/AP/FILE
Mark J. Terrill/AP/FILE

With the NBA season at a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBA and ESPN will be televising a first of its kind H-O-R-S-E competition on April 12. It will be headlined by All-Star's Chris Paul and Trae Young and 2020 Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings.  

In the competition, which will feature eight NBA and WNBA players and legends, competitors will have to match shots against one another in a single-elimination tournament from their isolated home courts. 

State Farm will donate more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus response efforts. This donation builds on the more than $74 million that has been contributed by the NBA Family to date to support coronavirus relief efforts through its NBA Together campaign.

10:24 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Finland extends restriction measures until May 13

From Niamh Kennedy

The Finnish government extended restrictions on schools, museums and theaters to contain the spread of coronavirus until May 13, announced in a statement on Thursday.

On March 16, the Finnish government announced the closure of schools and public places such as museums, theaters and sports facilities and placed a ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people. 

As of April 8, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare reported 40 deaths and 2,487 positive cases.

Last week the government also announced that all restaurants in the country must close. A press officer for the Finnish government told CNN that a decision has yet to be taken regarding the extension of this specific ban. 

The government has also not extended the restriction on movement to and from the Uusimaa region, the most populous in the country. These measures will remain in force until April 19, according to the government press officer.

9:50 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

US stocks open higher 

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks climbed higher today as investors eyed efforts by the Federal Reserve to prop up the US economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here's how the markets opened today:

  • The Dow opened up 1.5%, or 360 points, higher.
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 1.3% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite rose nearly 1%.

Some context: The central bank announced a new $2.3 trillion round of loans that include even more support for small businesses and consumers, and, for the first time, for states, cities and municipalities, too.

The Fed’s move followed bleak data on jobless claims for the week ended April 4. It was the second largest claims number on record at 6.6 million -- far more than the consensus estimate of 5.25 million.

9:59 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New York ICU nurse: Battling coronavirus feels "like a war"

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Simone Hannah-Clark
Simone Hannah-Clark CNN

Simone Hannah-Clark works in the intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York where she said the scene is grim.

"It does feel like a war to us. I hesitated to use that analogy because war is not a joke, but it really does," Hannah-Clark told CNN's Poppy Harlow.

She said nurses in the ICU are used to a certain level of stress from patients dying and being critically sick, but the coronavirus feels different.

"Everyone has the same thing, the patients keep coming, there is more death, there is more of that," Hannah-Clark said. "So emotionally, there is a lot of anxiety."

Some context: New York is one of the epicenters of the outbreak in the US. The state has 151,079 cases of coronavirus and 6,269 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

9:49 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

The Fed just unleashed another $2.3 trillion to support the economy 

From CNN’s Paul R. La Monica

The Federal Reserve is continuing its extraordinary efforts to prop up the US economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The central bank announced a new $2.3 trillion round of loans that include even more support for small businesses and consumers, and, for the first time, for states, cities and municipalities, too.

The Fed said Thursday that it is creating a Municipal Liquidity Facility with up to $500 billion in loans and $35 billion in credit protection in order to "help state and local governments manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic."

How it works: Through this lending program, the Fed said it will buy short-term debt from states and Washington D.C., counties with at least 2 million people and cities with a population of 1 million and above.

"The Fed's role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible," said Fed chair Jerome Powell in a statement.

The Fed also said Thursday that it will supply financing to banks taking part in the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program.

Additionally, the central bank said it was boosting its Main Street Lending Program for small businesses with an additional $600 billion in loans as well as $75 billion in funding from the Treasury Department via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) fiscal stimulus.

And the Fed is also expanding three other loan facilities it had already set up for consumers and businesses with $850 billion more in credit backed by $85 billion in credit protection from the Treasury Department.

The Fed is hoping that these moves, coupled with numerous other lending programs and the cutting of interest rates to zero, will be able to support the US economy at a time when job losses are mounting and many businesses are being forced to close their doors.

9:49 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

16.8 million jobless claims were filed over a 3-week period in the US

From CNN’s Annalyn Kurtz 

City of Hialeah employees hand out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on Wedndesday,April 08,  in Hialeah, Florida.
City of Hialeah employees hand out unemployment applications to people in their vehicles in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on Wedndesday,April 08, in Hialeah, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Over the last three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed jobless claims with the Department of Labor.

Here's the breakdown of the last three weeks:

  • Week ending April 4: 6,606,000
  • March 28: 6,867,000 (was revised higher)
  • March 21: 3,307,000

Those add up to 16.8 million claims.

The US labor force had 155.8 million people in it as of March, so 16.8 million is roughly 11% of that.

Important: To be clear that's 16.8 million people who filed initial claims. These are applications. Not everyone ends up getting benefits. As of last week, 7.5 million workers filed for their second week of unemployment benefits or more. Those are people who have been approved and are actually obtaining benefits.