Global death toll passes 100K as confirmed cases top 1.6 million

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
A healthcare worker talks with a patient at a COVID-19 testing site near Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on March 24, 2020.Matt Slocum / AP

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The coronavirus death toll across the U.S. continues to climb and passed 18,500 by Friday evening, according to an NBC News tally. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state had reached 170,512.

Globally, the number of cases passed 1.6 million with more than 102,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, as countries deliberate over further lockdown measures or worry about second wave outbreaks. Millions of people around the world are preparing for religious celebrations and a holiday weekend.

Current and former U.S. officials, meanwhile, tell NBC News that American spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic.

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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading Apr. 11 Coronavirus news.

L.A. County extends stay-at-home order until May 15

Los Angeles County is extending its stay-at-home order until May 15 at the earliest with the possibility of extending it into the summer, officials announced Friday. The order had been set to expire on April 19.

Public health officials said social distancing has helped flatten the coronavirus curve but more is needed to protect the county's 12 million residents. More than 8,400 residents have contracted COVID-19, according to the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department.

Public health officials warned Friday that lifting the stay-at-home order now could result in nearly 96 percent of residents being infected.

24 at Indiana nursing home die in outbreak

INDIANAPOLIS — Twenty-four residents of a central Indiana nursing home hit hard by COVID-19 have died, the state’s health commissioner said.

Sixteen of the residents at the Bethany Pointe Health Campus in Anderson had tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the other eight had compatible symptoms, Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said during a state news briefing on the pandemic.

Mnuchin announces 'Get My Payment' app

Experimental drug remdesivir shows potential for coronavirus, early research suggests

Early research shows an experimental treatment for the coronavirus may help very sick patients improve their breathing, though experts caution more studies are needed before the drug, remdesivir, can be recommended.

The research, published Friday in The New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 53 coronavirus patients who had been given remdesivir through what’s called "compassionate use."

In a majority of the patients — 68 percent — doctors were able to reduce the amount of oxygen support needed. What's more, 17 of 30 patients who'd been on ventilators were able to come off of those machines. That's important because COVID-19 patients who need to be put on ventilators appear to be more likely to suffer long-term health consequences, and may have worse outcomes.

Read the full story.

Florida megachurch pastor caves after defying coronavirus rules

The Florida pastor who wound up in handcuffs after he defied a local stay-at-home coronavirus order by holding a church service for hundreds of worshippers will be celebrating Easter online with his flock Sunday.

Rodney Howard-Browne, who in previous statements railed at “tyrannical government” and threatened to sue Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister for arresting him, made the announcement on The River at Tampa Bay Church’s Facebook page.

“Join us ONLINE ONLY at 9:30 AM on Sunday, April 12th, for our Resurrection Sunday service as we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ,” the announcement read.

Read the full story.

In Nebraska, meat plant workers are afraid to go to work — but can't afford to stay home

With 3,500 workers, the JBS beef processing plant is one of the largest employers in Grand Island, Nebraska. It’s also the center of the town’s COVID-19 outbreak: employees make up 28 of the 105 people confirmed to have the virus.

This has created a dilemma for workers whose livelihoods depend on the meat plant that remains open as an essential part of the food supply chain and the local economy at a time when many people are self-isolating: do they risk exposing themselves to the virus at work, or stay home without pay?

"The people who are still working there are very afraid of catching the virus and passing it to our families at home, but we cannot stop going to work because we need to keep food on the table," said one employee, who added she worked in the "intestine area" of the plant and did not wish to be named for fear of losing her job.

NBC News spoke to four current employees at JBS Grand Island, three on the condition of anonymity, as well as two former employees, advocacy groups and a union representative.

Read the full story.

Trump pushes false claims about mail-in vote fraud. Here are the facts.

As a partisan battle heats up around the issue of mail-in voting amid the pandemic, President Donald Trump has begun arguing that an election conducted via postal service would be riddled with fraud.

There’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud of any kind in the U.S., according to numerous investigations and studies — and a fact-check by NBC News shows that his central claims about mail-in voting, which include allegations that ballots are frequently falsified and that only Democratic-led states allow such methods, are false and misleading. 

Read the full fact check of Trump's claims here

Giving back: Communities, organizations mobilize to feed, house health care workers

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life throughout the United States, communities are banding together to assist doctors, nurses and first responders with the essentials: food and housing.

From New York City to Washington state, people have donated thousands of meals to health care workers through various organizations, while others have provided temporary housing to doctors and nurses who are on the front lines of the pandemic.

"It's really empowering just to see how people want to be a part of this," said Michael MacKelvie, one of the organizers of the group Feed the Fearless. His group has raised thousands of dollars to purchase meals from local restaurants to donate to area businesses. 

Other organizations, such as RVs 4 MDs, are working to provide health care workers with temporary housing if they choose to make the difficult decision to self-isolate from their families.

Read the full story here. 

NYC mayor says easing of social distancing possible before summer

The mayor of New York City, which has seen more than a fifth of the nation's coronavirus cases, expressed qualified optimism that mobility could begin to return to the Big Apple before the end of spring.

"Every one of us is hoping and praying this shows that we're turning a corner," Mayor Bill de Blasio told NBC Nightly News. "But I'm not convinced until I see something more sustained. This day we will surpass 100,000 cases of the coronavirus in New York City. That's a staggering, unbelievable number. We've lost over 5,000 people and we still have a huge number of people fighting for their lives in our hospitals."

The Gates Foundation-funded IHME model projected a decrease for New York's daily death rate.

"The first thing is to not expect and get hopes up prematurely," Di Blasio said. "We know April is gonna continue to be tough. That's going to take us into May. There's a possibility at some point in May that we see enough steady progress to start some relaxing of the social distancing, but only some."