Coronavirus live updates: Tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for the coronavirus, British PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for tests

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 1.2 million
  • Global deaths: At least 65,711
  • US cases: At least 312,245
  • US deaths: At least 8,503.

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

5:32 pm: Tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for the coronavirus 

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The 4-year-old female Malaysian tiger, Nadia, had developed a dry cough and was tested “out of an abundance of caution,” the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo said in a statement

The diagnosis was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. It is the first confirmed COVID-19 case in a tiger, according to the USDA

Several tigers and lions at the zoo showed symptoms of a respiratory ilness, the USDA said. 

The tiger who tested positive is believed to have become infected by a zoo employee. The tiger first began to show symptoms on March 27, the USDA said. —Kevin Stankiewicz 

5:08 pm: Boeing extends Seattle-area production shutdown until further notice amid coronavirus pandemic 

Boeing is extending the production shut down at its Seattle-area airplane factories “until further notice” because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Sunday.

The manufacturer last month said it would pause production for two weeks at the facilities, where it produces wide-body planes. It had already suspended production in January of the 737 Max, which has been grounded for more than a year after two fatal crashes.

“These actions are being taken in light of the company’s continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities,” Boeing said in a statement. —Leslie Josephs 

4:28 pm: British PM Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for tests over ‘persistent’ coronavirus symptoms 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to the hospital for tests 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus.

A Downing Street spokesperson said it’s a “precautionary step” since the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of the virus. 

“The Prime Minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” the spokesperson said. —Emma Newburger 

4:20 pm: New York City expects to run out of ventilators by Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio says

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that New York City only has enough live-saving ventilators to get through until Tuesday or Wednesday. The mayor originally expected the city to run out as soon as today.

“I want to be clear, it only means a few more days, nothing more I can guarantee beyond that,” de Blasio said at a press briefing. The mayor said the city needs 1,000 to 1,500 additional ventilators over the next week but only has 135 left in stock. 

There are about 10,000 ventilators in the federal stockpile and 2,800 ventilators in the state stockpile, de Blasio said. As of Saturday, the city had 67,551 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from 63,306, according to the NY governor’s office. —Emma Newburger 

4:15 pm: Democratic lawmakers urge Mnuchin against ‘unreasonable conditions’ on airline coronavirus aid 

Leading congressional Democrats on Sunday urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to quickly reach agreements and not place onerous conditions on $25 billion in payroll grants for airlines reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Mnuchin last month said taxpayers must be “compensated” for aid given to airlines. Treasury guidelines state the department said it may demand warrants, options, preferred stock or other securities in exchange for the grants. But industry members, unions and others have argued that if the Treasury Department is too aggressive in its demands, such as by insisting on large equity stakes, it could deter airlines from taking the grants altogether.

In addition to payroll grants, Congress also approved $29 billion in loans to passenger and cargo airlines as part of the historic $2 trillion coronavirus aid package last month.

“The intent of this program was very clear: keep America’s hardworking aviation professionals in their jobs through direct payroll payments from the Treasury Department,” wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and other top Democrats.

“We are concerned the Treasury Department’s recent guidance on the ‘Airline Industry Payroll Support’ Program does not fully reflect the intent of Congress,” they wrote. —Lauren Hirsch, Leslie Josephs 

3:50 pm: France’s death toll slows but coronavirus still hits hard

France’s daily death toll from the novel coronavirus fell in the past 24 hours and admissions into intensive care also slowed, the health ministry said on Sunday, thanking citizens for largely respecting a lockdown to halt the spread of the virus.

The health ministry data showed that 357 people died from COVID-19 in hospitals, compared with 441 in the previous 24 hours, taking the total toll in hospitals to 5,889.

It said that 2,189 people had died in nursing homes since March 1, taking France’s total death toll to 8,078.

“These data confirms that the epidemic is ongoing in the country, and continues to hit hard,” the ministry said.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in France since the start of the epidemic rose by 2.7% or 1,873 to 70,478, the ministry said in daily update of the situation. —Reuters

3:41 pm: GM encouraging auto suppliers to assist in efforts to produce medical masks 

General Motors is encouraging and empowering its suppliers to assist in production of medical face masks for frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a note to the suppliers on Saturday, Shilpan Amin, GM’s vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, said it is making the automaker’s step-by-step manufacturing plans for the personal protective equipment available to any company willing to join in the cause.

“Our ultimate goal is to get more masks to the people who desperately need them,” he said in part of the message obtained by CNBC. “We also recognized it would be counterproductive if GM – or any other manufacturer – competed for supplies with existing medical-mask companies. By making available GM’s production processes to our global supply base, we hope to facilitate other companies’ efforts to bring more materials, more equipment and ultimately more facemasks to the community.”

GM, according to a spokesman, will provided suppliers detailed specs on materials, equipment, and processes – essentially, what suppliers would need to know to ramp up their own production lines. He said the message was sent to 600 suppliers. —Michael Wayland 

2:48 pm: Canada coronavirus deaths jump 20% to 258 in a day

The number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada has jumped by just over 20% to 258 in a day, officials said on Sunday. The number of those diagnosed with the coronavirus had risen by almost 12% to 14,426, the public health agency said. The respective figures on Saturday were 214 deaths and 12,924 positive diagnoses. —Reuters

2:40 pm: US Navy captain fired for seeking coronavirus help has reportedly tested positive 

Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, addresses the crew during an all-hands call on the ship’s flight deck in the eastern Pacific Ocean December 19, 2019.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas Huynh | US Navy

Capt. Brett Crozier, the now-fired Navy captain who wrote a letter asking for help dealing with a coronavirus outbreak on his ship, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported Sunday

The Times’ report cited two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier who have a relationship with the officer and his family. 

Crozier began to show symptoms of COVID-19 before he was removed from the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday, The Times reported. He is being quarantined on Naval Base Guam, The Times reported. —Kevin Stankiewicz

2:00 pm: Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar returns to medical practice to help in coronavirus crisis 

Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help during the coronavirus crisis, a spokesman for his office said on Sunday. Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to become a politician and was removed from the medical register in 2013. —Reuters

1:20 pm: Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises by 73 to 574

Turkey’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 73 on Saturday to total 574. Confirmed cases rose by 3,135, increasing the country’s total to 27,069, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter. He added that 20,065 tests for the COVID-19 disease were performed in Turkey in the last 24 hours. —Reuters

1:05 pm: US banking group warns of ‘massive’ delays, tech issues with small-business rescue program

Hundreds of U.S. lenders are struggling to access the technology system for distributing $349 billion of government rescue loans, while the pot of money is insufficient and will soon be expended, a top banking group warned over the weekend.

Congress last month created the unprecedented program as part of a $2 trillion stimulus package to help businesses that have either shut down or have been dramatically curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Borrowers could apply for the loans via participating banks from Friday until June 30. The program is being jointly administered by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

“Community bankers are frustrated with failed technology links and portals. Even those banks with access to the (SBA) system have shared their experiences of significant challenges with user access and latency in application processing,” the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) wrote in a letter to the Treasury and SBA on Saturday evening.

The powerful lobby group, which represents thousands of small banks, added that lenders are “experiencing massive delays and (an) inability to process loans or even access the SBA.” —Reuters

12:22 pm: Italy reports 525 new deaths, slowest rise in over two weeks

The death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 525 to 15,887, the lowest daily death toll in more than two weeks, while the number of patients in intensive care fell for the second day running, the Civil Protection department said on Sunday.

The total number of confirmed cases rose to 128,948 from 124,632 reported on Saturday, a lower increase than the day before which added to signs the epidemic has reached a plateau nearly a month after the government imposed a countrywide lockdown on March 9.

Of those originally infected nationwide, 21,815 were declared recovered on Sunday, compared with 20,996 a day earlier. There were 3,977 people in intensive care, a fall of 17 from 3,994 on Friday, when officials reported the first drop in intensive care numbers since the outbreak of the epidemic in northern Italy on Feb. 21. —Reuters

12:11 pm: Carnival’s struggle to survive the coronavirus as outbreak wipes out the cruise industry

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator, has been at the heart of the industry’s struggle against the coronavirus. COVID-19 has spread on ships across nearly half of its brands, infecting hundreds of passengers and killing others.

Shares of Carnival are down more than 80% in 2020 alone, and the company said in a securities filing that it couldn’t predict when any of its ships would begin to sail again or when ports would reopen. Yet, time after time, Carnival has proven resilient, despite seemingly insurmountable setbacks. The company has experienced everything from norovirus outbreaks to fires and capsizes, and it’s still bounced back after every crisis.

Some experts say this time it’s different. 

For the moment, it doesn’t look as though the U.S. government will be coming to the rescue of any of the major cruise lines. The $2 trillion relief package excludes companies which are not incorporated in the U.S. and don’t have significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the U.S. —MacKenzie Sigalos

12:01 pm: New York governor sees slight plateauing in the death toll, but said it could be a ‘blip’

The death toll from the coronavirus in New York state has reached 4,159, up from 3,565 on Saturday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Total confirmed cases have risen to 122,031, up from 113,704, and the number of people hospitalized in the state has reached 16,479, up from 15,905.

The governor said there appears to be a slight plateauing in the death toll data but emphasized that the statistic could be a “blip.” Cuomo also said the state could be near an apex, though it won’t be clear for the next few days. There’s been a shift of cases numbers to Long Island while cases in New York City are reduced, likely a result of people traveling out of the hard-hit city to take refuge elsewhere. —Emma Newburger

11:55 am: Demand for jigsaw puzzles is surging as coronavirus keeps millions of Americans indoors

Sara’s jigsaw puzzles

Sara Salinas

As coronavirus sweeps the country and sends millions sheltering in place, Americans are increasingly spending their time, and money, on jigsaw puzzles.

The majority of the U.S. population is now under stay-at-home instructions, and businesses across the country are sending employees home. In the face of what health officials warn could be months of widespread closures, consumers are snapping up the time-tested indoor games, depleting inventories and driving up prices.

Gamemaker Ravensburger has seen U.S. puzzle sales soar 370% year over year in the past two weeks, according to the company’s North America CEO Filip Francke. Factoring in the recent surge, the company is averaging closer to 20 puzzles sold per minute for 2020. 

“Puzzles are not a necessity, of course, but the consumer is clearly telling us that there’s a large need that we can help fill at these times,” Francke said. —Hannah Miller

11:47 am: Michigan governor criticizes lack of national strategy

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer once again criticized the lack of national support and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first-term Democratic governor, who President Donald Trump has belittled in recent weeks, said the “patchwork” policies that put much responsibility of state governments could prolong the pandemic.

“Not having a national strategy where there is one policy for the country as opposed to a patchwork based on whomever the governor is, is something that I think is creating a more porous situation where COVID-19 will go longer, more people will grow sick and sadly more lives may get be lost,” she told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Whitmer, who Trump last month referenced as a “half” wit, said if there was a national strategy, “it would be better for us in the long run.”

Michigan, specifically Detroit, has rapidly become a hot spot for COVID-19. As of Saturday, the state had 14,225 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 540 deaths. Whitmer said many hospitals in Southeast Michigan, where Detroit is located, are already at-capacity and running low on personal protective equipment for employees.

“Michigan is a hot spot,” she said. “We need assistance and I’m grateful for any partnership at the federal level or any partnerships with businesses that want to help out because we desperately need PPE. Lives are on the line here.” —Michael Wayland

11:38 am: Fed’s James Bullard says US economy is not in a ‘free fall’ 

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard pushed back against the suggestion that the U.S. economy and the jobs market are in a “free fall” on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” 

“We’re asking people to stay home to invest in national health, and we’re asking them to use the unemployment insurance program in order to get the transfers they need to be able to pay bills while they’re at home, while they’re not able to work because health authorities are trying to get the virus under control,” Bullard said. 

In fact, the 10 million jobless claims in the last weeks can “in some ways” be seen positively, he said.

“It means you’re getting the transfers to the people that are being disrupted by this health shutdown,” Bullard argued. “There’s nothing wrong with the economy itself. The economy was actually doing quite well going into this health situation.”

The Fed’s St. Louis district in late March predicted the U.S. unemployment rate could rise to more than 30% as a result of the coronavirus, a figure higher than what was seen during the Great Depression. —Kevin Stankiewicz

11:31 am: For a city in lockdown, two minutes of rambunctious joy to give thanks to frontline workers

Between the incessant screams of ambulance sirens rushing new patients to hospitals all day, and the non-stop negative news headlines, there is one moment each day in New York City that breaks up the daily monotony that is the new normal.

At 7 p.m. each night, New Yorkers open a window, or step out onto balconies or rooftops and make some noise for two minutes. We scream, we clap, we bang pots and pans, we make music, but most of all we give thanks and gratitude to all the frontline workers who are risking their lives every day.

It is an emotional and powerful moment to see and feel New Yorkers come together as one to reassure each other that we will get through this. It is a moment where those who feel powerless can show their gratitude to all the health-care workers, delivery drivers, grocery store workers and everyone else who is out there, every day, in the thick of it. My kids and I look forward to these two minutes because there are no negative headlines, there are no sirens blaring. There are just New Yorkers united together to see this through. —Adam Jeffrey

11:09 am: Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 674 but the pace keeps slowing

The rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Spain slowed again as the country, suffering from one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the pandemic, began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.

Deaths from the highly infectious COVID-19 respiratory disease rose to 12,418 on Saturday — the second-highest worldwide after Italy. However, the toll of 674 people who died during the past 24 hours was down from Saturday’s 809 and well below Thursday’s daily record of 950, the Health Ministry said. Sunday’s rise represented a 6% increase in total deaths, about half the rate reported a week ago.

The total number of registered infections rose to 130,759 from Saturday’s 124,736.

“The data from this week and today confirm the slowing down of infections,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference. “The data confirms that confinement is working.” He said one million testing kits were to arrive in Spain on Sunday and Monday and would act as “rapid screening” in places such as hospitals and nursing homes, part of an effort to pinpoint the true extent of the COVID-19 pandemic. —Reuters

11:05 am: History will remember your actions in this crisis, Queen Elizabeth II plans to say

In a rare address to the nation, Queen Elizabeth II plans to exhort Britons to rise to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing on wisdom from her decades as Britain’s head of state to urge discipline and resolve in a time of crisis.

The 93-year-old monarch is expected to acknowledge the suffering that many families have experienced because of the COVID-19 crisis, which has infected more than 42,000 people in the U.K. and killed at least 4,313 of them. She will seek to lift spirits and offer hope to the country in its hour of need.

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she plans to say, according to excerpts released ahead of remarks that were being broadcast Sunday night. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”

The queen will laud Britain’s beloved National Health Service and others in essential services, together with around 750,000 people who volunteered to help the vulnerable.

“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” she plans to say, according to excerpts. “That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country.” —Associated Press

10:50 am: New York fashion icons embrace New York governor’s mask challenge

Protective masks for sale are displayed in a store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 2, 2020 in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

New York City-based fashion designers Christian Siriano and Naeem Khan, and clothing companies Rag and Bone and Eileen Fisher, have started making coronavirus masks.

They are answering the call to New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plea to businesses to pitch in with personal protective equipment for health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The federal government is now advising everyone to wear a mask, rather than limiting the advisory to people who are sick. —Anjali Sundaram

10:40 am: Bill Gates calls pandemic a ‘nightmare scenario,’ but predicts lower death toll than Trump

The coronavirus pandemic is a “nightmare scenario,” but the death toll due to the disease may not be as high as some, including President Donald Trump, have predicted, according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Trump last week predicted that the U.S. could see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from COVID-19 before the outbreak is under control, echoing forecasts from White House health advisor Anthony Fauci.

“If we do the social distancing properly, we should be able to get out of this with a death number well short of that,” Gates told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. He said it’s “very important” those figures are out there so people understand the severity of the situation. —Michael Wayland

10:37 am: Biden says Navy captain who warned of ship outbreak should receive commendation

Captain Brett Crozier addresses the crew for the first time as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during a change of command ceremony on the ship’s flight deck in San Diego, California, U.S. November 1, 2019.

U.S. Navy | Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Lynch | Reuters

Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump and the military’s response to a navy officer who was relieved of his command for speaking out about a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosovelt.

“I think it’s close to criminal the way they’re dealing with this guy,” Biden told ABC’s This Week. “I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired.”

The officer, Capt. Brett Crozier, wrote a letter earlier this week to military leadership asking for help with a coronavirus outbreak on the warship. The letter, which was dated March 30, was sent via nonsecure unclassified email and also outside the chain of command. The letter was later leaked to the media.

Trump, in a press conference Saturday, called the captain’s letter “terrible” and backed the decision to relieve the officer of his command. —Spencer Kimball, Will Feuer

10:27 am: Illinois is nearing its coronavirus peak, governor says 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is quickly approaching its likely peak of COVID-19 cases.

“It depends on what model you believe, but … I think they zero in on the later half of April. So we’re really just less than two weeks away from the beginning of peaking,” Pritzker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Illinois has more than 10,000 cases, according to Johns Hopkins data. Pritzker added the state believes it needs “a few thousand more” ventilators than it has now, potentially up to 4,000.

“That’s what we’ve asked the federal government for,” he said. The state has so far received 450, the Democrat said. “We’re looking everywhere and anywhere across the world to get ventilators.” —Kevin Stankiewicz

10:25 am: Washington governor says it’s ‘ludicrous’ Trump hasn’t issued a national stay-at-home order

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said his state has had some success in “flattening the curve” of new cases by acting early and aggressively with a stay-at-home order. Inslee called for a national stay-at-home order, saying it is “ludicrous” that President Donald Trump and the federal government have not done more to mobilize a national effort to fight the outbreak. 

“I think it would be good to have national stay-at-home order and the reason is even if Washington does get on top of this fully, if another state doesn’t it can come back and come across our borders two months from now,” Insee told NBC’s Meet The Press. 

The governor reiterated his calls for Trump to mobilize the nation’s manufacturing base and use the Defense Production Act more aggressively to build the medical equipment needed to fight the virus. —Spencer Kimball

10:16 am: Bidding wars for medical-grade protective equipment a ‘global jungle,’ Arkansas governor says

Governor Asa Hutchinson (R-AK)

William B. Plowman | NBCUniversal

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said his state was outbid for face masks, calling the rush for personal protective equipment a “global jungle.”

“We have had the circumstance that we’re trying to collect our PPE, our protective masks, and we’ve been outbid by another state after we had the order confirmed,” Hutchinson told NBC’S Meet The Press. “We recognize that the federal government has said, ‘We’re your backstop, you have to get out there and compete.’ It literally is a global jungle that we’re competing in now.”

Arkansas also lost out on order for 500 ventilators after New York state submitted a bid that was $20,000 higher, according to Dr. Steppe Mette, CEO of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Arkansas has closed bars, restaurants, and schools but has not issued a stay at home order. Hutchinson called it a targeted approach and said the state is encouraging Arkansans to bring masks with them if they can’t social distance. —Spencer Kimball 

10:12 am: Italy’s leaders rely on science, not politics, as virus ravages the country

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said all political decisions must be made based on scientific evidence as the country remains in a nearly total nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus.

“We’re suffering very much,” Conte said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s a devastating pain.”

The pandemic has ravaged Italy, which has at least 124,632 total cases and at least 15,362 deaths. The number of new cases appears to be leveling off, likely due to the country’s aggressive lockdown measures. But health officials warn that Italy has not reached its peak as the death toll continues to increase.

The prime minister said he doesn’t know when the lockdown will end because he is following guidance from scientists. “Our response may not be perfect, but we have acted in the best of our knowledge,” he said. “The results so far indicate we are on the right path.” —Emma Newburger

10:04 am: Louisiana may reach ventilator capacity Thursday, governor says 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told CNN the state’s current models project it will reach its ventilator capacity Thursday.

“We definitely see we will exceed our ventilator capacity at some point,” Edwards said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We’re trying to push that as far into the future as possible, but all of our modeling, even under the best-case scenario, show that we will do that.” 

Louisiana received 200 ventilators from the national stockpile on Saturday, Edwards added. —Kevin Stankiewicz

10:01 am: Coronavirus cases in Austria still rising but figures ‘hopeful,’ minister says

The number of new coronavirus infections in Austria rose on Sunday to 11,897, but the Alpine country reported more newly recovered than newly diagnosed patients and a declining number of people in intensive care.

The number of new cases had risen by 270 since Saturday morning, while the number of recoveries rose by 491, according to the health ministry. It said the daily rate of new COVID-19 infections has fallen significantly in recent days.

“These are some hopeful figures, but now…we must remain consistent and not give up…Hence my appeal: No private Easter celebrations and Easter holidays,” said Health Minister Rudolf Anschober. —Reuters

9:57 am: Firefighters say outbreak will obstruct emergency service, evacuations as wildfire season closes in

Fire is seen near Getty Center in Los Angeles, the United States, Oct. 28, 2019. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes after a fast-moving wildfire erupted early Monday morning near the famous Getty Center in Los Angeles in the western U.S. state of California.

Qian Weizhong | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Firefighters across the country are ill or under quarantine. Others worry they’ll contract the coronavirus in crowded base camps during wildfire outbreaks. This year, preparations have stalled. The pandemic has hit the country’s already strained emergency services, raising concerns over inadequate disaster relief during peak fire season. 

In wildfire-prone states like California and Washington, the outbreak has already strained emergency resources and hindered preparation for the upcoming season. Wildfires typically start in mid-May and will be made worse this year by low spring snowpack and a dry winter up North.

“There’s a lot of anxiety,” said Tim Edwards, president of CAL FIRE Local 2881. “When we have firefighters falling ill, we’re not going to have personnel to respond appropriately to fires. And the fires will get bigger and more destructive.” —Emma Newburger

9:41 am: UK coronavirus death toll rises by 621 to 4,934

The United Kingdom’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 621 to 4,934 on April 4, the health ministry said.

A total of 195,524 people had been tested, of which 47,806 tested positive, the health ministry said. —Reuters

9:39 am: The Streaming Wars may be put on hold during quarantines as free content takes over

Quarantines have boosted streaming video usage but spiking job losses may not bode well for subscription video services.

Big media companies have started to offer free video offerings for content that is typically pay-walled.

User-generated free services like Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube may ultimately be the winners over all subscription services. —Alex Sherman

9:32 am: Coronavirus could impact military readiness, Esper says 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said there “could be an impact” on military readiness from the coronavirus pandemic.

“All the units report they’re very capable. They remain very ready,” Esper said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have had to cancel exercises. We’ve had to constrain basic training, for example, but we think those are all manageable.” —Kevin Stankiewicz

9:15 am: Pope celebrates Palm Sunday without the public in St. Peter’s

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – FEBRUARY 02: Pope Francis celebrates the Holy Mass on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, in St. Peter’s Basilica on February 02, 2019 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis | Corbis News | Getty Images

Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday Mass without the public because of the coronavirus pandemic, which he said should focus people’s attention on what’s most important, despite heavy hearts — using one’s life to serve others.

“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: ‘Çourage, open your heart to my love,'” Francis said.

Francis urged people to hold fast to “what really matters in our lives.”

“The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less, to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others,” the pontiff said in his homily.

In a remark directed to young people, Francis said: “Dear friends, look at the real heroes who come to light these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people.” Instead, he said, “They are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others. Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line.” —Associated Press

8:55 am: Map of the outbreak in New York City

8:50: How to protect yourself from the coronavirus at the grocery store

With most Americans living under-stay-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic, trips to the grocery store are one of the few reasons people can venture out. However, with the virus continuing to spread, many may wonder how they can best protect themselves from getting sick if they do need to go shopping.

Consumers should first evaluate their own risk level for catching the virus before deciding to visit a grocery store, according to Karen Hoffmann, a registered nurse and the immediate past president of The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Those who are highly immunosuppresed, have cancer, are on certain medications or are over the age of 65, should consider other options such as buying online or having someone else shop for them, according to Hoffmann.

Before visiting the store, shoppers should also have a solid plan of what they’re going to buy and prioritize what they they need.

“People should try to think in terms of buying at least two weeks’ worth so they can minimize the number of trips that they’re actually taking to the grocery store,” Hoffmann said. —Hannah Miller

8:45 am: Pharmacies in New York City struggle to keep key medications stocked amid coronavirus outbreak

As tens of thousands of people test positive in New York City and many more show symptoms and are presumed to have the virus, communities are turning to their neighborhood pharmacies for prescription and over-the-counter medicines to alleviate their symptoms. 

The unprecedented demand created by the global pandemic is creating shortages for even basic over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, as supply chains strain from the manufacturers that produce the medications to the wholesalers that deliver them to pharmacies, making it extraordinarily difficult to keep shelves fully stocked for key items in hot zones like New York. 

“I never thought a pharmacy in the 21st century can run out of essentials, the most basic medications,” said Emanuel Simhayev, a pharmacist in Astoria, Queens. “When you face this hardship you cannot really help much. You do your best.” —Spencer Kimball 

8:40 am: Trump says 1,000 military personnel deploying to NYC, warns coming week is toughest yet

President Donald Trump announced this weekend that 1,000 medical military personnel are deploying to New York City to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned that the upcoming week will likely be the toughest yet.

“This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week — and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” the president said at a White House briefing. 

Trump’s language echoed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state has just seven days to prepare for coronavirus apex as it struggles to expand hospital capacity and access to medical equipment.  —Emma Newburger

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Italy’s daily death toll drops to lowest in 2 weeks, Singapore sees biggest case jump

Leave a Reply

Back to top