California secures 200M masks per month; Massachusetts gives $800M to providers + 20 other updates from the 6 hardest-hit states

Below are 22 updates from the six states hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic:

New York (140,386 cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. For the second day in a row, New York saw its largest spike in single-day deaths from COVID-19, reporting 779, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a media briefing April 8. The daily rate of new hospitalizations is trending down. The curve is flattening, and people in the state must double down on the precautions they are already taking, the governor said.

2. As of 5:25 a.m. CDT, April 8, 5,489 people have died from the novel coronavirus in New York, of which 61 percent are men, according to new data from New York's health department. Most of the deaths, 82.3 percent, have occurred among people older than 60. A little over half of the deaths are among those 70 to 90 years old.

The data also shows that 86.2 percent of COVID-19 patients who died had at least one underlying condition. The most common underlying conditions among those who died were hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

3. Mr. Cuomo also said April 8 that the data shows people in black and Latino communities are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state plans to test more heavily in those communities to gather more research and data on why this might be happening, he said. The effort will be led by the State University of New York at Albany, with assistance from New York City-based Northwell Health and the state department of health.

4. The death toll continues to rise in New York City, but the number may be higher than official counts, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, according to The New York Times. The mayor said on CNN 100 to 200 people who die in their homes daily may be victims of the new coronavirus.

Read more about measures New York is taking here.

New Jersey (44,416 confirmed cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. New Jersey is extending its public health emergency by 30 days, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced in an April 7 media briefing. He signed an executive order to extend the public health emergency initially declared March 9.

"Extending this order ensures we will continue to take appropriate steps to protect the public health and welfare of New Jerseyans," the governor tweeted.

2. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is sending 100 ventilators to New Jersey, Mr. Murphy announced in an April 7 tweet.

New Jersey has distributed more than 1.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment, but still needs more, as well as ventilators, Mr. Murphy said during an April 7 media briefing.

"We continue to pursue every possible avenue for PPE on our own, whether that's on the open market or from the strategic national stockpile," the governor said

3. New Jersey saw its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths in New Jersey since the beginning of the pandemic, CNBC reported.

On April 7, the governor said that 3,361 people tested positive for COVID-19, and 232 people died from complications associated with the virus.

Of the 232 deaths, 33 were tied to long-term care facilities.

4. State officials reported on April 7 that about 1,651 COVID-19 patients were in "critical care," The New York Times reports.

That number increased by 151 patients from the previous day. Ninety percent of the state's COVID-19 patients — about 1,540 people — are on ventilators.

The number of patients in critical care and on ventilators is far below New Jersey's worst-case scenario, the officials said.

Read more about measures New Jersey is taking here.

Michigan (18,970 confirmed cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has approved 55 requests to add 4,146 beds for COVID-19 patients at state hospitals in the last three weeks, Mlive.com reports.

State officials have been speeding the approval process since Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order on March 17 that enabled any hospital to expand, regardless of the number of beds or location.

2. The Michigan Senate and House of Representatives voted to extend the state's emergency declaration and disaster order by 23 days, denying Ms. Whitmer's request for a 70-day extension Click On Detroit reports.

The declaration will take the governor's emergency powers up to April 30.

Michigan's stay-at-home order will end April 14, but the governor is expected to extend the order.

3. The governor signed an executive order April 7 to temporarily suspend requirements regarding the licensing and regulation of emergency medical services, NBC25 News reports.

The order temporarily lifts the state's requirement to conduct annual random inspections of life support vehicles or agencies, and enables patients to be transported "to any destination designated by the medical control authority or other regulatory authority, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or the local health department."

The order also reduces ambulance staffing and licensing requirements and extends the expiration dates of all emergency medical services personnel licenses and certifications in basic cardiac life support.

4. The Trump administration on April 8 awarded Detroit-based General Motors a $489.4 million contract to build 30,000 ventilators for the national stockpile, CNBC reports.

The contract is the first for ventilators under the Defense Production Act, invoked by President Trump March 27.

GM will begin production next week and provide the government with the ventilators by the end of August. The first 6,123 ventilators are to be delivered by June 1, according to the contract.

Read more about measures Michigan is taking here.

California (17,625 confirmed cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has entered into several production deals with nonprofits that will provide 200 million medical masks per month for hospital workers in the state, according to Politico. The state will spend about $990 million in state funds on the protective gear, according to a letter sent to lawmakers. 

"We've been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government for PPE — coveralls, masks, shields, N95 masks — and we're not waiting around any longer,’" Mr. Newsom told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow April 7. "We decided enough is enough: Let's use the purchasing power of the state of California as a nation-state."

2. The California surgeon general rolled out a "playbook" to help Californians reduce stress during the pandemic and stay-at-home order. Included in the playbook are such tips as exercising for 60 minutes a day and eating nutritiously. Phone numbers for services offering mental health support are included.

3. As of April 7,  California hospitals have secured 11,000 more ventilators, The Sacramento Bee reported. State officials are working to get 10,000 more ventilators before the anticipated mid-May COVID-19 surge of patients.

4. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered all Los Angeles residents to wear masks when traveling to and visiting essential businesses, according to The New York Times. The order begins April 10.

Louisiana (16,284 confirmed cases as of 5:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. Louisiana reported its largest single-day spike in coronavirus deaths, with 70 deaths occurring from April 7 to April 8, according to The Hill. But the rate of new COVID-19 cases fell in the same time period.

2. Louisiana reported 582 deaths due to COVID-19, as of 12 p.m. on April 7, according to data from the state health department. About 70 percent of the people who have died were African American, and about 66 percent had hypertension. Other common underlying conditions included diabetes (43.5 percent of deaths) and chronic kidney disease (25 percent).

3. Louisiana is unlikely to run out of hospital beds or ventilators "in the next 10 days to two weeks," Gov. John Bel Edwards said April 7, according to the News Star. Previously, state officials predicted the state would exceed its ventilator and hospital bed capacity this week.

The state has scaled back its orders for ventilators from 14,000 to 1,000, according to the report. 

Read more about measures Louisiana is taking here.

Massachusetts (15,202 confirmed cases as of 7:25 a.m. CDT April 8)

1. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration is providing $800 million in funding to healthcare providers in the state that have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding comes after several hospitals and health systems in the state announced furloughs and pay cuts. From the new funds, hospitals will receive $400 million; nursing facilities will receive $80 million; and $300 will be distributed among community health centers, ambulance companies and other providers.

The $800 million comes in addition to the $290 million in immediate cash relief and $550 million in accelerated payments to providers announced last month. 

2. A military base in Bourne, Mass., the Joint Base Cape Cod, was chosen as a site for a COVID-19 field hospital, according to CapeNews.net. The hospital will care for COVID-19 patients who no longer need acute hospital care but are not ready for discharge. 

3. The governor imposed additional occupancy restrictions in the state, according to MassLive. As a result, grocery stores must now cut their standard occupancy levels by 60 percent, according to the report.

More articles on public health:
1 in 8 Americans know someone with COVID-19
The US populations tested most, least for COVID-19
The 4 benchmarks needed to end social distancing

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