Previous coronavirus daily briefing updates, May 26-27
Current daily briefings on the coronavirus can be found here. Scroll below to read previous reports listed in eastern time.
May 27, 9:12 p.m.
Study suggests COVID-19 affects blood flow during pregnancy. The new research found placentas from 16 coronavirus-positive pregnant women showed injury, according to pathological exams completed directly following birth, a new Northwestern Medicine study reported. The injury indicates there was abnormal blood flow between the mothers and their babies in utero. “Most of these babies were delivered full-term after otherwise normal pregnancies, so you wouldn’t expect to find anything wrong with the placentas, but this virus appears to be inducing some injury in the placenta,” said senior author Dr. Jeffery Goldstein, assistant professor of pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine pathologist. “It doesn’t appear to be inducing negative outcomes in live-born infants, based on our limited data, but it does validate the idea that women with COVID should be monitored more closely.”
May 27, 7:25 p.m.
The NFL could start the 2020 season on time, but the Detroit Lions team doctor warns that if a second wave hits in the fall, the NFL could shut down again. As pro sports make plans to reopen, it appears that the NFL season will start on time, but that doesn’t mean the whole season will proceed on schedule, especially if a second wave hits. Lions team doctor Asheesh Bedi warns that if the NFL in particular, and society as a whole, can’t do the work necessary to keep the virus from spreading then that might happen. “In the fall, it’s really going to be about continuing those safe measures that might have us avoid seeing a second wave becoming a major or even more devastating second peak,” Bedi told The Detroit Free Press. “If that were to happen, and despite all of the safeguards that we have in place, I think that gets back to the need to be able to pivot quickly ... I think we need to quickly recognize that our priority will always be safety. And if that means that we have to change our workflow, abridge seasons, modify how we’re working through things, that just has to happen.”
May 27, 6 p.m.
🚨Nearly three months after the first COVID-19 fatality was reported in the United States, the country passed a dreadful milestone Wednesday when the nation's death toll topped 100,000. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic was blamed for more than 12,400 deaths in the country and the flu pandemic from 1918-1919, killed 670,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A running tally compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows over 1.6 million cases have been reported throughout the U.S., but the good news is that recoveries from COVID-19 in America are approaching 400,000. The United Kingdom currently has the second-highest death toll in the world with over 37,000.
Artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada works on a 20,000 square foot mural of a healthcare worker in the Queens borough of New York, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The mural is to honor those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic, especially minority healthcare workers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
May 27, 4:50 p.m.
A second wave of coronavirus could happen in the U.S. but is "not inevitable" White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said. The U.S. can prevent another wave of COVID-19 as long as states reopen “correctly,” Fauci said Wednesday morning in an interview on CNN. “Don’t start leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines because that’s really tempting fate and asking for trouble.” Fauci previously warned that people should prepare for the possibility of a second wave in the fall. “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said during an interview on CNBC. He explained that the U.S. had to institute severe measures because coronavirus cases were increasing rapidly. “But now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
May 27, 3:49 p.m.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Tuesday that Germany would extend social distancing rules to June 29. The restrictions, focused on containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, include limiting gatherings in public places to up to 10 people and limiting contact between people. “This success is mainly based on the fact that rules on distance and hygiene have been implemented and respected,” the government said. Although Germany has managed to maintain a lower number of confirmed cases and COVID-related deaths than its surrounding nations such as France, Spain, Italy and Britain, some of the least-affected German states disagree with the new date and want to open up entirely, according to Yahoo News.
May 27, 3:03 p.m.
About half of Americans not interested in taking a COVID-19 vaccine, new poll shows. As hopes run high that biotech or pharmaceutical companies are able to develop an effective vaccine against the coronavirus, a new poll shows only half of Americans are interested in receiving such a vaccine. In the U.S., the coronavirus death toll is on the verge of 100,000 fatalities, but the staggering number of dead has yet to convince many that a vaccine is the answer. Some 20 percent of those polled indicated that they would refuse to take a vaccine. Another 31% said they were unsure about whether they'd take a vaccine. The poll was conducted by The Associated Press in conjunction with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Seven in 10 of those who were opposed to a vaccine cited safety concerns as a reason they would elect to not be vaccinated. Some 49% of respondents indicated they would take a vaccine, and they indicated that keeping family and the community safe from the spread of the virus was the key reason they are in favor.
May 27, 2:20 p.m.
A new barista at a cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is said to have quite a robotic demeanor. According to Reuters, the cafe has installed a robot to help fulfill orders and maintain social distancing. Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, the factory that developed the robot, told Reuters that robots can help people observe social distancing. “Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits will with the current ‘untact’ and distancing campaign,” he said. Check out a video of the robot barista in action below.
May 27, 12:58 p.m.
Disney rolls out plans to start reopening theme parks in the U.S. The company announced on Wednesday that it plans to reopen Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Orlando on July 11. In a statement, Disney said it has submitted the proposal for a phased reopening to the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force in Florida. Taking a cue from what the company said worked for the much-hyped reopening of the park in Shanghai, under the phased reopening there will be new "limits on attendance and controlled guest density that aligns with guidance on physical distancing." Parades and other festivities that go on in the parks and draw large crowds won't immediately be part of the experience and could return at a later date.
Disney characters will still be milling around the parks, but "high-touch" experiences like photo ops and makeovers will be avoided. Other Disney resorts are set to begin opening even sooner, with some places set to welcome guests as early as June 15. In early April, Disney furloughed some 43,000 workers at its Orlando parks and resorts, so this reopening stands to be a boon for the local economy, though the company has not yet provided details on how many employees would be returning to work.
May 27, 12:49 p.m.
"Bubble tent" being used to maintain social distance at nursing home in France. As lockdown restrictions are lifted around the world, the ways in which life is changing is manifesting in all sorts of unexpected ways. Residents at a nursing home in Bourbourg, northern France, are finding a new venue for meeting with loved ones since the country began reopening. A bubble tent has been set up and actually allows family members to get rather close to one another -- though they are separated by a transparent piece of plastic. The bubble tent has been set up outside on the grounds of the nursing home. Weather has been generally pleasant recently in Bourbourg with highs in the low 60s, just a smidge above normal for this time of year. See how the bubble tent works in the video below.
May 27, 12:28 p.m.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that many counties across the state can reopen hair salons and barbershops, the latest step in the state's reopening strategy. The governor added that those that do open will have "serious modifications in place." On Monday, Newsom said counties can reopen houses of worship and allow in-store shopping for retail. However, at least one health official has concerns about the speed with which the state is reopening.
Santa Clara County health officer, Dr. Sara Cody, told the country's board of supervisors Tuesday that she is "concerned" with the state's recent reopening decisions, SFGate.com reported. "The state modifications are being made without a real understanding of the consequences of what the last move has been, and with the possible serious effects for health and possible serious risk of an exponential growth in cases,” she said. California has nearly 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
May 27, 11:40 a.m.
Last month, authorities in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles took drastic measures to enforce social distancing in the community. They buried the neighborhood's famed skatepark under tons of sand so skateboarders couldn't congregate in the area. But this week, skaters revolted against the decision, showing up to the park en masse on Monday with shovels and buckets to start digging out the bowls. TMZ reported that several police officers were in the area but didn't stop the skaters from removing the sand. Watch a video of the skaters removing the sand here.
May 27, 10:41 a.m.
The World Health Organization declared the Americas as the new COVID-19 epicenter in a briefing on Tuesday as deaths in Latin America surge. Latin America as a whole has surpassed Europe and the U.S. in daily infections, according to Reuters, Brazil having recently become the nation with the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. “Now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions,” Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas and head of the Pan American Health Organization, said over videoconference. A University of Washington study estimated that Brazil’s death toll could climb to 125,000 by early August. Currently, the nation has had 24,512 deaths as of Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The forecast from the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) called for lockdowns, which the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has resisted, Reuters said.
Here are the latest IHME model projections of deaths in Latin American nations by the end of August:
Brazil: 125,000 deaths
Peru: 20,000 deaths
Chile: 12,000 deaths
Mexico: 7,000 deaths
Ecuador: 6,000 deaths
Argentina: 5,500 deaths
Colombia: 4,500 deaths
Cuba: 82 deaths
Women wear COVID-19 pandemic masks, waiting in line for a quick test at an itinerant health post, in the neighborhood of Estrutural, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, May 26, 2020. According to officials, the objective is to expand epidemiological surveillance and the tracking of possible asymptomatic positive cases, mainly to poorer areas and more distant from the city center. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
May 27, 10:26 a.m.
On Wednesday, South Korea reported its highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in 49 days, according to Reuters. After reporting only 19 cases Monday, the number of new cases jumped to 40 on Tuesday as one of the country’s largest e-commerce companies had an outbreak at one of its facilities. At least 36 have been linked to the outbreak at the facility of the e-commerce firm Coupang Corp, backed by Softbank, but it was not immediately clear how many of the cases were reported within the last 24 hours. The facility has since shuttered and has begun disinfection measures recommended by authorities. Despite a spokeswoman for the company saying the facility went through daily disinfection and all employees wore masks and gloves and had temperatures checked, the vice health minister Kim Kang-lip said authorities suspect the facility didn’t comply with “basic” quarantine principles, and an investigation is under way.
May 27, 9:44 a.m.
Ford temporarily shuts down Kansas City plant after employee tests positive. The automaker announced on Tuesday that it hit a speed bump as it tries to ramp production back up amid easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions when an employee at its Kansas City facility tested positive for COVID-19. "We are temporarily pausing production at Kansas City Assembly Plant -- on the Transit side -- until the deep cleaning is completed," the company said in a statement. It's not clear how long the deep cleaning would take and whether employees were sent home, according to The Detroit Free Press. Ford said it would also carry out contact tracing to determine everyone the infected employee recently came in touch with and would advise those people to self-quarantine for 14 days. Ford restarted assembly operations in recent weeks.
May 27, 8:12 a.m.
Sunny weather in Italy brought out big crowds, but started talk of lockdown restrictions being reinstated. Italian officials threatened to reinstate restrictions following the crowds taking advantage of the nice weather over the weekend. The government in Rome, where temperatures have been in the low 80s and where sunny weather and temps in the upper 70s will stay in place all week, plans to recruit 60,000 unemployed volunteers to make sure people are obeying social distancing and that people are wearing face masks around other people, The Wall Street Journal reported. “We want to entrust volunteers with helping our communities in such a new and complex phase, in which we are learning how to live with the virus and how to defend us, going back to a life with less restrictions,” Italian Politician Antonio Decaro said, according to Anadolu Agency.
May 27, 7:02 a.m.
Here are the latest totals from around the world, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 5,609,079
Total deaths: 350,876
Total recovered: 2,301,727
May 26, 10 p.m.
House parties in the Hollywood Hills have become a big problem since clubs are closed amid the outbreak, the Los Angeles police and the city attorney's office said on Tuesday. The issue has gotten so out of hand, authorities made a video in which police say they are going to crack down harder on the gatherings.The city attorney's office warned homeowners that they can be held accountable for renters' unruly gatherings. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer called the house party situation "completely unacceptable."
May 26, 9 p.m.
Remdesivir shortens recovery time, peer-reviewed data shows. Investigators found that the drug was most beneficial for hospitalized patients with severe disease who required supplemental oxygen. The study began on Feb. 21, 2020 and enrolled 1,063 participants in 10 countries over a 58-day period, according to the National Institutes of Health.Patients in the trial were randomly assigned to receive local standard care and a 10-day course of the antiviral remdesivir or local standard care and a placebo. The report notes that patients who received remdesivir had a shorter time to recovery than those who received placebo. The study defined recovery as being discharged from the hospital or being medically stable enough to be discharged from the hospital. The median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo.
May 26, 7:45 p.m.
Some altruistic teens in Los Angeles have come together to make crucial deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic. The volunteer group “Zoomers to Boomers,” formed at the start of the outbreak, consisting of Generation Z, “Zoomers,” who go grocery shopping for elderly people, Baby Boomers, or those who are immunocompromised who have submitted a list to association members. “This experience has been really great,” Mira Kwon, 16, head of the Los Angeles chapter told AFP. “In many ways, it has taught me a lot.” Kwon leads a team of 40 students who have teamed up with a handful of businesses to deliver the groceries with no delivery fee. The service has more than 20 branches from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Miami.
Navigating the challenge of reaching out to those who need the aid most but might not have access to computers or social media, Zoomers to Boomers has reached out to religious groups, senior homes, neighborhood councils, and newspapers to spread the news. Even when the pandemic ebbs, some in the group are determined to continue the project. “Even if we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic, there are still families that can’t afford to have a meal on the table three times a day,” 17-year-old volunteer Betsy Bass told AFP. “So I think that could be something we carry over in the future and even pass along to our siblings when we graduate.”
May 26, 6:58 p.m.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a coronavirus update on Tuesday that at least 73 COVID-related deaths were recorded on Monday. “That’s the lowest level we have seen since this started,” he said over CNN. “In this absurd new reality, that is good news.” He also mentioned that the daily rolling average, number of hospitalizations and incubations were all down, including the daily number of new COVID-19 cases down to about 200, “the lowest level since this ever started.”
May 26, 5:46 p.m.
After President Donald Trump threatened to move the Republican National Convention (RNC) out of North Carolina due to strict coronavirus orders, two Republican governors offered their states to host the event. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp asked the President to consider his state for the convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials, according to The Associated Press. “With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,” Kemp tweeted Tuesday. “We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realDonaldTrump!” Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis followed Kemp's offer, telling reporters that he “would love” to have the GOP or even the Democratic convention, as either would bring millions of dollars to the state. “The door is open, we want to have the conversation, whether RNC, DNC, whatever, because I think it will be good for the people of Florida,” DeSantis said. Plans have been underway for more than a year to hold the convention in Charlotte, but Trump and national Republican officials have expressed concerns that local officials may not allow gatherings of that size during the pandemic.
May 26, 4:20 p.m.
As hospitals search for replenished supplies of personal protective equipment, 30-year-old physician assistant Nathaniel Moore launched Gowns4Good to collect donated graduation gowns and repurpose them into PPE gowns. The idea came after Moore repurposed his own graduation gown rather than letting it sit in his closet. “Treating COVID patients myself, I noticed the image of some of my colleagues and other medical facilities that were lacking the appropriate PPE and performing on the front lines without it,” Moore told CNN. “It’s crucial that we can stay protected. It’s the difference between transmitting the disease from health care worker to patient when you go room-to-room.”The group has collected over 10,000 masks in just over a month. Click here to donate to Gowns4Good.
May 26, 3 p.m.
Katie Miller, the press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence, returned to work on Tuesday after beating COVID-19. Miller tested positive for the illness in early May and prompted increased testing for Pence and President Donald Trump, even though she reportedly had not come in direct contact with the president. She announced her return to work on Twitter, saying, "Thank you to all my amazing doctors and everyone who reached out with support." Miller said she's tested negative for COVID-19 three times. She also took the opportunity to make another announcement, praising her husband, Trump adviser Stephen Miller, whom she credited with taking "great care of his pregnant wife" -- the first time she's publicly announced the couple is expecting a baby.
May 26, 2:25 p.m.
Another university plans to welcome students back on campus for the fall semester with a slightly adjusted calendar. The University of Colorado Boulder announced that students will start class as planned on Aug. 24 but all classes will be held remotely after Thanksgiving break, Colorado Public Radio reported. The announcement comes after other colleges and universities have put plans in motion to begin the fall semester but with adjustments to the schedule. Notre Dame announced plans last week that classes would begin two weeks earlier and end the semester before Thanksgiving.
May 26, 2:11 p.m.
Traders returned to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday for the first time since March 23. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand to ring the ceremonial opening bell and then later held his daily press conference from the floor of the NYSE. According to CNBC, the closure was a result of two people testing positive for the virus in March at screenings the NYSE had organized. About 80 floor brokers were on hand on Tuesday, about 25% of normal. Although the stock market has closed at other times over the years, the pandemic forced the physical trading floor to close while electronic trading continued, the first time in history such a set up has occurred, CNBC reported.
May 26, 2:01 p.m.
Canada inks deal with General Motors to manufacture 10 million face masks. Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced details of the deal on Tuesday, including that the face masks are being produced at a GM plant in Ontario. In addition, 10,000 low-cost ventilators are to be delivered from a partnership with Vexosm, according to BIV. Over the last 10 weeks, 40 flights carrying 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment have arrived in the country. Currently, Canada has over 87,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with over 6,000 deaths.
May 26, 12:58 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Rays became the first Major League Baseball team to practice since the league suspended operations in mid-March. According to YourSun.com, the Rays held an informal practice at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Monday. Team manager Kevin Cash said about 14 players participated in the voluntary workout, but declined to say which players participated. Some of the practice involved included playing catch, running, conditioning, and light workouts. Cash said the plan is to have two more sessions this week and then evaluate from there. The team noted the moment on Twitter with a few photos from practice and the message, "It's good to be back."
May 26, 11:43 a.m.
Russia has reported its largest one-day rise in coronavirus deaths. On Tuesday, Russian officials announced that 174 people died of the coronavirus within a 24-hour period, bringing the total deaths in the country to 3,807, according to a report by Reuters. In total, Russia has seen a total of 362,342 cases. However, a record number of people, 12,331 in total, are also recovering in Russia.
May 26, 10:57 a.m.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Brazil surpassed Russia in confirmed COVID-19 cases, becoming the nation with the second-highest number of cases in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins.With at least 374,898 cases, Brazil has had 23,473 COVID-related deaths. New York City, in comparison, has had 29,229 COVID-related deaths as of Tuesday morning. But the confirmed cases and death toll in Brazil are rapidly rising as winter approaches in the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of two weeks, one of the seven new field hospital in Rio de Janeiro already had more than 50 deaths, according to MSNBC Today.
With almost 20,000 new cases everyday, a doctor speaking with MSNBC News called the surge and overwhelming of the healthcare system “crazy.” Video footage shows crowds still filtering through the streets of city slums, people wearing masks but otherwise no sign of a lockdown in the area. As global hotspots shift, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme, has expressed his concern of a second wave, or even a second peak, hitting areas reopening too soon. “The disease can jump up at any time,” Ryan said. “We may get a second peak in this wave.” Before midnight on Thursday, a new travel restriction will go into effect in the U.S., barring foreign nationals who were present in Brazil within 14 days before their arrival at the U.S. from entering.
May 26, 10:12 a.m.
Africa has confirmed at least 115,000 coronavirus cases across the continent with more than 46,000 recoveries and at least 3,400 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. South Africa currently has the most confirmed cases at 23,615, followed by Egypt at 16,513. The latter also accounts for the most COVID-19 deaths on the continent with 735 lives lost. Algeria has had 609 COVID-related deaths and South Africa 481.
May 26, 9:33 a.m.
Travel advisory issued after video of huge pool party goes viral. Over the course of the holiday weekend, a shocking video emerged from the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri of a jam-packed pool party with hundreds of of people ignoring social distancing practices on a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 80s. On Monday, the St. Louis County Department of Health said many people who attended the large gathering were from the St. Louis region. As a result, the health department issued a travel advisory since many who visited the tourist hot spot were returning to their jobs this week, leaving other members of the public and employers to examine how to safely reopen when social distancing guidelines are not being followed.
“This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page. “I encourage everyone to follow the Department of Public Health advisory to determine a safe path forward in the workplace.” The head of the Kansas City Health Department, Dr. Rex Archer, also made his feelings known, calling for those who attended the pool bash to quarantine for 14 days
May 26, 9:01 a.m.
Here's what the first "socially distant" concert of the coronavirus era looked like. Organizing the show wasn't easy and it didn't happen without a fair amount of drama behind the scenes, Spin magazine reported, but country rocker Travis McCready this week played the first socially distant concert since the coronavirus pandemic upended life in the U.S. and pretty much everywhere else. Spin reported that concertgoers were given temperature checks before being allowed to enter TempleLive concert hall in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on Monday evening. All concertgoers wore masks inside the venue and were arranged into socially distanced "fan pods." Only 229 people attended -- 1,000 had purchased tickets for the concert before it was postponed by the pandemic, Consequence of Sound reported. And there were new rules around bathroom usage -- only 10 people were allowed in restrooms at a time. McCready, the lead singer for Bishop Gunn, shared a clip of one song from the performance on Instagram. Below, take a peek at what it looked like inside the venue away from the stage. The new normal for concerts?
May 26, 8:33 a.m.
Joe Biden made his first public appearance since mid-March on Memorial Day wearing a face mask. The Democratic presidential candidate ventured outside his home for the first time in more than two months to lay a wreath at Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, Delaware, on Monday, according to The New York Times.
May 26, 8:02 a.m.
As California moves into phase two of reopening, places of worship will be authorized to reopen-- but they are encouraged to follow some safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to ABC 7 News. The guidelines recommended include:
Staff members, volunteers and congregants are “strongly recommended” to wear face coverings while in the presence of others
Congregants are recommended to receive temperature screenings and checked for other symptoms, while staff members must be screened for temperature before their shifts
Discourage the use of shared items such as worship books and offering plates
High traffic areas should be disinfected
Disinfect microphones, instruments and other items after each use
Consider shortening the length of services
Consider the use of disposable seat covers for each service
Seating and podium placement must allow for at least six feet of space between people
Keep doors and windows open to allow air flow
In addition, churches and other places of worship are encouraged to "strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets," according to the guidelines outlined by the state.
May 26, 7:20 a.m.
Here are the latest totals from around the world, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University:
Total confirmed cases: 5,515,109
Total deaths: 346,632
Total recovered: 2,250,207
Reporting by Lauren Fox, John Murphy, Brian Lada, Mark Puleo, Maria Antonieta Valery Gil, Kevin Byrne, Chaffin Mitchell, Adriana Navarro, John Roach, Dexter Henry, Bill Wadell, Jonathan Petramala, and Monica Danielle
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