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Coronavirus updates from March 28, 2020

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Hours after President Trump said he was considering an "enforceable" quarantine of all residents who leave the New York area, including possibly parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, Mr. Trump tweeted that a "quarantine will not be necessary." New York is currently the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 55,000 confirmed cases in the state. 

"On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor's of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government," Mr. Trump tweeted.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Saturday the state would be setting up checkpoints on major interstates I-95 and I-10 that are usually frequented by travelers from New York and New Orleans, where the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow. 

The total number of cases in the U.S. increased to more than 116,000, with more than 1,900 deaths, including an infant in Illinois, who officials believe is the youngest death so far from coronavirus. 

The U.S. continues to top the list for the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, with Italy following with more than 92,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins. Italy reached another grim milestone on Saturday as the number of deaths topped 10,000, more than any other country.

Read the latest:

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for detailed information on coronavirus treatment and prevention. 

 

CDC issues travel advisory for NY, NJ and CT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The announcement came after President Trump said he was considering enacting an "enforceable" quarantine in the New York metro area, an idea he backed off of later on Twitter, where he also requested the CDC travel advisory.

"Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately," the CDC said in a statement. "This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply."

The CDC also noted that the governors of the three states would "have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory."

By Jordan Freiman
 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson return to the U.S.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to the United States after being diagnosed with coronavirus in Australia.

"Hey, Folks ... We're home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on with sheltering in place and social distancing," Hanks said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us. Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA. And many thanks to all of you who reached out with well wishes. Rita and I so appreciate it."

By Jordan Freiman
 

California prepares for looming surge in coronavirus cases

California prepares for looming surge coronavirus cases
 

Quarantine "not necessary," Trump tweets

Hours after saying President Trump was considering an "enforceable" quarantine of people leaving from the New York metro area, Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday night that a "quarantine will not be necessary."

"On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor's of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government ," Mr. Trump tweeted.

Just a few hours earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on CNN that a federally-mandated quarantine "this is a civil war kind of discussion."

"A lockdown is what they did in Wuhan China, and we're not in China," Cuomo said. 

By Caroline Linton
 

U.N. donates 250,000 masks to New York City

The United Nations, along with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, on Saturday donated 250,000 protective face masks to New York City medical professionals. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Commissioner for International Affairs of New York City's Office of International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, were at U.N. Headquarters in New York City to receive the masks and distribute them in health facilities.

"Our healthcare workers are heroes - plain and simple. We must do all we can to they protect them," de Blasio said on Saturday, "I thank the United Nations for their much needed donation."

The masks had been in storage at U.N. headquarters for use by U.N. staff and for field missions, U.N. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told CBS News.
 
"Today was a great day of solidarity and an opportunity for us to give back to the Big Apple  that hosts us so generously" Dujarric tweeted.
 
"I have never felt more proud to be the Commissioner for International Affairs. NYC is the epicenter of Covid-19 so we asked our neighbors, our fellow New Yorkers at the U.N for help," Abeywardena tweeted.
 
"These masks, in surplus to United Nations requirements, will be given to the medical professionals in New York City who have been working courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs in the hope that they play some small role in saving lives," the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday.
 
The U.N. chief spoke with New York City's Mayor on Friday night to arrange the donation. The U.N. cannot donate to New York City under procedures of the world body and arranged with the U.S. Mission to the U.N. to accept them for the transfer to needy hospitals and health facilities in New York.
 

By Pamela Falk
 

Infant dies of coronavirus in Illinois, health department says

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said Saturday that an infant has died from coronavirus, CBS Chicago reports. Ezike said the infant and a state employee were among 13 new deaths in the state from coronavirus.

Ezike said a "full investigation" is underway into the child's death. 

Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker said the death of an infant is rare.

"Upon hearing it, I was immediately shaken. It's appropriate for any of us to grieve today," Pritzker said. 

There have been 3,491 cases in Illinois and 47 fatalities, according to CBS Chicago.

By Caroline Linton
 

Florida governor announces checkpoints to stop people with N.Y. from entering

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Saturday that checkpoints would be set up along major interstates, such as I-95 and I-10, to check for drivers from New York and New Orleans. DeSantis said he spoke to President Trump Saturday morning about the president's proposed "enforceable" quarantine of people from the New York metro area. 

"As you look at all the flights, the more people shuttled around makes it difficult," DeSantis said. "We've done what we could too with New York City and New Orleans. It was probably spreading in New Orleans ...We don't want people to flee that hot zone. We have a checkpoint set up on I-10. Good way to deter folks leaving that area, also have one on I-95, for New York travelers."

When asked about his delay in shutting down Florida's beaches, DeSantis pointed to New York's decision to keep the subways open.

"Do I hear the same people complaining about the New York subway?" DeSantis said. "Give me a break. Which one is more conducive? Let's be clear that's more a political issue than a substantive one."

By Caroline Linton
 

Americans "primed for misinformation" during pandemic, journalist warns

Many American residents under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders are turning to social media more often than they normally would to stay connected and keep up with the latest news coming from sources trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic. However, the increased time online also means more chances to stumble across misinformation which, in the case of the coronavirus, could be deadly. 

"We're absolutely primed for misinformation," said Wired editor-in-chief Nick Thompson during an interview with "CBS This Morning: Saturday." He explained that the current flow of misinformation seems "magnified" compared to similar panics of the past "because we're so worried and so looking for anything that will help, any sign of a cure or anything we can tweet about." 

Read more here.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Trump says he is considering a quarantine of the New York metro area

President Trump said Saturday he is considering declaring an "enforceable" quarantine of the New York metropolitan area, possibly including New Jersey and Connecticut. He called the region a "hot spot" of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the country.

Speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, Mr. Trump told reporters that he had spoken to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis about the pandemic. Mr. Trump said DeSantis, a Republican, told the president he wanted to stop the flow of New Yorkers who may be infected with COVID-19 virus into the state.

"We'd like to see New York quarantined because it's a hotspot — New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined. I'm thinking about that right now," Mr. Trump said. "We might not have to do it but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine — short-term two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey and parts of Connecticut."

Read more here.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Trump approved 4 new sites for emergency facilities in NYC, Cuomo says

President Trump has approved four sites in New York City to be used as emergency medical facilities: the New York Expo Center in the Bronx, the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the College of Staten Island, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. 

"This is going to be a big advantage," he said. The locations will add another 4,000 hospital beds to the state's capacity.

Cuomo also said that some sites will be "COVID only" – "where people in those hospitals will just have the COVID virus, so the staff that is there is just working with one type of issue." Those locations are the South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island, Westchester Square in the Bronx and SUNY Downstate (University Hospital) in Brooklyn. 

The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds and 1,200 medical personnel, is expected to arrive in New York Harbor on Monday.  

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

728 people have died in New York

New York state's death toll from the coronavirus now stands at 728 – up from 519 the previous day and 385 two days ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday.

There have now been more than 52,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state – far more than any other state in the nation. New Jersey ranks second for the most cases nationwide, with 8,825 cases, he said. 

More than 177,000 people in New York have been tested for COVID-19, according to Cuomo.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

New York delays presidential primary and extends tax filing deadline

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state is delaying its presidential primary and extending the state's tax filing deadline to July 15, matching the new federal income tax filing deadline.

He said Saturday the primary, which was scheduled for April 28, will now be linked to congressional and legislative primary elections on June 23.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Maryland State Park beaches close

"Following Governor Larry Hogan's emergency actions to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, all Maryland State Park beaches are now closed," Maryland State Parks tweeted Saturday.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Rats swarm New Orleans' streets

Precautions put in place to slow the rise of coronavirus cases in New Orleans has inadvertently led to a rat problem for the Louisiana city. With restaurants closed save for take-out service, far less food waste is being discarded in the city's alleyways, driving the local rodent population out into the open to search for scraps. 

New Orleans' famous Mardi Gras celebration brought thousands of tourists to the city, and medical experts believe it might be a big factor in the city's COVID-19 outbreak. Now with Bourbon Street's famous bars all closed and people social distancing, videos show dozens of rats scurrying through the empty streets.

"I turn the corner, there's about 30 rats at the corner, feasting on something in the middle of the street," one local restauranteur told CBS News' Omar Villafranca. He said he had "never" seen anything like it before.

Read more here

Coronavirus precautions lead to rat problem in New Orleans


 

Curfews go into effect for several South Florida cities

An overnight curfew for the city of Miami started Friday and is in effect until further notice, CBS Miami reports. It goes from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. 

"Emergency responders. If you work in utilities, if you're a restaurant, (then) you're allowed to stay open but only for delivery, not drive-thru or pickup. If you are Uber, that's okay," Police Chief Jorge Colina told CBS Miami.

A news release detailed other exceptions like traveling to or from an essential business, medical emergencies and walking the dog. But the dog and its owner cannot go beyond 250 feet from home.

Homestead, Florida, also started its curfew Friday night with the same hours as Miami. Coral Gables will have its curfew from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., also starting Friday. 

Other cities like Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Key Biscayne and Sunny Isles Beach have already started overnight curfews.

"The idea is obviously, we want to keep people safe. Try to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are going to be warning people (and) educating people. When we stop them, we are going to ask why are you out and about, and for the most part, we will let you go," Miami's police chief said.

 

Michigan receives thousands of N95 masks from national stockpile

Michigan received 112,800 N95 masks from the strategic national stockpile Saturday and more than 8,000 others are on the way, the governor said.

"We'll keep working hard along with FEMA and the White House to get more of the PPE we need to keep Michiganders safe," she tweeted.

President Trump on Friday approved a major disaster declaration for the state.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Trump to see off Navy hospital ship headed to New York

President Trump is scheduled to speak at the departure of the USNS Comfort, a U.S. Navy hospital ship, from Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday. Mr. Trump told reporters Thursday he would attend the departure of the ship to "kiss it goodbye." 

The ship is headed to New York City, the U.S. city with the most coronavirus cases. It holds over 1,000 beds and will carry over 1,200 medical personnel to aid in the city's response to the crisis. 

USNS Comfort is expected to arrive in New York on Monday. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that 519 people have died from the coronavirus in the state, up from the previous day's total of 385 deaths, and more than 44,000 people have been infected. 6,481 patients were hospitalized in New York as of Friday and 1,583 were in ICUs.  

By Grace Segers
 

COVID-19 cases top 600,000 worldwide

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 600,000 worldwide on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. That means there have been over 100,000 new cases in just two days. 

On Thursday, nations reported a collective half a million cases.

By Sarah Lynch Baldwin
 

Yankees uniform material being used to make masks and hospital gowns

Major League Baseball is stepping up in the battle against the spread of the coronavirus. The raw material used to make jerseys is now being used to create masks and hospital gowns, CBS New York reports.

Fanatics, the company that manufactures the official MLB uniforms, plans to make 1 million masks and gowns, then continue as long as needed.

The first wave of uniforms used will be the Yankees and Phillies, and they're being distributed throughout Pennsylvania and extend across New Jersey and New York.

 

Rhode Island governor ramps up measures to stop cases coming from New York

Rhode Island State Police on Friday began pulling over drivers with New York plates so that National Guard officials can collect contact information and inform them of a mandatory, 14-day quarantine.

Governor Gina Raimondo ratcheted up the measures Friday afternoon, announcing she'll also order the state National Guard to go door-to-door in coastal communities starting this weekend to find out whether any of the home's residents have recently arrived from New York and inform them of the quarantine order.

The Democrat had already deployed the guard to bus stations, train stations and the airport to enforce the executive order, which also applies to anyone who has traveled to New York in the last 14 days.

"I know it's unusual. I know it's extreme and I know some people disagree with it," she said Friday, adding that she has consulted with state lawyers. "If you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island, you must be quarantined."

Raimondo maintains she's within her emergency powers to impose the measures, but the American Civil Liberties Union has called it an "ill-advised and unconstitutional plan."

–The Associated Press

 

FDA approves new rapid coronavirus test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories, which the company says can detect the coronavirus in about 5 minutes.

Medical device maker Abbott announced the emergency clearance of its cartridge-based test in a release Friday night. The company says that its test delivers a negative result in 13 minutes when the virus is not detected.

The U.S. has been trying for weeks to ramp up coronavirus testing after a series of problems with the initial government-designed test. The nation's daily testing capacity has been increasing as more diagnostic makers and large laboratories have developed tests.

Abbott's testing cartridge fits into the company's portable ID NOW device, which is used at hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices. The company said it would launch the test next week to select health care facilities that deliver urgent care.

The Abbott approval follows two other rapid tests cleared by regulators in the past week. Older laboratory-developed tests can take between 4 to 8 hours to deliver results.

–The Associated Press

 

Trump says he wants governors to be "appreciative"

President Trump said Friday that what he wants from governors is for them to be "appreciative," singling out governors who have criticized the federal government's response, particularly when it comes to the procurement of medical equipment like ventilators.

During the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Mr. Trump told reporters that he tells Vice President Mike Pence "don't call the governor of Washington," Governor Jay Inslee, or "the woman in Michigan," Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who, he said "has no idea what's going on." The president shrugged and said that Pence calls them anyway. 

The president had made similar remarks about Whitmer in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity Thursday night. On Friday, Whitmer told WWJ 950AM she's been "uniquely singled out," even though "I don't go into personal attacks. I don't have time for that."

Read more here.

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