The latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic for April 1, 2020

LIVE BLOG - FOX 5 NY is updating this blog with the latest developments on the coronavirus outbreak so you can get the information in one spot.

11:19 PM: According to Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 200,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 5,116 people have died.

9:50 PM: The majority of Americans approve of how state and local governments are handling the coronavirus outbreak, but fewer than half say the same about the efforts of President Donald Trump and the federal government, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

9:22 PM: FOX News will host a first-of-its-kind virtual town hall on Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. ET, featuring a virtual audience using Facebook’s smart video calling device, Portal.

8:45 PM: The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks in the next three weeks. Here's what you need to know about who will get a check and when it'll show up.

8:09 PM: As of Wednesday evening, there were 45,707 positive coronavirus cases in New York City and 1,374 people had died as a result.

The hardest-hit boroughs are:

  • Queens: 15,217 cases
  • Brooklyn: 12,274 cases
  • Bronx: 8,607 cases
  • Manhattan: 7,022 cases
  • Staten Island: 2,552 cases
  • Unknown: 35 cases

7:50 PM: Toronto Mayor John Tory orders a mandatory 14-day home quarantine on residents infected with COVID-19; the order also applies to anyone who has come in contact with them.

7:37 PM: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he will close schools for the rest of the academic year and issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.

7:30 PM: A 7-week-old baby who died at a hospital in the Hartford area tested positive for the coronavirus in a postmortem exam.

7:25 PM: President Donald Trump says the federal stockpile is nearly depleted of medical personal protective equipment (PPE).

7:20 PM: Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and Deputy Commissioners Mark Abbott and Gary Stevenson will take 20% cuts in salary while the season is on hold; the league will also cut the salaries of other front office staff.

7:10 PM: A United Nations report warns that the global economy could shrink by almost 1% this year instead of growing at a previously projected 2.5%.

6:57 PM: U.S. intelligence officials are claiming that China misled the world by purposely underreporting its number of coronavirus patients and deaths.

6:30 PM: The NYPD has announced that Traffic Agent Karisma Dargan has died of a suspected case of coronavirus. 

6:25 PM: According to the latest numbers from the NYPD, 6,172 uniformed members of the NYPD are out sick, which accounts for 17% of the department's uniformed workforce. Currently, 1,218 uniformed members and 150 civilian members have tested positive for the coronavirus. [Read more about the NYPD's challenges]

6:06 PM: Medical students from across Long Island are graduating early to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

5:43 PM: Following a surge in panic buying that ensued as a result of the mass closures implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic, Google said there has been a spike in people searching for “how to make toilet paper.” 

4:59 PM: As of Wednesday morning, there were a total of 44,915 coronavirus cases in New York City and 1,139 people had died as a result.

The hardest-hit boroughs are:

  • Queens: 14,966 cases
  • Brooklyn: 12,076 cases
  • Bronx: 8,398 cases
  • Manhattan: 6,960 cases
  • Staten Island: 2,480 cases
  • Unknown: 35 cases

4:55 PM: Jimmy O’Neill: “It’s an honor to come back to New York City.”

4:49 PM: If you want to donate to New York City’s frontline healthcare workers and coronavirus relief efforts, you can go to nychhc.network4good.com

4:47 PM: De Blasio: “The key going forward will be more hotels and more big spaces.”

4:44 PM: New hospital facilities adding thousands of beds are expected to open in the coming weeks at the Javits Center, in Central Park, at the H+H Coler A Building, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and finally at 20 different hotels across the city. 

4:39 PM: Free coronavirus testing is now available to frontline NYC Health + Hospitals personnel, and over $1.6M has been raised in the last week to provide comfort items to frontline staff. 

4:38 PM: Dr. Katz: NYC Health + Hospitals has added 165 doctors and 1,000 more nurses as of Wednesday, with another 350 doctors and 1,000 nurses coming in the next two weeks. 

4:36 PM: Dr. Katz: NYC Health + Hospitals is creating 3,000 additional ICU beds to maximize capacity. 

4:34 PM: Dr. Katz says that the coronavirus surge has not hit the city’s boroughs equally, so to help the city has transferred 193 non-ICU patients and 43 ICU patients from hospitals under strain to hospitals with more capacity inthe last two weeks. 

4:33 PM: NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitch Katz: Elmhurst Hospital has increased from 29 ICU beds to 111, with 30 more coming. Lincoln Hospital is growing from 34 ICU beds to 114 ICU beds, with 34 more coming. Bellevue Hospital is growing from 66 ICU beds to 127 ICU beds, with 52 more coming. 

4:29 PM: De Blasio: The city needs 20,000 ICU beds, another 65,000 medical beds and a total of 15,000 ventilators by May 1. 

4:27 PM: De Blasio says he is asking James O’Neill to help develop a system to make sure the supply chain to the city’s hospitals is able to provide assistance as quickly as possible. 

4:25 PM: De Blasio says that former NYPD commissioner James O’Neill is returning to help the city in its fight against coronavirus. 

4:22 PM: De Blasio says the city will need 2,500 to 3,000 more ventilators in the course of next week. 

4:21 PM: De Blasio says he is confident the city will have enough eye protection and gloves for the next week, but that they need resupply of 3.3M N95 masks, 2.1M surgical masks, 100,000 isolation gowns and 400 ventilators by April 5. 

4:18 PM: De Blasio: “This is going to be an ongoing effort and like nothing we’ve seen in the history of this city.”

4:15 PM: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that it is imperative to get supplies and resources ready by April 5, when he expects coronavirus cases to begin peaking.

3:30 PM: Gov. Ned Lamont says that a number of homeless people who have tested positive for coronavirus or have been exposed will be placed in hotels and quarantined.

3:24 PM: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says that he isn’t focusing on models forecasting as many as 1,000 deaths in the state, but trying to expand hospital capacity and get all the ventilators and PPE he possibly can.

3:20 PM: So far, at least 82,000 people have volunteered for New York's reserve force of medical workers — a group that includes recent retirees returning to work, health care professionals who can take a break from their regular jobs and people between gigs, according to health officials.

3:08 PM: New Jersey's income tax deadline will move from April 15 to July 15 and the state budget deadline will move from June 30 to September 30 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Murphy and legislative leaders announced Wednesday.

2:48 PM: It's the first of the month, and rent is due for millions of Americans for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak turned the economy upside down. Most states and local governments have stopped evictions to give time for unemployment benefits and federal stimulus checks to arrive. But there is still plenty of worry that even if April's payment is delayed, the rent will still come due before many industries are up and running again.

2:29 PM: Gov. Murphy: "Right now, do we have enough ventilators? No. Do we have enough PPE? No. Do we have enough beds? No. Do we have enough Health-care workers? No. Four emphatic nos. Do we have a plan for each of those? Yes but we need a lot of things to go right across all four of those dimensions. But we are not where we need to be or will have to be."

2:27 PM: Gov. Murphy: Sadly, more people will die and morgue space is a concern; hospitals will need external storage (refrigeration trucks); we have begun conversations with Defense Department for help with that. 

2:13 PM: When asked how much time he has spent on Democratic politics, Gov. Murphy says he hasn't spent any time raising money, he has had a few conversations about some races, he doesn't have plans to endorse a candidate for president yet, and he assumes the DNC in Milwaukee will be postponed/modified.

2:07 PM: Commissioner Persichilli explains why getting more ventilators has been so crucial: every patient that goes into critical care could end up needing a ventilator; right now we are seeing half the ICU patients on ventilators.

2:00 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: If we had nothing, we would have seen a surge in patients already.

1:57 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: Starting today, hospitals are reporting full inventory of ventilators by category (universal, adult, pediatric, transport, anesthesia machines).

1:45 PM: Col. Callahan: My wife and I told our daughter that her June wedding has to be postponed.

1:44 PM: Col. Callahan: Newark police issued 125 summonses and shut down 5 business that weren't complying with the executive order.

1:43 PM: Col. Patrick Callahan, NJSP superintendent: Police charged people at a gathering in Lakewood; operator of an indoor soccer facility; operator of an in-person auction site in Edison.

1:39 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: All 4 state psychiatric hospitals report at least 1 positive.

1:37 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: 93 (of 375) long-term care facilities report at least 1 positive.

1:35 PM: New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli: Cases are increasing; we are starting to see a surge; we predict a large surge and apex in mid-April; as governor said we are investigating 3 deaths that may be primarily due to something other than COVID-19. 

1:29 PM: Gov. Murphy: Today is Census day; you can participate in the Census while practicing social distancing; we know New Jersey was undercounted in 2010 and we left billions of dollars on the federal table; let's make sure we get it and god knows we need it: Go online to http://2020Census.gov and make sure you're counted.

1:24 PM:  Gov. Murphy: Applications for Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 3; cv.business.nj.gov to apply.

1:13 PM: Gov. Murphy: We have secured more PPE on our own at great cost; will be used to backfill supply chains of health-care systems.

1:11 PM: Gov. Murphy: I'm grateful to President Trump, Vice President Pence, White House team, FEMA; if they are listening, I'll be calling you again soon.

1:10 PM: Gov. Murphy: Another 350 ventilators are coming from strategic national stockpile; we still need more ventilators, PPE, aid.

1:08 PM: Gov. Murphy: Our collective job is to flatten that curve.

1:04 PM: Gov. Murphy: 3,649 new positives (22,255 total); 91 more deaths (355 deaths total; 3 previously reported deaths being investigated further/removed from the official count for now).

1:02 PM: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: No better partners than Gov. Cuomo of NY, Gov. Lamont of CT, Gov. Wolf of PA, Gov. Carney of DE.

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1:09 PM: Cuomo: In a cruel twist of fate, China is the main manufactrer of all these things: where do were get the masks? China. Where do we get the gloves? China. Where do we get the ventilators? China. And then China is selling to the world and the federal government is buying. The only hope for a state is the federal government's capacity to deliver. Ask the companies to make the supplies. Why are we running out of these basic supplies? Make the supplies.

1:08 PM: Cuomo when asked about Samaritan's Purse controversy: Anybody who can help, God bless them.

1:07 PM: Cuomo: The temporary hospitals are the ultimate overflow valve. They are really the last of the last resort. You still need staff. You still need equipment. They are available if you max out your bed capacity. You will run out of staff before you run out of beds. You run out of equipment before you run out of staff.

1:04 PM: Cuomo asked if state police would go to NYC to help police the city due to sick NYPD officers: The NYPD is so large that we get to that point, but if believe we don't have the minimum personnel to police to New York City we can go to state police. The same with the FDNY.

1:02 PM: Cuomo: The NYPD has to get more aggressive. Period. Period. Well it ;s not a law enforcement issue? It is. If you want to force me into a position to make it into a law- a social distancing law- it has to be enforced. How reckless and irresponsible for people to not do it on their own. How many people have to die before you understand that you have a responsibility in this. It's really so incredible. Especially New Yorkers who know they live in a dense environment.

12:59 PM: Cuomo: The transfer that happened was a one-off because they were hospitals that had a pre-existing agreement. You can try to transfer to Long Island, then you could transfer upstate.

12:57 PM: Where there patients moved from New York City to Albany? Cuomo: Yes. We support one another. Upsate staff can go to downstate hospitals. The transfer to Albany Medical was a one-off situation. The first step is transfers within the system.. among the 11 HH systems. Transfer among the private hospitals. Then transfer between the two systems and then transfer from there to upstate hospitals.

12:54 PM: Cuomo: I sent him over a book, Beginner's Guide to Stripe Bass fishing. He did his show last night from his basement. What a gutsy, courageous thing to do. We talked about it. In some ways this can be very instructive for many people. People want to know what happens if you get coronavirus. What's the positive? Show the country what its like to have coronavirus. The information can be helpful to people. Kudos to him. Pops would be proud. I love you, little brother.

12:52 PM: Cuomo: When he got the coronavirus it frightened me. Because we still don't know everything about this disease. Because we're talking to my little brother. My best friend. Basically spent my whole life with him. It's frightening because there is nothing I can do. This situation is the same situatio for everyone.

12:50 PM: Cuomo: Last point. On a personal note, my brother Christoper, I told you yesterday tested positive for the coronavirus. He has a fever, he has chills. First of all, anyone can get this disease. young people. Strong people. People who go to the gym a lot. There is no superhero. I couldn't protect my own brother. As smart as he is, he could not protect himself.

12:44 PM: Cuomo: This is going to be a transformative experience. We are never going to forget this. You will deal with pain. You will deal with setback. The question is : how do you get up? Do you get up? If you get up, do you get up smarter, wiser, or bitter and angry? We are in control of that. We have to start thinking of that. How do you make the economy more resilient. Why don't we get ahead of these viruses? You can't tell everyone to go home and sit on our couch and order takeout. That's not who we are. These are the types of questions we have to start to think about. But not today. That is the next challenge, I believe. For now, one crisis at a time.

12:42 PM: Cuomo: The next battle is the apex. That's either where the enemy overwhelms our healthcare system or we are able to handle the onslaught of the enemy at the top of that mountain. That's what we're planning for every day.

12:40 PM: Cuomo: My favorite topic. Young people. They still have not gotten this message. They need to get this message. You are still seeing. We are going to close down the New York City playgrounds. I warned people if they didn't stop the games in the playground, you can't play basketball games, we would close the playgrounds. No violation of social distancing. Period. That's the rule.

12:38 PM: Cuomo: My opinion is that they come up with a rapid testing model... and start ending this terrible situation that we're in. Not knowing when this is going to end, the anxiety, it's like a bad groundhog movie. 

12:36 PM: Cuomo: People say when is it over? Two weeks, three weeks? This model projects that you're going to have a high death count through July. Other people talk about getting back to work in April, May, June. Now the questions become nuanced. Can you still be dealing with deaths and get the economy moving? I think yes.

12:33 PM: Cuomo: Some have said 100,000- 200,000 deaths in the United States. Nobody really knows. That model suggests 16,000 New Yorkers will pass away by the time this runs its course. When Dr. Fauci says 100,000, there are models that make these projections. That would mean that New York would be onky 16 percent of the deaths. I don't even understand that because New York is so high right now. That says to the rest of the nation, this is not just New York. If you believe these numbers that means you're going to have tens of thousands of deaths outside of New York.

12:32 PM: Cuomo: There are people who say the apex will come in seven days. You have the people who say the apex will come in six weeks. You have that kind of range. The higher models, we don't even have a chance meeting that capacity-- at over 110,000 beds. We could never get there.

12:29 PM Cuomo: The apex is at the end of April. We will need 110,000 COVID beds for the apex. That is the model. With high compliance of social distancing we'll need 75,000 COVID beds and 25,000 ventilators. High or low compliance, both models have the apex at the end of April.

12:27 PM: Cuomo: We have a model. We have a projection and that's what we follow. The model changes the more data comes in. The more data either affirms or discounts their presumptions that they started with.

12:25 PM: Cuomo: What you are now getting is subjective facts. People who are optimistis who want to interpret things one way and those that are pessimists who want to interpret the numbers another way. For me, facts are facts.

12:21 PM: Cuomo: There are 83,712 positive cases in New York State. There are 1,941 deaths reported up from 1550. 

12:20 PM: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo updates the public on the coronavirus response in the state. Watch LIVE now: FOX5NY.com/live

12:10 PM: Select Carnival Cruise sailings are being canceled all the way through late 2020, the cruise line announced on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Carnival Cruise Line announced that the company's pause in operations has been extended until May 11. Those with bookings can choose to cancel and be refunded or reschedule.

MORE DETAILS: https://www.fox5ny.com/news/carnival-canceling-some-cruises-through-end-of-2020

12:00 PM: Watch 'The Noon' LIVE now at FOX5NY.com/live

11:51 AM: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweets: "The mental health impact of this pandemic is very real. New York is here to help. Get free emotional support, consulatation, and referral to a provider. Call the State's Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314."

11:45 AM: City of Glen Cove on Long Island opens food distribution center to help meet need for food assistance.

MORE DETAILS: https://www.fox5ny.com/news/food-distribution-center-opens-on-long-island

11:30 AM: NY Gov. Phil Murphy tweet: I've secured another 350 life-saving ventilators from the national stockpile. Ventilators are our #1 need right now and I won't stop fighting to get us more.

11:00 AM: Several companies will be closed on Easter Sunday in order to give their workers a much deserved day off. Stores including Target, Trader Joe's, and Aldi will not be open for business on April 12. 

MORE DETAILS: https://www.fox5ny.com/news/target-trader-joes-to-close-on-easter-to-give-employees-working-during-coronavirus-a-break

10:16 AM: NYC releases data map indicating cases by zip code:

9:40 AM: Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin issued the following joint statement today on the tax filing deadline and the state budget timetable:

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships, financial strain, and disruptions for many New Jerseyans and New Jersey businesses. As part of our response, we have reached agreement that the state income tax filing deadline and the corporation business tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15th to July 15th.

“Additionally, as part of the whole-of-government effort that is going into fighting COVID-19, we have agreed that the state fiscal year should be extended to September 30th . This will allow the Administration and the Legislature to focus fully on leading New Jersey out of this crisis, and to allow for a robust, comprehensive, and well-informed budget process later in the year. 

“We are committed to working together to enact the necessary legislation and supplemental appropriations to accomplish these goals.”

9:38 AM: From NYC Office of Emergency Management: New York City parks are open for exercise and play, but do your part and keep your distance and stay at least six feet from others.

9:08 AM: Alternate Side Parking suspended through April 14.

Hang in there. There is no stronger part of our country than New York City.

— Dr. Anthony Fauci speaking with 'Good Day New York'

8:42 AM: Fauci when asked what is the most imporant thing viewers can be doing: Hang in there. We know this is a difficult problem. We are a strong country. There is no stronger part of our country than New York City. We will get through this. It will end. We will ultimately get back to normal.

8:41 AM: Fauci when asked what keeps him up at night: People have always asked me what keeps me up at night. My answer is always very consistent. It is the evolution and appearance of a brand new infection spread that is spread by the respiratory root that is efficient in its spread and that has a high degree of morbidity and mortality. The most likely thing is that it's a brand new influenza. But I'm on the recrod saying that it could be something other than influenza. Sure enought,what kept me up at night years ago and for many, many years was the appearance of something that we're seeing now. What keeps me up at night now, besides the fact I'm working 20 hours a day on this problem, is that we get an adequate response to this terrible challenge that has been put before us. People are out there suffering and they're dying. Right now, New York City is baring the brunt of this burden. If you look at the new infections in this country, more than half are coming from the NYC metro area. That is another semi-nightmare that the place where I was born and raised is suffeirng the most. So that hurt.

8:40 AM: Fauci when asked about the donughts made with his face on them: That's real far out. I don't get that.

8:40 AM: Fauci when asked about working for the family pharmacy in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. That is in fact a true statement. My Schwann bike with a little basket in it where I would put the prescriptions I would deliver.  

8:38 AM: Fauci when asked about using a scarf if no mask is available: In a perfect world, if we had billions of masks to go around that would be a different discussion. The most imporant thing right now is to make sure our frontline workers have the personal protective equipment before we worry about masks for everybody else.  The mask is more about the person who is infected or potentially infected from spreading it to somebody else. Something like a scarf could be helpful. 

8:37 AM: Fauci: A vaccine is going to be important if we have a recycling of the virus next fall. The vaccine is imporant for the future. The social separation is the immediate answer to the ongoing problem.

8:36 AM: Fauci when asked about drugs and treatments: We need to see some solid information. There are a number of drugs in different stages of clinical trials. It's going to take a year to a year and a half to see if we have an effective vaccine. We have jumped into the development of a vaccine more quickly than anyone has ever seen. 

8:35 AM: Fauci: We need to continue the strong mitigation ... of separating yourself.. about locking down. That is the thing that is ultimately going to put an end to this situation. 

8:34 AM:  The New York City metropolitan area is fighting a very difficult fight. I don't think anyone can say that New York is not doing enough. You're really being challenged with an extraordinarily difficult situation. I think most people look at New York and say,my God, I think they are really doing an amazing job. I don't think I can say they could have done this better or that better. I think (officials) are pulling out all the stops to stop the spread and the impact of this outbreak.

8:34 AM: Fauci when asked if we are doing everything we can in NYC considering the dire forecast for the next few weeks: The next couple of weeks are going to be very difficult. Eventhough we are starting to see some real suggested glimmers of hope where the number of new cases each day are beginning to stabilize what always lags behind that is the hospitalization, the people who go into intensive care and ultimately the deaths. We are going to see an increase in hospitalization, intensive care and deaths. 

8:33 AM: Fauci when asked why so many cases in NY: You got hit very hard. I don't think New York did anything wrong. The virus got seeded in a city with a very dense population. When you get enough people infected it explodes exponentially.

8:32 AM: Dr. Anthony Facui speaks LIVE with Good Day New York. Watch LIVE: https://fox5ny.com/live

8:03 AM:  Global stock markets are sharply lower on deepening worries over damage from the coronavirus pandemic. Benchmarks fell in Paris, London and Frankfurt on Wednesday. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 sank nearly 5% after the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey of business sentiment showed business sentiment deteriorated to its worst level in seven years. 

8:00 AM:  Health professionals from across the country are now heading to New York City to join the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them is a nurse from Minnesota.

6:43 AM: Worried about the virus spreading in crowded juvenile detention facilities, where kids have little access to masks and even hand sanitizer, more than 30 correctional administrators and rights advocates called Tuesday for the release of vulnerable youth and for the stoppage of all new admissions. They also want a clear safety plan for those who remain inside, including access to adequate protective measures and better contact with loved ones.

MORE DETAILS: https://www.fox5ny.com/news/virus-hitting-juvenile-detention-centers

5:50 AM: Starting today NJ Transit bus tickets and passes are being cross-honored with NJ TRANSIT rail.

5:40 AM: Today's essential subway service plan: Staten Island Railway running hourly service begins. For details, visit https://new.mta.info/coronavirus/subway-and-bus-service