April 11 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT) December 27, 2020
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4:47 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

There have been at least 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the US

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

There have been at least 20,071 coronavirus deaths reported in the United States, according to tally from Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University reported the update Saturday afternoon.

There are currently at least 519,453 reported cases in the US, according to the university.

4:46 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

New York City public school parents have questions after mixed information regarding closures

From CNN's Evan McMorris Santoro

A view of a closed public school is seen in New York City as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 22.
A view of a closed public school is seen in New York City as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 22. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Parents and staff in New York City public schools say they were sent a notice that schools would be closed through the remainder of the academic year, but have not been updated since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that was not decided at his press briefing Saturday morning.

Megan Demarkis, a parent coordinator for PS 13 elementary in Brooklyn, told CNN that school staff were sent a notice right before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference also on Saturday where he announced the closure.

A new hours later, Cuomo said decisions on how long to keep schools closed will made in coordination with all New York counties in the city's metropolitan area — and maybe even with neighboring states like New Jersey and Connecticut.

Staff members say they have not been contacted by the Department of Education since the Cuomo press conference and parents have already started to ask questions on the school’s Facebook page about what is going on.

Schools have put into place plans for a full year closure, but “it would be really nice if our leaders were aligned,” Demarkis says, citing that a full-year closure requires decisions about helping underprivileged families with things like rent and food.

Parents at PS 527 in Manhattan received an email about school closure earlier on Saturday as well, but they have not received a follow-up email.

3:41 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Court ordered releases of inmates average 78 per day in Philadelphia

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

There has been an increase of court ordered releases of inmates in the City of Philadelphia jail population since Monday due in large part – but not wholly – to the pandemic, according to the mayor's spokesperson Deana Gamble.

Gamble told CNN there has been an average of 78 releases per day since Monday.

Gamble could not get into the level of specificity as to the releases in regards to whether they were compassionate releases or granted based on offenders risk of contracting the virus.

The First Judicial District is the Philadelphia County Court authority and neither the mayor’s general authority nor emergency powers grant him the ability to release inmates unless otherwise ordered by the court, she said.

3:24 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

New Jersey can now be reimbursed for providing housing to vulnerable populations

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved New Jersey’s request to use emergency, non-congregate sheltering for people impacted by the coronavirus who are not able to isolate themselves, the governor and State Police colonel said in a press release.

This means state, county and local entities will be reimbursed for providing housing at hotels or motels for certain vulnerable populations.

According to the release, these groups of people include:

  • Homeless families who live in shelters with at least one family member who has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Homeless individuals who require quarantine or isolation after they tested positive for coronavirus themselves.
  • Children and adults living in congregate living settings, such as group homes, who have tested positive for coronavirus.
  • First responders and healthcare workers who do not require hospitalization, but need to avoid direct contact with their families due to exposure to coronavirus.
  • Coronavirus patients who do not require hospitalization in a traditional setting, but need to remain in quarantine outside their house to prevent the further spread of the virus.

By the numbers: The state of New Jersey recorded an additional 3,748 coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 51,027.

There have also been an additional 198 deaths in the past 24 hours, and “with adjustments given further investigations” the statewide death toll is 1,700, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

4:48 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Local officials order drivers to wear masks, Uber sends them to drivers 

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

The mayor of Miami-Dade County is the latest official to require public transit and ride share drivers to wear masks.

"All passengers and drivers on public transit, buses and vehicles for hire also must wear a covering," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a video update posted to YouTube Saturday. 

Gimenez ordered all essential workers to wear "face coverings" earlier this week. 

The ride share company Uber said this week it began "distributing millions of ear-loop face masks to active drivers and delivery people around the world."

"On Tuesday, we shipped our first order of masks to drivers in New York City, and we are receiving a shipment of nearly half a million more which we will immediately send to drivers in the hardest hit US cities," Uber said in a press release. 

Uber says it's ordered "tens of millions more masks and expect them to arrive in other cities and regions around the world in the coming weeks."

Philadelphia, Detroit and cities across the country now require public transit drivers wear masks.

2:59 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Experts answer some of your coronavirus questions

A panel of experts have answered some of the questions from CNN viewers about the coronavirus.

Here's what they had to say:

Q: Are all soaps created equal? Which ones are the best to use?

A: Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician –– "It looks like when you're using soaps that probably an antibacterial may be a little more helpful than say a generic moisturizing soap, but just as important as what you use is the duration. We say in medicine the solution to pollution is dilution–– meaning you have to have that time of the soap on your hands to really disrupt the virus and wash it off. That 20 seconds is really important."

Q: How has coronavirus affected the housing market? Is it still a good time to buy or sell a home?

A: Suze Orman, money expert and host of the "Women and Money" podcast –– "I have to tell you for the housing market to go up means people have to be able to afford to buy a home and I'm not sure that is going to be able to happen. So I don't think the housing market is going to go up. I probably would not be buying a home right here. If I had to, though, I would be selling a home if I needed to sell it but I wouldn't be buying at this point."

Q: Could Covid-19 spread from second-hand vaping and how quickly will it get into your lungs? 

A: Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician –– "If you are vaping, increased coughing and maybe deeper breathing you may be more likely to spread Covid to other people, but what we also have to emphasize is studies are showing that people who vape, smoke, smoke cannabis, any type of smoking are at higher risk of developing potentially more severe Covid and more complications from Covid. It decreases your immune system and hurts your lungs."

4:48 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

There are more than 514,000 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

According to Johns Hopkins University's tally, there are at least 514,415  cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 19,882 people have died from the disease.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

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

2:52 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Massachusetts governor authorizes activation of 3,000 additional National Guard members

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard work at a medical field hospital at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on April 1.
Members of the Massachusetts National Guard work at a medical field hospital at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on April 1. Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has authorized the activation of an additional 3,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard in anticipation of the expected peak in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks, Baker announced Saturday.

This raises the total of authorization up to 5,000 members statewide who may be tasked with supporting requests, depending on the needs.

Baker also announced that starting today essential workers, including grocery store workers and delivery workers, can schedule COVID-19 testing at both the Gillette Stadium temporary facility and the fairgrounds facility in Springfield.

Individuals do not need to be symptomatic in order to get a test, the governor said.

4:49 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

For the first time in US history, every state is under a disaster declaration simultaneously

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

A boarded-up bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side on April 11.
A boarded-up bar on Manhattan's Upper East Side on April 11. B.A. Van Sise/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Wyoming in response to coronavirus, making the current pandemic the first time in history that every state in the country is under a federal disaster declaration simultaneously.

This is the 55th disaster declaration issued in response to coronavirus.

All 50 states plus the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have all received a federal disaster declaration.