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U.S. deaths top 12,000 as New York City suffers deadliest day

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Apr 7, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington
Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington High School in Milwaukee on April 7, 2020. "I'm disgusted. I requested an absentee ballot almost three weeks ago and never got it. I have a father dying from lung disease and I have to risk my life and his just to exercise my right to vote" she said, as she'd been in line almost two hours.Patricia McKnight / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Network

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 8 Coronavirus news.

At the start of what officials have warned could be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic, the total number of deaths in the U.S. rose to more than 12,000 on Tuesday, according to NBC News' tally. New York City alone topped 4,000 deaths, recording its single deadliest day with over 800 dying in the 24 hours since Monday night.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Wisconsin's controversial election is on for Tuesday, and voters will get no extension on the deadline to return absentee ballots, thanks to two top courts that sided with Republicans on Monday.

In the fight to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Tuesday that he planned to donate $1 billion to global coronavirus relief.

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902d ago / 3:38 PM UTC

New York saw 'largest single-day increase' of deaths on Monday, Cuomo says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday the state saw its "largest single-day increase" in deaths yesterday at 731, but that the three-day hospitalization rate is lowering.

Cuomo said at a press conference that deaths are increasing in New York, the state hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, because "people came in on the peak" and have been on ventilators for while at this point.

New York now has seen 138,836 cases of coronavirus and 5,489 deaths, up from yesterday's total of 4,758. The governor said ICU admissions are also "way down," with only 89 new admissions yesterday.

Cuomo said the state currently has "more than enough beds available" at 90,000 beds, including 2,500 at the Javitz Center and 500 on the USNS Comfort, which will now be converting to seeing coronavirus patients. He also said "every hospital has what they need" when discussing personal protective equipment and ventilators. 

The state is experiencing staffing problems though, as medical workers get sick and are overworked. 

The decrease in the number of new cases and the lowering three-day hospitalization rate, however, is a sign that "social distancing is working," Cuomo said, but for the state to even think about reopening the economy down the road, it would need significantly more testing.

He also said the federal stimulus plan does far less for the state then what is needed, saying Congress' bill "gets worse when you read it."

902d ago / 3:31 PM UTC

'I'm nervous': Kate Snow on caring for her husband who has coronavirus

Last Thursday afternoon, I was working on a Nightly News story about nursing homes when my husband, Chris Bro, mentioned he wasn’t feeling so well. He said he was going to take a nap, which is unusual at 4 p.m. on a Thursday. A few hours later, Chris came downstairs looking pretty awful. I was busy getting dinner ready and he said he wanted to eat so he joined us at the table. “Your eyes,” I said. “They look so strange.” His eyes were rimmed bright red.

My next sentence was: "Something’s not right. You need to go to the basement."

Because I’d been traveling for work in March and I’d gone into New York City from our home in the suburbs, we were concerned that I might catch the coronavirus. Our family had made a plan that if any of us got sick with possible coronavirus, we would move to our guest room and attached bathroom in the basement.

Thursday night, Chris grabbed a stack of books and headed downstairs. He hasn’t left that room since.

Read the full story at TODAY.

902d ago / 3:22 PM UTC

Photo: Crowded Tokyo street

Image: Japan To Declare A State Of Emergency To Contain Coronavirus Outbreak
People wearing face masks walk to work Tuesday in Tokyo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared on Tuesday a month-long state of emergency following a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. The state of emergency will allow the heads of six designated prefectures and Tokyo to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing.Carl Court / Getty Images
902d ago / 3:19 PM UTC

Israel sets Passover travel ban, according to local media

Israel has imposed a Passover travel ban that will strictly limit the ability of people to move around during one of Judaism’s holiest holidays, local media reported Tuesday.

All travel between cities is forbidden starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday and ending Friday at 6 a.m. In addition, a curfew will be in place beginning Wednesday at 3 p.m. and ending the next morning that bars Israelis from going more than 100 meters (about 328 feet) from their homes.

The Israeli government’s move come as the Jewish state has reported 60 deaths and more than 9,000 confirmed cases.

902d ago / 3:18 PM UTC

NYC to release data that will show racial disparity in cases, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will soon release data on the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases that will show disparities among who is affected by the pandemic.

"This disease is affecting people disproportionately in lower-income communities" with "more health problems" and in "communities of color," de Blasio said. He said the numbers on age and gender are readily available, but it's been harder to get hospitals to track race in the midst of an emergency. 

Jumaane D. Williams, public advocate for New York City, on Thursday sent a letter to de Blasio calling for a release of data on the racial impact of the crisis. 

De Blasio also said Tuesday that the number of people hospitalized and in need of ventilators has "improved a bit in recent days." 

"It is giving us some more time, giving us the opportunity to get more ventilators in and know we can get farther into the week," the mayor said. "We know we bought a few more days." 

902d ago / 2:40 PM UTC

Airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights

Global airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights because of the coronavirus crisis, according to the head of the industry’s representative body IATA.

The airlines are instead issuing vouchers, as they conserve cash to survive. 

“The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash, so refunding the canceled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking,” IATA Director General Alexandre De Juniac told an online news conference on Tuesday. 

Airlines have been criticized by consumer groups for breaking rules over providing refunds within set time limits. 

IATA also said that one-third of global airline employees have either been furloughed or lost their jobs.

902d ago / 1:31 PM UTC

African Americans may be dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate. Better data is essential, experts say.

In Chicago, a recent report found that 70 percent of people who died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are black — even though the city's population is just 30 percent black. In Milwaukee County, which is 27 percent black, the figure is 81 percent.

And public health officials tracking the coronavirus have seen similar disproportionate impacts on African Americans in PhiladelphiaDetroit and other cities.

But just how widespread the disparities might be across the country is difficult to know, because most states and the federal government haven't released demographic data on the race or ethnicity of people who've tested positive for the virus. That's created an information gap that could aggravate existing health disparities, prevent cities and states from equitably distributing medical resources and potentially violate the law, advocates say.

Read the full story here.

902d ago / 1:29 PM UTC

Global Update: British PM in intensive care and Japan’s state of emergency

902d ago / 12:59 PM UTC

Britain's Boris Johnson remains 'stable' in hospital

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “stable” and in “good spirits” after a night in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, Downing Street said on Tuesday.

He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance and has not required mechanical ventilation, nor does he have pneumonia, officials said.

Johnson, 55, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening after "persistent" COVID-19 symptoms, having tested positive on March 27 for coronavirus. Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab will continue to lead the country in Johnson's absence. Scheduled weekly calls between the Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth will not take place while Johnson remains unwell, Downing Street confirmed.

902d ago / 12:36 PM UTC

At one California beach, police have 'zero tolerance' for stay-at-home violations

Few spots personify laid-back Southern California more than the picturesque coastal city of Manhattan Beach.

But faster than you can say "tasty waves,” police in this beach burgh of 35,000 have descended on the sand and surrounding streets for "zero tolerance" enforcement of the "safer at home" order, now in its third week. Other locales, like the city of Los Angeles, have leaned more toward educating violators. But as some have continued to head to the sand, Manhattan Beach is cracking down.

A week ago, one surfer received a $1,000 citation for repeatedly ignoring warnings to stay out of the water. Manhattan Beach police issued 129 citations this past weekend and shut down four construction projects.

902d ago / 12:17 PM UTC

Wisconsin votes as National Guard called out, many polling places shuttered

Wisconsin’s primary election went on as planned Tuesday despite the state’s stay-at-home order and a day after two courts ruled that the election couldn't be postponed.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET for voters to cast ballots in person, though according to the state's elections commission, voters' designated polling places may have changed because of poll worker shortages.

Wisconsin's chief elections official, Meagan Wolfe, said in a statement Monday that voters who show up to the polls Tuesday should "be careful and patient" as social distancing procedures will be implemented at each site. The state is also recommending that voters wash their hands before heading to their polling place and wash or sanitize their hands when they arrive at the location before they vote.

Read the fully story here.

902d ago / 11:57 AM UTC

902d ago / 11:54 AM UTC

Paris bans outdoor exercise during the day

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Image: A man jogs on a bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday.
A man jogs on a bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday.Philippe Lopez / AFP - Getty Images

Municipal authorities in Paris have banned residents from doing exercise outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. hours to ensure fewer people are on the streets in the French capital as it tries to contain the coronavirus epidemic

The city, in coordination with the local police force, said Parisians won’t be allowed to engage in any outdoor sport activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

The new measure, which starts on Wednesday, applies to Paris only. France has been in lockdown since March 17 to stem the spread of the virus. The measures have been extended until April 15, and are likely to be extended again.

902d ago / 11:40 AM UTC

U.S. reports 1,200 coronavirus deaths in one day as China lifts lockdown

Image: The scene outside of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City on Monday.
Fire department EMTs walk past a man in a hazmat suit outside of the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx borough of New York City on Monday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working.

The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. A total of 10,906 have been recorded killed by COVID-19.

Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.

Read the full story here. 

902d ago / 11:10 AM UTC

Japan declares state of emergency as coronavirus cases rise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared on Tuesday a month-long state of emergency following a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

However, Abe said that the emergency measures would not involve "locking down" like "cities overseas" and that "public transportation and other vital socio-economic services will be sustained as much as possible." Abe added that people will still be allowed to exercise outdoors.

The state of emergency will allow the heads of six designated prefectures and Tokyo to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing. On Monday, the chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, an independent body representing the city's doctors, had said the capital was in a "critical situation." 

902d ago / 10:43 AM UTC

Russia re-opens border to allow in residents stranded abroad

The Russian government has lifted a ban on charter flights that unexpectedly stranded several hundred Russian citizens and residents in foreign countries on April 3 as they attempted to return home, including at least 50 in New York and up to 600 in Japan. 

Flights are now being organized by Russian airlines to retrieve tourists stuck in foreign countries. But it isn’t clear that everyone will make it home.  Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov wrote on Facebook on April 6 that there are too few Russians asking for evacuation to justify the cost of a charter back to Moscow.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow on April 7 told citizens that Russian airline Aeroflot was seeking clearance to run a flight to New York later the same day. The flight was originally scheduled for April 3, but was cancelled on the tarmac.

902d ago / 10:39 AM UTC

Author J.K. Rowling says she's 'fully recovered' from COVID-19 symptoms

Author J.K. Rowling said on Twitter on Monday that she had been suffering from COVID-19 symptoms but was now "fully recovered," adding that she had not been officially tested.

She shared a video put together by a hospital outlining helpful breathing techniques to relieve respiratory symptoms, saying that she had found it useful. The "Harry Potter" author urged fans to stay home and safe during the outbreak.

902d ago / 10:20 AM UTC

902d ago / 10:10 AM UTC

Israel announces complete nationwide lockdown over Passover holiday

The Israeli government is imposing a complete nationwide lockdown prohibiting people from leaving their homes from Wednesday evening until Thursday morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced in a televised address to the nation on Monday. 

The lockdown coincides with the Jewish Passover holiday in which families typically gather together for a traditional dinner called the seder. 

"We cannot become complacent. We are moving forward with preparations for the scenarios regarding the exit from the crisis," Netanyahu said, adding that "there is a real possibility that if the positive trends" continue, Israel could gradually exit the lockdown after Passover.

902d ago / 9:47 AM UTC

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II thanks healthcare workers on World Health Day

902d ago / 9:44 AM UTC

Volunteers fumigate streets in Nairobi, Kenya against coronavirus

Image: Volunteers fumigate a street in a residential area of Nairobi to curb the spread of coronavirus on Monday.
Volunteers fumigate a street in a residential area of Nairobi to curb the spread of coronavirus on Monday.Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP - Getty Images
902d ago / 9:33 AM UTC

Germany's coronavirus fatality rate rises

The coronavirus fatality rate in Germany has increased from 0.5 percent to 1.6 percent, according to Germany's disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, on Tuesday. Germany has been hailed for having a relatively low number of deaths compared to other European countries.

The uptick is likely due to an increase in outbreaks in retirement and nursing homes, as well as at risk groups in hospitals, said Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute. The average age of those who have died in Germany is 80, he said. 

"The deaths occurring now strike people who got sick one to two weeks ago. That means there are also many COVID-19 cases in inpatient treatment and so we have to expect a further increase in the number of deaths,” said Wieler at a daily press briefing.

902d ago / 9:06 AM UTC

902d ago / 8:56 AM UTC

China reports first day with no coronavirus deaths

China reported its first day with no coronavirus deaths since the outbreak began on Monday, officials from the National Health Commission said. 

On April 6, there were no new confirmed cases, no new suspected cases, and no new deaths in China, officials said at a news conference.

While domestic cases are under control, China is still grappling with managing imported cases, mostly Chinese nationals returning from abroad. Prevention and control measures to prevent further outbreaks were still "arduous," said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission.

902d ago / 8:48 AM UTC

903d ago / 6:40 AM UTC

Outages and delays mar new small business loan program

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The electronic system the Small Business Administration is using to set up new coronavirus loans was down much of Monday, according to senior banking executives, making it impossible for many new loans to be guaranteed.

Billions of dollars in loans sought by small businesses trying to pay employees and keep their doors open were on pause as the SBA, supported by the Treasury, grapples with the demand on its system.

Read full story here

903d ago / 6:19 AM UTC

MLB reportedly discussing plan for all teams to play in Arizona

Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome, the people said.

“It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said Scott Boras, baseball’s most prominent agent. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.”

903d ago / 6:13 AM UTC

New Zealand’s health minister demoted after going to beach during lockdown

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s health minister has described himself as an “idiot” and has been stripped of some responsibilities after breaching the country’s strict lockdown measures.

David Cook drove about 12 miles to the beach to take a walk with his family. He said that at a time when the government was asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices by staying at home, he had let them down.

“I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me,” he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said under normal circumstances, she would sack Clark. But she said the country couldn’t afford massive disruption in its health sector while it was fighting the virus. Instead, she said, she was stripping Clark of his role as Associate Finance Minister and demoting him to the bottom of the Cabinet rankings.

New Zealand is nearly halfway through a planned four-week lockdown aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus.

903d ago / 5:22 AM UTC

USNS Comfort crew member tests positive

A crew member on the Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort, dispatched to New York City to help in the coronavirus outbreak in the region, has tested positive for the illness COVID-19.

The Navy said in a statement that the crew member tested positive Monday and is isolated from other crew or any patients.

"There is no impact to Comfort’s mission, and this will not affect the ability for Comfort to receive patients," the Navy said. 

The USNS Comfort, with a capacity of around 1,000 beds, was initially supposed to take non-virus patients in order to help local hospitals care for cases associated with the epidemic, but on Monday the governor and President Donald Trump said it would take COVID-19 patients. Trump said it would also take patients from New Jersey.