Gap, Kohl’s, Macy’s to furlough workers due to coronavirus downturn
Written by Leah Jones on April 1, 2020
narvikk/iStock(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 36,900 people across the globe.
The new respiratory virus, which causes an illness known officially as COVID-19, has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica since first emerging in China in December. There are now more than 775,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Over 164,000 of those patients have recovered from the disease.
With more than 159,000 diagnosed COVID-19 cases, the United States has by far the highest national tally in the world. At least 2,945 people have died in the U.S.
Here’s how the news developed Monday. All times Eastern:
11:21 p.m.: At least five dead from coronavirus in Massachusetts veterans’ home
The mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, said the city is grief-stricken following the death of 11 residents of a local veterans’ home.
Officials said that at least five residents of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke had died from COVID-19 and that authorities were still waiting for test results from five more of the deceased.
Eleven other residents of the Western Massachusetts facility have also been diagnosed with the virus.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced it had placed the home’s superintendent on administrative leave following the deaths.
“To the families who have lost a loved one, know that all of Holyoke shares your grief,” said Mayor Alex Morse, who ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half mast in honor of those who died.
9:38 p.m.: Cuomo calls for “rolling” approach to fighting pandemic
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on health care workers from beyond New York to help his state through its fight against the coronavirus, so New York will be able to reciprocate.
“[The virus] will happen at different times across the country, and if we’re really smart, we address it in a rolling apex as I call it,” Cuomo told ABC News’ World News Tonight anchor David Muir during the 20/20 special, “America Rising: Fighting the Pandemic.” “When a community really has an intense need, let’s all go help that community. They get past it, and then we move on to the next.”
“New York happens to be the first one — we are the tip of the spear, and I hope people help us,” the governor said. “I’m asking other health care professionals from across the country: Come help New York, and we will reciprocate and will be there to help you when you need help.”
Cuomo said that based on data from “four or five modelers,” the apex of the virus in New York is expected to arrive “anywhere from about one week for the apex, some people saying another 21 days.”
“Every model however, shows it well over the capacity of the health care system,” he added.
8:13 p.m.: More than 100 detainees test positive in Cook County Jail
Administrators at Cook County Jail in Illinois said that 134 detainees have tested positive for COVID-19.
The number is more than triple the 38 detainees who tested positive on Friday. So far, only nine detainees have tested negative, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
Twenty sheriff’s office staff members have also tested positive, according to administrators.
7:07 p.m.: New York City deaths near 1,000
New York City’s Health Department released new figures about its growing COVID-19 cases showing that 914 have died from the virus.
This was a jump of 124 coronavirus fatalities from a Health Department report issued earlier in the day.
Overall, the city has 38,087 confirmed cases, the Health Department said.
6:40 p.m.: First U.S. military member dies from disease
The Pentagon announced that a New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away from COVID-19 complications, marking the first death of an active U.S. military member.
The unidentified guardsman was diagnosed with the virus on March 19 and had been hospitalized since March 21, according to the Pentagon.
“This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement.
6:13 p.m.: NYPD loses fourth officer to COVID-19
The New York Police Department announced that it has lost its fourth member to the coronavirus.
School Safety Agent Sabrina Jefferson was a 26-year veteran who was stationed in Queens, according to the NYPD. There are 824 uniformed members and 106 civilian members who tested positive for COVID-19, the department said.
The police are awaiting the test results from Senior Police Administrative Aide Gwendolyn King, who died on Monday.
6:04 p.m.: President says national stay-at-home order ‘pretty unlikely’
President Trump said his administration has mulled a national stay-at-home order, but added, “it’s pretty unlikely I would think at this time,” during his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House.
The president said he would defer such decisions to individual governors.
“Staying at home with respect to what we’re talking about doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “People should be staying at home. That’s what we want.”
Also at the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would anticipate the virus coming back in the fall, but noted that the world may be better equipped to handle it.
He cited the ongoing lab work to develop a treatment, and the search for a vaccine to give the public better protection against the virus.
“If you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ball game of what happened when we first got hit with it in the beginning of this year,” he said.
5:45 p.m.: Dozens of Marines test positive at boot camp
Between 35 to 40 Marine recruits and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at its Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, a defense official told ABC News.
The Marine Corps said it would suspend sending recruits to that boot camp, which is the service’s largest camp in the East Coast.
“Recruit training for individuals already at the Depot will continue as planned, with continued emphasis on personal and environmental cleanliness and social distancing,” the Marine Corps said in a statement
The Marine Corps will continue to send recruits to its West Coast boot camp, but they are receiving a decreased number “to ensure that there is enough space to provide social distancing and adequate staff to safely screen and evaluate incoming recruits,” according to a Marine representative.
4:48 p.m.: GAP to furlough most of its staff
The GAP is the latest retail giant to announce it will furlough most of its North American employees.
Company officials said the move comes as sales from its clothing stores have dropped due to the pandemic.
The chain said it would continue provide its employees with their benefits during the furlough period, which will last until stores reopen. Sonia Syngal, the president and CEO of Gap Inc., said that corporate leaders will be taking a pay cut as well.
“We are doing everything we can to provide support during this time, and we are intensely focused on welcoming back our store teams and customers as soon as we are able,” she said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Macy’s announced it would furlough the majority of its workforce starting this week.
Nordstrom said last week it was furloughing a portion of its corporate staff, and the company that operates DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse said it was furloughing 80% of its workers, according to the Associated Press.
3:45 p.m.: Renowned doctor dies from coronavirus
Dr. James Goodrich, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at New York City’s Montefiore Medical Center, died of COVID-19 complications on Monday, according to the medical center.
Goodrich specialized in children with complex neurological conditions and created an approach for separating twins who are fused at the brain and skull, according to the medical center, where he worked for three decades.
In 2016, he famously led a team of doctors in a 27-hour-long procedure to separate 13-month-old twin boys.
Goodrich was not only a “pioneer” in his field, but also “a humble and truly caring man” remembered for baking holiday cookies and delivering them to the Children’s Hospital nurses each year, Montefiore Medical Center officials said in a statement.
“Dr. Goodrich was a beacon of our institution and he will be truly missed,” Montefiore Medicine CEO Dr. Philip Ozuah said in a statement. “His expertise and ability were second only to his kind heart and manner.”
“Dr. Goodrich was admired by his Montefiore Einstein colleagues and adored by his patients and Montefiore Einstein will not be the same without his presence,” Ozuah said.
3:25 p.m.: Pastor arrested for holding services despite safer at home order
A Florida pastor has been arrested after he allegedly held two large services on Sunday despite a safer at home order issued in the state.
Tampa-area pastor Rodney Howard-Browne “intentionally and repeatedly chose to disregard the order set in place by our president, our governor, the CDC, and the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a news conference Monday.
He was arrested on a charge of unlawful assembly in violation of a public health emergency order.
Chronister said the pastor’s “reckless disregard for human life put hundreds” of congregants and thousands of residents at risk.
Since Friday, the sheriff’s office was in contact with The River at Tampa Bay Church and received an anonymous tip that Howard-Browne refused the request to stop large gatherings, the sheriff said.
Officers went to the church to speak with Howard-Browne, but according to the sheriff, the pastor would not speak with them. Attorneys for the church told the sheriff’s office that they refused to cancel services, according to Chronister.
The church could have opted for livestream services, but instead disobeyed the safer at home order and even provided bus transportation for parishioners, the sheriff said.
Howard-Browne told congregants Sunday, “I know they’re trying to beat me up about having the church operational, but we are not a nonessential service.”
2 p.m.: Maryland governor worried pandemic will soon escalate in DC area
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is warning that medical experts say the coronavirus pandemic could escalate within two weeks in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland region, where it could resemble the current level of cases in New York City.
Hogan issued a “stay-at-home” executive order on Monday that directs state residents to stay at home unless they have an essential job, need to leave buy food or medicine, or get medical attention.
The governor warned that violators would be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.
He also said that residents should not travel out of state unless absolutely necessary.
Maryland has now surpassed 1,400 cases of COVID-19.
A stay-at-home order was also issued Monday in Virginia where at least 25 people have died.
1:30 p.m.: Over 1,000 dead in New York State
At least 1,218 have died from coronavirus in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
“We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me we’re beyond staggering already,” Cuomo said. “The only point now is do everything you can to save every life possible.”
Only one county in New York State has no diagnosed COVID-19 cases, Cuomo said.
Over 66,000 people have tested positive in the state, including 9,500 patients in hospitals, Cuomo said. Of those in hospitals, 2,300 people are in intensive care units.
Over 4,200 people have been hospitalized and discharged, he said.
New York City still has too much density, Cuomo said, threatening to close down playgrounds if people do not stay inside or maintain effective social distancing while going outside for fresh air.
12:40 p.m.: Cruise lines extend suspensions
After the coronavirus outbreak quarantined thousands of passengers on massive cruise liners, Carnival Cruise Line said Monday it will continue to suspend operations in North America through May 11.
Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival, said it will extend its suspension of global ship operations through May 14.
Royal Caribbean has currently suspended global operations through May 11 and Princess Cruise Line has suspended trips until at least May 10.
Norwegian Cruise Line currently plans to lift its suspension on April 12.
12:26 p.m.: Italy now has over 100,000 reported cases
Italy — by far the hardest-hit when it comes to fatalities — has now reached 101,739 total coronavirus cases, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.
As of Monday, 11,591 people in Italy have died, officials said
But Italy — which went on a country-wide lockdown on March 9 — is seeing some positive news as the total number of active infected patients rose by only 2.2% over the last 24 hours. There were 1,648 new cases in the last day, as opposed to 3,815 from the day before.
Also, the number of patients reported as having recovered from the illness as of Monday is the highest daily total reported so far with 1,590 no longer infected.
11:50 a.m.: USNS Comfort arrives in New York
The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in the harbor of hard-hit New York City Monday morning.
The ship will treat non-coronavirus patients on board to try to lighten the burden on the city’s hospitals where doctors are focusing on combating the pandemic.
At least 776 people have died in New York City.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the ship’s arrival a “major moment in this long battle.”
“Our nation has heard our plea for help,” he said. “There could not be a better example of all of America pulling for New York City than the arrival of the USNS Comfort.
The mayor called the ship a “big boost” in the city’s need to triple hospital bed capacity by May.
To all New Yorkers, the mayor said, “We are not alone. Our nation is helping us in our hour of need.”
As the death toll climbs in New York, the mayor warned, “the toughest weeks are still ahead.”
Another hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, has opened for business in the port of Los Angeles, where it’ll be treating non-coronavirus patients on board.
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