More than 2.5 million people worldwide – including more than 816,000 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 Tuesday, April 21, continue below:
New Mexico now has 2,072 coronavirus cases, 65 known deaths
Update 10:15 p.m. EDT April 21: New Mexico now has more than 2,000 coronavirus cases with seven more deaths, pushing that total to at least 65, officials said Tuesday.
State Department of Health officials announced 103 new COVID-19 cases that increased the total number of cases to 2,072.
They said five of the new deaths occurred in Bernalillo County and four were residents of the La Vida Llena retirement home in Albuquerque.
The fifth county death was a resident of the Central Desert Behavioral Health facility in Albuquerque with the other deaths in Chaves County and McKinley County.
Bernalillo County, the state’s most populous, now has 585 coronavirus cases.
Wash. Gov says state won’t lift stay-at-home restrictions by May 4
Update 9:20 p.m. EDT April 21: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday the state will not be able to lift many of the stay-at-home restrictions implemented to fight the coronavirus by May 4, the date through which the current directive is currently in place.
Inslee outlined the next steps in his plan for a safe return to public life in Washington.
Inslee said the recovery plan for the state after the coronavirus pandemic will be gradual, data-driven and health focused. He said the path back to normal requires much more testing, increased PPE, a vaccine and adequate hospital capacity to treat COVID-19 cases.
Until then, the state response is focused on preventing another outbreak. He said for now, most large gatherings will remain prohibited and teleworking and physical distancing will continue.
Georgia businesses hesitant to embrace Kemp’s call to reopen
Update 8:20 p.m. EDT April 21: Gov. Brian Kemp’s call to reopen shuttered businesses in Georgia left many business owners wary and confused Tuesday as they considered how to protect themselves and their customers in a state where coronavirus deaths exceed 800 and confirmed infections have surpassed 20,000.
Kemp’s plan to kick-start the economy is one of the most aggressive announced since President Donald Trump laid out benchmarks for states to start lifting restrictions. But Georgia’s testing system has lagged behind much of the nation and public health experts warned that moving too quickly could fuel a resurgence in infections.
“It’s concerning. I’m certainly not going to go the gym or get a haircut,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease expert at Emory University in Atlanta. “I’ll let people make their own decisions.”
Kemp’s order lets gyms, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors open with restrictions Friday. Restaurants can resume dine-in service Monday, though bars and nightclubs must remain closed.
“The private sector is going to have to convince the public that it’s safe to come back into these businesses,” Kemp said Monday.
Some Tennessee cities cautious on gov’s May 1 reopening goal
Update 7:50 p.m. EDT April 21: Some of Tennessee’s biggest cities are not making any promises about starting to reopen their economies by Gov. Bill Lee’s stated goal of May 1, saying they are going to let data, not dates, dictate their roll-outs.
In Nashville on Tuesday, Mayor John Cooper said he could see the first phase of an economic reopening in early May, but the city would need to check off four requirements: a transmission rate of each person with COVID-19 spreading the virus to less than one other person on average; a 14-day downward trend in new cases; adequate testing and personal protective equipment; and sufficient capability to trace contacts with others for people who test positive.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said Monday evening that if that city continues to see a “flattening of the curve,” she supports reopening the economy and gradually lifting restrictions “based on data, not dates.”
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said Monday he will continue to consult experts and make a decision that’s best locally. The county that includes Chattanooga, meanwhile, is looking to reopen by May 1, and wants its cities to follow suit, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Tuesday.
Memphis officials have not detailed any plans for re-opening businesses.
Lee 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.
Presidential debate planning proceeds despite virus worries
Update 6:40 p.m. EDT April 21: Preparations for the 2020 general election debates are proceeding “according to schedule” despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized all general election debates since 1988, said in a statement Tuesday that it “will continue to monitor and assess developments regarding public health and safety as debate planning proceeds.”
The debates are traditionally held before a large live audience, though it remains to be seen whether larger gatherings of that size will be advisable by the time of the first debate, scheduled for Sept. 29, 2020, at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
The two other presidential debates will be held on Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and on Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
The final debate of the Democratic primary was held last month at a CNN studio with no audience.
Senate approves $484 billion ‘interim’ relief measure
Update 5:10 p.m. EDT April 21: With the number of Coronavirus deaths in the United States going over 44,000 on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved an interim relief package of nearly half a trillion dollars to help offset the negative economic impact of the virus, speeding more aid to small businesses and hospitals, and approving $25 billion to help with testing needs.
"This bipartisan agreement will provide more than $320 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is already helping millions of small-business employees receive paychecks instead of pink slips," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
While McConnell welcomed the agreement, he also took several swipes at Democrats over the extra time taken for negotiations, after Democrats blocked a $250 billion addition in small business funding last week in the Senate.
"Republicans never wanted this crucial program for workers and small businesses to shut down," McConnell added.
This nearly half trillion plan - when added to the original $2.2 trillion in aid approved last month in Congress - upped the total amount to $2.7 trillion.
7 virus cases appear related to in-person voting, officials say
Update 5 p.m. EDT April 21: Health officials in Wisconsin said they have identified at least seven people who appear to have contracted the coronavirus from participating in the April 7 election, the first such cases following in-person voting that was held despite widespread concern about the public health risks.
The cases involve six voters and one poll worker in Milwaukee, where difficulty finding poll workers forced the city to pare nearly 200 voting locations back to just five, and where voters — some in masks, some with no protection — were forced to wait in long lines for hours.
The conditions of the seven weren’t immediately available. City health commissioner Jeanette Kowalik told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she hopes to have more information later in the week. Kowalik’s office didn’t immediately respond to a question from The Associated Press asking how city health officials were able to trace the infections to the election.
Congress, Trump in tentative deal on $500B virus relief bill
Update 4:20 p.m. EDT April 21: Congress reached a tentative agreement Tuesday with President Donald Trump on a nearly $500 billion coronavirus relief bill that would replenish a small business rescue program, provide hospitals with another $75 billion, and implement a nationwide virus testing program to facilitate reopening the economy.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced the agreement Tuesday morning and Trump tweeted his support hours later, saying he’ll sign the bill if passes both chambers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., swung behind it as well.
“I welcome this bipartisan agreement and hope the Senate will quickly pass it,” McConnell said, blasting Schumer and Pelosi for delays in replenishing the “paycheck protection” program aimed at keeping small businesses afloat and paying their employees.
McConnell will seek to clear the bill through the GOP-held Senate during a Tuesday afternoon session, which would take unanimous agreement among all senators.
3,643 new coronavirus infections reported in New Jersey
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 21: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Tuesday that 3,643 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 92,387.
Officials also reported 379 new fatal COVID-19 cases Tuesday, higher than the 177 new fatal cases reported one day earlier.
Statewide, 4,753 people have died of coronavirus.
More than 800,000 coronavirus infections reported in the US
Update 3:15 p.m. EDT April 21: The number of COVID-19 cases reported in the United States topped 800,000 on Tuesday, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. has by far the most number of coronavirus infections in the world -- more than the numbers reported in the next four hardest hit countries combined.
Officials in Spain have reported 204,178 COVID-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Health officials in Italy said nearly 184,000 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus infections as of Tuesday. In France, nearly 157,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported while Germany has recorded about 148,000, according to Johns Hopkins.
More than 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the outbreak began late last year in Wuhan, China.
Trial of potential vaccine set to begin in UK
Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 21: The British government is providing funding for two clinical trials of potential vaccines for the new coronavirus, one of which will begin trials on Thursday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at the government’s daily press briefing that the U.K. is at the “forefront of the global effort” to find a vaccine and will provide financial assistance to the “promising projects” being conducted at Oxford University and Imperial College London.
The project at Imperial will receive 22.5 million pounds ($28 million) to support its phase-two clinical trials, while Oxford’s will be trialed on people beginning Thursday and will be granted 20 million pounds ($24.5 million).
Hancock also said that the government will invest in manufacturing capacity in the event either, or both, vaccines work.
However, he cautioned about the prospects of success, saying the process of vaccine development is one of “trial and error and trial again.”
9 US Navy sailors hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms
Update 2:35 p.m. EDT April 21: Officials with the U.S. Navy said Tuesday that nine 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 Monday. Officials said no members of the Navy were in intensive care. Previously, one had been admitted for observation due to shortness of breath, according to the Navy.
As of Tuesday, 710 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.
Coronavirus outbreaks reported at 5 food processing facilities in North Carolina
Update 2:30 p.m. EDT April 21: Officials in North Carolina released new guidance Tuesday to help protect workers at food processing facilities after coronavirus outbreaks were reported in five food processing facilities in the state.
Cases of COVID-19 have been reported at food processing facilities in Bladen, Chatham Duplin, Lee and Robeson counties, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Local health departments are investigating the outbreaks.
“Agriculture and agribusinesses are on the front lines of this crisis just like hospital workers, first responders, grocery store staff, truck drivers and many more," North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Tuesday in a statement. “Their work is different, but every bit as critically important.”
Officials said food processing plants are conducting temperature and symptom checks on employees and encouraging anyone sick to stay home. They are also paying sick leave to workers suspected of having COVID-19, providing them with personal protective equipment and employing social distancing measures, where possible, authorities said.
Treasury Department begins releasing funds to support airline payrolls
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT April 21: The federal government has started handing out money this week to major airlines under the Payroll Support Program, a federal initiative to help businesses and workers during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
The disbursal began on the same day President Donald Trump said he was ordering federal officials to consider similar help for the U.S. oil and gas industry.
Nearly 20,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Georgia
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 21: Officials in Georgia said 19,881 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state as of Tuesday, WSB-TV reported.
The cases include 3,779 serious enough to require hospitalization, according to the news station. Statewide, 799 people have died of COVID-19.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago temporarily laying off workers due to coronavirus
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 21: President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida is temporarily laying off 153 workers because of the new coronavirus, according to a notice posted this week to a state website.
The club’s director of human resources, Janine Gill, wrote in a letter to state and local officials that Mar-a-Lago began halting business last month as a result of mandated closures issued in Palm Beach County in response to the virus’s spread in South Florida.
The furloughs are temporary, but the club doesn’t know when it will resume regular operations, Gill said. The furloughed workers include bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, drivers, attendants, housekeepers, servers and valet attendants. The workers are not unionized.
Mar-a-Lago serves as Trump’s refuge from Washington, and the president often spends his time there mixing work, business and pleasure in the company of dues-paying members.
The Trump National Doral Miami resort, where President Trump initially wanted to host this year’s Group of Seven summit, also has temporarily laid off 560 workers.
Louisiana reports 331 new coronavirus infections
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT April 21: Officials in Louisiana reported 331 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 24,854.
The number is 254 lower than 595 new infections reported Monday.
Officials said that statewide, 1,405 people have died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.
Despite lifted restrictions in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach to remain closed to public
Update 1 p.m. EDT April 21: Officials in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, plan to keep the city’s public beach access closed despite Gov. Henry McMaster’s announcement Monday about restrictions being lifted on beaches in the state, according to WSOC-TV and WPDE.
In a statement, officials said public beach access will be closed until McMaster’s state of emergency declaration expires, the city council makes a different decision or the emergency order is rescinded.
Massachusetts governor says schools will remain closed through end of academic year
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT April 21: Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts on Tuesday announced the state’s schools will remain closed through the end of the school year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, WHBQ-TV reported.
Schools had been set to remain closed, with classes moving entirely online, until May 4. They were shuttered March 17, almost 10 days after Massachusetts became a hot spot for COVID-19.
“This is a big decision,” Baker said. “It’s the right thing to do based on the situation on the ground right now. ... We believe students cannot safely return to school without transmitting the virus."
Number of currently infected COVID-19 patients declines again in Italy
Update 12:25 p.m. EDT April 21: The number of people currently infected with the novel coronavirus fell again Tuesday in Italy, according to number released by government officials.
On Monday, officials reported 108,237 active cases in the country, a number that fell by 528 on Tuesday to 107,709. One day earlier, officials reported about 20 fewer active cases than had been reported Sunday.
As of Tuesday, officials said a total of 183,957 coronavirus infections have been identified in the country since the beginning of the outbreak.
According to officials, 24,134 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 204,000 cases, and the United States, which has more than 788,000 cases, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Man runs along Boston Marathon route despite event’s cancellation
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 21: Despite Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s decision to cancel the Boston Marathon due to the coronavirus pandemic, one man laced up his bright pink sneakers Monday to run the route.
Patrick MacAdie, who had been planning to run the marathon before it was postponed, ran a half marathon distance along the Boston Marathon route, The Associated Press reported.
“You want to maintain some sense of normalcy and also be smart about social distancing and not putting other people at risk and obviously not being at risk yourself,” he told the AP.
437 new COVID-19 cases reported in Florida
Update 12 p.m. EDT April 21: Health officials in Florida reported 437 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, raising the state’s total number of cases to 27,495, WFTV reported.
Officials said 4,063 people have been hospitalized in the state as of Tuesday.
Sixteen more deaths were also reported, bringing the statewide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic to 839, WFTV reported, citing the Florida Department of Health.
Scripps National Spelling Bee canceled due to coronavirus
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT April 21: Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced Tuesday that the group is canceling finals for the competition due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Organizers had announced last month the suspension of the competition’s finals and said they were looking to reschedule the event for later in the year. The bee had originally been set to begin the week of May 24 at its longtime venue, a convention center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, just outside Washington.
“Our thoughts immediately go to our spellers and their families," Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, said Tuesday in a statement. “Nevertheless, our first priority has to be the health and well-being of our spellers and their families and the hundreds of staff and spectators that come together for Bee Week.”
828 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in the UK
Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 21: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 828 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 17,337.
Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced a total of 129,044 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K. The number is 4,301 higher than the number of cases reported nationwide Monday.
New York reports 481 new fatal coronavirus cases
Update 11:10 a.m. EDT April 21: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday 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 slightly lower than the 478 fatalities reported Monday.
Cuomo said the number of new patients being diagnosed with coronavirus was down to about 1,300 Tuesday. Last week, about 2,000 new cases were diagnosed each day, officials said.
“That is down and that’s good news relative to really bad news, which is what was happening up until then,” Cuomo said. “That would not be good news in any other context.”
FDA authorizes first at-home collection kit for COVID-19
Update 11 a.m. EDT April 21: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced the authorization of the first at-home collection kit for the novel coronavirus.
The kit will allow users to collect their own samples to send to the LabCorp for testing.
“We worked with LabCorp to ensure the data demonstrated from at-home patient sample collection is as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital or other testing site,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a news release.
The FDA previously issued an emergency authorization to LabCorp to test samples at a North Carolina laboratory.
Coronavirus infections top 3,000 in DC
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT April 21: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Tuesday that 171 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, slightly higher than the 134 new infections reported one day earlier.
The new reports bring the total number of COVID-19 cases in Washington D.C. to 3,098.
Bowser said Tuesday that seven people between the ages of 68 and 86 also died of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 112 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.
COVID-19 patient in Florida recovers after experimental procedure
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT April 21: A Florida man is crediting an experimental treatment for COVID-19 for saving his life, WFTV reported.
Doctors at Orlando Health put Kevin Rathel, 52, into a medically induced coma on April 4 after he was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection, according to the news station. He said his condition was so severe that doctors believed he had only a 20% chance to survive.
However, 16 days after successfully treating him with convalescent plasma, which comes from a person who has already recovered from COVID-19, Rathel was back home with his wife and kids.
“I feel amazingly blessed – oh, my gosh, who wouldn’t?” Rathel told WFTV. “Without the plasma, I’d be dead.”
Deal reached on coronavirus aid package to help small businesses, Schumer says
Update 9:30 a.m. EDT April 21: Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal on a $450 billion coronavirus stimulus package meant to help small businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.
The New York Democrat told CNN that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached a deal with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin “well past midnight.”
“Staff was up all night writing,” he said. “There’s still a few more i’s and t’s to cross but we have a deal and I believe we’ll pass it today.”
Schumer told CNN that Democrats held out for the creation of a national testing strategy, a piece which he framed as a key step toward reopening businesses closed by the viral outbreak.
“We do believe the states need money. We do believe, as the president and the governors do, that it’s a partnership," Schumer said. "But we need a national strategy ... to get the contact tracing, to make the test free. You need significant federal involvement.”
If passed, the bill is expected to add more funding to the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal initiative that gave businesses access to $349 billion worth of business loans. Funding for the program quickly ran out, prompting criticism of how the money was dispersed and what is considered a small business under the program.
Executives with the burger chain Shake Shack announced Monday that they would be returning a $10 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program after they gained access to other funding and urged lawmakers to open up funding to more struggling businesses “no matter their size.”
Spain’s running of the bulls canceled amid pandemic
Update 7:53 a.m. EDT April 21: Officials in Spain have canceled an iconic event amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to The Associated Press, the city of Pamplona said Tuesday that it won’t hold the annual San Fermin festival, known for its “running of the bulls,” this summer. The event originally had been scheduled for July.
“No matter how expected it was, it does not stop us all from feeling sad,” the city’s acting mayor, Ana Elizalde, said in a statement on the city’s website. Mayor Enrique Maya recently tested positive for COVID-19, the AP reported.
As of Tuesday morning, Spain had reported at least 204,178 confirmed coronavirus cases and 21,282 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Bill to reopen some Pennsylvania businesses vetoed by Gov. Wolf
Update 6:38 a.m. EDT April 21: Many Pennsylvania businesses remain shuttered and won’t reopen as soon as some lawmakers had hoped after Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill aimed at doing so, WPXI-TV is reporting.
Senate Bill 613 would have required Wolf to create guidelines, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, for certain businesses to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wolf said the decision to veto the bill wasn’t easy, but he believes it is the right course of action for Pennsylvania.
Lawrence Tabas, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, previously released a statement that said: “Hardworking Pennsylvanians have participated faithfully, and they deserve to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Although Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 613, he signed Senate Bill 841 to allow remote public meetings and document notarization, which means online vehicle sales can restart. The bill also provides flexibility on property tax deadlines, among other things.
For more information about Senate Bill 841, click here.
George Stephanopoulos says he tested positive for antibodies, has ‘cleared the virus’
Update 5:32 a.m. EDT April 21: Eight days after ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos announced he had COVID-19, he now says he has “tested positive” for antibodies and "cleared the virus after weeks without symptoms.”
“I’ve also signed up for a clinical trial to donate my blood plasma and expect to make the donation in the coming weeks," he tweeted early Tuesday.
On April 13, Stephanopoulos, whose wife, actress Ali Wentworth, previously had tested positive for the virus, revealed his diagnosis on “Good Morning America.”
“I’m one of those, I guess‚ cases that are basically asymptomatic,” he said at the time. “I ... never had chills, never had a headache, never had a cough, never had shortness of breath. I’m feeling great.”
Germany cancels iconic Oktoberfest amid pandemic
Update 4:19 a.m. EDT April 21: Sorry, beer aficionados: Germany has canceled its iconic Oktoberfest amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Reuters, the annual festival, which had been set for Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 in Munich, usually draws about 6 million attendees from around the world and nets more than $1.08 billion U.S. This year, however, “the risk is simply too great” to hold the event, Bavaria state Premier Markus Soeder said.
“We are living in different times, and living with corona means living carefully,” Soeder said in a statement. “The greatest sensitivity applies to celebrations.”
Dieter Reiter, the mayor of Munich, called the decision “a bitter pill to swallow,” according to the festival’s website.
“We hope that next year, we can make it up together,” he said in a statement.
As of Tuesday morning, Germany had reported more than 147,065 confirmed coronavirus cases – the fifth-highest number of infections in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 4,862 people there have died from the virus.
28 prisoners test positive at private detention facility in Tennessee
Update 3:17 a.m. EDT April 21: More than two dozen prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 at the West Tennessee Detention Facility.
WHBQ-TV spoke to a Memphis family whose son is one of those confirmed cases. The family said they’ve been trying to get answers for days.
The inmate’s mother said the last few days have been so uneasy because of the severity of COVID-19 and the lack of information. She said her son had concerns about the virus last week, but said he didn’t hear from the U.S. Marshals about the infection until Monday.
“Left for dead” was the subject line for an from the prisoner detailing the spread of COVID-19 inside the facility.
“I was just uncertain about what was going on,” his mother told WHBQ. “I was just devastated, and I have been.”
WHBQ talked with the prisoner’s mother over the phone. The station isn’t revealing her name because of her job, but she wanted to share her story.
She said her son told her about his possible exposure to COVID-19 on Friday. A few days later, he tested positive.
“He sounds OK,” she said. “He’s trying to make the best of it, and his concern is that they take care of them. He says there are men just laying in bed and sick. He just wants medical care for the sick.”
The U.S. Marshal Service said 28 prisoners tested positive for the virus at the private prison owned and operated by CoreCivic, but said they don’t know how the prisoners were infected or when the first case happened at the facility.
A spokesperson for the prison company said they have and will continue to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
In a statement to WHBQ, CoreCivic said in part, “Our health services administrators cooperate fully with local and state health departments, and our protocols mirror local, state, and federal recommendations. Our plan and practices build on the extensive work we do every day to run clean, healthy and safe facilities.”
The company said: “All of our facilities are actively promoting the following three health habits for inmates, detainees and residents, as well as staff: regular hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (coughing or sneezing into a sleeve or tissue), and avoiding touching one’s face. We also encourage the practice of social distancing for all individuals within our facilities.”
But the Memphis mother who spoke to WHBQ said that isn’t happening.
“No. There’s no six feet social distancing; I could hear everything. The guy is right there coughing, coughing right here with my son. I’m disturbed at this time,” she said.
At this time, CoreCivic said none of its 159 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
A U.S. Marshals spokesperson said:
"The U.S. Marshals Service does not own or operate detention facilities but partners with state and local governments using intergovernmental agreements to house prisoners.
"Additionally, USMS houses prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prison facilities and private detention facilities.
"The USMS is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 66,000 prisoners each day through agreements or contracts with those facilities.
"These facilities are responsible for the medical care that USMS prisoners receive, and they work closely with state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure that infectious diseases are promptly identified and treated.
“All training protocols, quarantine decisions or policy adjustments are made at the facility level.”
Mississippians will receive largest US stimulus payments, according to online data
That number is 40% higher than people who live in Massachusetts, whose average payout is $1,897 per family.
Ownerly’s Stimulus Check Impact Index looked at average monthly bills (based on things like rent, utilities and mobile phone bills) for families in each state and found the economic impact of stimulus checks for families in Mississippi will be up to 63% higher than for families in Massachusetts, WHBQ-TV is reporting.
According to the online index, the top five states that will see the greatest economic impact from the stimulus money are Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia and South Dakota.
After Mississippi, the states with the highest estimated payout per qualifying family are New Mexico ($2,571), Louisiana ($2,543), Alabama ($2,515) and Florida ($2,501).
The states with the lowest average payout are Massachusetts ($1,897), New Hampshire ($1,899), Maryland ($1,918), Connecticut ($1,920) and New Jersey ($1,931).
States that will see the lowest economic impact from stimulus money, after Massachusetts, are California, Hawaii, New York and New Jersey.
Atlanta mayor reacts to Ga. governor’s order to start reopening state
Update 1:35 a.m. EDT April 21: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she doesn’t know what information Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is basing his decision on to start reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor announced he was going to start reopening some businesses starting Friday with strict social distancing and hygiene requirements.
WSB-TV anchor Jovita Moore spoke with Bottoms on Monday night, who said she was caught off guard by the governor’s announcement.
“I didn’t know it was coming, and obviously, the governor is the governor, and he certainly has the prerogative to make orders that he deems appropriate," Bottoms said. "He did not consult with me. I don’t know what the reasoning and data that the governor used to make this decision was because I have not spoken with him, but I did not know in advance.”
Moore asked the mayor if she thought reopening parts of the state beginning at the end of the week was too soon or if she agreed with the governor’s decision.
“The governor and I have traditionally had a very good working relationship, so with all due respect, I can say I don’t agree with this order. But again, I don’t know what the governor is basing this on. To the extent that we’ve had any success with numbers, I would venture to say it’s because we’ve been very aggressive in the actions that we’ve taken. What I know is that we still are not testing asymptomatic and people with mild symptoms, so I don’t think we have a very clear picture of what our real numbers are.”
Bottoms said she is still seeing case numbers rising in the state.
“As of 7 p.m. today, I believe we had deaths like over 13%, and so our numbers are still going up. Where we’re seeing our numbers really spike are in areas that were slow to close down like Bibb County. It concerns me when you talk about opening up houses of worship, and you know that our worst outbreak in the state came from two funerals, by and large in Albany, Georgia."
The mayor said she understands people’s frustrations with the shelter-in-place order, but in the long run it’s about saving lives.
“You get your hair done; I get my hair done. I don’t know how you socially distance when someone is doing your hair or doing your nails, giving you a massage. These things are concerning to me,” Bottoms said. “I do hope that I’m wrong and the governor is right because if he’s wrong, more people can die.”
“You just today announced sort of an advisory panel to help talk about this for the city of Atlanta. Why did you put together that panel, what are your concerns about the city before deeming it open?" Moore asked Bottoms.
“I wanted us to have input and information from a cross section of people, certainly from our business leaders in the state and also from our public health officials," Bottoms said. “The best example I received was from Dr. Carlos del Rio at Emory University, who I spoke with this evening. He said it’s like climbing Mt. Everest. You’re getting to a peak, but as many people die coming off of that peak than they do climbing that peak. Just because we had one peak doesn’t mean that we won’t have another peak.”
US deaths pass 42K; total cases top 787K
Update 12:44 a.m. EDT April 21: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States topped 787,000 early Tuesday 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 787,370 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 42,335 deaths. Of those cases, more than 253,191 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 125,856 cases, Germany with 147,065, France with 156,480, Italy with 181,228 and Spain with 200,210.
Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 18,653 – or roughly 44% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 4,520 in New Jersey, 2,468 in Michigan and 1,809 in Massachusetts.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak with at least 253,191 confirmed cases – nearly three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 88,806, Massachusetts with 39,643, Pennsylvania with 34,005 and California with 33,701.
Seven other states have now confirmed at least 19,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• Michigan: 32,000, resulting in 2,468 deaths
• Illinois: 31,508, resulting in 1,349 deaths
• Florida: 27,058, resulting in 823 deaths
• Louisiana: 24,523, resulting in 1,328 deaths
• Texas: 20,083, resulting in 520 deaths
• Connecticut: 19,815, resulting in 1,331 deaths
• Georgia: 19,399, resulting in 774 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland has confirmed at least 13,000 cases; Washington state and Ohio each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed closely by Indiana with 11,688 and Colorado with 10,112; Virginia has more than 8,000 cases; Tennessee has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed closely by North Carolina with 6,910; Missouri, Rhode Island, Alabama and Arizona each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; Mississippi, Wisconsin and South Carolina each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; and Nevada, Utah, Iowa and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.