April 10 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0138 GMT (0938 HKT) April 11, 2020
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5:18 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

National Institutes of Health is recruiting 10,000 antibody test volunteers

From CNN's Jen Christensen

The National Institutes of Health is looking for up to 10,000 volunteers to be a part of a study to determine how many Americans have been infected with Covid-19 and not known it.

This “serosurvey” will give researchers critical information that will help them create better epidemiological models to understand how the disease spreads undetected. The work will also help researchers determine what communities have been most impacted by this particular coronavirus.

The NIH is asking for healthy volunteers from around the country who are 18 or older and have no confirmed history of infection. Volunteers will be enrolled over the phone and will attend a virtual clinical visit. They’ll complete questions about their health, provide basic demographic information and then, if they don’t live near the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, they’ll be sent a kit that will let them draw their blood at home and send the samples back to the NIH.

“This study will give us a clearer picture of the true magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States by telling us how many people in different communities have been infected without knowing it, because they had a very mild, undocumented illness or did not access testing while they were sick,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement. “These crucial data will help us measure the impact of our public health efforts now and guide our COVID-19 response moving forward."
5:19 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

USPS concerned about potential issues with absentee ballots in Wisconsin

Election workers organize absentee ballots at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center in Madison, Wisconsin on April 7.
Election workers organize absentee ballots at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center in Madison, Wisconsin on April 7. Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP

The United States Postal Service is aware of potential absentee ballot issues in Wisconsin and is conducting an investigation.

"Throughout every election cycle, the US Postal Service works with state and local election officials to ensure the timely delivery of Election Mail," the USPS statement read. "The United States Mail system serves as a secure, efficient, and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the electoral process, and the Postal Service is committed to delivering Election Mail in a timely manner."

At this time, USPS does not have additional information to provide on this issue, according to the statement.

Some context: On Monday, Wisconsin's Supreme Court blocked Gov. Tony Evers' order to postpone Tuesday's election due to the pandemic, despite his arguments that in-person voting could endanger poll workers and voters. 

CNN has reached out to the City of Milwaukee Election Commission for comment.

5:14 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

West Virginia gives counties $100,000 each to reward "true first responders"

From CNN's Rebekah Riess

West Virginia National Guard members distribute bags meals for students at Mountain View Elementary School in Union, West Virginia on March 30.
West Virginia National Guard members distribute bags meals for students at Mountain View Elementary School in Union, West Virginia on March 30. Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald via AP

West Virginia will issue a block grant to its counties for $100,000 each to reward “the people who are the true first responders, the people that are true soldiers right on the front line," Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday.

Justice urged counties to practice “real judgement” with the money, and not to use it to backfill budgets. 

Justice also issued a block grant to West Virginia’s National Guard members for $500 per active member responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

5:07 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Illinois increases coronavirus testing for "most affected" communities

From CNN’s Omar Jimenez

The governor of Illinois says he is working to increase Covid-19 testing for some of Chicago’s most affected communities.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a Friday press conference that a partnership is being set up with Chicago’s Lurie Hospital and four federally qualified health centers on the city’s south and west sides.

The demographics data accumulating over the last few weeks shines a light on a “uniquely American problem…generations of healthcare disadvantages, amplified by this crisis,” said Pritzker.

Despite more than a thousand new cases being announced in Illinois Friday, Pritzker said, “It appears that we’re bending the curve.”

5:05 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

FDNY has 688 positive coronavirus cases

From CNN's Mark Morales

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

As of Friday, 688 New York City Fire Department members have tested positive for Covid-19, according to FDNY spokesman Jim Long. That number includes firefighters, EMS and civilian personnel.

There are currently 2,600 members on medical leave, down slightly from 2,800 yesterday. This includes non-Covid-19 related illness.

4:55 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

70 people test positive for coronavirus at San Francisco homeless shelter

From CNN’s Dan Simon

Seventy people at a San Francisco homeless shelter have tested positive for the coronavirus, Mayor London Breed announced Friday at a news conference, calling the development “troubling.”

The outbreak occurred at the MSC South homeless shelter, one of the biggest shelters in the city, where 68 residents and two staff members have been infected, she said. On any given night, the shelter can accommodate as many as 340 people, but it is now only serving about 100 residents.

“We knew congregate living settings had the potential of being hotspots, so we have been preparing for that,” Breed said.

 Breed said city officials are converting the shelter into a “medical facility.”  

“We’re on top of it,” she added.

4:54 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Louisiana is now reporting more than 19,000 coronavirus cases

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 9.
Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 9. Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP

Louisiana has 19,253 coronavirus cases and 755 deaths in total, Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Friday during a press conference.

4:40 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Houston police will enforce Easter weekend ban on using parks and trails

The city of Houston is closing its parks and trails for the weekend to try to keep people from spreading the coronavirus over the Easter holiday — and officers will be out watching for violators. 

Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a Friday afternoon press conference they will be out "on foot, on bicycles, on specialized vehicles and on horseback" to look for people violating the rules and are prepared to issue citations. 

Acevedo said they have enough manpower to monitor the parks despite having 82 officers under quarantine.

Under a state order, Texas churches can hold in-person Easter services as long as social distancing rules are followed, but Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at the news conference that he hopes they won’t. 

"It's not an issue of fear,” Turner said. “It's an issue of keeping the members safe.”

4:36 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Prominent coronavirus model now says today is peak day for new deaths


The influential coronavirus model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now calls today the peak day for new deaths, and revises several key numbers slightly.

The model update, released this afternoon, keeps peak hospital resource use on Saturday. But it moves peak death numbers to today instead of Sunday, and the number now peaks at a projected 1,983 — down from about 2,200 in an earlier version.

As for overall projected deaths, the model now projects about 61,500 in the US by August, compared to about 60,000 earlier this week

IHME has constantly been updating the model as new real-time data comes in. 

Remember: The model assumes full social distancing measures in place through the end of May. But the real future of those measures is unclear as the federal and state governments weigh plans to reopen schools, businesses and other parts of society.