April 12 coronavirus news

By Amir Vera, Fernando Alfonso III, James Griffiths, Jenni Marsh and Amy Woodyatt, CNN

Updated 9:36 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020
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5:46 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Ammon Bundy hosts Easter service despite state order against mass gatherings

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Ammon Bundy makes his way from the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Burns, Oregon, on January 6, 2016.
Ammon Bundy makes his way from the entrance of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Burns, Oregon, on January 6, 2016. Rob Kerr/AFP/Getty Images

As he promised, Idaho rancher Ammon Bundy – who once led an armed occupation of federal land in Oregon – organized an Easter Sunday church service in violation of a statewide order on mass gatherings.

A livestream of the service showed dozens of people in folding chairs sitting together in Bundy’s industrial warehouse in the small city of Emmett, about 30 miles northwest of Boise, where a handmade sign reading "Defy Martial Law" was placed in front of the speaker’s podium. 

After the group watched a precorded praise video, Bundy briefly addressed the group, saying, "When you believe in Christ ... you will never infringe upon your neighbor's rights."

There were no signs on the livestream of anyone attempting to challenge or interrupt the service. Wayne Hoffman with the conservative Idaho Freedom Foundation – a group that has called the ban on gatherings unconstitutional – also was invited to speak. 

We certainly don't have to continue to live in a world where a church service is considered a big church service in America," Hoffman said. "That's not who we are. Americans don't in fear. They don't give up their rights."

Bundy did not officially announce the venue for the service until just hours before it started. He told CNN last week he wasn’t concerned about getting coronavirus.

"I'm healthy, my family is healthy. I'd rather have it now so my body is immune to it," Bundy said.

5:19 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

New Hampshire governor receives 7 million pieces of PPE to combat coronavirus

From CNN’s Jaide Timm-Garcia

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu helped unload a FedEx cargo plane containing nearly 7 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) Sunday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic

"Today is truly a jumping off point for the state and the healthcare facilities and individuals who can start benefiting from getting this PPE," Sununu said. "We're going to get it out the door as fast as we can in a variety of different areas."

The governor said some of the equipment will be shared with neighboring states.

"Whether Vermont or Maine, we'll find out what their need is and be part of the solution as well," he said.  

The state won't be charging those that receive today's shipment of supplies, a news release from the governor's office said.

5:11 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Canadian province creates new health data platform to aid researchers

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian 

The Ontario government is developing a new health data platform called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTHR) that hopes to better detect, plan and respond to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a news release from the Ontario government.

The PANTHR platform is expected to hold secure health data that will allow researchers to better support health system planning and responsiveness, including the immediate need to analyze the coronavirus outbreak.

"Better access to integrated data will improve modelling and research to determine how Covid-19 is evolving, ensuring frontline staff are as prepared as possible in these unprecedented times," said Christine Elliott, Ontario's deputy premier and health minister.

The new platform will contain clinical data from special registry collections and clinical data extracted from public health, hospital, laboratory and diagnostic imaging information systems.

5:14 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

First black UAW secretary-treasurer and longtime union leader dies from coronavirus

From CNN's Anna Sturla

Ruben Burks speaks to UAW members in Flint, Michigan, on September 24.
Ruben Burks speaks to UAW members in Flint, Michigan, on September 24. Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press/Imagn

Ruben Burks, the first African American secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers, died Monday due to coronavirus, his grandson confirmed to CNN.

He was 86.

Born in Louisiana, Burks moved to Michigan in 1955 to work in a General Motors factory. He joined the local union and worked his way up, eventually reaching the UAW’s second-highest position, according to the union.

Over more than 60 years of union activism, Burks championed the work of women and people of color in the labor movement.

At the end of the day, he was truly a giving man," said his grandson Tony Burks, who was raised by his grandfather. "His real focus was on community and making sure everyone had an opportunity to be their best self."

Burks was remembered by as a larger-than-life community leader in Flint, dedicated to social justice and the working class. Even in retirement, Burks organized fellow retirees to protest water conditions in Flint, longtime friend and fellow union leader Steve Dawes told CNN.

"There wasn’t a week that went by that Ruben didn’t call me to ask how things were going, and how he could help," Dawes said.

Burks' local union chapter renamed its hall after him, and the regional UAW women’s council recognized him with a line of scholarships in his name.

Known for his constant thumbs-up, he encouraged his large family to face difficult situations with positivity and enthusiasm. Now his family is applying that same attitude to planning his funeral arrangements, Tony Burks said.

"It’s hard right now with regards to the timing, but we are working together to putting together a celebration," Tony Burks said. "In living up with his true mission, no matter what you’re faced with, do the best with it."

5:15 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Illinois has more than 20,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian 

Illinois now has 20,852 cases of coronavirus with 720 deaths from the virus, according to a statement released by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The department announced 1,672 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, including 43 additional deaths.

4:53 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Temporary hospital facility to be built in Atlanta ahead of potential coronavirus surge

From CNN’s Chuck Johnston 

A 200-bed temporary care facility will be built at the Georgia World Congress Center for a potential coronavirus patient surge in Georgia, according to an announcement from Gov. Brian Kemp.

Georgia's projected peak date is April 26, according to Kemp's news release.

"Across Georgia, we have partnered with existing healthcare infrastructure to greatly expand our surge capacity, and now we have a dedicated team building out a temporary facility at the Georgia World Congress Center for potential COVID-19 patient surge," Kemp said. "We are working around the clock to prepare for future needs and ensure the health and well-being of our state. I am truly honored to have Georgia’s best, brightest, and most dedicated public servants working on this critically important project."

The Georgia National Guard, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, Department of Community Health, Department of Public Health and contractors will immediately begin to prepare GWCC for the potential coronavirus patient surge for mild to moderate (non-ICU) illness levels, excluding ventilator support, according to Kemp's release.

4:58 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

Sheltering from tornadoes takes priority over social distancing, state officials say

From CNN's Elise Hammond

More than 95 million people in nearly 20 states could experience severe weather today and Monday, including heavy rain, hail and tornadoes.

Emergency officials say sheltering from tornadoes and protecting yourself from severe weather takes priority over social distancing guidelines Americans are adhering to during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency tweeted a photo saying their experts were monitoring the weather. The tweet also emphasized that people should have a safe place to go –– and if that's a public shelter, to continue practicing social distancing.

"If you go to a public shelter please wear a mask, bandana, or scarf around your nose and mouth," the tweet said.

Oktibbeha County's Emergency Management in Mississippi tweeted a photo with information about procedures people should follow when they get to a safe room.

"Upon arrival, be prepared to sanitize your shoes and your hands," the tweet reads. "Everyone is required to wear some type of face covering such as: mask, face shield, bandana, etc.," the tweet from Oktibbeha County said.

The tweet also said "while the significant danger of the spread of Covid-19 exists, tornadoes can be life-threatening events. Life-Safety will always be our priority."

Louisiana is also in the path of severe weather.

The Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said people should revise their emergency plans to account for lifestyle changes in the midst of coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, according to a statement this morning.

"Many of you may be living in different conditions as we continue to fight the spread of coronavirus. That may mean adjustments to your emergency plans. Consider any potential changes needed before the severe weather hits," the statement said. "Use the time you have now to prepare."

Whether shelters will remain open despite the pandemic is up to city and county governments.

Closures and updates on the weather can be found on official social media accounts, government websites or by contacting local emergency management agencies.

5:00 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

585 sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for Covid-19

From CNN's Ryan Browne

There are 585 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt who have tested positive for coronavirus as of Sunday, according to a statement from the US Navy.

As of today, 92% of the aircraft carrier's crew have been tested for coronavirus, the statement said.

There are 3,696 sailors who have been moved ashore.

5:06 p.m. ET, April 12, 2020

France records lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths since early April

From Pierre Bairin in Paris and Robert Iddiols in London

Medical staff tend to patients affected by Covid-19 at a clinic in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on April 10.
Medical staff tend to patients affected by Covid-19 at a clinic in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on April 10. Christophe Ena/AP

France recorded 561 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, according to the nation's Health Ministry, bringing the countrywide total to 14,393.

This is the lowest recorded daily increase in deaths since the start of April.   

“We are seeing the start of a very high plateau,” the ministry said in a statement.

While the outbreak continues to leave the country "hard hit," containment efforts, including drastic social distancing efforts, are starting to have an impact, the ministry said.

"Containment measures...physical distancing of a minimum of one meter, social distancing and a drastic reduction in contact are producing their first effects," the statement said. "We must remain vigilant because hospital and intensive care services are taking care of a very large number of patients. We must not relax our efforts and continue to reduce the number of contacts every day to curb the transmission of the virus all together."

There are 6,845 patients in intensive care, a drop of 38 overall, the ministry said.