April 14 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020
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11:34 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

A group of pastors is suing California's governor over restrictions on religious gatherings

From CNN's Jon Passantino

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news briefing in Rancho Cordova, California on April 9.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news briefing in Rancho Cordova, California on April 9. Rich Pedroncelli/Pool/AP

A group of Southern California pastors is suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom and several other officials in federal court over health directives that have prevented worshipers from attending church services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The suit was filed Monday in the US District Court for the Central District of California by the Dhillon Law Group, which is led by Harmeet Dhillion -- a Republican Party official -- on behalf of four plaintiffs, three of whom are pastors.

The plaintiffs include:

  • Dean Moffatt, a pastor at an Indio church who alleges he was fined $1,000 for holding a church service on Palm Sunday
  • Brenda Wood, a pastor at a Riverside church
  • Patrick Scales, a pastor at a Fontana church
  • Wendy Gish, a member of Scales’ church
The group argues in the suit that Newsom and other state officials “in a gross abuse of their power, have seized the coronavirus pandemic to expand their authority by unprecedented lengths, depriving plaintiffs and all other residents of California of fundamental rights protected by the US and California Constitutions, including freedom of religion, speech, and assembly, and due process and equal protection under the law.”

Newsom’s office did not immediately return a CNN request for comment.

The church leaders in the lawsuit are also suing state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and several Riverside and San Bernardino county officials, including the sheriffs and health officers.

Orders ignored: On March 19, Newsom issued the first statewide stay-home order in the US, urging California’s nearly 40 million residents to remain home to reduce the spread of the virus, and closing all non-essential businesses. Despite the orders, some congregations have continued to meet, including in Sacramento County, where 71 people connected to a single church were later infected with the coronavirus in one of the largest outbreak clusters in the country.

Electronic worship: The suit comes after Dhillon sent a letter last week to San Bernardino County officials demanding it loosen restrictions around church gatherings following its order that all religious ceremonies be held electronically. Violating the order was punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days imprisonment. But after the letter, the county issued a “clarification” allowing for in-person church services “if they choose to do so and make every effort to prevent contact between congregants.” 

Praying safely: On Friday, Newsom also addressed church gatherings ahead of Easter, saying those planning to worship could continue to do so in a safe manner. “As you pray, move your feet at least six feet apart from someone else,” he said. “Practice your faith, but so in a way that allows you to keep yourself healthy, keep others healthy.”

11:15 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

New Zealand extends its state of emergency for another 7 days

Authorities in New Zealand have extended the country's state of national emergency for another seven days in order to support the government's efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The initial declaration was made on March 25, and today's extension is the third of its kind. The seven-day declaration can be extended as many times as necessary, Minister of Civil Defense Peeni Henare said in a statement.

The state of emergency provides those managing the response in an emergency the ability to access powers they would not normally have, but might require now to implement and enforce these measures, "including managing roads, traffic and public places; providing first aid, food, shelter and accommodation," Henare said.

New Zealand has reported 1,366 coronavirus cases and nine Covid-19 related fatalities, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

11:01 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

It's just past 11 p.m. in New York and 11 a.m in Singapore. Here's the latest on the pandemic

People in face masks ride the subway in New York on April 13.
People in face masks ride the subway in New York on April 13. Ted Shaffrey/AP

Here's what you need to know:

  • Global cases near 2 million: The novel coronavirus has infected at least 1,918,855 people and killed 119,588 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 581,000 patients have been identified in the US, including over 23,600 deaths
  • New York preparing for what's next: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that "the worst is over" in his state, but that people need to continue to be smart going forward and practice social distancing. Cuomo said the state is looking at a plan to reopen after the shutdown that is in coordination with other surrounding states.
  • Heated briefing: President Donald Trump lashed out at criticism of his handling of the coronavirus crisis during a grievance-fueled appearance from the White House that featured a propaganda-like video he said was produced by his aides. "Everything we did was right," Trump insisted.
  • Census delay: Trump also said he will ask for a delay to the 2020 Census to make sure it is completed safely and accurately. The data gleaned from the census, which is conducted every 10 years, is used to apportion members of Congress among the states, as well as the data that states use to draw congressional districts.
  • Semblance of normalcy in Spain: Around 300,000 nonessential workers are estimated to have gone back to their jobs in Spain's Madrid region on Monday as the country began a partial lifting of lockdown restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, a spokesperson for Madrid's regional government told CNN.
  • Singapore's biggest spike: The Southeast Asian city-state reported 386 new cases on Monday -- all locally transmitted. It's the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began in the country, according to the Ministry of Health.
  • Malaysia is running out of PPE: The country will run out of personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers in two weeks unless it can purchase more or receives donations, the health ministry's director-general said.
10:51 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

The creator of an influential coronavirus model says the US can stop transmission this summer

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

The creator of an influential coronavirus model, Dr. Christopher Murray, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday that the country can essentially stop coronavirus transmission this summer.

“The one thing we absolutely know for sure is that social distancing measures work,” said Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “It leads to a situation where every case is infecting less than one other case, and that means if you keep the course, you’ll get transmission essentially down to zero.”

Murray said that’s happening in Italy and China and there’s “no reason it wouldn’t work here.”

Murray’s model, which is often cited by the White House, assumes that social distancing will continue through May. But experts have pushed back on the model’s assumption that states can prevent any resurgence of the virus once those measures are lifted. 

Watch his interview below:

10:30 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

China identified 89 new cases of novel coronavirus on Monday

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Heavy traffic is seen on a main road in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on April 13.
Heavy traffic is seen on a main road in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on April 13. Getty Images

Public health authorities in China recorded 89 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, the country's National Health Commission reported.

The new cases raise the mainland China total to 82,249. The death toll remains at 3,341. A total of 77,738 people have been discharged from hospital, authorities said.

All but three of the new cases recorded Monday were imported from other countries, according to the NHC.

10:16 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Michigan extends coronavirus-related business closures through April 30

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on April 13.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on April 13. Michigan Office of the Governor/AP

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed several executive orders Monday, ordering several types of businesses to remain closed to the public for the time being.

The orders will impact restaurants -- which are limited to carry-out and delivery orders only -- bars, gyms, theaters, casinos and other places of "public accommodation," and will remain in place until April 30.

"By extending these Executive Orders, we ensure that our state continues to do all it can to suppress the spread of COVID-19 by limiting in-person interactions and services as much as possible right now, while also ensuring that vital goods and supplies get to the people who need them most as quickly and safely as possible," Whitmer said in a statement.

Whitmer's office also announced an executive order tasking the Michigan Liquor Control Commission with initiating a spirits buy-back program, in the hopes it would offer financial relief to bars and restaurants.

“Michigan’s 8,500 on-premises liquor licensees continue to make unprecedented sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state,” she said. “This buy-back program will help our bars and restaurants critical to Michigan’s economy weather the storm through this challenging time in our history.”

10:03 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

New York's Fire Department reports no new Covid-19 cases for first time during outbreak

From CNN's Mark Morales

A fire truck is seen as firefighters and New Yorkers cheered for healthcare workers in New York City on April 12.
A fire truck is seen as firefighters and New Yorkers cheered for healthcare workers in New York City on April 12. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The New York Fire Department has reported no new cases of Covid-19 today -- the first time that's happened since the pandemic hit the city, according to spokesman Jim Long.

New York City has been one of the hardest-hit places in the United States. More than 100,000 people have been infected there, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, and at least 7,349 people have died.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said during an interview with television station NY1 that about 650 members of the department have Covid-19 right now. That number doesn't include people that have gone back to work who previously tested positive for the virus. 

“Some of our members have been sick with the virus themselves and got well and have come back to work to serve the city, serve the people of the city. I’m really incredibly proud of them,” Nigro said.
“More people right now have gone back to work each day than go out sick."
9:46 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

South Korea is holding an election during the coronavirus crisis

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth and Yoonjung Seo

It's just after lunchtime at a central Seoul market and a crowd in hot pink jackets is gathering.

Pink is the color of the country's main opposition party, the conservative United Future Party, and this crowd of supporters is staging a legal campaign rally ahead of Wednesday's election of 300 members of the National Assembly.

Large public gatherings are a jarring sight during a pandemic.

But South Korea has never postponed an election -- and the coronavirus is not stopping this one.

Like many democracies around the world, South Korea has been faced with a predicament: how to hold an election during a pandemic without spreading the virus.

At least 47 countries have postponed elections due to the coronavirus outbreak, including Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, France and Ethiopia. Others, like the United States and New Zealand, are still deciding whether to proceed with their scheduled votes.

Read more about the challenges of holding an election during a global pandemic here:

9:28 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

There are at least 581,679 coronavirus cases in the United States

From CNN's Keith Allen

At least 581,679 patients have been infected by the coronavirus in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of Covid-19 cases.

The death toll in the country stands at 23,604, Johns Hopkins reported.

A total of 24,379 new cases and 1,525 deaths have been reported on Monday.

The numbers includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, US territories and repatriated cases from abroad.

CNN is tracking US cases here: