April 1 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Updated 6:38 a.m. ET, April 2, 2021
20 Posts
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12:17 p.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Major League Baseball postpones opening day game over Covid-19 issues

From CNN's Homero De La Fuente

Thursday’s opening day baseball game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals has been postponed due to Covid-19 issues.

Major League Baseball said the game was called off because of ongoing contact tracing involving members of the Nationals organization.

On Wednesday, Nationals manager Mike Rizzo told reporters an unnamed player on the team had tested positive for Covid-19, and due to subsequent contact tracing four other players and one staff member were placed in quarantine. 

The postponed game was originally scheduled to start at 7:09 p.m. ET at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The league said the game will not be rescheduled for Friday “out of an abundance of caution.”

Per MLB's health and safety protocols for the 2021 season, the player who tested positive will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days, receive appropriate care and monitoring from the club medical staff, and be cleared by baseball's joint Covid-19 committee and the individual's team physician, following a mandatory cardiac evaluation and a determination that the individual no longer presents a risk of infection to others.

The Nationals are next scheduled to play on April 3 against the Mets. 

12:28 p.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Governors Island in NYC will reopen May 1 as more than 4 million in the city have been vaccinated

From CNN's Jennifer Henderson

People ride bikes as they visit Governors Island on July 15, 2020 in New York City.
People ride bikes as they visit Governors Island on July 15, 2020 in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

New York City's Governors Island – home to parks and free art displays in the city — will reopen on May 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his daily press briefing.

Patrons of Governor’s Island can visit “to enjoy open space and car-free natural surroundings, unmatched views of New York Harbor and surrounding skylines, historic settings, dozens of free public art exhibitions, cultural programs and activities, and diverse selection of food and beverage vendors,” according to its website

For the first time, there will be ferries serving two locations in Brooklyn, de Blasio added.

New York City has administered 4,134,399 vaccine doses total, de Blasio said.

There are 3,491 new reported cases of Covid-19 on a seven-day average and a 6.64% positivity rate for Covid-19 citywide on a seven-day rolling average, marking an increase in both metrics from the day prior. The city reports 194 people were admitted to NYC hospitals for suspected Covid-19 with a confirmed positivity of 59.8% and a hospitalization rate of 3.84 per 100,000 people, de Blasio said.

Note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

12:05 p.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Anti-Asian racism has risen during the pandemic. Tell us your story.

From CNN's Michelle Toh

People march during a Stop Asian Hate rally in downtown Detroit, Michigan on March 27, 2021.
People march during a Stop Asian Hate rally in downtown Detroit, Michigan on March 27, 2021. Seth Herald/AFP/Getty Images

It's not just on the streets, and it's not just in America. Asians around the world are experiencing increased discrimination since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of them say this is happening at work.

If you identify as Asian and have recently experienced racial discrimination in a work setting, we want to hear from you.

We are looking for submissions from audiences all around the world, wherever you may be.

What have your experiences been over the past year? Have you been harassed, verbally or physically assaulted, targeted, or excluded at work or while looking for work? Do you believe this is in connection with the pandemic?

11:50 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Sweden targets mid August to offer Covid-19 vaccine to adults instead of June

From CNN's Zahid Mahmood and Henrik Pettersson

A health worker vaccinates an elderly person with the Biontech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination clinic in a church in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm on March 2, 2021.
A health worker vaccinates an elderly person with the Biontech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a temporary vaccination clinic in a church in Sollentuna, north of Stockholm on March 2, 2021. Fredrik Sandberg/TT News AgencyAFP/Getty Images

Sweden expects to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to all adults by Aug. 15, two months later than hoped due to a shortfall of shots, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) told CNN on Thursday.

In a statement to CNN, SALAR blamed vaccine manufacturers who have delivered less vaccines than originally agreed and have reduced their delivery forecasts. 

”The regions carry out vaccinations as soon as the vaccine is distributed locally throughout the country,” a spokesperson for SALAR said in a statement to CNN. “[The regions] have a capacity is to vaccinate at least 1.2 million people each week, also during the summer months, and that capacity can be increased as long as there is vaccine available.”

The statement added it would produce forecasts every 14 days to clarify if the goal can be achieved. 

“Our common goal remains to urgently offer the population a vaccine against Covid-19. The revised agreement will provide as many people as possible with protection as quickly as possible,” Minister of social affairs Lena Hallengren said.

10:13 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Egypt receives over 800,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX program

From CNN's Kareem Khadder

An Egyptian medical worker administers a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on March 4, 2021 in Cairo on the first day of vaccination in Egypt.
An Egyptian medical worker administers a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on March 4, 2021 in Cairo on the first day of vaccination in Egypt. Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Egypt received 854,400 dozes of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine early Thursday morning, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and World Health Organization (WHO). 

The doses were shipped via the COVAX program – an alliance co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO, with the aim of manufacturing and distributing equitable access of Covid-19 vaccines t every country in the world.

According to the ministry the first segment of the population to receive the vaccine will be health workers, the elderly and people with chronic diseases. 

Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population, expressed her gratitude to the World Health Organization and UNICEF for their continued support to Egypt in containing the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The support continues with the arrival of the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine doses to Egypt as part of the COVAX agreement in cooperation with GAVI – the vaccine alliance, which will encompass 40 million vaccine doses that will arrive consecutively," Zayad said in a statement released by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and WHO. 

With a population of little more than 103 million people, Egypt reported 699 new cases of Covid-19 infections and 39 related Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours. That brings the total number of people infected with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic to 202,131 and a total of 11,995 related Covid-19 deaths, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population numbers. 

9:28 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Dr. Fauci says Pfizer's new Covid-19 vaccine data is "really very encouraging"

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in New York on March 26.
A pharmacist prepares the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in New York on March 26. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday new data on Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine is encouraging but doesn’t mean the company's vaccine is better than the other Covid-19 vaccines authorized for use in the US.

Earlier Thursday, Pfizer announced that ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials of its vaccine confirmed that protection against Covid-19 lasts at least six months after the second dose. 

The vaccine also appeared to be fully effective against the virus variant first identified in South Africa, B.1.351.

When asked by CBS’s Gayle King if that meant Pfizer's vaccine is better than other Covid-19 vaccines, Fauci said “It just means they did a test, and the results of the test, as you mentioned Gayle, are really very encouraging...Something that we suspected all along, that even though you don’t have a vaccine directed specifically against the variant, you can get some pretty good protection.”

He said that Pfizer had done the study, and it looked really good. He noted he “would not be surprised at all” if Moderna and other vaccine companies got similar results if they did the same thing.

9:21 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

March was the busiest month for US air travel since the start of pandemic 

From CNN’s Greg Wallace

Travelers are at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, on March 26.
Travelers are at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, on March 26. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty Images

March was the busiest month for air travel since the coronavirus cratered the industry nearly a year ago, according to new data from the Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA recorded screening just more than 38 million people last month.  

In all, the agency saw more than a million travelers in 26 of 31 days in March.

The agency screened 1.28 million people on Wednesday, marking three full weeks of more than 1 million screenings.  

Despite the pandemic-era highs, March 2021 is about half, or 53%, of the volume TSA saw in March 2019. In March 2020, screening numbers dropped off as the coronavirus spread. 

 

8:43 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Epidemiologist predicts variant surge: "We are walking into the mouth of this virus monster"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm on April 1.
Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm on April 1. CNN

It’s not a matter of if — but when — a surge of a more transmissible and potentially deadlier coronavirus variant occurs in the United States, according to epidemiologist Michael Osterholm.

The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the UK, has been found in 49 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.  

“This B.1.1.7 surge is going to happen. It's not an issue of if. It's going to happen,” Osterholm said on CNN’s “New Day.”  
“And if you follow what's happened in the past year, the upper Midwest and Northeast lights up first. They have the first set of cases and the southern Sunbelt states light up next. Even though we're seeing a few cases in that area, mark my word, in the next six to eight weeks, we're going to see that area light up too. We need to get more vaccine out. That's the key message right now,” he added. 

Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that the US should be focused on getting first vaccine doses to the most people possible right now. Once there is more vaccine in the stockpile in the summer, then the country should give out second doses, he said. 

“I’m telling you right now … we are just beginning to surge. Denying it is not going to help us. We are walking into the mouth of this virus monster as if somehow we don’t know it’s here. And it is here. Now’s the time to do all the things that we must do to slow down transmission, not open up, and we got to get more vaccine out to more people,” he said. 

Watch:

8:49 a.m. ET, April 1, 2021

Fauci calls loss of 15 million potential Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses "really quite unfortunate" 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies in Washington, DC, on March 18.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies in Washington, DC, on March 18. Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CBS This Morning on Thursday the loss of 15 million doses of Johnson and Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine due to human error is "really quit unfortunate."

“The good news about this, despite the fact that it’s really quite unfortunate that about 15 million doses now are not going to be able to be used, but you do have checks and balances, and you see that,” Fauci said. "That’s the reason why the good news is that it did get picked up."

The New York Times reported Wednesday that workers at Emergent, the Baltimore plant that has been making Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, accidentally mixed up some of the ingredients, ruining as many as 15 million potential doses of vaccine and delaying US Food and Drug Administration authorization of the plant. 

Johnson & Johnson Wednesday said that it had found a quality problem at the plant, which was identified.

“Obviously, you don’t like to see anything like this happening, but you’re right, Gayle, it was human error,” Fauci told CBS’s Gayle King.

The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating, Fauci said, adding that the plant has not yet been fully certified by the agency.

“People should realize that all the doses that have been distributed to us and have been administered did not come from that plant,” Fauci said. “So, this is not related in any way to any of the J&J doses that people have already gotten. And what’s going on there now, as I mentioned, is being thoroughly investigated by the FDA.”