LIVE BLOG: Coronavirus updates from April 17 - May 1

Below are archived coronavirus blog updates from April 17, 2020 through May 1, 2020. For the latest coronavirus live blog updates from News 12, visit: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 
May 1, 4:27 p.m. U.S. regulators are allowing emergency use of remdesivir, an experimental drug that appears to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster.
May 1, 3:51 p.m. Gov. Ned Lamont's budget chief estimated a "sobering" $2.3 billion deficit for the fiscal year of 2021 for Connecticut because of the coronavirus. News 12's John Craven looks at what that means for Connecticut here.
May 1, 3:45 p.m. News 12's Walt Kane answered viewers' questions on COVID-19 in this week's Consumer Alert Q&A. He also examined the scattered meat shortages that may be possible due to coronavirus outbreaks at Midwest meat processing plants.
 
May 1, 11:40 a.m. New York schools and colleges will remain closed and continue distance learning for the rest of the school year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. The governor says a decision will be made soon on summer school.
April 30, 11:50 p.m., Beijing’s parks and museums, including the ancient Forbidden City, reopen to the public after being closed by the coronavirus.
April 30, 7:21 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey could need $20 billion to $30 billion in assistance to deal with the COVID-19 fallout.
April 30, 5:04 p.m. Gov. Ned Lamont says restaurants, retail stores, hair salons, nail salons, university research programs, museums, zoos, outdoor recreation and offices can reopen in Connecticut on May 20 if the decline in hospitalizations continue.

April 30, 2:52 p.m. 
U.S. intelligence agencies are debunking a conspiracy theory, saying they have concluded that COVID-19 was “not manmade or genetically modified." But they say they are still examining a notion put forward by the president and aides that the pandemic may have resulted from an accident at a Chinese lab.
April 30, 2:45 p.m. Westchester County Executive Latimer announced that two additional county-owned public golf courses will open in Yonkers – Dunwoodie and Sprain Lake. Latimer also said the Westchester County Center will be open on Monday for first responder antibody testing.
April 30, 1:29 p.m. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says he tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate.
April 30 12:45 p.m. The MTA will stop service between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to disinfect train and buses, but says it will provide alternate service to essential workers.
April 30, 11 a.m. Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects federal approval for Remdesivir, the first drug to prove effective against the coronavirus, to happen “really quickly.”
April 30, 8:30 a.m. More than 3.8 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. Roughly 30.3 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the United States in the six weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began.
April 29, 7:18 p.m. President Donald Trump said Wednesday the federal government will not be extending its coronavirus social distancing guidelines once they expire Thursday.
April 29, 4:59 p.m. The Baseball Hall of Fame has canceled its induction weekend for the 2020 class headlined by Derek Jeter.
 
April 29, 3:45 p.m. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is coming under fire for his tweet to the Jewish community about enforcement of social distancing violations. 
April 29, 2:41 p.m. County Executive George Latimer says Westchester hit a grim milestone overnight as it surpassed 1,000 deaths. "The impact of this virus has been profound," said Latimer.
April 29, 12:30 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy has announced an executive order taking effect at sunrise on May 2 to reopen New Jersey’s state parks as well as allow golf courses and county parks to reopen.
 
April 29, 8:30 a.m. The U.S. economy shrank by 4.8% from January through March as it saw the worst slowdown in growth since 2008.
April 28, 11 p.m. China's delayed Congress to convene next month in sign of confidence country has largely overcome coronavirus outbreak.
April 28, 7 p.m. Sen. Cory Booker appeared on News 12 New Jersey to answer questions about the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
April 28, 5 p.m. Connecticut health officials announced a new coronavirus contact tracing program that will be created in partnership with Microsoft.
April 28, 2:52 p.m. The United States Navy Blue Angels and the United States Air Force Thunderbirds joined together Tuesday for a "Fly By" over tri-state area hospitals, to honor the front-line workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Chopper 12 video of it HERE.
 
April 27, 1:50 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a data-driven structure for reopening New York during his COVID-19 briefing. Of the listed data points was the CDC’s guideline that there must be a 14-day decline in the rate of hospitalizations. It also included a rigorous testing and tracing system that is currently being developed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
 
April 28, 10:30 a.m. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new grading standards for remote learning and a citywide virtual graduation ceremony during his COVID-19 briefing.
April 27, 5:22 p.m. Connecticut is 7-10 days from reopening some places and businesses, Gov. Ned Lamont said in his COVID-19 briefing.
April 27, 12:43 p.m. The Democratic members of the New York State Board of Elections voted Monday to cancel the Democratic presidential primary due to coronavirus concerns. New York will still hold congressional and state-level primaries on June 23.
April 27, 12:36 p.m. On reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says 'there is no light switch' and that he'll extend NYS on Pause regulations for many parts of the state before they expire May 15.
April 27, 12:13 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy announces The Road Back, a roadmap to restore the health, strength and well-being of New Jersey for the long-term.
 
April 27, 10:30 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that New York City will be rolling out a self-swab method of COVID-19 testing. The tests will be available at NYC Health + Hospitals clinics in the city and will allow for an increase of testing capacity.
April 26, 12:30 p.m. At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Gov. Cuomo offered a broad outline of a phased reopening. He said businesses need to design ‘the new normal’ and floated the idea of sports without audiences.
April 26, 9:59 a.m. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday he hopes to have a roadmap by June 1 on how to rebuild the city after the coronavirus threat subsides. The mayor said at a news conference that city leaders he’s invited to help plan the city's recovery should give him the roadmap by then. He said a full rebuild will take about 20 months.
April 25, 8:30 p.m. The Navy hospital ship sent to relieve stress on New York City hospitals at the height the pandemic is discharging or transferring its last 12 patients this weekend as it nears the end of its mission, according to Northwell Health, which provides operational assistance to the vessel. The USNS Comfort, which has been docked at a Manhattan pier since March 30, will soon leave for its homeport in Virginia, where it will restock and be readied for another possible assignment, the Associated Press reports. 
April 25, 2:15 p.m. There are now more than 200,000 confirmed deaths worldwide from coronavirus, Johns Hopkins University researchers say.
April 25, 1:30 p.m. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy reports 5,863 total COVID-19 fatalities in the state. He says that total is more than the NJ lives lost from WWI, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.
April 25, 12 p.m. New York Gov. Cuomo says he's signed an executive order that will allow independent pharmacists to conduct diagnostic coronavirus tests.  Says this move will help state 'quickly ramp up' collection capacity.  Gov. Cuomo also says they are expanding testing criteria to include more New Yorkers.  These include first responders, health care workers and essential employees. 
April 25, 6:30 a.m. The World Health Organization is cautioning against the idea of “immunity passports." It says there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected against a second infection. The concept of “immunity passports” or “risk-free certificates” has been floated as a way of allowing people protected against reinfection to return to work.
April 24, 3:38 p.m. News 12's Walt Kane answered more COVID-19 questions from viewers in this week's Consumer Alert Q&A on Facebook. Check out this week's Consumer Alert story on navigating mortgage assistance during the pandemic.
 
April 24, 1:10 p.m. President Donald Trump has signed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package into law. 
April 23, 7:15 p.m. The NFL Draft is going to be different in so many ways this year -- including the noted absence of one of its top analysts. ESPN's Todd McShay says he will not be part of the broadcast because he was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Other changes include where the picks will be broadcast from - instead of Las Vegas, they’ll come from Roger Goodell’s Bronxville home.
 
April 23, 6:19 p.m. The house has passed a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package designed to help small businesses and hospitals. The measure now goes to President Trump.
April 23, 12:26 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced preliminary results of a COVID-19 antibody study from a sample size of 3,000 New Yorkers in 19 counties who were out in the public. The study showed that 13.9% of those tested had COVID-19 at one point and had developed antibodies to fight the infection.
April 23, 8:30 a.m. The Labor Department says that 4.4 million workers sought jobless aid last week, raising total layoffs since virus hit to more than 26 million.
April 22, 7 p.m. Harvard University announced Wednesday it will turn down $8.7 million in federal relief aid a day after President Trump criticized the school over taxpayer money it stood to receive.
April 22, 6:30 p.m. President Trump says he told Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that he “disagreed strongly” with Kemp’s decision to begin allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen in the coming days.
April 22, 6 p.m. Immunologist Rick Bright said in a statement Wednesday that he was summarily removed from his job and reassigned to a lesser role for opposing politically connected efforts to promote a malaria drug that President Donald Trump has touted without proof as a remedy for COVID-19.
April 22, 4 p.m. An AP poll finds just 12% of Americans find the measures put in place to combat the coronavirus have gone too far. This comes as small, yet attention-grabbing, protests have popped up in various states.
April 22, 3:30 p.m. 2 pet cats test positive for coronavirus in NY. 'There's no evidence that pets are playing a role in spreading this disease to people,' CDC doctor says.
April 22, 1:30 p.m. Nassau reports 20 percent drop in COVID-19-related hospitalizations in seven days; two new testing sites open.
April 22, 11 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday the state will develop a "tracing army" to be led by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
April 22, 10 a.m. Health officials say two people infected with the coronavirus in California died as many as three weeks before the U.S. reported its first death from the disease in late February.
April 21, 8:01 p.m. Gov. Cuomo says White House meeting was productive.  Gov. Cuomo discussed how he and President Trump outlined coordination of state and federal testing responsibilities. "It's a smart resolution," said Cuomo.
April 21, 6:20 p.m. President Trump says Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to let the USNS Comfort leave New York to take care of other areas of the U.S.
April 21, 6:11 p.m. President Trump announced a 60-day pause on immigration into the U.S. "In order to protect the American worker, I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigration into the United States...By pausing immigration, we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens," he said during the White House briefing.
April 21, 5:22 p.m. A nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package has been approved by the Senate after Congress and the White House reached a deal to replenish a small business payroll fund and provided new money for hospitals and testing. It now goes to the House. (Information via the Associated Press)
April 21, 3:59 p.m. A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating COVID-19 showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported. The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19. (Information via the Associated Press)
April 21, 11:26 a.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says some New York hospitals will allow elective surgeries again, where "capacity is not an issue."

April 21, 10:49 a.m. Congressional leaders say a massive aid package will soon be on the way for small businesses. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced a deal on major elements of a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid package for small businesses - as well as additional help for hospitals and virus testing.
April 20, 10:40 p.m. President Trump tweeted he will be temporarily suspending immigration into the United States.
April 20, 9:08 p.m. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is setting May 8 as the date he wants to begin easing some pandemic restrictions.
 
April 19, 12:47 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says despite a decrease in hospitalizations, New York still has a long way to go.  507 new deaths were reported.  Says that the state is going to begin the most aggressive antibody testing survey in the nation this week.  
April 19, 9:50 a.m. At a Sunday morning news conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to stay the course of aggressive social distancing as the weather begins to warm up. "Do not underestimate our enemy. This is a horrible disease, we've seen the toll it's taken," he says. "Let down your guard and this disease comes back with a vengeance."
 
April 18, 11:25 a.m. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau says Canada and the U.S. have agreed to keep the border between the two nations closed to nonessential travel for another 30 days.
April 18, 10 a.m. This year's Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event was scheduled to take place Memorial Day weekend.