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Coronavirus USA live: latest Covid-19 news - Sunday 19 April

US coronavirus update at 00:20 CEST on Monday 20 April (18:20 Eastern Time, 15:20 Pacific Time on Sunday 19 April)

According to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University, 2,394,291 cases have been detected worldwide, with 164,938 deaths and 611,880 people now recovered.

In the United States, there have been 755,533 cases, with 40,461 deaths and 67,172 people recovering from the virus.

End of today's live blog

Thanks for joining us today. You can keep up with the latest news for Monday 20 April here.

US press briefing

Watch Donald Trump and his team of experts in today's daily Covid-19 brefing.

Clearing up the confusion on the US stimulus check

There have been numerous stories doing the rounds on the US payments that have been sent out, including whether or not they need to be paid back after the crisis. We aim to clear them up...

Florida governor struggles to put on a face mask

It would appear that social media just can't get enough of this video showing the apparent challenges to some of putting on a mask:

Skin rash a potential Covid-19 symptom, doctors say

Although it is not listed as a coronavirus symptom by the World Health Organization, skin irritation is being put forward by medical experts as a sign of Covid-19.

Full story:

US coronavirus deaths pass 40,000

The coronavirus death toll in the United States, the nation most hit by the pandemic, has now moved past the 40,000 mark, according to figures published by Johns Hopkins University.

In all, says Johns Hopkins, 40,585 people in the US have been killed by the virus, which has so far registered nearly 750,000 cases in the country.

"It's only half time"

New York governor Andrew Cuomo says the US state is only at “half time” in the coronavirus pandemic, but added that the outbreak appears to be “past the high point” as the death toll in the area over the past 24 hours fell to 507.

"If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are that we are on a descent. Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do," Cuomo told his daily briefing on Sunday. 

“It’s no time to get cocky. It’s no time to get arrogant,” he said. “It’s only half time.”

Too soon to reopen America, governors tell Trump

Governors in US states hardest hit by the coronavirus sparred with President Donald Trump over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies as more protests are planned over the extension of stay-at-home orders.

New York continued to see hospitalisations decline to 16,000 from a high of 18,000, and the number of patients being kept alive by ventilators also fell. There were 507 new deaths, down from a high of more than 700 a day.

"If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are that we are on a descent. Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do," Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a daily briefing.

Cuomo, along with other governors, is clamouring for more testing.

"The administration I think is trying to ramp up testing, they are doing some things with respect to private labs," said Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland during a CNN interview. "But to try to push this off, to say the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow we aren't doing our jobs, is just absolutely false."

Democratic Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia told CNN that claims by Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence that states have plenty of tests were "just delusional." The region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC is still seeing increasing cases even as the epicenter of the US outbreak, New York, has started to see declines. Boston and Chicago are also emerging hot spots with recent surges in cases and deaths.

Several states, including Ohio, Texas and Florida, have said they aim to reopen parts of their economies, perhaps by 1 May or even sooner, but appeared to be staying cautious. Trump's guidelines to reopen the economy recommend a state record 14 days of declining case numbers before gradually lifting restrictions.

Yet the Republican president appeared to encourage protesters who want the measures removed sooner with a series of Twitter posts on Friday calling for them to "LIBERATE" Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, all run by Democratic governors.

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington redoubled his attacks on Trump's call to "liberate" states, saying the president was encouraging people to violate state laws on self-isolating. "These orders actually are the law of these states," he said. "To have an American president encourage people to violate the law, I can't remember any time during my time in America where we have seen such a thing."

(Text: Reuters)

Virtual tribute held on 25th anniversary of Oklahoma bomb attack

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bomb attack was today marked with a special online ceremony, rather than the usual remembrance event at its memorial site.

The pre-recorded broadcast included 168 seconds of silence in tribute to the 168 people killed on 19 April 1995, while the victims’ names were also each read out.

"This is not necessarily how we expected to come together today, but this remembrance is no less real and no less important," Oklahoma City mayor David Holt said 

"The anniversary we mark today and what 19 April 1995 meant to our city and our nation transcends the challenges of 19 April 2020.

"Nevertheless, the idea that sometimes certain events force change and reflection upon us is a phenomenon as timeless as the human experience."

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

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US faces a long haul in the bid to reopen, says Harvard study

According to a report in the New York Times, researchers at Harvard have suggested that the US needs to step up its testing programme threefold before the country can be safely reopened

New York and New Jersey have been hit hardest by Covid-19, while some less populated states remain relatively untouched but are there any coronavirus free areas?

Trump to offer $19 billion relief for farmers in the United States

The agricultural sector has been working non-stop since the quarantine period started during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. During Friday’s daily briefing President Trump announced that the farmers will receive help from the U.S. government.

The president confirmed that a $19 billion economic rescue package will be given to farmers and ranchers and this will include sending out cash payments as well as buying farm products and redistributing them to food banks.

US - Canada

US - Canada border to remain closed for another 30 days

This Saturday the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeu said that the border with the United States will remain close for another 30 days for nonessential travel.

Some U.S. states eye economic reopening; New Yorkers told to wear masks

As some U.S. states look to start reopening their coronavirus-battered economies amid protests from supporters of President Donald Trump anxious to get back to work, hardest hit New York state began mandating the wearing of masks or face coverings in public to contain the pathogen's spread.

New York, epicenter of the U.S. epidemic, on Saturday reported another 540 coronavirus-related deaths for April 17, the lowest daily tally since April 1. While that was down from 630 a day earlier, it still represented hundreds more families who lost a loved one to COVID-19, the highly contagious illness caused by the virus, in a single day in one state.

Thirty-six of the deaths occurred at nursing homes, which have been ravaged by the pandemic nationwide. "It is the feeding frenzy for this virus," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during his daily coronavirus briefing.

Saturday ended another week in which millions of Americans went without paychecks. More than 20 million have filed for unemployment benefits in the past few weeks alone as closures of businesses and schools and severe travel restrictions to try to curb the highly contagious virus have hammered the U.S. economy.

In a bit of welcome news, Walmart Inc said on Friday it would hire 50,000 more workers at its stores, clubs and distribution centers to meet a surge in demand for groceries and household essentials from consumers forced to stay home during the outbreak.

Uncertain times ahead for the USA

The New York Times have written a daunting piece about what the USA can expect in the next year. According to over 20 experts, there will be no return to normal life for quite some time. Unemployment is at record levels in the US and the global economy is in an unpredictable economy.  Add to that the latest outbreaks in different countries and we are not sure when we will have this virus under control.

Guatemala says 32 on deportation flight from U.S. infected with coronavirus

Thirty-two Guatemalan migrants on a deportation flight from the United States earlier this week have now tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Central American nation's health ministry.

"One of them tested positive on Monday, 12 yesterday and 19 today," health ministry spokeswoman Ana Lucia Gudiel told Reuters. Four deportees on a flight in March also tested positive for the virus.

The Trump administration has pressured Guatemala to keep receiving deported migrants despite growing concerns returnees are bringing the virus with them and could infect remote communities.

Guatemala's migration institute could not confirm which of two deportation flights that arrived on Monday carried the infected passengers.

However, the institute said one of those flights came from Alexandria, Louisiana, where 13 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workers at an airfield holding center for migrants tested positive for the virus.

30 states have extended their statewide school closures through the remainder of the academic year

More than 1,300 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus at three Ohio prisons

There has been an increase of positive coronavirus cases at the Pickaway Correctional InstitutionMarion Correction Institution and Franklin Medical Center in Ohio this week, CNN report.

A decision was made by officials on Thursday to test all inmates and staff at the Pickaway and Marion facilities. Four inmates at Pickaway have died from coronavirus and 64 staff members tested positive.

Defense Department extends travel restrictions

According to reporting by CNN, The Pentagon announced on Saturday that the Defense Department will extend its travel restrictions on the US military up until 30 June. 

Repatriation of US citizens continues

Over 62,000 US citizens have been repatriated since the coronavirus crisis started. 

Demands for more widespread Covid-19 testing 

Some observers note that the country should be testing half a million people every day before lockdown restrictions can be lifted.

 

Hello and welcome to our live United States coronavirus blog. Over the course of the day, we will be bring you the latest information, breaking news and data relating to the Covid-19 pandemic from around the US.

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