April 23 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 2:40 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020
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11:38 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

"We are clearly not ready to open," Nevada governor says

CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. CNN

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has spoken out against comments by the mayor of Las Vegas that it is time for businesses -- including casinos -- to get back to work. 

"We are clearly not ready to open," Sisolak told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night.

What the mayor said: Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told Cooper earlier Wednesday that the government should end its restrictions, and private businesses would be able to decide for themselves how best to avoid spreading the coronavirus. 

Goodman volunteered her city as a "control group" to see if looser rules resulted in a major outbreak. 

Pushback: But Gov. Sisolak said: "I will not allow the citizens of Nevada -- our Nevadans -- to be used as a control group."

The most prominent casinos of what is known as the Las Vegas Strip sit outside the city limits and are under the jurisdiction of Clark County. The county’s commission chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick issued a statement Wednesday evening saying, "Soon, we’ll be able to invite the world back to our city, but that time isn’t here yet."

Gov. Sisolak said visitors will be welcomed back to Las Vegas, but only when it can be done safely. "We want to welcome them back to the lights on The Strip," Sisolak said, "but that's not today, and that's not tomorrow."

2:01 a.m. ET, April 23, 2020

It's just past 8:30 p.m. in Washington and 11:30 a.m. in Beijing. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Cementery workers bury a coronavirus victim at a cemetery in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 21.
Cementery workers bury a coronavirus victim at a cemetery in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 21. Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has now infected more than 2.62 million people and killed at least 183,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments:

  • Trump halts immigration: The US President says he has signed an executive order that temporarily suspends immigration into the country. He said the order will ensure Americans will be first in line for jobs as the economy reopens.
  • Testing questioned: The US isn't making any progress on testing, according to the director of the Harvard Global Health Initiative, "We have estimated we need at least three times as much testing as we have right now," Dr. Anish Jha said.
  • Ventilator study: Nearly all coronavirus patients who needed ventilators to help them breathe died, a study of New York’s largest health system showed.
  • Mexico surge: Cases in the nation have passed 10,000 after the largest single day spike of 1,043 was reported. The total includes 970 deaths.
  • Colombia protests: Demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Bogota on Wednesday, saying they lacked support from the government during the country's lockdown.
  • China cases slow: Just 10 new cases were confirmed in mainland China as of the end of Wednesday -- six of them imported.
  • Spain extends state of emergency: The Spanish parliament voted to approve the extension for the third time until May 9, prolonging the country’s stay-at-home order to eight weeks in total.
  • Loss of taste or smell: A survey of more than 200 patients in Italy found that 67% reported an altered sense of taste or smell either right before or right after they tested positive for Covid-19.

This post was updated to more accurately describe Mexico.

11:26 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

All frontline workers in Los Angeles can be tested for coronavirus

Starting Thursday, coronavirus testing will be available to all critical workers that are on the front lines -- regardless of whether they have symptoms, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in a news conference today.

"Health care professionals, grocery store workers, first responders, and critical government personnel can get a test even if you don’t have symptoms," Garcetti said.

"We want to make sure that they are healthy and that they have the peace of mind knowing they’re healthy."

There are 34 testing sites across the city and county of Los Angeles where critical workers can sign up for a test.

On Tuesday, the state of California expanded testing restrictions to include the testing of asymptomatic people who work or live in a high-risk setting.

California has reported at least 37,603 coronavirus infections, including 1,434 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

11:11 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Native American tribes file law suits over relief money

Eleven Native tribal organizations affected by coronavirus -- including the hard-hit Navajo Nation -- are suing the US federal government over relief money set aside by Congress for Native Americans.

The CARES Act earmarks $8 billion to be split among Indian tribes, but the lawsuit says the Treasury Department is preparing to include Alaska Native Regional Corporations in the group. These private corporations were established in a lawsuit settlement decades ago for the benefit of Alaskan Natives, but the new complaint argues they are not true tribal organizations and are not entitled to the money.

The Navajo Nation’s government employs more than 5,000 people, according to the lawsuit, and revenue has dried up as tribal businesses have shut down. As of Wednesday night, the Nation had confirmed 48 Covid-19 deaths and more than 1,200 infections.

"Our Nation’s government is in dire need of support for the critical medical and community needs of our people.  We are literally fighting for dollars to save lives," said Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen N. McPaul in a written statement. 

The lawsuit argues that including the Alaska Native Regional Corporations in the fund could cost each tribe an average of $4 million.

Read more:

11:00 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Mexico passes 10,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Matt Rivers in Mexico City

Mexico has topped 10,000 cases of coronavirus, Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Hugo López-Gatell said on Wednesday.

In the largest number of recorded day-to-day cases in Mexico since the outbreak began, an additional 1,043 people tested positive for the virus. The increase raised the total number of cases to 10,544 in the country. 

The number of reported deaths from Covid-19 is 970, according to Mexican health authorities.

10:53 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

"We are just not making progress on testing," US expert says

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

To end the coronavirus pandemic, the US is either going to have to continue with extreme social distancing measures or do it with "ubiquitous" testing, according to Dr. Anish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Initiative.

"We have estimated we need at least three times as much testing as we have right now," Jha said said Wednesday on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront. "We have been flat for like three and a half weeks. We have made no progress.
"I haven’t met a single professional who doesn’t think we need a lot more testing and we’re just not making progress," he said. "It’s baffling, because the alternative is to stay shut down. That is not an alternative anybody likes."

Since the coronavirus is still so new, scientists are working overtime to generate new data to understand how it spreads. A recent study found one person at a restaurant spread the disease to others sitting at nearby tables.

"No one is going to go to restaurants if they think they’re going to get infected, so the only way to bring confidence back into our economy is to have widespread testing so we know there aren't a ton of infected people going into restaurants, going into coffee shops. This is how we open up our economy," Jha said.
“This choice between economy versus health has always been a false choice and the only way out of it is social distancing or testing. Those are our two choices.”
"I like testing better, as a better way to keep our economy going."

 Read more about what went wrong with US testing:

10:50 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

The New York Stock Exchange might reopen in phases beginning in May, two sources tell CNN

From CNN's Alison Kosik

The New York Stock Exchange is pictured on April 20, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City.
The New York Stock Exchange is pictured on April 20, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Stock Exchange might reopen in phases after May 15, two sources who were on a conference call with New York Stock Exchange chief operating officer Michael Blaugrund told CNN.

The sources also say the timing could change.

Blaugrund was speaking with NYSE employees, heads of firms and brokers on the 40-minute call. He said when the floor does open, there will be a reduced head count on the floor and social distancing guidelines will be followed, according to the two sources.

The same protocol the NYSE followed just before the floor closed will also be in effect, meaning temperature checks for anyone entering the building, according to the sources.

Blaugrund said the NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco might reopen on May 3, the two sources said.

10:57 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Nearly all Covid-19 patients put on ventilators in New York’s largest health system died, study finds

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

Nearly all coronavirus patients who needed ventilators to help them breathe died, a study of New York’s largest health system showed.

It found that, overall, about 20% of Covid-19 patients treated at Northwell Health died, and 88% of those placed on ventilators died. A ventilator is a device that forces air into the lungs of patients who cannot breathe on their own because of severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Other, smaller reports have indicated that patients who need ventilation are unlikely to survive.

Luckily, just 12% of the patients in the study needed ventilators, Dr. Safiya Richardson at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health, and colleagues found.

But this study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows how dire the outlook is for patients with severe Covid-19 disease.

The team looked at the electronic health records of 5,700 patients with coronavirus disease hospitalized at Northwell Health. Final outcomes were known for 2,634 of them.

The records support what doctors have been saying about the coronavirus: most people who become severely ill have some sort of so-called underlying condition. More than half, or 57%, had high blood pressure, 41% were obese and 34% had diabetes.

“Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those who did not have diabetes,” the researchers wrote.

They also confirmed that men were more likely to die than women, and no one under the age of 18 died.

The symptoms of infection were far from clear-cut. About a third of all patients showed up with fevers, 17% were breathing too fast and just under 30% needed extra oxygen. On average, patients were sent home after four days.

But 14% were treated in intensive care, 3% needed intensive dialysis and 21% died.

Since final data was only available on about half of the patients, it’s possible that more of those on ventilators survived, the researchers said -- something that would drive down the 88% fatality rate for that group.

“This study reported mortality rates only for patients with definite outcomes (discharge or death), and a longer-term study may find different mortality rates as different segments of the population are infected,” the Northwell Health team wrote.
10:25 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

China reports 10 new coronavirus cases

From journalist Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong

China reported 10 new confirmed coronavirus cases to the end of Wednesday, according the country's National Health Commission.

Among the new cases, six were imported from abroad and four were locally-transmitted.

No new Covid-19 related fatalities were reported Wednesday, leaving China's death toll unchanged at 4,632.

China has now officially reported 82,798 cases of novel coronavirus. Of the total cases, 77,207 have recovered and been discharged from the hospital, according to the health commission.