Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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5:40 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

More than 76,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US

Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing at the Brightpoint Health and UJA of NY Federation free pop-up coronavirus testing site on Friday, May 8, in Brooklyn, New York City.
Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing at the Brightpoint Health and UJA of NY Federation free pop-up coronavirus testing site on Friday, May 8, in Brooklyn, New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 1,279,546 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 76,706 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins reported 22,523 new cases and 1,044 reported deaths on Friday. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

5:03 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Pools in Arkansas will reopen on May 22, governor says

From CNN's Janine Mack

Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his Arkansas Razorbacks facemark as he arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock on April 27.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his Arkansas Razorbacks facemark as he arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock on April 27. Staton Breidenthal/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

Pools, splash pads, water parks, and swim beaches in Arkansas will be allowed to open on May 22, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday. 

People who enter the areas will be screened and those with a fever or who have had contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be turned away, Hutchinson said.

The governor said pool chemistry should be tested twice a day, and high-touch areas should be disinfected "frequently." 

Slides, diving boards and any other areas where people form lines should be marked with notices about the 6-foot distancing.

Arkansas is reporting 3,747 confirmed coronavirus cases and 88 deaths, said Dr. Nate Smith with the Arkansas Department of Health.

4:49 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Read up on the latest coronavirus developments in the US

It's almost 5 p.m. ET in the US. If you're just tuning in, here are some of the top stories today:

  • White House responds to CDC guidelines: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed reports that the administration will not implement 17-page draft recommendations for reopening America from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I would ask you, what’s the definition of CDC guidelines? Is it something the CDC director has actually seen? I would endeavor to say yes. Is it something that a rogue CDC employee leaks to you guys? No," McEnany said Friday.
  • Childhood vaccinations on the decline: Childhood vaccinations have plunged since the Covid-19 pandemic started hitting the United States, the CDC said Friday. The CDC reported a “notable decrease” in the number of vaccines ordered through a federal program that immunizes half of all kids in the US.
  • Restaurant industry continues to struggle: The restaurant industry has lost more than three decades of jobs in the last two months, according to analysis from the National Restaurant Association, a leading industry group. Eating and drinking places lost 5.5 million jobs in April which followed a net decline of nearly a half-million jobs – three times more jobs than any other industry, according to the group.  
  • Pandemic guidelines were ignored: The federal government ignored longstanding recommendations for how to handle a pandemic, and President Trump further undermined efforts, Florida Rep. Donna Shalala said Friday. “Boy, we weren’t ready,” said Shalala, who is also the former Health and Human Services secretary.
  • New Jersey adjusts its testing: Several facilities in New Jersey will now offer tests to asymptomatic people as part of the state’s efforts to increase testing, Gov. Phil Murphy said today.
  • New York reaches grim milestone: There have been at least 14,389 confirmed coronavirus deaths and at least 5,313 probable coronavirus deaths in New York City, according to the city website.
  • Vaccine chief's removal may have been in retaliation: The investigative office reviewing the whistleblower complaint of former vaccine chief Dr. Richard Bright has determined there is reason to believe he had been removed as retaliation and is recommending he be reinstated during the investigation, Bright’s lawyers said Friday.
  • Summer parades and festivals canceled in Boston: All parades and festivals in Boston are canceled for the summer, up to and including Labor Day on Sept. 7, due to coronavirus concerns, Mayor Marty Walsh announced today.
  • Some businesses to reopen in Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the reopening of barber shops, hair salons and nail salons in all counties currently in phase one of the state’s reopening plan starting Monday.
  • California looks toward November: All registered voters in California will receive a mail-in ballot for the November election, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today.
4:34 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Some businesses in Virginia are on track to open next Friday

 From CNN’s Laura Robinson

A person wearing a face mask walks past a sign in the window of an ice cream store in Arlington, Virginia on May 5.
A person wearing a face mask walks past a sign in the window of an ice cream store in Arlington, Virginia on May 5. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced today that the state is on track for a phase one reopening on May 15 but cautioned “if our trends change, we will adjust that date as needed.”

Northam said that the stay-at-home order that had been in effect will now become a “safer-at-home order” and detailed what restrictions would be lifted in a phase one reopening.

Here is what would be allowed in phase one:

  • Nonessential retail establishments can increase to 50% capacity.
  • If restaurants and breweries already have a permit for outdoor seating, “we’ll allow service in that outdoor area at 50% capacity.”
  • Places of worship will be allowed to hold indoor services but only at 50% capacity.
  • Personal grooming services can reopen in phase one “if they can adhere to strict social distancing with face masks required and appointments required.”
  • Private campgrounds can reopen with restrictions between campsites. 

Here's what won’t be allowed to reopen in phase one:

  • Overnight summer camps
  • Gyms
  • Entertainment and amusement venues
  • Beaches for anything other than exercising and fishing 

"We are not opening the floodgates here, we're not flipping a light switch from closed to open," he said. “We will move forward cautiously with science and with data and safety as our criteria.”

Northam said he expects phase one to last at least two weeks but “it may last longer depending on what the data shows.”

4:26 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Restaurant employment falls to lowest level since 1989, industry group says

From CNN's Richard Davis

A waitress wearing a mask and gloves disinfects a table in a Restaurant on May 5, in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
A waitress wearing a mask and gloves disinfects a table in a Restaurant on May 5, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The restaurant industry has lost more than three decades of jobs in the last two months, according to analysis from the National Restaurant Association, a leading industry group.

Eating and drinking places lost 5.5 million jobs in April which followed a net decline of nearly a half-million jobs – three times more jobs than any other industry, according to the group.  

“Just three months ago, there were more than 12 million people on the payrolls of eating and drinking places across this country, but today more than six million restaurant workers are home without a job – and that number is going to grow,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the Association.

“It is critical that Congress provide targeted relief for the restaurant industry and its employees,” Kennedy added.

4:22 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

US ignored pandemic guidelines, former Health and Human Services secretary says

From CNN Maggie Fox

The federal government ignored longstanding recommendations for how to handle a pandemic, and President Trump further undermined efforts, Florida Rep. Donna Shalala said Friday.

“Boy, we weren’t ready,” Shalala, a Democrat who is also former Health and Human Services secretary, said at a meeting of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

“We weren’t ready at any level," she added.

The commission, an independent group put together to advise on potential pandemic and bioterrorist dangers, has been warning for years about the lack of US preparedness.

Shalala, a former member of the commission, said the White House did follow one recommendation made in a 2015 report offering guidance about handling a pandemic. That was the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence to head the response. 

Trump named Pence coronavirus coordinator on Feb. 27, but for weeks continued to himself front White House briefings on the pandemic.

“If the President had gotten out of the way, the vice president would have done just fine because he had just the right tone about working with state and local governments,” Shalala said.

Pence, she said, had shown he would listen to advice from the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and other medical experts.

“He never second-guessed their opinions,” she said.

4:19 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Fewer stroke patients are coming to hospitals because of the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN’s Jacqueline Howard

Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing on May 8, in New York City.
Healthcare workers place a nasal swab from a patient into a tube for testing on May 8, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Hospitals across the United States are seeing fewer stroke patients coming to their facilities for care — and a new paper ties that trend to the coronavirus pandemic.

The paper, published Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine as a letter to the editor, suggests that the number of patients in the United States undergoing imaging for stroke evaluation has decreased by 39% since before the pandemic.

"These are stroke patients who need to be treated," said Dr. Greg Albers, director of the Stanford Stroke Center and professor of neurology at Stanford University, who was an author of the letter. 

Albers called the 39% drop in stroke patients "unheard of."

"Our concern is that many people are more afraid of going to an ER than they are of having a stroke. This is a critical error because stroke treatments can be highly effective and the chance of being infected in an ER is minute. It is very important that patients with symptoms of stroke call 911," Albers said. "If the stroke is causing disabling symptoms there’s a huge advantage to getting it treated."

In the letter, researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Stanford University in California wrote that they examined data on 231,753 stroke patients who underwent neuroimaging in 856 hospitals in the United States from July 1, 2019 through April 27.

The data showed that the number of patients who underwent imaging decreased from 1.18 patients per day per hospital in February to 0.72 patients per day per hospital in late March and early April.

"We were very surprised to see that many people of all ages, and even those with severe strokes, were not presenting to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. Even in states with few Covid cases, patients were hesitant to be seen in ERs," Albers said.

"Not only are patients afraid to go in but some physicians have been hesitant to send patients to the ER, even paramedics may be concerned," he added.

4:21 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

US stocks finish sharply higher

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

 

A person walks on Wall Street as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 8, in New York City.
A person walks on Wall Street as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 8, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

US stocks rallied all day Friday in spite of the worst monthly jobs report on record.

The market has brushed off bleak labor market data, including the staggeringly high weekly jobless claims, over the past weeks. Friday was no exception.

The April report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the US economy lost 20.5 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. It was the worst monthly report in history, in terms of both jobs lost and the unemployment rate.

Here's where things stand:

  • The Dow finished up 1.9%, or 455 points.
  • The S&P 500 climbed 1.7%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.6% higher.

Remember: As stocks settle after the trading day, levels might still change slightly.

4:12 p.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Indiana rise as counties plan for phased reopening

From Evan Simko-Bednarski

Medical workers with OptumServe Health Services prepare a Covid-19 test sample from a patient inside the National Guard Armory in La Porte, Indiana on May 6.
Medical workers with OptumServe Health Services prepare a Covid-19 test sample from a patient inside the National Guard Armory in La Porte, Indiana on May 6. Ted Yoakum/The News-Dispatch/AP

Indiana has 675 new positive coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 23,146, according to State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box.

There were 33 new confirmed deaths announced today for a total of 1,328, plus 119 total suspected but unconfirmed deaths, Box said.

Intensive care unit and ventilator capacity is holding steady in the state, Box noted.