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  • More than one million people worldwide -- including more than 245,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Friday, April 3, continue below:  Libya confirms 1st coronavirus-related death Update 4:35 a.m. EDT April 3: Libya’s National Center for Disease Control confirmed the country’s first novel coronavirus-related fatality in a statement released Thursday. The patient, who was not diagnosed until after hear death, was an 85-year-old woman. According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the North African nation has reported a total of 11 infections to date. Lenders question Friday rollout of $349B small business coronavirus relief program Update 4:23 a.m. EDT April 3: The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program is slated to launch today, but banks tapped to disperse the emergency federal small business loans told The Washington Post they are skeptical the plan is rollout-ready. “Having just received guidance outlining how to implement a $349 billion program literally hours before it starts, we would ask for everyone to be patient as banks move heaven and earth to get a system in place and running to help America’s small businesses and the millions of men and women who work at them,” Richard Hunt, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Bankers Association, said in a statement. The Paycheck Protection Program, considered a key element of the $2.2 trillion economic relief package approved by Congress one week ago, is intended to deliver a “sharply streamlined, same-day approval process unheard of in the history of federally backed small business lending,” the Post reported. Several participating lenders indicated in interviews with the Post as late as Thursday, however, that they are still awaiting finalized program guidelines from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration before processing any applications despite today’s launch date. Amid coronavirus crisis Disney to furlough employees ‘whose jobs aren't necessary at this time’ Update 3:28 a.m. EDT April 3: Walt Disney Co. has officially notified employees that those “whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time” will be furloughed beginning April 19. The global entertainment empire shuttered all 12 of its theme parks on March 12 and has been paying its employees salaries in the interim. Per the latest announcement, those payments will cease on April 18. The company said in its statement it has been “forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees” because there is “no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses.” All furloughed workers will remain employed by Disney and retain their benefits. Mexico’s Grupo Modelo halts production of Corona beer Update 2:54 a.m. EDT April 3: Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo announced late Thursday it will temporarily halt production of Corona beer as the novel coronavirus pandemic pits essential products against those deemed nonessential. In a news release, Grupo Modelo said the move is in response to the Mexican government’s Tuesday directive that suspends temporarily most industries not deemed “essential” services such as health care and agriculture. In turn, the company plans to cease producing its brews on Sunday with no clear timeline outlined for a return to production. Supplies seized from suspected Brooklyn hoarder donated to medical staffs fighting coronavirus Update 2:32 a.m. EDT April 3: Some New York and New Jersey medical personnel are slightly better stocked after a Brooklyn man’s arrest led authorities to a stockpile of hoarded medical supplies, CNN reported. Prosecutors contend in court documents that Baruch Feldheim, 43, sold N95 masks to doctors and nurses at substantially inflated prices. In turn, the roughly 192,000 in-demand respirator masks and assorted other supplies are being redistributed to medical personnel across New York and New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sony launches $100 million global coronavirus relief fund Update 2 a.m. EDT April 3: Sony is preparing to launch $100 million fund to provide global relief to those affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the coronavirus crisis and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted,” Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, adding, “In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus the children who are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community.'   US coronavirus deaths hit 6,053, total cases top 245K Update 12:30 a.m. EDT April 3: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 245,000 early Friday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 245,540 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 6,053 deaths. U.S. cases now more than double the 115,242 reported in Italy and the 112,065 confirmed in Spain. Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 2,374 – or roughly 40 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 537 in New Jersey and 417 in Michigan.  In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 92,720 confirmed cases – or more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 25,590 and California with 11,042. Seven other states have now confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • Michigan: 10,791, including 417 deaths • Louisiana: 9,159, including 310 deaths • Florida: 9,008, including 144 deaths • Massachusetts: 8,966, including 154 deaths • Illinois: 7,695, including 163 deaths • Pennsylvania: 7,268, including 90 deaths • Washington: 6,588, including 271 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia and Texas each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections; Connecticut, Colorado and Indiana each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Ohio, Tennessee and Maryland each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • To help reduce the density of homeless people staying in shelters in the Seattle area and slow the spread of the coronavirus, King County announced Thursday that it will move nearly 400 people to hotels. The county negotiated with three hotels that will serve as temporary shelters for those who are experiencing homelessness. One hundred people will move to a hotel in Bellevue, 90 people will be moved to a hotel in SeaTac and 200 people will move to a hotel in Renton. Officials with the county said this will allow those locations to stay open 24/7. Shelter operators will be onsite to provide oversight. The hotels will not be isolation or quarantine facilities, officials said. The people moving to the hotels are presumed to be well. The transition from the shelters is expected to happen early next week. County officials said they are finalizing agreements with the hotels, which will not be open to other guests during the coronavirus emergency.
  • About a week after a Gwinnett County man was accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend in front of their 1-year-old son, he was tracked down to DeKalb County and arrested. Deputies took Venezia Cole, 26, into custody Thursday night at an undisclosed location in DeKalb, according to a Facebook post by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office. After the March 25 incident, police announced a manhunt for Cole, AJC.com previously reported. RELATED: Police seek man accused of shooting ex-girlfriend in front of their 1-year-old The shooting took place about 3:30 p.m. at a home on Laurel Bend Court, according to Gwinnett police. Cole is accused of shooting the 22-year-old woman multiple times in the driveway. He also allegedly fired several shots at the house, but no one was inside. He was supposed to be dropping off diapers when the shooting happened, a family member told police. The child was not injured during the incident. “We’re thankful to know the victim of this horrific crime somehow survived her injuries and that her one year old son did not lose his mother,” the sheriff’s office said in the post. “This family remains in our thoughts and prayers as they recover from this trauma.” Cole faces three counts of aggravated assault, five counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and one count of aggravated battery, first-degree child cruelty and second-degree criminal damage to property.  He remains in the Gwinnett County jail without bond, according to online jail records. In other news:
  • Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that he is donating $100 million to food banks across the country during the coronavirus pandemic. “Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly,” Bezos said in his Instagram post. “Non-profit food banks and food pantries rely in large part on surplus food from a range of food businesses. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But during this time of social distancing, restaurants are closed, and many other normal channels of excess food have also shut down. To make matters worse, as supply is dwindling, demand for food bank services is going up.” Bezos said the donation will go to Feeding America, a nonprofit that will distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, which will help families who need it. “We are deeply grateful for Jeff Bezos’ generous $100 million contribution to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. This donation, the largest single gift in our history, will enable us to provide more food to millions of our neighbors facing hardship during this crisis. Countless lives will be changed because of his generosity,' said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.
  • The first stimulus checks will be sent to Americans in two weeks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced at the coronavirus task force press briefing Thursday evening in Washington. »COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS Mnuchin said the money would be in people’s accounts earlier than the original three weeks. “I’m now committing to two weeks. We’re delivering on our commitments.” Mnuchin, who oversees the IRS, said the IRS will ensure that “within two weeks the first money will be in people’s accounts.”  »Sign up for our new coronavirus newsletter President Donald Trump said he authorized temporary hospital operation in New York, Dallas and New Orleans. He emphasized the federal government is not the first resort for states. “We are a secondary source,” Trump said. He also invoked the Defense Production Act, which he said in an earlier statement will “save lives by removing obstacles in the supply chain that threaten the rapid production of ventilators.” According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, such measures are too late for his state.
  • Delta Airlines stepping up to do its part to help out during the Coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has obviously slowed things down for everyone, including Delta. So they decided to use their Delta tech ops employees at Delta Flight Products, to produce and distribute facial shields, not only here in Georgia, but a couple of thousand in hard-hit New York City, as well. This employee tells WSB he is so impressed with Delta and thrilled to be helping out.