April 1 coronavirus news

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9:57 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

NYPD commissioner: “We are scrambling” but still fighting crime

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,400 NYPD employees have tested positive for coronavirus, a law enforcement source tells CNN.

6,172 uniformed officers -- about 17% of the police department -- are out sick, according to the source.

“It has been a clearly a difficult time for New York City as a whole. The message is to all New Yorkers that we're all in this together,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said to CNN’s Jim Sciutto. 

Shea said the NYPD is in “a constant state of planning” to respond to the coronavirus in the city and among officers.

“We are scrambling, but that shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We are able to handle many, many different tasks here. We’re still fighting crime,” Shea said, adding that officers are on patrol, as well as delivering food and calling domestic violence survivors. 

“Right now, we're in good shape in New York City. But the bottom line is anyone that can help will be asked upon to help to keep people safe,” Shea said when asked if state police may provide backup to city police in the future.

9:41 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

US stocks open lower

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks kicked off the second quarter in the red. 

Equities are down across the globe as investors grapple with new White House estimates for how many Americans could die from the coronavirus.

Here's how the markets opened today:

  • The Dow opened 4%, or 870 points, lower
  • The S&P 500 fell 3.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite opened down 3.1%.

You can follow live updates of the markets here.

9:41 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Projected 100,000 US coronavirus deaths "don’t have to be our reality," Surgeon General says

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

While models show that the coronavirus pandemic could result in some 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the United States, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said on the “Today” show that level of death can be prevented.

"Those numbers don't have to be a reality," Adams told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday.

He continued: “Those projections are definitely sobering, but they don’t have to be our reality. If we really do our part — stay at home, social distance — then we can flatten our curve even below those projections, but it really depends on all of us," Adams said. "As surgeon general, I'm going to do my best to get you the information you need. We're going to do our best as the Task Force to make sure the federal support is there, but we need state and we need local people to come together with federal support to make this possible."

9:46 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

US Surgeon General on ventilators: "We're trying to purchase what we can"

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said on the “Today” show that he has been in talks with the head of the national stockpile to come up with a "better way" for states to access the ventilators that are needed to treat some of the sickest Covid-19 patients.

"We’re trying to work with governors to come up with a better way," Adams told NBC's Savannah Guthrie.

He continued: “We’re trying to purchase what we can for the stockpile and send it to places like New York that need it the most, but we’re also trying to make sure other states and governors can get priority purchasing at a reasonable rate," Adams said. "It’s one of the things that we’re working with to try to make sure the equipment can get to where it’s needed and in an efficient way and without price gouging.”

9:25 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Hawaii governor orders mandatory quarantine for people traveling between islands

Hawaiia Gov. David Ige in 2018
Hawaiia Gov. David Ige in 2018 Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said violators of a mandatory quarantine in the state could face up to year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The mandate went into effect just after midnight in Hawaii and requires residents and visitors traveling between any of the state’s islands to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

“I fully understand that the ability to travel between islands is important for many residents for work, family, and medical treatment and we have been working how to allow essential travel and still protect our community,” said Gov Ige at a press conference. 

The mandate requires travelers to fill out an inter-island declaration form. Essential functions, such as those traveling for medical or health care, are not subject to self-quarantine, but travelers must wear masks and follow social distancing requirements. 

“In Hawaii, we have a tradition of coming together during challenging times. This is who we are. This is what makes our island community so special and as a community it is all of our responsibility to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of Covid-19 in Hawaii,” said Gov Ige. 

The state has reported 224 coronavirus cases including 1 death.

9:27 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Most White House coronavirus task force members support Americans wearing masks in public

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Most members of President Trump’s coronavirus task force have come to agree that Americans should begin wearing face coverings in public and could issue formal guidance soon, people familiar with the matter said.  

Trump signaled he was open to the idea during Tuesday’s briefing and members of the task force are working to draft recommendations on how to fashion the coverings to prevent spread of the virus. 

Previously, some members of the task force — including Dr. Deborah Birx — cautioned in meetings against recommending Americans wear masks because of a fear it could lull them into a false sense of protection and prevent them from socially distancing. 

But new insights into asymptomatic spread of the virus have led to a reconsideration of the guidance. 

Among the issues discussed by the task force and the CDC have been how to teach Americans to wear masks and how to prevent a rush on medical-grade equipment still in short supply for hospitals. 

There have also been discussions of the cultural shift that recommending masks would represent, since Americans — unlike citizens of some Asian countries — are not accustomed to wearing masks in public. 

There have also been discussions of whether or not to call the recommended face coverings “masks.” Some have suggested referring to them simply as “face coverings” or “courtesy masks” to distinguish them from the medical masks needed by professionals.

9:03 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Japan extends entry ban to 73 countries and regions to curb coronavirus spread

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Terminal 3 is deserted at Tokyo's Haneda airport on April 1.
Terminal 3 is deserted at Tokyo's Haneda airport on April 1. Kyodo News via Getty Images

Japan will extend an entry ban to foreign nationals from 73 countries and regions, including the US, Britain and Canada, in its latest attempt to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese government made the announcement after a coronavirus task force meeting today. Notably, the list includes most European countries and all parts of China and South Korea. It will take effect on Friday until the end of April.

The government is also asking all Japanese nationals returning from overseas to self-quarantine for two weeks and to refrain from using public transportation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan has not reached the point for declaring a state of emergency and said the country will continue to place protecting people's lives and health as the top priority.

8:51 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Edinburgh festival cancelled for the first time in more than 70 years

From Martin Goillandeau in London

Entertainers perform on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019.
Entertainers perform on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019. Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, billed as the “biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Executive Shona McCarthy said in a statement.

It had been scheduled for August. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “a heart-breaking decision” during her address to the Scottish Parliament today.

“We’ve had confirmation earlier today that the Edinburgh Festival will not take place this summer for the first time in more than 70 years. This is a heart-breaking decision but absolutely the right one,” Sturgeon said.

Four other festivals also slated to take place in the Scottish capital in August have been cancelled:

  • Edinburgh Art Festival
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Edinburgh International Festival
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

All five festivals, including the Fringe, welcome "audiences of 4.4 million and over 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, making them the second biggest cultural event in the world after the Olympics," the organizer's wrote in a statement.

9:00 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

He had to say goodbye to his mother over walkie-talkie as she died of coronavirus 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

A 42-year-old mother of six, raising her children alone in Washington state after their father died in 2012, died after contracting the coronavirus. 

Sundee Rutter’s son Elijah Ross-Rutter, 20, said they were allowed behind a glass window outside her hospital room. They said final goodbyes via a walkie-talkie.  

“It’s a moment that nobody really ever wants to be in. I told her I loved her. I told her everything is going to be all right with the kids," he said. "Us older siblings, we're going to make sure everything’s OK with them and that they're going to grow up to be some adults that my mom would want them to be."

She survived stage 3 breast cancer and was declared cancer-free in January and after undergoing surgery and radiation.

“We were just starting to, you know, feel whole again ... After this happened, it was just tragic,” Ross-Rutter told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.  

Ross-Rutter said his 24-year-old sibling will take custody over their other siblings, and they plan to stay together as a family. There is a GoFundMe set up to help support them. 

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