Coronavirus updates: Kansas Supreme Court upholds executive order banning religious services of more than 10 people

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Live updates for Saturday, April 11, continue below:

Kansas Supreme Court upholds executive order banning religious services of more than 10 people

Update 11:07 p.m. EDT April 11: The Kansas Supreme Court Saturday night upheld Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order banning religious services of more than 10 people as part of coronavirus restrictions.

Kelly, a Democrat, sued Thursday after a legislative panel made of Republicans overturned the order, KMBC reported.

The court said Saturday the council lacked authority to overturn the order."(The) resolution failed to give the (Legislative Coordinating Council) the necessary power to override the Governor’s order," the court said, KMBC reported.

There are 1,283 confirmed cases and 55 deaths from the coronavirus in Kansas, the New York Times reported.

IRS deposits first coronavirus stimulus payments

Update 8:51 p.m. EDT April 11: The IRS made the first deposits of the coronavirus economic stimulus payments, the agency said Saturday.

“We know many people are anxious to get their payments,” the group said on social media. “We’ll continue issuing them as fast as we can.”

The deposits will be followed by a letter about 15 days later that spells out when and how much money was deposited. If you didn’t get the money, then there will be information on how to report the issue. For the latest on the distribution of the stimulus payments, visit the IRS’ coronavirus page.

Click here to see how much you may be getting.

Wyoming becomes 50th state under disaster declaration

Update 2:51 p.m. EDT April 11: President Trump approved a disaster declaration for Wyoming, marking the first time in U.S. history that every state in the Union is under a federal disaster declaration at the same time, CNN reported. Gov. Mark Gordon made the request Thursday, asking that all 23 of Wyoming’s counties and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes be allowed access funding and services for assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, SweetwaterNow reported.

US death toll tops 20,000

Update 2:21 p.m. EDT April 11: The United States on Saturday reached 20,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University. Earlier in the day, the U.S. passed Italy for the most confirmed COVID-19 deaths worldwide.

550 sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive

Update 2:11 p.m. EDT April 11: The U.S. Navy said in a statement Saturday that 550 sailors who were aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the coronavirus. According to Navy officials, 92% of the sailors have been tested, and 3,696 of them have now been moved ashore, CNN reported.

Florida, Idaho residents can use EBT cards online

Update 2:01 p.m. EDT April 11: Residents of Florida and Idaho who use food stamps in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be allowed to use their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards online due to the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release.

A target date to being online transactions is set for later this month, according to the news release. Florida has about 3 million people and 1.5 million households that participate in the food stamp program, Perdue said. Idaho has 150,000 participants and 67,000 households.

NJ governor: Curve flattening, ' but we’re not in the end zone’

Update 1:34 p.m. EDT April 11: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said there were 3,599 new coronavirus cases in the state, bringing the statewide total to 58,151, NJ.com reported. At a news conference Saturday, Murphy said there have been 251 deaths in the past 24 hours, boosting the state’s total to 2,183.

“I know hearing the daily numbers can be scary," Murphy told reporters. “We’re not in the end zone, folks. We’re not even first-and-goal. Stay the course. Stay with us. Keep pounding the curve down.”

Queen Elizabeth II releases hopeful Easter message

Update 1:24 p.m. EDT April 11: Queen Elizabeth II, in a written Easter message from Windsor Castle, encouraged citizens of the United Kingdom, saying the coronavirus “will not overcome us."

“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t canceled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever,” the queen said. “The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this."

White House won’t bail out Postal Service

Update 1:17 p.m. EDT April 11: President Donald Trump refused to bail out the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service, to threatening to veto the $2.2 trillion Cares Act if the bill contained any money for the agency, The Washington Post reported.

The president claimed the Postal Service could regain its footing by charging higher rates for internet shipping companies like FedEx, UPS and Amazon, the newspaper reported.

“We told them very clearly that the president was not going to sign the bill if (money for the Postal Service) was in it,” an administration official told the Post. "I don’t know if we used the v-bomb, but the president was not going to sign it, and we told them that.”


US passes Italy for most confirmed deaths

Update 12:07 p.m. EDT April 11: The United States on Saturday passed Italy for the most confirmed COVID19 deaths in the world, The Washington Post reported.

The United States is now reporting at least 18,860 coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy is reporting 18,849 coronavirus deaths, the university said.

Cuomo: 'Curve is continuing to flatten’

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 11: In his daily news conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the number of coronavirus-related cases across the state “is continuing to flatten.”

“The number of hospitalizations appears to have hit an apex and the apex appears to be a plateau. Which is what many of the models predicted, that it wasn’t going to be a straight up and straight down," Cuomo said. “It was straight up, you hit the top number, plateau for a period of time, and that looks like what we are doing. The hospitalization rate is down, and that’s important. We have more people getting infected still. We have more people going into the hospitals, but we have a lower number.”

Cuomo also announced there were 783 deaths from the coronavirus across New York state on Friday.

237 members of Chicago police department test positive

Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 11: Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck said at a news conference Saturday that 237 members of the Chicago Police Department have tested positive for coronavirus.

“We have just over a thousand who are off sick for things which may be related to the virus but there is no way to tell at this point. That’s 8.2% of our workforce,” Beck said. “As testing becomes more available, our count continues to climb.”

Beck also identified the second member of the department to die from COVID-19 as Detective Sgt. Clifford Martin, WLS-TV reported. Martin, a 25-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, worked in the Area Central Bureau of Detectives.

“He was a Chicagoan through and through, and he loved being a Chicago cop," department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the television station. "Two of his children followed their dad’s footsteps of becoming a Chicago Police Officer.”

NYC mayor wants homeless in hotel rooms, orders schools closed for rest of academic year

Update 10:28 a.m. EDT April 11: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference that he wants at least 6,000 vulnerable single homeless residents in hotel rooms by April 20.

The mayor also said the city’s public schools will be remained closed until the end of this academic year due to coronavirus concerns. De Blasio said city officials are working to have schools physically reopen by September.

Homeless seniors will be prioritized, de Blasio said. Any homeless person exhibiting symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19 will be moved to a hotel.


Attorney Michael Avenatti temporarily released from prison

Update 9:30 a.m. EDT April 11: Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti has been temporarily released from federal prison due to coronavirus concerns, CNN reported. The judge said Avenatti will have to return to the prison in 90 days. The release from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan came after Avenatti’s attorneys said he was at risk for COVID-19 because he had pneumonia last year.

After his release, Avenatti must spend 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility to ensure he does not have the virus, ABC News reported. Once he ends his quarantine, Avenatti will be released to home confinement at a friend’s house in Los Angeles, CNN reported.

Avenatti, who was convicted earlier this year for attempting to extort more than $20 million from Nike, will not be allowed to use the internet while on release.

Spain will allow some nonessential employees back to work

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT April 11: Officials in Spain said they are allowing some nonessential employees to return to work Monday, The New York Times reported. However, Health Minister Salvador Illa said the country was not in a “de-escalation phase.”

Spanish officials announced 510 deaths Saturday, a decrease from Friday’s totals. That brings the country’s overall total to 16,353, the Times reported. Spain has had more than 55,000 coronavirus patients recovering and returning home, the newspaper reported.

Global coronavirus deaths eclipse 103K, worldwide cases top 1.7M

Update 7:49 a.m. EDT April 11: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 103,536 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 1,709,014 people worldwide. Five countries – the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France – have now confirmed total infection counts well above China’s 83,014 cases.

• The United States has reported 501,615 cases, resulting in 18,777 deaths.

Spain has confirmed 161,852 cases, resulting in 16,353 deaths.

Italy has reported 147,577 infections, resulting in 18,849 deaths.

France has confirmed 125,931 infections, resulting in 13,215 deaths.

Germany has reported 122,171 cases, resulting in 2,736 deaths.

China has recorded 83,014 cases, resulting in 3,343 deaths.

• The United Kingdom has reported 74,605 cases, resulting in 8,974 deaths.

Iran has recorded 68,192 cases, resulting in 4,232 deaths.

Turkey has recorded 47,029 cases, resulting in 1,006 deaths.

Belgium has confirmed 28,018 cases, resulting in 3,346 deaths.

Some colleges and universities nix SAT/ACT requirements for fall 2021 applicants amid coronavirus disruptions

Update 7:36 a.m. EDT April 11: Students planning to enter college in the fall of 2021 could have one less admissions hurdle as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt established norms.

According to The Washington Post, dozens of colleges and universities have dropped SAT and ACT requirements for would-be 2021 entering freshmen.

Read more here.

As coronavirus fallout continues, 10K people swamp San Antonio food bank on same day

Update 7:18 a.m. EDT April 11: Officials questioning the economic hardships already plaguing U.S. residents affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic need look no further than one Texas food bank’s reality.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Food Bank expected about 6,000 households to seek assistance during a Thursday drive-through food giveaway and, instead, attracted closer to 10,000 food-insecure families.

“I said to my team, ‘We’re going to need more food,’” Eric Cooper, the food bank’s chief executive, told KSAT, adding, “This is insane.”

In addition to exhausting the 1 million pounds of food the organization had earmarked for Thursday’s event, Cooper said donations have evaporated, but federal assistance to bolster coffers could take as long as 90 days, the Express-News reported.

“People have to eat between now and then, and we’re going to be reliant on just what we’re able to collect through philanthropy. Unfortunately, philanthropy isn’t going to make up the difference in the shortfall that we’re having,” Cooper told KSAT.

FDA issues new food retail safety guidelines to protect workers, customers amid coronavirus

Update 6:41 a.m. EDT April 11: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a comprehensive list of guidelines to protect workers and consumers as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on personal movement and the U.S. economy.

Although the majority of the best practices enumerated by the FDA are already in widespread use due to increased awareness of the need for social distancing – as well as standard food-safety protocols – the list also specifies ways for companies to ensure employee safety throughout the duration of the pandemic.

Chief among the recommendations are:

• Temperature assessment of employees prior to the start of every shift

• Maintain six feet of separation from co-workers

• Wear protective masks

Click here to see the complete list.

Burning Man canceled amid coronavirus crisis

Update 3:28 a.m. EDT April 11: Organizers of Burning Man are planning a non-traditional celebration of human connection as news spread early Saturday that the annual music and art festival has been canceled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The high-profile festival, held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, culminates each year with the torching of a multi-story, wooden sculpture of a human. The week-long festival had been slated to begin Aug. 30.

“In 2020 we need human connection and Immediacy more than ever,” organizers wrote on the event’s blog, adding, “But public health and the well-being of our participants, staff, and neighbors in Nevada are our highest priorities.”

Although details remain scarce, the festival’s official website says a “Virtual Black Rock City” is in the works. The “temporary metropolis dedicated to art and community” will replace the annual on-site gathering that typically attracts tens of thousands of patrons.

2 additional crew members aboard US Navy hospital ship test positive for coronavirus

Update 3:04 a.m. EDT April 11: Two more crew members aboard the USNS Mercy hospital ship docked in Los Angeles have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the vessel’s total count to three, the U.S. Navy confirmed late Friday.

"The COVID-positive crew members are currently isolated off-ship, and will continue to self-monitor," Navy spokesman Andrew Bertucci said in a prepared statement. “The ship is following protocols and taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of all crew members and patients on board."

In a bid to ease overcrowding at area hospitals, the medical ship is being used to treat non-coronavirus patients.

Amtrak receives $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds

Update 2:41 a.m. EDT April 11: As part of the $2.2 trillion CARES emergency relief act, Amtrak will receive more than $1 billion to keep the trains running and front-line workers mobile during the coronavirus pandemic, The Washington Post reported.

The windfall is expected to balance a spike in the passenger railroad giant’s cancellations since the virus outbreak began forcing millions of Americans inside their homes as a matter of national public safety.

Read more here.

First US coronavirus relief payments hit bank accounts

Update 2:04 a.m. EDT April 11: The U.S. Treasury began transferring the first wave of personal novel coronavirus recovery stimulus payments to bank accounts late Friday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We just saw a bunch of the first wave, lots of $1,200 deposits,” Stuart Sopp, chief executive officer of Current, a New York-based mobile banking startup, told the Journal.

The one-time federal economic relief payments are intended to assist everyday Americans grappling with the financial strains created by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Sopp said Current’s data indicates about 40% of Friday’s deposits were for $1,200 but ballooned as high as $4,700 depending on household specifics, the Journal reported.

Fauci sets sights on November for US to achieve ‘a real degree of normality’ from coronavirus crisis

Update 1:40 a.m. EDT April 11: As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the health and well-being of people and economies across the globe, the United States’ leading infectious disease expert said a return to any sense of normalcy remains more than six months in the future.

“I would hope that by November we would have things under such control that we can have a real degree of normality,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC’s Brian Williams late Friday, adding, “That’s my interest and my job as a public health person.”

US coronavirus deaths hit 18,769, total cases top 501K

Published 12:54 a.m. EDT April 11: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed half a million early Saturday 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 501,419 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 18,769 deaths. U.S. cases now more than triple the 158,273 reported in Spain and the 147,577 confirmed in Italy. The current U.S. death toll trails only Italy’s and only by 80 virus-related fatalities.

Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 7,887 – or roughly 42% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 1,932 in New Jersey, 1,276 in Michigan, 755 in Louisiana and 599 in Massachusetts.

In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak with at least 174,489 confirmed cases – more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 54,588, Michigan with 22,434 and California with 21,203.

Five other states have now confirmed at least 17,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:

Massachusetts: 20,974, resulting in 599 deaths

Pennsylvania: 20,408, resulting in 449 deaths

Louisiana: 19,253, resulting in 755 deaths

Florida: 17,968, resulting in 419 deaths

Illinois: 17,903, resulting in 597 deaths

Meanwhile, Texas and Georgia each has confirmed at least 11,000 novel coronavirus infections; Connecticut and Washington state each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Maryland, Indiana and Colorado each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases; Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Missouri, Arizona, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Alabama each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Nevada, Mississippi, Utah and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.