Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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5:06 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New York City doctor who treated coronavirus patients dies by suicide

 From CNN's Taylor Romine

A New York City emergency room doctor who recovered from Covid-19 and continued to treat coronavirus patients has died by suicide, her father confirmed to CNN. 

Dr. Lorna Breen died Sunday morning in Charlottesville, Virginia, her father, Philip Breen, said. She was 49.

“She died a hero,” her father said. “She was in the trenches, she was a hero.”

Breen worked in the emergency department in the Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian hospital system. She had been on the frontlines for weeks handling the onslaught of cases, her father said.

"She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the frontline," her father said. "She loved New York and wouldn't hear about living anywhere else. She loved her coworkers and did what she could for them." 

Her father, a retired trauma surgeon, said they would speak frequently about work. Lorna told her father that people at work were putting in 18 hour days and sleeping in the hallways, and that the ambulances couldn't even get in because it was so busy. 

She got Covid-19 and took a week and a half off to recover but when she went back to work, she couldn't even last a 12-hour shift, her father said. She felt like she had to return to work to help her colleagues, he added.

“Words cannot convey the sense of loss we feel today,” the hospital said in a statement. “Dr. Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department. Our focus today is to provide support to her family, friends, and colleagues as they cope with this news during what is already an extraordinarily difficult time.”

How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

CNN's Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.

5:31 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Rural California counties ask governor to lift stay-home orders

From CNN’s Stephanie Becker

California Sen. Jim Nielsen, adjusts his face mask during a hearing of the special subcommittee on Covid-19, at the Capitol in Sacramento, California on April 16.
California Sen. Jim Nielsen, adjusts his face mask during a hearing of the special subcommittee on Covid-19, at the Capitol in Sacramento, California on April 16.

Lawmakers in six rural northern California counties say they’re ready to get back to work and are asking the governor to lift the state’s stay-home orders.

While the stay-home directive could be extended in the state’s more populous areas, the lawmakers say the rural counties in the state’s northern interior have reached benchmarks that make it worthy of getting back to business.

In a letter sent to the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office on Saturday, mayors, county supervisors, and state legislators from Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter, and Colusa counties point out that of the 500,000 residents in the area, there are only 69 confirmed cases and 50 of those people have recovered, with just one person still in an intensive care unit.

“We believe that the local public health data, in addition to our area’s ability to continue monitoring cases, should allow our counties to soon begin a science-based, thoughtful reopening of our economy, consistent with national guidelines, which would allow our residents to get back to work,” the letter states.

State Sen. Jim Nielsen, who helped draft the letter, said the rural counties often struggled economically before the outbreak of Covid-19.

“The economy is going to be just devastated, where the counties and cities are short for revenue and the services, they provide… and it can’t come back,” Nielsen told CNN.

The governor, he said, “Needs to focus on areas where there are low incidences and the comfort level of safety is higher and we can assure that businesses can resume.” 

In response to the letter: The governor’s press secretary reiterated Newsom's position that “any decision to modify the state’s Stay at Home order will be driven by science and data at the appropriate time.”

4:48 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Arizona plans to test 10,000 to 20,000 people for coronavirus on Saturday

From CNN's Andy Rose

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the Covid-19 pandemic response, on April 14, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gives an update on the Covid-19 pandemic response, on April 14, in Phoenix, Arizona. Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic/Pool/AP

Arizona is planning to test 10,000 to 20,000 people for coronavirus each Saturday for the next three weekends.

The state is working with more than a half-dozen testing sites and offering online registration for people who think they may have been exposed as part of its “testing blitz.”

The Department of Health Services said it will be up to each site to determine who qualifies to be tested.

“As our healthcare partners develop a more reliable supply of testing materials, we’re working together to take testing availability to the next level,” Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement Monday.

“We know that rapidly identifying cases, conducting case follow-up, and performing contact tracing will help slow the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities,” Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in the statement.

4:43 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

North Carolina hiring 250 people to conduct contact tracing

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

Secretary of the North Carolina Department Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen speaks during a briefing on the states coronavirus pandemic response at the NC Emergency Operations Center, on April 17, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Secretary of the North Carolina Department Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen speaks during a briefing on the states coronavirus pandemic response at the NC Emergency Operations Center, on April 17, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Travis Long/The News & Observer/AP

North Carolina will hire 250 people to help with contact tracing in its fight against coronavirus, according to state Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen.

The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative program will hire people at the local level to help health departments in contact tracing, Cohen said at a news conference today.

The new hires will double the number of tracers in the state.

Cohen said special consideration will be given to the unemployed and those with community engagement experience.

Why contact tracing is important: Contact tracing has helped slow or stop previous epidemics, such as the SARS and Ebola outbreaks. This is because contact tracing allows public health officials to isolate those who came in contact with someone who tested positive, stopping the transmission to other people.

"In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Read more about how contact tracing works.

4:41 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Decision on New York schools to come by the end of the week, governor says

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his a press briefing about the coronavirus crisis on April 17, in Albany, New York.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his a press briefing about the coronavirus crisis on April 17, in Albany, New York. Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants to make a decision about schools by end of week.

He said he wants the decision to be in coordination with New Jersey and Connecticut. Cuomo said he spoke with state representatives this morning on the issue.

Speaking on WAMC radio, Cuomo said there are two decisions hanging in the balance: whether schools will reopen before the end of the academic year and how to address summer school.

New York reported 3,951 additional coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the state total to at least 291,995, Cuomo said.

There were new cases in 43 counties, he added.

4:35 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

There are now at least 980,000 coronavirus cases in the US

A medical worker stands outside of a special coronavirus intake area at Maimonides Medical Center on April 27, in New York City.
A medical worker stands outside of a special coronavirus intake area at Maimonides Medical Center on April 27, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

There are at least 980,008 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 55,637 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins has reported 14,223 new cases and 756 reported deaths so far today.

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

 

4:30 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Iowa officials ask Trump administration for immediate help for pork producers

From CNN’s Dave Alsup

 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds cheers as she watches President Donald Trump speaking during a campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 30.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds cheers as she watches President Donald Trump speaking during a campaign rally at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 30. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with US Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, and other state officials sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and the coronavirus task force calling for immediate assistance for the state’s pork producers.

"Pork producers in Iowa and nationwide will go out of business, and the industry could further contract and consolidate, if farmers are not compensated for the animals that they have no choice but to euthanize," the letter states.

The officials are requesting the invocation of the Defense Security Act to keep pork producers “viable." The letter also asks for extra resources to be sent to assist in humane euthanasia for hogs, and for mental health assistance for pork producers. 

Iowa produces one-third of the nation’s pork supply and is home to one-fourth of the nation’s pork processing capacity. 

“Simply put, Iowa pork producers cannot operate if they can’t send their pigs to market,” the letter states. 

 

4:28 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Illinois has processed over 227,000 coronavirus tests

From CNN's Chris Boyette

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference on April 3, in Chicago.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference on April 3, in Chicago.

Laboratories in Illinois have processed 12,676 coronavirus tests within the past 24 hours, for a total of 227,628, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said today.

According to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the state is averaging over 10,000 tests per day. 

Ezike also announced 1,980 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, including 50 additional deaths. This brings the total state count to 45,883 cases, including 1,983 deaths, according to Ezike.

4:15 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

US stocks finish higher

From CNN's Richard Davis

The "Fearless Girl" statue wears a face mask with American Flags outside the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street on April 23, in New York City.
The "Fearless Girl" statue wears a face mask with American Flags outside the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street on April 23, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

US stocks closed higher on Monday, with the Dow recording its fourth straight day of gains. This hasn’t happened since early February.

Investors shrugged off another selloff in the oil market and focused on the busy earnings calendar ahead.

Here's where the markets closed: 

  • The Dow finished up 1.5%, or 359 points.
  • The S&P 500 closed up 1.5%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.1% higher.

 Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.