April 13 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Amy Woodyatt, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:11 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020
112 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
4:14 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

West Coast states make pact to work together on reopening based on health outcomes

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

California, Washington and Oregon are joining forces in a plan to slowly lift stay-at-home orders.

Governors in the three states will join forces on their approach to getting back to business “in a safe, strategic, responsible way,” California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.

“We will be driven by facts. We will be driven by evidence. We will be driven by science. We will be driven by pub health advisors,” Newsom said.

Newsom said he would unveil California’s plan tomorrow.

4:13 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

US stocks end mixed

 From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

US stocks ended mixed on Monday as investors gear up for the start of earnings season this week.

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to show up in companies’ first-quarter report cards, even though the virus didn’t shut down the US economy until mid-March.

 Here's where things ended today:

  • The Dow finished 1.4%, or 329 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 fell 1%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite finished 0.5% higher and recorded its third gain in a row.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

4:08 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

New Jersey law school grads can temporarily practice law without taking the bar, court rules

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Some law school graduate students in New Jersey will be able to temporarily practice law under the supervision of experienced attorneys.

The state's bar exam has been rescheduled for September because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today.

The exam is now scheduled for September 9 and 10, but that date remains tentative, subject to public health conditions later this year. The test will be offered at multiple sites, in keeping with the Judiciary’s ordinary administration of the exam.

Under these relaxed rules, graduates will be able to enter appearances, draft legal documents and pleadings, provide legal services to clients and engage in negotiations and settlements discussions.

The temporary ability to practice law will lapse if the graduate does not sit for the reschedule exam in September or apply for an extension.

Candidates should go to the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners’ website for further information regarding their applications and the upcoming exam.

4:04 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

More than 17% of the New York police force is out sick

From CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz

John Nacion/Star Max/IPx/AP
John Nacion/Star Max/IPx/AP

At least 6,380 uniformed members of the New York Police Department are out sick — or 17.7% of the department, according to a law enforcement official.

The number has been slowly going down for three days now.

A total of 936 members who have been positive for coronavirus have been cleared and have returned to work. 

3:36 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

More than 130,000 unemployment claims filed in the last three weeks in Kansas, governor says

Kansas has seen more than 130,000 unemployment claims within the last three weeks, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said at a briefing Monday.

"Last week, we had 50,000 people file initial claims, the week before, we had over 55,000 initial claims," Kelly said. "Over the year, initial claims are up by 3,400%."

The increase in claims, she said, " has caused strain on our system."

"We will continue to build capacity for those seeking to make unemployment claims and we will look to finally address those information technology challenges once and for all," Kelly said.

Some background: About 16.8 million American workers, making up about 11% of the US labor force, have filed initial claims for jobless benefits in just the prior three weeks alone.

3:30 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Ford will start producing respirator masks and other equipment for health care workers

From CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena

Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company

Ford announced that production of a new type of pressurized respirator face mask for health care workers will begin on Tuesday.

The mask, called a Powered Air-Purifying Respirator, or PAPR, is being developed in partnership with 3M. 

A PAPR is a clear mask that fits over the entire face. Air is drawn in through a tube connected to a pump that filters contaminants from the air. 

In late March, Ford and 3M announced they were working on a new mask using parts from both companies' products. For example, the new mask uses a type of fan usually used in ventilated car seats. 

About 90 paid volunteers, members of the United Auto Workers union, will assemble the masks at Ford's Vreeland facility near Flat Rock, Michigan. The factory will be able to make 100,000 or more masks, according to Ford. The company did not disclose when that number of masks would be available, however.

Ford said it is also working with automotive airbag supplier, Joyson Safety Systems, to produce reusable gowns for health care workers. The gowns will be made from material usually used to make airbags. 

Ford expects to make 75,000 gowns a week by Sunday and scale up to 100,000 gowns for the week of April 19 and beyond.

3:27 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Los Angeles models show 95% of residents will be infected if stay-at-home order is dropped now

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A model by Los Angeles County predicts that 95% or residents will be infected with coronavirus if the stay-at-home order is lifted now.

If current levels are maintained, about 30% of the county’s 10 million residents will contract the virus, the model shows. What the model does not address is how long the physical distancing needs to remain in place.

In order to drop the infection level to just over 5%, even stronger physical distancing measures will need to be implemented, according to the model.

3:26 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

How the CDC plans to expand a "public health force" at state level

From Nick Valencia

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Planning is now underway for a federally supported "public health force" to carry out the state-level epidemiology "that's going to be necessary to open the country back up," a federal health official with knowledge of the planning told CNN.

The official, who is directly involved in the day-to-day national coronavirus response, told CNN the plan was part of discussions of next steps by the White House Task Force. The Task Force did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

 "Hundreds of millions of dollars are going out to the state health departments right now,” the official said. “They are who are going to hire people to do this work. This is to beef up our public health infrastructure through individuals that the [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] hires and places in state health departments, as well as the state health departments themselves hiring people. This plan would really beef up capabilities for if in fact we reopen and we start to see a re-emergence of cases."

The source is essentially providing further detail on what CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN during a Global Town Hall last week.

"We're in the position now of preparing a significant expansion of local public health capacity so that we can operationalize," Redfield told Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper.

"The CDC has well over 500 people in the 50 states. We're planning to expand that substantially to have a public health response team that can facilitate when diagnoses are made, that aggressive contact tracing, that's going to be so important when we begin to open up to make sure that we open up for good,” Redfield continued.

Currently, state health departments don't have enough staff to do the level of contact tracing desired by the White House Task Force, according to the official.

The federal health official told CNN that the "large-scale" push for epidemiology is part of the recent initiative led by eight "community protection" CDC field teams deployed in recent weeks. Those CDC teams were sent to states where transmission rates are low to assist state and local health departments with contact tracing and testing.  

A CDC spokesperson did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

3:23 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Proposed voucher program would benefit farmers and food banks, groups say

From CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Farmers around the country are tossing out food by the tons, while food banks are running low. 

The American Farm Bureau and Feeding America are teaming up to call on the USDA to connect farmers lacking customers with food banks in desperate need for food during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“As you are aware, food banks are under tremendous pressure to meet the skyrocketing demand,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Feeding America CEO and Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau in a letter addressed to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

The letter continued: “At the same time, however, we are seeing literally tons of agricultural goods being discarded because of the shutdown of so much of the economy."

A win-win: The two organizations are proposing a voucher program that would increase the relationship between farmers and food banks, allowing them to work directly with one another. Usually, both sides go through a third party which can often delay food getting to food bank shelves.

This USDA-run voucher system would send farm products to food banks while helping farmers and ranchers recoup costs from lost markets, such as restaurants and tourism businesses shuttered by the pandemic. It would also get farm-fresh products quickly to families in need.

“This is an opportunity for USDA to act quickly to produce a win for food banks and a win for farmers. It is a chance for government to serve as a facilitator while clearing bureaucracy and red tape,” the letter states.