A difficult week ahead in the coronavirus fight begins with a US death toll nearing 10,000

CNN's Wolf Blitzer says thank you to the doctors, nurses and essential workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Apr 6, 2020 7:20 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2020 7:20 AM

The coronavirus pandemic -- with a death toll nearing 10,000 -- is not yet under control, a top US health official warned as the nation prepares to enter its most critical week yet in the fight against the outbreak.

Despite measures to enforce social distancing and supply medical workers with the resources necessary to treat patients, "we are struggling to get (the pandemic) under control," Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The number of cases nationwide climbed to at least 337,620 on Sunday, and the death toll jumped to at least 9,643, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Officials have cautioned that the week ahead will be a grim one, bringing more cases and deaths. The US surgeon general said it will be the "hardest and the saddest" week many Americans have ever faced.

"I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel," US surgeon general Vice Admiral Jerome Adams said on "Fox News Sunday."

He described the week ahead as a "Pearl Harbor moment" and a "9/11 moment."

New York reports drop in deaths

Still, the weekend brought some promising news in New York, the state reporting the most cases and deaths.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported a drop in the daily number of reported deaths in the state on Sunday for the first time in days. He also said ICU admissions and daily intubations were down and the hospital discharge rate was "way up."

But Cuomo cautioned that it is still too soon to determine if the trend will hold, calling the developments "a few signs that are a little hopeful" that the state is approaching its peak in cases and will begin to plateau.

Across the country, state leaders are still scrambling to pull together enough resources to battle the outbreak.

The coroner's office and mortuaries in New Orleans have reached their limit, said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. She's asked the federal government for additional refrigeration. The city is also responding to the influx of patients by converting its convention center into an emergency hospital set to open Monday.

There were more than 13,000 reported cases of coronavirus and 477 deaths in Louisiana early Monday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday his state could run out of ventilators by the end of the week if cases continue to surge.

Hard hit Pennsylvania saw an increase of 1,494 cases Sunday, the governor's office said, bringing the statewide total to more than 11,500. New Jersey reported another 3,482 cases on Sunday for a total of 37,505. At least 917 people have died in the state, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's office said.

Religious holidays threaten social distancing

This week is Holy Week in the Christian faith, leading up to Easter. And with the Jewish holiday of Passover beginning Wednesday evening and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan later this month, those urging social distancing are warning against gatherings that go against coronavirus guidance.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at a press conference Sunday urged worshipers to stay home this holiday.

"I know it's a very difficult thing, as a Catholic, Easter Sunday for me next week, Palm Sunday today," Walsh said. "But that is not what we need right now. We need prayers right now, that's what we need."

Many states have made exemptions from stay at home orders for religious gatherings. And even in states that haven't, some church leaders are still holding service.

Rev. Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was charged last week with violating the state's ban and Sunday he gathered again with 1,200 people.

"We don't get our rights to worship freely from the government. We get those from God," Spell said Sunday. "We'd rather obey God than man."

Other institutions are holding services virtually to maintain safety and spiritual connection.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Sunday thanked religious leaders who held services online, calling it the "safest way to keep us all connected."

Distributing help to hotspots

Under the weight of the pandemic, individuals and officials are seeking innovative ways to help those most affected.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will open more than 1,500 beds for civilians at hospitals in multiple states to alleviate the burden on hospitals under siege from coronavirus, according to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

Aid from the VA will be distributed in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Michigan and Massachusetts.

Californians are wearing homemade masks to avoid buying the medical masks needed at hospitals that are low on supplies. President Donald Trump on Friday announced guidance that Americans wear face coverings.

Elsewhere, additional personnel, hospital beds and medical equipment are being brought in with the hope of relieving the growing strain on medical workers like Dr. Sneha Topgi, who works in an emergency department in Brooklyn.

She describes an emergency room where it seems almost every patient, no matter what they originally came in for, is found to have coronavirus and where medical professionals are maneuvering through hallways where patients are put in beds and stretchers.

Staff writes their name on the body-covering personal protective equipment they wear so patients have some sense of connection with the people treating them.

"I think we're still at the beginning and I am scared. I'm scared for myself and I'm scared for everyone in general."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Angola
Clear
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Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
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Huntington
Scattered Clouds
92° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 93°
Decatur
Clear
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Van Wert
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Heat Continues Monday
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