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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11:42 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Burning Man has been canceled

Burners climb onto an art installation at Burning Man in Gerlach, Nevada, in 2018.
Burners climb onto an art installation at Burning Man in Gerlach, Nevada, in 2018. Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, File

Burning Man, a famous annual event held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, has been canceled.

The week-long gathering, themed around music, art, radical community and self-expression, was scheduled to start on August 30.

“In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever,” organizers wrote on the event’s blog. “But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities.”

The event typically draws tens of thousands of people to the desert for concerts, exhibits and its signature creation – a multi-story wooden sculpture of a human that is ignited at Burning Man’s conclusion.

The official website says a “Virtual Black Rock City” will take the place of the traditional event this year. 

11:34 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

"I don't think anybody was ready for this," says head of US federal prisons

From CNN's David Shortell, Kara Scannell and Manu Raju

Coronavirus has swept through the US federal prison system over the past three weeks, leaving more than 300 confirmed cases among inmates, at least nine prisoners dead and raising concerns about the government's handling of the crisis.

Inside some facilities, inmates have said they are locked in crammed and cramped cells without face masks and enough soap, and guards have grown concerned that they could spread the disease to their families.

At a prison in Butner, North Carolina, the number of cases jumped by dozens -- nearly 400% -- earlier this week. And in Oakdale, Louisiana, where six inmates have died in recent days, armed corrections officers had to quell a small uprising with pepper spray on Wednesday, an official at the prison said.

In his first interview since the pandemic began, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal defended the steps his agency has taken amid what he described as the most challenging situation the federal prison system has been confronted with in decades.

"I don't think anybody was ready for this Covid, so we're dealing with it just as ready as anybody else and I'd be proud to say we're doing pretty good," said Carvajal, who was named director in late February during the pandemic.

"It's easy to critique those hot spots, but we don't control that. We can only control the people inside of our institutions, and we put things in place to do that."

Read the full exclusive interview here:

11:21 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

If you violate quarantine in South Korea, you will have to wear a tracking bracelet

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo

A huge screen displaying coronavirus precautions in Seoul, South Korea, on March 27.
A huge screen displaying coronavirus precautions in Seoul, South Korea, on March 27. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea will use electronic bracelets to monitor people who violated quarantine orders, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a briefing today.

The issue of people violating quarantine has "raised public concerns," Chung said.

In a government survey, more than 80% of respondents supported the use of electronic bracelets, with many saying that preventing the virus from spreading further was the most important consideration.

11:11 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Brazil's coronavirus death toll almost tripled in a week

From CNN’s Tatiana Arias in Atlanta

Authorities sanitize a bus station on April 9 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Authorities sanitize a bus station on April 9 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus deaths in Brazil has almost tripled in a week, health authorities said.

The national death toll was 359 on April 3. On April 10, it reached 1,056.

The country now has 19,789 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has continuously rejected containment measures that affect the country’s economy, saying the financial impact is much worse than the pandemic itself.

He has previously dismissed the coronavirus as a "little flu," and pushed to lift self-isolation measures imposed by governors in several affected Brazilian states.

11:01 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Tyson Foods is installing walk-through body temperature scanners

From CNN’s Janine Mack

A Tyson Foods Inc. processing plant in Center, Texas, on December 9.
A Tyson Foods Inc. processing plant in Center, Texas, on December 9. Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest meat processors, is using walk-through infrared body temperature scanners to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, executives said.

“We’ve purchased more than 150 infrared walk-through temperature scanners. So far, we have the scanners installed in four facilities: pork plants in Iowa and Indiana and poultry plants in Arkansas and Georgia," said Tom Brower, Tyson’s senior vice president of health and safety, on Friday.

The move comes after the company suspended operations at its Columbus Junction, Iowa, pork plant this week when more than two dozen workers contracted Covid-19 there.

10:47 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

The pandemic could threaten global food supply

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

As the novel coronavirus pandemic shuts down businesses globally and sends countries into lockdown, the disruptions are threatening to cut off supply chains and increase food insecurity.

The issue isn't food scarcity -- it's the world's drastic measures in response to the virus.

"Supermarket shelves remain stocked for now," the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said in a report released late last month. "But a protracted pandemic crisis could quickly put a strain on the food supply chains, a complex web of interactions involving farmers, agricultural inputs, processing plants, shipping, retailers and more."

Border closures, movement restrictions, and disruptions in the shipping and aviation industries have made it harder to continue food production and transport goods internationally -- placing countries with few alternative food sources at high risk

Read the full story here:

10:21 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

There are now more than half a million coronavirus cases in the US

The US has 500,399 cases of the novel coronavirus, passing the grim half-million milestone late Friday local time.

The national death toll has passed 18,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

New York remains the epicenter of the country's outbreak, with 174,481 cases statewide and 7,884 deaths.

New Jersey has the next highest number of cases, at 54,588.

Wyoming is the only US state yet to report a coronavirus death.

Check out CNN's live case tracker here:

10:11 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Anonymous donor gives every household in a small Iowa town $150 in gift cards

From CNN's Alaa Elassar

Like most of the world, the residents of a small town in Iowa are stuck at home, feeling isolated, alone and trying their best to stay positive during the coronavirus pandemic.

So when an anonymous donor gave everyone in Earlham $150 worth of gift cards for food, the community received something more valuable than money: hope.

It started on March 26, when Earlham Mayor Jeff Lillie received a call from a friend who told him there was a donor interested in injecting money into the town's economy. Earlham, population 1,450, is 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Des Moines.

At first, the donor, who did not reveal their identity to the mayor, said they would buy 100 gift cards from three local businesses. An hour later, his friend called Lillie again and said the donor was bumping the number up to 250. An hour after that, the number was raised to 500.

"I said to him, 'At 500, you're darn near giving a gift card to every single household in Earlham'," Lillie said. "When I told him there were 549 households in town, he said 'Done.' And that was it. I was ecstatic because it made sure everyone would get a card."

But what Lillie didn't know was that the donor wasn't going to buy 549 cards in all -- they were buying 549 gift cards from each of the three businesses. In total, they donated $82,350, meaning each business received more than $27,000.

Exactly one week later, every person in town woke up to a surprise in their mailbox: An envelope containing a letter from the city and three $50 gift cards to West Side Bar and Grille, Hometown Market, a grocery store, and Trostel's Broken Branch, a restaurant and coffee shop.

Read the full story here:

10:03 p.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Federal judge denies emergency request to release Illinois inmates

From CNN's Andy Rose

Cook County Department of Corrections in Chicago, Illinois.
Cook County Department of Corrections in Chicago, Illinois. Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge is declining to order the immediate release of thousands of inmates in Illinois due to concerns over potential exposure to the coronavirus. 

Judge Robert Dow says civil rights advocates who filed suit against the state Department of Corrections and Gov. J.B. Pritzker did not show that a mass release was the only reasonable response.

“Plaintiffs are correct in asserting that the issue of inmate health and safety is deserving of the highest degree of attention,” Dow wrote. “And the record here shows that the authorities in this state are doing just that.”

The 10 inmates named in the lawsuit – convicted on a range of felonies including murder – argued that keeping them incarcerated in the face of a pandemic amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. 

Although Dow is keeping the case open – and encouraged state officials to work their hardest to preserve the health of prisoners – he refused to order the state to release, by his estimate, “at least 12,000 inmates, almost one-third of the prison population in Illinois.”