More than 2.4 million people worldwide – including more than 761,000 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 manage unprecedented patient surges.
Live updates for Monday, April 20, continue below:
United Nations approves coronavirus resolution
Update 11:30 p.m. EDT April 20: The United Nations General Assembly has approved 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.
The Mexican-drafted resolution requests Secretary-General Antonio Guterres work with the World Health Organization and recommend options to ensure timely and equitable access to testing, medical supplies, drugs and future coronavirus vaccines for all in need, especially in developing countries.
It reaffirms the fundamental role of the United Nations system in coordinating the global response to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 and in supporting the 193 U.N. member states, “and in this regard acknowledges the crucial leading role played by the World Health Organization.”
General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent a letter to the 193 U.N. member states Monday night saying there were no objections to the resolution and it was therefore adopted.
It is the second resolution on COVID-19 approved by the world body. On April 2, the General Assembly approved a resolution recognizing “the unprecedented effects” of the pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the virus.
Oregon governor forming draft plan to reopen economy
Update 10:30 p.m. EDT April 20: The Oregon governor’s office on Monday circulated its own version of a three-phase federal guideline to lift restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing childcare facilities to reopen in phase one and possibly restaurants.
The Trump administration guidelines say there first needs to be downward trajectories, during a 14-day period, of influenza-like illnesses, COVID-19-like cases, of documented cases or of positive tests as a percent of total tests, as well as “robust testing and contact tracing.”
Oregon, however, has some counties where there no or few COVID-19 cases.
The draft circulating among state leaders says Oregon will likely use modified metrics, especially for rural counties who have small numbers.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown’s draft plan contains no time frame on when the drop in cases is expected to occur. It says experience in other countries and modelling says reducing social distancing too quickly will create a spike in cases.
Colorado stay-at-home order to end next week
Update 8:30 p.m. EDT April 20: Colorado’s governor says the statewide stay-at-home order will expire next week.
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis also said he allow a gradual reopening of nonessential businesses and permit surgical procedures and other activity suspended by the coronavirus fight as long as strict social distancing and other individual protective measures continue.
Polis credited widespread compliance with statewide social distancing and shelter-in-place orders for an apparent leveling off of COVID-19 hospitalizations, allowing the most severe restrictions imposed last month to expire on April 27.
The governor urged residents who can work at home to keep doing so, to stay at home as much as possible, avoid large gatherings and wear masks and other protective gear.
Details on specific measures will be released this week, the governor said at a news briefing. State and local authorities are empowered to reimpose restrictions in response to health crises, he said.
SC gov rolls out plans for post-outbreak economic reopening
Update 7 p.m. EDT April 20: South Carolina’s governor is rolling out details of a program that his office says will allow the state’s economy to “recover more quickly than any other states in the country” from the new coronavirus outbreak.
Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday announced the details of “Accelerate South Carolina,” which includes several key leaders in the state including mayors, presidents of institutions of higher learning, business owners and health care professionals. The group is headed up by James Burns, an attorney and former Defense Department deputy legal counsel who also served as chief of staff to former Gov. Nikki Haley. Its first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, with plans to hold multiple sessions over the next 30 days.
McMaster has repeatedly stressed his desire for a swift, yet safe, reopening of the state’s economy, noting the severe toll the outbreak has had on individual workers and businesses. Establishments including restaurants, bars, manufacturers, dentist offices and a number of others have closed for a variety of reasons, including mandatory orders from McMaster issued in an effort to stem the outbreak.
“To do so too quickly would be reckless,” the governor said last week, of resuming normal activity levels, noting several times he felt sure the economy would be “humming” by the end of June.
During a media briefing, McMaster acknowledged that, even though the virus continues to spread, he saw it as crucial to both manage the outbreak and shore up the economy in hopes of avoiding disastrous, long-lasting effects.
2 more field hospitals opening in Massachusetts
Update 6:30 p.m. EDT April 20: Two more field hospitals set up to deal with a surge of COVID-19 patients are opening Monday in Massachusetts.
The hospitals at Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne and at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Recreation Center were tentatively scheduled to open Monday and can each handle about 100 patients who are not in critical condition but are not well enough to be sent home.
Cape Cod Healthcare is managing and staffing the Cape Cod hospital, while Lowell General Hospital is managing the UMass site.
Field hospitals have also opened at the DCU Center in Worcester and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. A fifth is expected to open at UMass Dartmouth in about a week.
Tennessee preps to reopen, conducts more prison mass testing
Update 5:50 p.m. EDT April 20: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that businesses across the majority of the state will begin reopening as early as next week.
The Republican governor says his mandatory safer-at-home order will expire on April 30, which will pave the way for 89 out of the state’s 95 counties to begin opening businesses.
However, Lee’s announcement does not apply to the state’s counties with the largest cities, including Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan counties — areas that are not overseen by Tennessee’s Department of Health but have their own public health districts.
“While I am not extending the safer at home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible,” Lee said.
Some businesses will be allowed to reopen as early as April 27, but it’s unclear exactly which ones will be granted such clearance. Lee told reporters that such details would be finalized by his economy recovery team later this week.
Georgia Gov. Kemp allows some businesses to reopen, shelter-in-place order to expire
Update 4:50 p.m. EDT April 20: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday rolled out aggressive plans to reopen the state’s economy, saying many businesses shuttered to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus may reopen their doors as early as Friday.
Kemp announced that gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors are among businesses that may reopen Friday — as long as owners follow strict social distancing and hygiene requirements. By Monday, movie theaters may resume selling tickets and restaurants limited to takeout orders can go back to limited dine-in service.
“In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus’s spread, today we’re announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy.” Kemp said,
In addition to calls from President Donald Trump, Kemp has heard scattered public calls in Georgia to lift restrictions.
Over 7,000 coronavirus infections reported in Tennessee
Update 3:50 p.m. EDT April 20: Officials in Tennessee reported a total of 7,238 cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Monday afternoon, WHBQ-TV reported.
Officials with the state Department of Health said 152 deaths have been reported statewide. As of Monday, 730 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms and 3,575 people have recovered.
Massachusetts becoming new virus hotspot
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 20: Massachusetts has become a hotspot of coronavirus infections, drawing the concern of federal officials and promises of aid from hard-hit New York.
The state's death toll is expected to surpass 2,000 this week, doubling in less than a week. Officials are scrambling to boost hospital capacity and trace new infections to curb the spread of the disease.
Vice President Mike Pence has said the White House is closely watching the Boston area. The coordinator of the federal coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, said officials are “very much focused” on Massachusetts. There were 146 new deaths reported in Massachusetts on Sunday, bringing the state’s death toll to more than 1,700.
346 new COVID-19 cases reported in Florida
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT April 20: Health officials in Florida reported 346 new COVID-19 cases Monday, raising the state’s total number of cases to 26,660, WFTV reported.
Fifteen more deaths were also reported Monday, bringing the statewide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic to 789, WFTV reported, citing the Florida Department of Health.
Bon Jovi cancels tour due to COVID-19
Update 3 p.m. EDT April 20: Rock band Bon Jovi announced the cancellation Monday of its planned summer tour due to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Given these difficult times, we have made the decision to cancel the tour entirely,” the band said in a statement posted on social media. “This will enable ticketholders to get refunds to help pay their bills or buy groceries."
Nearly 19,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Georgia
Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 20: Officials in Georgia said 18,947 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state as of noon local time Monday, WSB-TV reported.
The cases included 3,550 serious enough to require hospitalization, according to the news network. Statewide, 733 people have died of COVID-19.
3,528 new coronavirus infections reported in New Jersey
Update 2:40 p.m. EDT April 20: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Monday that 3,528 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 88,806.
Officials also reported 177 new fatal COVID-19 cases Monday, slightly higher than the 132 new fatal cases reported one day earlier.
Statewide, 4,377 people have died of coronavirus.
Ohio students to continue remote learning until the end of the school year
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT April 20: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio announced Monday that students will continue remote learning in the state through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, WHIO-TV reported.
As of Monday afternoon, 12,919 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state along with 509 fatal cases and 2,653 hospitalizations, according to the state Department of Health.
Negotiations over additional coronavirus aid continue in Congress
Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 20: Without a final agreement yet on extra money for an emergency small business aid fund, the U.S. Senate was unable Monday to pass any legislation addressing the coronavirus, but Republicans set another session for Tuesday, hoping a deal could be reached by then with Democrats.
Instead of not meeting again until Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated the Senate would return for an unplanned session on Tuesday, in hopes of voting on a coronavirus bill, which could include as much as $450 billion in relief.
Pennsylvania governor outlines steps for reopening businesses
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT April 20: Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania outlined the steps being taken Monday to reopen businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, WPXI reported. Officials will allow state liquor stores to open for curbside pickup and allow for auto sales in a “limited capacity,” the news network reported.
Limited construction projects will be allowed to restart beginning May 8, according to WPXI. Wolf said Monday that his stay-at-home order will remain in place until at least that date and emphasized the importance of ongoing social distancing efforts.
8 US Navy sailors hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 20: Officials with the U.S. Navy said Monday that eight sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt remained hospitalized in Guam with symptoms of COVID-19.
The number is up one from the number of hospitalized sailors reported Friday. Officials have said one sailor was admitted to intensive care for observation due to shortness of breath.
As of Monday, 678 people on the Roosevelt aircraft carrier had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Officials said 6% of the ship’s crew members had yet to be tested.
Louisiana reports 595 new coronavirus infections
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT April 20: Officials in Louisiana reported 587 new coronavirus infections Monday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 24,523.
The number is 239 higher than 348 new infections reported Sunday.
Officials said that statewide, 1,328 people have died of COVID-19 as of Monday.
Number of currently infected COVID-19 patients declines for first time in Italy
Update 1 p.m. EDT April 20: The number of people currently infected with the novel coronavirus fell for the first time Monday in Italy, according to number released by government officials.
On Sunday, officials reported 108,257 active cases in the country, a number that fell by 20 on Monday to 108,237.
“This is positive data as it shows the number of people who are currently positive with the virus is declining,” Angelo Borrelli, the chief of Italy’s civil protection authority, said according to The Guardian.
As of Monday, officials said a total of 181,228 coronavirus infections have been identified in the country since the beginning of the outbreak.
Officials said 24,114 people have died of COVID-19 in Italy. The country has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world behind Spain, which has more than 200,000 cases, and the United States, which has more than 761,000 cases, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Facebook removing some events calling for protests of stay-at-home orders
Update 12:45 p.m. EDT April 20: Facebook officials have removed some events on the social media platform calling for protests of stay-at-home orders issued to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in several states, according to multiple reports.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that three “far-right, provocateurs” were pushing for protests in several states, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
Facebook officials told the newspaper that they didn’t remove many of the groups or events calling for the demonstrations because protesting the stay-at-home orders isn’t illegal. The social media company did, however, remove events planned in California, Nebraska and New Jersey because they were determined to have violated measures imposed by governors aimed at protecting public health, NBC News reported.
“Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Post. “For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”
449 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in the UK
Update 12:30 p.m. EDT April 20: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 449 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Monday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 16,060.
The number is lower than the 596 new fatal cases reported Sunday.
Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced a total of 124,743 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. The number is 4,676 higher than the number of cases reported nationwide Sunday.
More than 33,000 COVID-19 cases reported in Pennsylvania
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT April 20: Health officials in Pennsylvania said Monday that 33,232 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state, an increase of 3,791 cases from those reported Friday, according to WPXI.
Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health also reported 138 new deaths. WPXI reported. Nearly 900 people have died of coronavirus in the state, according to officials.
US to continue expelling migrants into May
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT April 20: The U.S. says it will continue to quickly expel migrants it encounters along the border for at least another month in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
An order issued by the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday says the policy should be kept in place for another 30 days to help reduce the spread of the virus. The new order extends the policy until May 20.
U.S. officials last month launched the new policy, saying it would be dangerous for Customs and Border Protection to detain people because of the potential spread of the virus in detention facilities.
As a result, CBP has been turning away thousands of migrants, including asylum seekers.
Adults from Mexico and Central America make up most of the border crossers and they are being sent immediately back to Mexico.
Unaccompanied minors from Central America are being quickly flown back to their home countries.
CBP has said it allows people to seek asylum on a case by case basis but has not said whether any have been allowed into the country.
Critics including the American Civil Liberties Union say the policy amounts to an abandonment of longstanding international commitments to protect refugees.
New York reports 478 new fatal coronavirus cases
Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 20: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 478 more people have died of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of deadly coronavirus infections to 14,374.
The daily fatality number is lower than ones reported last week.
“The numbers would suggest we’re seeing a descent,” Cuomo said Monday.
Travel restrictions extended on US borders
Update 11 a.m. EDT April 20: Officials in the United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to extend travel restrictions on its shared borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said Monday that restrictions will be extended for 30 more days.
Officials in all three countries agreed last month to close its land borders with each other to all but essential traffic.
134 new coronavirus infections reported in DC
Update 10:50 a.m. EDT April 20: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Monday that 134 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, slightly higher than the 127 new infections reported one day earlier.
The new reports bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Washington D.C. to 2,927.
Bowser said Monday that nine people between the ages of 55 and 83 also died of COVID-19. As of Monday, 105 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.
Events canceled through June in New York City, including 50th annual Pride Parade
Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 20: Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City on Monday announced that all events scheduled for June in the city, including parades, concerts and rallies, have been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus threat.
Among the events canceled by the decision are the 50th annual Pride Parade, which had been scheduled to begin June 14.
As of Sunday, the latest date for which data was available, more than 129,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in New York City. Health officials said 8,811 people have died in the city of the viral infection.
Wall Street opens lower as US oil contract slides
Update 10:05 a.m. EDT April 20: Stocks opened lower Monday on Wall Street as momentum from last week’s rally faded and oil prices collapsed.
Crude prices plummeted amid concerns that storage facilities were close to being full. Energy sectors stocks were taking the worst of the selling. Economic data continues to show heavy damage to growth.
Investors braced for a busy week when dozens of CEOs from the largest companies are scheduled to give updates on how bad the pandemic is hurting them.
Stocks in Europe turned lower despite the fact that some countries have eased their lockdowns on business.
Fauci: Reopening businesses too soon will backfire
Update 9:35 a.m. EDT April 20: Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. infectious disease expert and head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, emphasized Monday that local economies won’t recover from the current downturn until the coronavirus outbreak is contained.
“Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” he said Monday in an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“If you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back.”
Fauci’s comments came as some local governments began to ease restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials in Florida have reopened beaches in Duval and St. Johns counties with restrictions, WJAX-TV reported. Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina is expected later Monday to announce the reopening of some businesses deemed nonessential in the state, according to WSOC-TV.
Fauci said that “as painful as it is,” it’s essential officials follow guidelines for gradually phasing into a reopening or “it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem.”
Shake Shack to return $10M Paycheck Protection Plan loan meant for small businesses
Update 8:45 a.m. EDT April 20: Executives with burger chain Shake Shack announced Monday that they are returning a $10 million loan received through a federal initiative aimed at helping small businesses struggling during the coronavirus epidemic.
In a letter, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti and chairman Daniel Meyer said the company has had to furlough or layoff hundreds of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic, during which the chain is facing operating losses of more than $1.5 million each week. As a company with fewer than 500 employees per location, Shake Shack was eligible for a Paycheck Protection Plan loan and secured one for $10 million.
However, Garutti and Meyer said Monday that the company decided to return the funds after an “equity transaction” gave it access to additional capital. CNN reported the chain plans to sell shares to raise as much as $75 million from investors.
“We’re fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not," Garutti and Meyer said. “Until every restaurant that needs it has had the same opportunity to receive assistance, we’re returning ours.”
Funding for the small-business loans has fallen far short of what is needed. The Trump administration and Congress expect an agreement Monday on an additional aid package of up to $450 billion to boost the small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.
“We urge Congress to ensure that all restaurants no matter their size have equal ability to get back on their feet and hire back their teams," Garutti and Meyer said. “Fund it adequately. It’s inexcusable to leave restaurants out because no one told them to get in line by the time the funding dried up. That unfairly pits restaurants against restaurants."
Officials warn people not to run Boston Marathon route on Patriots’ Day
Update 7:40 a.m. EDT April 20: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is warning people to stay home on Patriots’ Day and not run the marathon route, as it was postponed for the first time ever because of the coronavirus.
Nearly 30,000 runners would have run 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston on marathon Monday. But today, the finish line is empty.
Last month, the Boston Athletic Association decided to postpone the race for the first time in its 124-year history. Walsh, along with other local and state leaders, are urging those were supposed to run today to not run the 26.2-mile route.
At the start line in Hopkinton, downtown and the town common, parking restrictions will be in place to deter runners.
Every year, 4,000 local, state and federal law enforcement officers, 480 members of the National Guard and 1,900 medical personnel work along the route. If people run today, leaders warn that runners could divert their efforts from treating COVID-19 patients.
Walsh said those who try to run today are “putting safety responders at risk.”
“We’re worrying about keeping the spread of the virus,” Walsh said. "It’s not a great accomplishment. You’re not going to be celebrated for it. No one is going to be clapping for you.”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker echoed Walsh’s statements, saying, “Everybody needs to continue to do what we have done so well for the past month or so, which is to stay at home and follow all the distancing guidelines and criteria that we’ve set up.”
Unlike the past 33 years where race director Dave McGillivray has run the route after all the runners, he will run 26.2 miles today in his neighborhood, following social distancing rules while running alone.
The rescheduled marathon date is Monday, Sept. 14, and that race will serve as a qualifier for the 2021 Boston Marathon. If runners can’t run on the rescheduled date, the BAA is offering refunds for the first time.
As of Monday morning, Massachusetts had reported at least 38,077 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,706 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Britain’s Prince Philip thanks UK health care workers, researchers
Update 7:03 a.m. EDT April 20: Britain’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, issued a statement thanking health care workers and researchers in the United Kingdom for their work during the coronavirus outbreak.
“As we approach World Immunization Week, I wanted to recognize the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from COVID-19,” the 98-year-old Philip, who is married to Queen Elizabeth II, said in the statement.
“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”
As of Monday morning, the U.K. had reported at least 121,173 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16,095 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Philip’s eldest son, Prince Charles, recently recovered from the virus.
Hong Kong reports zero new cases for 1st time in weeks
Update 5:25 a.m. EDT April 20: For the first time since March 5, Hong Kong is reporting zero new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, officials said Monday.
According to CNN, the Center for Health Protection still urged residents to follow social-distancing guidelines and “avoid all non-essential travel."
As of Monday morning, Hong Kong had reported 1,025 coronavirus cases and four deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
SC engineer, boat maker build ‘intubation boxes’ to shield health care workers
Update 4:26 a.m. EDT April 20: A South Carolina engineer and a boat maker teamed up to protect health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, WSOC-TV is reporting.
They are building “intubation boxes.”
The acrylic shields can protect doctors and nurses during high-risk procedures like placing or removing patients’ ventilators.
“These boxes provide that protection at the most critical time that they need it,” Rob Harding said. “Every doctor we keep in the fight is, just has an exponential effect on more people they’re able to treat.”
Harding said he wanted to give back to the medical workers who care for his son, who has a genetic disorder.
They are sending the boxes to hospitals nationwide for free.
New Zealand’s strict lockdown extended
Update 3 a.m. EDT April 20: New Zealand is lengthening its strict lockdown by five more days amid the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday.
According to CNN, the country’s “level 4” lockdown, originally set to end at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, has been extended through 11:59 p.m. April 27.
When the lockdown is reduced to level 3, schools will be able to reopen, and group gatherings of as many as 10 people will be permitted, the outlet reported.
As of Monday morning, New Zealand had reported at least 1,440 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Mazda offering free oil changes for health care workers
Update 2:18 a.m. EDT April 20: Mazda announced it is offering free oil changes and enhanced cleaning services for U.S. health care workers, WFTV is reporting.
A spokesperson said the program, which began April 16 at participating Mazda dealerships across the country, is not limited to Mazda owners.
Most makes and models from other manufacturers can be serviced, the company said.
Health care workers will be asked to share proof of occupations, such as a valid employment ID badge or pay stub, a spokesperson said.
To see a full list of participating dealers, click here.
Researchers: Breakthrough COVID-19 antibody test can help reopen economy
Update 1:46 a.m. EDT April 20: The University of Washington Medicine Virology Lab is one of the first in the United States to get a new Abbott test that checks your blood for a special COVID-19 antibody.
“This is an important, new type of testing that we haven’t had access to before,” Keith Jerome, the director of the UW Medicine, told Seattle’s KIRO-TV.
The lab said since Abbott developed the new antibody test, UW researchers have been working 24/7 to verify the test’s effectiveness. Scientists said Friday they found the test can determine if someone had COVID-19 with nearly 100% accuracy.
“It showed a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 99.6%,” said Alex Greniger, assistant director of the UW Virology Lab. “Diagnostically, this is one of the best tests we can offer,” he said.
They say that means it’s a test that can help reopen the economy and get people back to work.
“This is another turning point in the fight against this virus,” Jerome said.
The test specifically looks for what’s called an IgG antibody – something your immune system makes after you get sick from COVID-19.
Abbott explains the IgG antibody “is a protein that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered.”
Unlike the nasal swab to check for the actual virus, this test requires a blood draw.
US deaths pass 40K; total cases near 760K
Update 12:40 a.m. EDT April 20: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States neared 760,000 early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 759,569 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 40,679 deaths. Of those cases, more than 248,000 have been reported in New York, meaning the state has, itself, confirmed more cases than any other nation outside the United States, including the United Kingdom with 121,173 cases, Germany with 145,742, France with 154,098, Italy with 178,972 and Spain with 198,674.
Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 18,298 – or roughly 45% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 4,362 in New Jersey, 2,391 in Michigan and 1,706 in Massachusetts.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak with at least 248,417 confirmed cases – nearly three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 85,301, Massachusetts with 38,077, Pennsylvania with 32,902 and California with 31,528.
Seven other states have now confirmed at least 17,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• Michigan: 31,424, resulting in 2,391 deaths
• Illinois: 30,357, resulting in 1,290 deaths
• Florida: 26,314, resulting in 774 deaths
• Louisiana: 23,928, resulting in 1,296 deaths
• Texas: 19,408, resulting in 500 deaths
• Georgia: 18,301, resulting in 687 deaths
• Connecticut: 17,962, resulting in 1,127 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland has confirmed at least 12,000 cases; Washington state, Indiana and Ohio each has confirmed at least 11,000 cases, followed closely by Colorado with 9,730 and Virginia with 8,542; Tennessee has more than 7,000 cases; North Carolina has confirmed at least 6,000 cases, followed closely by Missouri with 5,761; Arizona, Alabama, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Nevada and Utah each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Kentucky, Iowa, the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, Delaware and Minnesota each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.