April 2 coronavirus news

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5:38 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Javits Convention Center will now treat coronavirus patients, New York governor says

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The temporary hospital facility at the Javits Convention Center will now treat Covid-19 patients, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon. 

“The state-owned Javits Center has been turned into a 2,500-bed emergency medical facility being run by the US Army. The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-Covid patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds,” Cuomo announced. “However, the number of Covid positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept Covid positive patients."

Cuomo added: "I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York's request. I thank the President for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making."

5:34 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

New White House chief of staff Mark Meadows creates "coronavirus hotline"

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

President Trump's new chief of staff Mark Meadows has created a "coronavirus hotline" for lawmakers so they can call directly with concerns about the outbreak that are affecting their states or constituents, an official told CNN.

John Fleming, a former lawmaker and his new deputy chief of staff, will run the hotline. 

The White House sent a letter to congressional leadership alerting them to the hotline today.

Lawmakers can call the number with emergency requests about coronavirus efforts in case they have an issue that needs to be expedited outside the formal channels of the task force. 

6:06 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Trump again tests negative for coronavirus, White House says

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Alex Brandon/AP
Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump tested negative for the novel coronavirus for a second time, according to a memo from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released to reporters in the briefing room moments before the President walked in for his daily briefing.

Grisham's note said he was tested this morning and received the results 15 minutes later.

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6:00 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

NYC issues new guidance for people to wear a face covering when outside in public

From CNN's Julian Cummings

A woman wearing a facemask crosses the street on March 28 in New York City.
A woman wearing a facemask crosses the street on March 28 in New York City. Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

New Yorkers are now advised to wear a face covering when outside and near other people, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference today.

De Blasio stressed that it does not mean that New Yorkers should wear a medical mask when outside and that they should be left for healthcare workers.

“It could be a scarf. It could be something you create at home like a bandana," de Blasio said.

The guidance come after a study was released yesterday about asymptomatic spread of coronavirus.

“When you wear the face covering you are protecting everyone else,” de Blasio added.

The order to wear a face covering does not replaces social distancing orders, de Blasio said.

5:17 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

New York state will conduct hospital-by-hospital inventory survey every night

From CNN's Bob Frehse

New York state will conduct a nightly, hospital-by-hospital, supply inventory survey to see how each hospital is stocked when it comes to supplies needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.

“Supplies are an ongoing challenge. The PPE is an ongoing challenge. The gowns, the gloves and the ventilators,” Cuomo announced. “First of all, we have for the first time ever a hospital-by-hospital survey that will be done on a nightly basis of exactly what they have.”

All hospitals are also being asked to contribute supplies they don’t currently need to a central stockpile so the state can distribute supplies to hospitals with the greatest need.

“Rather than having all these regional systems and public systems, private systems, et cetera, we have a central stockpile. We are asking all the hospitals to contribute what they have to that central stockpile, and then we will disburse on a need basis,” Cuomo added. “You know, some hospitals have more supplies than they're using. We're saying, don't hoard supplies. Let's put all the supplies in the central stockpile, and then we will draw down from the central stockpile, and we will monitor this literally on a daily basis.

5:17 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Washington state nursing home fined for failing to provide quality care following outbreak

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Ted S. Warren/AP
Ted S. Warren/AP

The Life Care Center nursing home home in Kirkland, Washington, which was an epicenter of Covid-19 cases in the early days of the pandemic, now faces a fine of more than $611,000 and loss of its Medicare and Medicaid funding if it does not correct a variety of problems that stem from its handling of the disease outbreak at its facility.

Inspectors for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found three "immediate jeopardy" deficiencies as well as several other, less severe, issues when they first visited the facility from March 6 to March 16, a summary for that visit shows.

"The facility failed to have a system in place that ensured timely action related to an identified respiratory outbreak within the facility," the federal agency wrote in the report, explaining why Life Care didn't provide its residents an adequate level of care. 

"There was no evidence the facility recognized all possible systemic risks and concerns related to this known outbreak," the report adds.

Other serious issues identified by inspectors were a failure to "ensure timely notification of public health authorities" and to make available "emergency physician services 24 hours a day during the outbreak crisis."

5:17 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Missouri governor is considering statewide stay-at-home order

From CNN's Andy Rose

Gov. Mike Parson listens to a media question during a press conference in Jefferson City, Missouri on May 29, 2019.
Gov. Mike Parson listens to a media question during a press conference in Jefferson City, Missouri on May 29, 2019. Jacob Moscovitch/Getty Images

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has not yet signed off on a statewide stay-at-home order, but indicated in a Thursday press conference that this could change soon.

Parson noted Missouri's social distancing requirements are set to expire shortly.

“We said we would evaluate (the next step) at the end of that order. That time is coming," he added.

Parson said he plans to announce more information on Friday. He said officials are trying to determine whether “essential businesses” could be classified differently in urban and rural parts of Missouri if there were a statewide order.

The state’s most populous counties already have put their own stay-at-home orders into effect covering more than two million Missourians. 

5:11 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Florida governor's stay-at-home order overrides tougher restrictions local communities enacted

From CNN's Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt and Denise Royal

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site Miami Gardens, Florida on March 30.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a news conference at a drive-through coronavirus testing site Miami Gardens, Florida on March 30. Wilfredo Lee/AP

After issuing a stay-at-home executive order on Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed another executive order today that overrides any conflicting orders put in place by local governments. 

"This order shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19," the order states. 

It's an about-face for the governor. Earlier in the Covid-19 crisis, when he was criticized for not closing the state’s beaches, the governor said the move was because he wanted cities and counties to make their own decisions.  

Desantis said at a Thursday news briefing that he did not believe the government had the authority to close church.

"I think that in times like this, I think the service that they're performing is going to be very important for people, especially when you have difficult circumstances and so do it right. Make sure that you're following the mission. But I think, particularly coming up in the Easter season, I think people are going to want to have access to religious services, whether it's online, whether it's in a more socially distant type of service. But to have that available I think is very important," Desantis said.

Remember: Hillsborough County is one of the local governments affected by DeSantis' superseding order. The county enacted its own order limiting social gatherings to ten or fewer people. The county sheriff arrested popular pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for continuing to hold large church services in violation of the order. 

But the state's new stay-at-home order includes "attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and house of worship" as essential activities.  

The stay-at-home order starts Friday and will expire on April 30. 

4:59 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Navy commander expected to be relieved of duty for leaking memo on Covid-19 outbreak on ship

From CNN's Ryan Browne

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is seen in Guam on April 1.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt is seen in Guam on April 1. CNN

The commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who in a memo warned Navy leadership that more action was needed for the Covid-19 outbreak on the ship is expected to be relieved of duty for being suspected of leaking the memo, a defense official tells CNN

Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in the memo, "We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors," Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a memo to the Navy's Pacific Fleet, three US defense officials have confirmed to CNN.

The US Navy aircraft carrier where an outbreak of the coronavirus has spread to over 100 sailors in recent days.

"Decisive action is required. Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed US nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure," he wrote in the memo. "This is a necessary risk. It will enable the carrier and air wing to get back underway as quickly as possible while ensuring the health and safety of our Sailors. Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care."

The US Navy declined to comment.

Reuters was first to report this story. 

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