More than 1.35 million people worldwide – including more than 366,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges.
Live updates for Monday, April 6, continue below:
Update 11:15 p.m. EDT April 6: Congressional leaders are jolting ahead with another coronavirus rescue package as President Donald Trump indicated Monday that Americans will need more aid during the stark pandemic and economic shutdown.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said another $1 trillion is needed, beyond the just-passed $2.2 trillion effort. She wants another round of direct payments to Americans and more money for companies to keep making payroll. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in recent days that health care should top the list, signaling his intent to get to work on a new bill.
“We’re going to take good care of our people,” Trump said Monday at his daily White House briefing. “It was not their fault.”
It’s a rare sign of emerging consensus as Washington responds to the public health emergency and severe economic fallout that is ransacking communities nationwide, a crisis on par with a war effort or the Great Depression.
The contours of the package are still being debated and any votes in Congress remain a logistical conundrum. The House and Senate adjourned for most of the month, as part of strict stay-at-home orders from public health officials to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Update 10:20 p.m. EDT April 6: President Donald Trump said he had a “really wonderful, warm conversation” with Joe Biden on Monday about the coronavirus outbreak.
“He gave me his point of view, and I fully understood that, and we just had a very friendly conversation,” Trump said at his daily press briefing.
The president said he and Biden agreed not to share the details of their conversation, but confirmed an earlier statement from the Biden campaign that the Democrat offered “suggestions” on how to address the pandemic. Biden had previously said he’d like to share with Trump some lessons he learned from dealing with similar crises during the Obama administration.
But Trump added: “It doesn’t mean that I agree with those suggestions.”
Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement that the two had a “good call” where Biden gave Trump some advice and “expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation.”
The conversation was the culmination of a dayslong effort by aides to get the two on the phone, after White House adviser Kellyanne Conway called on the former vice president to “offer some support” to Trump. Biden, the prospective Democratic presidential nominee, has in recent weeks released a series of proposals for responding to the pandemic and has criticized the Trump administration for acting too slowly to halt the virus’ spread.
Update 8:30 p.m. EDT April 6: Voters in Wisconsin will face a choice Tuesday of participating in a presidential primary election or heeding warnings from public health officials to stay away from large crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hours after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued an order postponing the election for two months, the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday sided with Republicans who said he didn’t have the authority to reschedule the race on his own. Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court quickly followed with a ruling blocking Democratic efforts to extend absentee voting.
The decisions leave Wisconsin as the only state with an election scheduled in April that is proceeding as planned. As other states prepare to vote in May or June, Wisconsin will be closely watched for signs that fears of the coronavirus may depress turnout or cause other problems at the polls.
Evers said he had no other options after the state court ruled against him.
“There’s not a Plan B. There’s not a Plan C,” Evers said earlier Monday.
Update 7:40 p.m. EDT April 6: President Donald Trump on Monday disputed the veracity of a federal survey that found hospitals faced severe shortages of coronavirus test supplies, questioning whether its conclusions were skewed by politics.
With coronavirus cases rocketing toward their expected peak, the nonpartisan Health and Human Services inspector general’s office reported Monday morning that a shortage of tests and long waits for results were at the root of mounting problems faced by hospitals.
“Hospitals reported that severe shortages of testing supplies and extended waits for test results limited (their) ability to monitor the health of patients and staff,” the report said.
Three out of 4 U.S. hospitals told the inspector general’s office they are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, and they expect to be overwhelmed.
Asked by a reporter about the report’s finding on testing, Trump responded: “It’s just wrong.”
“Give me the name of the inspector general,” he added. “Could politics be entered into that?”
The acting HHS inspector general is Christi A. Grimm, a career government manager who took over the position early this year. “When was she appointed?” Trump asked.
Trump’s comments carried an edge because last Friday he announced the firing of the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, for reporting to Congress the whistleblower complaint that the president tried to enlist Ukraine in investigating Joe Biden’s son.
The HHS inspector general’s report was based on a telephone survey of 323 hospitals around the country, from March 23-27. With hundreds of new coronavirus cases daily, the situation is becoming more dire for many the nation’s 6,000 hospitals.
Update 6:25 p.m. EDT April 6: President Donald Trump said he was saddened to hear British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into intensive care as he battles the new coronavirus.
“Americans are all praying for his recovery,” Trump said during a White House press briefing. “He’s been a really good friend. He’s been really something very special, strong, resolute, doesn’t quit, doesn’t give up.”
Trump said he asked two “leading companies” to contact officials in London about therapeutics that could be of help.
He also confirmed in the daily White House press briefing that he’d called New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier Monday to let him know that the USNS Comfort can now be used for COVID-19 patients.
“We’re going to let him do it,” said Trump, adding that the ship will will be used for patients from both New York and New Jersey.
Update 5:30 p.m. EDT April 6: Three out of four U.S. hospitals surveyed are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to a federal report that finds hospitals expect to be overwhelmed as cases rocket toward their projected peak.
A report Monday from a federal watchdog agency warns that different, widely reported problems are feeding off each other in a vicious cycle. Such problems include insufficient tests, slow results, scarcity of protective gear, the shortage of breathing machines for seriously ill patients and burned-out staffs anxious for their own safety.
“There’s this sort of domino effect,” said Ann Maxwell, an assistant inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services. “These challenges play off each other and exacerbate the situation. There’s a cascade effect.”
The inspector general’s report is based on a telephone survey of 323 hospitals around the country, from March 23-27. With hundreds of new coronavirus cases daily, the situation is becoming more dire for many the nation’s 6,000 hospitals. Others can still scramble to prepare.
Update 4:20 p.m. EDT April 6: A worldwide rally gained steam on Wall Street Monday, propelling major indexes up more than 7%, as traders cheered glimmers of hope that the deadliness of the coronavirus outbreak could be slowing in some of the hardest-hit areas.
New York’s governor said the rate of increase of deaths could be approaching a plateau, but he cautioned it was far too early to say the worst had passed. European and Asian markets also rose. Bond yields rose as investors became somewhat less pessimistic about prospects for the economy.
The price of oil fell after a meeting between big producers about cutbacks was postponed.
Johnson was moved as a precaution in case he ends up needing a ventilator after his condition worsened Monday, Sky News reported. He had been hospitalized one day earlier, 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, officials said Johnson has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab “to (deputize) for him where necessary.”
Update 3:40 p.m. EDT April 6: The NFL draft has come full circle. What began in 1936 with team officials sitting in a hotel, selecting names written on a blackboard, will now enter the virtual world.
In a memo sent to NFL teams Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said this year’s draft, scheduled for April 23-25, will be held in a virtual format, the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported in a tweet.
Update 3:20 p.m. EDT April 6: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom was moved Monday to an intensive care unit after he was hospitalized one day earlier with COVID-19, according to a statement obtained by Sky News.
Johnson said earlier Monday in a tweet that he was “in good spirits.” He was diagnosed two weeks ago with COVID-19.
Update 3:15 p.m. EDT April 6: Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas ordered the state’s schools closed through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus outbreak, WHBQ-TV reported.
Students will still be expected to continue remote learning, according to the news station. School districts will be allowed to provide food for students in need, so long as they follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHBQ-TV reported.
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT April 6: Officials with Peloton Interactive Inc. said Monday that the company will pause live production of its classes in New York and London and add new pre-recorded workout content to its library amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The fitness company said Friday that an employee at the company’s production studio in New York City had tested positive for a coronavirus infection, The Verge reported.
The company also pledged $1 million to cover two months worth of membership fees for its members and announced plans to donate 100 Peloton stationary bikes to health care professionals.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT April 6: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said health officials reported 3,663 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 41,090 in the state.
Officials also reported 86 new fatal COVID-19 cases. Statewide, 1,003 people have died of coronavirus.
Murphy said Monday that officials were seeing a decline in the number of new coronavirus patients reported day-to-day in New Jersey.
“Our efforts to flatten the curve are starting to pay off,” the governor said. “Our job now is to keep flattening it to the point where our day-over-day increase is zero.”
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 6: Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin on Monday issued an executive order to delay the state’s primary election until June 9, according to WISN-TV.
Evers issued the order after the state legislature declined to extend absentee voting, WISN-TV reported.
“Frankly, there’s no good answer to this problem -- I wish it were easy,” Evers said Monday, according to WISN-TV. “The bottom line is that I have an obligation to keep people safe, and that’s why I signed this executive order today.”
Update 2:10 p.m. EDT April 6: The premier of Canada’s most populous province said U.S. officials have stopped 3 million masks from getting to Ontario from manufacturing giant 3M but he said 500,000 of them are being released Monday.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said getting masks across the U.S. border has been difficult since the Trump administration announced it would prevent the export of N95 protective masks.
Ford says he’s hopeful Canada will get an exemption and said he felt better about that after speaking with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Ford said he’s grateful for anything he can get from the U.S. after delays in global shipments and recent restrictions at the U.S. border left Ontario with about a one-week supply of critical protective equipment for health care workers.
Canadian health care workers — like those in the U.S. — are in dire need of the masks that provide more protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 6: The number of fatal coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana jumped by 38% over the weekend, according to ABC News and numbers from the Louisiana Department of Health.
Numbers released Monday showed 512 fatal coronavirus cases have been reported in the state. Officials said 14,867 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
Update 1:25 p.m. EDT April 6: Officials in Pennsylvania said Monday that nearly 13,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state, according to WPXI.
Numbers released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health showed 12,980 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state, a majority in Allegheny County.
WPXI reported 150 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.
Update 1 p.m. EDT April 6: Officials in Italy reported 636 new fatal coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the country’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 16,523.
The number is slightly higher than the 525 new fatal cases reported Sunday.
Officials said that as of Monday, 93,187 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy. The cases included 18,976 which were serious enough to require hospitalization. One Monday, officials said 3,898 people were in intensive care units. More than 60,000 people had been placed under isolation.
Update 12:50 p.m. EDT April 6: Newly released numbers from New York brought the death toll from coronavirus in the United States over 10,000 on Monday with half of the deaths reported in the Empire State.
“The number of deaths are up once again,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference, though he added that the reports appeared to be lower and might be plateauing.
“While none of this is good news, the flattening -- possible flattening of the curve -- is better than the increases that we have seen.”
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT April 6: Officials in Florida said Monday that 13,324 coronavirus infections have been reported in the state, WFTV reported.
The infections include 1,592 which were serious enough to require hospitalization, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Fifteen new fatal coronavirus cases were reported Monday, according to WFTV, bringing the state’s total number of deadly cases to 236.
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 6: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 130,689 coronavirus cases have been reported thus far in the state.
Cuomo said 4,758 people have died statewide since the coronavirus outbreak began. He noted that the number of reported daily deaths appeared to be slowing over the last two days though he said it was too early to say for certain.
“If we are plateauing it’s because social distancing is working," Cuomo said. "We have to make sure that social distancing continues.”
Fierro had been living at an assisted living facility in Ohio, the Times reported. Friends remembered her as a dedicated teacher, mentor and performer.
“She’s the reason I followed my dreams. That’s such a hackneyed phrase, but it’s true," novelist Nicki Galland told the Times. "This is going to stick with me for a long time.”
Fierro was survived by her five children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, according to the newspaper.
Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 6: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Monday that 99 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, bringing the total number of cases in the capitol to 1,097.
Bowser said Monday that two women also died of COVID-19, one who was 67 and the other who was 69. Twenty-four people in Washington D.C. have died of coronavirus, officials said.
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 6: Organizers on Monday announced plans to postpone the 120th U.S. Open Championship until September as the country grapples with the impact of the coronavirus.
The event had been scheduled to take place June 18 - 21 in New York. Officials said Monday the tournament will instead be held from September 17 - 20.
“We are hopeful that postponing the championship will offer us the opportunity to mitigate health and safety issues while still providing us with the best opportunity to conduct the U.S. Open this year,” Mike Davis, CEO of the U.S. Golf Association, said Monday in a statement.
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT April 6: Organizers on Monday announced the 2020 Masters Tournament has been rescheduled to take place in November.
Officials had announced the postponement of the Masters and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament on March 13, citing “the ever-increasing risks associated with the widespread coronavirus.”
“In collaboration with the leading organizations in golf, Augusta National Golf Club has identified November 9-15 as the intended dates to host the 2020 Masters,” organizers said Monday in a news release.
“While more details will be shared in the weeks and months to come, we, like all of you, will continue to focus on all mandated precautions and guidelines to fight against the coronavirus. Along the way, we hope the anticipation of staging the Masters Tournament in the fall brings a moment of joy to the Augusta community and all those who love the sport.”
Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 6: Mark Levine, chair of the New York City health committee, said Monday that officials are preparing for the possibility that some people may need to be temporarily interred as morgues and funeral homes become overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Soon we’ll start ‘temporary interment,’” Levine said Monday in a tweet. “This will likely be done by using a (New York City) park for burials. ... Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a line."
In a follow-up tweet, Levine highlighted that officials are only preparing for the possibility and that “if the death rate drops enough it will not be necessary.”
Earlier Monday, he said the city morgue, hospital morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries had been dealing with “the equivalent of an ongoing 9/11.”
“Nothing matters more in this crisis than saving the living,” he said. “But we need to face the gruesome reality that we need more resources to manage our dead as well. Or the pain of this crisis will be compounded almost beyond comprehension.”
Update 11:10 a.m. EDT April 6: The Good Hands People plan to put money back in their customers’ hands.
Insurance giant Allstate announced Monday that it would return more than $600 million in auto insurance premiums to customers, who have been driving less as states have implemented stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders to battle the coronavirus.
Update 11:05 a.m. EDT April 6: Officials in Indiana announced 533 new reported coronavirus cases Monday, raising the state’s total number of cases to 4,944.
Officials also reported a dozen new fatal COVID-19 cases. Statewide, 139 people have died of coronavirus.
Update 11 a.m. EDT April 6: Organizers on Monday announced the cancellation of golf’s oldest championship tournament due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The R&A announced the decision to cancel The Open Championship based on guidance from the U.K. government, health officials and others.
Officials said the 149th Open will be played July 11 - July 18, 2021.
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT April 6: The Pentagon said the number of COVID-19 cases in the active duty force topped 1,000 over the weekend.
There are a total of 1,132 confirmed cases as of Monday morning. The total was 978 on Friday.
There also have been 303 cases among members of the National Guard.
Among the military services, the Navy has the most cases, with 431. That includes more than 150 among the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Update 10:25 a.m. EDT April 6: The National Restaurant Association has set up the Restaurant Employee Relief fund to give grants of $500 full- or part-time restaurant employees struggling as the coronavirus pandemic shutters restaurants nationwide.
Officials with the National Restaurant Association said the fund was supposed to open for applications earlier, but the server hosting the application process was overwhelmed shortly after opening.
“We are deeply humbled by and grateful for the opportunity to provide support to restaurant employees. Almost immediately after opening the application process, extremely high user volume overwhelmed the application platform. We are continuing to upgrade our system to improve site functionality and expand capacity," the group said on the application website.
Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 6: Stocks jumped in markets around the world Monday after some of the hardest-hit areas offered sparks of hope that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak may be on the horizon.
U.S. stocks climbed more than 3% in the first few minutes of trading, following similar gains in Europe and Asia. In another sign that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy’s path, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was headed for its first gain in four days.
Oil prices fell after a meeting between Russia and OPEC aimed at defusing a price war was pushed back a few days.
Update 9:35 a.m. EDT April 6: Officials with Wells Fargo announced Monday that the bank will no longer be accepting applications for a new federal program aimed at helping small businesses retain and pay workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement Sunday, bank officials said they aimed to distribute $10 billion in loans under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program. Funding for the program was included in a $2.2 billion economic relief package to help Americans struggling in the pandemic.
Wells Fargo officials said Monday in a statement that they expected to “fill the company’s capacity to lend under the program” with the applications they’ve already received. The application window had opened Friday.
“Given the exceptionally high volume of requests we have already received, we will not be able to accept any additional requests for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program,” company officials said in a notice posted Monday. “We will review all expressions of interest submitted by customers via our online form through April 5 and provide updates in the coming days.”
Update 9:10 a.m. EDT April 6: Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Monday that people need to continue to take social distancing and other measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Everyone is susceptible to this and everyone needs to follow the precautions that we’ve laid out,” Giroir said during an appearance on NBC’s “today” show Monday. “If we let our foot off the gas and start doing things that are ill-advised, we could have another peak in a few weeks. ... We have to completely keep our efforts going.”
Officials recommend that Americans stay home as much as possible and keep at least 6 feet of distance from other people. They’ve also urged that people wear cloth face masks in public to stymie the spread of the virus.
Update 8:55 a.m. EDT April 6: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom said in a tweet Monday morning that he’s “in good spirits” after being hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms.
Ten days before his hospitalization, Johnson had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms,” Johnson said. “I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.”
Update 7:55 a.m. EDT April 6: Britain’s Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is no longer in self-isolation, ITV and other news outlets are reporting.
Although the 72-year-old, who is married to Prince Charles, tested negative for coronavirus, she went into self-isolation for two weeks because her husband had tested positive for COVID-19. Charles, 71, spent seven days in quarantine after displaying mild symptoms and left self-isolation March 30.
Camilla and Charles have been staying in Scotland, ITV reported.
Update 7:21 a.m. EDT April 6: The rates of coronavirus deaths in Spain and Italy, the two European countries hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, appear to be slowing.
Meanwhile, Italian officials on Sunday reported that 525 people died from the virus in the past 24 hours, marking the country’s “lowest death rate in two weeks," according to CNN.
As of Monday morning, Spain had reported the second-highest number of infections worldwide, with 131,646 cases and 12,641 deaths, while Italy had reported the third-highest number of infections, with 128,948 cases and 15,887 deaths, Johns Hopkins University reported. Only the United States had reported more overall cases.
Update 6:23 a.m. EDT April 6: London’s West End theaters are canceling all shows through May 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Society of London Theatre announced Monday.
The theaters previously had announced a shutdown through April 26, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“We are now canceling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen,” the society said in a statement.
As of Monday morning, at least 48,440 coronavirus cases and 4,943 deaths had been reported in the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Update 5:14 a.m. EDT April 6: FedEx flew some pilots back to the United States after they received inconclusive test results for COVID-19.
According to WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee, the pilots were removed from service and are self-isolating while follow-up testing and evaluation is being performed, according to FedEx.
The exact number of pilots removed is unclear.
The company released a statement Sunday:
“Some FedEx pilots were flown back to the U.S. after receiving inconclusive test results for COVID-19. They have been removed from duty and are self-isolating while follow-up testing and evaluation is performed. All areas where these team members worked are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The safety and well-being of our employees remains our first concern. FedEx continues to take all necessary precautions and follow guidance from the FAA, CDC and other public health organizations related to reporting and containment of COVID-19. We continue our operation in China and remain committed to providing the best possible service to our customers.“
Update 4:32 a.m. EDT April 6: At least 87 firefighters in Massachusetts have tested positive for coronavirus as of Sunday, according to The Professional Fire Firefighters of Massachusetts.
Boston’s WFXT reports that 1,814 firefighters have a documented exposure to COVID-19, 831 have been tested for the virus and 583 are currently under quarantine.
In Taunton, nine firefighters have tested positive for coronavirus.
“These numbers are alarming, but firefighters across Massachusetts and the United States will continue to answer your calls for service,” the labor union posted on Twitter on Sunday night. “Please help us help you – Stay home.”
The numbers encompass 201 locals representing 11,106 members, which account for 97% of the union’s membership.
Update 3:30 a.m. EDT April 6: Duran Duran’s John Taylor is feeling better weeks after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he wrote Sunday in a post on the band’s Facebook page.
According to USA Today, the 59-year-old bass player said he was diagnosed three weeks ago and has since recovered.
“After a week or so of what I would describe as a ‘turbo-charged flu,’ I came out of it feeling OK – although I must admit I didn’t mind the quarantine as it gave me the chance to really recover,” he wrote. “I am speaking out in answer to the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic, some of it entirely justified, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain. But I want to let you know that it isn’t always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing.”
Taylor added that he “cannot wait to be back onstage again, sharing new music, love and joy.”
Update 2:35 a.m. EDT April 6: Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, he said in an Instagram post Friday.
“I’m sorry to report that I am among the growing number of Americans who tested positive for the COVID-19,” he wrote in the post. “I’m not in the habit of discussing medical issues on social media, but I do so in the hopes that this will help other people to understand how serious and how contagious this illness is. Although I am fortunate enough to be cared for at home, this is possibly the worst illness I have ever had.”
Cross, 68, also urged his fans to take the virus seriously and stay home, wash their hands and avoid touching their faces.
“For those of you who still do not believe the COVID-19 virus is real, or think it is a ‘hoax’ or part of some conspiracy, my advice to you is to understand right now that this is a deadly illness spreading like wildfire throughout the world,” the Grammy Award winner wrote, encouraging followers to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
He added that everyone should “be kind to one another."
”Only if we work together can we defeat COVID-19," he wrote.
Several other celebrities, including Pink, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and CNN’s Chris Cuomo, have tested positive for the virus.
Update 1:49 a.m. EDT April 6: The coronavirus pandemic has brought the airline industry nearly to a halt. In March, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced that its revenue fell by $2 billion due to the spread of COVID-19 and a drop in demand for air travel.
On Sunday, Delta Air Lines has begun notifying its flyers about changes to its well-known SkyMiles program due to the sudden drop in air travel.
“On behalf of all of us at Delta, I want to thank our customers for your continued loyalty during these unprecedented times. While our focus is on keeping customers and employees safe and healthy today and always, you are a part of the Delta family and we know how important these benefits are to you,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s senior vice president of customer engagement and loyalty, and CEO of Delta Vacations. “That’s why as coronavirus continues to dramatically impact travel across the globe, you don’t have to worry about your benefits – they’ll be extended so you can enjoy them when you are ready to travel again.”
Here are the changes:
- All Medallion Status for 2020 will be automatically extended for the 2021 Medallion Year.
- All Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) from 2020 are being rolled over to 2021 to qualify for 2022 Medallion Status.
Delta Sky Club Individual and Executive memberships with an expiration of March 1, 2020, or later will receive six additional months of Delta Sky Club access beyond their expiration date.
Delta SkyMiles American Express Card Members:
- If you have one of the following in your SkyMiles profile “My Wallet” that is valid now or has expired since March 1, 2020, we are extending the expiration dates to give you additional time to enjoy your benefits:
- If you have one of the following in your SkyMiles profile “My Wallet” that is valid now or has expired since March 1, 2020, we are extending the expiration dates to give you additional time to enjoy your benefits:
The updates will happen automatically over the coming weeks, with no action needed from customers, Delta said.
“We are continuously monitoring how coronavirus impacts travel and will make additional adjustments to support our customers’ needs as the pandemic evolves,” said Dube.
Update 12:43 a.m. EDT April 6: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 337,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Monday.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 337,620 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 9,643 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,274,923 confirmed cases and 69,479 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 131,646 reported in Spain and the 128,948 confirmed in Italy.
Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 4,159 have occurred in New York, 917 in New Jersey, 617 in Michigan and 477 in Louisiana.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 123,160 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 37,505, Michigan with 15,718 and California with 15,154.
Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including:
• Louisiana: 13,010, including 477 deaths
• Massachusetts: 12,500, including 231 deaths
• Florida: 12,350, including 221 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 11,589, including 151 deaths
• Illinois: 11,259, including 274 deaths