Nearly 4.6 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.4 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies.
Live updates for Saturday, May 16, continue below:
Preakness Stakes rescheduled for Oct. 3
Update 11:41 p.m. EDT May 16: The running of the 145th Preakness Stakes is rescheduled for Oct. 3 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
“We all wish we could have been together today to celebrate the Preakness but we stayed home and stayed safe and now we can look forward to Preakness 145 on Oct. 3,” Belinda Stronach, chairwoman and president of the Stronach Group, which owns the Pimlico, said in a statement.
The race, the second leg in horse racing's triple crown, was postponed because of the coronavirus. The race is typically held in May.
The other two Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, were also postponed.The Derby has been rescheduled for Sept. 5. A new dates for the Belmont Stakes has not been released.
Federal judge issues order allowing North Carolina churches to hold services indoors
Update 9:01 p.m. EDT May 16: A federal judge has issued a temporary order that prevents North Carolina from prohibiting places of worship to hold services indoors.
The order is effective immediately and will last for at least 14 days.
According to the order, the state and law enforcement cannot take any legal action against churches and those who hold services inside.
The order blocks Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order which only allowed indoor services and weddings to be held for gatherings of 10 people or fewer.
Cooper’s executive order said churches were allowed to hold outdoor services while following social distancing guidelines.
"We don't want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of COVID-19," according to a statement from Cooper's office. "While our office disagrees with the decision, we will not appeal, but instead urge houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe."
Extent of virus suppressed, top China health official says
Update 8:23 p.m. EDT May 16: City officials were slow to report the extent to which the coronavirus could be transmitted and other details during the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, the country's top health officials told CNN.
"The local authorities, they didn't like to tell the truth at that time," Dr. Zhong Nanshan, China's senior medical adviser, told CNN. "At the very beginning they kept silent, and then I said probably we have (a larger) number of people being infected."
Zhong became skeptical when the same number of cases were reported for more than a week.
"I didn't believe that result, so I (kept) asking and then, you have to give me the real number," he said. "I suppose they are very reluctant to answer my question."
Zhong later reported that the virus could be transmitted from person to person, something officials in Wuhan had said there was no evidence of, CNN reported.
China's National Health Commission has reported more than 82,000 cases and 4,633 deaths from the coronavirus, CNN reported.
Florida hospital system says thousands of coronavirus tests unreliable
Update 7:06 p.m. EDT May 16: Results from more than 35,000 coronavirus tests of Florida patients are unreliable and have created "unacceptable delays," AdventHealth said.
A third-party lab performed the tests which showed negative and positive results, The Associated Press reported. Other tests had been at the lab for a while.
The health care system operates 49 hospitals in nine states. Hospital officials said two of the states were not affected by the unreliable tests. About 25,000 of the tests were in central Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
More sailors from USS Roosevelt retest positive for virus
Update 5:44 p.m. EDT May 16: More sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt have retested positive for the coronavirus, Politico reported.
Eight more sailors have retested positive. It is unclear if they were reinfected with the virus or if low levels of the virus had remained in their system. Five other sailors retested positive earlier in the week.
The sailors had tested negative for the virus twice during self-quarantine before they were allowed to return to the ship in late April.
Sailors again began showing symptoms of the virus in May.
"The ship remains on the road to recovery and will prepare to get back underway once a critical mass of crew with the required expertise is onboard," Navy spokesperson Cmdr. Myers Vasquez told Politico.
WHO says don’t spray disinfectants to kill virus
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT May 16: The World Health Organization said spraying disinfectants outside or across broad spaces indoors to try to kill coronavirus can do more harm than good. The organization said. WHO also said spraying people with disinfectant was a bad idea.
“Moreover, spraying disinfectants can result in risks to the eyes, respiratory or skin irritation and the resulting health effects,” WHO said. “Spraying or fogging of certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorine-based agents or quaternary ammonium compounds, is not recommended due to adverse health effects on workers in facilities where these methods have been utilized."
Pence will travel for first time since press secretary tested positive
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT May 16: Vice President Mike Pence will travel for the first time since his press secretary, Katie Harris, tested positive for the coronavirus on May 8. Pence will travel to Orlando, Florida, where he will meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis, CNN reported.
Pence also will deliver personal protective equipment to a nursing home, and chair a roundtable discussion with hospitality and tourism leaders to discussed plans for reopening venues in the state, according to a news release from the vice president’s office.
Cuomo: Horse racing tracks, Watkins Glen can reopen
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT May 16: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said horse racing tracks will be allowed to open statewide June 1. Cuomo also said the Watkins Glen International Speedway, scheduled to host a NASCAR race this summer, will be open.
“If you can have economic activity without a crowd that’s great," Cuomo said. “There will guidelines for the actual participants, but no crowds, no fans but for the industry itself, for the televised viewers that can still work.”
FDA approves first ‘standalone’ at home sample kit
Update 10:53 a.m. EDT May 16: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has authorized "an at-home sample collection kit" that can be sent to specific laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.
In a statement, the FDA said the kit, manufactured by Everlywell, Inc., received an emergency use authorization “to be used by individuals at home who have been screened using an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a health care provider."
“The FDA has also authorized two COVID-19 diagnostic tests, performed at specific laboratories, for use with samples collected using the Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit," the FDA said. “These tests have been authorized under separate, individual EUAs (emergency use authorizations). Additional tests may be authorized for use with the Everlywell at-home collection kit in the future, provided data are submitted in an EUA request that demonstrate the accuracy of each test when used with the Everlywell at-home collection kit."
Italy will lift some travel restrictions
Update 8:26 a.m. EDT May 16: Italian officials said travel restrictions will be lifted beginning June 3, which will open the door to renewed tourism, The New York Times reported.
The order will allow freer movement by public and private transportation. If there is a new outbreak of the coronavirus, the government can reinstate restrictive measures, according to a statement. On Monday, shops, bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses will reopen in the country with tight social distancing and hygiene rules.
Worldwide cases approach 4.6M, total deaths top 308K
Update 7:53 a.m. EDT May 16: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 308,165 early Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 4,563,458 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 12 nations now have total infection counts higher than China's 84,038, with totals in India and Peru overtaking the country of origin within the past 24 hours.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,443,397 cases, resulting in 87,568 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 272,043 cases, resulting in 2,537 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 238,004 cases, resulting in 34,078 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 230,183 cases, resulting in 27,459 deaths.
• Italy has reported 223,885 cases, resulting in 31,610 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 220,291 cases, resulting in 14,962 deaths.
• France has confirmed 179,630 cases, resulting in 27,532 deaths.
• Germany has reported 175,699 cases, resulting in 7,913 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 146,457 cases, resulting in 4,055 deaths
• Iran has recorded 118,392 cases, resulting in 6,937 deaths.
Kroger replacing hourly ‘hero’ pay bump with $130M in one-time employee bonuses
Update 7:02 a.m. EDT May 16: Kroger announced Friday it will spread about $130 million in "Thank You Pay" in the form of one-time bonuses among hourly employees, deemed essential due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The bonuses, however, will replace Kroger's temporary $2-per-hour pay increase, which it has provided employees since April. This means full-time employees will receive a one-time $400 bonus, while part-time employees will receive a one-time $200 bonus, The Hill reported.
Read more here.
Parolee suspected in Denver murder after coronavirus early release
Update 5:32 a.m. EDT May 16: An early parolee released recently from a Colorado prison amid coronavirus concerns is now suspected in the slaying of a Denver woman, multiple media outlets reported.
Cornelius Haney, 40, is accused of murdering Heather Perry, 21, three weeks after being released.
Haney's mandatory release date stemming from a seven-year plea he negotiated for a 2016 armed robbery charge was not scheduled until August. Perry's body was found May 9 in an east Denver alleyway, and police used surveillance video to trace Haney's movements back to the crime scene, CBS4 reported.
TSA developing plan to check passenger temperatures at some US airports
Update 3:44 a.m. EDT May 16: The Transportation Security Administration is working on a plan to check passenger temperatures as they go through security at multiple U.S. airports, a federal health official confirmed to CNN Friday.
The program, which could begin as soon as next week, would take passengers' temperatures at about a dozen unidentified airports, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Ongoing discussions with our (Department of Homeland Security) and interagency colleagues, as well as our airport and airline partners, will enable the agency to make informed decisions with regard to the health and safety of the aviation environment. The safety and security of the traveling public and our employees will always be our top priority,” the agency said in a statement.
NFL practice facilities allowed to reopen next week as coronavirus restrictions ease
Update 3:17 a.m. EDT May 16: A Friday memo from National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said that teams can reopen their facilities beginning Tuesday.
Goodell’s guidance stressed only facilities in compliance with state, local and NFL health and safety protocols will be allowed to resume operations and that the process would be gradual.
“This first phase of reopening is an important step in demonstrating our ability to operate [safely] and effectively, even in the current environment,” Goodell wrote in the memo, adding, “After we implement this first phase, and as more states and localities enact policies that allow more club facilities to reopen, I expect that additional staff, likely including coaching staff, will be allowed to return to club facilities in a relatively short time.”
US coronavirus cases surpass 1.4M, deaths near 88K
Published 12:30 a.m. EDT May 16: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.4 million early Saturday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,443,188 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 87,559 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 345,813 cases and 27,878 deaths and New Jersey with 143,984 cases and 10,148 deaths. Massachusetts, with 83,421 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 5,592, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 90,369. Only 17 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each.
Five other states have now confirmed at least 44,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 76,902 cases, resulting in 3,153 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 64,136 cases, resulting in 4,422 deaths
• Michigan: 50,079 cases, resulting in 4,825 deaths
• Texas: 45,865 cases, resulting in 1,284 deaths
• Florida: 44,138 cases, resulting in 1,917 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 33,000 cases; Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Colorado each has confirmed at least 21,000 cases, Washington state and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 17,000 cases, followed by Tennessee with 16,960; Minnesota and Iowa each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases; Arizona and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 11,000 cases; Missouri and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases, followed by Nebraska with 9,610 and South Carolina with 8,407; Kansas, Kentucky and Delaware each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases; and New Mexico and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases.