April 16 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT) December 27, 2020
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4:13 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Portugal extends state of emergency until May 2

From CNN's Mia Alberti in Lisbon

Jorge Mantilla/NurPhoto/Getty Images
Jorge Mantilla/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Portuguese government has extended a state of emergency over Covid-19 until May 2, when it will then ease some of the restrictions in place.

"I hope this is the last extension," Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said during an address on Thursday.

He explained the extension aims to further protect those in care homes, to keep the stabilization of the number of hospitalized and to give time for the government to prepare "the gradual opening" of society and the economy in May. 

In May the government plans to gradually reopen schools, daycare, and in-person appointments in public departments. During that month, the country will allow more commerce and restaurants to reopen, Prime Minister António Costa told parliament on Thursday. Beauty shops will also reopen under "specific hygiene rules."

Without specifying a date, the prime minister also mentioned the slow reopening of cultural and sports venues, as well as outdoor shows.

"We are starting to look to the future after a decisive month to contain the pandemic without killing the economy, know we have to ensure we can revive the economy without letting the pandemic out of control," Costa said.

 Portugal has reported at least 18,841 cases of coronavirus and at least 626 deaths.  

3:47 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

At least 100 ICE detainees test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

There were 100 people in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody today who tested positive for coronavirus, ICE told congressional staff. 

The individuals “have been medically isolated and are receiving care,” ICE said in its notice.

Detainees were being held in facilities in Pennsylvania, California, Louisiana, New York, Texas and Arizona.

Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli told reporters this week that ICE has released nearly 700 people from custody after conducting medical reviews stemming from concerns about the coronavirus.

ICE reviewed its cases to identify people who would be eligible for release, including detainees who are 60 years old and over and those who are pregnant. The agency later expanded its review to include all people in ICE custody to assess those who have “medical fragility," Cuccinelli said. 

There are fewer than 34,000 people in detention. The decrease is also due in part to a slower pace of intake and ongoing deportations, not just medical releases. 

5:48 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Brazil's health minister says President Bolsonaro fired him over coronavirus differences

From CNN’s Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo

Brazil's Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta is seen during a press conference on April 3.
Brazil's Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta is seen during a press conference on April 3. Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil's health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta tweeted Thursday that he was fired by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after weeks of infighting and threats.

"I just heard from President Jair Bolsonaro the notification of my discharge as Health Minister," he said, thanking his colleagues and wishing success for his replacement.

The outgoing minister has been one of Brazil’s biggest proponents of social isolation, supporting governors’ decisions to shut down schools and businesses. It had put him at odds with Bolsonaro who has repeatedly downplayed Covid-19 as a "little flu" and insisted that the economic fallout from isolation could be worse than the virus itself.

Some context: The decision comes as coronavirus continues to spread quickly through Latin America’s biggest country: beds in intensive care units are filling up in Brazil’s biggest cities and in the northern Amazon region, authorities warn the health system is already collapsing.

3:22 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Deaths spike in Canada as outbreaks in long-term care facilities continue, officials say

From CNN’s Paula Newton

Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images
Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Canada’s two largest provinces are reporting a spike in deaths as seniors in long-term care homes continue to be disproportionately affected by the virus.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, said the sharp increase in deaths in his province did not occur over the past 24 hours, but he said there was a need to more accurately represent the true death toll. He indicated there was a change in methodology and that led Quebec to report 143 deaths in a single day, today. 

“We wished to have the true number of deaths of Covid-19, tested or not, and I think that it is important to be transparent,” Legault said at a news conference.

Premier Doug Ford announced that medical "swat teams" redeployed from hospitals would step in and provide care at facilities that are low on staff. 

Protecting older Canadians: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is working with provincial leaders to try and contain outbreaks in hundreds of long-term care centers across the country. Nearly half of all deaths in Canada are related to seniors’ residences. 

“I think one of the things we’ve seen over the past number of weeks is a far more severe impact on seniors residences and long term care centers than we had certainly hoped for or more than we feared. And therefore we need to take more measures to protect our seniors,” Trudeau said at his daily news conference in Ottawa.

Canadian public health officials say the number of people admitted to hospitals and those in the ICU is stable — a sign they say that the epidemic curve is slowing in the country.

Today Canada reported 30,436 cases of Covid-19 and 1,229 deaths.

3:07 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Georgia hospital system reports death spike while admissions plateau 

From CNN’s Angela Barajas

Southwest Georgia's Phoebe Putney Health System, which services the Albany area, announced a plateau in their number of Covid-19 cases at their hospitals. However, most of the patients admitted to their emergency rooms are critically ill. 

Putney said it is reporting an additional nine deaths of positive patients equaling "the highest number of deaths we have reported on any single day since this public health emergency began."

Two of Putney's hospitals are reporting 76 deaths combined. The hospital system has reported nearly 2,000 positive Covid-19 results. 

In the statement, Putney cautioned to keep vigilant during the continuing public health emergency given the deaths in the area.

"That fact alone should be a wakeup call to anyone who thinks he or she is safe from this virus. Covid-19 is a vicious illness that continues to claim lives in our community, and we must all take the threat seriously," the hospital said.
3:05 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Switzerland easing restrictions as epidemic slows down 

From CNN's Mia Alberti


Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The Swiss government has said it will ease some of the emergency measures imposed five weeks ago, since the number of Covid-19 cases is slowing down. 

"Five weeks after announcing the restriction measures, the government has decided which measures to remove. The measures we took allowed us to slow down the epidemic, today, the epidemic situation allows us to start to look at the next steps," Alain Berset, the head of Internal Affairs, said at a news conference on Thursday.

Berset said the first phase of the epidemic "is behind" Switzerland and the next steps will happen in three phases. First, on April 27, hospitals, health centers, dentists, physiotherapy and massage salons can receive non-urgent treatments again. Hairdressers, beauty and tattoo shops and gardening shops will also reopen.

On May 11, the government plans to allow schools to reopen for "mandatory grades," which includes pre-school through ninth grade. Shops and markets will also be allowed to reopen.

Professional schools and universities will be allowed to reopen on June 8, as well as museums, libraries, botanic gardens, and zoos.

The government said social distancing rules must remain in place throughout this period and added that there is no timeframe for when that could stop.

"We want to avoid having to reintroduce the restrictions," said Simonetta Sommaruga, president of the Swiss Federation.

"We do not want to endanger all the work we've done so far, thanks to the support of the population. That's why the government invites everyone to continue to respect distancing and hygiene measures," she added. 


3:02 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

New York state reports an additional 8,505 coronavirus cases

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York state has reported 8,505 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 222,284, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.  

On Wednesday, the state reported 11,571 new cases.

2:46 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Facebook cancels large in-person events through June 2021

From CNN’s Kaya Yurieff

Facebook is canceling all of its planned physical events with 50 or more people through June 2021 due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Some of those events will be held virtually instead, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday.  

Zuckerberg also said the "vast majority" of Facebook employees will work from home through at least the end of next month. The company is extending its policy of no business travel through at least June. 

"A small percent of our critical employees who can't work remotely, like content reviewers working on counter-terrorism or suicide and self-harm prevention, and engineers working on complex hardware, may be able to return sooner, but overall, we don't expect to have everyone back in our offices for some time," Zuckerberg said.

Some context: Covid-19 has infected more than 2 million people and killed at least 137,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Zuckerberg also said employees who feel they can't return to the office for reasons such as lack of childcare can work remotely through at least the summer.  

In February, Facebook canceled F8, its biggest annual event, due to concerns over the coronavirus. At F8, which is aimed at developers, the company typically shares its future vision and teases new features and products. Facebook also canceled a large advertising conference in San Francisco. 

Apple moved its annual developer conference to online only. Google initially moved its developer conference to online, but later canceled it completely.

2:44 p.m. ET, April 16, 2020

In Ohio, 21% of coronavirus cases are health care workers

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Health care workers in Ohio account for 21% of coronavirus cases, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said at a news conference Thursday.

There are at least 8,414 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio and 1,729 of them are health care workers, Acton said.

So far, 826 cases have been identified in long-term care facilities, according to Acton.

Acton said that the high rate of cases in those communities are to be expected because there is an increased risk of exposure in those environments.

There have been a total of 389 deaths statewide and cases have been reported in 87 of 88 counties, Acton said.

There have been 74,000 coronavirus tests performed in the state, Acton added.