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National
Coronavirus: County in Alabama received 5,000 rotted masks from national stockpile 
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Coronavirus: County in Alabama received 5,000 rotted masks from national stockpile 

Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know

Coronavirus: County in Alabama received 5,000 rotted masks from national stockpile 

More than one million people worldwide -- including more than 236,000 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 Thursday, April 2, continue below:

County in Alabama received 5,000 rotted masks from national stockpile

Update 11 p.m. April 2: More than 5,000 medical masks that Montgomery County received from the national stockpile were rotted, the local emergency management director said Thursday.

States and cities are receiving shipments from the National Strategic Stockpile to try to relieve shortages in medical equipment because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Christi Thornton, the city/county emergency management director, said the shipment of 5,880 procedure masks received last week were unusable because of dry rot. The masks had a 2010 expiration date, according to the city’s response to a survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Thornton said they received a replacement shipment Wednesday. Dr. Don Williamson, president of the Alabama Hospital Association, said Wednesday that he is extraordinarily concerned about hospitals’ dwindling levels of personal protective equipment. He said hospitals are measuring their supplies “in terms of days, not weeks.”

Nearly 25% of Hawaii’s workers apply for unemployment

Update 9 p.m. April 2: Nearly one-quarter of Hawaii’s workers applied for unemployment benefits last month as social distancing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus socked the economy.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said 160,929 unemployment claims were filed during March. Of those, 10,495 were duplicates.

The state’s labor force has generally numbered around 660,000 for much of the past year.

U.S. Department of Labor statistics showed initial unemployment claims in Hawaii for the week through March 28 totaled 48,861 people.

Washington Gov. Inslee extends stay-at-home order through May 4

Update 8:30 p.m. April 2: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 4. The order was previously set to expire on Monday.

Inslee said the order could be extended again, but expressed optimism in the ability for Washington residents to cooperate with the restrictions and make May 4 the final date.

The restrictions remain the same: schools will remained closed, gatherings are not permitted and only essential travel and work is permitted.

Read more here.

Patriots use team plane to help fly 1 million N95 masks from China to US

Update 8 p.m. April 2: The New England Patriots private team plane returned to Boston from China on Thursday on a rainy afternoon carrying most of an order of 1 million masks critical to health care providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Standing in front of the plane on the tarmac at Logan International Airport, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft, officials in China who partnered with the state, and medical workers who need the masks.

“This shipment comes at a critical time as we prepare for an anticipated surge in the coming weeks ahead,” Baker said. “What we were able to accomplish with this particular mission will go a long way forward in this fight.”

Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers but had no way of getting them to the U.S. Baker said Thursday an earlier order for 3 million masks had been confiscated at the Port of New York and this time he wanted a direct humanitarian delivery to the state.

Read more here.

Nearly 60 homeless people suspected, confirmed with virus

Update 7:20 p.m. April 2: Nearly 60 homeless people have either been suspected or confirmed to have the coronavirus, or have been exposed to someone who has, a North Carolina health director said Thursday.

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris told members of the General Assembly that 58 people — all but one who are homeless — are staying in a hotel leased by the county for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, display symptoms and are awaiting results, or have been exposed to someone with the virus and need somewhere to isolate, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Harris said the county is working with shelters to move out people with symptoms and reduce the risk of additional spread. County officials said in late March they had leased hotels to isolate individuals who display COVID-19 symptoms and to reduce crowding in the shelters.

Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masks

Update 6:45 p.m. April 2: The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings when leaving home, in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The recommendations, still being finalized Thursday, would apply to those who live in areas hard-hit by community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force’s discussion said officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, would be reserved for those dealing directly with the sick.

Trump tests negative again

Update 6p.m. April 2: President Donald Trump has again tested negative for COVID-19.

Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier

Update 5:15 p.m. April 2:  The Navy has removed Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the Theodore Roosevelt, according to The New York Times.

Crozier raised warnings this week in a memo to his leaders. He said the ship was facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus and he asked permission to isolate the bulk of his crew members on shore, an extraordinary move to take a carrier out of duty in an effort to save lives.

Nearly 3,000 sailors aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier where the coronavirus has spread will be taken off the ship by Friday, Navy officials said as they struggle to quarantine crew members in the face of an outbreak.

So far, fewer than 100 of the nearly 5,000 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, have tested positive for the virus, but the Navy is moving sailors into various facilities and probably will begin using hotel rooms in the coming days. Navy leaders are talking with government officials in the U.S. territory to identify rooms for the crew members.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, however, made it clear Wednesday that while several thousand will leave the ship, other sailors will remain on board in order to continue to protect the ship and run critical systems.

16 dead at Virginia nursing facility

Update 4:25 p.m. April 2: Virginia long-term care facility with one of the nation’s worst known coronavirus outbreaks announced Thursday that testing conducted on all residents had more than doubled the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to nearly 100 as the number of fatalities increased to 16.

The Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in suburban Richmond tested all its residents and staff earlier this week after the virus began sweeping through the facility in mid-March, a time when limited testing supplies and strict policies on who could be tested meant such a response was not possible.

Ninety-two in-house or hospitalized residents tested positive, the statement said, up from a total earlier in the week of 41. Only 35 tested negative, and 15 tests were outstanding, meaning approximately two-thirds of the facility became infected with the virus.

Of the residents who tested positive, 53, or about 58%, were “asymptomatic carriers showing no sign of being ill,” the statement said.

The facility’s administrator, Jeremiah Davis, said in a statement that the findings were consistent with other mass testing studies.

“It is also believed that if mass testing were done at other facilities and in communities where there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19, large numbers of asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus would be found as well,” he said.

Among the 16 deaths were five over the last 24-hour period, the facility said in a statement.

Global coronavirus cases top 1 million

Update 3:50 p.m. April 2: The world reached a grim milestone Thursday afternoon when reports of coronavirus infections crossed the one-million mark, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The numbers include 236,339 infections reported in the United States -- the country with the highest number of cases -- 115,242 in Italy and 110,238 cases in Spain.

The 2019 novel coronavirus was first detected December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, more than 51,000 people worldwide have died of COVID-19. Most of the deaths, 13,915, have been reported in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins.

Passengers on Zaandam, Rotterdam cruise ships to be allowed to disembark in Florida

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT April 2: Cruise ships carrying dozens of passengers and crew displaying symptoms of the coronavirus awaited final word Thursday on when they would be able to dock at a Florida port after officials gave their tentative approval and the state’s governor dropped his previously firm opposition.

Officials were waiting for a final document, expected to arrive on Thursday, that was required to clear the Zaandam and a sister ship, the Rotterdam, to disembark at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said on Twitter.

For nearly three weeks, passengers have not been able to step on dry land. Four elderly passengers have died on the Zaandam, at least two from COVID-19, said William Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corp., which owns the ships. Nine people have tested positive for the new coronavirus, Burke said.

There are 442 guests and 603 crew on the Zaandam, and 808 guests and 583 crew on the Rotterdam. The Rotterdam was sent last week to take in some of the passengers and provide assistance to the Zaandam since it was denied permission to dock at ports in South America.

About 230 have reported influenza-like symptoms since March 22, including 14 aboard the Rotterdam, while 45 currently are mildly ill, Holland America Line, the company that operates the ships, has said.

Coronavirus infections rise above 10,000 in Michigan

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Michigan said Thursday that 1,457 new COVID-19 cases have been reported, bringing the state’s total to 10,791 cases.

Officials said 80 new fatal coronavirus infections were reported over the same period. In all, 417 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.

Melania Trumps shares well wishes for Canadian first lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 2: Melania Trump offered well wishes Thursday to Sophie Gregoire of Canada following her recovery from COVID-19.

The White House said the first lady expressed “deep appreciation” during Thursday’s conversation with the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for continued cooperation between the U.S. and Canada as they address the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump stressed the importance of maintaining strong economic ties following a joint agreement between the countries to ban nonessential travel across their shared border. She and Grégoire also discussed efforts to repatriate Americans and Canadians who have been stranded on cruise ships around the world.

Trudeau’s office announced March 13 that his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus after she returned from a trip to London. The prime minister continues to self-isolate at home in Ottawa.

Coronavirus stimulus payments expected to go out week of April 13

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials with the IRS and the Treasury Department told lawmakers Thursday that they expect to begin issuing economic stimulus payments beginning the week of April 13 after Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

Politico reported the timeline was shared Thursday with the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said the timeline remained subject to change, according to Politico.

The bill allowed for some 80 percent of U.S. adults to qualify for stimulus checks of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples. The federal government will also include $500 for each child or dependent.

The checks will be deposited using the direct deposit information provided to the IRS for 2018 or 2019 tax refunds. Officials are expected to launch an online portal in the next few weeks to allow for people who have not submitted tax returns to give the IRS their direct deposit information, Politico reported. People who are opting instead for paper checks could have to wait for as many as five weeks, according to the news site.

Indiana schools to remain closed through school year

Update 3 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Indiana announced Thursday that K-12 schools across the state would be closed for in-person classes through the rest of the school year, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick announced the decision during a news conference Thursday, WRTV reported. Classes will continue virtually.

“All high school seniors on track to graduate before school buildings were closed on March 19 will be provided with the flexibility they need to earn an Indiana diploma,” McCormick said Thursday, according to WRTV. “Our goal is to get you across the stage."

Ohio stay-at-home order extended until May 

Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio announced that a stay-at-home order issued in the state has been extended until at least May 1, WHIO-TV reported.

Health officials have recorded 2,902 COVID-19 cases in the state, 802 of which were serious enough to require hospitalization. Authorities said 81 people have died in the state of coronavirus infections.

More than 25,000 coronavirus infections reported in New Jersey

Update 2:45 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said 25,590 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state as of 1 p.m. Thursday.

Officials have also reported 537 deaths in New Jersey.

FDA modifies policies to allow more gay men to donate blood amid shortage

Update 2:40 p.m. EDT April 2: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday announced modified rules to its donor eligibility requirements to allow more gay men and people who recently got tattoos and piercings to donate blood amid a shortage caused by COVID-19.

Officials with the American Red Cross have previously said they were facing a severe blood shortage as thousands of blood drives were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement Thursday, Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the FDA will now only bar gay men from donating blood if they’ve had sex with another man in the last three months, down from the previous 12-month timeline. Officials also said they will allow people who have gotten tattoos more than three months ago to donate, also down from a previous 12-month period.

Louisiana officials report more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases statewide

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Louisiana have reported 9,150 coronavirus infections in the state, more than double the amount reported three days earlier.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 4,025 cases of COVID-19 and 185 coronavirus-related deaths had been reported statewide as of Monday. By Thursday, the number of deaths had risen to 310.

7-week-old dies of coronavirus complications in Connecticut

Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 2: A 7-week-old child in Connecticut has died of complications from the coronavirus, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday.

The unresponsive infant was taken to a hospital last week but could not be revived, WTNH reported. Posthumously, the child tested positive for COVID-19, Lamont said.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking,” the governor said in a Twitter post Wednesday. “We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19.”

67 new coronavirus infections reported in DC

Update 2 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Washington D.C. said 67 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the total in the district to 653.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said one new fatal case was reported Thursday. In all, 12 people have died due to COVID-19 in Washington D.C.

COVID-19 not transmissible through food, officials say

Update 1:55 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stressed Thursday that no evidence supports fears that COVID-19 might be transmissible through food, CNN reported.

“The food supply remains safe for both people and animals," Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said during a call with reporters, according to CNN. “There is no — and I emphasize no — evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19.”

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Agriculture Food Safety Director Jeff Warner said in a joint statement obtained Thursday by WPXI that “food is safe.” Grocery stores, food manufacturers, and distributors have been provided with guidance to protect their workforce and consumers from COVID-19, WPXI reported.

Reports of coronavirus infections leap above 7,000 in Pennsylvania

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Pennsylvania announced a surge of 1,211 new COVID-19 cases in the state Thursday, according to WPXI.

The newly announced cases brings the total number of coronavirus infections to 7,016 in the state, WPXI reported, citing the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Sixteen more fatal coronavirus cases were also reported Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll to 90.

Public transit systems to get $25B in emergency funding amid COVID-19 outbreak

Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 2: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced public transportation systems across the U.S. will be awarded $25 billion to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who depend on them,” Chao said Thursday in a news release.

Officials said the funds were made available by a $2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law last week. The money will be administered by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

More than 5,000 coronavirus cases reported in Georgia

Update 1:30 p.m. EDT April 2: Officials in Georgia said Thursday that 5,348 coronavirus infections have been reported in the state, WSB-TV reported.

A majority of those -- 59% -- were reported in people between the ages of 18 and 59, the news station reported. The cases also include at least 1,056 which required hospitalization.

The Georgia Department of Public Health also reported a total of 163 deaths from COVID-19 in the state as of noon, according to WSB-TV.

Red Cross trailer stolen from California lot amid COVID-19 pandemic

Update 1:25 p.m. EDT April 2: Police are searching for two men suspected of stealing a Red Cross trailer from a lot in Riverside, Californiaaccording to the Press Enterprise.

Red Cross spokeswoman Brianna Kelly told the newspaper a Red Cross trailer carrying disaster relief supplies, including cots, blankets, first aid kits and a few masks, was stolen March 22.

“Maybe they thought there were COVID-19 response items inside," Kelly said. "But even with COVID, if we were to have a disaster, we would use these trailers.”

The trailer is the second to be stolen in recent weeks, according to the Press Enterprise.

Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 50,000

Update 1:05 p.m. EDT April 2: More than 50,000 people have died of coronavirus infections since the beginning of the outbreak late last year, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The numbers include 13,915 deaths reported in Italy -- the country with the highest number of reported deaths -- 10,003 deaths in Spain and 5,316 deaths in the U.S.

The 2019 novel coronavirus was first detected December 2019 in Wuhan, China

The United States has the most number of cornavirus infections in the world with 226,374 reports as of Thursday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins.

760 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in Italy

Update 12:55 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Italy recorded 760 new fatal coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in the country to 13,915.

The number is slightly higher than the 727 new fatal cases reported Wednesday, which was the smallest number of single-day COVID-19 deaths reported in the last week in Italy, according to The Guardian.

Officials also reported 4,668 new coronavirus infections, slightly less than the 4,782 new infections reported Wednesday. In all, officials said 115,242 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country.

Pelosi moves to set up House panel to oversee coronavirus aid

Update 12:35 p.m. EDT April 2: Amid continuing controversy over the best way to rush aid to working Americans, businesses, hospitals and local governments dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she would move to set up a new special panel in the U.S. House to oversee those efforts.

Pelosi said Thursday in a press conference by phone that it’s important to have transparency about the massive amount of relief money.

“We need to ensure those dollars are spent effectively and carefully,” Pelosi said, adding that Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., would be in charge of reviewing the $2 trillion in aid approved by Congress in March.

Reported coronavirus infections top 90,000 in New York

Update 12:30 p.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that 8,669 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 92,381.

New York has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo said that as of Thursday, every county in the state had at least one case.

“It’s going to march across the country. It is false comfort to say, ‘Well, we are a rural community, we don’t have the density of New York City,’” Cuomo said.

“We have counties in New York state where you have more cows than people. ... Upstate New York is a rural community.”

Cuomo said that 13,383 people were hospitalized in the state due to COVID-19 as of Thursday morning. The number includes 3,396 infections that were serious enough to require patients be hospitalized in intensive care units.

Since New York began tracking its coronavirus cases, 7,424 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, Cuomo said.

Democratic National Convention postponed due to coronavirus

Update 12:20 p.m. EDT April 2: Organizers announced Thursday that the Democratic National Convention will be pushed back from July to August in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The convention had been scheduled to run July 13-16 in Milwaukee.

“In light of the unprecedented health crisis facing our country, the 2020 Democratic National Convention will now be held the week of August 17 in Milwaukee, providing our team more time to determine the most appropriate structure for this historic event,” organizers said in statement posted Thursday on Twitter.

273 new coronavirus infections reported in North Carolina

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in North Carolina on Thursday announced 273 new coronavirus infections, bringing the state’s total to 1,857, WSOC-TV reported.

The number includes 184 people who were hospitalized Thursday, according to WSOC-TV.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have reported 16 deaths due to coronavirus. Officials have administered 28,679 tests.

Putin extends non-working order through April across Russia

Update 12:05 p.m. EDT April 2: President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month as part of a partial economic shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week to remain in force throughout April. He emphasized that all employees should continue earning their regular salaries during the period.

Putin said some essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

“The threat remains, and experts believe that the epidemic is yet to reach its peak in the world, including our country,” Putin said.

New York to begin coordinating with hospitals to redistribute medical supplies as needed

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said officials will ask hospitals to complete a survey about what medical supplies they have on hand with the goal to redistribute supplies as needed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re coordinating the health care system like never before,” Cuomo said Thursday at a news conference.

Cuomo said officials are asking hospitals to contribute excess supplies to a central stockpile for distribution to hospitals that need them.

“Some hospitals have more supplies than they’re using,” Cuomo said. “We’re saying, ‘Don’t hoard supplies.’”

New York has the highest number of reported coronavirus infections in the country, with more than 90,000 people falling ill.

Reports of COVID-19 top 8,000 in Florida

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT April 2: Health officials in Florida announced Thursday that 8,010 coronavirus cases have been reported statewide, up 237 from the 7,773 reports as of Wednesday night, WFTV reported.

Officials also reported 27 new fatal COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the state’s coronavirus death toll to 128.

Authorities distributing hoarded medical supplies seized from suspected price gougers

Update 11:45 a.m. EDT April 2: Authorities announced Thursday that they are distributing more than 190,000 N95 respirator masks, hundreds of thousands of medical-grade gloves and other medical equipment seized during an investigation into alleged price gouging during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Officials with the FBI discovered the supplies, which also included 130,000 surgical masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, particulate filters and bottles of hand sanitizer, during an enforcement operation on March 30. Authorities alerted the Department of Health and Human Services, which used the Defense Production Act to seize the supplies for distribution to health care workers on the front lines in New York and New Jersey.

“This is the first of many such investigations that are underway,” Defense Production Act policy coordinator Peter Navarro said Thursday in a news release. “All individuals and companies hoarding any of these critical supplies, or selling them at well above market prices, are hereby warned they should turn them over to local authorities or the federal government now or risk prompt seizure by the federal government.”

Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services will pay the owner for the found equipment at “pre-COVID-19 fair market value.” The supplies will be delivered to the New Jersey Department of Health, the New York State Department of Health and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk dumped amid surplus caused by COVID-19

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 2: Many dairy processing plants across Wisconsin have more product than they can handle and that’s forced farmers to begin dumping their milk down the drain.

That’s the case at Golden E Dairy near West Bend. Farmer Ryan Elbe told WISN-TV they are dumping about about 30,000 gallons (113,562 litres) a day.

The coronavirus has dried up the marketplace for dairy products as restaurants, schools and food service businesses have been closed. About one-third of the state’s dairy products, mostly cheese, are sold in the food-service trade.

The Journal Sentinel reported that Elbe’s cooperative Dairy Farmers of America has agreed to pay them for milk that’s being dumped. But like most cooperatives, DFA can only afford to do that for so long.

Elbe’s parents started the farm with 80 cows in 1991, an operation that has grown to 2,400 cows today.

Amazon to check employees’ temperatures, deploy masks beginning next week, report says

Update 11 a.m. EDT April 2: Amazon will begin checking temperatures and handing out face masks for staff members at all its Whole Foods locations and at warehouses in Europe and the U.S. as employees continue working during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.

Company officials told Reuters they would begin checking employee temperatures beginning next week using no-contact forehead thermometers. Anyone determined to have a temperature over 100.4 Fahrenheit will be sent home, the news site reported.

Amazon officials also told Reuters its locations will be getting surgical masks by early next week.

Michigan suspending in-person classes through end of school year

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT April 2: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan on Thursday announced schools in the state would be closed through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“My number one priority right now is protecting Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19," Whitmer said in a statement obtained by the Free Press. “For the sake of our students, their families, and the more than 100,000 teachers and staff in our state, I have made the difficult decision to close our school facilities for the remainder of the school year.”

The decision will impact about 1.5 million students in Michigan, the Free Press reported. Remote learning will continue for students in the state.

Defense Department providing 100,000 body bags to FEMA

Update 10:15 a.m. EDT April 2: The Department of Defense is working to fulfill a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 100,000 body bags as the coronavirus death toll rises in the U.S., according to multiple reports.

In a statement obtained by CNN, Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said the request was being filled in line with a longstanding agreement with FEMA “to procure key commodities from (the Defense Logistics Agency’s) industrial partners during crisis response operations.”

“DLA is currently responding to FEMA’s prudent planning efforts for 100,000 pouches to address mortuary contingencies on behalf of state health agencies,” the statement said.

Stocks open higher after early stumble

Update 9:55 a.m. EDT April 2: Stocks opened modestly higher on Wall Street Thursday, a day after dropping 4.4%.

Stocks had been headed for an even higher open until the Labor Department reported that more than 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, double the record high set just one week earlier. It was the latest sign that large numbers of Americans are losing their jobs as the economic damage from the coronavirus accelerates.

The U.S. and other large economies are widely believed to have sunk into severe recessions as businesses shut down the world. The price of crude oil jumped 8% to about $22 a barrel.

Still unclear why some COVID-19 patients get sicker than others, Fauci says

Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 2: The nation’s top infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Thursday that officials are no closer to figuring out why some seemingly healthy people infected by the new coronavirus develop only mild or no symptoms but others become very sick.

During an interview Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, Fauci said he’s been “puzzled from the beginning” about the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is very strange how one individual can get infected and have either mild or no symptoms and another individual could rapidly deteriorate with viral pneumonia and respiratory failure,” Fauci said. “There’s something in mechanism, whether it’s genetic, whether it’s immune response.”

Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said on “Today” that it’s “very strange” how the virus can be “completely devastating” and lead to “viral pneumonia and respiratory failure” in one person and be “absolutely nothing” in another person.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he’s been working in infectious diseases for almost 50 years but doesn’t “fully understand exactly what the mechanism of that is."

He said finding the answer is going to require natural history studies, which follow people over time while collecting their health information.

Officials report 569 new fatal coronavirus cases in the UK

Update 9:30 a.m. EDT April 2: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 569 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Thursday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 2,921.

Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced 4,244 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. In all, officials said 33,718 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K.

New England Patriots jet flying medical supplies from China to Boston

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT April 2: A private plane owned by the New England Patriots will land Thursday in Boston with needed medical supplies to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports.

Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts said Thursday that the plane, was carrying more than one million N95 masks from China, according to ABC News.

A source told CNN that Baker coordinated with the Patriots and the team’s owner, Robert Kraft, to get the supplies to the state.

“Huge thanks to the Krafts and several dedicated partners for making this happen,” Baker wrote Thursday.

Fauci: There’s still time to avoid 100,000 deaths from coronavirus in US

Update 9:05 a.m. EDT April 2: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, emphasized Thursday that Americans still have time to avoid the 100,000 to 200,000 deaths predicted in the U.S. from the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s within our power to modify those numbers,” Fauci said in an appearance Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”

On Sunday, President Donald Trump said that if his administration can keep deaths from the virus to 100,000, that would be a “good job.” The number was based on a model which showed that “even with considerable mitigation, you still could anticipate between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths,” Fauci said Thursday.

“We shouldn’t give up and accept it and say, 'OK that’s going to happen,” Fauci told "CBS News This Morning.”

“We need to push and push with the mitigation to try to get that number lower than the projected number by the model.”

Record 6.6 million seek US jobless aid

Update 8:40 a.m. EDT April 2: More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus.

The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly sunk into a severe recession as businesses close across the world.

The figure for last week is much higher than the previous record of 3.3 million reported for the previous week. The surging layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April. The unemployment rate could spike to as high as 15% this month, above the previous record of 10.8% set during a deep recession in 1982.

Boeing offering employees voluntary layoffs

Update 8:25 a.m. EDT April 2: Boeing will offer employees voluntary layoffs in a bid to offset the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, according to KIRO-TV and CNBC.

“We’re in uncharted waters,” the company’s new CEO, David Calhoun, wrote in a memo sent to employees, according to KIRO-TV. “We’re taking actions — including offering this (voluntary layoff) plan — based on what we know today.”

Boeing has more than 150,000 employees worldwide.

>> Read more on KIRO7.com: Boeing announces it will be cutting workers

Global coronavirus deaths near 50K, worldwide cases approach 952K

Update 7:24 a.m. EDT April 2: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 48,284 early Thursday, 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 951,901 people worldwide.

• The United States has reported 216,722 cases, resulting in 5,137 deaths.

• Italy has confirmed 110,574 cases, resulting in 13,155 deaths.

• Spain has reported 110,238 infections, resulting in 10,003 deaths.

• China has recorded 82,431 cases, resulting in 3,322 deaths.

• Germany has reported 77,981 cases, resulting in 931 deaths.

• France has confirmed 57,780 infections, resulting in 4,043 deaths.

• Iran has recorded 50,468 cases, resulting in 3,160 deaths.

• The United Kingdom has reported 29,872 cases, resulting in 2,357 deaths.

• Switzerland has confirmed 18,117 cases, resulting in 505 deaths.

• Turkey has recorded 15,679 cases, resulting in 277 deaths.

Spain’s coronavirus death toll tops 10K after highest single-day increase

Update 6:56 a.m. EDT April 2: At least 10,003 people have died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus in Spain, the country’s health ministry announced Thursday.

The latest figures include 950 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours alone, representing the European nation’s largest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, Spain has reported a total of 110,238 infections and trails only Italy in terms of virus-related fatalities where 13,155 people have died.

New unemployment claims could hit 3.1 million

Update 6:44 a.m. EDT April 2: Economists anticipate an additional 3.1 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to force business closures, layoffs and financial uncertainty.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a record 3.3 million people sought jobless benefits two weeks ago, and the 3.1 million surveyed economists believe filed last week comprise more claims than those which have been processed in the past six months. 

British docs receive guidance on parsing out ‘scarce lifesaving resources’ amid coronavirus

Update 5:49 a.m. EDT April 2: The British Medical Association has issued new ethics guidelines dictating which patients should be saved if the United Kingdom’s health system becomes overwhelmed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

]Per the new guidelines, ventilators could be removed from treatment protocols for older patients with a low survival probability if the machines mean healthier patients might survive.

"As such, some of the most unwell patients may be denied access to treatment such as intensive care or artificial ventilation," the BMA’s ethics guidance note states, adding, “This will inevitably be indirectly discriminatory against both the elderly and those with long-term health conditions, with the latter being denied access to life-saving treatment as a result of their pre-existing health problems."

The guidance note was updated April 1.

‘Unruly’ coronavirus quarantine violators could be shot, Philippine president says

Update 3:16 a.m. EDT April 2: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned during a Wednesday address that citizens who disregard the nationwide novel coronavirus quarantine and become unruly could be shot by authorities.

Duterte’s remarks came during a televised address, covered by CNN Philippines.

“My orders to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead!” Duterte said.

Israel’s health minister tests positive for coronavirus

Update 2:52 a.m. EDT April 2: Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, 71, has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

The health ministry confirmed Litzman’s illness in a statement issued Thursday.

Litzman has held the position for nearly a decade.

To date, Israel has confirmed 6,092 coronavirus cases, resulting in 26 deaths.

Coronavirus pandemic fueling gun sale background check surge, FBI says

Update 2:39 a.m. EDT April 2: The FBI reported a record-setting number of gun purchase background checks during the month of March as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the globe.

According to data released by the bureau, the 3.7 million checks conducted in March represent a 41 percent month-over-month surge and the most processed during a one-month period since the FBI began tracking the information in 1998.

Illinois led the nation in March with more than half a million federal firearm background checks conducted, followed by Texas, Kentucky, Florida and CaliforniaCNN reported.

Click here to see the FBI data.

Boeing preps to offer buyouts, early retirement amid coronavirus cash crunch

Update 2:10 a.m. EDT April 2: Aerospace giant Boeing could soon begin offering early retirement and buyout packages to employees as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues pummeling the aviation industry, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Read more here.

Biden says Democratic National Convention likely to be postponed amid coronavirus crisis

Update 1:28 a.m. EDT April 2: The Democratic National Convention will likely be shelved for several months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said during a Wednesday night webcam interview on “The Tonight Show.”The

“I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July,” Biden said, adding, “I think it’s going to have to move into August.”

The convention is currently slated for July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jazz icon Ellis Marsalis Jr., 85, dies from coronavirus complications

Update 1:12 a.m. EDT April 2: Jazz legend and patriarch of a musical dynasty Ellis Marsalis Jr. died on Wednesday from complications associated with the novel coronavirus. He was 85.

"Ellis Marsalis was a legend. He was the prototype of what we mean when we talk about New Orleans jazz,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement, adding, “He was a teacher, a father, and an icon — and words aren’t sufficient to describe the art, the joy and the wonder he showed the world.” 

US coronavirus deaths hit 5,119, total cases top 216K

Update 12:20 a.m. EDT April 2: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 216,000 early Thursday 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 216,515 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 5,119 deaths. U.S. cases now outnumber those in any other nation by wide margins, including more than twice the 110,574 reported in Italy and the 104,118 confirmed in Spain.

Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 1,941 – or roughly 40 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 355 in New Jersey and 337 in Michigan

In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 83,712 confirmed cases – or more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 22,255 and Michigan with 9,334.

Five other states have now confirmed at least 6,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:

• California: 8,155, including 171 deaths

• Massachusetts: 7,738, including 122 deaths

• Florida: 7,495, including 100 deaths

• Illinois: 6,980, including 141 deaths

• Louisiana: 6,424, including 273 deaths

Meanwhile, Washington and Pennsylvania each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections, trailed only slightly by Georgia with 4,748 cases; Texas, Connecticut and Colorado each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.

Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • More than 5.8 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.7 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Friday, May 29, continue below:  Tyson Foods shuts down 7th meatpacking facility amid latest coronavirus outbreak Update 2:53 a.m. EDT May 29: Tyson Foods shut down its Storm Lake, Iowa, pork processing plant temporarily, following the latest novel coronavirus outbreak to infect the company’s operations. Citing a “delay in COVID-19 testing results” as a partial reason for the facility’s idling, the company issued a statement attributing the shutdown to “team member absences related to quarantine and other factors” as well. According to the Des Moines Register, 555 of the Storm Lake plant’s 2,517 employees have tested positive for the virus. The two-day stoppage is intended to allow for deep cleaning and sanitization with plans to reopen for business next week, the company statement said. Since the onset of the global pandemic, Tyson has shuttered six other facilities temporarily, including facilities in Waterloo, Columbus Junction and Perry, Iowa, as well as Dakota City, Nebraska; Logansport, Indiana; and Pasco, Washington, the Register reported. Iowa has confirmed a total of 18,586 novel coronavirus cases, resulting in 506 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. US deaths near 102K, total cases soar past 1.7M Published 12:49 a.m. EDT May 29: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 1.7 million early Friday 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 1,721,750 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 101,617 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 366,733 cases and 29,529 deaths and New Jersey with 157,185 cases and 11,409 deaths. Massachusetts, with 94,895 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,640, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 115,833. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 53,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 103,813 cases, resulting in 3,993 deaths • Pennsylvania: 74,220 cases, resulting in 5,373 deaths • Texas: 60,395 cases, resulting in 1,611 deaths • Michigan: 56,014 cases, resulting in 5,732 deaths • Florida: 53,285 cases, resulting in 2,364 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia, Connecticut and Virginia each has confirmed at least 41,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 33,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 18,586 and Arizona with 17,877; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 16,000 cases; Rhode Island and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases; Nebraska, Missouri and South Carolina each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Kansas, Kentucky and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,364; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown.
  • More than 5.9 million people worldwide – including more than 1.7 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Thursday, May 28, continue below:  Rising US job losses stir fears of lasting economic damage Update 10:55 p.m. EDT May 28: The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy. Despite a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world’s most populous countries reported rising infections and deaths. The confirmed U.S. death toll has surpassed 100,000, the highest in the world. The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March. There were some encouraging signs: The overall number of Americans currently drawing jobless benefits dropped for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million. And first-time applications for unemployment benefits have fallen for eight straight weeks, as states gradually let stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen and the auto industry starts up factories again. But the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits is still extraordinarily high by historical standards, and that suggests businesses are failing or permanently downsizing, not just laying off people until the crisis can pass, economists warn. Legal sports betting pitched as California budget salve Update 9:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Two California lawmakers on Thursday pitched legalized sports betting as a way to help prop up a state budget devastated by the economic shutdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, though their revised proposal immediately reignited a turf battle between powerful gambling interests. State Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa and Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced are lobbying to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow horse racetracks and the Las Vegas-style casinos run by American Indian tribes to also offer sports wagering, both at their locations and through mobile devices. The proposal, like others before it, is controversial in part because of competition between gambling interests including card rooms, which offer table games like blackjack and poker. The legislation would also allow tribal casinos to offer craps and roulette, but the California Nations Indian Gaming Association fears it would aid card rooms by legalizing a practice that the state attorney general last year sought to outlaw. Card rooms say the attorney general’s regulatory proposal would change the way player-dealer games like blackjack have operated for decades. The tribal casinos contend that those operations have long been illegal and that writing them into law now would amount to “a massive expansion of games” by their rivals. Association chairman James Siva added that by the time the proposed new revenue surfaces, the economic crisis caused by the pandemic is likely to have subsided. It would take a two-thirds legislative vote to put the Democratic lawmakers’ measure on the ballot, and a majority of voters would then have to approve. Montana gates to Yellowstone park opening Monday Update 8:10 p.m. EDT May 28: Montana’s three entrances to Yellowstone National Park will reopen to visitors Monday, as the state moves to its second phase of restarting the economy after shutdowns because of the coronavirus. Parts of Glacier National Park could open in mid-June, Gov. Steve Bullock added Thursday, but a specific day has not been set. The West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Cooke City entrances to Yellowstone will open two weeks after Wyoming’s entrances near Cody and Jackson. The park, famous for its geysers and bison, remains open for day use only. No overnight accommodations are available, and large tour buses aren’t allowed yet, park Superintendent Cam Sholly said. Park employees won’t be policing visitors’ compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines such as social distancing and wearing masks, Sholly said Thursday. “We have to have the respect of the public to adhere to health guidelines,” he said. The opening of Yellowstone remains a gradual one. Limited overnight facilities, such as cabins and campgrounds, will begin reopening later in June, Sholly said. The Montana gates will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday. Hurricane season to be challenging amid pandemic Update 7:35 p.m. EDT May 28: Emergency management officials briefed President Donald Trump Thursday about the challenges of preparing for what is expected to be an above-average hurricane season amidst a coronavirus pandemic. During an Oval Office meeting, officials reported that the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 13 to 19 named storms and six to 10 of those storms could develop into hurricanes. Vice President Mike Pence says that when people are displaced by tropical storms or hurricanes, they are used to congregating at local schools or gyms. He says there will be “different challenges now” and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided recommendations to local and state officials on how to respond to natural disasters during a pandemic. Recommendations include encouraging evacuees to plan on staying with friends and families rather than end up in shelters. In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert Update 6:45 p.m. EDT May 28: When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience. So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in downtown Miami, performing for 90 minutes as 8,000 locals danced along from their balconies during the feel-good moment last month. Now, he’s launching his second United At Home event at an undisclosed location in New York on Saturday to connect with fans and raise money for health care workers and virus relief efforts. “A lot of artists, especially DJs, were doing performances from their bedrooms. I felt like that was a little bit frustrating. I really wanted to feel like I have a crowd,” Guetta said in an interview with The Associated Press this week. “So, I had the idea of doing this in the middle of towers and people were on the balconies and that was absolutely amazing.” Job losses continue to mount in US despite reopenings Update 5:50 p.m. EDT May 28: The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy. Amid a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world’s most populous countries continued to report rising infections and deaths. The confirmed U.S. death toll topped 100,000, the highest in the world, on Wednesday. The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March. There were some encouraging signs: The overall number of Americans currently drawing jobless benefits dropped for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million. And first-time applications for unemployment have fallen for eight straight weeks, as states gradually let stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen and the auto industry starts up factories again. But the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment is still extraordinarily high by historical standards, and that suggests businesses are failing or permanently downsizing, not just laying off people until the crisis can pass, economists warn. “That is the kind of economic destruction you cannot quickly put back in the bottle,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork. Mitch McConnell says wearing masks is important Update 4:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday preached the importance of wearing masks in public as the nation’s economy reopens from the “cataclysmic” damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. During a tour of hospitals in his home state of Kentucky, the Republican leader stressed wearing masks in public and following social distancing guidelines. “There should be no stigma attached to wearing a mask,” McConnell said during an appearance Thursday in Owensboro. “And even among age groups that are least likely to either contract this disease or die from it, you could be a carrier. So I think what we all need to do is say, ‘OK, I’m going to take responsibility not only for myself but for others.’” McConnell, who is in his late 70s and is in the midst of his own re-election campaign, has worn masks at his appearances. On Thursday, he stuffed the face covering into his coat jacket to speak, then donned it again afterward. President Donald Trump has refused to wear face coverings. Manw coronavirus epidemic, some two weeks ago. The country has been gradually lifting virus restrictions as the number of new cases fell to none or one or two daily. Ohio to allow for outdoor visitations at some assisted living facilities Update 3:45 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio on Thursday announced that, beginning next month, assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities in the state will be allowed to resume outdoor visitations, WHIO-TV reported. The governor also announced guidance for county fairs and said he plans to release information about the reopening of amusement parks and zoos next week, according to WHIO-TV. >> Read more on WHIO.com Florida’s Pulse nightclub holding virtual ceremony to remember victims of 2016 mass shooting Update 3:35 p.m. EDT May 28: Officials said Thursday that Pulse nightclub will hold its annual ceremony to remember the 49 people killed at the club in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings online next month due to the coronavirus pandemic, WFTV reported. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. local time June 12 on Facebook and YouTube, according to WFTV. The ceremony will also honor survivors of the shooting and first responders. >> Read more on WFTV.com Businesses to face fines of $10K or more if they violate Washington state’s Safe Start plan Update 3 p.m. EDT May 28: Businesses in Washington that stay open or operate in violation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order and Safe Start plan could face fines of $10,000 or more, KIRO-TV reported, citing new emergency rules filed Wednesday by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. The rules allow the Department of Labor & Industries to cite businesses for being open or for operating in a way that is “purposely defying the phased-in approach and, as a result, putting their workers at risk,” officials said. >> Read more on KIRO7.com 2020 Boston Marathon canceled Update 2:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston announced Thursday that the Boston Marathon has been canceled for this year, WFXT reported. The mayor had previously announced that the marathon would be postponed until September 14, according to WFXT. However, he said Thursday that it “became increasingly clear” that the planned date was no longer feasible. Instead, organizers plan to hold a virtual marathon, WFXT reported. >> Read more on Boston25News.com NY Gov. Cuomo to issue executive order allowing businesses to deny service to maskless customers Update 2:20 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that he plans to issue an executive order allowing businesses to deny service to customers who decline to wear masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “We are giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you are not wearing a mask, you can’t come in,’” Cuomo said during a news conference. “That store owner has the right to protect himself.” 1,261 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Thursday that 1,261 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 157,815. On social media, the governor noted that the number of new cases, new deaths and hospitalized patients reported statewide continued to fall. However, he urged people to continue to practice social distancing measures. “We’re not out of the woods,” he wrote. Officials also reported 66 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, 11,401 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Coronavirus restrictions eased on Long Island, continued in New York City Update 1:15 p.m. EDT May 28: The easing of some coronavirus restrictions Wednesday on Long Island left New York City as the only part of the hardest-hit U.S. state that has yet to begin the process of reopening the economy. The sprawling suburbs of Nassau and Suffolk counties, where the virus has killed at least 4,000 people, won approval Tuesday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to gradually restart construction, manufacturing, agriculture and retail activity two months after nonessential business ceased. The Democratic governor also lobbied President Donald Trump in Washington for help with massive New York City transportation projects — including train tunnels, a subway expansion and an airport rail link — and accused top Republicans who oppose more aid of “abusing” states, such as New York, that suffered heavy coronavirus losses. The projects require some federal funding or approval. Cuomo said he and the Republican president, who are often at odds, will talk again next week. 1,887 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 28: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,887 new coronavirus infections Thursday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 269,127. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Wednesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,837 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. 74 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:40 a.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that 74 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number of new fatal cases reported one day earlier was also 74. The governor said Thursday at a news conference that key indicators of the coronavirus pandemic continued to fall across the board. “The total number of hospitalizations are down. The rolling total is down,” Cuomo said. “The change in intubations -- the number of people put on ventilators -- is down, and that’s good.” COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina reach single-day high for second straight day Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 28: Health officials in North Carolina reported the state’s highest single-day number of hospitalizations connected to the coronavirus pandemic for a second straight day Thursday, WSOC-TV reported. Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said 708 people were hospitalized due to severe complications associated with the novel coronavirus. Officials said that 29% of the state’s 19,048 in-patient beds and 22% percent of its 3,223 intensive care unit beds remained open Thursday. Officials have reported 25,412 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Nearly 830 people statewide have died of coronavirus infections, WSOC-TV reported. >> Read more on WSOCTV.com Study: 5-day course of remdesivir as effective at treating COVID-19 as 10-day course Update 11:20 a.m. EDT May 28: A study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine found no major differences between the recoveries of COVID-19 patients who took a five-day course of remdesivir and patients who took a 10-day course of the experimental drug. Dr. Francisco Marty, an associate physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, worked on the study, according to WFXT. “People were counting on 10 days of treatment per patient for the supply that’s available,” Marty told WFXT. “Now I think with confidence we can say, five days is enough, so now you have twice as many treatment courses.” >> Read more on Boston25News.com Sen. Tim Kaine says he’s tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies Update 11 a.m. EDT May 28: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Thursday that he and his wife, Anne, have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. Kaine said he tested positive earlier this year for the flu but that even after getting medication to treat the illness, his symptoms lingered. At the end of March, Kaine said he 'experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to the unusually high spring pollen count.” He and his wife spoke to their health care providers in early April after she also began to feel ill. “They thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus,” Kaine said. “Due to the national testing shortage, we were not tested for the virus but continued isolating and watched for any worsening of symptoms. By mid-April we were symptom free.' He said he and his wife got positive results from a coronavirus antibody test this month. “While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide,” he said. 'So we will keep following CDC guideline s —hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.” 86 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 28: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Thursday that 86 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,492. Bowser also announced eight more people between the ages of 37 and 96 had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 453. Wall Street opens modestly higher, extending recent gains Update 10 a.m. EDT May 28: Stocks are opening slightly higher Thursday on Wall Street, extending recent gains that brought the S&P 500 back above 3,000 for the first time since March. The benchmark index was up about 0.1% in the first few minutes of trading Thursday. Health care companies and makers of consumer products were among the biggest winners in early trading. The modest gains came even as more dire reports on the economy came in, including another 2.1 million claims for unemployment benefits. Twitter fell as President Donald Trump prepared to sign an executive aimed at curbing liability protections for social media companies. Trump shares sympathies after more than 100,000 Americans die of COVID-19 Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 28: President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to remember the more than 100,000 Americans who have died after contracting coronavirus infections. The president called the death toll “a very sad milestone.” “To all of the families (and) friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy (and) love for everything that these great people stood for (and) represent,” Trump wrote. “God be with you!” The United States has lost more people to the coronavirus pandemic than any other country in the world. Health officials in the country with the second-most number of fatal COVID-19 cases, the United Kingdom, said Wednesday that 37,460 people have died of the viral infection. 41 million Americans have lost jobs since virus hit Update 8:40 a.m. EDT May 28: Roughly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a sign that companies are still slashing jobs in the face of a deep recession even as more businesses reopen and rehire some laid-off employees. About 41 million people have now applied for aid since the virus outbreak intensified in March, though not all of them are still unemployed. The Labor Department’s report Thursday includes a count of all the people now receiving unemployment aid: 21 million. That is a rough measure of the number of unemployed Americans. The national jobless rate was 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression, and many economists expect it will near 20% in May. LA sues wellness company, alleging ‘sophisticated’ fraud via ‘at-home’ COVID-19 testing kits Update 7:29 a.m. EDT May 28: The city of Los Angeles is suing Wellness Matrix Group for what it called a “sophisticated” and “wide ranging” scheme to defraud people concerned about their risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, NPR reported. The suit contends the California-based company sold “at-home” coronavirus tests it claimed falsely were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company also sold a supposedly coronavirus-killing “virucide,” claiming that the product could 'build a force field around your event or even spray your entire city,” NPR reported. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer accused the company of “shockingly deceptive conduct” that included attaching “false government registration numbers to these products and fabricated phony scientific studies and white papers to substantiate their false claims,” the news outlet reported. NBA eyes ‘bubble’ to house select family members when season resumes Update 6:58 a.m. EDT May 28: The National Basketball Association and its players’ association are working to craft a plan that will allow select family members to stay in a “bubble” with the teams once the season resumes. The bubble refers to a proposed enclosed environment in which all dwellers live, practice and play games, CNN reported. The discussions come days after the network confirmed the league and players’ association are in talks with Disney to hold the rest of the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida. Google alerts nearly 2K users hackers posing as WHO targeted them in April Update 6:22 a.m. EDT May 28: Google sent 1,755 warnings to users who were targeted by government-backed hackers in April, according to a Wednesday blog post. The majority of the hacking and phishing schemes Google detected preyed on public fear of the novel coronavirus and lured users into disclosing personal information. The ruses included the creation of spoof email accounts purporting to be the World Health Organization. The ploys typically asked users to sign up for coronavirus updates, but the goal was to mine the information provided for passwords and other private data, The Washington Post reported. Business leaders in the United States, Slovenia, Canada, India, Bahrain, Cyprus and the United Kingdom were the most common targets of the phishing campaigns, the company said in its post. South Korea closing public facilities in Seoul in bid to stop potential COVID-19 outbreak Update 5:55 a.m. EDT May 28: Beginning Friday, South Korea will close all public facilities in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area following detection of a novel coronavirus cluster at a logistics center near the South Korean capital, CNN reported. Specifically, government-operated parks and retreat facilities as well as art galleries, museum and theaters will be shuttered until June 14, with all government-hosted events either postponed or canceled, the network reported citing Health Minister Park Neung-hoo. Meanwhile, Park also advised private businesses to follow suit and said residents should refrain from going outdoors or hosting public gatherings until June 14. To date, South Korea has confirmed 11,344 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 269 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The nation recorded Wednesday its highest spike in new infections since April 5 with 79 new cases, 54 of which have been linked to a logistics center in Bucheon, located about 25 miles from Seoul. To date, 82 cases have been linked to the logistics center cluster, CNN reported. Global coronavirus deaths surpass 356K, worldwide cases top 5.7M Update 4:51 a.m. EDT May 28: The global count of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 5.7 million early Thursday, 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 5,707,163 people worldwide, resulting in at least 356,042 deaths.  Brazil records more than 20K coronavirus cases, 1K deaths in a single day Update 3:47 a.m. EDT May 28: Brazil added another 1,086 coronavirus-related deaths during the past 24 hours bringing its nationwide death toll to 25,598, the nation’s health ministry reported Wednesday. The latest figures, which added 20,599 new cases in one day, bring Brazil’s total number of confirmed infections to 411,821, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Brazil trails only the United States for the most confirmed cases. American Airlines slashing management, support staff by 30% Update 2:16 a.m. EDT May 28: The ongoing stress caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the airline industry with one of the United States’ largest carriers telling employees Wednesday that steeper cuts yet are on the way. Elise Eberwein, American Airlines executive vice president of people and global engagement, said in a letter to employees that “fleet retirement accelerations are underway, and we will fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft next summer — mostly widebodies — than we had originally planned.” “Additionally, running a smaller airline means we will need a management and support staff team that is roughly 30% leaner,” Eberwein added. According to The Washington Post, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline had already reduced its carrying capacity and nearly 39,000 employees have taken either voluntary leave or early retirement. Meanwhile, Eberwein asked any willing employees to leave their jobs voluntarily by June 10, but she also noted that if voluntary departures do not result in the needed 30% reduction in staff, layoffs will be the next step, the Post reported. “There is no doubt this is going to be a painful time for all, especially for our departing colleagues, who have given American Airlines their all and are leaving through no fault of their own,” Eberwein wrote in the letter. “They deserve our respect and gratitude.” US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths climb past 100K Update 12:44 a.m. EDT May 28: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Thursday 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 1,699,933 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 100,442 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 364,965 cases and 29,484 deaths and New Jersey with 156,628 cases and 11,339 deaths. Massachusetts, with 94,220 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,547, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 114,306. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 52,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 101,807 cases, resulting in 3,919 deaths • Pennsylvania: 73,557 cases, resulting in 5,265 deaths • Texas: 58,542 cases, resulting in 1,581 deaths • Michigan: 55,608 cases, resulting in 5,334 deaths • Florida: 52,634 cases, resulting in 2,319 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia, Connecticut and Virginia each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 18,369 and Arizona with 17,318; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 16,000 cases; Rhode Island and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,623; Kansas, Delaware and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,252; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Some retailers are reporting record numbers for online sales amid the coronavirus outbreak, but WOKV's Consumer Warrior Clark Howard says the surge in demand is coming with some challenges. If you have noticed some delays in orders actually arriving at your house, Howard explains it's not an isolated issue.  'You know [Amazon] Prime delivery before in many communities, one-day delivery on a lot of things, two-day delivery on others. And Amazon is struggling to now get back to that, after lengthy delays,' says Howard.  Howard says it's not just Amazon either.  'Others that have very heavily pivoted from traditional in-store shopping to having so many people buy online are struggling to get those deliveries on to some kind of reliable basis,' Howard says.  Get more consumer news and advice from Clark Howard in his latest on-demand podcasts.
  • A Florida man was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State after trying to acquire firearms and targeting 'busy beaches' for a possible terror attack, federal prosecutors said. Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari, 23, had negotiated with an undercover FBI employee to purchase a variety of guns and silencers, including an AK-47-style rifle allegedly to be used in an attack. He was arrested Sunday after taking possession of the weapons. “We are grateful for the hard work and swift action by our law enforcement partners and concerned citizens during this investigation,” U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said in a statement. “Their coordination and cooperation in this matter allowed us to interrupt a serious threat, without harm to anyone.” Al-Azhari was charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, prosecutors said in a complaint filed Tuesday. The charge carries a potential 20-year prison term. Al-Azhari scouted a number of Tampa-area locations, including “busy beaches,” the Tampa Bay Times reported. Al-Azhari, who admired the shooter who killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016, also went to Orlando, where he visited the site of the shooting. “I don’t want to take four or five, no. I want to take at least 50,” Al-Azhari said on a recording, according to the affidavit. “You know like, brother Omar Mateen in Orlando did. He took 49 with him.” He also allegedly rehearsed what he would say when carrying out an attack, some of which was intercepted by electronic surveillance May 16: “Know America. Today is your emergency. Today we kill from you guys like you killed from us,” he is heard saying, according to the affidavit. “This is a revenge for Muslims.” A key to the case was an eBay transaction in which Al-Hazhari purchased weapons parts from someone in Texas. The package was halted by the U.S. Postal Service and eBay flagged the purchase. The seller then provided FBI agents with details about the deal and the Postal Service seized the package. Al-Azhari's lawyer said the charges unfairly portray his client as a terrorist. “The allegations misunderstand both the law and the evidence,” the public defender, Samuel Landes, said. “I’m thankful that in this country everyone enjoys a presumption of innocence, and I look forward to Mr. Al-Azhari’s day in court before a jury of his peers.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A waiter working on Memorial Day was surprised to get a $2,000 tip. Armando Garcia, a server at Los Cucos Mexican Cafe, was given the gracious gratuity on a $64 check, KVVU reported. 'I couldn't believe it,' Garcia told KVVU. 'It's been tough for everyone, for me. It's been a relief, I'm just thankful for it.' Garcia thought it was a mistake, but there was a note written on the receipt that read: 'Stay safe, thank you for your great service. Hope this helps. Love, the Lopez Brothers.' The Lopez Brothers are dancers and have millions of subscribers on TikTok, KVVU reported.

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