More than 1.5 million people worldwide -- including more than 450,000 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 brace for unprecedented patient surges.
Live updates for Thursday, April 9, continue below:
UFC 249 canceled after ESPN, Disney halt promotion’s plans
Update 11:15 p.m. EDT April 9: UFC 249 was canceled Thursday after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped UFC President Dana White’s plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After defiantly vowing for weeks to maintain a regular schedule of fights while the rest of the sports world halted, White confirmed the decision to cease competition in a text to The Associated Press.
UFC 249 was scheduled for April 18 on ESPN Plus pay-per-view, and White planned to follow it with regular fight cards from Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino on tribal land in California’s Central Valley.
White House says no ‘surprise’ bills for COVID-19 patients
Update 10:45 p.m. EDT April 9: Hospitals taking money from the $2 trillion stimulus bill will have to agree not to send “surprise” medical bills to patients treated for COVID-19, the White House said Thursday.
Surprise bills typically happen when a patient with health insurance gets treated at an out-of-network emergency room, or when an out-of-network doctor assists with a hospital procedure. They can run from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands. Before the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers in Congress had pledged to curtail the practice, but prospects for such legislation now seem highly uncertain.
“The Trump administration is committed to ensuring all Americans are not surprised by the cost related to testing and treatment they need for COVID-19,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.
The stimulus bill includes $100 billion for the health care system, to ease the cash crunch created by the mass cancellation of elective procedures in preparation to receive coronavirus patients. Release of the first $30 billion, aimed at hospitals, is expected soon.
CDC extending no-sail order for cruise ships
Update 9:55 p.m. EDT April 9: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that it will be extending indefinitely a no-sail order for cruise ships.
“We are working with the cruise line industry to address the health and safety of crew at sea as well as communities surrounding U.S. cruise ship points of entry,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “The measures we are taking today to stop the spread of COVID-19 are necessary to protect Americans, and we will continue to provide critical public health guidance to the industry to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on its workforce throughout the remainder of this pandemic.”
The CDC noted that at least 10 cruise ships reported crew or passengers that tested positive or experienced respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness.
The Coast Guard said in a news release Saturday it has been involved with processing about 120 vessels carrying some 250,000 passengers over the past three weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Coast Guard statement said as of Saturday there are 114 cruise ships, carrying 93,000 crew members, either in or near U.S. ports and waters. That includes 73 cruise ships, with 52,000 crew members, moored or anchored in U.S. ports and anchorages. Another 41 cruise ships, with 41,000 crew members, are underway and close to the U.S.
Crew member of cruise ship with virus cases dies in Florida
Update 9:25 p.m. EDT April 9: A crew member who was hospitalized for days after two ill-fated cruise ships with coronavirus patients were finally allowed to dock in Florida has died, officials said.
Broward County Medical Examiner Craig Mallak on Thursday confirmed the death of Wiwit Widarto, 50, of Indonesia. Widarto had tested positive for COVID-19, raising the Zaandam ship’s coronavirus-related death toll to four.
The man died Wednesday, six days after the Zaandam and a sister ship docked in the Fort Lauderdale port after spending two weeks at sea rejected by South American ports, said Holland America Line spokesman Erik Elvejord. He had been taken to a Florida hospital the same day the ship docked.
Oregon rural hospitals losing revenue, laying off workers
Update 8:05 p.m. EDT April 9: Rural community hospitals in Oregon are seeing revenue plunge and resorting to laying off and firing employees to cope with a ban on elective surgeries while health officials battle the coronavirus outbreak.
Some hospitals have seen revenue decline as much as 60% in a month, said Becky Hultberg, CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
Staffing is one of the hospital’s most significant costs. So as revenue declines, some hospitals have been forced to furlough or lay off staff,” she said.
Hospitals in the state have enough capacity to handle an expected peak in virus cases later this month, according to projections, but the association says it’s too early to relax the restrictions.
Some hospitals also lost revenue because fewer people visited emergency rooms, opting instead for virtual visits with a medical professional, fearing an ER could expose them to the virus.
Claims for unemployment insurance reflect the scope of the job losses. In the past week, the Oregon Employment Department received 8,800 unemployment claims from workers in health care and social assistance fields, up from 396 three weeks earlier. Only accommodation-food services workers filed more claims.
US expels thousands to Mexico after largely halting asylum
Update 7 p.m. EDT April 9: The Trump administration is relying on a seldom-used public health law to set aside decades-old national and international immigration laws. People seeking refuge in the U.S. are whisked to the nearest border crossing and returned to Mexico without a chance to apply for asylum. It’s one of the U.S. government’s most aggressive border crackdowns ever, eclipsing President Donald Trump’s other policies.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that nearly 10,000 Mexicans and Central Americans have been “expelled” to Mexico since the rules took effect March 21. Mark Morgan, the agency’s acting commissioner, said the changes were “not about immigration.”
The Trump administration has offered little detail on the rules, which haven’t been challenged in court. The lack of specifics means the change got little attention when it went public March 20, the same day Trump announced at a news conference that the southern border was closed to nonessential travel.
16.8M Americans out of work
Update 6:30 p.m. EDT April 9: A staggering 16.8 million Americans lost their jobs in just three weeks in a measure of how fast the coronavirus has brought world economies to their knees. Meanwhile, religious leaders around the globe Thursday urged people to celebrate Good Friday and Easter from the safety of their homes.
New York state reported a record-breaking number of dead for a third straight day, 799. More than 7,000 people have died in the state, accounting for almost half the U.S. death toll of more than 16,000.
“That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking, I don’t even have the words for it,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Nearly 700,000 in Ohio file for unemployment in just 3 weeks
Update 5:40 p.m. EDT April 9: Nearly 700,000 people filed for unemployment in the last three weeks, the state Department of Job and Family Services said, almost double the 364,603 claims filed in all of 2019. The 226,007 claims filed for the week ending April marked the second consecutive week that claims topped 200,000.
Ohio has paid more than $124 million so far to more than 195,000 people who have filed unemployment claims, Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall said on Wednesday.
Nationally, 1 in 10 members of the U.S. labor force are now out of work as 6.6 million file for jobless aid across the country.
Cases in US surpass 450,000, over 16,000 deaths
Update 4:40 p.m. EDT April 9: The number of coronavirus cases is now 452,582 according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in the United States hit 16,129 Wednesday afternoon. Italy is the only nation with more deaths attributed to the virus with 18,279.
White House to test all reporters at Thursday’s briefing for COVID-19
Update 3:40 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials will test all reporters gathering Thursday afternoon for the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force news briefing for COVID-19, according to multiple reports.
Reports from the White House Press Pool showed the test to be administered is a fast COVID-19 test, meaning results were expected before the beginning of the news conference at 5 p.m.
The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution” after a member of the press corps who attended a news briefing Tuesday began to experience coronavirus symptoms, NBC News reported.
“The White House Medical Unit is going to conduct a COVID-19 test on all members of the press who plan to participate in today’s task force briefing, including correspondents, photographers, and technicians,” the White House said in a statement obtained by the news network.
“These tests will be conducted with absolute privacy in a vacant office within lower press.”
UK officials report 881 new fatal coronavirus cases
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 881 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 7,978.
The number was slightly lower than the 938 new fatal coronavirus cases reported one day earlier.
Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced a total of 65,077 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. The number was 4,344 higher than the number of cases reported nationwide Wednesday.
More than 1,500 coronavirus infections reported in DC
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT April 9: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Thursday that 83 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, bringing the total number of cases in the capitol to 1,523.
Bowser said Thursday that five people between the ages of 54 and 87 also died of COVID-19. Thirty-two Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.
Trump shares well wishes for UK prime minister
Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 9: President Donald Trump shared well wishes Thursday for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was released Thursday from intensive care after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Great News: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just been moved out of Intensive Care,” Trump wrote. “Get well Boris!!!”
Johnson spent three nights in an intensive care unit at London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital. He tested positive March 26 for COVID-19. Earlier Thursday, a spokesman for Johnson said the prime minister’s condition was improving and that he was in good spirits.
US Rep. Neal Dunn tests positive for COVID-19
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT April 9: Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., has become the latest member of Congress to test positive for a coronavirus infection, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
The 67-year-old went to a hospital Monday night after he began to feel ill and underwent a COVID-19 test, according to the Democrat. The newspaper reported the test later came back positive.
Dunn’s communication’s director, Leah Courtney, told the Democrat that Dunn was feeling great Thursday while self-quarantining at home.
Several other U.S. lawmakers have reported coronavirus infections, including Rep.Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.; and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved out of intensive care
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT April 9: A spokesman for 10 Downing Street told reporters Thursday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom has been moved out of the intensive care unit at a hospital in London, BBC News reported.
“The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” the spokesman said, according to BBC News. “He is in extremely good spirits.”
Johnson spent three nights in intensive care after being admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and still had a cough and fever 10 days later.
Growth of coronavirus cases slowing in Ohio
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials in Ohio said that as of Thursday afternoon, 5,512 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, according to WHIO-TV.
An analysis by the news station found the rate at which confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio is increasing is slowing, though state Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said Wednesday that social distancing efforts needed to stay in effect to keep the number from rising.
“Don’t let up now,” she said, according to WHIO-TV.
Coronavirus cases in Ohio increased by 7% from Tuesday to Wednesday, the news station reported. Comparatively, cases increased by 8% the day before. Last week, cases were increasing 13% - 17%. In late March, cases were increasing by 23% to 31% daily.
Statewide, 213 people have died of coronavirus infections, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
3,748 new COVID-19 cases reported in New Jersey
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 9: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said health officials reported 3,748 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the total number of cases to 51,027 in the state.
The number is slightly higher than the 3,088 new cases reported Wednesday and the 3,361 new cases reported Tuesday.
Officials also reported 198 new fatal COVID-19 cases Thursday. Statewide, 1,700 people have died of coronavirus.
Melania Trump dons face mask in PSA
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT April 9: First lady Melania Trump on Thursday donned a face mask for a public service announcement about the coronavirus pandemic.
Louisiana reports 1,263 new coronavirus infections
Update 1:20 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials in Louisiana reported 1,263 new coronavirus infections Thursday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 18,283.
Officials also reported 50 more fatal coronavirus cases. Statewide, 702 people have died of COVID-19.
610 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in Italy
Update 1:05 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials in Italy reported 610 new fatal coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the country’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 18,279.
The coronavirus curve has been flattening in Italy, although The Guardian noted the number of deaths reported Thursday was 68 cases higher than the number reported one day earlier.
Officials said that as of Thursday, 143,626 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy. The cases included 28,399 in which patients were hospitalized Wednesday, 3,605 of which were in intensive care. More than 64,000 people had been placed under isolation.
Italy has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, behind Spain, which has more than 152,000 cases, and the United States, which has more than 432,000 cases, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Antibody test could be available in ‘days to weeks,’ Fauci says
Update 12:50 p.m. EDT April 9: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that companies producing antibody tests to determine whether a person has already had and recovered from COVID-19 could be ready in “days to weeks.”
During an appearance Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, Fauci said the tests have already been developed and many have already been validated for consistency.
“We are told by the people, the companies that make that, that very soon -- when they say soon, they’re talking days to weeks -- that we’d be able to have a large number of these tests available,” Fauci said.
Knowing whether a person has already had coronavirus can be particularly helpful because so many people who end up with the viral infection are asymptomatic.
“The other thing that’s important is that it is likely, though we need to prove it, that once you’ve been infected and you have an antibody profile that you are very likely protected against subsequent challenge through the same virus,” Fauci said.
“(So we) might have people who are actually protected who have more of a chance of getting back to the normality of society.”
COVID-19 pandemic prompts Georgia officials to push back primary again
Update 12:45 p.m. EDT April 9: Officials in Georgia on Thursday announced the state’s presidential primary would be pushed back further due to the coronavirus pandemic, WSB-TV reported.
The primary was originally scheduled for March 24. In-person early voting, which began statewide March 2, was previously moved to May 19, but now has been pushed to June 9, according to WSB-TV.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the decision was made because of Gov. Brian Kemp’s extension of the public health state of emergency.
Officials in Georgia have reported 10,566 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state and 379 deaths, WSB-TV reported.
Nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases reported in Pennsylvania
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 9: Health officials in Pennsylvania reported 1,989 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the state’s total number of coronavirus infections to 18,228, WPXI reported.
Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health also reported 29 deaths. According to WPXI, 338 people have died of coronavirus in the state.
New York sets record again for highest new fatal COVID-19 cases in 1 day
Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 9: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the state reached another grim milestone Thursday, setting a new record for the highest number of people to die of COVID-19 in a single day for a third-straight day.
Cuomo said 799 coronavirus-related deaths were reported Thursday in New York.
“It’s gotten to the point, frankly, that we’re going to have to bring in additional funeral directors to deal with the number of people who have passed,” Cuomo said Thursday at a news conference. “If you had ever told me that as governor I would have to take these actions, I couldn’t even contemplate where we are now.”
More people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York than have anywhere else in the world aside from the United States itself.
Cuomo said the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the state, which rose to 7,067 Thursday, was “painful and breathtaking." He said that as a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, he and many others expected that “to be the darkest day in New York for a generation.” The 2001 terrorist attack killed 2,753 people in the state.
“I can’t -- I don’t even have the words for it,” he said. “9/11 was so devastating, so tragic, and then ... we lose so many more New Yorkers to this silent killer. ... It was a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11.”
Florida’s Daytona International Speedway to be used for drive-up COVID-19 testing
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT April 9: Officials with the Florida-based AdventHealth will begin offering drive-up COVID-19 testing Friday at the Daytona International Speedway, according to WFTV.
Hospital officials announced they would begin administering 500 or more drive-up tests beginning at 9 a.m. for anyone who meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for testing.
Officials with the Florida Department of Health reported 666 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the total number of cases in the state to 16,394. Authorities also announced 31 deaths, bringing the state’s coronavirus death toll to 354, WFTV reported.
Senate Democrats block Trump’s $250 billion COVID-19 aid plan
Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 9: An effort by the White House to swiftly push through $250 billion in extra funding for a new emergency small business aid program hit a roadblock in the Senate on Thursday, as Democrats blocked quick action on the measure, arguing that Republicans had resisted adding money for other needs like extra testing for the coronavirus.
“This was in fact designed to fail, designed as a political stunt,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., one of only four senators on Capitol Hill for Thursday’s session.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced Democrats for trying to attach extra spending to the president’s request for another quarter of a billion dollars for the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to funnel emergency aid to small businesses around the nation.
“We need more funding, and we need it now,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Pennsylvania governor orders schools closed through end of school year
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT April 9: Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania ordered the state’s schools closed Thursday through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other governors have also announced school closures through the end of the year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including governors in Washington, Oregon, Kansas, Arkansas and several others.
Over 1.5 million coronavirus infections reported globally
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT April 9: More than 1.5 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The cases include 432,554 coronavirus infections in the United States, the most in any nation and more than the number of reports in the next three hardest hit countries combined. Officials in Spain have reported 152,446 COVID-19 cases while authorities in Italy have reported 139,422 and officials in Germany reported 113,296, according to Johns Hopkins.
Fauci: US may reopen by summer but precautions needed to prevent COVID-19 resurgence
Update 10:20 a.m. EDT April 9: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that it’s possible Americans might be able to move freely again by the summer, but he warned that social distancing efforts would need to continue to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
“We have to be prepared that when the infections start to rear their heads again that we have in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate and contact trace (cases) and make sure that we don’t have those spikes that we see now,” Fauci said during an appearance on “CBS This Morning.”
He said Americans have been doing a good job at keeping socially distant, but he cautioned against “(taking) that good news to think that we might be able to pull back a bit.”
“We’ve got to continue in many respects to redouble our efforts at the mitigation of physical separation in order to keep those numbers down and hopefully even get them lower than what you heard recently,” Fauci said.
Wall Street climbs after Fed stuns markets again with $2.3T in aid
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT April 9: Stocks jumped in early trading on Wall Street Thursday after the Federal Reserve launched its latest unprecedented effort to support the economy through the coronavirus outbreak.
The central bank undertook actions to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to households, local governments and small and large businesses as the country tips into what economists say may be the worst recession in decades. It’s the latest massive move by the Fed, which has been rushing to ensure cash can get to parts of the economy that need it after lending markets got snarled earlier by a rush among investors to pull cash out of the system.
USS Theodore Roosevelt crew member hospitalized with coronavirus
Update 9:40 a.m. EDT April 9: The U.S. Navy said a member of the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt who tested positive for coronavirus on March 30 was admitted to the intensive care unit at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
The carrier has been docked at Guam since March 27 with a coronavirus outbreak that has sidelined the warship and infected 416 members of its 4,860-member crew.
The sailor who is in ICU had been in 14-day isolation. As recently as Wednesday, the Navy said there had been zero hospitalizations among the coronavirus-infected crew members.
The Navy says the number of COVID-positive cases among the Roosevelt crew stood Thursday at 416, up from 286 on Wednesday.
Americans shouldn’t assume warm weather will affect virus, Fauci says
Update 9:35 a.m. EDT April 9: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Thursday against assuming that the heat of summer will affect the spread of COVID-19.
“One should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’S “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “You must assume that the virus will continue to do its thing.”
In February, President Donald Trump said that “when it gets a little warmer, (coronavirus) miraculously goes away.” Fauci said Thursday that some similar viruses are affected by heat.
“There’s precedence with other infections -- like influenza and some of the common, more benign coronaviruses -- that when the weather gets warmer that the virus goes down,” Fauci said. “Its ability to replicate, to spread -- it doesn’t like warm, moist weather.
“If we get some help from the weather, so be it. Fine. But I don’t think we need to assume that.”
Fauci: Some indication places are seeing flattening of curve, but it’s still early
Update 9:10 a.m. EDT April 9: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday that reports of COVID-19 in some areas, like New York, appear to be flattening, but he said it’s too early to say for certain.
“We may very well be” at the peak of cases in New York, where more than 138,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He added that he’s “cautiously optimistic.”
Record 16.6 million have sought US jobless aid since virus
Update 8:40 a.m. EDT April 9: With a startling 6.6 million people seeking jobless benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: Roughly one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks.
The figures collectively constitute the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating to 1948. They paint a picture of a job market that is quickly unraveling as businesses have shut down across the country because of the coronavirus outbreak. More than 20 million Americans may lose jobs this month.
The viral outbreak is believed to have erased nearly one-third of the economy’s output in the current quarter. Forty-eight states have closed non-essential businesses. Restaurants, hotels, department stores and small businesses have laid off millions as they struggle to pay bills at a time when their revenue has vanished.
All told, in the past three weeks, 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid. The surge of jobless claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices around the country. And still more job cuts are expected. The unemployment rate could hit 15% when the April employment report is released in early May.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition improving, spokesman says
Update 8:30 a.m. EDT April 9: A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom said he continued to receive oxygen treatment Thursday after being admitted to intensive care with COVID-19, The Guardian reported.
“Boris Johnson (had) a good night and continues to improve in intensive care at St. Thomas’s Hospital,” the spokesman said, according to The Guardian. “He is in good spirits.”
Johnson has spent three nights in intensive care since being admitted to the hospital Sunday. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26 and still had a cough and fever 10 days later.
Global coronavirus deaths top 89K, worldwide cases near 1.5 million
Update 7:52 a.m. EDT April 9: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 89,435 early Thursday, 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 1,496,055 people worldwide. Five countries – the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – have now confirmed total infection counts well above China’s 82,883 cases.
• The United States has reported 432,438 cases, resulting in 14,808 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 148,220 cases, resulting in 14,792 deaths.
• Italy has reported 139,422 infections, resulting in 17,669 deaths.
• Germany has reported 113,296 cases, resulting in 2,349 deaths.
• France has confirmed 83,080 infections, resulting in 10,887 deaths.
• China has recorded 82,883 cases, resulting in 3,339 deaths.
• Iran has recorded 64,586 cases, resulting in 3,993 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 61,487 cases, resulting in 7,111 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 38,226 cases, resulting in 812 deaths.
• Belgium has confirmed 24,983 cases, resulting in 2,523 deaths.
Spain PM: ‘We have reached the peak’ of coronavirus pandemic
Update 7:02 a.m. EDT April 9: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asked a sparse Parliament on Thursday to extend the nation’s state of emergency until April 26 as the country begins taking steps to de-escalate lockdown measures that have been in place to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We have reached the peak and now the de-escalation begins,” Sanchez said, adding, “The climb has been difficult, as the descent will also be.”
Spain’s return to normalcy, however, will be gradual to ensure the virus has no chance to rebound.
“We are facing the biggest threat to the planet’s public health since the flu of 1918. The last thing we should allow is a step backwards.”
According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Spain trails only the United States in terms of total novel coronavirus cases with more than 148,000 confirmed infections, resulting in more than 15,000 deaths to date.
SEC suspends trading of California company hawking ‘at-home’ COVID-19 tests
Update 6:32 a.m. EDT April 9: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading of Wellness Matrix Group shares temporarily, after statements were made claiming its at-home COVID-19 testing kits had gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
The suspension is slated to last until April 22.
Read more here.
Record-breaking unemployment expected to continue; 3-week total could hit 15M
Update 6:13 a.m. EDT April 9: Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal anticipate 5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.
If the figures hold, the three-week total since the coronavirus pandemic placed a stranglehold on the U.S. economy could reach nearly 15 million claims.
Runners, cyclists should maximize space to minimize coronavirus risk, study says
Update 5:43 a.m. EDT April 9: A new European study suggests far greater distances could be necessary to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus among those people venturing outdoors to exercise amid a pandemic.
“When you are moving — running, cycling, walking — you are actually creating an area behind you that is often called a slipstream,” study coordinator Bert Blocken told the Brussels Times, explaining that athletes often use such “slipstreams” to boost their speeds.
Blocken also told The Globe and Mail that anyone seeking an outdoor workout during the coronavirus pandemic should maintain a distance of at least 15 feet from the nearest person when walking, 33 feet when running or cycling slowly to moderately and 65 feet when running or cycling vigorously
Olympic flame taken off display in Japan to discourage gatherings amid coronavirus fears
Update 4:35 a.m. EDT April 9: The Olympic flame has been moved from its public display in Fukushima to an “undisclosed location” in a bid to discourage gatherings with novel coronavirus on the rise in Japan, The Washington Post reported.
The global pandemic has already postponed the Olympics’ Summer Games in Tokyo until 2021, but the flame has been attracting a steady stream of visitors since its March 24 arrival.
“Tokyo 2020 will now keep the flame in an undisclosed location to prevent people from gathering,” Tokyo organizers said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Some FEMA coronavirus testing sites losing federal funding; doors could close this week
Update 2:57 a.m. EDT April 9: States and municipalities unable to support them financially could see some federally funded drive-through coronavirus testing sites shuttered by the close of the week.
According to NPR, the sites are part of the Community-Based Testing Sites program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most,” a representative with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told NPR.
Read more here.
Nearly 300 USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members test positive for COVID-19
Update 2:29 a.m. EDT April 9: The novel coronavirus has infected at least 286 sailors aboard the beleaguered USS Theodore Roosevelt docked off the coast of Guam, CNN reported.
According to the network, more than 90 percent of the ship’s crew has been tested and 2,329 sailors moved ashore.
US coronavirus deaths surpass Spain’s as nation records deadliest day
Update 2 a.m. EDT April 9: Deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus in the United States hit 14,817 on Wednesday, pushing total virus-related U.S. fatalities above those of Spain and marking the nation’s deadliest day on record since the pandemic began.
According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,922 virus-related deaths on Wednesday, the nation’s largest one-day increase since the public health crisis began, and 33,323 new infections. Spain has confirmed 14,792 coronavirus deaths.
Meanwhile, Italy remains the hardest-hit nation in terms of fatalities with 17,699.
US coronavirus deaths hit 14,817, total cases top 432K
Published 12:42 a.m. EDT April 9: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 432,000 early Thursday 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 432,132 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 14,817 deaths. U.S. cases now nearly triple the 148,220 reported in Spain and the 139,422 confirmed in Italy.
Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 6,268 – or roughly 42 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,504 in New Jersey, 959 in Michigan, 652 in Louisiana and 495 in California.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 151,069 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 47,437, Michigan with 18,970, California with 18,752 and Louisiana with 17,030.
Four other states have now confirmed at least 15,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• Massachusetts: 16,790, resulting in 433 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 16,631, resulting in 318 deaths
• Florida: 15,698, resulting in 323 deaths
• Illinois: 15,078, resulting in 462 deaths
Meanwhile, Georgia and Texas each has confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus infections, followed closely by Washington state with 9,277 cases and Connecticut with 8,781 cases; Indiana, Colorado, Maryland and Ohio each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Tennessee has confirmed at least 4,363 cases; Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Arizona each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, Nevada and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.