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Coronavirus updates from April 13, 2020

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The U.S. death toll from the new coronavirus topped 23,000 Monday, with nearly 600,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University

A debate is brewing over when and how to re-open the country's economy. President Trump has said it's his call and he's formed a task force to oversee planning. But governors on the East and West coasts announced regional partnerships Monday to decide when best to let people go back to work.

Globally, just about 2 million people have been sickened by the virus, with almost 120,000 deaths. 

Detailed information from the CDC on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

 

Pandemic prompting increased demand for abortions

The coronavirus outbreak has fueled attempts to ban abortions in some states, but providers where the procedure remains available report increased demand, often from women distraught over economic stress and health concerns linked to the pandemic.

"The calls we've been getting are frantic," said Julie Burkhart, who manages clinics in Wichita, Kansas, and Oklahoma City. "We've seen more women coming sooner than they would have because they're scared they won't be able to access the services later."

Some clinics are seeing patients who traveled hundreds of miles from states such as Texas, which has banned abortions during much of the pandemic on grounds they are nonessential.

-- The Associated Press

 

Democrats and GOP at impasse over coronavirus small business relief

Democratic and Republican leaders are stalemated on small business relief negotiations, leaving an uncertain path forward as coronavirus-related measures continue to keep most Americans under stay-at-home orders. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced in a joint statement Monday that they're demanding more help for Americans be included in the the small business loan program. They warned that state governments, local governments and hospitals are "oversubscribed" and "need more money now."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused Democratic demands in a joint statement, urging lawmakers to approve an increase for PPP funding before the program "runs dry." The two said additional proposals from Democrats can wait until the next larger package.

— Lauren Peller  

Read more here. 

 

Citing coronavirus, states urge Supreme Court to reconsider order on "public charge" rule

New York, Connecticut and Vermont asked the United States Supreme Court on Monday to consider lifting or modifying a decision in February that has allowed the Trump administration to implement the so-called "public charge" immigration rule. The states warned the regulation is having a "destructive" impact on the nation's response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The attorneys general in the three northeastern states said the sweeping rule is discouraging immigrants from accessing medical care and public benefits, hindering nationwide efforts to contain the highly contagious virus, which has killed more than 23,000 people in the U.S. The filing cited more than a dozen declarations by doctors, local officials and advocates who said immigrants across the country fear they could jeopardize their immigration status by seeking medical treatment and government aid.

Read more here.

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez
 

Confirmed coronavirus cases approach 2 million worldwide

Nearly two million people across the globe have been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins. More than 119,000 people have died from the virus. 

Editor's note: Earlier data from Johns Hopkins showed that there were more than 2 million cases. That data has since been revised, and this post has been updated. 

By Victoria Albert
 

13 federal inmates have died from coronavirus

The Bureau of Prisons announced Monday that three additional federal inmates have died from coronavirus, bringing the total to 13. All three of the inmates were held at FCI Butner Medium I facility in North Carolina.

So far, 388 federal inmates and 201 BOP staff have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide, the BOP said. More than 1,000 inmates have been moved to home confinement.

FCI Butner leads the nation for the most cases in federal inmates and staff, with 70. Connecticut's FCI Danbury has 69, and California's USP Lompoc has 63. 

FCI Butner Medium I
This undated image shows FCI Butner Medium I. Bureau of Prisons
By Clare Hymes
 

Trump on his authority to open states: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total"

When asked on Monday about his power relative to that of governors, President Trump claimed he has "total" authority because he's president. 

When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total," he said. He had declared in a pair of tweets earlier today about reopening states that "A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!" 

Earlier, Mr. Trump derided the media for saying it's up to governors to decide when to open their states, claiming in a pair of tweets today that "this is incorrect….It is the decision of the President."

When asked to weigh in, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters, "I support the president's leadership under the emergency declaration he signed," and said that governors had implemented the administration's guidelines "even in states where there was not a significant outbreak." 

He also suggested that the nature of the president's absolute power stems from the declaration of a national emergency. The authority of the president during national emergencies, Pence said, is "unquestionably plenary." 

"As to whether or not I'll use that power, we'll see," Mr. Trump said Monday night.

By Ellen Uchimiya
 

3 additional NYPD members die of coronavirus

The New York City Police Department announced Monday that three more of its employees have died of coronavirus-related complications, bringing the total number of NYPD coronavirus deaths to 23. 

Detective Jeffrey Scalf, who worked in the Gang Squad in the Bronx, and Detective Raymond Abear, who worked in the Special Victims Squad in Queens, died on Monday. Auxiliary Police Captain Mohamed Rahaman, who worked in Queens, died on Sunday, the department said. 

 More than 17% of the NYPD's uniformed workforce called in sick on Monday, the department added. That's a downturn from last week, during which more than 19% of the workforce called in sick on multiple days. 

"For the fourth consecutive day more officers have returned to work than have gone sick resulting in our total sick rate to decrease during the same time period," the department said. 

More than 2,300 uniformed members and more than 500 civilian employees have tested positive for the virus, the NYPD added.

US-HEALTH-VIRUS
Two NYPD cars are parked on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 18, 2020, in New York City.  Getty
By Victoria Albert
 

Trump plays campaign-like video touting virus response

The White House played a campaign ad-like video in Monday's Coronavirus Task Force Briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, criticizing the media, touting the administration's coronavirus response, and playing clips of governors praising the Trump administration. In the same briefing minutes later, the president claimed his authority as president of the United States is "total," and governors should know that. 

The testimonial came after the New York Times published a blistering story outlining early failures in the administration to get a handle on the virus and on testing. The report portrayed the president as having not immediately grasped the seriousness of the potential crisis ahead. 

Asked about the video, Mr. Trump confirmed his own White House staff, including White House social media director Dan Scavino, compiled the video in the last two hours before the briefing. As Monday's briefing continued, the president seemed to become increasingly defiant, insisting that his administration has combated the virus flawlessly.

Read more about the briefing here.

 

Man dies of COVID-19 in Wyoming, previously the last U.S. state without a virus death

 A man in Wyoming has become the first person in the state to die of coronavirus. For almost two weeks, Wyoming was the only U.S. state without known deaths from the virus.
 
The Johnson County man's death was announced Monday by the Wyoming Department of Health. State health officials said the man, who died last week, had preexisting health conditions. 

By Associated Press
 

Racing to a cure: Where we stand on treating coronavirus

The World Health Organization said Monday that there are at least 70 potential vaccines for the coronavirus being developed. The top three candidates are still in the early stages of testing and it takes time and patience. Meanwhile, there are no approved treatments for COVID-19, but research is rapidly evolving.

Drugs under consideration include the experimental drug remdesivir, originally designed for Ebola, and hydroxychloroquine, approved to treat malaria.

Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health is testing the rheumatoid arthritis drug kevzara, made by Regeneron, to see if it can dampen severe inflammation caused by the virus; inflammation that ends up damaging the lungs.

Dr. Anar Yukhayev, an OB-GYN, was the trial's first patient. "The only question that I had really, for the doctors were, 'if you were in my place, would you do this?' And without hesitation, both of them said yes," Yukhayev told CBS News.

Read more here.

Global effort underway to identify coronavirus treatments
By Jonathan LaPook
 

Antibody testing study underway in Los Angeles County

With no clear answer to when life will return to normal, experts say people who have been infected and recovered may be immune to coronavirus. Their blood could hold the key to understanding where we go from here.

A single drop of blood could soon determine if you're immune to coronavirus. The Los Angeles County Health Department is now randomly testing 1,000 people for antibodies, which are produced in our blood to fight infections. Dr Neeraj Sood is heading up the study. 

"That will tell us what is the true trajectory of this epidemic," Sood said. "Are infections rising rapidly? Or have they started to plateau? Are we achieving herd immunity? Is this epidemic going to end? When is this epidemic going to end?" 

And that could determine when it's safe for Americans to return to work, says the dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Lloyd Minor. 

"The hope is that the information from the antibody tests and other information will enable policymakers to make informed decisions about when shelter in place and social distancing can be relaxed," Minor said.

Read more here.

How blood from COVID-19 survivors could help researchers


By Carter Evans
 

Fauci clarifies comments about timing of mitigation efforts

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday sought to clarify comments he made on Sunday about whether or not more lives could have been saved if the Trump administration had undertaken mitigation efforts earlier.
 
"You could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives," Fauci told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union," a statement that some interpreted as criticism of the president. He also said that "there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then." 

On Monday, at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Fauci recalled "the nature of the hypothetical question" about earlier mitigation and reiterated that, "yes, obviously, mitigation helps," and "if mitigation works and you instigate it and initiate it earlier, you probably would have saved more lives. If you initiate it later, you probably would have lost more lives."

"That was taken as a way that maybe something was at fault here," he said. 

The first and only time he and Birx formally made a recommendation to the president about a shutdown, Fauci said, the president listened to the recommendation. 

When asked whether he was voluntarily clarifying his remarks, Fauci, betraying some irritation, responded, "Everything I do is voluntarily. Please, don't even imply that."

By Ellen Uchimiya
 

Coronavirus antibody testing must be covered free of charge, feds say

Tests to detect antibodies in people who have previously been infected by the coronavirus must be covered free of charge under health insurance plans and Medicaid, according to new guidance quietly issued by the Trump administration.
 
In a document dated April 11 explaining the implementation of two pieces of legislation signed into law last month, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury said the Food and Drug Administration has determined that serology testing for antibodies should be considered an "in vitro diagnostic test" and treated the same as tests to detect the virus itself.
 
Read more here.

By Stefan Becket
 

More than 80 million Americans will receive economic impact payments this week, Treasury says

The Treasury Department announced Monday that more than 80 million Americans will receive their economic impact payments this week.

"The U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS expect tens of millions of Americans will receive their payments via direct deposit by Wednesday, April 15," the department said in a statement."

The first round of payments will go to Americans who have their direct deposit information on file with the government. For those who do not have their information on file, the Treasury said an online application will be available this week that allows people to submit their direct deposit information and get payments "immediately."

Otherwise, the Treasury said it will begin disbursing mailed checks before the end of April.

Trump battles with governors over reopening the economy
By Victoria Albert
 

Brazil may have 12 times more cases than official reports say, study warns

Brazil could have 12 times the number of coronavirus cases than the number that has been officially reported, according to a study released Monday cited by Reuters. 
 
Based on the number of cases that resulted in deaths through April 10 and the expected death rates from the World Health Organization, researchers at a group of Brazilian universities estimated that only about 8% of the country's coronavirus cases have been reported, Reuters said. 
 
Part of the problem, the researchers said, is that the government has primarily tested serious cases. 
 
Brazil's official death toll hit 1,223 on Sunday, and the number of confirmed cases has reached 22,169, according to health ministry data cited by Reuters. But the researchers believe that by April 20, the number of cases will grow to anywhere from 25,164 to 60,413.

 

Mother of NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns dies

Jacqueline Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, has died of complication from the coronavirus, a family spokesperson said in a statement Monday.

"Jackie was many things to many people, - a wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. The matriarch of the Towns family, she was an incredible source of strength; a fiery caring, and extremely loving person, who touched everyone she met. Her passion was palpable and her energy will never be replaced," the statement said.

"The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning."

Last month, Karl-Anthony Towns announced that his mother was in a coma after battling symptoms of the virus. Towns urged people to take the precautions necessary to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"This disease needs not to be taken lightly," he said. "Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please, don't be in places with a lot of people." 

By Justin Carissimo
 

No, Trump can't order states to reopen, constitutional scholars say

After weeks of touting states' right to decide whether to issue stay-at-home and other mitigation orders, President Trump now says the decision to "open up the states" rests with him, not governors. But constitutional scholars disagree. 
 
"It is the decision of the president" to reopen sectors of states' economies, Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning. 
 
But Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas School of law, wrote on Twitter that the president's assessment of his own authority is off base.
 
"This tweet is just false. The president has no formal legal authority to categorically override local or state shelter-in-place orders or to reopen schools and small businesses," Vladek wrote. "No statute delegates to him such power; no constitutional provision invests him with such authority." 

Read more here.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Manafort's attorneys seek home confinement, citing coronavirus

Lawyers for Paul Manafort are asking for their client to be immediately transferred to home confinement, according to a letter to the director of the Bureau of Prisons and the warden at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Loretto in Pennsylvania reviewed by CBS News.

"Mr. Manafort is 71 years old and suffers from several pre-existing health conditions, including high blood pressure, liver disease, and respiratory ailments. As the BOP is aware, in December 2019, Mr. Manafort was hospitalized for several days due to a heart condition. More recently, in February 2020, he contracted influenza and bronchitis," attorneys Todd Blanche and Kevin Downing wrote in the letter, which asks that Manafort be transferred for either the remainder of his sentence or for the duration of the pandemic.

"These medications as well as Mr. Manafort's health history make plain that Mr. Manafort is at a significantly higher risk for serious illness or death," the attorneys added.

Manafort is currently serving a 7.5-year prison sentence for conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, as well as tax fraud and bank fraud. 

By Catherine Herridge
 

France extends emergency measures to May 11

France's President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday that the country's emergency measures will stay in place until May 11, according to Reuters
 
"Over the next four weeks, the rules must be respected," Macron said in an address to the nation.
 
By May 11, he added, he believes France will have the ability to test all citizens who show symptoms of COVID-19. 

 

White House says Trump is not firing Fauci

The White House on Monday said President Trump is not firing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor. 
 
"This media chatter is ridiculous – President Trump is not firing Dr. Fauci. The President's tweet clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history," White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. "Dr. Fauci has been and remains a trusted advisor to President Trump." 
 
Over the weekend, Fauci suggested lives could have been saved if the president had acted sooner on warnings about the coronavirus pandemic. The New York Times reported that the president was warned about a pandemic at the end of January, and that top officials wanted to implement social distancing in February.
 
Fauci seemed to corroborate that on Sunday when he said lives could have been saved if the U.S. had promoted social distancing in February.
 
On Twitter late Sunday night, the president pushed back against the Times story as "fake news," and re-tweeted a tweet that included the hashtag #FireFauci.

Virus Outbreak Trump
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks at the White House on Friday, April 10, 2020. Evan Vucci / AP
By Justin Carissimo
 

ACLU urges release of 700 "vulnerable" inmates at Louisiana prison

The ACLU on Monday filed an emergency motion for the release of over 700 "vulnerable"  inmates from FCI Oakdale, a federal prison in Louisiana. Six inmates have died at the facility, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. 

The bureau, which is responsible for 146,000 inmates spread across 122 facilities nationwide, said it had increased home confinement by 40% since Barr's original request on March 26. 
There are 284 federal inmates and 125 staffers who have tested positive for the virus at federal prisons across the country.

"The Bureau of Prisons' plan to review less than 100 of the men currently incarcerated at Oakdale is dangerous and immoral. BOP is slow-walking the release, testing, and care at the prison, and the consequence is human life," Somil Trivedi, senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, said in a statement. 

"The review process is too little, too late. It does nothing to achieve social distancing, which public health experts agree is crucial for containing the outbreak," Trivedi added.

FCI Oakdale
This file image shows FCI Oakdale. Bureau of Prisons
By Justin Carissimo
 

Pope shines light on domestic violence victims

Pope Frances said Monday the world should stand behind victims of domestic violence and praised frontline workers in the fight against coronavirus. 

Speaking from the papal library, rather than his window overlooking Rome's St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis said: "Today I would like to remind you of what many women do, even in this time of medical emergency, to take care of others: doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers and prisons, employees of basic necessities stores, and many mothers, sisters and grandmothers who find themselves locked in the house with the whole family, with children, the elderly, the disabled. Sometimes they risk being victims of violence in a cohabitation that they bear like a weight that is far too heavy. Let us pray for them, so the Lord grants them strength and that our communities support them along with their families."

Domestic violence has spiked across the world as lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus restrict people from leaving their homes.

VATICAN-RELIGION-POPE-HEALTH-VIRUS-ANGELUS-EASTER-MONDAY
Pope Francis appears at the window of the Apostolic palace on April 13, 2020, in The Vatican. Getty
By Haley Ott
 

Amazon to hire 75,000 workers

Amazon on Monday announced it would be hiring an additional 75,000 workers "to help meet customer demand and assist existing employees fulfilling orders for essential products."

The company also said it has hired over 100,000 workers as it responds to increased demand during the virus pandemic.

"Our top concern is ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We made over 150 process updates to help protect employees—from enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new efforts like using disinfectant fog in our New York fulfillment center."

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-STRIKE
The Amazon logo at a distribution center in State Island on March 30, 2020. Getty
By Justin Carissimo
 

Cuomo says "the worst is over" in New York

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said "the worst is over" if New Yorkers "continue to be smart" going forward.

"You look at the numbers, you know what it says? We're controlling the spread," he told reporters. "If you isolate, if you take the precautions, your family won't get infected. We can control the spread. Feel good about that because we could've gotten to a point where we said we can't control this damn thing."

By Justin Carissimo
 

New York death toll tops 10,000

At least 10,056 people have died from coronavirus in New York state, the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. Cuomo said there were 671 deaths in his state on Sunday.

By Justin Carissimo
 

Rutgers University's new saliva test for COVID-19 gets FDA approval

A new method to test for COVID-19 that uses saliva has been approved by the FDA. The test, which was developed by researchers at Rutgers University's RUCDR Infinite Biologics and Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs, will allow for broader population screening than the current method of nose and throat swabs.

"Saliva testing will help with the global shortage of swabs for sampling and increase testing of patients, and it will not require health care professionals to be put at risk to collect samples," Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR, said. "Saliva testing will also be important for people who are in quarantine because they don't know how long it will be until they are no longer infectious. This will allow health care workers to release themselves from quarantine and safely come back to work."

Read the full story from CBS Philly here.

 

Christ the Redeemer statue lit up as doctor to honor frontline medical workers

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue perched atop Mount Corcovado is an omnipresent symbol of faith overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On Easter Sunday, one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, the statue not only immortalized Jesus, but paid homage to medical workers battling the coronavirus across the globe. Lights projected a medical outfit onto the statue, transforming the depiction of Jesus into a doctor.

The statue appeared to wear a stethoscope and white lab coat as the words "thank you," written in different languages, flashed across him. "Obrigado," "merci," "grazie," "danke," the projection read, offering thanks to the millions of medical workers selflessly battling the pandemic around the world.

Christ the Redeemer statue lit up as a doctor to honor medical workers during coronavirus

Read more here.

By Caitlin O'Kane
 

Supreme Court to hold arguments for some key cases by phone

The Supreme Court will hold arguments by telephone in May for a select number of cases that were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the court announced Monday.

Among the key cases that will be argued by phone are three involving subpoenas from congressional Democrats and New York prosecutors for President Trump's financial records, as well as a pair of cases involving faithless electors and the Electoral College.

The Supreme Court's public information office said it intends to provide a live audio feed of the arguments to the press, marking the first time the high court will have live audio of arguments. Audio recordings of oral arguments are typically posted on the Friday after they are held, though same-day audio has been provided in limited instances. 

In all, the Supreme Court will conduct phone arguments for 13 cases on select dates in the first two weeks of May.

Read more here.

By Melissa Quinn
 

"Starving" Bangladesh garment workers protest for pay during lockdown

Thousands of garment workers who produce items for top Western fast fashion brands protested against unpaid wages in Bangladesh's streets Monday, saying they were more afraid of starving than contracting the coronavirus.

Bangladesh's apparel factories account for some 84% of the country's $40 billion export sector, which is facing its worst crisis in decades after retailers including H&M, Walmart and Tesco cancelled orders because of the pandemic. 

BANGLADESH-HEALTH-VIRUS-UNREST-LABOUR-TEXTILE
Workers from the garment sector block a road during a protest to demand payment of due wages, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 13, 2020. Getty

Protesting workers say many factories have not paid them after the orders were cut.

Workers shouted slogans such as "we want our wages" and "break the black hands of the owners" as they blocked roads despite a nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of the deadly disease.

"We are afraid of the coronavirus. We heard a lot of people are dying of this disease," protesting worker Sajedul Islam, 21, told AFP. "But we don't have any choice. We are starving. If we stay at home, we may save ourselves from the virus. But who will save us from starvation?"  

- AFP

U.S. punishes Bangladesh for unsafe factory conditions
 

Trump retweets "FireFauci" hashtag after top scientist appears to contradict him

The government's top infectious disease expert may be under pressure for appearing to contradict President Trump. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested lives could have been saved if the President had acted sooner on warnings about the coronavirus. Watch Paula Reid's report on the conflicting accounts of when the White House was warned about the pandemic below.

Dr. Fauci says earlier coronavirus response could have saved lives
 

"We are trapped": Immigrant women detained during a pandemic speak out

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated concerns among advocates about the conditions inside U.S. immigration jails. CBS News spoke with five women detained at a for-profit prison in Jena, Louisiana, who are pleading for their release. 

Like many of the roughly 34,000 immigrants currently held by ICE, the women feel powerless to protect themselves from the deadly contagion, which has already infected at least 61 detainees and 19 employees in more than two dozen facilities across 11 states. Click here to read excerpts of our interviews with the women.

Woman in ICE custody pleads for release amid coronavirus pandemic
By Camilo Montoya-Galvez
 

As world turns to China for PPE, U.S. buyers risk knock-offs and price gouging

With virus restrictions lifted, China has directed its manufacturing might toward making the personal protective equipment health care workers need to battle the coronavirus. Now there's a rush to buy these coveted medical supplies from China by global governments, private companies — and profiteers. It's a global free-for-all and CBS News found U.S. states and hospitals struggling to compete.

Aubrey Layne, Virginia's secretary of finance, is responsible for purchasing his state's supply of PPE, and he's turning to China. 

"We need the masks, the respirators, all the gowns, the gloves," Layne said, adding that Virginia's current inventory isn't enough to weather the state's anticipated surge in coronavirus cases. Layne said China is currently the only place capable of delivering the bulk orders he needs, but buyers take on plenty of risk. 

American distributors and supply chain managers tell CBS News that PPE factories are popping up overnight in China, some even faking U.S. government approvals. Click here to read more

Buying PPE from China poses risks of knock-offs and pricing gouging
 

South Korea reports 116 "reactivated" COVID-19 cases

South Korea's top infectious disease expert said Monday the number of patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus again after being cleared of the disease and released from hospitals had increased to 116. That figure was about double the number of "reactivated" cases reported last week. 

Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there hadn't been any confirmed transmissions from patients who tested positive for a second time. 

He said it was unclear whether the reactivated cases were due to to patients contracting the disease again, faulty tests, or simply people still having low levels of the virus in their bloodstream that, for some reason, became detectable again over time.

Some countries — including hard-hit South Korea and Italy — have conducted wide-scale testing and follow-up testing, allowing them to detect reactivated cases more efficiently. A South Korean official said Monday, meanwhile, that the country had shipped 600,000 COVID-19 test kits to the U.S. to help meet a demand for more, after a request from President Trump.

CBS/AP

 

Pandemic puts strain on people relying on food banks

The coronavirus pandemic that has already cost more than 22,000 American lives is also causing many to go hungry. Thousands have been forced to wait for hours in long lines at food banks across the country.

Feeding America, the nation's largest network of food banks, reported a 98 percent increase in demand.

It's a time of unprecedented demand everywhere, but the need may be most critical in rural America, reports correspondent Janet Shamlian. That is where pantries are closing because food is scarce and also volunteers who staff them are worried about their own health.

Click here to read more.

Coronavirus pandemic puts strain on food banks
 

Undocumented farmworkers help feed America but aren't eligible for aid amid coronavirus

While millions of Americans will soon be benefiting from the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, and the agriculture industry is expecting to receive up to $23.5 billion in aid from it, undocumented farmworkers like Jesús Zuniga won't be receiving anything despite their essential role growing and harvesting crops sold in grocery stores across the U.S.

Originally from Hidalgo, Mexico, Zuniga is 45 and has been living in California and working in the state's agriculture industry for 20 years. He has picked onions and tomatoes and is currently harvesting grapes.

"We are in really trying times and we are in trouble as farmworkers," Zuniga told CBS News in Spanish. "We are essential workers, we pay taxes, so we'd hope that [the government] would give us help just as they are planning to with others who have documentation," he said.

Click here to read more.

By Laura Molinari
 

Virginia governor seeks to delay minimum wage hike due to coronavirus

Citing economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed an amendment to a bill increasing the state's minimum wage that would delay its implementation several months, his office announced Sunday.

The governor's office also said he had signed bills that make sweeping changes to voting in Virginia by repealing the state's voter ID law, making Election Day a state holiday and expanding access to early voting.

The governor wants the wage increase to kick in May 1, 2021, instead of in January 2021. Northam, a Democrat, proposed the same May effective date for a number of other labor-related measures, including a bill that would allow limited public sector collective bargaining.

Click here to read more.

By Associated Press
 

George Stephanopoulos tests positive for coronavirus

"Good Morning America" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos has tested positive for coronavirus, he revealed on the show on Monday. He got his results after his wife, Ali Wentworth, had been battling with COVID-19. 

The ABC News host said he hasn't felt any of the symptoms related to the virus despite his wife feeling them.

"I'm one of those cases that are basically asymptomatic," Stephanopoulos said. "I've never had a fever, never had chills, never had headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath. I'm feeling great."

Click here to read more.

By Christopher Brito
 

Sailor from virus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier dies in Guam

A U.S. Navy Sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of the new coronavirus, the Navy said Monday.

The sailor was moved into the intensive care unit of the U.S. military hospital on the Pacific island of Guam last week, but four days later "died of COVID-related complications," according to the Navy.

As of Sunday, at least 585 members of the Roosevelt's crew had tested positive for the new coronavirus. The ship has been docked in Guam since making a scheduled port call on March 27. The stay was extended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak on board. 

Almost 4,000 crew members were moved ashore to the U.S. military base in Guam for monitoring, of whom almost 3,000 have now been tested for COVID-19.

The death announced Monday was the first fatality among the Roosevelt's crew.

Defense Secretary Esper reacts to fallout from Navy Captain Crozier firing
By Tucker Reals
 

More than 4,300 arrested for violating Morocco's virus lockdown over the weekend

More than 4,300 people were arrested over the weekend in Morocco for breaching emergency rules in place to combat the novel coronavirus, according to official government figures. 

More than half of those cited were taken into police custody. Penalties for violating the lockdown measures aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 disease include up to three months in jail and fines of up to 1,300 dirhams ($130), or both. 

Morocco has recorded 1,746 COVID-19 cases, with 120 deaths and 196 recoveries. Fewer than 7,000 tests have been carried out in the country.

By Khaled Wassef
 

Moscow rolling out digital travel permits for anyone moving around the Russian capital

The coronavirus lockdown in Moscow and the surrounding region will be tightened this week with the introduction of digital travel permits for residents, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continues to rise.

A special website and app were launched for the new digital permit system, the latest effort to keep people off the streets and slow down the spread of the virus. The website was down Monday morning, with city authorities blaming an alleged cyberattack they claimed had originated, in part, in an unspecified foreign nation or nations.

The digital permits will be mandatory from Wednesday for anyone wishing to travel by public or private transport within Moscow and the surrounding region. The passes can be printed, saved as screenshots or written down as a unique code and carried on paper. Only local travel on foot, for essential reasons, will be allowed without a permit.

Russia reported 2,558 new cases Monday ­– another daily record – bringing the nationwide total to 18,328. At least 18 people died overnight, raising the overall death toll to 148. Moscow, a city of 12.7 million, has seen the majority of cases.

By Alexandra Odynova
 

Trump's developer friend Stanley Chera dies of coronavirus

A friend and donor to President Donald Trump who the president had said was in a coma and seriously ill after becoming infected with the coronavirus has died.

Stanley I. Chera's death Saturday was reported by The Real Deal, which covers the New York real estate industry. The publication cited unidentified sources who have worked with Crown Acquisitions, the firm Chera founded and ran. Chera was in his late 70s.

A White House official on Sunday confirmed Chera's identity and ties to the president. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details about Trump's personal friendships.

Click here to read more.

By Associated Press
 

Spain eases coronavirus lockdown as hope grows that the worst is over

Spain reopened parts of its coronavirus-stricken economy on Monday as slowing death tolls in some of the worst-hit countries boosted hopes the curve may be starting to flatten and lockdown restrictions could soon be eased.

Watched by a world that is keen to temper a brutal pandemic-induced recession, some Spanish factory and construction staff were set to return to work within strict safety guidelines fueling cautious optimism that the virus may have reached its peak there. 

Spain's death toll fell again on Monday with 517 fatalities, plus the lowest daily figure of new confirmed infections since March 20. 

SPAIN-HEALTH-VIRUS-TRANSPORT
Spanish Red Cross volunteers distribute face masks at the Chamartin Station in Madrid on April 13, 2020 as some companies were set to resume operations at the end of a two-week halt of all non-essential activity amid a national lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus. Getty

France and the U.S. have also seen a drop in daily COVID-19 deaths, along with Italy which reported its lowest fatalities in three weeks.

But Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned his country was "far from victory," with the lockdown restrictions for the rest of the nation's 47 million people remaining in place.

-CBS/AFP

 

Michigan woman loses husband and son to coronavirus within 3 days

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left one Flint-area woman devastated after the deaths of both her husband and son from COVID-19.

Sandy Brown of Grand Blanc lost her 59-year-old husband, Freddie Lee Brown Jr., and her 20-year-old son, Freddie Lee Brown III, within days of each other in late March, CBS affiliate WWMT-TV reported.

"My two men are gone. I am standing here in the strength of the Lord, not no strength of my own," Brown told the station. Click here to read more.

— CBS/AP

 

Want Amazon to deliver your groceries? Take a number.

As thousands of Americans try to avoid stores over fear of the new coronavirus, Amazon has seen such an "unprecedented" surge in demand for its online grocery delivery service that the Seattle-based retail giant is making new customers wishing to enroll in the service join a waiting list. 

"We are bringing groceries to more people while also managing new safety measures (including social distancing) and unprecedented demand," Amazon VP of Grocery services, Stephenie Landry, said in a statement posted to the corporate blog.

"We are temporarily asking new Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market delivery and pickup customers to sign up for an invitation to use online grocery delivery and pickup," Amazon said, adding that it was "increasing capacity each week and will invite new customers to shop every week."  

By Tucker Reals
 

AP tally shows at least 3,621 have likely died with COVID-19 in U.S. nursing homes

More than 3,600 deaths have been linked to coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities nationwide, an alarming rise in just the past two weeks. 

Because the federal government has not been releasing a count of its own, The Associated Press has kept its own running tally based on media reports and state health departments. 

The latest count of at least 3,621 deaths is up from about 450 deaths just 10 days ago. Experts say even that is likely an undercount because most state numbers don't include those who died without ever being tested for COVID-19.  

By Associated Press
 

Fauci suggests "rolling reentry" for parts of U.S. economy, possibly from May

The United States' top infectious disease expert says the economy in parts of the country could have a "rolling reentry" as early as next month, provided health authorities can quickly identify and isolate people who will inevitably be infected with the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci also says he "can't guarantee" that it will be safe for Americans to vote in person on Election Day, November 3.

Fauci says a gradual return to normal will be required based on the status of the new coronavirus pandemic in various parts of the country and the availability of rapid, widespread testing.

 

U.S. nearing brink of virus-linked meat shortage, major producer says

Virginia-based Smithfield Foods announced Sunday that it is closing its pork processing plant in Sioux Falls until further notice after hundreds of employees tested positive for the coronavirus — a step the head of the company warned could hurt the nation's meat supply, The Associated Press reports.

The announcement came a day after South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken wrote to Smithfield and urged the company to suspend operations for 14 days so that its workers could self-isolate and the plant could be disinfected.

Health officials said Sunday that 293 of the 730 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in South Dakota work at the plant.  

By Associated Press
 

FDA issues "emergency use authorization" to sterilize millions of N95 masks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an "emergency use authorization" that would pave the way to "decontaminate nearly 4 million N95 or N95-equivalent respirators per day in the U.S. for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings," according to a press release.

The FDA outlined the system for which hospitals can use to sterilize the masks, a critical piece of personal protective equipment in the fight against coronavirus.

"Our nation's health care workers are among the many heroes of this pandemic and we need to do everything we can to increase the availability of the critical medical devices they need, like N95 respirators," FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn said in the press release. "FDA staff continue to work around the clock, across government and with the private sector to find solutions. This authorization will help provide access to millions of respirators so our health care workers on the front lines can be better protected and provide the best care to patients with COVID-19."

By Peter Martinez
 

California could see coronavirus peak by mid-May, state health expert says

California has nearly 22,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 635 deaths, according to data compiled Sunday by John Hopkins University, figures far lower than New York, where the infections have been most prevalent and deadly.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said models state officials have created to track the virus had been showing a peak by the middle of next month, but the picture has improved as people limited their movement.

Even so, California Governor Gavin Newsom implored people to continue practicing social distancing.

"Let's just do this together. Give us a few more weeks to see where these trend lines go," Newsom said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who ordered all parks closed from Saturday evening through Monday morning, also extended the city's remain-home order to May 15 and warned that easing it too soon might open the door to more infections.

— The Associated Press

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