In New York, one of the hardest hit states, rates of hospitalization, intubation and deaths are down, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
He said the state is planning for a phased reopening, starting with construction and manufacturing activities at “those businesses that have a low risk.”
The earliest the state will begin its first phase of reopening is May 15 but only in regions that have seen a 14-day decline in hospitalizations.
How much longer to stay at home
Officials at all levels of government are weighing how to proceed and when to reopen their communities.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will explain emergency orders Monday on the reopening of parks, waterways and golf courses, his press office said Sunday. But at the state level, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he is not putting a date on the state reopening, even though the Florida’s stay at home orders are set to expire Thursday.
“We are going to do everything in a smart way,” DeSantis said in a news conference Sunday. “I am less concerned about the date and more concerned about getting it right.”
Reports of overexposure to disinfectants
In Michigan, there were 65 reported overexposure cases between April 1 and April 25, a 400% increase from the same time last year. In addition to cleaning supply overexposure, Tennessee’s poison control center has seen a jump in the number of people hospitalized from exposure to hydrogen peroxide, a common ingredient in disinfectants, according to the Tennessean newspaper.
In Illinois calls to poison control included someone who used a detergent based solution for a sinus rinse and another who gargled a mixture of mouthwash and bleach to kill germs, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said during a Saturday afternoon news conference.
“All I know is this, when the person with the most powerful position on the planet is encouraging people to think about disinfectants whether it was serious or not, people listen,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told ABC’s “This Week.” “I want to say unequivocally, no one should be using disinfectants to digest it to fight Covid-19, please don’t do it.”
Hope in antibodies and treatments
Researchers across the country are working to find effective methods to fight the virus.
“We don’t know if it has any benefit. We really don’t. I swear we don’t,” he said. “People are hoping for anything. But we need to do this clinical trial.”
Physicians at a hospital in Orlando, Florida, said Sunday that at least two patients are seeing “drastic improvements” after convalescent plasma transplants, which uses the antibodies from recovered patients to treat those who are currently sick.
Testing of antibodies will also help Boston to evaluate exposure to the virus in the city. Mayor Martin Walsh announced that 1,000 asymptomatic residents will undergo diagnostic and antibody testing, which is expected to be done by Friday.
More outbreaks at meat plants
The ongoing pandemic, meanwhile, has led to the closure of another meat production plant.
A JBS USA beef production plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will temporarily close due to the pandemic, the company announced Sunday. The county where the plant is located has at least 776 confirmed cases and two deaths as of Sunday.
Processing plants and slaughterhouses have been shutting their doors in recent weeks. Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, JBS pork processing in Worthington, Minnesota, and Tyson Fresh Foods in Waterloo, Iowa, three of the largest pork processing plants in the country, have already closed indefinitely while smaller ones have done so temporarily.
“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Smithfield Foods CEO Ken Sullivan said. “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running.”
CNN’s Holly Yan, Devan Cole, Chuck Johnston, Elizabeth Cohen, Sheena Jones, Laura Ly and Erica Henry contributed to this report.