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April 1 coronavirus news

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

A person wearing a mask walks on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California on April 1.
A person wearing a mask walks on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California on April 1. Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images

Residents of Los Angeles should wear non-medical grade face coverings when in public, the city's mayor Eric Garcetti said in a news conference Tuesday.

Garcetti emphasized that all medical-grade N95 masks were reserved for front-line workers in hospitals and clinics.

“Please do not get medical grade or surgical masks, or N95 masks. We must not contribute to the shortage of these essential personal protective equipment for medial personnel and first responders,” he said.

Face coverings, like a bandanna, are only effective with safe physical distancing, he added. There are currently 8,155 cases of the virus in California.

Global debate on face masks: Despite the regular use of masks in Asian countries such as China and South Korea, Western governments have been slow to embrace them to stop the spread of the virus.

But with the number of new cases remaining low or stable in Asia, it appears that more countries in the West may change their approach.

Passengers of Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam are seen as the ship navigates through the Panama Canal in Panama City, on March 29.
Passengers of Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam are seen as the ship navigates through the Panama Canal in Panama City, on March 29. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the UK and Canada were making plans to repatriate their citizens from two Holland America cruise ships currently off the coast of Florida.

"We are looking at the two ships. And we have Canada notified, lot of Canadians, a lot of British on the ship, they are coming to take the people that are on the ship back to their homeland," he said.
"Canada is coming, the UK is coming. And we have Americans and we have some people that are quite sick and we’re taking care of that, I'm speaking with the governor about that."

Two cruise ships off Florida coast: Both the Zaandam and the Rotterdam are currently on their way to Florida, and have requested permission to disembark guests.

“We appreciate the support of President Trump in resolving the humanitarian plight of our guests,” Holland America said in a statement. “Holland America Line calls for compassion and reason in the review and approval of our disembarkation plan by Florida officials.”

Since March 22, 83 passengers and 136 crew onboard the Zaandam have exhibited flu-like symptoms. Eight passengers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Four people on the Zaandam have died, but the cause of their deaths is unknown.

On the Rotterdam, 14 passengers have exhibited flu-like symptoms.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks at the White House on Wednesday, April 1.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks at the White House on Wednesday, April 1. Alex Brandon/AP

Dr. Deborah Birx said a coronavirus antibody test could be available “within this month” and says “I've really called on every university and every state to develop ELISA’s, you can buy the antigens and the controls online, and really work to test entire health care communities in your state and support them that way.”

The ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, test detects and measures antibodies in blood. If successful, the test could help identify those who have already had the virus, but have since recovered.

Experts say that if a person has had the virus and developed antibodies, it will most likely mean they have built up immunity and the chances of that person being infected again drops dramatically. 

Birx said that the test could help identify frontline medical workers who may have had the coronavirus and not know it.

“I think really being able to tell them, the peace of mind that would come from knowing you already were infected, you have the antibody, you are safe from reinfection. 99.9% of the time," Birx said.

Birx said a first test could be available, “soon, within this month if the universities help us, absolutely.”

Watch:

There have been at least 917 new coronavirus deaths reported in the US on Wednesday, according to a count by CNN Health. 

This is the most reported deaths in the United States in a single day since the coronavirus outbreak.

There have been a total of 4,745 deaths reported in the US since the outbreak.

Hear more:

Wyoming remains the only state in the US without a death from coronavirus.

So far, there are 137 positive cases in the state, according to CNN's tally.

Adam Schlesinger attends the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on September 14, 2019.
Adam Schlesinger attends the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on September 14, 2019. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Adam Schlesinger, a prolific songwriter for film and television and co-founder of the band Fountains of Wayne, has died from complications of Covid-19. He was 52.

"As many of you are aware, Adam had been hospitalized with Covid-19 and although he had been making some small improvements over the last few days, Adam’s condition was critical and he was ultimately unable to recover from Covid-19 complications," read a statement from an attorney for Fountains of Wayne, provided to CNN.

Schlesinger wrote the title track for "That Thing You Do," the 1996 film directed by and starring Tom Hanks.

More recently, he wrote and produced music for the show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." He won multiple Emmy Awards, a Grammy and was an Oscar and Tony Award nominee. The Fountains of Wayne song "Stacy's Mom," a pop hit from 2003, was among the group's most popular songs.

Holland America cruise ships — the Zaandam, left, and the Rotterdam — are seen in Panama City bay on Saturday, March 28.
Holland America cruise ships — the Zaandam, left, and the Rotterdam — are seen in Panama City bay on Saturday, March 28. Ivan Pisarenko/AFP/Getty Images

The Zaandam and Rotterdam cruise ships are expected to arrive and remain off the coast of Florida early Thursday while they wait for clearance from US authorities, according to a statement from Holland America. 

The company made a plea to President Trump, Florida authorities and the public to be allowed to arrive to Florida.

“We appreciate the support of President Trump in resolving the humanitarian plight of our guests,” Holland America said in a statement. “Holland America Line calls for compassion and reason in the review and approval of our disembarkation plan by Florida officials.”

The cruise line called the status on the ships a “humanitarian situation.” Four people on the ship have died and at least eight people have tested positive for Covid-19.

Since March 22, 97 guests (83 on Zaandam and 14 on Rotterdam) and 136 crew on the Zaandam have exhibited flu-like symptoms, according to the statement.

About 45 guests have mild illness and are unfit to travel. These passengers would stay isolated on board until they recover, per the press release.

Holland America says less than 10 people need immediate critical care onshore and it has secured a local health system to treat them.

“This small number is the only group that will require any support from medical resources in Broward County and is necessary to prevent further harm to their health,” Holland America said in a statement

When asked Wednesday evening during a coronavirus task force briefing why he didn't issue a universal stay-at-home order for the entirety of the country, President Trump implied that some states are basically fine when it comes to the disease.

"There are some states that don't have much of a problem,” he said. “There are some, well they don't have the problem, they don't have thousands of people that are positive or thousands of people that even think they might have it, or hundreds of people in some cases."

Facts First: The entire country has been impacted by the coronavirus. Americans have tested positive in every US state and all but one territory. As of the start of Wednesday's press briefing, all 50 states had at least 100 cases.

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