Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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7:11 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Trump says it is "too soon" for Georgia to reopen its economy

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19, in the White House on April 22.
President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19, in the White House on April 22. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump said he disagreed "strongly" with Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to open up parts of Georgia's economy while the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the state.

"I told the governor of Georgia Brian Kemp that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities, which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia," Trump said during his coronavirus task force briefing this afternoon. "But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he's doing, but I want to let the governors do — now, if I see something totally egregious, totally out of line, I'll do [something]. But I think spas and beauty salons and tattoo parlors and barber shops in phase one, we're going to have phase two very soon. It's just too soon. I think it's too soon."

Some context: Kemp, a Republican and staunch ally of Trump, on Monday announced Georgia would allow nail salons, massage therapists, bowling alleys and gyms to open Friday.

In-person church services can resume. And restaurants and movie theaters can open Monday. His order also bars cities from imposing their own restrictions on businesses.

It's the most aggressive move yet to reopen a state's economy as Trump optimistically pushes for a May 1 end to some statewide lockdowns. It also came as a surprise to mayors and some members of Kemp's own coronavirus task force.

Watch the moment here:

6:45 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Trump defends reopening states: Coronavirus "won't be coming back in the form that it was"

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19, in the White House on April 22.
President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19, in the White House on April 22. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump defended the decision to reopen states amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying the virus will not "be coming back" in as many cases as the US saw earlier this year.

"And if it comes back, though, it won't be coming back in the form that it was. It will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain. What (CDC Director Robert Redfield) was saying and I spoke to him at great length, he was saying if it should come back together, now you have the flu and you have the embers of corona," Trump said.

He continued: "But in my opinion, from everything I've seen, it can never be like anything we've witnessed right now. What we've just gone through, we will not go through. You could have some embers of corona, and you could have a big flu system ... We will not go through what we went through for the last two months."

Reporter to Trump: How can you say the virus will not come back at the same level? 

6:31 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

CDC director clarifies comments about the second wave of coronavirus in the US

Center for Disease Control Director Robert R. Redfield speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19 at the White House on April 16.
Center for Disease Control Director Robert R. Redfield speaks during the daily briefing on Covid-19 at the White House on April 16. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarified comments he made to the Washington Post about how the second coronavirus outbreak could emerge this winter in conjunction with the flu season to make for an even more dire health crisis.

"There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a story published Tuesday. "And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean."

Speaking moments ago at the White House, Redfield said that the second wave "could be more difficult, more complicated" and not "worse."

"When I commented yesterday that there was a possibility of the fall/winter — next fall and winter it could be more difficult, more complicated," Redfield said today. "When we had two respiratory illnesses circulating at the same time, influenza and the coronavirus, but I think it's really important to emphasize what I didn't say. I didn't say this was going to be worse. I said it was going to be more more difficult and potentially complicated because we'll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time. I want to emphasize we continue to build the nation's public health infrastructure to ensure that we have the capacity to stay in the containment mode."

Watch here:

6:27 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Colorado governor says 150,000 coronavirus tests will arrive by end of the week from South Korea 

From CNN's Anna-Maja Rappard

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pictured during a news conference on April 20, in Denver.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pictured during a news conference on April 20, in Denver. David Zalubowski/AP

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday that 150,000 Covid-19 tests will arrive in Colorado from South Korea by the end of the week, plus 150,000 swabs coming in May.  

The state is partnering with Colorado State University to expand testing at skilled nursing facilities, including asymptomatic workers. Officials are also working to deploy “hundreds of thousands of antibody tests,” Polis said. 

“No amount of testing is enough to reopen the state. If that's all you're doing ... (but) testing will absolutely be a part of going back to work," he said.

Polis said he will relax the stay-at-home order due to expire on April 26, and Colorado will move to a “safer-at-home” phase starting on April 27.

6:17 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

There are more than 840,000 coronavirus cases in US

Hundreds impacted by the Covid-19 virus outbreak wait in line for boxes of food at a Salvation Army center in Chelsea, Mass., on April 22.
Hundreds impacted by the Covid-19 virus outbreak wait in line for boxes of food at a Salvation Army center in Chelsea, Mass., on April 22. Charles Krupa/AP

There are at least 846,982 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 46,609 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

As states begin to include “probable deaths” in their counts, so will JHU. In the upcoming days, these changes may show as surges of deaths in the United States. 

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins reported 22,093 new cases and 1,567 reported deaths. 

6:51 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Mississippi governor says shelter-in-place order not likely to be extended

From CNN's Will Brown

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves pictured during his afternoon news conference in Jackson, Miss., on April 21.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves pictured during his afternoon news conference in Jackson, Miss., on April 21. Rogelio V. Solis/AP

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday he will likely not extend the state’s shelter-in-place order, which is set to expire Monday.

Reeves suggested he might narrow the directive to apply only to the state’s high-risk population, such as the elderly and those with preexisting conditions.

He said steps to fully reopen the state’s economy might take weeks, and could happen incrementally by region or county. He promised the process would be cautious and gradual.

“We are not going to be able to switch the light switch from off to on,” Reeves said at a Wednesday news conference.

Reeves signaled a final decision on Mississippi’s shelter-in-place order will come by the end of the week.

6:05 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Montana's stay-at-home order will be lifted Sunday

From CNN's Allison Flexner

Montana Governor Steve Bullock speaks in Altoona, Iowa on October 13, 2019
Montana Governor Steve Bullock speaks in Altoona, Iowa on October 13, 2019 Scott Olson/Getty Images

Montana's stay-at-home order will be lifted Sunday, as part of a gradual and phased reopening of the state, Gov. Steve Bullock tweeted today.

His phase one measures outlined in a statement include giving local school districts the option to return to in-classroom learning beginning May 7.

Places of worship can become operational on April 26 in a manner consistent with social distancing between people who are not members of the same household.

Main street and retail businesses can become operational on or after April 27 if they can adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing. Employers are directed to develop policies to keep employees and customers safe including teleworking when possible, enforcing social distancing protocols, and other measures.

Restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries can begin providing some in-establishment services beginning May 4.

Businesses where groups gather without the ability to social distance including movie theaters, gyms, and other places of assembly will remain closed.

Montana’s travel quarantine will remain in effect.

“Our new normal is going to look different. This virus isn’t gone from Montana. So as we turn to support our main street businesses and get more families back to work during this time – as we should – we must also be sure to continue looking out for those around us and protecting everyone around us,” Bullock said. 

“Once we begin to reopen, we want to be able to stay open. Our personal responsibility to protect those around us – particularly those most vulnerable – remains just as important as any time during this pandemic.”

5:46 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Gaming Control Board issues guidelines for reopening of establishments in Nevada

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has put out guidelines for the reopening of gaming establishments in the state once the temporary closures end. 

Nevada operations are currently closed under the state's stay-at-home order. The guidelines would go into effect once that order is lifted or changed by the governor.

Establishments must send a reopening plan to the audit and enforcement divisions at least seven days before reopening, or as soon as possible, the memo said.

The board also listed 18 procedures that licensees should follow and have in place when reopening including that the establishment must comply with all prescribed local, state and federal Covid-19 heath requirements.

5:56 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

Houston residents are now required to wear face coverings to contain Covid-19 outbreak

From CNN’s Sharif Paget

Gary Towler puts on gloves to protect against coronavirus, before entering a grocery store on April 22, in Spring, Texas.
Gary Towler puts on gloves to protect against coronavirus, before entering a grocery store on April 22, in Spring, Texas. David J. Phillip/AP

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced Wednesday that she will require people to wear face coverings in public to combat the spread of Covid-19 in her county, which includes Houston, Texas.

“I’m signing an order requiring folks who absolutely have to go out in public to wear a face covering,” she said wearing a face mask at news conference with Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We have to use every tool in the toolbox."

The order will go into effect April 27 and will last for 30 days, said Hidalgo who emphasized that this new measure is “not a substitute for social distancing.”

Turner will announce a plan tomorrow to distribute 70,000 face coverings "to vulnerable communities," the mayor's office tweeted today.