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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12:16 a.m. ET, April 16, 2020

Los Angeles can expect to see sporting events without audiences, mayor says

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it will be difficult to see large gatherings or sporting events until next year.

During a news conference Wednesday, Garcetti was asked if it would be possible to see athletes play without an audience.

“I think that's probably something that we will see before we see stadiums full," he replied.

He said it’s going to be difficult to imagine going back to large gatherings this year -- and we don’t know when those things will return.

We do know that the more we do now, the sooner it’ll come, he added, as he urged residents to continue practicing physical distancing.

“Right now, there are no small gatherings and getting back to medium and large gatherings will take time,” he said.

12:11 a.m. ET, April 16, 2020

First known active NFL player tests positive for Covid-19

Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen (55) is seen during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, December 2, 2018.
Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen (55) is seen during an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, December 2, 2018. Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Brian Allen, a center for the Los Angeles Rams, has tested positive for the coronavirus, a Rams spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

Allen is the first known active United States National Football League (NFL) player to test positive for Covid-19.

This news was first reported by Jay Glazer of FOX Sports.

12:03 a.m. ET, April 16, 2020

More than 638,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US

At least 638,111 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the United States, including at least 30,844 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. 

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins recorded 28,871 new cases and 4,811 reported deaths in the US.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

Johns Hopkins University tells CNN they are working on the “probable deaths” presently. The 4,811 deaths noted above are likely to include the probable deaths and therefore the number is likely inflated.  

Check out CNN’s map which uses JHU data and refreshes every 15 mins.  

11:54 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

In Brazil, a 99-year-old war veteran has defeated the coronavirus

From CNNE’s Florencia Trucco in Atlanta

Ermando Piveta was discharged from the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia on Tuesday after receiving treatment for eight days.
Ermando Piveta was discharged from the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia on Tuesday after receiving treatment for eight days. Reuters/Brazil Military handout

A 99-year-old Brazilian World War II veteran won another important battle this week: He defeated the coronavirus.

Ermando Piveta was discharged from the Armed Forces Hospital in Brasilia on Tuesday, after receiving treatment for eight days.

Piveta is the oldest person to have overcome the virus in the Brazil, according to the Ministry of Defense.

Piveta arrived at the hospital on April 6, after he showed symptoms of the virus and later tested positive for Covid-19. 

Doctors had been monitoring him from home since March 23.

“The diagnosis was already serious due to his age. But surprisingly, his condition improved as well as his recovery. These cases give us courage to continue in this fight,” said the infectious disease doctor who accompanied Piveta, frigate captain Hemerson Cruz.

 Medics said goodbye to Piveta with a round of applause as he left the hospital.

11:40 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Missouri to convene legislative session, despite pandemic

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Top Republican lawmakers confirmed Wednesday that the Missouri Legislature will resume its legislative session, with lawmakers coming back to work on April 27, despite Democratic concerns that the move could be unsafe and spread infection. 

Lawmakers will travel to Jefferson City, the state capital, just three days after the state’s current stay-at-home order is set to expire.

“The decision to move forward on April 27 was not an easy one, however it is absolutely critical for the people of Missouri that we keep the state government funded and services operating without interruption,” a statement tweeted Wednesday by state House Speaker Elijah Haahr read.

First floated Monday by state majority floor leader Sen. Caleb Rowden, it triggered pushback from Democratic lawmakers, some of who accused Republicans of putting legislators at risk.

“There is simply no good reason to come back to Jefferson City during the worst of the Coronavirus outbreak for legislation that has nothing to do with fighting the Coronavirus outbreak,” Minority leader Sen. John Rizzo tweeted Tuesday. 

As of Wednesday night, more than 150 Missourians had died from Covid-19 since the outbreak began.

On Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson gave conditional support to the effort. "I think as long as they abide by the rules, be careful on the safety issues on the social distancing, I think it would be fine for them to come back and go to work," he said at a news conference.

It won’t just be lawmakers and skeleton staff inside the Capitol -- the legislature will allow the public to attend committee hearings and legislative procedures, the statement said, encouraging people to follow social distancing guidelines when they do.

Rowden said the body will take additional measures like temperature checks, screening questions and routing lobbyists and members of the public into certain areas where they won’t cross paths with members.

11:31 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

US Soccer shuts down its youth development academy because of Covid-19

The United States Soccer Development Academy has been shut down due to the coronavirus, US Soccer announced on Wednesday.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but the extraordinary and unanticipated circumstances around the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in a financial situation that does not allow for the continuation of the Development Academy program into the future,” US Soccer said in a statement.

“We know that suddenly discontinuing a program that has been with U.S. Soccer for many years is shocking, but these unprecedented times required acting now.”

11:23 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

Nicaragua's President reappears in public after month-long absence

From CNN’s Natalie Gallón in Mexico City

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega appeared in public on Wednesday after not being seen in over a month.

In a live televised speech addressing the nation, Ortega said the country would continue to work despite the coronavirus threat even though he admitted that some investments and capital could be affected.

“We haven’t stopped working, because here if we stop working the country will die and if the country dies, the people will die.”

He added that the country has the capacity to tend to its population as they “deal with this plague.”

Ortega sent condolences and solidarity to families suffering throughout the world before attacking wealthy nations currently suffering from the pandemic.

“I think this is the moment to produce change in the world. This is a sign from God that is telling us ‘you are on the wrong track. Wasting billions and billions in atomic bombs, in atomic armament, in military alliances,’” he said adding that money should rather be spent on building hospitals and obtaining equipment to handle pandemics in the future.
“The world demands an ethical, moral re-foundation and this happens because resources are placed where they should be placed to save lives and give security to families, to give true Christian love to humanity,” he concluded.

Nicaragua has reported nine coronavirus cases and one death, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read more about Ortega here:

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

Two employees of one of the world's largest meat processors have died due to Covid-19

A bag of Tyson Foods frozen chicken is arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, on Thursday, May 5, 2016.
A bag of Tyson Foods frozen chicken is arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two Tyson Foods employees who worked at a plant in Iowa have died due to Covid-19 or related complications, the company said Wednesday.

“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of two team members at our Columbus Junction plant. Their families are in our thoughts and prayers,” a Tyson Foods statement said.

Tyson, one of the world's largest meat processors, closed the pork plant on April 6. At the time, the company said that it was suspending operation as there were more than two dozen cases of Covid-19 involving team members at the facility.

The plant remains closed, Tyson Foods said.

“We continue working diligently to protect our team members at facilities across the country by taking worker temperatures, requiring protective face coverings and conducting additional cleaning and sanitizing,” Tyson Foods said in its statement Wednesday.

In Iowa, the drastic jump in Covid-19 cases in Louisa County has come largely from the Tyson meat packing plant there. Of Iowa’s 189 new positive cases statewide, 86 are tied to the Columbus Junction Tyson plant.    

Iowa has reported a total of at least 1,995 coronavirus cases, including 53 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The bigger picture: Columbus Junction isn’t the first Tyson plant to deal with Covid-19 cases.

The Nashville Metro Public Health Department is investigating a possible cluster of coronavirus cases at the Tyson Foods plant in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, according to an email from Metro Public Health Department.

Across the country, major meat processors are starting to shut down plants as employees are getting infected by coronavirus.

11:02 p.m. ET, April 15, 2020

A 99-year-old British army veteran has raised more than $14 million to fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Tom Moore will turn 100 on April 30.
Tom Moore will turn 100 on April 30. Courtesy Hannah Ingram-Moore

A 99-year-old British war veteran has raised more £11.7 million ($14.6 million) for the country's National Health Service -- just by walking in his garden.

Tom Moore, who will turn 100 on April 30, began the challenge last Thursday to raise money for NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for UK hospitals, including for staff, volunteers and patients affected by the coronavirus crisis.

He aimed to complete 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday, aided by a walking frame. He walks 10 laps each day in his garden, in Yorkshire, northern England, and originally hoped to raise a more modest amount -- £1,000 ($1,250).

But within 24 hours he exceeded that target and donations continue to flood in.

His efforts have even sparked a trending hashtag on Twitter -- #captaintommoore. 

NHS Charities Together described him as “an absolute legend."

“He’s a hero to so many, a real beacon of hope. There are no words for our gratitude… we’re with you every step of the way.”

Moore will go for his final 10 laps on Thursday, according to his Twitter feed, which added “hold onto your hats.”

Read more about Moore here.