More than 2.3 million people worldwide -- including more than 742,000 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 Sunday, April 19, continue below:
First California inmate dies from coronavirus
Update 10:55 p.m. EDT April 19: The first inmate in California has died from the coronavirus, officials said Sunday.
The inmate was infected at the California Institution for Men in San Bernardino County and was taken to a hospital, where he died, corrections officials said.
No other details about the inmate’s identity were released.
There are 115 inmates and 89 corrections employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Associated Press reported.
Trump to use Defense Production Act to increase production of swabs needed for testing
Update 10:15 p.m. EDT April 19: President Donald Trump said he will use the Defense Production Act to increase the nation’s supply of swabs needed for coronavirus testing.
Trump said during his Sunday White House briefing he will use the measure to produce 10 million swabs a month, The Associated Press reported.
“We also are going to be using and preparing to use the Defense Production Act to increase swab production in one U.S. facility by over 20 million additional swabs per month," Trump said. “We’ve had a little difficulty with one, so we’ll call in -- as we have in the past, as you know -- we are calling in the Defense Production Act, and we’ll be getting swabs very easily.”
Europe surpasses 1 million confirmed cases of virus
Update 9:45 p.m. EDT April 19: More than 1 million people across Europe have been infected with the coronavirus and nearly 100,000 people have died, officials said Sunday.
The continent accounts for nearly half the cases in world and more than half the death, according to the European Center for Disease Control.
Spain has the most cases with 191,726 followed by Italy (175,925), Germany (139,897), United Kingdom (114,217) and France (111,821).
Italy has the most deaths on the continent with 23,227.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Nursing homes required to report cases to families, patients
Update 9:03 p.m. EDT April 19: Nursing homes are now required to report to patients and their families as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they have coronavirus cases, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Sunday.
“It’s important that patients and their families have the information that they need, and they need to understand what’s going on in the nursing home,” agency administrator Seema Verma said, CNN reported. “This will support CDC’s efforts to have surveillance around the country and contact tracing so we can mitigate the spread of the virus in the communities that show spread starting in the nursing homes.”
Nearly 7,000 people in nursing homes have died from the coronavirus, The New York Times reported.
Trump says he’s close to deal with Congress for additional funding to small businesses
Update 7:53 p.m. EDT April 19: President Donald Trump said he is close to a deal with Congress on a $450 billion boost to a small-business loan program that has run out of funding.
“We’re getting close to a deal," Trump said during a Sunday White House briefing. “I think we are getting close to a deal. It could happen. It could happen. A lot of good work has been going on and we could have an answer tomorrow, and we are going to see what exactly does take place.”
About $75 billion will be designated for hospitals, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN on Sunday.
“We are also looking at helping our hospitals and our rural hospitals who have been hurt very badly. The rural hospitals for a long time have not been treated properly. We are looking to help them and beyond. So we are looking at hospitals also as part of the package” Trump said.
Washington recalls 12,000 coronavirus test kits for possible contamination
Update 6:55 p.m. EDT April 19: About 12,000 coronavirus testing kits were recalled by the Washington Department of Health after being alerted by officials at the University of Washington about possible contamination. The kits had been sent to health facilities, tribal nations and state agency partners.
“Though the quality control issue has only been observed in a small number of tubes of viral transport media, we adhere to the highest quality standards for COVID-19 testing in Washington state,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said in a release. “We are working with our partners to have them discard the product and will work to replace them as quickly as we can.”
Officials said there is no health risk to patients, KIRO-TV reported.
UW Medicine noticed that the fluid in the kit that preserves the test specimen was an unusual color, prompting the investigation into potential contamination.
Although testing at UW Medicine confirmed that the issues did not affect coronavirus testing results, the tests were still recalled out of an “abundance of caution.”The Department of Health is working to replace the kits as quickly as possible.
Nearly 100 Tyson chicken workers test positive for virus
Update 5:30 p.m. EDT April 19: Nearly 100 employees at a Tyson chicken plant in Tennessee have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Workers will be required to take their temperatures at the start of their shifts and wear face coverings, CNN reported.
“We’re extremely grateful for the work our team members are doing and for the role they play in the critical supply chain that extends from farm to fork,” Tyson Foods Senior Vice President Hector Gonzalez told CNN.
The company has expanded workspaces and is sanitizing and deep-cleaning plant production areas, as well as employee locker and break rooms.
US death toll tops 40K; world total passes 164K
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 19: The United States reached another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, topping 40,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Sunday afternoon, the figure was at 40.585, while the world fatalities connected to the coronavirus is now at 164,716.
The total number of confirmed cases worldwide was at 2,375,443 Sunday afternoon, with the United States at 742,442, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins.
Cuba reports more than 1,000 positive cases
Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 19: Health officials confirmed that Cuba has 1,035 cases of the coronavirus, CNN reported. As of Sunday, Cuba’s death toll is 34, according to Francisco Durán García, the country’s national director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Public Health.
Global death toll rises past 163,000
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT April 19: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus topped 163,000 Sunday afternoon according to Johns Hopkins University.
The total number of deaths stood at 163,134, with confirmed cases worldwide at 2,367.758 and at 737,319 in the United States, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins. There have been 39,291 confirmed deaths in the U.S.
Cuomo: 'We are past the high point’
Update 12:30 p.m. EDT April 19: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily news conference that hospitalizations across the state have declined, adding that “all indications” point to the coronavirus is “past the high point.”
“The question of whether we have been passed the apex, past the high point, and turned out the high point wasn’t a point, but it was a plateau," Cuomo told reporters. "We got up to a high point and we just stayed at that level for a while.
“If the data holds, and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point is that we are on the descent. Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do, but right now, we’re on the descent.”
Maryland governor signs order expediting release of prisoners
Update 12:20 a.m. EDT April 19: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order to expedite the release of hundreds of prisoners from state correctional institutions.
Hogan signed the order Saturday, WMAR reported. That will speed up the release of inmates who were already eligible to be released within the next four months, the television station report.
Global deaths climb past 162,000
Update 12:09 a.m. EDT April 19: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 162,020 early by midday Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The total number of confirmed cases worldwide was at 2,356,475 early Sunday afternoon, with the United States at 735,366, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins.
Report: SC to open stores, beaches Tuesday
Update 11:58 a.m. EDT April 19: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s chief of staff told local news outlets retail stores and public beach access points will be allowed to reopen Tuesday, WSOC reported.
Trey Walker told The Post and Courier that the governor will issue the reopening orders Monday.
The order will apply to numerous nonessential stores, including department stores, flea markets, florists, bookstores and music shops, WSOC reported. Grocery stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores and medical facilities have been allowed to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.
Vietnam veteran, Medal of Honor winner dies
Update 10:49 a.m. EDT April 19: Bennie Adkins, a veteran of the Vietnam War and a Green Beret who was deployed overseas three times in a decade, died Friday in an Alabama hospital due to complications from the coronavirus. he was 86. Adkins, who won the Medal of Honor after withstanding enemy fire and a hungry tiger, died in Opelika, Alabama, The Washington Post reported.
UK hospital death toll from COVID-19 tops 16,000
Update 10:13 a.m. EDT April 19: More than 16,000 people have died in hospitals in the United Kingdom due to complications from the coronavirus, health officials said. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the death toll in hospitals now stands at 16,060.
Pence: White House will work with governors to reopen nation
Update 10:03 a.m. EDT April 19: Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Sunday that there would soon be enough testing in place to reopen the country, adding that President Donald Trump will continue to work with governors. The president posted several tweets Saturday, urging states to “liberate” and reopen.
"The American people know that no one in America wants to reopen this country more than Donald Trump,” Pence told the network. The President, he said, will continue to “encourage governors safely and responsibly let America go back to work.”
Pence added the administration believes that "once we activate all the labs that can do coronavirus testing,” it will be sufficient for any state in America to move into phase one of reopening.
‘We are close to deal,’ Treasury secretary says about small business package
Update 9:38 a.m. EDT April 19: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he believes Congress is close to an agreement on a new emergency funding bill for small businesses, CNN reported.
“I’m hopeful that we can reach an agreement that the Senate can pass this tomorrow, and that the House can take it up on Tuesday. Wednesday we would be back up and running,” Mnuchin said. "I think we’re very close to a deal today. I’m hopeful that we can get that done.”
Workers in Afghanistan’s presidential palace test positive
Update 9:13 a.m. EDT April 19: At last 40 staff members who work in Afghanistan’s presidential palace in Kabul have tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported. President Ashraf Ghani was forced to isolate himself and attend events via video conference. There is, however, no evidence that Ghani, 70, has been infected by the coronavirus, the newspaper reported.
An official at the palace told the Times that most of the people who tested positive work in the administrative wing of the president’s office.
Navajo Nation orders masks to be worn on reservation
Update 8:44 a.m. EDT April 19: The Navajo Nation said it was ordering everyone on the reservation to wear protective masks when out in public, The Washington Post reported. The emergency health order, issued by the Navajo Department of Health, covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, the newspaper reported.
As of Saturday, 1,197 tribe members had tested positive for coronavirus, the Post reported. According to the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, there have been 44 deaths among members; the average age of the victims is 66.
Global coronavirus death toll tops 161K, worldwide cases continue climbing past 2.3M
Update 7:34 a.m. EDT April 19: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 161,330 early Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 2,343,293 people worldwide.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 735,287 cases, resulting in 39,090 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 195,944 cases, resulting in 20,639 deaths.
• Italy has reported 175,925 infections, resulting in 23,227 deaths.
• France has confirmed 152,978 infections, resulting in 19,349 deaths.
• Germany has reported 143,724 cases, resulting in 4,358 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 115,317 cases, resulting in 15,498 deaths.
• China has recorded 83,805 cases, resulting in 4,636 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 82,329 cases, resulting in 1,890 deaths.
• Iran has recorded 80,868 cases, resulting in 5,031 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 42,853 cases, resulting in 361 deaths.
Zoom marriages legal in New York now, governor says
Update 7:19 a.m. EDT April 19: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on Saturday that allows residents to obtain marriage licenses remotely and permitting clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference.
“There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage. You can do it by Zoom,” Cuomo said during a coronavirus press briefing.
Global Citizen announces $128M in commitments to fight COVID-19
Update 4:26 a.m. EDT April 19: Social distancing never sounded so good.
Organizers of “One World: Together at Home” announced early Sunday the star-studded virtual concert took in commitments totaling almost $128 million to support front-line novel coronavirus pandemic workers.
“$127.9 million for COVID-19 relief. That is the power and impact of One World: #TogetherAtHome,” Global Citizen tweeted following the live broadcast.
The event was conceived and hosted as a joint partnership between international advocacy group Global Citizen, the World Health Organization and performer Lady Gaga.
Director of Wuhan lab denies being source of coronavirus
Update 4 a.m. EDT April 19: The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s research unit has vehemently rejected the “conspiracy theory” the novel coronavirus originated in his lab.
Yuan Zhiming, in his first public remarks since the virus first appeared in the Chinese city that became the epicenter for an eventual pandemic, told Chinese state media on Sunday that it is “impossible” the novel coronavirus sprang from his facility.
“As people who carry out viral studies, we clearly know what kind of research is going on at the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples,” Yuan told CGTN, adding, “As we said early on, there is no way this virus came from us. We have a strict regulatory regimen, and we have a code of conduct for research, so we are confident of that.”
Bloomberg Philanthropies donates $8M to WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
Update 3:12 a.m. EDT April 19: In a bid to improve the working conditions for health care professionals battling the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg Philanthropies has donated $8 million to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
A statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s operations, said the funds will help provide front-line workers with protective equipment as well as the necessary training and information needed to detect and treat patients.
“The funding will also help with efforts to track and study the spread of the virus, accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines, and tests, and produce guidance on measures that the general public should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the statement said.
Broadway actor Nick Cordero loses leg to coronavirus complications
Update 2:52 a.m. EDT April 19: Broadway star Nick Cordero is recovering after having his right leg amputated following complications with the novel coronavirus, his wife confirmed Saturday.
The surgery came on the 18th day of Cordero’s sedation in an intensive care unit, where the Tony Award-nominated actor has been experiencing clotting issues in his right leg, CNN reported.
Disney Bedtime Hotline revived to help families struggling with coronavirus restrictions
Update 2:35 a.m. EDT April 19: Attention parents: Disney feels your pain.
Families struggling to navigate all the togetherness thrust upon them by stay-home orders during the novel coronavirus pandemic now have an assist from the Disney Bedtime Hotline, revived to help ease sleeptytime routines.
Callers can hear a bedtime message from one of five Disney characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck or Goofy, CNN reported.
To hear a message, dial 1-877-7-MICKEY and select the character you want to hear, and sweet dreams.
Pence delivers Air Force Academy commencement address to socially distanced cadets
Update 2:20 a.m. EDT April 19: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday addressed the Air Force Academy’s Class of 2020, as social-distancing measures kept 984 senior cadets eight feet apart.
“We gather in this time of national crisis,” Pence told the Colorado Springs crowd, invoking the cloud of the novel coronavirus pandemic hanging over the festivities and the uncertainty of an indefinitely scaled-back economy, The Washington Post reported.
“America is being tested,” Pence said, adding, “While there are signs that we are making progress in slowing the spread, as we stand here today, more than 700,000 Americans have contracted the coronavirus and, tragically, more than 37,000” have died.”
Those figures soared past 735,000 and 38,000 respectively by early Sunday morning, according to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
US coronavirus deaths hit 38,910, total cases top 735K
Published 12:46 a.m. EDT April 19: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 735,000 early Sunday morning 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 735,086 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 38,910 deaths. Of those cases, more than 242,000 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 115,314 cases, Germany with 143,724, France with 152,978, Italy with 175,925 and Spain with 194,416.
Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 17,627 – or roughly 45% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 4,070 in New Jersey, 2,308 in Michigan and 1,560 in Massachusetts.
In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak with at least 242,570 confirmed cases – roughly three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 81,420, Massachusetts with 36,372, Pennsylvania with 31,795 and Michigan with 30,791.
Seven other states have now confirmed at least 17,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 30,744, resulting in 1,148 deaths
• Illinois: 29,161, resulting in 1,259 deaths
• Florida: 25,492, resulting in 748 deaths
• Louisiana: 23,580, resulting in 1,267 deaths
• Texas: 18,905, resulting in 483 deaths
• Georgia: 17,841, resulting in 677 deaths
• Connecticut: 17,550, resulting in 1,086 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland and Washington state each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases; Indiana and Ohio each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases, followed closely by Colorado with 9,440 and Virginia with 8,053; Tennessee and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases, followed closely by Missouri with 5,582; Arizona, Alabama, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Mississippi and Nevada each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Utah, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, Delaware, Iowa and Minnesota each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.