April 9 coronavirus news

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5:43 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Roughly 140,000 new unemployment claims filed in Massachusetts in the last week

Massachusetts has seen 140,000 new unemployment claims filed over the last week, Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press conference on Thursday.

In total, 470,000 new claims have been filed over the last three weeks, the governor said. For reference, in a typical month roughly 7,000 to 10,000 claims are filed, he said.

Baker announced on Thursday that a new hospital site will open at the Boston Convention Center on Friday which will have a total of 1,000 beds; 500 will be used for medical and 500 for the homeless/unsheltered population.

The medical beds will be dedicated to those who were in the hospital and are now recovering, but need a lower level of care. The site will be called Boston Hope.

Massachusetts has also received 100 more ventilators from the federal stockpile and five have been donated from Boston Children’s Hospital, Baker said.

Some context: In his briefing on Wednesday, Baker cited a report from the Pioneer Institute that said as many as 25% of the state’s working population could be unemployed by June. 

 

5:41 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Louisiana "doesn’t currently know" the race of the individuals who test positive for coronavirus

Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference on April 9.
Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a news conference on April 9. Pool

The state of Louisiana “doesn’t currently know” the race of the individuals testing positive for coronavirus, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday.

The governor told reporters in Baton Rouge that there is more reliance on the private labs for testing in order to help the state’s capacity to test but "reporting is uneven" in terms of timing.

Commercial labs represent about 90 percent of the overall testing in Louisiana, according to Edwards.

“We’re asking them to report the results, more timely and we’re also asking them to report more information with the results. We don't know currently from private labs the race of the individuals whose test results are at issue,” Edwards said.

The state cannot compare the percentage of the ethnicity of people who test positive for Covid-19 with the percentage of the ethnicity of people who die from the virus, the governor explained.

5:37 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

OPEC and Russia agree to cut oil production by 10 million barrels a day amid coronavirus impact

Julio Cortez/AP
Julio Cortez/AP

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia have reached a tentative agreement Thursday evening to cut oil production by 10 million barrels a day for May and June, a senior OPEC source told CNN.

The deal would see the output cut easing to 8 million barrels a day from July to December followed by 6 million barrels a day from January 2021 to April 2022. ​

Non-OPEC member Mexico, however, is expressing reservations about the length of the agreement​, according to the source. 

Iran, Libya and Venezuela would be exempted from the output cuts due to sanctions or lost production.

Oil prices gave up earlier gains to trade lower with expectations that the 23 producers of the OPEC+ alliance would cut up to 15 million barrels a day.

Some context: Today’s emergency OPEC virtual meeting follows pressure by President Trump who last week called on Saudi Arabia and Russia to deliver big productions cuts. The meeting has still not finished.

G20 Energy Ministers are expected to meet tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET “to foster global dialogue and cooperation to ensure stable energy markets and enable a stronger global economy.”

5:25 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Orleans mayor urges residents to stay home

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell asked residents to continue to follow the stay at home mandate as the city continues its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"The data tells us it’s working," she said.

Cantrell urged residents to not “break the rules” and stay home during Easter weekend.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director of New Orleans Health Department, said the city is working with local healthcare institutions to set up mobile testing to help communities impacted the most by severe illness and death. 

“We are nowhere near the end of this crisis,” Avegno said. “Hospitalizations and deaths are still on the rise, and we expect them to increase for some time.”

5:20 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

NYC medical examiner to hold bodies up to 14 days due to coronavirus impact on funeral industry

New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) issued a memo Thursday extending the time a body will be kept in their custody to 14 days.

The memo was obtained by CNN from Mike Lanotte, the director of the NY State Funeral Directors Association, and confirmed by OCME.

"The NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner acknowledges the significant impacts of the pandemic to the funeral industry which may in turn further impact families who have lost a loved one, whose body may be within our custody," the memo said.

Funeral director Patrick Kearns, upon hearing the news, told CNN, "I’m very relieved, because now we don’t have the idea that people are going to be sent to mass burials and the psychological stress that puts on families.” 

Kearns called the news, “a workable timeframe for us."

Some context: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he will be signing an executive order to bring additional funeral directors into the state to help with the high number of deaths.

5:22 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Washington governor promises to look into prison health concerns after disturbance

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference, on April 6, in Olympia, Washington.
Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference, on April 6, in Olympia, Washington. Ted S. Warren/AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state is taking a close look at how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in their prison population after an inmate revolt at one facility Wednesday. 

The Department of Corrections said the disturbance at the Monroe Correctional Complex – which involved more than 100 inmates – was prompted by concern after six minimum security prisoners tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Last night’s disturbance ended without injury and we recognize the grave concerns of the incarcerated individuals and their families about Covid-19 in correctional facilities all over the state,” Inslee said in a written statement. 

Inslee said they are concerned with balancing “the needs of incarcerated individuals with public safety.”

5:14 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Hyundai provides Detroit with 10,000 coronavirus test kits

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Detroit will be receiving $100,000 to expand Covid-19 testing and 10,000 coronavirus test kits from the Hyundai Motor Company, Rep. Brenda Lawrence announced today.

Lawrence said she received a call from the company’s vice president, who told her Hyundai had been looking at hot points in the country and wanted to offer help to Detroit.

“I made a phone call and it was verified that the check has been cut and the resources are being shipped,” the congresswoman said. “And so everything should be in place by Tuesday.”

By the numbers: Detroit is now reporting 6,083 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 272 deaths, according to Detroit’s Health Director Denise Fair.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that one of the 25 individuals the city lost to Covid-19 yesterday, was a Detroit fire captain.

The mayor added, that there is good new in the trend line in the city and that the curve is starting to flatten.

4:52 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Connecticut could reopen May 20, governor says

CT-N
CT-N

The state of Connecticut has announced that May 20 is the earliest date schools, bar and restaurants can reopen, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a presser Thursday evening.

Lamont cautioned this date could get pushed back as well.

The State Department of Education Chair had a message for graduating seniors saying in part the class of 2020 will still have their graduation.

4:51 p.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Obama to mayors on coronavirus: "The biggest mistake any us can make in these situations is to misinform"

Barack Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Barack Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama addressed a group of mayors organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies on Thursday, telling the group that “the biggest mistake any us can make in these situations is to misinform."

“Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion. Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through,” Obama said, according to a press release on the virtual meeting. 

Obama also pushed the mayors to bring in as many smart advisers and experts as possible.

“The more smart people you have around you, and the less embarrassed you are to ask questions, the better your response is going to be,” Obama said.

This is the fourth virtual meeting Bloomberg’s group has held with mayors. Two of the previous meetings have featured speeches by Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.