Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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3:17 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

These gyms and churches in Georgia will not reopen Friday, despite governor's announcement

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci

While Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced yesterday that part of the economy can reopen as early as Friday, some businesses say they are staying closed.

SoulCycle studios in Georgia will not open on Friday even though they're allowed to, said Harvey Spevak in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Spevak is the executive Chairman of Equinox Group, which owns SoulCycle and Pure Yoga in addition to its Equinox-brand health clubs.

The company’s reopening plans “will vary by state and locality, based on direction and guidance from government, as well as how ready we are to deliver” on enhanced procedures to protect employees and customers, said Spevak. 

He noted the company is working with outside infectious disease experts who will help the company make decisions on reopening.

More than 520 African Methodist Episcopal Churches could also stay closed: Bishop Reginald T. Jackson issued a statement today urging AME churches in Georgia to not reopen.

"I have issued a directive to the more that 520 AME churches in the Sixth Episcopal District, which comprises the State of Georgia, that none of our churches are to gather for services on this coming Sunday morning," Jackson said in the statement.

"This decision by the governor puts economic interest above the safety and well-being of the citizens of Georgia. There is no data which justifies or gives credibility to the governor’s decision," he added.
3:43 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Here's what's in the new funding agreement

From CNN's Manu Raju with Phil Mattingly 

A deal has been reached on a bill that includes $450 billion in new funding for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus outbreak, three sources familiar tell CNN.

According to the section-by-section analysis, the bill requires a "strategic plan related to providing assistance to states for testing and increasing testing capacity." The bill also requires states and localities to have a plan on how the money will be used for testing, specifically.

This language is important because President Trump has pushed for the focus to be on states when it comes to testing — while Democrats called for the federal government to take a larger role.

Here's how some of the $450 billion breaks down:

  • $75 billion will go to hospitals and health care providers to support coronavirus-related expenses and lost revenue.
  • $25 billion for research to develop, validate, manufacture, purchase and administer Covid-19 tests.
  • $6 million to cover Health and Human Services Inspector General oversight.
  • $310 billion is the authorized increase for the Payment Protection Program. Combined with the $349 billion from the first emergency relief bill, a total of $659 billion has been authorized for the PPP.
  • $60 billion of that will be set aside for smaller lending facilities, including minority depository institutions, certified development companies and credit unions.
  • $10 billion will go towards grants under the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • $50 billion will be allocated for disaster recovery loans.
  • $2.1 billion for additional salaries and expenses for the Small Business Administration.

Earlier today, Trump tweeted that he supported the new funding and that "discussions on the next Legislative Initiative with fiscal relief to State/Local Governments" would be coming after this bill was passed.

Several of the nation's governors have said their states have huge budget deficits and that they need federal financial support to pay for basic operations.

Watch:

8:35 p.m. ET, April 23, 2020

CNN and Sesame Street will host a special coronavirus town hall for kids and parents

CNN is partnering with Sesame Street for a special town hall Saturday at 9 a.m. ET about coronavirus, focused on kids and parents. 

"The ABC’s of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents" will tackle issues including education, anxiety, screen time and playdates.

The 90-minute town hall will feature experts and Sesame Street characters – including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rosita and Grover – answering questions submitted by families.

Big Bird will join CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event.

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live for subscribers on CNN.com’s homepage and across mobile devices via CNN’s apps. You can also watch on on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

Parents can send in their questions below, along with their full names and phone numbers.

2:43 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

North Carolina has not met threshold to reopen, governor says

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

North Carolina has not yet meet the threshold to begin reopening the state, Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference. 

“Right now, staying at home is saving lives," he said.

Cooper said a task force will lay out guidelines this week on the state’s goals to reopen. The state, he said, has not seen a 14-day decline in cases, as recommended in the White House’s guidance for reopening.

The state also has not meet the threshold in contract tracing and testing, Cooper said.

North Carolina's stay-at-home order is set to expire on April 29. Cooper said there will be an announcement later this week regarding the order.

 

2:36 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

More than 700 sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is docked along Kilo Wharf of Naval Base Guam in Sumay on Friday, April 3, 2020.
The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is docked along Kilo Wharf of Naval Base Guam in Sumay on Friday, April 3, 2020. Rick Cruz/USA Today Network/Reuters

At least 710 crew members from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday, according to the US Navy.

Nine sailors have been hospitalized for coronavirus.

The Navy said 94% of the crew has been tested. At least 3,872 crew members tested negative for the disease. 

Some background: The US Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched an investigation into the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. The inquiry will look to establish the origin of the outbreak and understand how it spread rapidly on board the ship.

To carry out the investigation, crew members are being asked on a voluntary basis to complete a survey and provide two new specimens — blood and nasal swabs — for laboratory testing, according to the Navy. It hopes to get 1,000 volunteers which is what it believes is needed for representative sampling.

2:37 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Hotel revenues in Florida down $1.6 billion due to coronavirus

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

In this aerial view from a drone, desolate Ocean Drive is seen after most visitors have checked out of their hotels in a citywide effort to contain the coronavirus on March 24, in Miami Beach, Florida.
In this aerial view from a drone, desolate Ocean Drive is seen after most visitors have checked out of their hotels in a citywide effort to contain the coronavirus on March 24, in Miami Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Since March 1, when coronavirus was first detected in Florida, hotel revenues are down by $1.6 billion dollars, compared to the same time last year.

The data comes from a new resource page on the Visit Florida website that breaks down the impacts of the virus on the state’s tourism industry. The launching of the page was announced during Gov. Ron DeSantis’ task force meeting to reopen the state. 

Airlines are also down: Florida’s domestic airline capacity is down 65.8% for the period of April 20 to May 19, as compared to the same period in 2019, the website said. International airline capacity during the same period is down 78.4% as compared to the previous year.

According to Visit Florida's new data, there has been a spike in visits to the “Current Travel Safety Information” page. The spike, according to Visit Florida, is an indicator people are actively seeking information on how to safely travel to the state.

Visit Florida is not a government agency, but a not-for-profit corporation made up of public and private partnership, according to the group’s website.

2:20 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

There are more than 800,000 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Ethan Cohen

There are at least 804,194 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Today, Johns Hopkins has reported 17,226 new cases in the United States. 

The US surpassed 700,000 cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins’ tally.

2:28 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

Air Canada suspends flights to the US until May 22

From CNN’s Paula Newton

 

A passenger wheels her luggage near an Air Canada logo at Toronto Pearson International Airport on April 1 in Toronto, Canada.
A passenger wheels her luggage near an Air Canada logo at Toronto Pearson International Airport on April 1 in Toronto, Canada. Cole Burston/Getty Images

Air Canada will suspend flights to the United States starting Sunday until May 22. 

The airline made the decision “as a result of the agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States to extend border restrictions by an additional 30 days," according to a statement on Tuesday. 

The airline said it is is waiving change fees for affected customers with bookings during this period.

Since March 16, Air Canada has reduced its schedule by more than 90% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the airline said.

2:25 p.m. ET, April 21, 2020

New study finds higher death rate in patients taking hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19

From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen and Minali Nigam

A pharmacist shows a bottle of the drug hydroxychloroquine on Monday, April 6, in Oakland, California.
A pharmacist shows a bottle of the drug hydroxychloroquine on Monday, April 6, in Oakland, California. Ben Margot/AP

Coronavirus patients taking hydroxychloroquine, a treatment touted by President Trump, were no less likely to need mechanical ventilation and had higher deaths rates compared to those who did not take the drug, according to a study of hundreds of patients at United States Veterans Health Administration medical centers.

In the study of 368 patients, 97 patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a 27.8% death rate. The 158 patients who did not take the drug had an 11.4% death rate.  

“An association of increased overall mortality was identified in patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone. These findings highlight the importance of awaiting the results of ongoing prospective, randomized, controlled studies before widespread adoption of these drugs,” wrote the authors, who work at the Columbia VA Health Care System in South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and the University of Virginia.  

Researchers also looked at whether taking hydroxychloroquine or a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin, had an effect on whether a patient needed to go on a ventilator.  They found there was no difference between these groups and the patients who took neither drug.  

 “In this study, we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with Covid-19,” the authors wrote.  

Remember: The study, which reviewed the veterans’ medical charts, was posted Tuesday on medrxiv.org, a pre-print server –– meaning it was not peer reviewed or published in a medical journal. 

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia.