CORONAVIRUS:

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    More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, April 5, continue below:  Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks. Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19 when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported. “The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,' health officials Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday. More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases. The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak when daily cases topped 6,000.The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. 'I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,' Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths. Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus. He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported. Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26. Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus  Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, accoridng to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Death Valley National Park temporarily closes Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website. Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally. “Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,' said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.” Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family. A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported. Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier. “There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.” NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.” Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’ Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported. 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.” ‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.” “I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program. DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C. Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day. Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus. Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards. NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York. According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media. “New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.” >> See the tweet here As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on. According to The Associated Press, the pope celebrated the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Only a few prelates, nuns and guests were invited to attend, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country. Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week. In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. “I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.” She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.” >> See the post here As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal. Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting. Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper. On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan. BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams Update 3:40 a.m. EDT April 5: Scammers across the United States continue to trick people in an attempt to steal their money or information, WHBQ-TV is reporting. The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens. Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week: A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans. Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General. A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real. A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus. A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately. The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device. The Better Business Bureau said to remember: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer. Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account. Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you. Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere. If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state. The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington. It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported. Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement. The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks. It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious. “The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn. Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit. Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing. “And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said. He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die. But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results. “All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday. He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect. Read more here. U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878. Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths • Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths • Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths • Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths • Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.
  • Police in a Louisiana city blared a siren signaling the start of curfew -- unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren Friday night, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise, KATC reported. Chief Jimmy Broussard said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours, KATC reported. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. The Acadia Parish sheriff distanced his department from the noise. “Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” K.P. Gibson said in a statement. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ’Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere, The Associated Press reported. It is believed Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. The zoo on Tuesday shared video on social media of the tigers enjoying a swim. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A Florida man is accused of torturing a dog before killing it and then placing the animal in a hot oven, authorities said. Vicasso Lara, 24, of Lehigh Acres, was charged with torturing an animal, inflicting pain and serious injury, and causing death, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted on its Facebook page. “I’m speechless,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in a news release. “This is possibly the most brutal and horrific example of animal abuse my team or I have ever seen.” Deputies conducted a well-being check at a Lehigh Acres residence at 10 p.m. Friday, the Fort Myers News-Press reported. After speaking with Lara and a witness, they responded to another residence, where they saw several pools of blood outside the home and bloody footprints near its rear entrance, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives executed a search warrant and discovered the body of a dog in a kitchen oven, which had been turned up to its highest setting, WINK-TV reported. Detectives said the dog had been stabbed and bludgeoned before it was placed in the oven, the television station reported. Lara was arrested early Saturday and booked into the Lee County Jail, according to arrest records. He is due in court May 4.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has brought the airline industry nearly to a halt. In March, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced that its revenue fell by $2 billion due to the spread of COVID-19 and a drop in demand for air travel. On Sunday, Delta Air Lines has begun notifying its flyers about changes to its well-known SkyMiles program due to the sudden drop in air travel. “On behalf of all of us at Delta, I want to thank our customers for your continued loyalty during these unprecedented times. While our focus is on keeping customers and employees safe and healthy today and always, you are a part of the Delta family and we know how important these benefits are to you,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s senior vice president – customer engagement and loyalty, and CEO of Delta Vacations. “That’s why as coronavirus continues to dramatically impact travel across the globe, you don’t have to worry about your benefits – they’ll be extended so you can enjoy them when you are ready to travel again.” Here are the changes: Medallion members: All Medallion statuses for 2020 will be automatically extended for the 2021 Medallion Year. All Medallion Qualification Miles from 2020 are being rolled over to 2021 to qualify for 2022 Medallion status. Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive memberships with an expiration of March 1 or later will receive six additional months of Delta Sky Club access beyond their expiration date. Delta SkyMiles American Express Card members: If you have one of the following in your SkyMiles profile “My Wallet” that is valid now or has expired since March 1, 2020, Delta is extending the expiration dates to give you additional time to enjoy your benefits. SkyMiles members: If you have one of the following in your SkyMiles profile “My Wallet” that is valid now or has expired since March 1 Delta is extending the expiration dates to give you additional time to enjoy your benefits: The updates will happen automatically over the coming weeks, with no action needed from customers, Delta said. “We are continuously monitoring how coronavirus impacts travel and will make additional adjustments to support our customers’ needs as the pandemic evolves,” said Dube.
  • A Duxbury, Massachusetts, man could face criminal charges for allegedly spitting and coughing onto produce at a Stop and Shop in Kingston. Police are still investigating what happened after bystanders tackled that customer for causing this disturbance. “It’s terrifying and no one should ever do that, even if it is a joke,” said Kyle Mann, who was shopping at that Stop and Shop on Saturday. There, in Kingston, was where Mann saw a customer starting to get violent. He recorded video as bystanders tackled and pinned that man down until police arrived. Witnesses told police that man had coughed and spit on some produce. “Especially with the CDC now recommending everyone wear face masks, someone doing this makes people more uncomfortable for people to leave their house to get necessary items,” Mann said. “And it’s honestly disgraceful.” At this point, Kingston police say they have no reason to believe that individual has COVID-19, but he was taken to a hospital in Plymouth out of an abundance of caution. Police also say the individual is no longer allowed inside that Stop and Shop. “I had a mask on and I had gloves on and I was a pretty good distance away, so I was not really concerned about my health,” Mann said. “But I was concerned about the employees and the customers that were near him.” A Stop and Shop spokesperson told Boston's WFXT that the safety and wellbeing of their customers and associates is a top priority. The spokesperson released the following statement: 'The customer’s actions were not in accordance with CDC guidelines, which we have been consistently encouraging all shoppers and associates to follow to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We have discarded potentially affected product and conducted a deep cleaning and sanitizing of all impacted areas. The Board of Health has inspected the store and affirmed the store is safe for shoppers.' “I think it’s horrible,” Mann said of the incident. “Especially with a possibility of food scarcity because there’s so many people buying all the food. So you just waste all this food.” Mann says he’s glad both police and the store employees took the incident very seriously, especially at a time like this.
  • A wildfire Friday damaged more than 100 cars parked at a Florida airport. Update 8:37 p.m. EDT April 5: The fire covered 15 acres, destroying 3,500 rental cars, WINK reported. Another 3,800 rental cars were undamaged. Original report: The fire engulfed an overflow parking lot used for rental cars at Southwest International Airport near Fort Myers, the Naples News-Press reported. The cause of the fire is unknown.
  • More than 1.15 million people worldwide -- including more than 290,000 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, April 4, continue below:  2 Illinois Walmart employees die days apart Update 10:44 p.m. EDT April 4: Two employees at an Illinois Walmart died from the coronavirus days apart from each other. The employees had not been working at the store in more than a week, the company said Friday, WGN reported. Their identities were not released. The store is open. Officials said it has been sanitized and cleaned. It is unclear if other employees at the store have tested positive for the virus. There are more than 10,300 confirmed cases and 248 deaths in Illinois, The New York Times reported. 1,224 people die in US, most in single day Update 9:49 p.m. EDT April 4: Health officials reported 1,224 deaths in the U.S. Saturday, the most in a single day since the coronavirus pandemic began. The previous day with the most deaths was Friday with 1,094, CNN reported. There are more than 305,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 8,300 deaths in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. Wyoming is the only state that has not yet reported a death. Nearly 10,000 NYPD, FDNY first responders out sick Update 8:11 p.m. EDT April 4: Amid increased calls because of the coronavirus, about 1 in 4 Fire Department of New York emergency responding personnel called out sick Friday, the department said. More than 3,000 emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters called out, WNBC reported. The FDNY responded to more than 6,500 calls Monday, a spike of more than 500 calls from the day before, WNBC reported. Officials said they normally get about 4,000 calls a day.More than 400 members of the FDNY have tested positive for the coronavirus. Other first responders are feeling the effects of the virus too. One in 6 members of the New York Police Department are out sick or in quarantine, according to The New York Times. On Thursday, 6,498 members of the force called in sick reporting flu-like symptoms.There are more than 113,000 confirmed cases of the virus in New York state and more than 3,500 deaths. Queen Elizabeth to address coronavirus in rare television appearance  Update 7:15 p.m. EDT April 4: Queen Elizabeth II is expected to address the coronavirus pandemic in a rare television appearance Sunday. She recorded the speech Friday, CNN reported. It will be broadcast at 8 p.m. local time. “I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all,” the Queen is expected to say Sunday, CNN reported. It is the fourth time the Queen has made a special address, NBC News reported. The last time was in 2002 following the death of the Queen Mother. She also spoke on television in 1997 ahead of Princess Diana’s funeral and in 1991 regarding the first Gulf War. There are more than 42,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 4,300 deaths in the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking information. US cases top 300,000 as death toll passes 8,000 Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 4: More than 300,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the U.S. as deaths surpassed 8,000 on Saturday afternoon, The New York Times reported. Health officials believe the number of infected is much higher. President Donald Trump said at the Saturday coronavirus task force news conference that “there will be a lot of death” in the coming week, CNN reported. There are more than 113,000 coronavirus cases and 3,500 deaths in New York state. Worldwide, more than 1.1 million people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 59,000 people have died. CDC to begin testing for antibodies Update 3:08 p.m. EDT April 4: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they have begun testing to learn whether people have been previously infected with the coronavirus, The New York Times reported. The serology tests detect antibodies that the immune system makes in response to the virus, the newspaper reported. Joe Bresee, deputy incident manager of the agency’s COVID-19 response, said testing will focus on people in areas with a high concentration of cases; people in a representative sample of other areas and special groups of people who are likely to have had a higher risk of being exposed to the virus, the Times reported. The CDC also announced it expanded its online information about the coronavirus, adding a weekly report that will include figures on outpatient and emergency department visits, hospitalizations, deaths and data on testing, according to the Times. Astros pitcher Justin Verlander donating paychecks Update 2:11 p.m. EDT April 4: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander posted a video, including his wife, Kate Upton, on his Instagram page and said he will donate his major league baseball paychecks to different organizations. “Everyone around the world is affected by this virus, and we hope to contribute to the families and jobs affected, the healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines and the many others in need of basic necessities, medical supplies and support at home.” Verlander said in the video. New York death toll tops 3,500 Update 1:44 p.m. EDT April 4:  The death toll in       New York state jumped to 3,565 on Saturday, an increase of 630 from Friday,       The New York Times reported. Confirmed cases in New York now stand at 113,704, according to       The Washington Post . There are now 290,606 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 7,700 fatalities.      “By the numbers, we’re not yet at the apex. We’re getting closer,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. “I want to get to the other side of the apex, and let’s just slide down that mountain.” Shoe designer Sergio Rossi dies from COVID-19 complications Update 1:31 p.m. EDT April 4:  Legendary women’s shoe designer Sergio Rossi died of complications from coronavirus in northern       Italy , hospital officials confirmed. He was 84. An official at the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, confirmed Rossi’s death to       CNN but did not provide any other information, including when the designer died.      “Today everyone at Sergio Rossi joins me in remembering our dear Sergio, the inspiring founder of our dream,” Riccardo Sciutto. Sergio Rossi CEO, told       Vogue . “Sergio Rossi was a master. His vision and approach will remain our guide in the growth of the brand and the business. He loved women and was able to capture a woman’s femininity in a unique way, creating the perfect extension of a woman’s leg through his shoes. '      Cuomo says China donating 1,000 ventilators to New York Update 11:29 a.m. EDT April 4:  Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Saturday that New York will receive 1,140 ventilators from China and Oregon. Cuomo said 1,000 ventilators from China were expected to arrive sometime Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.      “This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us. Also, the state of Oregon contacted us and is going to send 140 ventilators,” Cuomo said at the news conference. “Which is I can tell you just astonishing and unexpected. And I want to thank Gov. (Kate) Brown, I want to thank all of the people in the state of Oregon for their thoughtfulness.” Cuomo says China donating 1,000 ventilators to New York Coral Princess ship docks in Miami with 2 dead, captain says Update 10:56 a.m. EDT April 4:  Two people aboard the Coral Princess cruise ship, which reported 12 positive cases of the coronavirus Thursday, docked in Miami early Saturday and reported that two people died overnight, the       Miami Herald  reported. The ship’s captain announced the deaths,       The Washington Post  reported.      The captain did not say whether the two passengers who died were among the confirmed COVID-19 cases but said they were being treated in the ship’s medical center when they passed away, the       Post reported, citing a recording of the captain’s announcement.      The announcement was confirmed by Shannon Kilbane, a passenger from California, the       Herald reported..“I know how difficult this news is to bear, but given the current situation, we remain committed to transparent and consistent communication with you,” the captain said in the announcement, according to the       Post.  “This information will need to be shared with shoreside authorities and will become public, so I wanted you to hear it from me first.”           Global death toll tops 60,000 Update 9:52 a.m. EDT April 4:  The worldwide death toll for the coronavirus moved past 60,000 Saturday morning and has infected more than 1.13 million people according to       Johns Hopkins University . The United States has more than 270,400 cases and more than 7,100 deaths.                                                                                Texas records 100th death Update 9:46 a.m. EDT April 4:  The death toll in Texas from the coronavirus has reached 100 people, the       Houston Chronicle reported. The state has more than 6,050 confirmed COVDI-19 cases, the newspaper reported. As of Friday, Houston had 506 cases and eight deaths, while unincorporated Harris County had 519 cases and five deaths, according to the       Chronicle. 600 French soldiers test positive Update 9:29 a.m. EDT April 4:  Approximately 600 members of the French military have tested positive for the coronavirus,       The Washington Post reported Saturday.      In an       interview , France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly told the Le Dauphiné libéré newspaper that the ministry was monitoring the situation “very closely.” Parly said the ability of the army to carry out missions was “not impacted,' the       Post reported.      AutoNation furloughs 7,000 employees, cuts executives’ pay Update 9:02 a.m. EDT April 4:  AutoNation announced in filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is furloughing 7,000 employees, cutting the pay of its top executives and imposing a hiring freeze as the auto dealer giant is feeling the economic pinch caused by the coronavirus. The report, filed Thursday, noted that AutoNation cut advertising spending by nearly 50% for the second quarter of 2020. The company also reduced discretionary spending and postponed more than $50 million in capital spending during the second quarter, scoring to the filing.      'The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted, and is expected to continue to  adversely impact, AutoNation’s operations,” the company said in the filing. France becomes 5th nation to surpass China’s total coronavirus count  Update 7:43 a.m. EDT April 4 : The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 59,884 early Saturday, and the latest surge in cases in France pushed the European nation’s total past that of China, where the illness was first detected in December.       In the four months since the virus was first identified in       Wuhan, China , it has infected at least 1,131,713 people worldwide,       according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University . Five countries – the       United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and       France – have now confirmed total infection counts well above China’s 82,526 cases.       • The       United States has reported 278,458 cases, resulting in 7,159 deaths.       •       Spain has confirmed 124,736 cases, resulting in 11,744 deaths.       •       Italy has reported 119,827 infections, resulting in 14,681 deaths.       •       Germany has reported 91,159 cases, resulting in 1,275 deaths.       •       France has confirmed 83,029 infections, resulting in 6,520 deaths.       •       China has recorded 82,543 cases, resulting in 3,330 deaths.       •       Iran has recorded 55,743 cases, resulting in 3,452 deaths.       • The       United Kingdom has reported 38,697 cases, resulting in 3,611 deaths.       •       Turkey has recorded 20,921 cases, resulting in 425 deaths.       •       Switzerland has confirmed 19,702 cases, resulting in 60 deaths.      New York’s first responders union chief calls coronavirus efforts ‘battlefield triage’ Update 5:17 a.m. EDT April 4 : An emergency personnel official minced no words when describing the scale and gravity of the toll the novel coronavirus crisis is taking on the city’s first responders and medical personnel.      'We’re in wartime mode,” Michael Greco, vice president of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services union, told       CNN .      'If we don’t get a return of circulation, after 20 minutes we are terminating the CPR, and we are not transporting,” Greco       told the network .      To date, the state of New York has confirmed 103,060 infections – resulting in 2,935 deaths – or nearly one-third of the total 278,458 U.S. cases.       According to a Johns Hopkins University tally , 1,867 of the state’s deaths have occurred within New York City.      Prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Greco said he and his fellow paramedics typically witnessed one or two cardiac arrests per week. One New York crew handled seven cardiac arrests on Thursday, alone, Greco told       CNN .      “As an EMT (emergency medical technician) or a paramedic, doctors too, and nurses, we all swore oaths to do everything we can to save a life and now we’re making decisions that we were never trained for to handle mentally,” he       told the network .      US Attorney General Barr orders release of vulnerable federal inmates to limit coronavirus spread Update 2:33 a.m. EDT April 4 : U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the release late Friday night of vulnerable inmates to home confinement in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in federal prisons.      In a memorandum,      obtained by The Washington Post , requested the Federal Bureau of Prisons move elderly inmates and those with preexisting health conditions from Danbury, Connecticut; Oakdale, Louisiana; and Elkton, Ohio.     According to the      Post , prison officials have attributed five deaths at Oakdale and two at Elkton to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Danbury has confirmed nine COVID-19 infections but no deaths.     “I believe strongly we should do everything we can to protect the inmates in our care, but we must do so in a careful and individualized way that remains faithful to our duty to protect the public and the law enforcement officers who protect us all,”      Barr wrote .     White House attorney tapped to oversee coronavirus business loans Update 2:10 a.m. EDT April 4 : President Donald Trump nominated a White House attorney late Friday night to oversee distribution of emergency business loans aimed at minimizing the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.     According to      The Wall Street Journal , Trump nominated Brian D. Miller as special inspector general for pandemic recovery, giving him oversight of a $500 billion emergency relief fund.     Read more      here .     SCOTUS cancels April arguments amid coronavirus threat Update 1:55 a.m. EDT April 4 : The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday officially canceled its scheduled oral arguments for April, citing health risks associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic.     According to      The Washington Post , about 20 cases are already stalled following the postponement of March arguments, and the justices offered little clarity regarding a timeline for finishing the current term.     “The court will consider rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of the term, if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time,” Public Information Officer Kathleen Arberg said in a news release. US coronavirus deaths hit 7,157, total cases near 278K Posted 12:55 a.m. EDT April 4 : The number of novel coronavirus cases in the      United States approached 278,000 early Saturday 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 277,965 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 7,157 deaths. U.S. cases now more than double the 119,827 reported in      Italy and the 119,199 confirmed in      Spain .     Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 2,935 – or roughly 40 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in      New York , 646 in      New Jersey and 479 in      Michigan .      In terms of diagnosed cases,      New York remains the hardest hit with at least 103,060 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by      New Jersey with 29,895 and      Michigan with 12,744.     Six other states have now confirmed at least 8,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: •      California : 12,399, including 270 deaths     •      Massachusetts : 10,402, including 192 deaths     •      Louisiana : 10,297, including 370 deaths     •      Florida : 10,268, including 170 deaths     •      Illinois : 8,904, including 210 deaths     •      Pennsylvania : 8,570, including 102 deaths     Meanwhile,      Washington state,      Texas and      Georgia each has confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus infections;      Connecticut, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio and      Tennessee each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and      Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia and      Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.     Click      here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown .    
  • To help reduce the density of homeless people staying in shelters and slow the spread of the coronavirus, King County announced Thursday that it will move nearly 400 people to hotels. The county negotiated with three hotels that will serve as temporary shelters for those who are experiencing homelessness. One hundred people will move to a hotel in Bellevue, 90 people will be moved to a hotel in SeaTac and 200 people will move to a hotel in Renton. The hotels will not be isolation or quarantine facilities, officials said. The people moving to the hotels are presumed to be well. Officials with the county said this will allow those locations to stay open 24/7. Shelter operators will be on-site to provide oversight. The transition from the shelters is expected to happen early next week. County officials said they are finalizing agreements with the hotels, which will not be open to other guests during the coronavirus emergency.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Saturday, April 5, continue below:  Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks. Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19 when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported. “The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,' health officials Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday. More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases. The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak when daily cases topped 6,000.The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. 'I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,' Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths. Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus. He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported. Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26. Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus  Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, accoridng to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Death Valley National Park temporarily closes Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website. Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally. “Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,' said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.” Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family. A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported. Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier. “There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.” NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.” Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’ Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported. 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.” ‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.” “I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program. DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C. Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day. Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus. Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards. NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York. According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media. “New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.” >> See the tweet here As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on. According to The Associated Press, the pope celebrated the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Only a few prelates, nuns and guests were invited to attend, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country. Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week. In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. “I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.” She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.” >> See the post here As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal. Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting. Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper. On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan. BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams Update 3:40 a.m. EDT April 5: Scammers across the United States continue to trick people in an attempt to steal their money or information, WHBQ-TV is reporting. The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens. Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week: A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans. Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General. A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real. A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus. A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately. The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device. The Better Business Bureau said to remember: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer. Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account. Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you. Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere. If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state. The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington. It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported. Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement. The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks. It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious. “The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn. Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit. Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing. “And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said. He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die. But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results. “All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday. He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect. Read more here. U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878. Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths • Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths • Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths • Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths • Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.
  • Police in a Louisiana city blared a siren signaling the start of curfew -- unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren Friday night, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise, KATC reported. Chief Jimmy Broussard said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours, KATC reported. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. The Acadia Parish sheriff distanced his department from the noise. “Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” K.P. Gibson said in a statement. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ’Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere, The Associated Press reported. It is believed Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. The zoo on Tuesday shared video on social media of the tigers enjoying a swim. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A Florida man is accused of torturing a dog before killing it and then placing the animal in a hot oven, authorities said. Vicasso Lara, 24, of Lehigh Acres, was charged with torturing an animal, inflicting pain and serious injury, and causing death, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release posted on its Facebook page. “I’m speechless,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in a news release. “This is possibly the most brutal and horrific example of animal abuse my team or I have ever seen.” Deputies conducted a well-being check at a Lehigh Acres residence at 10 p.m. Friday, the Fort Myers News-Press reported. After speaking with Lara and a witness, they responded to another residence, where they saw several pools of blood outside the home and bloody footprints near its rear entrance, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives executed a search warrant and discovered the body of a dog in a kitchen oven, which had been turned up to its highest setting, WINK-TV reported. Detectives said the dog had been stabbed and bludgeoned before it was placed in the oven, the television station reported. Lara was arrested early Saturday and booked into the Lee County Jail, according to arrest records. He is due in court May 4.

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump this weekend bluntly warned Americans to prepare for what his team said could be one of the roughest weeks yet against the Coronavirus, as the U.S. has now had four consecutive days with over 1,000 new deaths related to the virus outbreak. 'This will be probably be the toughest week,' the President told reporters at a Saturday briefing. 'There will be a lot of death, unfortunately.' Top federal health officials agreed with that assessment. 'Right now, we're seeing - as well all said correctly - that this is probably going to be a really bad week,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert for the U.S. government. Fauci joined the President in again urging Americans to do what they can to limit their social activities, and thus limit the spread of the virus. 'The only tool - but the best tool that we have - is mitigation,' Fauci told reporters at a Sunday night White House briefing. Fauci reminded reporters that the measures being taken by Americans in terms of social distancing take about two and a half weeks to show up in terms of fewer cases, and a drop in the number of deaths. 'People really understand the responsibility they have for themselves, their family and for the country,' Fauci said at the White House. Fauci's colleague, Dr. Deborah Birx, told reporters that health officials continue to see the most problems in the New York City metro area, as well as in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Birx also name-checked Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. - where there have been rumblings in recent days about a possible broader spread of the virus. 'We do see hopeful signs in Spain and Italy. They have completed nearly four weeks of mitigation,' Birx said, telling Americans they should follow the lead of those nations in terms of social distancing, as a way to stop the spread of the virus. During Sunday's briefing, the President repeated his endorsement of the use of hydroxychloroquine - a drug often associated with malaria treatment - to be used against the Coronavirus. 'What really do we have to lose?' the President asked reporters at one point, encouraging people to use the drug, even though it has not been specifically found to stop the virus. 'It may not work, in which case, hey - it didn't work,' the President said at one point. 'And it may work, in which case, it may save a lot of lives.' 'If it does help, great,' Mr. Trump added. 'If it doesn't help, we gave it a shot.' The President's promotion of hydroxychloriquine has drawn concerns from Fauci - who has noted the lack of broader trials - but Mr. Trump has pressed forward with the idea, bolstered by support among GOP lawmakers and conservative media. On Sunday, when one reporter tried to ask Fauci his opinion, the President stepped in and did not let Fauci answer. 'You know how many times he's answered that question?' the President said to a reporter from CNN. '15 times. You don't have to ask that question. He's answered that question 15 times.' The death toll from the Coronavirus in the U.S. will go over 10,000 people on Monday.