States with expired stay-at-home orders: Colorado, Montana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Idaho, Maine, Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri. Eight other states never enforced such as order.
States with eased business restrictions: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Maine, Georgia, and Alaska
A total of 64,000 Americans have died from coronavirus and confirmed cases in the country have just passed 1.1 million.
Restrictions Lifted In More Than 12 States
Stay at home orders have expired for 12 states this week, including Colorado, Montana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Idaho, Maine, Georgia, Indiana, and Missouri. Eight other states never enforced such an order, meaning that people in 19 states are now free to leave their homes for non-essential needs. Ohio extended its stay at home order through May 29th.
Restrictions have also been lifted for businesses in 13 states, with Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, allowing entertainment venues such as movie theaters to reopen. Retail stores, beauty salons, and restaurants have also been allowed to open in Tennessee and Utah with limits on occupancy. Additional restrictions are expected to be lifted in 5 states starting Monday, May 4th.
NYC Disinfects Subways From 1:00 am To 5:00 am
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that NYC subways will stop train service daily from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. so trains can be disinfected. The new policy goes into effect next Wednesday, May 6th.
The governor said that shuttle buses, dollar vans, and for-hire vehicles would provide an “essential connector” to transport essential workers who need to get to their jobs. Mayor Bill de Blasio will lead the effort to coordinate transportation during the nightly halt. The NYC subway system is the only system in the United States, and among few in the world, that operates 24 hours a day.
The announcement came after rising tension over homeless people using subway trains as an alternative form of shelter and creating what many felt were unsanitary conditions on trains. New York reported 306 new coronavirus deaths yesterday, its lowest daily death toll since March 30th. The number of virus patients in hospitals is now just below 12,000, a nearly 40 percent drop from a peak of 19,000 in mid-April.
New Jersey Reports Nation’s Highest Daily Deaths
New Jersey reported a record 460 new virus-related deaths on Thursday. The daily death toll is the highest for its time among any other state in the nation, even New York, which reported more than a hundred fewer deaths. NJ Gov. Philip D. Murphy shared the somber news hours after meeting with President Trump at the White House, calling it a very sobering number. The state’s total death toll is now more than 7,000.
Gilead To Give Away 1.5 Million Doses Of Remdesivir
Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences plans to give away the first 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, an antiviral drug shown to modestly reduce recovery time in COVID-19 patients. Technically, the company could charge for the drug under an emergency use authorization from the agency. But CEO Dan O’Dayat says they will first provide the drug at no cost. The company started planning in January to manufacture remdesivir in large quantities, well before the large federal trial of the antiviral drug began at the end of February.
The results, announced by administration officials, showed that patients receiving the drug recovered in 11 days on average, compared to 15 days for patients receiving a placebo. White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the results were “a very important proof of concept” but not a “knockout.”
The company has about 1.5 million vials of remdesivir on hand, enough to treat between 140,000 to 150,000 patients, and plans to have enough medicine to treat 1 million patients by December. Gilead Sciences has a controversial history with drug pricing, charging patients upwards of $1,000 per pill on some occasions.
FDA Authorizes NASA-built Ventilator
The FDA has authorized emergency use of a high-pressure ventilator developed by NASA engineers. The device is one of the numerous ventilators and medical tools that engineers around the world have devised to help hospitals respond to the strain of COVID-19 cases.
The new device is named VITAL and works simpler than traditional ventilators, tailored specifically for patients suffering from severe symptoms of coronavirus. In 37 days, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California completed work on the ventilator, designing it to use fewer parts and to be easily modified. The ventilator, intended to only last three to four months, passed inspection tests at Mount Sinai in Manhattan.
Federal Government To Inspect Nursing Homes
President Donald Trump announced that the federal government will increase inspections of nursing homes and require the facilities to report cases directly to the CDC. Trump made the announcement from the White House during an event focused on protecting older Americans from the virus.
The inspections will be financed by money from the federal relief packages approved by Congress. Testing data from nursing homes will also be posted online, and facilities will be required to report cases to residents and their family members. A commission of industry experts, doctors, scientists, family members, and patient advocates will be responsible for monitoring the safety and quality of nursing care homes.