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    Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Mount Dora Art Festival The Mount Dora Arts Festival is celebrating its 45th year of bringing fine arts to Central Florida Feb. 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. More than 285 of the nation’s leading artists in 14 different mediums will fill historic downtown Mount Dora as they compete in a juried art show ideal for art enthusiasts, casual festival-goers and families.  In addition to the rows of fine art, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, clay, sculpture and photography, the festival features local and regional musical entertainment at a main stage in Donnelly Park several times a day.   Orlando Brew Fest The Orlando Brew Festival will take place at the Orlando Science Center for a one of a kind experience -- a night at the museum! The event will feature dozens of local and domestic breweries, sampling their spring seasonal beers. General admission will be 8pm to 11pm and VIP admission will be 7pm to 11pm. Tickets start at $50, and will not be sold at the door.   Keep in mind that all attendees must be 21, so no infants or babies allowed. Tickets are non refundable.   Zora Outdoor Festival The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of Arts and Humanities is celebrating its 31st year in Historic Eatonville, Florida, with a nine-day celebration of music, literature, fashion, economic development and the arts. The festival is named for Zora Neale Hurston, the African American author, anthropologist and filmmaker who spent her formative years in Eatonville. Those years later served as inspiration for her work, the most famous of which was the novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” Activities include Education Day, Line Dancing in the Zora Neale Hurston Square (adjacent to the Eatonville Public Library), Center Stage performances, Gospel Hour and Southern Soul Concert featuring many gospel artists.  Attendees can also visit food vendors in the International Food Court, the African Trade Expo, the ZORA! STEM Activity Hub and the Afrofuturism Pavilion with a modern twist on merchandising and edutainment.  You can find out more about the Outdoor Festival of the Arts and purchase tickets in advance here.   3 More Fun Things: Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando Resort   Celebrate Elmo’s Birthday at SeaWorld Orlando    Epcot International Festival of the Arts Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at wftv.com.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley.   icFlorida Fun 3: Disney’s Aladdin at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Some 10 million audience members worldwide have had the chance to experience the magic of “Disney’s Aladdin,” and starting on January 22, the show will begin a 24 performance run in the Walt Disney Theatre at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “Disney’s Aladdin” brings the timeless Disney animated feature film to life with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. Tickets for “Disney’s Aladdin” at the Dr. Phillips Center from January 22 to February 9 are on sale now and start at $81 with VIP packages available.   The Hullabaloo in Thornton Park Thornton Park District is hosting its first Orlando Hullabaloo – an epic beach party taking place Jan. 25 at Lake Eola Park. Part music festival, part beach bash, Hullabaloo will bring musical acts Sugar Ray and Eve 6 as well as a host of local bands for an all-day beach-themed festival in the middle of the Florida winter. There will be food trucks, libations, and activities for all ages throughout the day.   Top Secret License to Spy at the Orlando Science Center  The Orlando Science Center is inviting guests to take on the role of a spy to solve the “Quantum Computer crime” in its newest exhibit, “Top Secret: License to Spy“ which opens Saturday. The visiting exhibition is a demonstration of how scientific thinking can be used to solve problems in many aspects of everyday life with 21 interactive experiences that explore the science and technology of espionage.   3 More Fun Things: Epcot International Festival of the Arts   Orange County Heritage Day   Lakeridge Winery Winter Music Series Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at wftv.com.  
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley   You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley.   icFlorida Fun 3: Fourth Annual Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest The Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest was created as a way to introduce audiences to the world of Fringe in a small, easy to introduce kind-of-way. Each and every one of the shows in the festival is hand-picked to assure that the shows are guaranteed to delight. Tickets start at $15 and they have an app to help you plan your Orlando Fringe Mini-Fest experience.   Inside Look Weekends at SeaWorld Orlando During SeaWorld Orlando’s January Inside Look event, families will dive deeper into the world of dolphin, sea lions, and manatees. Guests can meet and interact with SeaWorld’s renowned veterinarians and animal experts as they give you an intimate look at the day-to-day care they provide these amazing animals. Plus, you’ll get exclusive access to areas of the park never before visited by guests. This event is included with park admission, and right now SeaWorld Orlando has a special offer that if you purchase a single day ticket in advance you can enjoy a complimentary meal during your visit.   Orlando Family Game Night This Saturday you can enjoy a super fun night of selfies, hugs, games and laughs at Dave and Buster's Orlando Family Game Night hosted by James 'Murr' Murray from Impractical Jokers and Joey Fatone from *NSYNC. Here's your chance to meet and even challenge Murr and Fatone to a game of skeeball, win prizes, enter raffles, laugh and enjoy everything Dave &Buster’s has to offer!   3 More Fun Things: Lakeridge Winery Winter Music Series   Mecum Kissimmee 2020   Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at wftv.com.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade This annual Boat Parade comprised of decorated boats is sure to be a memorable time for the whole family. On Lake Virginia, family and friends can gather in their backyards, by Dinky Dock, or on the Rollins College campus behind the Cornell Fine Arts Museum to see the impressive boat and dock holiday decorations created by residents and local business sponsors. The event raises funds for the food pantry at Winter Park High School.   Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Amway Center Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), the multi-platinum, critically-acclaimed progressive rock group today, is bringing their highly-anticipated Christmas Eve and Other Stories tour to Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, December 14 for two performances.   'Christmas Eve and Other Stories' is based on the triple-platinum album of the same name. In keeping with the classic line, 'If You Want To Arrange It, This World You Can Change It,' the story is set on Christmas Eve when a young angel is sent to Earth to bring back what is best representative of humanity.    The album and tour feature such fan-favorites as, 'Ornament' and the epic, 'Old City Bar,' both of which have not been performed live in recent years. The rock opera also features such TSO classics as well as 'Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,' 'O' Come All Ye Faithful,' 'Good King Joy,' 'Promises To Keep,' and 'This Christmas Day.' Additionally, the tour will enjoy a new second set containing some of TSO's greatest hits and fan-pleasers including 'Christmas Canon,' 'Wizards In Winter' and many more.   Wine & Chocolate Festival The Lakeridge Winery annual Wine & Chocolate festival is without a doubt one of the most popular festivals of the year as there aren't too many things that pair together better than Wine and Chocolate.  During the event weekend local Chocolatiers will be on hand with their delicious treats, as well as local Artists and Crafters displaying their work. Guests can also enjoy live music by incredible bands on the outdoor stage, and in the Wine & Cheese Bar throughout the entire weekend. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks, and a variety of food will also be available for purchase.   A portion of the proceeds go to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida   3 More Fun Things:  Light Up UCF   Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando   Christmas at the Gaylord Palms featuring ICE!    Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at wftv.com.
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild From November 20, 2019 to January 12, 2020, The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will be transformed into a dazzling evening experience featuring more than 30 larger-than-life illuminated sculptures depicting animals, plants, and traditional Chinese elements. In addition to the hand-made LED lit lanterns, festival attendees will get to enjoy local food and beverage options, live music, and authentic artisan crafts nightly. This is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular Zoo admission, and tickets are available for purchase online only and will not be available in-person. General admission tickets are $18.50 per person, and a special four pack of tickets is being offered for $50.00. Zoo Annual Pass Holders receive a discounted price of $15.50 per person.   Christmas at the Gaylord Palms featuring ICE! The Gaylord Palms will be bursting with the magic of Christmas during the resort's signature holiday experience from November 25 - January 5, 2019! Christmas at the Gaylord Palms signature ICE! experience is themed to the beloved The Polar Express, but the holiday fun doesn’t stop there as you can enjoy the Cirque Dreams show, snow-tubing, and a sing-a-long with Mrs. Claus just to name a few!   Light Up UCF Get swept up in holiday cheer at Addition Financial Arena (formerly CFE Arena) and the University of Central Florida with the annual holiday festival, Light Up UCF. The event begins this Friday, November 22nd, and runs through Sunday, January 5th. This year’s festival offers 45 nights of ice skating, a world-class choreographed light show with NEW music, free holiday movies, live entertainment, rides like the Ferris Wheel and Light Up Express kids train, and NEW this year, a Carousel!   3 More Fun Things: Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando  Epcot International Food and Wine Festival  Festival of Trees  Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/ 
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: 10th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, November 8 & 9, 2019, offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 90 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from more than 60 wineries amidst a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Maker Faire Orlando Maker Faire Orlando is a non-profit, community-organized, family-friendly celebration featuring local do-it-yourself science, art, rockets, robots, crafts, technology, music and hands-on activities. On Nov. 9 and 10, people show what they are making and share what they are learning at the 8th annual event to be held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.   Individuals behind the exhibits are known as ‘Makers’ and range from tech enthusiasts to crafters and scientists to garage tinkerers of all ages and backgrounds. The two-day event is expected to draw 10,000+ attendees and includes 300+ local exhibits, Power Racing, Combat Robots, Nerdy Derby and much more on display throughout three air-conditioned exhibit halls, as well as, green spaces filled with hands-on activities, workshops and competitions.  College Park JazzFest College Park Main Street will host the 18th annual College Park JazzFest on Saturday November 9, 2019 from 5-11pm. The community’s flagship street festival along Edgewater Drive will feature 12 bands on three stages performing jazz, R&B, rock and more. College Park JazzFest will feature a vibrant street party atmosphere with diverse food trucks, vendors, and the local shops and restaurants open onto Edgewater Drive between Smith Street and Clayton Street.  3 More Fun Things: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival   Praise Wave at SeaWorld Orlando   8th Annual Cows ‘n Cabs Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Fall Fiesta in the Park  Outdoor fun and family activities draw thousands of Central Floridians to Lake Eola for the largest arts & crafts festival event series in Orlando, now in its 46th year of existence. With live entertainment, a huge amount of food options and a kids’ area highlight this event series that spans the entire walkway of Lake Eola (over a mile long). The real stars of Fiesta in the Park Series are the 600+ artists and crafters that come from all over the United States to display and sell their original work. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival A culinary mashup of global cultures and gourmet innovation will bring irresistible bites, sips, entertainment and family fun to the 24th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival daily through November 23, 2019. The Eat to the Beat Concert Series - included with theme park admission- performers for this weekend are Sheena Easton on November 1st and and Kris Allen on November 2 through 3.  Praise Wave at SeaWorld Orlando During Praise Wave guests can enjoy live musical performances by some of the hottest names in Christian music and celebrate in an atmosphere filled with Christian friendship, thrilling rides, and inspiring animal attractions. The uplifting live concert event series takes place Saturdays, November 2 – November 16 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. each Saturday in the park’s Nautilus Theater and are included with park admission. The SeaWorld Orlando Praise Wave 2019 musical performances include: Rend Collective - Saturday, November 2   Francesca Battistelli - Saturday, November 9   Natalie Grant - Saturday, November 16  3 More Fun Things: Baldwin Park First Friday   Scott’s Maze Adventures   2019 Furball: Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando  Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Mount Dora Craft Fair This weekend the streets of downtown Mount Dora will be filled with more than 400 of the best exhibitors in the country ready to show and sell their fine and fun crafts. Festival food, music, beer and wine tasting for adults, and a free kid zone for younger visitors.    Les Misérables  Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo Les Miz takes the stage at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts all weekend long.   Halloween Spooktoberfest The City of Casselberry will host this year’s free Halloween Spooktoberfest at Lake Concord Park, Saturday, Oct. 26, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thousands are expected for the family fun activities to include Trick or Treating, DJ Ghost & Ghoul Dance Party, costume contest, food and product vendors and a kids play area. The event will be held behind City Hall at 95 Triplet Lake Drive with parking available at area businesses.     3 More Fun Things: Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins at Gatorland  Downtown Clermont Harvest Festival   Oktoberfest at PB&G  Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: Taste of Nona: Diamonds and Denim The 7th Annual Taste of Nona is your chance to enjoy an evening out with a huge assortment of delectable dining options, live entertainment, and a silent auction. This year's Taste will feature more than 30 fantastic regional restaurants, dessert makers and catering services! Each vendor will bring a sampling of some of their most celebrated offerings. All of this is included in every ticket purchased for the Taste of Nona, and Boxi Park will provide cash bars for a full-sized taste of beverages offered by some of the vendors. Want the VIP Experience? VIP Ticket Holders will receive access to the event one full hour before the public: in this hour, VIPs will have the first go at all samples and beverages. Enjoy a private, luxurious VIP Zone and an exclusive cash bar to indulge in full-sized drinks and minimal lines. The VIP Zone is open throughout the event. All the proceeds from the Silent Auction will benefit Nemour's Hospital Children's Health Fund, Lake Nona.  Immerse 2019 October 18 & 19, IMMERSE yourself in an inspiring experience you can't have anywhere else in the world. Now in its seventh year, IMMERSE 2019 will be an even more spectacular display of creativity through music, dance, acrobats, murals, projection experiences, theater, and interactive installations. This global-destination experience in the streets and public spaces of Downtown Orlando bring the City Beautiful to life with hundreds of performances and installations.   Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins at Gatorland  This all-ages daytime Halloween event is taking place the last two weekends in October and Halloween day at Gatorland! Stroll through spooky areas like the “Graveyard of the Darned”, have an encounter with Skunk Ape “the Florida Bigfoot” at the Cryptozoo, then grab your Lederhosen for Frank & Stein’s Ooky Kooky Octoberfest, featuring live music from an undead polka band as well as German beer and food for purchase! And don’t miss the “Monster Movie Madness Show” starring Bubba, Cooter, and members of the audience! Plus animal meet and greets, fun shows, a variety of specialty vendors, games, giveaways and more! All this fun and excitement is included with your regular park admission! This isn’t a trick or treat event, and they won’t be giving out candy. BUT Kids can wear family-friendly costumes if they like. (Nothing scary or gory, please, Bubba and Cooter are easily spooked).   3 More Fun Things:  Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins at Gatorland  Spooky Seas at SEA LIFE Orlando  Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando  Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/   
  • Only on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley You don’t usually have to look too far to find fun things to do around Central Florida, and we’ve got you covered by selecting the best of the best each week. Shelley talks through our top weekend picks early Friday morning on Orlando’s Morning News with Joe Kelley. icFlorida Fun 3: 46th Winter Park Autumn Art Festival The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the festival on the second weekend in October each year. The community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment the whole family can enjoy. The festival is held in beautiful Central Park located along historic Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.   Hollerbach’s Oktoberfest 2019 The streets of Historical Downtown Sanford will once again flow with great fun for three days during the annual outdoor Hollerbach’s Oktoberfest German Street Party, featuring traditional cuisine from Willow Tree Café German restaurant, German beer, wine and Schnapps, polka music, people dancing in Lederhosen and Dirndls, and more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.   Lakeridge Winery 2019 BBQ & Blues Festival Get ready for a major Clash of the BBQ Titans! Some of the nation’s top BBQ Rib Competitors from all around the country are ready to compete in an epic battle for the top spot as the Lakeridge Winery 'Rib Champion'.  While you’re feasting on delicious BBQ, you can enjoy LIVE music on the outdoor stage with some of the area’s top Blues bands, plus some great solo acts inside at the Wine & Cheese Bar. During the weekend a large assortment of Arts & Craft vendors will be set up and offering a wide variety of art and hand-crafted items. As always, you'll be able to enjoy a free winery tour & tasting, plus your favorite Lakeridge wines, cold beer, ice cream, and a variety of other tasty treats available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds go to support the LovExtension, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the elderly and disabled communities in Lake County and The Villages.   3 More Fun Things:  Come Out With Pride 2019   Wonderfall Flavors at Disney Springs   Goblins & Giggles Getaway Weekends at the Gaylord Palms Resort    Stay in the know about what fun things are happening throughout Central Florida at icFlorida.com. - http://www.icflorida.com/  
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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than 1.2 million people worldwide – including more than 312,000 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 Saturday, April 5, continue below:  Florida congressman, first to test positive, now rid of virus Update 9:46 p.m. EDT April 5: A U.S. congressman from Florida who was the first representative to test positive, has recovered from the coronavirus. Rep. Mario Daiz-Balart said Sunday he was virus-free. “Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami,” Diaz-Balart said on social media. 'Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the (Red Cross) plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.” He later stressed the importance of social distancing. “I want to reiterate the seriousness of this sickness, and I encourage everyone to continue to follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” he said. Italy sees lowest death rate in weeks Update 8:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Health officials believe the curve is flattening in Italy where the country recorded its lowest death rate in nearly two weeks. Italy’s Civil Protection Service said Sunday 525 people died in a 24-hour period, the lowest since March 19 when 427 people died, The Associated Press reported. “The curve, which had been plateauing for days, is starting to descend,' health officials Silvio Brusaferro said Sunday. More than 15,800 people have died from the virus in Italy, according to Johns Hopkins virus tracking site. There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases. The country recorded more than 4,300 new cases Sunday. However, that number is a decrease from earlier in the outbreak when daily cases topped 6,000.The country has been on lockdown for nearly four weeks. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Washington sending 400 ventilators from national stockpile to New York Update 7:56 p.m. EDT April 5: Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. 'I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,' Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile, KIRO-TV reported. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths. Boris Johnson admitted to hospital with virus Update 6:06 p.m. EDT April 5: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital Sunday because of the coronavirus. He went to the hospital because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, The Associated Press reported. Officials said the move is a “precautionary step,” the BBC reported. Johnson is expected to stay overnight. Johnson, 55, has been quarantined since testing positive March 26. Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for virus  Update 4:56 p.m. EDT April 5: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. It is believed the big cat was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, accoridng to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. Death Valley National Park temporarily closes Update 3:26 p.m. EDT April 5: Death Valley National Park has been temporarily closed, effective Saturday due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, the National Park Service said on its website. The National Park Service said Daylight Pass and California highway 190 will remain open at the park, which is located in California and Nevada. The order means all park facilities, restrooms, viewpoints, trails, roads, and campgrounds are closed until further notice, according to the website. Fauci says coronavirus could become seasonal Update 3:11 p.m. EDT April 5: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. said there is a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely the disease will be under control globally. “Unless we get this globally under control, there’s a very good chance that it will assume a seasonal nature,” Fauci, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,' said Sunday. “We need to be prepared, that since it unlikely would be completely eradicated from the planet, that as we get into (the) next (flu) season, we may see the beginning of a resurgence.” Trump approves disaster declarations for Delaware, South Dakota Update 2:06 p.m. EDT April 5: President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Delaware and South Dakota, according to CNN. The president has now approved disaster declarations for 42 states, the U.S. Virgin islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Navy captain relieved of aircraft carrier command tests positive Update 12:46 p.m. EDT April 5: Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for COVID-19, The New York Times reported, citing who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, The New York Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family. A Navy spokesman declined comment on the captain’s status, the newspaper reported. Crozier was removed from the warship Thursday. He was fired after the San Francisco Chronicle reported Crozier emailed a letter to Navy leaders that listed failures in providing necessary resources to disinfect the ship as the virus spread through it, the Times reported. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” there were 155 confirmed coronavirus cases among sailors aboard the aircraft carrier. “There is an investigation ongoing,” Esper said on “State of the Union.” “All the services at times relieve commanders without the benefit of an investigation up front because they’ve lost confidence in them. It’s certainly not unique to the Navy.” NJ governor says state has secured 500 ventilators Update 12:14 p.m. EDT April 5: In a tweet Sunday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said his state has secured about 500 additional ventilators after having “multiple” conversations with the White House. “Ventilators are our No. 1 need right now,” Murphy tweeted. “I won’t stop fighting to get us the equipment we need to save every life we can.” Queen Elizabeth II: 'History will remember your actions’ Update 10:44 a.m. EDT April 5: Queen Elizabeth II, making a rare address to the nation, is expected to urge citizens in the United Kingdom to exercise discipline and resolve during the coronavirus crisis. Normally the queen, now 93, makes one speech annually, but this will be the second in two months, the BBC reported. 'I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” she said, according to excerpts obtained by The Associated Press. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.” The queen has given an address like this on only three other occasions, according to the AP: After the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, before the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997, and during first Gulf War in 1991. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” the queen said in remarks that will be broadcast Sunday night. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.” ‘Hardest and saddest’ week ahead, surgeon general says Update 10:26 a.m. EDT April 5: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the upcoming week will be the “hardest and the saddest” for Americans. Adams, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” characterized the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.” “I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Adams said on the news program. DC, Maryland, Virginia see increase in cases Update 10:10 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area around Washington, D.C. Sunday morning, there were 6.422 cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, The Washington Post reported. There were 3,126 cases in Maryland, 2,410 in Virginia and 906 in the District of Columbia, the newspaper reported. The total of virus-related deaths stood at 126 -- 52 in Virginia, 53 in Maryland and 21 in D.C. Pastor at Falwell’s church tests positive Update 8:59 a.m. EDT April 5: Charles Billingsley, worship leader of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, tested positive for the coronavirus, Pastor Jonathan Falwell told WDBJ. Falwell posted the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday. He says Billingsley’s symptoms are mild and he is getting better each day. Legendary NFL kicker Tom Dempsey dies from complications Update 8:42 a.m. EDT April 5: Former NFL placekicker Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in 1970, died Saturday from complications from the coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Dempsey contracted COVID-19 in March during an outbreak at a New Orleans retirement home, NOLA.com reported. He is one of 15 residents at the home to die from the virus. Dempsey was born without fingers on his right hand and wore a small, flat shoe on his kicking foot, the website reported. His record-setting field goal, on the last play of the game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, helped the Saints rally to a 19-17 victory. His field goal beat the previous mark by seven yards. NBA, Knicks, Nets work with Chinese official to donate 1M surgical masks to New York Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 5: The NBA and two professional basketball teams are working with a Chinese official to provide 1 million surgical masks to “essential workers” in New York. According to Reuters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the donation – a collaborative effort involving the league, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets and Chinese Consul General Huang Ping – Saturday on social media. “New York thanks you,” Cuomo tweeted Saturday afternoon. “We are beyond grateful for this gift of critically needed PPE.” >> See the tweet here As of Sunday morning, New York had reported at least 114,174 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,565 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass without public Update 6:52 a.m. EDT April 5: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis took a different approach to his Palm Sunday Mass, typically celebrated outside in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City with tens of thousands of people looking on. According to The Associated Press, the pope celebrated the Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. Only a few prelates, nuns and guests were invited to attend, the AP reported. As of Sunday morning, Italy had reported 124,632 COVID-19 cases – the third-highest in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy also had logged at least 15,362 deaths, more than any other country. Oprah Winfrey donating $10 million to relief efforts Update 5:45 a.m. EDT April 5: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is donating $10 million amid the coronavirus pandemic, she said last week. In an Instagram post Thursday, Winfrey praised America’s Food Fund, a donation drive started by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. According to the initiative’s GoFundMe page, it is currently benefiting two food charities: Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. “I was struck by the work these organizations are doing, and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help,” Winfrey wrote. “I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity.” She added that she is “donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up.” >> See the post here As of Sunday morning, America’s Food Fund’s crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $13 million toward its $15 million goal. Tokyo to report 143 new cases, breaking city’s single-day record Update 4:43 a.m. EDT April 5: Tokyo on Sunday will report 143 new coronavirus cases, topping the city’s single-day record, the Japan Times is reporting. Japan’s capital city has reported more than 1,000 cases of the virus, according to the newspaper. On Sunday morning, Johns Hopkins University reported 3,139 confirmed coronavirus cases and 77 deaths in Japan. BBB warns of fake coronavirus stimulus check, other scams Update 3:40 a.m. EDT April 5: Scammers across the United States continue to trick people in an attempt to steal their money or information, WHBQ-TV is reporting. The Better Business Bureau said that most of the recent scams reported involves the stimulus checks that the government will be sending out to citizens. Here are some of the scams reported to the BBB this week: A phone call saying that student loans qualify you for immediate COVID-19 relief. The woman who reported this scam said she doesn’t have any student loans. Two Facebook messages from someone posing as a government official that that says you qualify for an immediate COVID-19 grant. Both targets were offered grants of $50,000 to $300,000 if they paid an upfront fee by gift cards or wire. One victim said the person communicating with her was posing as William Barr, U.S. Attorney General. A Facebook message from a “friend” that asks you to call a specified number and give your Social Security Number so you can find out when you’ll get your government relief check. The woman who reported this scam said several of her church members had told her about it thinking it was real. A text message asking for your Social Security Number to see if you qualified for $50,000 from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money was for seniors affected by coronavirus. A text message stating that if you confirmed your bank account information and paid $50, you could get your stimulus check immediately. The FBI has warned of a text message scam that appears to be from Costco offering you $100 to spend there. The FBI says if you click on the link, malware will be downloaded to your device. The Better Business Bureau said to remember: The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get the stimulus money. No fees. No charges. No nothing. The government does not need you to provide your personal information in order to receive your payment. They will deposit money into the account you gave on your tax return last year or send you a check. Anyone asking for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number is a scammer. The checks are not in the mail … yet. Anyone who tells you they can expedite your check for a fee is a scammer. Never give your bank account information to someone you don’t know. Scammers will call and pressure you to divulge your bank account information so they can steal the money in the account. Look-alikes and sound-alikes aren’t the real thing. Just because the a caller claims to be with the government doesn’t mean he is. Scammers make up official-sounding names to fool you. Phone numbers can deceive. Con artists “spoof” their phone numbers to change what you see in caller ID. They could be calling from anywhere. If you spot a scam, please report it to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org/scamtracker. HIV drug showing signs of successfully treating coronavirus patients Update 1:44 a.m. EDT April 5: A drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients has shown success in treating some of the most severe coronavirus patients and was just cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a phase two clinical trial. Much of the work behind the drug is happening in Washington state. The drug was developed by a company called CytoDyn in Vancouver, Washington. It is manufactured by a company in Bothell, Washington, AGC Biologics, which makes a special molecule that is the key ingredient in the drug, KIRO-TV reported. Scientists at CytoDyn figured out it could work to treat COVID-19, and the first severely sick patients who’ve tried it have shown improvement. The drug is called leronlimab, comes in a vial and is a two-shot-per-week dose over two weeks. It is being tried on 10 of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The patients are on ventilators, and some are barely conscious. “The first four patients who were intubated, two were extubated. One of them self-extubated and became alert,” said Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn. Now the two patients are out of the intensive care unit. Pourhassan said when he heard the results, he had to stop what he was doing. “And cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said. He said studies show that in the U.S., 85% of COVID-19 patients who end up needing ventilators will die. But the patients who’ve gotten shots of this drug have shown strong results. “All eight patients we’ve analyzed so far – the first eight patients – saw immunological benefits. The FDA immediately allowed us to have a phase two randomized trial. We are initiating that today,” Pourhassan said Friday. He said the results were even seen in COVID patients who only got the shots three days, though it takes two weeks for the drugs to take full effect. Read more here. U.S. cases soar past 312,000, including nearly 8,500 deaths Update 12:53 a.m. EDT April 5: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States soared past 312,000 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands early Sunday. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 312,146 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 8,496 deaths. Worldwide, there are 1,203,099 confirmed cases and 64,774 deaths from the virus. U.S. cases outnumber those in any other nation, including the 126,168 reported in Spain and the 124,632 confirmed in Italy. Of the confirmed deaths in the U.S., 3,565 have occurred in New York, 846 in New Jersey, 540 in Michigan and 409 in Louisiana. In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest-hit with at least 114,174 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 34,124, Michigan with 14,225 and California with 13,878. Five other states have each confirmed at least 10,000 novel coronavirus cases, including: • Louisiana: 12,496, including 409 deaths • Massachusetts: 11,736, including 216 deaths • Florida: 11,545, including 195 deaths • Pennsylvania: 10,444, including 139 deaths • Illinois: 10,359, including 244 deaths Meanwhile, Washington state has confirmed at least 7,500 novel coronavirus infections, while Texas and Georgia have confirmed at least 6,000 cases each. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Seminole County deputies said they found trafficking amounts of heroin and cocaine after detectives found a stolen car Thursday morning at a Florida home. Deputies said cash and several handguns were also seized at the home in unincorporated Lake Mary. A baby alligator was also being kept illegally in the home, deputies said. Four suspects are facing several felony charges. “Make no mistake, any criminals thinking they can use our coronavirus emergency to take advantage know that our dedicated men and women are keeping our neighborhoods safe,” said Sheriff Dennis Lemma.
  • Gov. Jay Inslee announced Sunday that Washington will be returning more than 400 ventilators from the federal government to help the state of New York, which is experiencing a higher number of coronavirus cases. “I’ve said many times over the last few weeks, we are in this together. This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks,” Inslee said. The ventilators were sent from the Strategic National Stockpile. Washington recently purchased more than 750 of its own ventilators that will arrive over the next several weeks. “Thanks to the mitigation efforts the governor has put in place and the cooperation of Washingtonians, we have seen fewer infections in our communities than anticipated. Our current status allows us to help others who have a more immediate need,' said Raquel Bono, a former vice admiral and director of Washington state’s COVID-19 Health System Response Management. There are more than 7,400 confirmed cases and 319 deaths in Washington state, according to The New York Times. In New York state, there are more than 122,500 confirmed cases and 4,159 deaths.
  • Police in a Louisiana city blared a siren signaling the start of curfew -- unknowing that it sounded similar to the alarm in the horror movie “The Purge.” Crowley police sounded the siren Friday night, prompting complaints from residents familiar with the horror franchise, KATC reported. Chief Jimmy Broussard said he was not familiar with the movies. The department will no longer use any type of siren to note curfew hours, KATC reported. The siren sounded eerily similar to the alarm in the movie “The Purge,” where it signaled all crimes, including murder, were legal for a 12-hour period. The Acadia Parish sheriff distanced his department from the noise. “Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” K.P. Gibson said in a statement. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ’Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose.”
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first known infection in an animal or a tiger anywhere, The Associated Press reported. It is believed Nadia, a 4-year-old Malayan tiger, was exposed to the virus by an employee at the zoo, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several lions and tigers were showing symptoms of the virus March 27, but only the one tested positive. All of the big cats are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed to the public since about mid-March. Other animals in the zoo are not showing signs of the virus. The zoo on Tuesday shared video on social media of the tigers enjoying a swim. Agriculture officials are warning people infected with the coronavirus to avoid their pets, like they would other people. “Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people,” agriculture officials said in a statement. “Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • President Donald Trump this weekend bluntly warned Americans to prepare for what his team said could be one of the roughest weeks yet against the Coronavirus, as the U.S. has now had four consecutive days with over 1,000 new deaths related to the virus outbreak. 'This will be probably be the toughest week,' the President told reporters at a Saturday briefing. 'There will be a lot of death, unfortunately.' Top federal health officials agreed with that assessment. 'Right now, we're seeing - as well all said correctly - that this is probably going to be a really bad week,' said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert for the U.S. government. Fauci joined the President in again urging Americans to do what they can to limit their social activities, and thus limit the spread of the virus. 'The only tool - but the best tool that we have - is mitigation,' Fauci told reporters at a Sunday night White House briefing. Fauci reminded reporters that the measures being taken by Americans in terms of social distancing take about two and a half weeks to show up in terms of fewer cases, and a drop in the number of deaths. 'People really understand the responsibility they have for themselves, their family and for the country,' Fauci said at the White House. Fauci's colleague, Dr. Deborah Birx, told reporters that health officials continue to see the most problems in the New York City metro area, as well as in New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole. Birx also name-checked Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington State, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. - where there have been rumblings in recent days about a possible broader spread of the virus. 'We do see hopeful signs in Spain and Italy. They have completed nearly four weeks of mitigation,' Birx said, telling Americans they should follow the lead of those nations in terms of social distancing, as a way to stop the spread of the virus. During Sunday's briefing, the President repeated his endorsement of the use of hydroxychloroquine - a drug often associated with malaria treatment - to be used against the Coronavirus. 'What really do we have to lose?' the President asked reporters at one point, encouraging people to use the drug, even though it has not been specifically found to stop the virus. 'It may not work, in which case, hey - it didn't work,' the President said at one point. 'And it may work, in which case, it may save a lot of lives.' 'If it does help, great,' Mr. Trump added. 'If it doesn't help, we gave it a shot.' The President's promotion of hydroxychloriquine has drawn concerns from Fauci - who has noted the lack of broader trials - but Mr. Trump has pressed forward with the idea, bolstered by support among GOP lawmakers and conservative media. On Sunday, when one reporter tried to ask Fauci his opinion, the President stepped in and did not let Fauci answer. 'You know how many times he's answered that question?' the President said to a reporter from CNN. '15 times. You don't have to ask that question. He's answered that question 15 times.' The death toll from the Coronavirus in the U.S. will go over 10,000 people on Monday.