Coronavirus: Navajo Nation now has 1,282 coronavirus cases and 49 deaths

More than 2.6 million people worldwide – including more than 830,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals manage unprecedented patient surges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here.

>> Coronavirus: Know the facts directly from the CDC

Live updates for Wednesday, April 22, continue below:

Navajo Nation now has 1,282 coronavirus cases and 49 deaths

Update 11:45 p.m. EDT April 22: The Navajo Nation is extending the closure of the tribal government until mid-May because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez said the tribe must remain vigilant to try to save as many lives as possible.

“We’re not letting our guard down, now is not the time,” he said in a statement this week.

A previous executive order declaring an emergency, restricting travel and closing government offices was set to expire Sunday. It now expires May 17.

The tribe has instituted daily nighttime curfews and weekend lockdowns to keep people from traveling on the vast reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The tribe has reported 1,282 positive COVID-19 cases and 49 known deaths as of Wednesday, by far the most of any Native American tribe in the country. That’s an increase of 76 new cases and one more death since Tuesday’s report.

Those figures don’t include cases in towns that border the reservation and previously were included in the Navajo Nation’s total.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Nez was on hand as two semi-trucks arrived in the tribal capital of Window Rock to deliver more than 2,500 bottles of water to help first responders and health care workers on the reservation.

Nez had been under a 14-day self-quarantine until Tuesday after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Pennsylvania governor lays out coronavirus reopening plan

Update 10:15 p.m. EDT April 22: Residents of northcentral and northwestern Pennsylvania are projected to be the first in the state to be released from Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order, and many retail stores in those areas should be able to reopen, under a statewide plan announced Wednesday night.

Wolf wants to begin easing some pandemic restrictions on May 8 in areas of Pennsylvania that have been lightly impacted by the new coronavirus.

JUST IN: Gov. Tom Wolf just provided more details on his plan to reopen the state.

Posted by WPXI-TV Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

His reopening plan said a region or county will need to average fewer than 50 new positive cases of the virus per 100,000 residents for 14 days in order to begin moving out from under his statewide lockdown. Many counties in rural Pennsylvania have reported fewer than 20 cases total.

“We’re trying to be prudent and careful and we want to keep people safe,” Wolf said at a video news conference Wednesday night.

New Mexico likely to extend public health orders into May

Update 9 p.m. EDT April 22: New Mexico will extend an emergency public health order through May 15 as it convenes mayors and businesses leaders to consider the first minor changes to restrictions on economic activity, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials announced Wednesday.

The first-term Democratic governor said the state will forge its own path toward stamping out infections through increased testing to uncover asymptomatic cases, rapid contact tracing to notify and isolate residents who were exposed, and new testing methods that can detect antibodies.

She warned that the state is not yet ready to lift most restrictions on nonessential businesses and that a large-scale reopening of the economy is still far away. New Mexico is likely to insist that people wear masks in public until broad immunity is established through a vaccine — a solution unlikely to arrive this year.

Lujan Grisham said her administration will continue to enforce uniform statewide health guidelines, without exceptions for several counties with no confirmed cases. That is a response to increasing evidence that the virus is spreading among people without symptoms and is still highly infectious, she said.

“The virus is in every community,” she said. “We are not going to be pressured by nuances in other states. We are going to focus on what’s right for New Mexico.”

Vulnerable populations such as the elderly will be directed to stay home and take extra precautions.

Despite warnings, Trump downplays threat of virus returning

Update 8:30 p.m. EDT April 22: President Donald Trump on Wednesday played down the possibility that the coronavirus could be worse this winter despite medical experts’ warnings that COVID-19 could combine with the flu to make a more complicated return to the United States.

Trump, who has been pushing for states to begin reopening their economies, batted down notions that COVID-19 could return in large waves, as has happened in previous pandemics. Health experts and members of the White House coronavirus task force have warned of a possible comeback for the virus next fall.

“It’s not going to be what we’ve gone through, in any way, shape or form,” Trump said flatly.

He continued: “If it comes back, though, it won’t be coming back in the form that it was. It will be coming back in smaller doses that we can contain. ... You could have some embers of corona ... (but) we will not go through what we went through for the last two months.”

Trump then turned to Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the coronavirus task force, and asked, “Doctor, wouldn’t you say there’s a good chance that COVID will not come back?”

“We don’t know,” Birx responded.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said later in the same briefing: “We will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that.”

He stressed that in the fall, the nation would be better prepared to manage it.

“Whether or not it’s going to be big or small is going to depend on our response,” Fauci said.

Kentucky governor announces ramp-up of coronavirus testing

Update 8 p.m. EDT April 22: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans Wednesday to ramp up coronavirus testing as he considers a timetable to start reopening the state’s battered economy.

The governor announced that new drive-thru testing locations will open next week in the state’s two largest cities — Louisville and Lexington — as well as in Owensboro and Bowling Green.

Beshear also said that testing will start being offered to the general public.

The goal is to expand to about 20,000 tests per week statewide, Beshear said during his daily briefing. So far, about 36,000 people have been tested in Kentucky, he said. It will take time to reach that goal, but the state had a 7% increase in testing from Tuesday to Wednesday, he said.

Trump ‘disagrees strongly’ with Georgia’s plan to reopen

Update 7 p.m. EDT April 22: President Donald Trump said he told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that he “disagreed strongly” with Kemp’s decision to begin allowing some nonessential businesses to soon reopen.

Speaking at a daily White House briefing Wednesday evening, Trump said he told Kemp he had misgivings over the governor’s plan, but would not stand in his way.

“The people of Georgia ... have been strong, resolute, but at the same time he must do what he thinks is right,” Trump said of Kemp, a Republican. “I want him to do what he thinks is right. But I disagree with him on what he’s doing. ... But I think (opening) spas and beauty salons and tattoo parlors and barbershops in phase one ... it’s just too soon.”

In addition to pushback from Trump, Kemp’s plan to begin cracking open the Georgia economy faces two major hurdles — the state is struggling to increase testing for new coronavirus infections and boost tracking of those in contact with infected people.

Without those capabilities, experts said Georgia risks a quick rebound of the COVID-19 illness as Kemp allows some businesses to reopen in coming days. The Republican governor’s decision has been questioned because the state has yet to show continuing progress in those areas, and it could be difficult to catch up.

Nevada National Guard helping nursing homes amid pandemic

Update 5:30 p.m. EDT April 22: The National Guard is joining Nevada health inspectors investigating outbreaks of the coronavirus at nursing homes and assisted living centers, which account for nearly one out of six of Nevada’s COVID-19 deaths and nearly 9% of the total cases statewide.

“The Guard is going in to work with our nursing homes to make sure they’re clean,” sufficiently staffed and have adequate personal protective equipment, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday. Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, the Nevada National Guard’s adjutant general, said Guard members will accompany state health inspectors doing “auxiliary spot checks” at the facilities.

“In the event that we can see a cluster, we have the ability to send teams in to help eradicate that,” Berry said.

About 15 Guard members planned to begin Wednesday assisting in the inspections and collection of virus test samples.

“This will effectively double the amount of teams they have to do the task,” Lt. Col. Mickey Kirchenbaum said.

Sisloak said targeting those facilities will be an integral part of a series of steps the state must take before he’ll begin to ease any statewide restrictions or start to phase in reopening non-essential businesses that he ordered closed in mid-March.

At least 26 U.S. Navy ships with confirmed cases

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT April 22: At least 26 Navy ships are dealing with coronavirus cases according to CNN.

The Navy does not reveal the names of the individual ships affected but CNN says that the ships are either in port or in a maintenance yard.

No date set for reopening California, governor says

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT April 22: Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said Wednesday that officials have yet to determine when to ease stay-at-home measures ordered statewide to contain the coronavirus pandemic, KNTV reported.

“The pressure to answer that question is very real,” he said, according to KABC-TV. “I wish I could prescribe a specific date. There is no light switch and there is no date.”

Newsom announced that some hospitals have been recently allowed to begin scheduling surgeries again, KNTV reported.

More than 35,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in California, including 3,357 cases serious enough to require hospitalization. Newsom said 1,219 people were in intensive care units across the state with coronavirus infections.

“California is flattening the curve -- but only if we continue to take this seriously,” the governor said Wednesday. “Stay home. And practice social distancing.”

Las Vegas mayor pushes for casinos, hotels to reopen despite pandemic

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT April 22: Mayor Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas called Wednesday for casinos, hotels and stadiums in her city to be reopened but told CNN that the responsibility for keeping the public safe in those arenas would fall to private businesses.

“Right now, we’re in a crisis health-wise, and so for a restaurant to be open or a small boutique to be open, they better figure it out,” Goodman said during an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “That’s their job. That’s not the mayor’s job.”

Two pet cats test positive for COVID-19 in New York

Update 3:40 p.m. EDT April 22: Two pet cats in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first cases in companion animals in the United States, federal officials said.

The cats, which had mild respiratory illnesses and are expected to recover, are thought to have contracted the virus from people in their households or neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The finding, which comes after positive tests in seven tigers and lions at the Bronx Zoo, add to a small number of confirmed cases of the virus in animals worldwide. U.S. authorities say that while it appears some animals can get the virus from people, there’s no indication the animals are transmitting it to human beings.

The two cats live in different parts of the state; the USDA and CDC wouldn’t say where specifically.

Authorities are recommending that any pet owners with COVID-19 avoid contact with their animals as much as possible, including wearing a face covering while caring for them.

CDC director: Second wave of COVID-19 likely to be worse than the first

Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 22: Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus could be more devastating than what has hit the U.S. so far because it would coincide with the beginning of the flu season.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Redfield told the Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”

He said that if the two respiratory outbreaks exist at the same time, it would strain the healthcare system in unimaginable ways.

Officials in the U.S. have reported more than 830,000 COVID-19 cases nationwide as of Wednesday and more than 45,000 deaths, according to numbers compiled by John Hopkins University and CNN.

Montana governor to lift stay-at-home order Sunday

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT April 22: Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana announced plans to lift his stay-at-home order beginning Sunday, KECI reported.

Places of worship will be allowed to reopen Sunday, so long as they are able to employ physical distancing measures, according to the news site. Bullock said stores that can accommodate for physical distancing will also be allowed to reopen Monday.

Businesses where people tend to gather, like movie theaters and gyms, will remain closed, according to KECI. Restaurants will be allowed to resume dine-in services, many at half capacity.

County commissioners in Florida approve of ‘limited’ reopening of Sarasota beaches

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT April 22: Commissioners in Sarasota County, Florida, on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of reopening the county’s beaches for “limited use," according to the Bradenton Herald.

The move comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that beaches and parks would be allowed to reopen if they could do so safely amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Beaches in northeast Florida, including Duval and St. Johns counties, opened last weekend.

Virus cases top 20,000 in Georgia days before businesses begin reopening

Update 2:30 p.m. EDT April 22: Days before some businesses closed by the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia are expected to reopen, health officials said the number of COVID-19 cases in the state topped 20,000.

As of noon, the Georgia Department of Public Health said officials had recorded 20,740 cases of COVID-19 in the state, nearly 4,000 of which were serious enough to require hospitalization, WSB-TV reported. As of Wednesday, the virus has claimed 836 lives in Georgia.

Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday announced steps that state officials are taking to begin reopening businesses closed by the virus. Critics have accused him of moving too fast to fix the economy while the health threat posed by the novel coronavirus continues to loom. At least three members of Kemp’s coronavirus task force told WSB-TV that they got no notice before the governor publicly announced his decision.

The order announced Tuesday will allow some businesses to resume operations by Friday, so long as they comply with requirements around social distancing, WSB-TV reported.

440 new COVID-19 cases reported in Florida

Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 22: Health officials in Florida reported 440 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, raising the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 28,309, WFTV reported.

Statewide, 893 people have died of COVID-19, WFTV reported, citing the Florida Department of Health.

Democrats back off House floor proxy vote plan hours after unveiling it

Update 2 p.m. EDT April 22: Hours after unveiling a proposal for special rules which would have allowed lawmakers to vote on coronavirus-related legislation without physically being on Capitol Hill, Democrats dropped plans to vote on the measure and moved to set up a bipartisan group to study the issue.

Congressional aides told reporters the House would vote Thursday on a plan to create a panel to deal with the coronavirus outbreak as Democrats try to centralize work related to the pandemic to a single House committee.

The proxy voting effort had drawn criticism from Republicans who have publicly urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to figure out how to bring lawmakers back to work in a safe environment during the virus outbreak.

763 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in the UK

Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 22: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 763 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 18,100.

Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced a total of 133,496 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. The number is 4,452 higher than the number of cases reported nationwide Tuesday.

Sheriff of Washington’s third-largest county says he won’t enforce stay-at-home order

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT April 22: The sheriff of Washington’s third-largest county said in a letter to county residents and business owners Tuesday night that he will not enforce Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order out of worry for families and businesses struggling to make ends meet.

Sheriff Adam Fortney of Snohomish County, Washington, said he has not enforced the order since it was issued by Inslee in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Fortney acknowledged in the letter Tuesday that the viral infection has claimed dozens of lives in the county. According to the Washington State Department of Health 2,152 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the county, resulting in 99 deaths.

“However, our communities have already shown and continue to show they understand the severity of the situation and are doing all they can already to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy,” Fortney said.

“As your elected Sheriff I will always put your constitutional rights above politics or popular opinion. ... The impacts of COVID 19 no longer warrant the suspension of our constitutional rights.”

Fortney is at least the second Washington state sheriff to decline to enforce Inslee’s stay-at-home order. In a letter to community members this week, Franklin County Sheriff J.D. Raymond said he “does believe that COVID-19 is real and needs to be dealt with appropriately" but he said Inslee’s order “intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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Louisiana reports 404 new coronavirus infections

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT April 22: Officials in Louisiana reported 404 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 25,258.

The number is slightly higher than the 331 new infections reported Tuesday.

Officials said that statewide, 1,473 people have died of COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

Death toll tops 25,000 in Italy

Update 1:05 p.m. EDT April 22: The death toll associated with the novel coronavirus has surpassed 25,000 in Italy, according to numbers released Wednesday by health officials.

Authorities reported 951 new fatal coronavirus cases, raising the country’s death toll to 25,085.

Over the last week, Italian officials have noted a slow decline in cases. The number of active cases in the country fell slightly from 107,709 reported Tuesday to 107,699 on Wednesday. One day earlier, officials reported about 530 fewer cases than had been reported Monday.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, officials have identified 187,327 COVID-19 cases in Italy.

The country has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world behind Spain, which has more than 208,000 cases, and the United States, which has more than 830,000 cases, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

2 civilian Navy employees die of COVID-19, officials say

Update 12:55 p.m. EDT April 22: Officials with the U.S. Navy reported Wednesday that two civilian employees have died in recent days from apparent complications associated with COVID-19.

Officials said a civilian employee assigned to Personnel Support Detachment Oceana died Sunday at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. Two days later, another Navy civilian employee, assigned to the Washington Navy Yard, died at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C.

Officials said six sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt remained hospitalized in Guam with symptoms of COVID-19. The number is three down from the number of hospitalized sailors reported Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, 777 people on the Roosevelt aircraft carrier had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Officials said 1% of the ship’s crew members had yet to be tested.

Pennsylvania governor encourages voters to apply for mail-in ballots

Update 12 p.m. EDT April 22: Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania is encouraging voters to apply for mail-in ballots ahead of the state’s primary election June 2, WPXI reported.

“There is no more important civic duty than voting, but we also want to make sure that every primary voter can cast their vote safely,” Wolf said, according to WPXI.

“This election is the first time that voters have the option to vote by mail-in ballot and I encourage every Pennsylvania voter to visit to conveniently update their registration or apply for a mail-in ballot.”

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New York reports 474 new fatal coronavirus cases, hospitalizations continue to fall

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT April 21: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday that 474 more people have died of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of deadly coronavirus infections to 15,302.

The daily fatality number is slightly lower than the 481 fatalities reported Tuesday. Cuomo said other metrics, including the number of patients being hospitalized with coronavirus infections, continued to fall Wednesday.

“It seems to be on a gentle decline,” he said.

Still, he urged people to remain vigilant about the virus.

“Our actions are going to shape our future,” he said. “(If) we get reckless today, there are a lot of contacts today -- unprotected contacts today -- you will see that hospital rate go up three, four, five days from today.”

Critically ill COVID-19 patient shows improvement after plasma treatment, doctor says

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT April 22: Doctors at UMass Memorial Medical Center told WFXT they noticed dramatic improvements in a COVID-19 patient’s health just hours after they treated him with plasma.

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The treatment involves transfusing plasma from a healthy donor who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient with an active infection to allow the donor’s antibodies to help fight the viral infection, WFXT reported.

“It’s very exciting," Dr. Jonathan Gerber, chief of hematology and oncology at UMass Memorial, told WFXT. "I think this is one of the things that will help turn the tables on this dreaded virus.”

Most of US economy expected to reopen by later in summer, Mnuchin says

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 22: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that officials expect a majority of the businesses closed by the coronavirus pandemic to reopen by later this summer.

“We’re looking forward to, by the time we get later in the summer, having most of the economy, or if not all of the economy, open,” he said Wednesday in an appearance on Fox Business Network.

Businesses nationwide have closed as health officials warned Americans to practice social distancing to protect themselves during the pandemic. A record 22 million people have filed for jobless benefits in the last four weeks, easily the worst stretch of U.S. job losses on record. The losses translate to about 1 in 7 American workers.

While many Americans have chafed at the damage to their livelihoods, business leaders and governors have warned that more testing and protective gear are needed before they can start lifting the lockdowns and other restrictions.

Sheriff in Eastern Washington says he won’t enforce stay-at-home order

Update 10:50 a.m. EDT April 22: A sheriff in Eastern Washington said in a letter sent this week to community members that he will not be enforcing the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee in an effort to stymie the spread of the coronavirus, KIRO-TV reported.

Sheriff J.D. Raymond of Franklin County said he “does believe that COVID-19 is real and needs to be dealt with appropriately" but he said Inslee’s order “intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Neither I nor my office will enforce any arrests or fines regarding the operation of privately-owned businesses,” he said, according to KIRO-TV, adding that Inslee’s decisions are “creating an economic crisis.”

The coronavirus outbreak has led to the shuttering of businesses nationwide as health experts urge social distancing measures to keep the virus from spreading. Several states have issued stay-at-home or similar orders as a response. Inslee’s order is set to expire May 4.

According to the Washington Department of Health, 12,282 coronavirus infections have been reported in the state, including 207 in Franklin County. More than 680 people have died of COVID-19 in Washington, four of which died in Franklin County.

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108 new coronavirus cases reported in DC

Update 10:30 a.m. EDT April 22: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Wednesday that 108 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, a fall from the 171 new infections reported one day earlier.

The new reports bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Washington D.C. to 3,206.

Bowser said Wednesday that 15 people between the ages of 51 and 100 also died of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 127 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.

Stocks open higher on Wall Street, oil prices regain ground

Update 9:40 a.m. EDT April 22: Stocks around the world clawed higher on Wednesday and the S&P 500 climbed toward its first gain in what’s been a dismal week.

Prices for crude oil have been turned upside down because of how much extra oil is sloshing around following a collapse in demand. After zig-zagging overnight, U.S. oil prices jumped 21% after President Donald Trump threatened the destruction of any Iranian gunboats that harass U.S. Navy ships, raising the possibility of a drop-off in oil supplies.

The S&P 500 rose 2% in early trading, following milder gains in Europe.

China calls lawsuit brought by Missouri ‘very absurd’

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT April 22: Government officials in China on Wednesday called a lawsuit brought against the country by the U.S. state of Missouri “very absurd.”

Missouri’s attorney general said Tuesday that the state was suing China, accusing officials of lying about the dangers of the novel coronavirus and doing too little to control its spread.

“The so-called lawsuit is very absurd and has no factual and legal basis at all,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said Wednesday at a news briefing. Since the outbreak began, China has proceeded in an “open, transparent, and responsible manner" and the U.S. government should “dismiss such vexatious litigation," he said.

Missouri’s action is likely to be largely symbolic, since lawsuits against other countries are generally prohibited by U.S. law.

As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 6,000 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Missouri. Officials said the virus has killed 189 people in the state.

House panel shares plan for proxy voting during coronavirus pandemic

Update 9:05 a.m. EDT April 22: With the outbreak of the coronavirus stalling most work in the U.S. Congress, a key House panel will meet Wednesday evening to consider a new plan to allow members to vote from home during the pandemic.

The plan released late Tuesday night by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass, would apply only to bills dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and allow for proxy voting by one lawmaker on behalf of another and virtual committee hearings.

“I don’t suggest these changes lightly, but this is an extraordinary time,” McGovern said. “We need to ensure we can get our work done on behalf of the American people.”

The House voting plan is designed to be a temporary change, and would only apply to “measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” for up to a 60 day period.

Trump says he’ll sign executive order ‘prohibiting immigration’ to US on Wednesday

Update 8:35 a.m. EDT April 22: President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order later in the day which will pause the issuance of some immigration green cards to limit competition for jobs during the coronavirus.

The president announced Tuesday that he would sign the order, which will put a 60-day pause on the issuance of employment-based green cards and green cards for relatives of green card holders who are not citizens, The Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the situation.

Global coronavirus cases near 2.6M, worldwide death toll tops 178K

Update 7:28 a.m. EDT April 22:The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 178,371 early Wednesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 2,582,529 people worldwide.

The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:

• The United States has reported 825,306 cases, resulting in 45,075 deaths.

Spain has confirmed 208,389 cases, resulting in 21,717 deaths.

Italy has reported 183,957 infections, resulting in 24,648 deaths.

France has confirmed 159,300 infections, resulting in 20,829 deaths.

Germany has reported 148,453 cases, resulting in 5,086 deaths.

• The United Kingdom has reported 130,184 cases, resulting in 17,378 deaths.

Turkey has recorded 95,591 cases, resulting in 2,259 deaths

Iran has recorded 84,802 cases, resulting in 5,297 deaths.

China has recorded 83,864 cases, resulting in 4,636 deaths.

Russia has confirmed 57,999 cases, resulting in 513 deaths.

One California town is testing every resident for coronavirus, antibodies

Update 5:58 a.m. EDT April 22: A remote Northern California town is among the first worldwide to undertake comprehensive coronavirus testing for its entire population, CNN reported.

Bolinas, California, launched the blanket testing on a voluntary basis Monday and will also administer antibody blood tests to those who want them.

The town’s fewer than 2,000 residents have until Thursday to visit a pop-up testing site to receive nasal swabs to test for COVID-19, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus. Those interested may also have their finger pricked to test for antibodies, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, a 6,000-resident section of San Francisco’s densely populated Mission District will be given four days of their own to receive testing, beginning April 25.

Both programs are part of a study being conducted by the University of California, San Francisco.

National Governors Association expected to warn against premature economy re-openings

Update 5 a.m. EDT April 22: Slow and steady appears to be the message expected today from the bipartisan National Governors Association on the subject of re-opening the U.S. economy amid novel coronavirus uncertainty.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the 38-page “Roadmap to Recovery” argues “Opening prematurely – or opening without the tools in place to rapidly identify and stop the spread of the virus – could send states back into crisis mode, push health systems past capacity and force states back into strict social distancing measures.”

In addition, the report suggests governors continue to petition the federal government to “rapidly build testing capacity and coordinate distribution to states.”

8 infants in Tokyo orphanage test positive for coronavirus

Update 4:52 a.m. EDT April 22: Eight infants from an orphanage in Tokyo are being monitored for COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to a statement from the city's Saiseikai Hospital all eight babies are in good condition and under hospital care.

A nurse in the orphanage, who had been taking care of 29 infants, tested positive on April 16 for the virus, but the other 21 babies have tested negative for the virus, CNN reported.

Three other staff members have since developed fevers, but their test results have not yet been obtained, the network reported.

Missouri sues Chinese government over coronavirus impact on state

Update 4:36 a.m. EDT April 22: Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit Tuesday holding the Chinese government responsible for the loss of life and economic consequences rippling across the state as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues.

“COVID-19 has done irreparable damage to countries across the globe, causing sickness, death, economic disruption, and human suffering. In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real - thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table,” Schmitt’s said in a prepared statement.

The lawsuit, believed to be the first ever brought by a U.S. state against China, was filed against the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party and other Chinese institutions. Specifically, it accused the government of denying the virus’ “contagious nature,” suppressing information and even arresting whistleblowers.

“The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease. They must be held accountable for their actions,” Schmitt’s statement continued.

According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Missouri has confirmed at least 6,105 cases to date, resulting in at least 229 deaths.

Latest coronavirus relief bill secures more aid for overwhelmed hospitals

Update 4:20 a.m. EDT April 22: The third-round coronavirus relief packages passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday could funnel an additional $75 billion to hospitals and other health providers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The need is really there,” Tom Nickels, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, told the Journal.

During Tuesday’s daily White House coronavirus briefing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new funding would help “not only the hospitals that have been impacted by the coronavirus, but more importantly, many hospitals that have been shut down, and making sure that the doctors and nurses get money.”

Read more here.

Activists dump nearly 25K email addresses, passwords allegedly from NIH, WHO, Gates Foundation and others online

Update 3:26 a.m. EDT April 22: Unknown activists have posted nearly 25,000 email addresses and passwords allegedly belonging to a host of public health and philanthropic organizations combating the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to The Washington Post, the SITE Intelligence Group monitors online extremism and terrorism groups and determined the sensitive information allegedly belongs to the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation and other groups working to curb the pandemic.

Read more here.

UK to proceed with ‘virtual Parliament’ via Zoom

Update 2:38 a.m. EDT April 22: British lawmakers announced Tuesday that Parliament will remain operational throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, but for the foreseeable future the country’s governing body will continue conducting its work from afar.

The “virtual Parliament” measure was introduced by a handful of lawmakers returning from their Easter break and passed unanimously, The Washington Post reported. The new arrangement has been adopted on the conditions that the measures be temporary and last only long enough to weather the public health crisis.

House of Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, an “old-school Conservative and Victorian scholar,” told the Post the new safeguards are necessary but neither perfect nor permanent.

“In 1349, when the Black Death affected this country, Parliament couldn’t sit and didn’t. The session was canceled,” Rees-Mogg said, adding, “Thanks to modern technology, even I have moved on from 1349 and am glad to say that we can sit to carry out these fundamental constitutional functions. And I am enormously grateful to many who are as traditionalist as I am who have accepted these constraints.”

California health officials confirm 2 February coronavirus deaths predate earliest on record for US

Update 2:07 a.m. EDT April 22: Health officials in California have determined at least two Santa Clara County residents who died in February had contracted the novel coronavirus and died at least 10 days before the country’s earliest reported virus-related U.S. fatality.

According to a statement issued Tuesday by Santa Clara County Public Health, tissue samples were taken from two deceased individuals, one of whom died Feb. 6 and the other on Feb. 19.

Prior to Tuesday’s revelation, national health officials had traced the United States’ first coronavirus fatality to the Feb. 29 death of a patient in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, Wash.

US coronavirus deaths hit 45,063, total cases top 825K

Update 12:46 a.m. EDT April 22: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 825,000 early Wednesday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 824,889 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 45,063 deaths. Of those cases, more than 258,000 have been reported in New York, meaning the state has, itself, confirmed more cases than any other nation outside the United States, including the United Kingdom with 130,184 cases, Germany with 148,453, France with 159,299, Italy with 183,957 and Spain with 204,178.

Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 19,114 – or roughly 42% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 4,753 in New Jersey, 2,700 in Michigan, 1,961 in Massachusetts, 1,614 in Pennsylvania and 1,468 in Illinois.

In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak with at least 258,484 confirmed cases – nearly three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 92,387, Massachusetts with 41,199, California with 35,795, Pennsylvania with 35,339, Illinois with 33,059 and Michigan with 30,791.

Five other states have now confirmed at least 20,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:

Florida: 27,869, resulting in 867 deaths

Louisiana: 24,854, resulting in 1,405 deaths

Texas: 20,921, resulting in 545 deaths

Connecticut: 20,360, resulting in 1,423 deaths

Georgia: 20,166, resulting in 818 deaths

Meanwhile, Maryland and Ohio each has confirmed at least 13,000 cases; Indiana and Washington state each has confirmed at least 11,000 cases, followed closely by Colorado with 10,460 and Virginia with 9,630; Tennessee and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed closely by Missouri with 6,105; Rhode Island, Alabama and Arizona each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Mississippi, Wisconsin and South Carolina each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Nevada, Iowa, Utah, Kentucky and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Delaware, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico and Oregon each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.

Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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