Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:11 PM ET, Fri May 1, 2020
58 Posts
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4:14 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

FDA authorizes remdesivir for some Covid-19 patients

From CNN's Arman Azad

A vial of the drug Remdesivir seen during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (
A vial of the drug Remdesivir seen during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. ( Ulrich Perrey/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization on Friday for remdesivir in hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19.

The FDA said it issued the authorization based in part on the results from a trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the results of which were announced by Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday. The infused drug reduced the time of illness in some severely affected patients.

What this means: An emergency-use authorization is a lower regulatory bar than full FDA approval, but it’s a sign that the FDA believes the benefits of a drug outweigh its risks in certain patients.

The FDA limited its authorization of the drug to adults and children with suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and severe disease. The drug is administered in a hospital setting via IV by a healthcare provider 

The CEO of Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, said in an open letter on Wednesday that the company’s existing supply of the drug could cover at least 140,000 treatment courses for patients with Covid-19.

 

4:03 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

California governor: "This disease doesn’t know if you're a protester, a Democrat, a Republican"

pool
pool

Protests against California’s continued stay-at-home order are happening simultaneously at the state's capitol in Sacramento and at closed beaches in Orange County.

Gov. Gavin Newsom urged protesters to take care of themselves by wearing face coverings and employing physical distancing. 

“This disease doesn’t know if you’re a protester, a Democrat, a Republican,” Newsom said. “Protect yourself, protect your family, your kids, your parents, your grandparents, your neighbors.”

“I appreciate expression points of view,” Newsom acknowledged, “but we’re interested in evidence, and the evidence shows some good things, but some yellow flags of caution.”

He added: “We can screw all of that up, we can set all that back by making bad decisions."

3:49 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Michigan will allow construction and real estate to resume next week

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on April 29.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Michigan on April 29. Michigan Office of the Governor/AP/Pool/Reuters

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive order today allowing some types of work to resume on Thursday. It includes construction, real estate and work that is traditionally and primarily performed outdoors, 

Manufacturing for the express purpose of producing items that will help businesses modify workspaces to keep employees safe, like partitions or cubicle, will also resume, Whitmer said.

According to the governor, her order requires those businesses to adopt measures to protect their workers against the spread of Covid-19. Under the order, construction sites have to adopt a set of best practices, including things like daily health screenings and identifying high-risk areas.

Whitmer’s "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order remains in effect until May 15.

3:57 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Major League Soccer to open outdoor facilities for player workouts

From CNN's Jabari Jackson

 

Brian Rodriguez (right) of Los Angeles FC up against a Philadelphia Union player during a game at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California on March 08 .
Brian Rodriguez (right) of Los Angeles FC up against a Philadelphia Union player during a game at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California on March 08 . Rob Ericson/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Major League Soccer announced today that players may begin to use outdoor team training facilities for individual workouts on May 6. 

In a statement released by the league, teams and players are to comply by “detailed health and safety protocols that were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts.” All workouts are voluntary.

MLS asked clubs to provide a controlled environment that adheres to social distancing measures.

Workout protocol prohibits players from entering team locker rooms, gyms and training rooms. Team gyms and training rooms will only be accessed by those players “receiving post-operative and rehabilitation treatment, as directed by the club’s Chief Medical Officer,” the statement said. 

Each club must also relay these new protocols to players and team staff.

The league-wide moratorium on small group and full team training remains in place through May 15.

3:53 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

California governor says he's days away from lifting some restrictions

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

Pool
Pool

 California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is “days, not weeks” away from lifting some restrictions of the state’s stay-at-home order. 

“I just want folks to know that we are getting very close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order,” the governor said today.

Some areas that will be impacted in this first wave of reopening include retail and hospitality, including restaurants. All will have serious modifications, Newsom said, adding that experts are looking at each industry and developing guidelines to begin to return to normal.

Newsom also made clear he understands the difference in needs between rural and urban areas. “We hear you,” he said.

3:40 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

18 bodies found at "overwhelmed" New Jersey funeral home, officials say

From CNN’s Sheena Jones

New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan
New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan Pool

Eighteen bodies were discovered at an “overwhelmed” funeral home in New Jersey Thursday night, New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan said at a news conference Friday.

There were no criminal violations at the home, according to police. Eleven of the bodies were transferred to a temporary morgue and seven bodies remained at the funeral home, Callahan said. CNN has reached out to the funeral home for comment.

Earlier this week, New York officials discovered four trucks in Brooklyn containing as many as 60 bodies outside the Andrew Cleckley Funeral Home after someone reported fluids dripping from the trucks.

3:23 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Florida will begin decontaminating thousands of N95 masks daily

From CNN’s Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his state received a critical care decontamination system from the federal government that is capable of cleaning up to 80,000 masks per day.

The system is located at the Miami Hard Rock Stadium and uses vapor-phase hydrogen peroxide to clean masks up to 20 times. N95 masks will be collected from hospitals, first responders and testing sites for cleaning.

 

3:35 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Barber shops and hair salons allowed to reopen May 6

From CNN's Hollie Silverman 

 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on May 28, 2019.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York on May 28, 2019. Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Arkansas will allow barber shops, hair salons, massage therapy, body art and medical spa service businesses to reopen starting May 6, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today.

Cosmetology schools are not included in the reopening.

Strict guidelines will need to be followed after reopening, he said. The guidelines include:

  • Groups of 10 or less will be allowed in facilities
  • 30% of stations or less can be occupied
  • Appointments only, no walk-ins allowed
  • Clients should wait outside or in vehicles
  • Social distancing of 6 feet should be observed between clients
  • Spaces should be cleaned between appointments
  • Clients and staff should wear masks
3:20 p.m. ET, May 1, 2020

These 4 factors fueled the US coronavirus outbreak, CDC says

 From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testifies about COVID-19, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 3.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testifies about COVID-19, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on March 3. Saul Loe/AFP/Getty Images

International travel and a lack of testing, among other factors, accelerated the spread of coronavirus in the early days of the US outbreak, according to a report released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report highlighted four main factors that accelerated transmission in March:

  1. Continued importation of the virus by travelers infected elsewhere, such as on cruise ships
  2. Attendance at professional and social events, which amplified the spread
  3. Introduction of the virus into facilities prone to amplification, including nursing homes and high-density urban areas
  4. Problems detecting virus, including limited testing, the virus’ emergence during flu season, and “cryptic transmission” from people who were asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic

CDC’s principal deputy director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, who penned the report, noted that in February “139,305 travelers arrived from Italy and 1.74 million from all Schengen countries.” She added that “the outbreak was spreading widely and rapidly” in those regions. 

Recognizing the various factors that accelerated the outbreak, Schuchat said, would help inform future responses as some regions scale back mitigation measures. But her report came with limitations.

“First, the various factors facilitating viral spread described in this report occurred simultaneously; therefore, it is not possible to quantify the relative contribution of each to the outbreak trajectory in the United States,” the report said.