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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.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

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'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.

Photo: Crowded Tokyo street

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

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.

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." 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.