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National
Coronavirus: More than 140 infected at Texas nursing homes
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Coronavirus: More than 140 infected at Texas nursing homes

Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know

Coronavirus: More than 140 infected at Texas nursing homes

More than one million people worldwide -- including more than 245,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals brace for unprecedented patient surges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here.

Live updates for Friday, April 3, continue below

More than 140 infected at Texas nursing homes

Update 11:15 p.m. EDT April 3: Coronavirus outbreaks at two Texas nursing homes have infected more than 140 residents, and Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that Texas has doubled its number of available hospital beds in the past two weeks. But hospital officials say not enough protective gear is available for doctors and nurses, and Texas isn’t getting all the supplies it has requested from the federal government.

More than half of the 146 residents and staff members of a Galveston County nursing home have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, prompting county health officials to quarantine the facility.

In a statement Friday, the Galveston County Health District said 83 residents and staff members at The Resort at Texas City tested positive Thursday for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

District officials became aware of the first positive case at the home on March 28. “Over the weekend and early this week, an increase in positive COVID-19 cases was reported. The health district felt it prudent to test all residents and employees for the virus,” according to the statement.

Some results are still pending.

China holds 3-minute nationwide solemn reflection for victims

Update 10:10 p.m. EDT April 3: With air raid sirens wailing and flags at half-mast, China held a three-minute nationwide moment of reflection to honor those who have died in the coronavirus outbreak, especially “martyrs” who fell while fighting what has become a global pandemic.

Commemorations took place at 10 a.m. in all major cities, but were particularly poignant in Wuhan, the industrial center where the virus was first detected in December.

Wuhan was placed under complete lockdown on Jan. 23 in an effort to stem the spread of the virus and has been lauded as a “heroic city” by the nation’s communist leadership for the sacrifices made by its 11 million citizens.

WNBA postpones start of season

Update 9 p.m. EDT April 3: The WNBA season will not start on time next month because of the coronavirus pandemic, and when it begins is unclear.

The league announced Friday it will delay the season for an indefinite period. Training camps were to open on April 26 and the regular season on May 15.

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement Friday the league will “use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats.”

“Our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees,” Engelbert said.

Trump admin tries to narrow stockpile’s role for states

Update 8:10 p.m. EDT April 3: The Trump administration on Friday abruptly changed its description of the Strategic National Stockpile and put forward a narrower vision of the role the federal government’s repository of life-saving medicines and equipment should play in supplying states’ needs.

The change comes as the White House already is facing growing anger and worry from governors over federal assistance to fight the coronavirus outbreak. But it conforms with President Donald Trump’s insistence that the stockpile is only a short-term backup for states, not a commitment to ensure supplies get quickly to those who need them most during an emergency, the latest front in a concerted White House effort to try to put the onus for battling the crisis on the states, with Washington meant to play more of a supporting role.

Trump angrily defended the approach in his Friday news conference, his early sunny demeanor darkening as he was pressed on expected death rates and his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s comments suggesting the national stockpile is not intended for states. He sparred with reporters and insisted his administration was “doing our best for New York,” the pandemic’s epicenter, even as Governor Andrew Cuomo warns the state is in danger of not having enough ventilators to help patients stricken with coronavirus in a matter of days.

The alteration of the language describing the stockpile was reflected on government websites on Friday, a day after Kushner, a White House senior adviser who has taken a larger role in the coronavirus response, offered a new argument about the supplies.

After saying that states should use their own stockpiles first, Kushner on Thursday said, “And the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpiles that they then use.”

And asked what Kushner meant by “our stockpile,” Trump snapped at a reporter, “You know what our means: United States of America...our. Our. It means the United States of America.”

Chicago hospital and nurses union agree on hazard pay

Update 7:30 p.m. EDT April 3: A Chicago hospital and its nurses union have agreed on hazard pay for nurses working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Illinois Hospital and the Illinois Nurses Association announced the agreement Friday.

Depending on assignment, the extra pay ranges from $5 an hour to $15 an hour for registered nurses and from $3.50 an hour to $9 an hour for licensed practical nurses. Nurses on salary also get increases.

The agreement will remain in place until either the Illinois stay-at-home order is lifted or the hospital suspends its internal emergency operations.

CDC advises public to wear masks as death toll tops 7,000

Update 6 p.m. EDT April 3: President Donald Trump says his administration is encouraging many Americans to wear face masks in public, though he stresses that the recommendation is optional and is conceding that he will not be complying with it.

The new guidelines, announced Friday, encourage people to use more rudimentary covering like T-shirts, bandannas and non-medical masks. And President Donald Trump himself suggested scarves could be an good alternative to masks.

While these new recommendations were being announced Friday evening, the U.S. death toll increased to 7,077 according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Hobby Lobby closes all store locations

Update 5:15 p.m. EDT April 3: Hobby Lobby is closing all its stores nationwide and furloughing employees without pay.

The arts and crafts store released a statement Friday saying it’s closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hobby Lobby also said in the statement that it will be furloughing a large portion of corporate and distribution employees.

Hobby Lobby statement:

"As the country continues efforts to manage and mitigate the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus, Hobby Lobby will, after careful consideration, close the remainder of its stores, and furlough nearly all store employees and a large portion of corporate and distribution employees, effective Friday, April 3rd, at 8:00 p.m. The stores will remain closed until further notice.

“In order to allow our furloughed employees to take full advantage of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Recovery Rebates provided to eligible employees by the federal government, we are ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of Company provided paid time off benefits (PPTO and Vacation) in accordance with the requirements outlined in the CARES Act (subject to State law requirements). However, we will maintain medical, dental, life, and long-term disability benefits for employees while furloughed through at least May 1, 2020, and will pay the cost of employee premiums for these benefits on behalf of employees while furloughed without pay. We encourage furloughed employees to file their claims with their State’s unemployment commissions as soon as possible. Upon return, employees will retain their original dates of hire and any accrued PPTO and Vacation. Our sincere gratitude goes out to our dedicated employees at this difficult time, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome them back, once we are able to reopen.”

“We know our customers relied on us to provide essential products, including materials to make personal protective equipment, such as face masks, educational supplies for the countless parents who are now educating their children from home, and the thousands of small arts and crafts businesses who rely on us for supplies to make their products. Over the past several weeks, we implemented several best practices to provide a safer shopping environment, including the installation of physical barriers between customers and cashiers, enhanced cleaning, and the enforcement of social distancing measures. We are prepared to reopen our stores in a responsible way when the current situation improves, and look forward to welcoming our valued customers back to our stores. Until then, we pray for those affected by the virus, protection for the health care professionals caring for the sick, economic security for all impacted businesses and employees, and wisdom for our leaders.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announces stay at home order starting Saturday

Update 5:15 p.m. EDT April 3: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a shelter-in-place order that will go into effect 5 p.m. Saturday.

Republican governors in Florida, Mississippi and Georgia on Wednesday also reversed course and issued stay-home directives after previously resisting such a statewide order.

Nationwide death toll approaches 7,000

Update 4:45 p.m. EDT April 3: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there have been at least 6,889 deaths from the 266,671 cases in the U.S.

New York state alone accounts for more than 2,900 dead, an increase of over 560 in just one day. Most of the dead are in New York City, where hospitals are getting swamped with patients. About 15,000 people were hospitalized statewide, most of them in the city.

White House to test anyone expected to be near Trump, Pence for COVID-19

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT April 3: The White House is stepping up precautions to protect the president and vice president from contracting the new coronavirus.

Starting Friday, anyone who is expected to be in “close proximity” to either President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will be given a quick COVID-19 test “to evaluate for pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers status to limit inadvertent transmission," according to White House spokesman Judd Deere.

All visitors to the White House complex already have their temperatures taken when entering the building and if they will be in close proximity to either Trump or Pence.

Trump took the new COVID-19 test on Thursday and the White House doctor said results were back in 15 minutes. He tested negative.

California reports 10,701 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said Friday that 10,701 coronavirus infections have been confirmed in the state.

Newsom said 2,188 of those infections were serious enough to require hospitalization. He added that 901 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units Friday.

“This disease can impact anyone,” he said. “Stay home. Take this seriously.”

Supreme Court postpones oral arguments

Update 3:30 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials with the Supreme Court on Friday announced the postponement of oral arguments planned for the Court’s April session due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg said officials with consider rescheduling cases from the March and April sessions for later in the Court’s term, if possible.

“The Court will consider a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the courtroom before the end of the term,” she said.

Arberg added that justices will continue to review cases argued so far this term and post opinions on the Supreme Court’s website.

3,067 COVID-19 cases reported in Tennessee

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials in Tennessee reported 3,067 total coronavirus cases across the state Friday, WHBQ-TV reported.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health said 293 of those cases were serious enough to require hospitalization. Thirty-seven people have died of COVID-19 in the state while 248 people have recovered, according to WHBQ-TV.

Ohio considering releasing some inmates due to coronavirus

Update 3:05 p.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said Friday that authorities are looking into the possibility of releasing 23 women who are pregnant or have had a child in prison, WHIO-TV reported.

Officials said there were also 15 people over the age of 60 who are within 60 days of their planned prison release dates who might also be released. Authorities said all the inmates being considered for early release are non-violent, non-sexual offenders, according to WHIO-TV.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Health have reported 3,312 coronavirus cases in the state. The virus has claimed at least 91 lives in Ohio.

1 in 5 Americans killed by COVID-19 middle-aged

Update 2:50 p.m. EDT April 3: A first look at recent U.S. death certificate data confirmed that most of the initial American coronavirus deaths were people age 65 and older. But it also notes that about 1 in 5 were middle-aged.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the data online Friday. It reflects 1,150 U.S. coronavirus deaths that occurred through the last week of March. That tally is several hundred deaths lower than other totals reported for the same period, because it relies on death certificate information which can come in weeks after other kinds of reports.

The new data said 56% of deaths were people 75 and older, and another 23% were people in their late 60s and early 70s. But another 17% were ages 45 to 64, and 3% were 35 to 44. The statistics were smaller for younger adults. One child died.

Pennsylvania governor urges residents to wear cloth masks in public

Update 2:40 p.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and state Secretary of Health Rachel Levine urged people Friday to begin wearing masks in public in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, WPXI reported.

Officials stressed that N95 respirator and surgical masks were not necessary. Instead, they suggested people wear cloth masks, a bandanna or something similar to cover people’s noses and mouths, according to WPXI.

“Wearing a mask will help us cut down the possibility that we might be infecting an innocent bystander, like the grocery store cashier, the pharmacist, or someone stocking shelves,” Wolf said.

“These people are keeping us alive by getting us the supplies we need. We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep them safe. Right now, that means wearing a mask.”

Mississippi officials report 181 new coronavirus cases

Update 2:25 p.m. EDT April 3: Health officials in Mississippi reported 181 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1,358, WHBQ-TV reported.

Officials also reported three new deaths, according to WHBQ-TV. Statewide, 1,358 people have died of COVID-19, officials said.

2 more federal inmates die of COVID-19, officials say

Update 2:15 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Friday announced two more inmates have died of COVID-19.

Authorities said Wallace Holley Jr., a 56-year-old inmate at the Federal Correction Institution Oakdale I in Oakdale, Louisiana, died Thursday. Officials said Holley, who had long-term,pre-existing medical conditions, tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his death.

Margarito Garcia-Fragoso, a 65-year-old inmate at Federal Satellite Low Institution Elkton in Lisbon, Ohio, also died Thursday after he tested positive for COVID-19. He also had long-term, pre-existing medical conditions, officials said.

COVID-19 cases top 10,000 in Louisiana

Update 1:55 p.m. EDT April 3: Health officials in Louisiana reported 1,157 new coronavirus infections Friday, raising the state’s total number of cases to 10,297.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health also noted the death toll attributed to the coronavirus doubled from the 185 reported Thursday to 370.

IMF official: Recession caused by coronavirus ‘a crisis like no other’

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT April 3: The head of the International Monetary Fund says the recession sparked by the coronavirus pandemic is “way worse” than the 2008 global recession.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva described the situation as “a crisis like no other.”

“Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill,” she said. “We are now in recession, it is way worse than the global financial crisis and it is a crisis that requires all of us to come together."

Georgieva said 90 countries have already approached the institution for emergency financing. She called on countries to prioritize health expenditures and to make sure doctors, nurses and other health workers are paid. She added that the world’s most fragile countries must be protected, noting that “$90 billion have flown out” and damaged emerging economies.

4,372 new coronavirus cases reported in New Jersey

Update 1:40 p.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Friday that 4,372 new COVID-19 cases have been reported, bringing the statewide total to 29,895.

In addition, Murphy said 113 new fatal coronavirus cases were identified. In all, 646 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.

Murphy identified one of the victims as James Brown, the principal of Grover Middle School in Caldwell. He was 48 years old.

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin tests positive for COVID-19

Update 1:15 p.m. EDT April 3: CNN reporter Brooke Baldwin announced Friday on Instagram that she’s been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“I am OKAY,” she wrote Friday. “It came on suddenly yesterday afternoon. Chills, aches, fever. I’ve been social distancing. Doing ALL the things we’re being told to do. Still -- it got me.”

She said she has no underlying health conditions and that overall, she feels “like one of the lucky ones.”

“I look forward to being back on (television) and seeing you real soon," she wrote.

She also thanked health care workers for their efforts on the front line of the coronavirus battle.

Baldwin is at least the second CNN anchor to test positive for coronavirus. Earlier, reporter Chris Cuomo said he was self-isolating after being diagnosed with the viral infection.

Special small business loans available beginning Friday

Update 1:10 p.m. EDT April 3: Beginning Friday, small businesses struggling to stay afloat as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the United States can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loans set up through the CARES Act passed by Congress last month.

Four programs are now in place to help small businesses to stay in business until the public health crisis triggered by COVID-19 abates. The programs came from the CARES Act which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.

109 new coronavirus cases reported in Oklahoma

Update 12:45 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials in Oklahoma said 109 new coronavirus infections were reported Friday, raising the total number of cases in the state to 988, according to KOKI-TV.

Four new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported in the state, bringing Oklahoma’s COVID-19 death toll to 38. The four new fatal cases involved patients who were all over 65 years old.

Pennsylvania officials report 1,404 new coronavirus cases

Update 12:40 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials in Pennsylvania reported 1,404 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the state’s total to 8,420, WPXI reported.

In addition, officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 12 more deaths. Statewide 102 people have died of COVID-19, according to WPXI.

104 new coronavirus infections reported in DC

Update 12:20 p.m. EDT April 3: Officials in Washington D.C. said 104 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the total in the district to 757.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said three new fatal cases were also reported Friday. In all, 15 people have died due to COVID-19 in Washington D.C.

Delta Air Lines giving passengers 2 years to rebook flights

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT April 3: Delta Air Lines announced Friday that the company is extending its window to redeem travel credits from one to two years amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The change will allow for travel credits to be used through May 2022.

“Just as our business is changing, we know that events in our customers’ lives are being changed and canceled, too,” airline officials said Friday in a statement. “Whether customers have been affected by recent schedule adjustments or want additional reassurance about upcoming travel, we’re now extending the ability to plan, re-book and travel with us for up to two years – giving Delta customers some extra breathing room.”

Temporary military hospitals to begin taking COVID-19 patients, Pentagon says

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 3: The Pentagon said it will begin accepting COVID-19 positive patients at Pentagon-supported medical facilities in Dallas and New Orleans that previously had been designated as non-COVID hospitals.

COVID-19 positive patients in convalescent care and those deemed non-urgent cases will be accepted at the Morial federal medical station in New Orleans and at the Kay Bailey Hutchison federal medical center in Dallas. These patients must first be screened at a local hospital.

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he had approved New York’s request that COVID-19 patients be accepted for care at the Pentagon-supported Javits center, which previously had taken on non-COVID patients.

The Pentagon also said Friday that screening for care of non-COVID-19 patients on the hospital ship USNS Comfort in New York harbor is being modified in an effort to reduce a backlog at some New York hospitals.

Instead of requiring patients to be tested for COVID-19 at the hospital from which they are being transferred, each patient transferred to the Comfort will be screened by temperature and given a short questionnaire pier-side.

The Pentagon also announced that the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the active-duty military had risen to 978 as of Friday morning. That is up 85 from a day earlier.

New York reports 562 new fatal COVID-19 cases

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the state saw its “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started” on Friday.

Officials reported 562 new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 2,373.

102,863 coronavirus infections reported in New York

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT April 3: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Friday that 10,481 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 102,863.

New York has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

UK prime minister to continue self-isolating

Update 11 a.m. EDT April 3: Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom said Friday that he will continue to self-isolate past the recommended seven-day period as he deals with a “minor symptom” lingering since his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Johnson said he continues to have a fever.

“In accordance with government advice, I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes," he said. “But we’re clearly working the whole time on our program to defeat the virus.”

Mayor tells New York City residents to wear face coverings in public

Update 10:50 a.m. EDT April 3: Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said Friday that residents should wear face coverings while around people who are not part of their families or households to stymie the spread of the new coronavirus.

He said in a video posted Friday to Twitter that he’s been asked several times recently whether masks are appropriate for people in the general public.

“The masks -- the surgical masks, those N95 masks -- we want to keep those for the health care workers, for the first responders,” he said.

“We’re now advising all New Yorkers, when you go outside and you’re close to other people -- not your own family and people under your same roof, but when you’re close to other people -- have a bandanna, a scarf, some kind of face covering you can use when you happen to be in close proximity to people.”

He emphasized that the mask does not protect against coronavirus and urged people to continue keeping at least 6 feet of space between each other.

“(This) will help make sure that if, God forbid you’ve contracted the disease, even if you’re not yet symptomatic, that you won’t inadvertently spread it to someone else,” he said. “It’s a precaution to protect others.”

Cruise ship en route to Florida confirms 12 COVID-19 cases

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT April 3: Health officials have confirmed a dozen coronavirus infections on a Princess Cruise Lines ship headed toward Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company officials said Thursday.

Princess Cruise Lines said that on Tuesday, crew members on the Coral Princess sent 13 COVID-19 test samples to health officials in Barbados. Of those, samples from seven guests and five crew members tested positive for the viral infection.

The Coral Princess had set sail March 5 from Chile, one week before Princess Cruises announced a 60-day pause of operations. It was scheduled to travel to Argentina, where passengers were set to disembark March 19.

Stocks open lower after US government reports 700,000 job losses

Update 9:50 a.m. EDT April 3: Stocks wavered in early trading on Wall Street after the U.S. government reported that more than 700,000 jobs were lost last month.

Businesses have shut down across the country and the world as people stay home in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading. European markets were down Friday after losses in most of Asia.

The price of oil continued to rise on hopes for a global deal to limit overproduction, which helped boost energy stocks. The price of benchmark U.S. crude rose 7%.

Grupo Modelo to halt production of Corona beer

Update 9:45 a.m. EDT April 3: Grupo Modelo, the Mexican company that brews Corona beer, said Friday in a statement that it will halt production of the drink and others it brews to comply with Mexico’s closure of non-essential businesses.

U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March

Update 9:15 a.m. EDT April 3: A new report from the Labor Department on Friday showed the economic storm associated with the coronavirus battering the U.S. economy in March, causing the loss of 701,000 jobs, and pushing the jobless rate up by almost one percent -- the largest monthly increase in over 45 years.

The unemployment rate was at 4.4 percent in March, not far under the 4.7 percent rate when President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the highest jobless rate of his presidency.

"Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places," the Labor Department reported.

“Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction,” the report added.

UK officials report 684 new fatal coronavirus cases 

Update 9:05 a.m. EDT April 3: Officials in the United Kingdom recorded 684 new fatal COVID-19 cases on Friday, raising the country’s coronavirus death toll to 3,605. The number is slightly higher than the 569 deaths reported Thursday.

Authorities with the British Department of Health and Social Care also announced 4,450 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases. In all, officials said 33,718 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in the U.K.

Germany becomes 4th nation to surpass China’s total coronavirus count

Update 7:53 a.m. EDT April 3: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus hit 54,137 early Friday, and Spain’s total number of infections surpassed that of Italy, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 1,030,628 people worldwide. Four countries – the United States, Spain, Italy and Germany – have now confirmed total infection counts well above China’s 82,509 tally.

• The United States has reported 245,573 cases, resulting in 6,058 deaths.

• Spain has reported 117,710 infections, resulting in 10,935 deaths.

• Italy has confirmed 115,242 cases, resulting in 13,915 deaths.

• Germany has reported 85,063 cases, resulting in 1,111 deaths.

• China has recorded 82,509 cases, resulting in 3,326 deaths.

• France has confirmed 59,929 infections, resulting in 5,398 deaths.

• Iran has recorded 53,183 cases, resulting in 3,160 deaths.

• The United Kingdom has reported 34,192 cases, resulting in 2,926 deaths.

• Switzerland has confirmed 19,145 cases, resulting in 573 deaths.

• Turkey has recorded 18,135 cases, resulting in 356 deaths.

UK field hospital NHS Nightingale opens less than 2 weeks after project began

Update 7:41 a.m. EDT April 3: Less than two weeks after crews began repurposing London’s ExCel conference center to accommodate overflow novel coronavirus patients, the NHS Nightingale field hospital stands ready to serve.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, called the timely transformation a “spectacular and almost unbelievable feat.”

“(It’s) an example – if ever one was needed – of how the impossible could be made possible,” he said Friday via a video-link from Scotland, where he has been self-isolating after being diagnosed with the virus in March.

“In this dark time, this place will be a shining light,” Prince Charles said, adding, “It is symbolic of the selfless care and devoted service taking place in innumerable settings, with countless individuals throughout the United Kingdom.”

To date, the United Kingdom has reported 34,192 cases, resulting in 2,926 deaths.

Coronavirus cases continue mounting in Brazil, Japan

Update 6:56 a.m. EDT April 3: With more than 1 million novel coronavirus cases now recorded worldwide, new – and some old – hotspots are emerging as the pandemic continues its global spread.

• Brazil confirmed Thursday its third consecutive day logging at least 1,000 new cases. The South American country now reports a total of 7,910 infections, which have resulted in at least 299 deaths.

• Japan confirmed early Friday that 235 additional novel coronavirus cases have brought the East Asian country’s total to 3,329, resulting in at least 63 deaths.

• Tokyo reported its largest single-day increase in new cases on Friday with 97. Japan’s capital city has now confirmed a total of 684 cases.

Portion of famed Paris market repurposed as makeshift morgue

Update 6:33 a.m. EDT April 3: A portion of the Rungis food market on the outskirts of Paris has been converted into a temporary morgue to handle the swelling number of novel coronavirus fatalities reported in the region.

According to The Washington Post, the Paris Police Prefecture is converting one isolated building in the world’s largest meat and vegetable market into a makeshift morgue, capable of accommodating between 800 and 1,000 coffins.

“This location will permit the coffins of the deceased to be kept in the most dignified and acceptable conditions from a health point of view, pending their burial or cremation in France or abroad,” the prefecture said in a statement, circulated widely among French media.

According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins UniversityFrance has recorded at least 59,929 COVID-19 infections since the global pandemic began, resulting in 5,398 fatalities.

Libya confirms 1st coronavirus-related death

Update 4:35 a.m. EDT April 3: Libya’s National Center for Disease Control confirmed the country’s first novel coronavirus-related fatality in a statement released Thursday.

The patient, who was not diagnosed until after hear death, was an 85-year-old woman.

According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the North African nation has reported a total of 11 infections to date.

Lenders question Friday rollout of $349B small business coronavirus relief program

Update 4:23 a.m. EDT April 3: The $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program is slated to launch today, but banks tapped to disperse the emergency federal small business loans told The Washington Post they are skeptical the plan is rollout-ready.

“Having just received guidance outlining how to implement a $349 billion program literally hours before it starts, we would ask for everyone to be patient as banks move heaven and earth to get a system in place and running to help America’s small businesses and the millions of men and women who work at them,” Richard Hunt, president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Bankers Association, said in a statement.

The Paycheck Protection Program, considered a key element of the $2.2 trillion economic relief package approved by Congress one week ago, is intended to deliver a “sharply streamlined, same-day approval process unheard of in the history of federally backed small business lending,” the Post reported.

Several participating lenders indicated in interviews with the Post as late as Thursday, however, that they are still awaiting finalized program guidelines from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration before processing any applications despite today’s launch date.

Amid coronavirus crisis Disney to furlough employees ‘whose jobs aren't necessary at this time’

Update 3:28 a.m. EDT April 3: Walt Disney Co. has officially notified employees that those “whose jobs aren’t necessary at this time” will be furloughed beginning April 19.

The global entertainment empire shuttered all 12 of its theme parks on March 12 and has been paying its employees salaries in the interim. Per the latest announcement, those payments will cease on April 18.

The company said in its statement it has been “forced to make the difficult decision to take the next step and furlough employees” because there is “no clear indication of when we can restart our businesses.”

All furloughed workers will remain employed by Disney and retain their benefits.

Mexico’s Grupo Modelo halts production of Corona beer

Update 2:54 a.m. EDT April 3: Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo announced late Thursday it will temporarily halt production of Corona beer as the novel coronavirus pandemic pits essential products against those deemed nonessential.

In a news release, Grupo Modelo said the move is in response to the Mexican government’s Tuesday directive that suspends temporarily most industries not deemed “essential” services such as health care and agriculture. In turn, the company plans to cease producing its brews on Sunday with no clear timeline outlined for a return to production.

Supplies seized from suspected Brooklyn hoarder donated to medical staffs fighting coronavirus

Update 2:32 a.m. EDT April 3: Some New York and New Jersey medical personnel are slightly better stocked after a Brooklyn man’s arrest led authorities to a stockpile of hoarded medical supplies, CNN reported.

Prosecutors contend in court documents that Baruch Feldheim, 43, sold N95 masks to doctors and nurses at substantially inflated prices. In turn, the roughly 192,000 in-demand respirator masks and assorted other supplies are being redistributed to medical personnel across New York and New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Sony launches $100 million global coronavirus relief fund

Update 2 a.m. EDT April 3: Sony is preparing to launch $100 million fund to provide global relief to those affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the coronavirus crisis and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted,” Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement, adding, “In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the front lines of the battle against coronavirus the children who are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community."

US coronavirus deaths hit 6,053, total cases top 245K

Update 12:30 a.m. EDT April 3: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 245,000 early Friday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 245,540 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 6,053 deaths. U.S. cases now more than double the 115,242 reported in Italy and the 112,065 confirmed in Spain.

Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 2,374 – or roughly 40 percent of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 537 in New Jersey and 417 in Michigan

In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the hardest hit with at least 92,720 confirmed cases – or more than three times the next-closest state – followed by New Jersey with 25,590 and California with 11,042.

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

• Michigan: 10,791, including 417 deaths

• Louisiana: 9,159, including 310 deaths

• Florida: 9,008, including 144 deaths

• Massachusetts: 8,966, including 154 deaths

• Illinois: 7,695, including 163 deaths

• Pennsylvania: 7,268, including 90 deaths

• Washington: 6,588, including 271 deaths

Meanwhile, Georgia and Texas each has confirmed at least 5,000 novel coronavirus infections; Connecticut, Colorado and Indiana each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Ohio, Tennessee and Maryland each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Protests and demonstrations have led to violence in at least 30 cities across the United States in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd, 46, died after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.  As of Tuesday morning, at least 40 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews.  Live updates for Tuesday, June 2 continue below:  Law enforcement officers in the Carolinas stand in solidarity with protesters Update 1:20 p.m. EDT June 2: Law enforcement officials in North Carolina and South Carolina joined demonstrators Monday who took to the streets Monday to protest police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, WSOC-TV reported. In Columbia, South Carolina, Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan decided to march side-by-side with protesters. Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin also walked alongside demonstrators, according to WSOC-TV. In Fayetteville, North Carolina, there was a touching moment as police were seen kneeling in solidarity with protesters. 9 officers and 2 protesters injured, 20 arrested during protests in Pittsburgh Update 12:55 p.m. EDT June 2: Nine police officers and two protesters were injured Monday during demonstrations in Pittsburgh, according WPXI. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said the injured officers were evaluated and released from the hospital Monday, WPXI reported. Two protesters were also taken to the hospital with injuries that they said came from bean bags, according to the news station. Hissrich said 20 people were arrested Monday, including four people who are not from Pennsylvania, WPXI reported. >> Read more on WPXI.com Virginia governor rejects national guard request Update 12:35 p.m. EDT June 2: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam rejected a request from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to send between 3,000 to 5,000 of the state’s national guard to Washington D.C. as part of a massive show of force organized by the Trump administration in response to violent protests, according to Northam’s chief of staff, Clark Mercer. Mercer said Trump’s comments to governors in a phone call Monday, in which the president said most governors were “weak” and needed to “dominate” the streets, played a role in the decision. “The president’s remarks to the governors heightened our concerns about how the guard would be used,” he said. 6 Atlanta police officers charged with using excessive force during arrest of college students Update 12:15 p.m. EDT June 2: The district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, on Tuesday charged six Atlanta police officers with using excessive force following the arrest of two college students during protests Saturday night, WSB-TV reported. Body camera footage and video posted on social media showed officers use Tasers on two students, Messiah Young and Taniyah Pilgrim, as they sat in a car Saturday before the officers dragged the pair out of the car and arrested them, according to WSB-TV. Four officers involved in the incident were charged with aggravated assault. Other charges filed against the officers include criminal damage to property and aggravated battery, according to WSB-TV. >> Read more on WSBTV.com Archdiocese of Washington criticizes St. John Paul II National Shrine for allowing Trump visit Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 2: As President Donald Trump headed Tuesday to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, the archdiocese of Washington on issued a statement criticizing the facility for allowing the president’s visit. In the statement, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said he found it “baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree.” His comments came after police under federal command deployed tear gas Monday to push back protesters who had gathered in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, where they were chanting against police brutality and Floyd’s death. “Saint Pope John Paul II was an ardent defender of the rights and dignity of human beings. His legacy bears vivid witness to that truth,” Gregory said. “He certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.” New York City mayor extends curfew through end of week Update 11:40 a.m. EDT June 2: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that an 8 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew enacted amid protests of the killing of George Floyd will continue through the end of the week. “I am extending the curfew,” de Blasio said Tuesday after chaos broke out late Monday in midtown Manhattan and the Bronx. “We’re going to have a tough few days. We’re going to beat it back.” On Monday, an 11 p.m. curfew -- the city’s first in decades -- failed to prevent destruction as groups of people smashed their way into shops, including Macy’s flagship Manhattan store. Police said nearly 700 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday. Minnesota AG: ‘There is nobody who has culpability who will not be held accountable’ Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 2: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Tuesday that the investigation into the killing of George Floyd is continuing with “nothing off the table.” “We’re moving expeditiously, yet we have to move carefully,” he said during an appearance Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He acknowledged that the pace of the investigation has frustrated some people considering many “have waited too long and been too patient over the years,” but he said that “this case must be done methodically and we are doing that right now.” Investigators are looking into whether to charge the other three officers who were with then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25 when he held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the 46-year-old pleaded for air. On Tuesday, Ellison declined to outline a timeline for charging decisions. “There is nobody who has culpability who will not be held accountable,” Ellison said on “Good Morning America.” He said he expects charges will be filed “very soon.” Biden blasts Trump over clearing protesters for church photo Update 10:55 a.m. EDT June 2: Joining widespread condemnation from Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday for having police clear demonstrators from Lafayette Park in front of the White House on Monday so that the President could walk to a nearby church where he was photographed holding a Bible. 'The President held up the Bible at St. John's Church yesterday,' Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia. 'I just wish he opened it once in a while instead of brandishing it. If he opened it, he could have learned something.' “In addition to the Bible, the President might want to open the Constitution once in a while,” Biden added. Biden urges Congress to act on police reform: ‘No more excuses, no more delays’ Update 10:50 a.m. EDT June 2: Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to take action on police reform and vowed to “reverse the systemic racism” if he is elected as president. Biden said that with the upcoming election in November, “We’re in the battle for the soul of this nation.” “We can’t leave this moment thinking that we can once again turn away and do nothing. We can’t do that this time,' he said. “The moment has come for our nation to deal with systemic racism, to deal with the growing economic inequity that exists in our nation, to deal with the denial of the promise of this nation made to so many.” The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take action on the issues highlighted by protests nationwide sparked by the killing of George Floyd. “No more excuses, no more delays,” Biden said. “If Mitch McConnell can bring in the United States Senate to determine Trump’s unqualified judicial nominees who will run roughshod over our Constitution now, it is time to pass legislation that will bring true meaning to our constitutional promise of equal protection under the law.” Trump praises response to DC protests after tear gas used to disperse peaceful protesters Update 10:30 a.m. EDT June 2: President Donald Trump praised the response to protests Monday in Washington D.C. amid criticism over the decision to use tear gas on peaceful demonstrators gathered near the White House. “D.C. had no problems last night,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination.” He also praised himself for the lack of violence during protests in Minneapolis. Earlier in the day, George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, encouraged demonstrators in the city to remain peaceful, saying that destruction was “not going to bring my brother back at all.” Police under federal command deployed tear gas Monday to push back protesters who had gathered in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, where they were chanting against police brutality and Floyd’s death. The sudden shift in tactics against the protesters was initially a mystery, according to The Associated Press. Then, after finishing his Rose Garden remarks, Trump emerged from the White House gates and walked through the park to St. John’s Church, where an office had been set on fire the previous night. Trump, who rarely attends church, held up a Bible and gathered a group of advisers — all white — to pose for photos. The moment was quickly decried by Trump's critics, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying the president “used the military to push out a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op at a church.' “It’s all just a reality TV show for this president,' he said on Twitter. “Shameful.” Police apologize for ‘unwarranted’ tear gas deployment on protesters in Virginia Update 10:10 a.m. EDT June 2: Police in Richmond, Virginia, apologized Monday after authorities used tear gas to disperse a peaceful protest against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. In a statement posted on Twitter, police said Chief William Smith reviewed video of the situation Monday, which he called “unwarranted.” “These officers have been pulled from the field,” police said. “They will be disciplined because their actions were out side (department) protocols and directions given.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported police used the gas on demonstrators gathered at a statue of Robert E. Lee on Monday, about 30 minutes before the city’s 8 p.m. curfew went into effect. Video posted on social media showed protesters running as smoke and shouts filled the air. Music industry goes silent on social media for ‘Blackout Tuesday’ to protest George Floyd’s killing Update 9 a.m. EDT June 2: Members of the music industry have pledged to go silent Tuesday on social media to protest George Floyd’s death in an event dubbed “Blackout Tuesday.' Music labels and Warner Music Group, Sony Music and Universal Music Group pledged to stay silent, Rolling Stone reported. Their flagship labels also will take part, as will Def Jam Recordings, Interscope and Columbia Records, CNN reported. Television networks, sports teams and celebrities have also joined the protest. Denver police arrest man suspected of driving car into officers during weekend protest Update 7:36 a.m. EDT June 2: Denver police have arrested a man they believe drove his vehicle into three fellow officers during Saturday night protests. Anthony Knapp, 37, was arrested Sunday after the officers suffered serious injuries. According to CNN, Knapp is being held for first-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault.  According to the police department’s Statement of Probable Cause, officers were in full uniform standing next to a fully marked Denver Police vehicle when a dark sedan traveling at a 'high rate of speed swerved toward the officers and, as a result, struck three of the officers with the car,” the network reported. Rep. Seth Moulton implores military to ‘lay down your arms’ if ordered to face protesters Update 6:36 a.m. EDT June 2: Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine veteran, is calling upon military members to “lay down your arms” if ordered by the U.S. government to confront protesters in cities across the country. The Massachusetts Democrat took to Twitter shortly after President Donald Trump vowed Monday night to deploy active-duty forces on American soil to quell nationwide protests since the death of George Floyd while in police custody. “We must therefore, with every ounce of conviction, every commitment to peace, and every glimmer of hope, join in lawful protest to overcome (Trump’s) tyranny. And if he chooses to abuse the military as a tyrant would do — to stifle dissent, suppress freedom, & cement inequality — then I call on all our proud young men & women in uniform, as a veteran & a patriot, to lay down your arms, uphold your oath, & join this new march for freedom,” Moulton tweeted. Moulton joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001, served four tours in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star. See the full Twitter thread here. NY state senator pepper sprayed, handcuffed at peaceful Monday protest, he says Update 6:06 a.m. EDT June 2: New York state Sen. Zellnor Myrie told CNN he had been protesting peacefully when police handcuffed and pepper sprayed him late Monday. “I am from Brooklyn. I happen to represent a huge swath of central Brooklyn, and when I heard there was a group of folks protesting police brutality I decided to make my way down,” Myrie told the network. Willing to offer his services as liaison between protesters and police, Myrie said he identified himself to authorities upon arriving, but none of that mattered once things escalated. “As I was obeying orders, they were telling us to back up, I was backing up. Trying to protect some of the protesters behind me. Being compliant. I started getting hit in my back by bicycles wielded by the police officers. I was pushed. I was shoved. Ultimately pepper-sprayed, and subsequently handcuffed. Simply because I was there to forcefully protest,” he told CNN, adding, “Had I not had the luxury of my title, I would have been in the system and processed, much like any of the other protesters.' Hit-and-run driver strikes NYPD sergeant Update 5:30 a.m. EDT June 2: A sergeant with the New York Police Department is in serious but stable condition Tuesday morning after being struck by a black sedan that sped away, CNN reported. NYPD Detective Adam Navarro told the network the sergeant was responding to a break-in at a Bronx pawn shop when the vehicular assault occurred. NYPD Lt. Thomas Antonetti told CNN the sergeant has suffered leg and head injuries. Indianapolis protesters, police hug, march together; BLM calls foul Update 5:03 a.m. EDT June 2: Hundreds of demonstrators squared off briefly with police in Indianapolis near the Indiana governor’s mansion after Monday night before finding common ground and marching forward together, The Washington Post reported. Although officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did, at one point, fire a pepper-spray projectile toward the protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowd for violating the city’s 8 p.m. curfew, the standoff deescalated when protesters began introducing themselves to the officers, the Post reported. Within a short period, the crowd and officers began walking toward downtown, with some law enforcement personnel hugging and linking arms with demonstrators. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter Indianapolis took exception to the display, offering its own analysis of the exchange via Twitter. Boxing great Floyd Mayweather to pay for George Floyd’s funeral Update 4:42 a.m. EDT June 2: Funeral arrangements for George Floyd in Houston will be handled by boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, ESPN reported. Family attorney Ben Crump confirmed to CNN that Floyd’s funeral is scheduled for June 9. Mayweather’s involvement was confirmed by Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Productions. “He’ll probably get mad at me for saying that, but yes, (Mayweather) is definitely paying for the funeral,” Ellerbe told ESPN in an emailed response. Las Vegas officer shot, 2nd involved in separate shooting as unrest envelops city Update 4:29 a.m. EDT June 2: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has confirmed one officer has been shot in the area of the Strip and another has been involved in a shooting in the downtown area, The Associated Press reported. The department said both shootings occurred on Las Vegas Boulevard. The condition of neither officer has been reported. 4 St. Louis police officers shot Update 3:18 a.m. EDT June 2: St. Louis police confirmed four of their own were shot early Tuesday morning after peaceful protests ended and social unrest escalated. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, most of the peaceable protesters dispersed on their own, but police did fire tear gas into the remaining crowd just before 9 p.m. Within one hour, looting and pillaging began with at least one 7-Eleven set ablaze and raided, while heavy gunfire rang through downtown after midnight, the newspaper reported. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden, during an early-morning news conference, said two officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the arm and one was shot in the foot. Minnesota officials: No evidence tanker driver plowed into protesters intentionally Update 2:26 a.m. EDT June 2: Bogdan Vechirko was arrested Monday and charged with assault for driving his tanker truck toward protesters in Minneapolis Sunday. By early Tuesday morning, however, Minnesota investigators walked back the initial belief that Vechirko purposefully incited a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. “We don’t have any information that makes this seem like this was an intentional act,” Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told CNN. “He saw the crowd, and from what it looked like, panicked.” According to jail records, Vechirko remains in police custody without bail. US military helicopter buzzes downtown DC protesters Published 2 a.m. EDT June 2: A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter flew just above rooftops in a downtown Washington D.C. neighborhood Monday night, employing a military tactic typically reserved for combat zones, The Washington Post reported. The helicopter flew just above rooftop level, snapping branches off trees and shattering some storefront window, the Post reported, noting the low-flying maneuver is normally performed to scare off insurgents. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Employees at a Virginia Walmart weren’t going to miss their graduation because of coronavirus. Any employee who was also attending school was honored with a graduation ceremony at their store, WHSV reported. Nineteen high school students and one college student got to walk in a ceremony to mark their accomplishments. The idea came to fruition thanks to Angela Sowers, the store’s people lead, but she said she got the inspiration from the company’s corporate office, WHSV reported. The ceremony was held in front of the store and each graduate wore a graduation cap and face masks, Northern Virginia Daily reported. They were also given a “Walmart diploma” and gifts, the newspaper reported.
  • Nearly 6.3 million people worldwide – including more than 1.8 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 Tuesday, June 2, continue below:  More than 6.3M cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide Update 1:10 p.m. EDT June 2: More than 6.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide as of Tuesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The United States continues to lead the world with the most number of coronavirus infections reported. As of Tuesday, more than 1.8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19. More than 105,000 people have died of the viral infection nationwide. The second-most cases in the world have been reported in Brazil, where officials had confirmed more than 526,000 cases of COVID-19 by Tuesday. 1,653 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 12:25 p.m. EDT June 2: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,653 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, raising the country’s total number of infections to 277,985. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Tuesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 39,369 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. COVID-19 cases ‘at an all-time low’ in New York, governor says Update 12 p.m. EDT June 2: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that COVID-19 cases in the state were “at an all-time low.' The governor said 58 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number of new fatal cases reported one day earlier was 54. 29 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 11:15 a.m. EDT June 1: Health officials in Washington D.C. said Tuesday that 29 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,886. Officials also announced that two more people, both aged 79, had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 470. Americans charged, accused of violating social distancing rules in Singapore Update 11 a.m. EDT June 2: Authorities in Singapore have charged two Americans with violating the country’s social distancing rules, according to NBC News. The Americans, identified in court records obtained by NBC as Jeffrey Brown, 52, and Bao Nguyen Brown, 40, were accused of meeting with an Australian man at a restaurant on May 16 to socialize, the news network reported. If convicted, the Browns could face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $7,100, according to NBC News. Stocks open higher as investors hope for economic recovery Update 9:45 a.m. EDT June 2: Stocks opened modestly higher Tuesday on Wall Street, despite deepening unrest across the U.S., as investors hope that the gradual lifting of lockdown provisions will help economies recover from the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 rose 0.2% in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday. The gains were led by stocks that would stand to gain the most from a growing economy, including banks and industrial companies. The price of crude oil rose again, which helped energy companies. Markets in Europe and Asia also rose. Bond yields rose slightly, another sign that pessimism was ebbing among investors. Global cases near 6.3M, death toll tops 376K Update 8 a.m. EDT June 2: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 376,077 early Tuesday, 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 6,294,222 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,160. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,811,277 cases, resulting in 105,147 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 526,447 cases, resulting in 29,937 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 423,186 cases, resulting in 5,031 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 277,738 cases, resulting in 39,127 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 239,638 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths. • Italy has reported 233,197 cases, resulting in 33,475 deaths. • India has reported 199,785 cases, resulting in 5,610 deaths. • France has confirmed 189,348 cases, resulting in 28,836 deaths. • Germany has reported 183,771 cases, resulting in 8,557 deaths. • Peru has reported 170,039 cases, resulting in 4,634 deaths. US air travel sees slight uptick as coronavirus restrictions ease Update 7:04 a.m. EDT June 2: Air travel in the United States began crawling out of its coronavirus-imposed gridlock in May, but the road to recovery will be a long one. According to the Transportation Security Administration, nearly 949,000 passengers were screened during the past weekend, compared with only 476,000 during the first weekend of May, CNN reported. Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar stepping down Update 6:37 a.m. EDT June 2: Adm. Brett Giroir, the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing czar, announced Monday he will step down from the post June 30. Giroir, who assumed the role in March, said during a Monday meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that he will return to his prior role as assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, The Washington Post reported. Meanwhile, an HHS spokesperson confirmed to NPR a testing czar successor will not be named for Giroir. US coronavirus cases eclipse 1.8M, deaths top 105K Update 12:41 a.m. EDT June 2: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States climbed past 1.8 million early Tuesday 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 1,811,357 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 105,160 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 371,711 cases and 29,917 deaths and New Jersey with 160,918 cases and 11,723 deaths. Massachusetts, with 100,805 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,035, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 121,234. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 53,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: · California: 114,733 cases, resulting in 4,217 deaths · Pennsylvania: 76,646 cases, resulting in 5,567 deaths · Texas: 65,593 cases, resulting in 1,683 deaths · Michigan: 57,532 cases, resulting in 5,516 deaths · Florida: 56,830 cases, resulting in 2,460 deaths · Maryland: 53,327 cases, resulting in 2,552 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 34,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington and Arizona each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 19,699; Alabama and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 18,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 15,752; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 13,724, South Carolina with 12,148 and Kentucky with 10,046; Utah, Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,913 and South Dakota with 5,034.. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • 12:30 p.m. UPDATE: Tropical depression 3 has strengthened into Tropical Storm Cristobal in southwestern Gulf of Mexico Monday afternoon.  Over the last 24 hours, the National Hurricane Center tracked its organization over the Bay of Campeche as it slowly drifted to the West.  By Sunday, the storm is expected to have 65 mile per hour winds, but it is not expected to move very far, very fast.  The forecast for Central Florida calls for increased rain chances toward the end of the work week.
  • The current Miss America will have a longer reign than normal. Camille Schrier will wear the crown for two years because the coronavirus has forced the cancellation of the 2020 Miss America Pageant. Schrier, who has two Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Systems Biology, is pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University. She was crowned in December 2019. Pageant officials have decided to forgo a competition this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Miss America will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the competition in 2021. Schrier spoke to People magazine about the postponement saying, “I realized now that I’m probably going to be a “Jeopardy” question. It’s definitely incredible. As someone who is a nontraditional competitor in the Miss America organization ... it’s kind of on-brand for me to do it this way.” Schrier’s platform is to promote drug safety and abuse prevention while promoting STEM education.

Washington Insider

  • Joining widespread condemnation from Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump on Tuesday for having police clear demonstrators from Lafayette Park in front of the White House on Monday, so the President could walk to a nearby church where he was photographed holding a Bible. 'The President held up the Bible at St. John's Church yesterday,' Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia. 'I just wish he opened it once in a while instead of brandishing it. If he opened it, he could have learned something.' 'In addition to the Bible, the President might want to open the Constitution once in a while,' Biden added. Biden began his speech by quoting the final words of George Floyd, the black man who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. 'I can't breathe,' Biden began, as he said the nation was 'crying out for leadership.' 'That's why I'm running,' the former Vice President added. The likely Democratic Party nominee for President denounced violence in America's cities as a response to the Floyd killing, urging a conversation about the plight of minorities in America. 'There's no place for violence, no place for looting or destroying property or burning churches or destroying businesses,' Biden said. Biden's speech marked his first major campaign appearance since mid-March, when the arrival of the Coronavirus suddenly shut down the 2020 campaign. It was the third straight day that the Floyd story had drawn Biden out of his home in Delaware - where he had been sidelined by the virus outbreak. On Sunday, Biden visited the site of a protest in his home town of Wilmington and spoke with members of the black community. On Monday, Biden visited a local church, and met with black clergy from the area. 'These are difficult days for the country,' Biden said in a Monday live stream with mayors from Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, as Biden denounced the street violence around the nation. 'Violence that endangers lives, guts local businesses is no way forward,' Biden said, as he joined calls by Democrats for a more direct conversation on what led to the death of Floyd, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. 'What are the reforms, if any, within police departments that we should be focusing on,' Biden suggested to the mayors.