Georgia to reopen businesses Friday as U.S. deaths top 40,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the globe.
Image: Atlanta Motor Speedway Hosts Food Distribution Event For Those In Need
Volunteers load food into vehicles during a mobile market day at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia on April 17, 2020.Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

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The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. passed 40,000 late Sunday, according to NBC News' tally, and there are nearly 760,000 confirmed cases as of Monday evening.

While some governors pushed back on the Trump administration's claims that states are conducting a "sufficient" level of coronavirus testing, other governors were eager to reopen businesses in their states regardless of testing levels.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans to resume many businesses in Georgia this Friday, April 24, and Gov. Bill Lee said a "vast majority" of businesses in Tennessee would reopen by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, the federal agency that oversees nursing homes announced new transparency measures requiring the disclosure of coronavirus cases to patients' families and public health officials.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 21 coronavirus news.

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Facebook removes some events calling for protests of stay-at-home orders

Facebook has removed events in a handful of states planning protests against stay-at-home measures meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The events, which were planned in California, Nebraska and New Jersey, violated protective measures imposed by governors, Facebook said.

"Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “For this same reason, events that defy government's guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook."

The removals were first reported by The Washington Post. Many other protest events remain active on Facebook, with some slated for Monday.

Read the full story here.

16-year-old released from hospital after recovering from COVID-19

Karla Duarte, 16, was released from Cohen Children’s Medical Center after a nearly month-long battle with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. She was hospitalized on March 29 after experiencing symptoms for about a week and was intubated on April 2 after her condition worsened, according to Northwell Health. 

On April 4, Duarte was put on a VV ECMO machine, which is an invasive therapy where blood is removed from the body, passed through an artificial lung to remove carbon dioxide and add oxygen and then returned to the body. According to Northwell Health, this is the first time this treatment has been used on a minor on a ventilator for COVID-19 at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. 

Miraculously, the treatment was successful. Duarte was removed from ECMO on April 10 and extubated on April 15. She continued to quickly recover and was released from the hospital on April 19.

Karla Duarte, 16, was released from Cohen Children's Medical Center in Queens, N.Y. after recovering from COVID-19.Northwell Health

“Her successful treatment and use of ECMO would not have been possible without the extraordinary multidisciplinary effort by the entire Cohen Children’s team, including PICU nurses and physicians, ECMO nurse specialists, perfusionists, and surgeons,” said Dr. James Schneider in a statement released by Northwell Health.

Travel restrictions to Mexico and Canada extended

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it would continue its travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico for another 30 days. 

“In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days," Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement. "As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing the phased opening of the country.”

The U.S. and Canada announced on March 18 that they were limiting travel for nonessential traffic, with the U.S. making a similar announcement about travel to Mexico two days later.

NYC LGBTQ Pride March canceled for first time in half-century

The NYC Pride March has been canceled for the first time in a half-century, along with all in-person events leading up to the annual June event, which draws millions of participants and revelers every year.

Heritage of Pride, the organization that runs the march, made the announcement on Monday, shortly after New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the cancellation of all large event permits for the month of June during a coronavirus briefing.

“This probably will not surprise you,” De Blasio said, before announcing the cancellation of June's Celebrate Israel, Puerto Rican Day and LGBTQ pride parades. The mayor promised these events would go on in some format "when it's the right time."

Read the full story here.

Photo: A moment of silence in Madrid

Health care workers observe a moment of silence on Monday to remember Joaquin Diaz, the chief of surgery at Madrid's La Paz hospital, who died of COVID-19.Manu Fernandez / AP

Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City is in desperate need of surgical gowns

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that New York City is in desperate need of surgical gowns.

De Blasio said the city did not have enough gowns to get through the week. 

"I am making an appeal to the federal government," de Blasio said at a news conference. "We need more surgical gowns in New York City and we need them now."

The mayor credited White House trade adviser Peter Navarro who is now coordinating the country's medical supply chain with providing the city 265,000 Tyvek suits and enough waterproof fabric to make 400,000 gowns.

Congressional leaders, Trump administration near deal on interim coronavirus aid bill

Congressional leaders and the Trump administration are nearing an agreement on an interim coronavirus aid bill to further help small businesses and hospitals across the country.

The deal is expected to include $310 billion more for the federal government’s new Paycheck Protection Program, which was created in the last major relief package to help small businesses survive amid the coronavirus outbreak and ran out of funding last week. The interim measure is also expected to provide $75 billion more for hospitals and possibly $25 billion for testing.

Despite calls from governors, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for funding to directly assist state and local governments, the legislation would exclude that money as well as funding for food stamps — Democratic priorities that Republicans argue can be negotiated in the next relief bill expected in the coming weeks.

Read the full story here.

Broadway star Nick Cordero's wife on his coronavirus leg amputation: 'It was life or leg'

The wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero has opened up about the surgery to have his right leg amputated two days ago as he remains in a medically induced coma battling coronavirus.

"It came down to a point where honestly it was life or leg, and we had to choose life,'' Amanda Kloots said on the "TODAY" show Monday. "I choose life."

Cordero, 41, had his leg amputated on Saturday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after he struggled with blood clots while on a ventilator and an ECMO machine, which helps oxygenate the blood.

"They put the ECMO machine in him to save his life," Kloots said. "It was literally to save his life, and it did, thank God. And sometimes the repercussion of putting that machine on can cause some blood issues, and it did with his leg."

Read the full story here.

Ex-FDA chief says U.S. likely won't have broad-based coronavirus testing until September

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Monday that the U.S. likely won’t have broad-based testing for the coronavirus in place until September.

“We're not going to be there. We're not going to be there in May, we're not going to be there in June, hopefully we'll be there by September,” Gottlieb said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

Gottlieb said some states that haven’t been hit hard by the coronavirus are ready to begin reopening slowly in the beginning of May.

As other states reopen, he said that the U.S. won’t have the optimal amount of testing and contact tracing in place to “to do the work of tracking down everyone who is sick, or who might have been in contact with people who [are] sick.”

Read the full story here.