The coronavirus continues to rip through jail and prisons in the U.S. More than 700 inmates and employees on Rikers Island have tested positive for coronavirus. Public defenders and criminal justice advocates are reporting that many New York correctional facilities have run out of hygiene and cleaning supplies. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have begun to release some low-level offenders from custody to ease crowding.
As Chicago prepares for more deaths, its jail is now the top coronavirus hotspot. At least 238 inmates and 115 staff members at the Cook County Jail had tested positive for COVID-19 by Wednesday. The majority of the jail’s inmates have not undergone testing. Despite requests for medically-vulnerable inmates to be released from Cook County Jail, a judge refused to release them while ordering coronavirus safety policies.
And in the California prison system, the number of inmates infected with coronavirus grew by more than seven times in a little more than a week. Staff cases in these jails nearly tripled.
Business & Economy
Nearly a third of American renters didn’t pay their April rent on time. Renters with housing vouchers will receive help, including a 120-day hold on evictions and late fees. However, most rental properties are privately owned and are not eligible for federal aid.
The coronavirus pandemic has left the federal stockpile of protective equipment nearly depleted. About 90% of the personal protective equipment in the stockpile has been distributed to state and local governments. Created in 1999, the stockpile prevented supply-chain disruptions for the predicted Y2K computer problems. It later expanded after 9/11 to prepare for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks.
To help restart the American economy after the coronavirus, Trump is said to be preparing to create a second task force focused solely on economic recovery. The task force will include senior staff from the Treasury Department, Labor Department, National Economic Council, major sports teams leadership and popular athletes.
Florida will begin drive-through coronavirus testing at the Daytona Speedway. A doctor’s order will not be required for testing.
Chicago will open a 66,000-square foot refrigerated warehouse to expand capacity and ease overcrowding at hospital morgues due to the pandemic. Cook County has also acquired 14 refrigerated trailers and will acquire six more.
Although it still remains one of the hot spots for coronavirus cases, Detroit is seeing a slight decline in reported cases from days prior.
All of the first twelve people to die from coronavirus in St. Louis were black, according to the city’s health director. The deaths are being blamed on patients’ pre-existing illnesses and lack of testing sites in black neighborhoods in the city.
States with the largest numbers of coronavirus cases include Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, Indiana, Maine, and Louisiana, and Southern states like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
To appease pandemic-weary basketball fans, the NBA and ESPN will be televising a first of its kind H-O-R-S-E competition on Easter Sunday. The virtual competition will pit eight NBA and WNBA players and legends against other and compete to match shots in a single-elimination tournament from their isolated home courts. State Farm will donate more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus response efforts.
According to the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine tally, there are almost 453,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 16,000 deaths.