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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5:05 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

There were 783 coronavirus-related deaths in New York on Friday, governor says

State of New York
State of New York

There were 783 deaths from the coronavirus across New York state Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday at a press conference.

Cuomo said that while that is not the highest number the state has seen during this pandemic, it is consistent with the rest of the week.

"You can see that the number is somewhat stabilizing, but it is stabilizing at a horrific rate, Cuomo said. "These are just incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain."

About 101 people are in the ICU and 109 people have had intubations, he said.

A total of 8,627 people have died across the state from Covid-19, the governor added.  

“We have kept politics out of this crisis,” Cuomo said, adding “I worked very hard to do that.”

“I have no personal politics...not running for anything. I’m governor of New York thank you, and that’s where I’m going to stay," he added.

Watch:

5:05 p.m. ET, April 11, 2020

New York governor: 'The curve is continuing to flatten'

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations across the state "is continuing to flatten."

"The number of hospitalizations appears to have hit an apex and the apex appears to be a plateau. Which is what many of the models predicted, that it wasn't going to be a straight up and straight down. It was straight up, you hit the top number, plateau for a period of time, and that looks like what we are doing. The hospitalization rate is down, and that's important. We have more people getting infected still. We have more people going into the hospitals, but we have a lower number," Cuomo said at a press conference today.

Watch:

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.