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
56 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
5:06 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

237 Chicago Police Department members test positive for coronavirus

A general view looking south down the Chicago River as buildings are lit in blue to show support for health care workers and first responders on April 9.
A general view looking south down the Chicago River as buildings are lit in blue to show support for health care workers and first responders on April 9. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are 237 members of the Chicago Police Department who have tested positive for coronavirus, interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said at a press conference Saturday morning.

“We have just over a thousand who are off sick for things which may be related to the virus but there is no way to tell at this point. That’s 8.2% of our workforce,” Beck told reporters. “As testing becomes more available, our count continues to climb.”

Officials also released the name of the second Chicago police officer to die of complications from the virus.

Sgt. Clifford Martin died on Friday after being hospitalized for about two weeks. Martin, a 25-year veteran of the department, left behind a wife and three children, two of whom are officers with the Chicago Police Department, Beck said.

5:07 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Spanish authorities to distribute millions of masks this week

From CNN's Tim Lister and Al Goodman

Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska speaks to the press on March 23.
Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska speaks to the press on March 23. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

The Spanish government will distribute roughly 10 million masks to workers returning to their jobs beginning this week when restrictions on some workplaces, such as construction sites, will be relaxed.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said the masks would be distributed at places like subway stations and other transport hubs by police officers or civil protection workers. Their use would be recommended but not required.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said the use of the masks would be useful especially when social distancing can’t be met.

Grande-Marlaska also announced that 1,700 police officers nationwide have been affected by Covid-19. At the same news conference, Illa said that just over 25,000 workers in the health sector had been infected since the virus hit Spain.

Grande-Marlaska said there had been "a slight increase" in the number of incidents where people had left their homes without reason. He said that on Good Friday, traffic was down 95% compared to normal and entry into Madrid and Barcelona was down 93%.

Illa repeated that the nationwide lockdown continues "at least" until April 26.

5:07 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Constitutional lawyer says Trump may not have the authority to reopen states

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A constitutional lawyer says President Trump might not have the authority to completely reopen the country from restrictions put in place to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Page Pate, a criminal defense and constitutional attorney, told CNN that the Constitution and US Supreme Court interpretation does not give the President the authority to override governors' decisions.

"If we have a governor enact a particular restriction that's more restrictive than the President wants, of course the President can suggest that the governor not do that," Pate said. "But as far as coming in and telling a specific governor you've got to reopen your schools, you have to allow businesses to reopen, a president can only do that if the state restriction interferes with interstate commerce."

Some context: This insight comes after President Trump said Friday at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing that the decision to reopen the country's economy will be the "biggest decision" he's ever made.

Pate said although this is how the Constitution is interpreted, this particular issue has not played out in the courts before.

"If you look at the constitution, the president's responsibilities and authority ends with the federal government. He cannot control the individual states as far as specific local restrictions," he said.

5:07 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

At least 343 homeless people have tested positive for Covid-19 in New York City, official says

From CNN's Sheena Jones

At least 343 homeless people have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a city official at the press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio today.

About 20 of those individuals have died, the official said. So far, 37 homeless people have been discharged from the hospital, 139 are in isolation within the shelter system, 81 are still in the hospital and 35 are in self-isolation with their families, the official added.

5:08 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Florida governor accelerates delayed infrastructure projects with less people on the road  

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Interstate 4 in Orlando, Florida, on April 8.
Interstate 4 in Orlando, Florida, on April 8. Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP

Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking "advantage of this pause" in business to complete infrastructure projects in Florida, he said at a press briefing Saturday.  

Having less people on Florida roads is an opportunity to make some progress on Orlando's I-4 "construction congestion," DeSantis said.  

The $2.3 billion project aims to reconstruct 21 miles of the interstate in Central Florida, according to DeSantis.   

On average, the interstate sees "well over 100,000 cars a day" but "now you're dealing with volumes that are probably 40,000," allowing for increased road closures without affecting as many people, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Kevin Thibault said.  

DeSantis says the sped-up contract will increase day time operations and allow for longer hours. Thibault projects FDOT will be able to "get this work done in one to two months." 

10:33 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Harvard president participating in antibody study after recovering from coronavirus

Bacow in 2019
Bacow in 2019 Paul Marotta/Getty Images

The president of Harvard University said he and his wife will be donating plasma to help combat the coronavirus.

Lawrence Bacow and his wife, Adele, tested positive for the virus on March 24.

Bacow said in a letter to the community that they have volunteered to participate in research at the Ragon Institute with the hope that their coronavirus antibodies can be used to create a therapeutic.

"We hope that something good can come from our close encounter with COVID-19," the statement said.
4:42 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

Laid-off flight attendants across Europe train to help hospitals with coronavirus crisis

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images
Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

As airlines across Europe have grounded planes and temporarily laid-off workers, some companies are encouraging flight attendants to train to help hospitals with the coronavirus crisis.

A cabin crew from SAS Scandanavian Airlines underwent training at Sophiahemmet hospital in Stockholm to learn how to "best how to take care of patients to relieve the hard-working heroes in healthcare" using their existing medical emergency training, said SAS on Twitter.

The airline said another SAS flight crew in Norway is connecting with the health care sector to tackle needs that emerge during the coronavirus crisis.

SAS temporarily halted most of its flight traffic on March 16 and temporarily laid-off 90% of its total workforce.

In the United Kingdom, some flight attendants for EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic have volunteered to help out at the new National Health Service (NHS) hospitals being set up specifically for coronavirus patients.

In a statement released Thursday, EasyJet said cabin crew members who sign up to help would perform clinical support roles at the NHS "Nightingale" field hospitals that are being built in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

"They will change beds, tend to patients and ensure they are as comfortable as possible. Many airline staff are ideal volunteers as they have been first aid trained and hold other medical qualifications as well as being security cleared," said the statement. "Expert training will be provided to all new recruits when they sign up. With the majority of flights currently suspended as a result of the pandemic, cabin crew will be able to put their unique skill set to use during this time to provide much needed support to the NHS."

Virgin Atlantic said their crews will also perform clinical support roles, and the staff and volunteers working at the new hospitals will be offered free accommodation and meals.

10:18 a.m. ET, April 11, 2020

NYC mayor wants homeless residents in hotel rooms and out of homeless shelters by April 20

From CNN's Sheena Jones

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country at the Jacob K. Javits Center on April 5.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country at the Jacob K. Javits Center on April 5. Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans on having at least 6,000 vulnerable single homeless residents in hotel rooms by April 20, the New York City mayor said at a press conference Saturday.

Homeless seniors will be prioritized and any homeless person with symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19 will be moved to a hotel, de Blasio said.

The mayor will also put homeless individuals in hotels if they can’t practice clear social distancing guidelines.

5:09 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

New York City public schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year

A view of the P.S. 116 Manhattan school playground in New York on April 4.
A view of the P.S. 116 Manhattan school playground in New York on April 4. Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City public schools will remained closed until the end of this school year due to coronavirus concerns, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference early Saturday morning.

De Blasio said reopening schools for a few weeks is unrealistic because of the amount of preparation that is needed to do it safely. He said bringing students back until June does not provide much reward academically, and if buildings did reopen, many of them would have to close again because of individual coronavirus cases.

City officials will be working with the state of New York to meet state regulations of how many hours students have to be in the classroom. Student classrooms hours will be consistent with social distancing guidelines, the mayor said.

The mayor laid out a five point plan to help students: 

  1. Complete deliveries of internet enabled digital devices by the end of April. The city distributed about 66,000 devices already, but will need to get 240,000 more devices in the children hands over the next few weeks, the mayor said.
  2. Expand parent help line and tech support hours and staffing. De Blasio said the city will be adding more educators to provide more coaching for parents.
  3. Launch new online activities and programs. This includes free programing to help families get through this, de Blasio said. He also mentioned they are working with New York media companies to accomplish this.
  4. Graduate our seniors. There are about 75,000 students set to graduate. The mayor said he doesn’t know if there will be a ceremony, but want to make sure they graduate on time –– a full plan will be out next week.
  5. Be ready to reopen in September and combat learning loss. The mayor said the city is working now on a comprehensive plan to reopen schools. This includes focusing on mental health, de Blasio said.

Attendance is being taken once a day at virtual schools, the New York City chancellor said, as he cautioned they are getting in contact with students that have not been in contact with them.

When asked if summer school would happen this year, de Blasio responded, officials won’t know about summer school “until we have a lot more answers.”  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged the mayor's position on schools in a press conference hours later but added “there has been no decision on schools.”

“There has been no decision, that’s the mayor's opinion, I value it” along with all the other county executives but “the decision will be coordinated among all of them," Cuomo said.

Regarding the mayor’s position of closing schools until June, Cuomo said “we may do that, but we're going to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities,” including the counties in New York.

When asked if de Blasio's decision was invalid, Cuomo said “that’s his opinion, but he didn’t close them and he can’t open them, it happened on a metropolitan wide basis and we’re going to either; we’ll act on a metropolitan wide basis."

Some context: The New York City school system is the largest school district in the US with 1.1 million students, according to the city's Department of Education.