The latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic for April 20, 2020

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

9:31 PM: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution calling for global action to rapidly scale up development, manufacturing and access to medicine, vaccines and medical equipment to confront the coronavirus pandemic.

9:08 PM: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says the statewide stay-at-home order will expire on April 27; says he will allow nonessential businesses to gradually reopen.

8:31 PM: Governors from both parties are pushing back at President Donald Trump after he accused Democrats of playing "a very dangerous political game" by insisting there is a shortage of tests for the coronavirus.

8:11 PM: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he wants social isolation policies to end nationwide this week.

7:18 PM: Major League Baseball players are angry that teams may ask for more pay cuts if games are played in empty ballparks.

6:20 PM: The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the Tulalip Tribes in Washington state, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in Maine, and the Akiak Native Community, Asa’carsarmiut Tribe and Aleut Community of St. Paul Island in Alaska are suing the federal government in connection with stimulus payments.

6:10 PM: Facebook launches an interactive map that shows how many people report experiencing COVID-19 symptoms by county.

6:05 PM:  Federal officials plan to track and publicly share information on infections and deaths at nursing homes nationwide.

5:30 PM: Oil futures plunged below zero in yet another shocking marker of the economic coma caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

5:00 PM: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says teams are allowed to lay off or cut the pay of major and minor league managers, coaches, trainers and full-time scouts beginning on May 1.

4:53 PM: Gov. Lamont says the state must learn lessons from this pandemic, especially regarding racial disparities in health care.

4:40 PM: Gov. Lamont hopes protesters practice social distancing; says he wishes President Trump wouldn't stir up protests groups.

4:37 PM: Gov. Lamont says enforcement hasn't been that big an issue; leaves it to local authorities.

4:30 PM: Gov. Lamont comments about a planned protest against the stay-at-home order: we are doing the right thing, maybe protesters could see what ICUs are like. 

4:12 PM: Gov. Lamont says the state has partnered with and encourages residents to sign up and report symptoms and temperature, which will report info to health department and help ID hotspots early.

4:11 PM: Gov. Lamont: 1,853 new cases, pushing total to 19,815; 204 more people have died, pushing death toll to 1,331; 1,919 people are hospitalized.

4:10 PM: Gov. Lamont says Connecticut's hospitalizations ticked up in the past day but was down over the weekend, so the 3-day average is down; "but we're not out of the woods"; says the U.S. can learn from other countries that went through this sooner.

4:09 PM: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont holds an update on the state's response to the coronavirus crisis | WATCH LIVE:

3:42 PM: Gov. Murphy calls on New Jerseyans to continue social distancing.

3:28 PM: Gov. Murphy: People have a right to protest but he would prefer they stay home, stay away from each other, and do it virtually; but I do not agree with them; the facts are what they are; we need to get our state's residents healthy again and then we can get the economy healthy again. 

3:26 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: We're seeing an increase in hospitalizations in the central part of the state.

3:10 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: We are preparing for the next year; the mobile medical stations may be needed to keep people quarentined who cannot go home or don't have a home. 

3:08 PM: Gov. Murphy: We will need broad-scale testing (at least 15,000/day); 24-hour turnaround for test results; contact tracing infrustructure; a process to isolate and quarentine; a significant number of beds; says he doesn't have a specific number of testing sites in mind.

2:55 PM: Col. Patrick Callahan, NJSP superintendent: Compliance with the executive order has been good with some exceptions; some individuals and businesses have been cited; someone posted a threat on Facebook that he wanted to run people over at testing sites, police subpoenaed his IP address and went to investigate, the person claimed he wasn't serious.

2:52 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: VA staff is helping with patients in veterans' homes.

2:48 PM: Commissioner Persichilli: Atlantic City medical station conducted training and will open this week.

2:45 PM: New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli: Nursing homes need to take further steps; they must report suspected outbreaks to local health departments.

2:38 PM: Gov. Murphy: Office of Emergency Management has distributed 10 million-plus PPE; in the past week, 900,000 N95 masks, 1.3 million surgical masks, 2.6 million gloves distributed.

2:25 PM: Gov. Murphy says he had a good conversation with President Trump and told him that New Jersey will need direct cash payments as well as assistance to ramp up testing; says the president indicated that cash for states could be part of the next stimulus package.

2:34 PM: Gov. Murphy: Reopening the economy too soon would backfire because new COVID cases would spike and businesses wouldn't see that many customers anyway; "This is a two-part scenario – securing the public health situation so you can have confidence as you get back as we reopen our economy. Right now, that confidence does not exist."

2:28 PM: Gov. Murphy shines spotlight on some of the live lost: Ambassador Foday Mansaray, representative of the International Human Rights Commission Relief Fund Trust; Bill Fechtmann, of Maywood, life member of Maywood VFW Post 7408; Anna Gaffney, born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, business owner and a "passionate advocate for those in need"; Ray Kenny, senior VP and general manager, rail ops, New Jersey Transit.

2:26 PM: Gov. Murphy: Another 177 people have died; "We’ve now lost 4,377 precious members of our New Jersey family to this virus."

2:25 PM: Gov. Murphy: This is an efficient virus; we have to be prepared for a resurgence; we are not claiming victory.

2:20 PM: Gov. Murphy: 3,528 new cases, pushing total to 88,806; 6,986 hospitalizations (2,018 in critical or intensive care; 1,594 ventilators are in use; 74 patients at field medical stations); 583 patients discharged; "We are seeing relative stability in the number of patients in critical or intensive care."

2:15 PM: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy holds an update on the state's response to the coronavirus crisis | WATCH LIVE:

1:40 PM: The head of the World Health Organization warns "the worst is yet ahead of us."

1:11 PM:  Marinas are open in Nassau County as of Monday. Plans are being put in place to reopen golf courses. "It's baby steps," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

1:09 PM:  Nassau County has had 1,281 coronavirus deaths as of Sunday.

1:05 PM:  Nassau County has 470 patients on ventilators.  That's down 7% week-to-week.

12:45 PM:  The head of the World Health Organization warns 'the worst is yet ahead of us' in coronavirus outbreak.

12:29 PM: Gov. Cuomo ends briefing.

12:29 PM: Cuomo asked if there will be more testing at nursing homes: The more tests the better. How? Go to the labs. Go to the national manufacturers. Test schools, prison facilities.

12:28 PM: Cuomo asked how are you randomly testing antibody test: It's random. It's a statistical model and then literally random. 

12:25 PM: Cuomo asked how contact tracing works if it didn't stop the virus from spreading from New Rochelle: It worked in New Rochelle. We did massive contact tracing. However, the number of people you need to do contact tracing is tremendous. No one has even scoped this out. For every test you do, you need a contact tracer to trace those contacts. 

12:24 PM: Cuomo asked about schools reopening: By law they cannot reopen. If we make a decision to reopen schools, we would need a whole plan on how to reopen schools. We're not there yet.

12:23 PM: Cuomo asked why don't we release cases of incarcerated people, what counties, regions? Melissa DeRosa: we will work with prisons to release that information.

12:16 PM: Cuomo asked if he had calculated the rate of infection for individual counties: We don't have enough testing. You can't break it down to 62 counties because the sample size would be too small so you would need a tremendous sample size to get it down to the county level. We have to get testing up to scale. You could come up with a specific strategy in a region. We can get testing information by region. 

Cuomo asked if he should take action to prevent people from coming upstate to get things like food: I think where we are now is right. I can't mandate personal behavior.

12:14 PM: Cuomo asked about demographic data and COVID-19: That is going to take a while. The people in public housing always pay the highest price. 

12:13 PM: Cuomo asked about unemployment claims paid: Melissa DeRosa: 275K applications down to 43K , so the backlog of people should see the money coming. Direct deposit happens in 48 hours. Deposits to debit cards takes about a week. 

12:09 PM: Cuomo asked about bringing back elective surgeries at upstate hospitals where there have been layoffs: I see a rolling curve. Massachusetts is at a high point. Buffalo, Albany will have a later curve. Our strategy has been we deploy to wherever the curve is highest. On the elective surgeries, we stopped elective surgeries to all hospitals in the state. Now we are at a point where the upstate hospitals have significant financial burdens. We are going to announce tomorrow a policy that provides for that.

12:06 PM: Cuomo asked about high number of nursing home deaths and if someone positive and be readmitted to a nursing home: Dr. Howard Zucker: The patients are allowed back into the nursing home. We are working with the nursing homes to make sure the necessary precautions are taken.

11:59 AM: Cuomo asked about COVID testing and if the states should take the lead:  The labs are regulated by the state. The President is right. What the states will run into when they talk to the 300 labs is that they buy equipment from national labs and they can only run enough tests that the national labs can provide. The national labs say they can't make the vials fast enough, make the swabs fast enough. That's where the federal government should step in. Once you take the test then there is a separate function: tracing. You hire an army of people to be investigators to trace the contacts of everyone who has tested positive.

Cuomo asked if he'd like the feds to ramp up the Federal Production Act: I would do the tracing as a state responsibility. Anything that is granular and specific to a state government, leave it up to the states. The big question is the national manufacturer supply chain and getting it up to scale. Right now, the states pay for the tests and for the tracers. It's not about the money, it's about division of labor. 

11:58 AM: Cuomo asked when will COVID cases at nursing homes be released  State official Mojica: Survey results will be released this week.

11:57 AM: Cuomo: The future is in our hands. We can control the beast. We have a lot of work to do to reopen. We are going to reimagine: build, back better.

11:55 AM: Cuomo: We are going to set up a test site at NYCHA as a pilot program. If it works well, we'll go further with it. We are also going to bring 500,000 cloth masks to NYCHA. That's one mask for each person in public housing and hand sanitizer.

11:52 AM: Cuomo: I propose hazard pay for frontline workers. They are the ones that are carrying us through this crisis and this crisis is not over. Any reasonable person would say we should right this wrong: 41 percent of frontline workers are people of color. People of color are also disproportionately represented in delivery services and childcare services. Two-thirds are women and one-third are members of a low-income household. The infection rate is higher among African Americans because they were out there exposing themselves. When you were home dealing with cabin fever, they were dealing with coronavirus. Give them hazard pay. Give them a fifty percent bonus.

11:50 AM: The federal government has not funded states. There is another piece of legislation they are talking about passing in Washington, and it does not have state or local governments in it. Without any federal funds, we would be cutting schools 20 percent, local governments 20 percent and hospitals 20 percent. The federal government says don't worry, but I'm worried. My job is very simple. I fight for New Yorkers. I don't have any other side jobs. New Yorkers need funding for this budget because we can't do it otherwise.

11:49 AM: We are starting the largest antibody test ever done today in New York. This has to be a multi-level, coordinated project.

11:47 AM: Cuomo: Whenever another state does something it affects everyone else. Beaches, business, schools , public facilities, parades, they are all connected.

11:44 AM: Cuomo: People start coming out and moving around more there will be more contact and that contact will increase the virus spread. You'll see it in the hospitalization rate. Look at the contact rate dial, we are at 0.9 to 1.2 , that is a very fine margin of error. We have to watch this until we have a medical treatment or a vaccine.

11:40 AM: Cuomo: Let's make its a moment that we can look back and say we went through hell and look at all the lessons we learned. Look at downtown Manhattan, it's better now than before 9/11. Look at the security procedures in this nation, they are better than we had. Let's stop saying reopen but reimagine and improve with a better use of public transportation, housing, pubic safety, health system, social equality and use of technology. We are doing this on a multi-station level that in a granular level will have a task force focused primarily on downstate.

11:39 AM: Cuomo: 478 New Yorkers died yesterday from this terrible virus. 

11:37 AM: Cuomo: The question now is assuming we are on a descent, how long is the descent and how steep is the descent? Nobody knows. The numbers are coming down but how fast do the numbers come down to a low enough number so we are confident we have a margin of error.

11:35 AM: Cuomo: Today is 92 days since the first case came to the United States. Total number of hospitalizations is going down. Intubations is going down. Number of new people coming in the door is just about flat with yesterday.

11:33 AM: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds coronavirus briefing. Watch live at this link:

11:10 AM: From the NYC Office of Emergency Management: When home isn’t safe, domestic violence survivors can find services 24/7 at, 1-800-621-HOPE(4673) or 911 for emergencies.

10:52 AM: De Blasio ends briefing.

10:51 AM: De Blasio: There is an end in sight. I take a lot of solace in the work New Yorkers have done. I don't have as much faith in the people in Washington. I want our elected leaders to be as devoted to others as New Yorkers have been.  

10:49 AM: De Blasio asked about Small Business Loan Program and the loan program the city put together: I don't have those numbers at my fingertips. I am certain there are more people applying than are reached. Resources have been flowing. 

10:46 AM: De Blasio asked about students needing mental health support now with budget cuts at schools: In the here and now, I put that under the category of emergency COVID expenses. We have to support those children.  Just like we're helping seniors graduate. Going forward, if we don't get support we are going to have a real big challenge ahead.

10:45 AM: De Blasio asked about undocumented immigrants in Queens waiting for money to help them from the Open Society Foundation: That money is flowing quickly. It's going to be available in these grassroots organizations to make sure it gets into the hands of people who need it.

10:43 AM: De Blasio any plans for screening for anyone at the hotel following 3 deaths: We are definitely going to check more people at this facility. Don't know if there is a connection between the three deaths. We will be beefing up the amount of personnel working with people staying in those hotels.

On the antibody test, we'll have more to say very soon. We do anticipate using it in a substantial manner.

10:40 AM: De Blasio about three men who were found dead at Hilton Garden Inn, any update on their situation and why they were discharged? and how is the city monitoring this? My understanding very initially, and it's tragic, these are three people who were in the hospital for COVID -19 , got care and were released. One was from Maimonides, one was from Harlem Hospital. Something doesn't make sense here. We are doing a full review here. We are going to add more medical personnel to do monitoring. We don't yet know what happened here.

10:35 AM: De Blasio asked about medical personnel from the military and why weren't any sent to Staten Island. Also, how is the text service supposed to be working : There was a problem yesterday that has been fixed. Many additional personnel has been added for the calls. The photos are being monitored by the NYPD. I don't know if there is a response back to someone who sends in a photo. We will get back to you. About the military personnel, they are primarily nurses and doctors, mainly for public hospitals. The volunteer medical corps in the city are being sent out to independent hospitals and nursing homes- a broader swath of the city. We will keep making adjustments. Where are the gaps that we need to fill and we will move personnel to fill the gaps.

10:32 AM: De Blasio asked about Rikers inmates back in jail after being released due to COVID-19. Also, new testing centers, who did they work out? As we get the date, we'll put it out. Some opened Friday, some will open today. On the folks who have come out of Rikers, about 1400 have been released. The rigorous monitoring system has been stepped up. There has been some recidivism. It's a small number. We will continue to monitor. 

10:29 AM: De Blasio asked about amount of money spent. The only thing we've assumed is the 75 percent of the FEMA cost. We haven't made any projection about future. We are not assuming any state aid. 

10:26 AM: De Blasio asked about large events, organizers are interested in postponing, can those happen in calendar year 2020? I think they can. This is an area we don't know yet. We have to protect ourselves but there are better case scenarios that might open up that could allow for events later in the summer. We'll know more in the coming days based on the daily indicators. I don't rule it out, It's a possibility. 

10:25 AM: De Blasio asked about supplies and providing specific numbers: Surgical masks we're good for this week. N95 we have a secure supply for this week. We'll get you those numbers.

10:23 AM: De Blasio asked what is being done on the subway to enforce social distancing: I think there needs to be a clearer message about what is acceptable. I've talked with the MTA.  With police, they can disperse people throughout the train or on the platform, whatever it takes.

10:21 AM: De Blasio asked about City Council plan to create more open streets for pedestrians We tried a version of it early on and it wasn't the best time. We find the real drag on the enforcement needs. I'm concerned it doesn't meet our reality for safety.

10:18 AM: De Blasio asked about workplace temperature checks We will put out more about reopening plans. Temperature checks have a role to play.  They've been used in other countries working there way back. But there is not enough thermometers right now. It's hard to take in how ill-prepared we were as a country. We'll put together those details as we get closer.

10:15 AM: De Blasio asked about city workers who have passed away from coronavirus, and if that will make it more difficult to reopen. Teachers not able to go back, sanitation workers not able to pick up trash. It's much more of a human problem than an emotional problem. In school communities, it's going to be very challenging. We have lost teachers, principals, kids who have lost family members. We have to provide a lot of mental health support now.

10:13 AM: De Blasio asked about numbers on tips to 311. I will speak with my team to get those out. I want you to see how much enforcement has been done. A lot more is happening that is talked about.

10:09 AM: De Blasio asked about cancellations of large scale events for first half of summer, we are bound to see resurgence of social gatherings, you're seeing reports of young people being arrested, what are the standards? The facts don't bare out unequal treatment. I won't tolerate unequal treatment. I want to see an aggressive effort by all law enforcement to not tolerate gatherings and a lack of social distancing. That's why I want people calling 311. I've asked the NYPD to consistently put out reports so people could see full truths. To our officers, the vast majority are out there enforcing these rules, that's why we're succeeding. I don't have any hard evidence of an officer refusing to disperse a crowd.

10:09 AM: De Blasio takes questions from reporters.

10:08 AM: De Blasio makes statement in Spanish.

10:05 AM: De Blasio: By the end of this calendar year, the City of New York will have spent $3.5 billion to save lives in NYC. Mr. President, you gave the airline industry $58 billion, I am challenging you to open your mouth.  He barely said a word about a stimulus package that could help the states. 

10:01 AM: De Blasio: We see consistently most of the categories going in the right direction. Daily admitted to hospital is down to 212 from 317. Daily number in ICUs, is up to 853 from 849, a small increase. The percent who tested positive citywide is at 34 percent down from 38 percent . Positive cases reported from the public health lab is at 67 percent down from 84 percent.

9:56 AM: De Blasio: We are going to be smart about how we come back. We are not going to allow the risk of this disease to reassert itself. We will be going in stages. Sports family gatherings, it's impossible to count all the things that we'll miss. Outdoor concerts, outdoor plays. I said recently that city permits scheduled for the month of May are canceled. We will cancel city permits for June events as well. A lot of these events will be postponed. The salute to Israel parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Gay Pride parade, we're going to miss all three of them in June. They will be back. We are going to do it when it's the right time.

9:54 AM: De Blasio: There are 350 ambulances from across the country in NYC. From California, Alabama, Florida, from all over. I met two really good guys who drove all night from Kalamazoo, Michigan. FEMA has helped us again. In the last week, we added another 100 ambulances from 19 states. This is truly America stepping up.

9:50 AM: De Blasio: I am really pleased to say we've seen a rebound among FDNY, EMS. Our EMTs and paramedics saved a lot of lives. We are not out of the woods yet but the numbers are coming down substantially and getting much closer to normal. On March 30, we got 6,527 emergencies by April 18 we had 3,485. The average for last year was 4,196 on a typical day. Response times in March was 10 minutes and 08 seconds. April to date it was down to 8 minutes and 46 seconds on April 18 it was six minutes and 43 seconds.

9:43 AM: De Blasio: Let me update you on our supply of ppe. Good news,is we have a better situation than a few weeks ago. Face shields, N95, surgical masks, gloves, are sufficient for coming weeks at crisis standard. It will get us through this Sunday. Ventilators, we have a sufficient supply for coming week. Where we have a problem is the surgical gowns. We are manufacturing our own in NYC but even with that we do not have a sufficient supply. We are using fall backs but even with that it's not clear if we will have enough to get through this week. I am making an appeal to the federal government, if there is a place that can tap a supply, it's the federal government. We need them now. The White House has supplied 265,000 Tyvek suits but we need a much bigger number. We got enough fabric from federal government to make 400,000 gowns by May 23. 

9:40 AM: De Blasio: Day after day, first responders are saving lives. They are fighting an enemy they cannot see. They have not run from the responsibility. We would never send our soldiers into battle without armor. Personal protective equipment is their armor and ammunition. We work every day to get then what they need but we see the profound challenge every state is looking for. It's a race against time. We are going to keep building the ppe right here in New York. We cannot rely on the federal government.

9:38 AM: Mayor Bill de Blasio holds daily coronavirus briefing. Https://

9:22 AM: Walt Disney Co. will stop paying more than 100,000 employees this week, nearly half of its workforce, as the world's biggest entertainment company tries to weather the coronavirus lockdown, it was reported Monday.


9:02 AM: Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero has had his right leg amputated after suffering complications from the coronavirus, his wife says. Amanda Kloots on Instagram wrote late Saturday that Cordero “made it out of surgery alive and is headed to his room to rest and recover.”


8:56 AM: NJ Sen. Cory Booker tells Good Day New York that there needs to be a third stimulus package to aid the Tristate Region as it faces a dire financial situation.

8:54 AM: Three men were found dead over the weekend at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan used to house people released from the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.


8:24 AM:  The latest statistics related to the coronavirus in New York and New York City:

8:08 AM: Princess Sofia of Sweden started volunteering this week at a Stockholm hospital where she serves as the honorary chair amid the coronavirus pandemic. The princess, 35, is among 80 people a week who have completed the three-day emergency online training course from Sophiahemmet University created to help the hospital, which has been overwhelmed during the outbreak, according to People magazine.


7:48 AM: The Trump administration and Congress expect an agreement Monday on an aid package of up to $450 billion to boost a small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.


7:42 AM: U.S. stock futures are trading lower as oil falls to 1999 levels. Investors also await additional coronavirus updates as more cities consider opening businesses in various phases as part of a broader plan to begin rebooting the U.S. economy.


7:38 AM: Garcia: has a map of all the locations where New Yorkers can get free food.

7:37 AM: Food Czar Catherine Garcia tells Good Day New York that crowding at supermarkets and grocery stores has lead police to place officers outside those locations.

7:36 AM: Shake Shack Inc will return the small business loan it received from the U.S. government, the burger chain's chief executive said on Monday, making it the first major firm to hand back money aimed at helping small businesses ride out the coronavirus impact.


7:00 AM: Watch 'Good Day New York' at this link:

6:55 AM: For Spanish traveler Carlos Payá, being on an around-the-globe luxury cruise while the rest of the world scurried into their homes for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic was beyond surreal. It was “a stroke of good luck.”  Now, his trip inside the virus-free bubble that the Costa Deliziosa cruise ship became on its 15-week odyssey is coming to an end. The boat is steaming toward Barcelona, Spain, where it will make its first port-of-call on Monday after 35 days of continuous sailing with no human contact with the outside world.


5:04 AM: Now listed with 55 deaths it can only assume were caused by COVID-19, among the most of any such facility in the country, Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn has become yet another glaring example of the nation’s struggle to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes that care for the most frail and vulnerable.


(APRIL 19, 2020 BLOG)