Coronavirus live updates: US infections top 700,000

Coronavirus live updates: US infections top 700,000


This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: More than 2.3 million
  • Global deaths: At least 158,400
  • U.S. cases: More than 718,000
  • U.S. deaths: At least 37,730

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

4:29 pm: Walmart to require workers to wear masks

Walmart and Sam’s Club will require their approximately 1.5 million U.S.-based associates to wear masks or other face coverings beginning on Monday, according to a memo sent by the CEOs of Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club, a Walmart division. 

The retailers will also encourage customers to wear face coverings, according to the memo, which is dated Friday.

It was sent by John Furner of Walmart and Kath McLay of Sam’s Club to associates in the United States, and comes as an increasing number of states and cities, including New York, are mandating that residents wear masks in public settings. 

“We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted,” Furner and McLay wrote. —Tucker Higgins

4:10 pm: 24 Hour Fitness weighs bankruptcy as pandemic threatens gym industry

Gym chain 24 Hour Fitness is working with advisors at investment bank Lazard and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to weigh options including a bankruptcy that could come as soon as the next few months, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC.

The chain is grappling with a heavy debt load, deteriorating performance and a pandemic that forced it to shut its more than 400 clubs. The mid-priced fitness studio is already struggling to compete against premium rivals like Equinox and cheaper competitors like Planet Fitness. —Lauren Hirsch

4:03 pm: Connecticut lawyer sues over governor’s order to wear masks in public

A Connecticut criminal defense lawyer filed a federal lawsuit on Saturday that challenges the constitutionality of Gov. Ned Lamon’s executive order mandating that people wear masks when they are outdoors and unable to keep six-feet away from other individuals, The Hartford Courant reported.

The lawyer, Lindy Urso says in his suit that “The damage to the plaintiff’s individual freedoms, and even his health … far outweighs any theoretical public benefit to compelling all citizens to carry and/or wear a mask or cloth facial covering in public.

Lamont’s order takes effect Monday. —Dan Mangan

3:55 pm: World cruise, begun before pandemic, nears end of odyssey

The cruise ship Costa Deliziosa anchors off the island of Santorini. In the foreground the houses of the capital Fira with their whitewashed facades. 12 June 2019.

picture alliance

Passengers on a luxury liner’s around-the-world cruise, begun before the globe was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, are finally approaching the end of their odyssey after 15 weeks at sea.

Their ship, the Costa Deliziosa, heads to ports in Spain and Italy, two of the countries most devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Costa Crociere, an Italian cruise company, said Saturday that the Deliziosa, which set sail from Venice in early January with 1,831 passengers, has reached the western Mediterranean, with no cases of COVID-19 aboard.

The Deliziosa, a nearly 1,000-foot vessel, will disembark 168 Spanish passengers early next week at the port of Barcelona, Spain, the company said. Then the Deliziosa will head to its final destination, Genoa, Italy, where it is expected to disembark the remaining passengers, Italians and those of other nationalities, on Wednesday.

A company spokesman said a passenger left the ship earlier in the week in Marsala, Sicily, for health issues and had a COVID-19 test, which was negative.

Being on the liner for weeks during the pandemic “was not surreal, it was incredible,” said passenger Carlos Paya’, who lives in Valencia, Spain, and is sailing with his wife. —Associated Press

3:40 pm: Israel set to relax some lockdown restrictions

Israel will gradually ease its coronavirus lockdown from Sunday by letting some businesses reopen and relaxing curbs on movement after a slowdown in infection rates, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

Authorities have steadily tightened a partial lockdown imposed on March 14, shuttering offices, closing schools and ordering people to stay mostly at home.

The measures have battered Israel’s economy, forced many businesses to close and sent unemployment above 25%.

But in televised remarks, Netanyahu said Israel had “succeeded in (its) mission so far” in combating the pandemic and argued that the restrictions had “proven themselves in a slowdown” in infection rates.

Israel has reported at least 164 deaths and nearly 13,300 cases of COVID-19, as of Saturday evening. However, infection rates have generally declined over the past two weeks, according to Israeli health ministry data. —Reuters

2:55 pm: Lady Gaga’s One World:Together At Home is underway

Singer songwriter Lady Gaga partnered up with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen to organize a star-studded six-hour live concert to raise money for fighting coronavirus. The event started streaming on YouTube at 2 p.m. ET and a curated selection will be broadcast on all NBC networks, ABC, ViacomCBS Networks, The CW and iHeartMedia channels starting at 8 p.m. ET. Late night show personalities Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and Jimmey Kimmel will host the broadcast.

Performers such as Billie Eilish, Lizzo, John Legend and Taylor Swift are slated to appear. The proceeds will support WHO and frontline health care workers. —Elisabeth Butler Cordova

2:25 pm: Horse racing gets more TV time with other sports scratched

Socially distanced crews in New York and California are keeping horse racing on television in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.

Horse racing is one of the few sports ongoing, albeit in a limited capacity at a handful of empty tracks, but its TV presence has expanded because of the dearth of other options.

The New York Racing Association helps produce “America’s Day at the Races” on Fox Sports while TVG has partnered with NBC Sports for a dozen hours of coverage each week. The horse-race industry aims to stay afloat and gain more exposure during these trying times.

“Horse racing has been a welcome substitute for other events that are currently unavailable,” Fox Sports executive vice president Mike Mulvihill said. “Viewing of horse racing has tripled over last year. Online sign-ups for new bettors are up. Betting handle at the tracks we present is up. It’s been a nice bit of normalcy when the rest of the sports world is anything but.” —Associated Press

2:11 pm: Where’s my money? Your stimulus-check questions answered

Millions of Americans received stimulus checks from the U.S. government this week to help stave off the negative economic effects of the coronavirus. But many people are still asking: Where is my money?

If you haven’t received your payment yet, take heart: Millions more Americans are slated to receive their money in the coming weeks. CNBC answers your biggest questions about the stimulus checks here. —Lorie Konish

1:38 pm: France coronavirus death toll increases, at a slowing rate

France registered 642 more deaths from coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the total to 19,323, the fourth-highest tally in the world, although the number of people in hospital declined for a fourth day running.

France’s public health authority said in a statement that the total number of people in intensive care units also fell for the 10th day in a row, to 5,833 – the lowest level since March 31.

France has been in virtual lockdown since March 17 as part of efforts to curb the outbreak. —Reuters

1:30 pm: Pence delivering Air Force Academy commencement address

Mike Pence being interviewed by CNBC, February 7, 2020.

Source: CNBC

In a symbolic show of normalcy, Vice President Mike Pence will deliver a commencement address to the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 2020 graduating class — a trip aimed at showing the country is on course to gradually reopening after weeks of the coronavirus shutdown.

Making only his second trip outside Washington in the last six weeks, Pence will be speaking at a scaled-down ceremony in Colorado Springs. The event usually attracts a big crowd to Falcon Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of more than 46,000. But this year, the pandemic forced the academy to close it to visitors and limit it to 30 minutes. Still, the ceremony will feature its signature dramatic demonstration by the Air Force Thunderbirds.

Cadets will march 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart and sit 8 feet (2.4 meters) apart during the ceremony to maintain the recommended social distancing, The Gazette reported.

Despite the changes, the day trip was meant as a signal to the nation that the pandemic response has entered a new phase. —Associated Press

1:20 pm: Turkey’s coronavirus cases overtake Iran, highest in the Middle East

Turkey’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday, overtaking neighboring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East.

An increase of 3,783 cases in the last 24 hours also pushed Turkey’s confirmed tally within a few hundred of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged.

Koca said 121 more people have died, taking the death toll to 1,890. A total of 1,822 people have recovered from coronavirus so far, and the number of tests carried out over the past 24 hours came to 40,520, the minister said.

The Interior Ministry also said it was extending restrictions on travel between 31 cities for a further 15 days starting at midnight on Saturday. —Reuters

12:21 pm: New York hospitalizations continue to decline as Cuomo calls for federal testing help

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gives his a press briefing about the coronavirus crisis on April 17, 2020 in Albany, New York.

Matthew Cavanaugh | Getty Images

New York state continues to see a decline in the number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus and deaths from infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

But in noting for the need to signficantly expand testing for Covid-19 in the state, Cuomo during a press conference called on the federal government to help New York labs acquire chemical reagents needed to perform those tests.

Cuomo said that reopening state businesses and other public spaces will require a larger number of coronavirus testing than are now being performed, in order to make sure that the virus is not spreading at an excessively high rate. —Dan Mangan, Tucker Higgins

12:13 pm: Italy’s daily death toll the lowest since April 12

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 482, the lowest daily increase since April 12, while the number of new cases was stable at 3,491, the Civil Protection Agency said.

The death toll had risen by 575 on Friday, up from 525 the day before, with 3,493 new cases recorded. The daily tallies of deaths and cases extend the broadly stable situation in place over the last 13 days.

This plateau is down considerably from peaks reached around the end of March, but the downtrend has not proceeded as fast as was hoped in a country that has been in lockdown for almost six weeks.

Saturday’s number of deaths marked the lowest daily rise since last Sunday, when it stood at 431. The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 23,227, the second highest in the world after that of the United States. Total confirmed cases stood at 175,925. —Reuters

11:42 am: How to get refunds on travel and other deals made before the pandemic

As of Thursday, 5.245 million more Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance, according to the Labor Department. The new filings bring the crisis total to just over 22 million in just four weeks, ending the decade-plus economic expansion. Economists expect layoffs to continue mounting in the coming weeks as stay-at-home orders show no signs of being lifted.

Under that economic cloud, many consumers are having second thoughts about their summer plans. And for good reasons: The average summer vacation clocks in at $1,979, according to a survey from bankrate.com, the personal financial site.

“Even if you are able to travel, I don’t think it will make anyone feel better to go on a vacation they can’t afford,” said certified financial planner Rose Swanger of Advise Financial in Knoxville, Tennessee. “You’ll come back and feel more guilty than ever.”

But can you get your money back? It depends. Experts share tips to help you try to get a refund. —Ilana Polyak

11:35 am: Canada, US extend border restrictions for another 30 days

US President Donald Trump (L) talks with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the plenary session of the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford, northeast of London on December 4, 2019.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S. and Canada have agreed to keep their border closed to nonessential travel for another 30 days. Trudeau said it will keep people on both sides of the border safe amid the pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump said this past Wednesday that the U.S.-Canada border will be among the first borders to open and says the U.S. and Canada are doing well in handling the pandemic. The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world.

The U.S. and Canada agreed last month to limit border crossings to essential travel amid the pandemic, but that agreement was due to expire this coming week. Nearly 200,000 people cross that border daily in normal times.

Truck drivers and Canadians who live in the U.S. for part of the year and are returning to Canada are among those who are exempted from the current travel ban. Canada sends 75% of its exports to the U.S. and about 18% of American exports go to Canada. —Associated Press

11:00 am: Could you get PTSD from your pandemic experience? The long-term mental health effects of coronavirus

Experiencing intense flashbacks, nightmares, irritability, anger, and fear? In the face of a traumatic event like the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s common to feel this way. While many people associate post-traumatic stress disorder with something like war, it’s a chronic psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as a serious accident, terrorist attack or a physical assault.

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, both healthcare workers and people who were self-quarantined exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The Covid-19 pandemic could have a similar effect, according to experts. Even if you aren’t clinically diagnosed with PTSD, you may have a strong emotional reaction to the trauma of Covid-19 that can last long after an incident. —Cory Stieg

10:59 am: US cases continue to far outpace the number of cases in any other country worldwide

10:49 am: The Covid-19 response must balance civil liberties and public health — here’s how

The Covid-19 pandemic is barely four months old, but civil liberties groups are already alarmed by how some governments are responding.

At the start of the crisis, Chinese authorities used software to sort citizens into color-coded categories — red, yellow, green — corresponding to their level of risk for having the virus. Those in the green group had the most freedom of movement. Yellow and red meant that citizens could find themselves barred from entry to eateries and shopping malls. 

This is the kind of “big data” that experts have not encountered before in prior pandemics, and it presents new challenges as well as opportunities. Here are some of the ways new public health intervention tools could jeopardize an individual’s rights. —Christina Farr

10:36 am: Gucci plans to reopen prototype activities at its Italian site

A woman wearing a Gucci belt and bag is seen during Paris Fashion Week in September 2018

 Christian Vierig | Getty Images

Kering’s fashion powerhouse Gucci plans to reopen prototype activities at one of its main Italian sites next week after reaching a deal with unions on health and safety measures for workers, it said. Most businesses and production sites have been shut across Italy under a lockdown imposed by the government in March due to the coronavirus emergency.

Tough restrictions on movement and the closure of many economic activities will remain in place until at least May 3, but there is not yet any clear plan over to what extent, or how gradually, they will then be relaxed.

Gucci, one of the world’s biggest luxury labels by sales, said in a statement a small group of workers will resume making prototypes for leather goods and shoe designs at its ArtLab site near Florence from April 20.

A spokesman said around 10% of the site’s 1,000-strong workforce will go back to work at this stage. —Reuters

10:31 am: The pandemic is changing the way people celebrate major events and holidays

As springtime holidays and events come and go, many are finding ways to celebrate virtually, reaching friends, family, and community members through video conferencing and social media.

Here’s how several people across the U.S. are adapting their traditions and celebrations to life during a pandemic. —Addie Joseph

10:16 am: These financial advisors applied for the PPP loan. They share some lessons learned

More than 1.6 million small businesses received forgivable loans through the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. Independent financial advisors also applied for the program, hoping to shore up their payroll as revenue from assets under management takes a hit.

Though the PPP program is now out of funding, Congress may refill the pot. Continue gathering your necessary documents and get to know your community bank, just in case.

Here are three lessons from advisors who applied for the funding so you’re prepared when the opportunity for funding strikes. —Darla Mercado

10:10 am: US girds its satellite communications infrastructure in space during the pandemic

As commercial traffic increases, U.S. officials worry about political conflict in deep space.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, tracking and protecting our nation’s satellites from accidental crash or purposeful meddling is critical.

Right now four GSSAP satellites are in orbit, with two more scheduled to launch this year. They’re part of an increasingly intense stare at the space beyond low-Earth orbit: from geosynchronous orbit, or GEO, out to the Moon. —Sarah Scoles, special to CNBC.com

9:44 am: Britain is reportedly mulling new ways to financially support businesses

Britain is considering a new bailout mechanism to help firms affected by the coronavirus, Sky News reported, saying that individual loans to companies could be bundled together into securities. Finance minister Rishi Sunak has already set out a range of different schemes to help companies through a national lockdown which has effectively shuttered large parts of the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Sunak was now considering an additional program to help provide loans to companies in sectors seen as making a material contribution to the economy such as aviation, retail, and hospitality, Sky News reported citing a document circulated to City of London institutions by the finance ministry.

Asked about the report, the finance ministry said: “We’re always open to ways to improve the package but no decisions have been taken.” —Reuters

9:41 am: Spain is set to finish soccer season without fans in stadiums

Dominique Faget | AFP | Getty Images

Soccer matches and other sports events in Spain will take place in empty venues at least until the end of the summer, the mayor of Madrid said. José Luis Martínez-Almeida told the Onda Cero radio station that the coronavirus pandemic likely “won’t be under control” by then for events with big crowds to resume normally.

“In the spring and summer there won’t be any events with crowds in Spain, and possibly not in the fall either,” Martínez-Almeida said. “Because obviously the situation will not be fully under control. We will have to change our habits and behaviors even after being allowed to go back on to the streets.”

Spain has been one of the hardest-hit countries with more than 190,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, behind only the U.S. More than 20,000 have died in the European nation.

The Spanish league is not expecting to resume at least until the end of May. President Javier Tebas has said he expects to play the first few games in empty stadiums and that the league is also working on other scenarios, including playing without fans through the fall.

“Soccer matches without fans in the summer is a possibility, as long as health and safety conditions are observed,” Martínez-Almeida said. —Associated Press

9:26 am: Here’s what life after shelter-in-place may look like in the US

The U.S. and the rest of the world are closely watching as Chinese and South Korean citizens attempt to return to normal life, and trying to surmise what the recovery may tell them about their own futures.

Watch the video below to learn more. —Magdalena Petrova

9:15 am: The stock market is rising on hope for a pharma solution to the virus

Though big-ticket spending and small-business loans provide short-term relief, investors say a coronavirus remedy is the No.1 go-ahead signal they’re waiting for to jump back to the market in force.

The race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine thus far includes major drugmakers Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.

That bullishness about a pharma solution was on full display this week, when a report stated that a Chicago hospital using Gilead’s remdesivir in a trial appeared to ease Covid-19 symptoms in the majority of patients treated with the drug.

“As long as you don’t have a strong treatment or vaccine, you’re under the cloud of second-wave risk and people being more cautious about how they interact,” said one market strategist. —Thomas Franck

9:10 am: Confirmed US cases continue to climb

8:53 am: New York City businesses are staying open by pitching into relief efforts and going virtual

Across New York City, businesses hardly resemble their pre-pandemic operations. Fashion designers are sewing face masks instead of garments, restaurants have transformed into grocery stores, and distilleries are making alcohol that’s too strong to drink.

Business owners have been pinpointing the places demand has shifted during the Covid-19 crisis and figuring out ways to move their businesses along with it.

For many New Yorkers, it’s a feeling that calls back to 9/11, when the entire city was thrust into a new reality and neighbors worked to figure out how to help one another. This time, New Yorkers are rebuilding from a safe distance apart and often over the internet. —Lauren Feiner

8:25 am: Nations debate easing lockdown as economic hardship grows

People walk past a red-and-white police warning tape in Plainpalais place in Geneva on April 16, 2020, during the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus, Covid-19.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP via Getty Images

Facing rising unemployment and with many of their citizens struggling to make ends meet, governments around the world are wrestling with when and how to ease the restrictions designed to control the coronavirus pandemic. Mandatory lockdowns to stop the spread of the new virus, which has so far infected more than 2.2 million people and for which there is no vaccine, have brought widespread hardship.

In a joint statement, a group of 13 countries including Canada, Brazil, Italy, and Germany called for global co-operation to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic.

“It is vital that we work together to save lives and livelihoods,” they said.

The group, which also includes Britain, France Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Korea, Singapore, and Turkey, said it was committed to “work with all countries to co-ordinate on public health, travel, trade, economic and financial measures in order to minimize disruptions and recover stronger.” —Associated Press

8:15 am: Swiss death toll reaches 1,111, with infections rising to 27,404

The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 1,111 people, the country’s public health agency said, rising from 1,059 a day earlier.

The number of people showing positive tests for the disease increased to 27,404, the agency said, up from 27,078. —Reuters

8:00 am: Netherlands cases cross 31,000, with 142 new deaths

The Netherlands has reported an additional 1,140 new coronavirus cases, health authorities said on Saturday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 infections up to 31,589. 

Dutch health officials also recorded 142 new deaths as a result of the coronavirus, Reuters reported. — Sam Meredith

7:20 am: Spain’s death toll tops 20,000

Spain’s coronavirus death toll has climbed to 20,043, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday, according to multiple media reports, up from 19,478 on Friday.

Second only to the U.S. worldwide, Spain has recorded the most number of coronavirus cases in Europe. — Sam Meredith

A woman wearing a sanitary mask as a preventive measure, leaving the train during the first day of work for non-essential sectors. Barcelona faces its 31st day of house confinement due to the contagion of Covid-19.

Paco Freire | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

6:35 am: Nigerian president’s chief of staff dies after contracting Covid-19, spokesman says

The chief of staff to Nigeria’s president, Abba Kyari, has died after contracting the coronavirus, the government’s official spokesperson confirmed via Twitter on Saturday.

Kyari, who was reportedly in his 70s, had been receiving treatment for Covid-19 but died on Friday, presidency spokesperson Garba Shehu said. 

To date, the West African country has recorded 493 cases of the coronavirus, with 17 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Sam Meredith

5:40 am: Iran records an additional 73 deaths

Iran has confirmed 73 further fatalities as a result of the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, Reuters reported Saturday, citing a health ministry official. 

To date, the Islamic Republic has recorded 80,868 infections of Covid-19. — Sam Meredith

A man wears a respiratory mask after deaths and new confirmed cases revealed from the coronavirus in Qom, Iran on February 25, 2020.

Stringer | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images



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