April 2 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:23 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020
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9:17 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Texas stay-at-home order goes into effect

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a news briefing at the White House on March 24, 2017.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a news briefing at the White House on March 24, 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all Texans to stay home for the next month.

Abbott's executive order went into effect at midnight and "requires all Texans to stay home unless you’re performing an essential service or activity," Abbott said.

Residents must stay home unless providing essential services or doing "essential things like going to the grocery store," Abbott said in a video posted to his verified Twitter.

"We must respond to this challenge with strength and resolve," Abbott said. The governor signed the executive order earlier in the week but there was confusion surrounding the order because Abbott was reluctant to use the term "shelter in place" or "stay at home" because it was correlated with an eminent disaster such as a tornado, Abbott said at a briefing Tuesday. 

Many of the state's counties were already under stay-at-home orders including Dallas, Harris and Bexas counties. Texas has 28.7 million residents, according to the US Census Bureau. 

9:03 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Germany mobilizes 15,000 soldiers to support coronavirus effort

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

The German military will mobilize 15,000 soldiers starting Friday to support regional authorities in the fight against coronavirus.

The soldiers will be used to protect critical infrastructure, distribute medical equipment and set up makeshift hospitals.

Germany's defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told state broadcaster ARD that this is the first time such a contingent of soldiers has been deployed in this way. However, she conceded that the military – like many agencies – is experiencing a shortage of protective equipment for the long-term nature of the work.

“The fight against coronavirus will be a long one — this is a marathon,” she said. “It's going to depend on all of us holding out in the end. When the civilian forces are at their end, then it is important the German military steps in to help with its many heads and hands.”

Some context: Deploying the military in Germany is a sensitive issue, and strictly reserved for extreme situations under the country’s post-war democratic constitution.

8:43 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

US jobless claims surge for a second week

from CNN’s Anneken Tappe

At least 6.6 million people filed claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended March 28.

It was the highest number of initial claims filed in history, surpassing last week’s 3.3 million claims.

9:03 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Wife of coronavirus victim: "There’s no discrimination when it comes to this virus"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Conrad Buchanan with his wife, Nicole, and daughter, Skye.
Conrad Buchanan with his wife, Nicole, and daughter, Skye. Courtesy Nicole Buchanan

Conrad Buchanan, a 39-year-old Florida DJ, died after testing positive for the coronavirus. He performed for hundreds of people the week before he got sick.

His wife, Nicole, said he didn’t have any underlying health issues and she had trouble getting him tested. He started feeling unwell on March 14, but wasn’t admitted into the hospital until March 22.

“I never got to say ‘I love you,’” Nicole Buchanan said. 

His daughter, Skye, said her father took her to daddy-daughter dances and watched superhero movies with her.

“We just, overall, shared everything. He brought me to school, he brought me to ballet. Like, he was my everything,” she said.  

Skye said her dad would sing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” — which contains the lyrics “don't worry about a thing, ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right” — to help her fall asleep at night. She said the song makes her “feel closer with him.”

Nicole Buchanan said everyone needs to take coronavirus seriously and the virus doesn’t just affect older individuals or those with underlying health conditions. She has also tested positive for the virus.

“There’s no discrimination when it comes to this virus. And seeing what my husband had to go through was horrible. And now our life has turned into this horrible nightmare. You guys have to take this seriously,” she said through tears. “I would hate for anybody, anyone else’s family or children, to have to go through what we’ve gone through. Our hospital systems aren’t ready. Just stay home.” 

Skye says her dad would want people to remember him and live like he did: “Find your rhythm in life, listen to the beat, dance and express yourself in order to connect with people from all walks of life.”

Watch more:

8:56 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Fauci: US can avoid the projected levels of coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, speaks about the coronavirus pandemic at the White House on Friday, March 27.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, speaks about the coronavirus pandemic at the White House on Friday, March 27. Alex Brandon/AP

While models show that the coronavirus pandemic could result in about 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the United States, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the country can avoid reaching that milestone by taking aggressive measures.

“It’s within our power to modify those numbers," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “CBS This Morning."

"When models are based on a model, you model what the projection might be and the projection was even with considerable mitigation you still could anticipate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. However, if you really push hard on mitigation and data comes in that tells you you’re doing better than the model, you can modify the model," Fauci said. "We need to push and push with the mitigation to try and get that number lower than the projected number by the model.”
8:47 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Boeing will offer employees voluntary layoff plan to reduce costs

From CNN's Greg Wallace

A Boeing 777X airplane returns from its inaugural flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, on January 25, 2020.
A Boeing 777X airplane returns from its inaugural flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, on January 25, 2020. Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

Boeing says it will offer employees a voluntary layoff plan and hopes to avoid mandatory workforce cuts.

CEO Dave Calhoun wrote in a memo to employees today that the voluntary layoff plan will give those employees to choose to leave a pay and benefits package.

The memo said details will be available within the next four weeks.

It said the measures would "bridge us to recovery as long as we're not confronted with more unexpected challenges."

8:04 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Experts tell White House coronavirus can spread through talking or even just breathing

From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen

A prestigious scientific panel told the White House last night that research shows coronavirus can be spread not just by sneezes or coughs, but also just by talking, or possibly even just breathing. 

"While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing," according to the letter, written by Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats.

He said his letter was sent in response to a query from Kelvin Droegemeier with the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.  

"This letter responds to your question concerning the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread by conversation, in addition to sneeze/cough-induced droplets," the letter states. "Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients' exhalation," it continues.  

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus spreads from person to person when people are within about six feet of each other. It spreads "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes."  

Fineberg told CNN this is true — but that research shows that aerosolized droplets produced by talking or possibly even by just breathing can also spread the virus.  

Fineberg said it's possible that aerosolized coronavirus droplets can hang in the air and potentially infect someone who walks by later. How long coronavirus lingers in the air depends on several factors, including how much virus an infected individual puts out when breathing or talking, and also on the amount of circulation in the air, he said. 

He added, however, that coronavirus is not as infectious as measles or tuberculosis.

8:32 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Germany needs "billions of masks" to fight coronavirus, state premier says

From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Bavarian state premier Markus Soder arrives for a state dinner during the 2020 Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on February 15.
Bavarian state premier Markus Soder arrives for a state dinner during the 2020 Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on February 15. Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Germany will need “billions of masks” to fight its coronavirus outbreak, the Bavarian state premier Markus Soder said Thursday.

“In the long run, we will need enormous amounts of masks,” Soder said. “I believe that in the end we will need billions of masks in Germany.”

He said the masks would initially be needed by medical staff and then the elderly people in nursing homes.

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn wants the country to become less dependent on masks made elsewhere, advocating that Germany should make more.

“We must become more independent of the world market, for the security of our citizens. That is one of the lessons of these weeks. We want to encourage companies with a purchase guarantee until the end of 2021 to set up production of protective masks in Germany,” he said on Twitter.

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany is continuing to rise rapidly. The worse-affected region is Bavaria, which has more than 18,000 confirmed cases and 268 deaths, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.

Bavaria became the first German state to implement a lockdown on public life in an attempt to curb coronavirus spread.

7:44 a.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Supermarket chain asks healthy customers to shop in store, as online orders force backlog

From CNN's Sara Spary

A Tesco store in south London on June 15, 2018.
A Tesco store in south London on June 15, 2018. Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The UK’s largest supermarket, Tesco, confirmed to CNN it had rolled out a radio advert and social media campaign on Wednesday asking people to “think before you click and shop in store, if you can do safely."

Around the UK people have been ordering shopping online in a bid to adhere to social distancing rules -- including those who are not in an at-risk category.

As a result supermarkets in the UK have been struggling to keep up with a significant increase in demand for grocery products and currently there is a long wait for anyone wanting to book a delivery slot at any supermarket. 

The UK's coronavirus regulations ban people from leaving their homes apart from for a few limited reasons, which include going shopping for essential items.

The guidelines urge “vulnerable” customers -- including the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions -- to stay at home. 

Sales at UK supermarkets grew more than 20% in the four weeks to March 22, according to retail data and insights company Kantar -- making March the biggest month of grocery sales recorded by the firm in over a decade.