BEAUMONT, Texas — Key coronavirus updates for Thursday, April 2:
- 6.6 million people file for unemployment
- Texas, Florida may be the next hot spots for COVID-19
- White House expected to urge Americans to wear face coverings in public to slow spread of coronavirus
School Impacts | Business Impacts, Closures | Map of SE Texas cases | Coronavirus symptoms & prevention | Coronavirus questions answered
Latest local & Texas updates:
Here are the latest updates from around Southeast Texas, Texas, Louisiana and some from the world (all times are local Central Daylight Time):
MORE: More Thursday nation, world coronavirus updates
April 2, 7:08 p.m. — Officials say 59 "residents" at a San Antonio nursing home have now tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It is unclear if that number also includes staff members.
The development comes one day after authorities first announced they were made aware of an outbreak at the facility earlier this month.
April 2, 6:35 p.m. — The White House is expected to urge Americans to begin wearing cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of its earlier recommendations, ABC News reports.
April 2, 5:19 p.m. — Port Arthur reports the city received confirmation of one new case on Thursday. The patient is between the ages of 20 and 25. This is the city's 9th case.
April 2, 4:50 p.m. — The Southeast Texas Regional Emergency Operations Center reports several new cases in the six-county region.
Jefferson County received confirmation of 9 new cases on Thursday, Hardin County received 1 new case and Orange County reported 4 new cases. Tyler County reports 1 new case, and Jasper County reports 1 new case.
The county totals are: Jefferson-40, Orange-16, Hardin-15, Tyler-2, Jasper-3, Newton-1
April 2, 4:19 p.m. — Event organizers announced the Port Neches Riverfest is canceled for 2020. In a Facebook post on Thursday, the chairman said, "We are already in the process of planning Riverfest 2021. On behalf of the Board, I want to express our deep appreciation to the community for their continued support of Riverfest. We hope that everyone stays safe during this difficult time and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2021."
April 2, 4 p.m. — Jefferson County Precinct One Commissioner Eddie Arnold and nine other employees at the Precinct One Service Center are being quarantined after one of them tested positive for the coronavirus.
The infected employee went home after feeling sick last Thursday and then was tested for the virus and admitted to the hospital over the weekend according Arnold.
The test results, on Tuesday, showed the employee did have COVID-19 Arnold confirmed.
Arnold and the other service center employees were sent home to quarantine and the service center was closed on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
April 2, 3:40 p.m. — The State of Louisiana will be sending residents a text at 4 p.m. Thursday via the emergency alert system about the extension of the state's "stay-at-home" order through April 30, 2020.
April 2, 3 p.m. Here's some updates from Louisiana...
- Most of new cases did not require hospitalization
- Model used by White House on expected deaths had Louisiana deaths around 1,800.
- National model says reach peak about April 10
- Gov Edwards will sign an executive order extending the stay at home period through April 30 (he has previously said he would do this)
- We are launching a new texting feature today where Louisianans can opt-in to get text updates from @LouisianaGov by texting ‘LACOVID’ to 67283.
- Gov Edwards says the state will send an emergency message to everyone’s cellphone at 4pm today about the stay-at-home order
- Louisiana national guard has delivered 366,000 N95 masks, 1 million gloves, 450 vents and 50,000 suits to hospitals
April 2, 2 p.m. — Two Nederland residents, both between 60 and 70 years-old, have tested positive for the coronavirus according to the Jefferson County Health Department.
Both are quarantined at their homes. AS of APril 2, 2020 Nederland has three positive COVID-19 cases according to the health department.
April 2, 1:40 p.m. — Beaumont Public Health Department reports the second COVID-19 related death of a Beaumont resident.
The gentleman was between the ages of 80-90 years old and had underlying health issues. He had no known travel history.
April 2, 11:10 a.m. — The Democratic Party postpones its convention to the week of Aug. 17 from mid-July due to coronavirus outbreak. Read more here.
April 2, 10:30 a.m. — The Justice Department says it is distributing about 192,000 N-95 masks to frontline medical workers in New York and New Jersey that were found during an investigation by the new coronavirus hoarding and price gouging task force. Scroll down for more.
APRIL 2, 9:20 a.m. — More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus. Scroll down for more.
APRIL 2, 9:10 a.m. — Nine leading European university hospitals are warning they will run out of essential medicines needed for COVID-19 patients in intensive care in less than two weeks as they are increasingly crushed by the pandemic. Scroll down for more.
APRIL 2, 6:40 a.m. — The New England Patriots' team plane will reportedly be carrying masks from China to the US. Scroll down for more.
APRIL 2, 6 a.m. — A new study quantifying the hidden toll from coronavirus in the province of Bergamo, at the epicenter of Italy’s epidemic, has found that the number of deaths linked to the virus is double the official tally. Scroll down for more.
Scroll down for more updated National & World headlines
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was 216,515 as of midnight ET Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. death toll was 5,119, passing the 5,000 mark less than 24 hours after reaching 4,000. Almost 1,400 of those are in New York City. Nearly 8,600 people in the U.S. have recovered.
Worldwide, the total number of COVID-19 cases was 937,091. There was an increase of 75,000 cases both Monday and Tuesday according to JHU (numbers were not immediately available for Wednesday). If that trend holds, the worldwide total is likely to reach 1 million on Thursday. There have been 47,231 deaths worldwide and 193,764 recoveries.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
FBI task force finds large supply of PPE
The Justice Department says it is distributing about 192,000 N-95 masks to frontline medical workers in New York and New Jersey that were found during an investigation by the new coronavirus hoarding and price gouging task force
Officials say the masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment were found by the FBI on March 30. The Justice Department says it notified the Department of Health and Human Services, which compelled the supplies be turned over as part of the Defense Production Act.
Agents also found nearly 600,000 medical-grade gloves, 130,000 surgical masks, some N100 masks and disinfectant spray and towels.
Authorities said the owner would be paid “fair market value” for the supplies. The equipment is being sent to officials with the New York city and state health departments and the New Jersey Department of Health.
Democratic National Convention delayed until mid-August due to coronavirus
The 2020 Democratic National Convention has been pushed back one month to the week of Aug. 17 due to concerns about coronavirus, organizers announced Thursday morning.
The postponement comes just one day after Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said he thought his party's nominating convention would have to be pushed back from July into August because of the coronavirus threat.
Organizers said Thursday that the convention will be held the week of August 17th, "providing convention planners more time to determine the most appropriate structure for this historic event."
6.6 million seek US jobless aid as layoffs mount
More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.
The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world. Last week's figure is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April.
UK's Johnson still has symptoms of coronavirus
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still showing symptoms almost a week after he announced he had the new coronavirus.
Johnson’s spokesman says the prime minister “continues to have mild symptoms.”
Johnson said Friday he had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing a fever and a cough. He said he was following U.K. health officials’ advice to self-isolate for seven days.
That period is almost up.
Spokesman James Slack did not confirm whether Johnson would end his quarantine. Slack said the prime minister is following "the best medical and scientific advice” about when to end his quarantine.
Europe's hospitals running out of ICU meds
Nine leading European university hospitals are warning they will run out of essential medicines needed for COVID-19 patients in intensive care in less than two weeks as they are increasingly crushed by the pandemic.
The European University Hospital Alliance said that without countries cooperating to ensure a steady supply of drugs, doctors and nurses might no longer be able to provide adequate intensive care for people critically ill with the virus. In a statement this week, the group wrote that the hardest-hit hospitals are likely to run out of their essential medicines in two days.
Patriots plane to carry one million masks from China to US
The New England Patriots' team plane will reportedly be carrying masks from China to the US.
In a tweet, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker thanked Robert Kraft and "several dedicated partners" for their teamwork. He said the state is set to receive more than one million N95 masks for front-line workers.
Study doubles Italian province's virus deaths
A new study quantifying the hidden toll from coronavirus in the province of Bergamo, at the epicenter of Italy’s epidemic, has found that the number of deaths linked to the virus is double the official tally.
The study by the daily L’Eco di Bergamo with the InTwig data analysis agency puts the number of virus deaths last month at 4,500, compared with the official toll of 2,060, in the province of 1.1 million people.
Mayors have warned that the official numbers fail to take into account the many people dying at home or in rest homes who have never been tested for the virus. Under current policies, only those who arrive at hospitals manifesting strong symptoms are tested.
Ali Wentworth, wife of ABC's Stephanopoulos, has COVID-19
Comedian Ali Wentworth, wife of ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, says she has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
"I’ve never been sicker. High fever. Horrific body aches. Heavy chest. I’m quarantined from my family. This is pure misery," Wentworth wrote on Instagram Wednesday. The post included a picture of her lying in bed with her dog.
Stephanopoulos reportedly said Wednesday he would broadcast from home after Wentworth developed symptoms.
Wentworth may be best known as a cast member of the 1990s FOX sketch comedy series "In Living Color."
Australia to offer child care during pandemic
Australia’s government will offer parents free child care from next week in a bid to keep 13,000 child care centers open during the coronavirus pandemic and to prevent workers staying home to look after children.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday one million families would benefit from the subsidies expected to cost 1.6 billion Australian dollars ($973 million) over three months.
Parents are increasingly keeping children home from schools and child care centers due to the risk of COVID-19 and several child care centers have closed their doors due to dwindling revenue.
Report: British Open golf tournament may be canceled
One day after Wimbledon announced it was canceling the famed tennis tournament for the first time since World War II, the British Open golf tournament may make the same move.
Golf Digest, citing multiple sources, reports the R&A is expected to cancel the tournament as early as Thursday. The sources say the R&A was awaiting the decision on Wimbledon first.
The tournament, formally known as The Open Championship, is set to begin July 16 at Royal St. George's Golf Club.
3,000 sailors to leave aircraft carrier
Nearly 3,000 sailors aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier where the coronavirus has spread will be taken off the ship by Friday, Navy officials said as they struggle to quarantine crew members in the face of an outbreak.
So far, fewer than 100 of the nearly 5,000 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, have tested positive for the virus, but the Navy is moving sailors into various facilities and probably will begin using hotel rooms in the coming days. Navy leaders are talking with government officials in the U.S. territory to identify rooms for the crew members.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, however, made it clear Wednesday that while several thousand will leave the ship, other sailors will remain on board in order to continue to protect the ship and run critical systems.
Coronavirus fraud complaints to government surge
The Federal Trade Commission says consumer complaints related to the coronavirus have surged. The FTC said Tuesday it has received 7,800 complaints since the start of the year and about half of those came in just the past week.
"The top categories of coronavirus-related fraud complaints include travel and vacation related reports about cancellations and refunds, reports about problems with online shopping, mobile texting scams, and government and business imposter scams," the FTC said in a statement.
Reported coronavirus-related scam losses by consumers reached a total of $4.77 million, with a reported median loss of $598.
Gun background checks set new record
Background checks required to buy firearms have spiked to record numbers in the past month, fueled by a run on guns from Americans worried about their safety during the coronavirus crisis.
According to figures from the FBI, 3.7 million background checks were done in March — the most for a single month since the system began in 1998. It eclipsed the previous record, set in December 2015, when 3.3 million checks were conducted.
Background checks are the key barometer of gun sales, but the FBI's monthly figures also incorporate checks for firearm permits that are required in some states. Each background check also could be for the sale of more than one gun.
Army of health care volunteers in New York
An army of health care workers heeded New York’s call for help reinforcing hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, at least 82,000 people have volunteered for the state’s reserve force of medical workers — a group that includes recent retirees returning to work, health care professionals who can take a break from their regular jobs and people between gigs, according to health officials.
By Thursday, hospitals expect to hire about 1,500 volunteers to rescue a medical workforce that needs relief, particularly in New York City.
Health care workers who have hit the ground already, many brought in by staffing agencies, discovered a hospital system in danger of being overwhelmed.