Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Elise Hammond, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:17 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020
77 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:29 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Bars and nightclubs in Georgia to remain closed until May 31

From CNN's Lindsay Benson

A server is seen delivering food wearing disposable gloves in Bad Daddy's Burger Bar as it reopened for dine-in seating on April 27, in Decatur, Georgia.
A server is seen delivering food wearing disposable gloves in Bad Daddy's Burger Bar as it reopened for dine-in seating on April 27, in Decatur, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a new order that live performance venues, bars and nightclubs must remain closed through May 31.

"We will take whatever action is necessary to protect the lives and the livelihoods of all Georgians," he said.

The order will also allow 10 people per 300 square feet in a public space, such as restaurants and dining rooms, and allow the size per table from six to 10 people.

The order will also allow the increase of a childcare facility from "10 to 20 people so long as the staff-to-child ratio set by the Department of Early Care and Learning are also maintained," he said.

"(Georgians) must continue to follow social distancing and gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned unless there is at least six feet between each person," he said.

He said shelter-in-place must remain for people who are "medically fragile" through June 12.

Kemp also announced that "starting May 14, summer day camps are allowed to operate if they can meet 32 minimum, mandatory criteria," and that they "are not allowing overnight summer camps in Georgia at this time."

7:24 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Pence, Birx and Fauci all met in the same room for today's task force meeting

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted a picture of the coronavirus task force meeting showing him, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, seated distanced from one another with all three in face masks.

Earlier on Tuesday, Fauci testified in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions via teleconference from his home.

In a joint statement released today, Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, all said they would attend meeting at the White House if needed, leaving their respective versions of quarantine after being exposed to a White House staffer who has coronavirus. Fauci has previously said that he will attend the White House if needed.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have together determined that government entities working in support of the COVID-19 response efforts are providing essential services and the current guidelines for critical infrastructure workers apply,” they said.

“Therefore, providing that they are asymptomatic, screened, and monitored for fever and other symptoms, wear a face covering, and maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, Drs. Redfield, Hahn, and Fauci can and will participate in meetings on the White House complex when their attendance is needed.”

On Monday, Birx and Pence both participated on a call with governors, but they were on video teleconference in separate rooms. 

7:02 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Arizona to allow professional sports starting Friday, governor says

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 7, in Surprise, Arizona.
Outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 7, in Surprise, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey will allow professional sporting events in the state starting on Friday.

 “We have had some discussions with leaders in these leagues,” Ducey said Tuesday.

So far, none of the major US sports leagues have announced when their events will resume. 

A number of Major League Baseball teams have their spring training games in Arizona, and Ducey has previously said the state may be able to accommodate games for other teams that normally play elsewhere.

Gyms and fitness centers will also be allowed to reopen with special precautions starting Wednesday.

The governor also announced that the stay-at-home order will be allowed to expire on Friday, but residents are advised to continue social distancing. 

“This is not a green light to speed,” Ducey said. “This is a green light to proceed.”

6:52 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Catch up: Here are the top coronavirus headlines from today

From CNN's Elise Hammond

It's almost 7 p.m. in the US. Here are some of the top stories you might have missed.

  • New prediction: A key coronavirus model often cited by the White House has again raised its coronavirus death projection, now predicting 147,000 deaths in the US by August 4. The researcher who conducted the prediction said the increased death projection is because of relaxed social distancing and increased mobility – essentially people moving around more, which may lead to more contact and transmission.
  • US budget: The United States posted a record $738 billion budget deficit in April, according to a Treasury Department report. Federal spending climbed to nearly $980 billion last month as the federal government began doling out funds from the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed at the end of March.
  • New relief proposal: House Democrats released the legislative text of their new coronavirus relief proposal. The 1,815 page bill announced today has a price tag expected to be more than $3 trillion — an amount that would stand as the largest relief package in history. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the bill is “dead on arrival” in the Senate, highlighting the party's opposition.
  • Unemployment rates: Randal Quarles, the Federal Reserve vice chairman for supervision, said he expects the near-term unemployment rate to be "extremely high." He also said the Fed may need to take further actions to support the US financial sector.
  • States in financial crisis: Several states are making cuts and trying to figure out how to balance their budgets. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today that New York needs about $61 billion in federal support or the state will have to reduce spending.
  • White House outbreak: In addition to daily temperature checks and questioning, journalists who are members of the restricted in-house press pool will be given a rapid coronavirus test daily. Within the administration, Vice President Mike Pence made the decision to stay away from President Trump, after Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, tested positive for the coronavirus, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
  • Task force quarantined: Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said today that they will leave self-quarantine to attend meetings at the White House.
  • Los Angeles County: The county is expected to remain under some sort of stay-at-home order for months, according to Health Director Barbara Ferrer. She said “with all certainty,” the order will be extended another three months. Ferrer said restrictions will continue to be lifted, while the order remains.
  • Higher education: The California State University system plans to cancel nearly all in-person classes through the fall semester to reduce spread of coronavirus. The CSU system is the nation’s largest four-year public university system with a total enrollment of more than 480,000 students.
  • The new normal: Twitter will allow some of its workforce to continue working from home “forever” if they choose. The decision reflects how some companies are bracing for the pandemic’s extended impacts. 
  • Airline industry: Customers in many cases are not entitled to refunds or even credits due to Covid-19 concerns, the Department of Transportation said in a new three-page document that outlined new guidelines for airlines.
6:25 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Researcher behind new model ties projected death toll to relaxation of social distancing

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

People mingle in close proximity to one another as businesses in the flower district reopen on May 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
People mingle in close proximity to one another as businesses in the flower district reopen on May 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images

The researcher behind the influential model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington said on Tuesday that the United States is “speeding towards relaxing social distancing,” leaving the country on an “unfortunate trajectory” as states begin to reopen.

The model predicts that there will be 147,000 deaths in the US by August 4.

“When we started off making projections, we had assumed that all the states were going to sort of follow the New Zealand model, which is to keep social distancing in place until transmission gets to a very low level,” Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the IHME, told CNN.

“We’re not doing that. We’re speeding towards relaxing social distancing. People are getting the message, they’re getting out,” he said. “And I think we’ll see the numbers go up unless we see the benefits of people being cautious, wearing masks – and capacities to test, contact trace and isolate go up faster than we think they may.”

Explaining the increased death projection, Murray pointed to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility – essentially people moving around more, which may lead to more contact and transmission.

“We’re seeing upward trends in case numbers in a number of states, and big swings up in mobility,” he said.

Watch here:

6:13 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Face coverings will be mandatory as New Orleans starts to reopen on Saturday

From CNN's Raja Razek

Typically filled with people, Bourbon Street is seen nearly empty in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 23.
Typically filled with people, Bourbon Street is seen nearly empty in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 23. Claire Bangser/AFP/Getty Images

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Tuesday that the city would reopen in a "very slow" manner starting May 16. 

"We have peaked, we have come down significantly, and the experts say to watch that trend over a period of 14 to 21 days. We're well over 21 days of a downward trend," Cantrell said. 

"Based on the guidance of our health care professionals, we are where we need to be to slowly reopen the city," she said. "If we do not do well in this first phase, we will not be going to any other phase." 

In phase one, Cantrell said, the city is mandating residents to wear face covering in public. 

Churches will be allowed to open at 25% capacity or at 100 people. 

Gyms can open under 25% occupancy without group activities. Personal training is approved in this initial phase, Cantrell said. 

As for restaurants, the mayor emphasized the importance of contact tracing. She said restaurants would need reservations, so they can have a log for contact tracing.

"They will be required to have reservations, and ... if someone walks in, they have to treat it as a reservation, meaning name and phone number," she said.

Close contact businesses, such as spas, massage parlors and tattoo shops, will not be allowed to reopen in phase one, Cantrell said. 

5:55 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

More than 82,000 people have died of coronavirus in the US

People wearing protective face masks practice social distancing as they wait on marked spots at a subway station during the Covid-19 pandemic on May 12, in New York City.
People wearing protective face masks practice social distancing as they wait on marked spots at a subway station during the Covid-19 pandemic on May 12, in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

There are at least 1,366,350 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 82,105 people have died from the virus, according to a Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins on Tuesday reported 18,962 new cases and 1,423 deaths. 

6:00 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Georgia governor says state plans to have 1,000 people contact tracing in "weeks ahead"

From CNN's Lindsay Benson

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the Department of Public Health "plans to have 1,000 staff deployed in the weeks ahead."

He said there's "nearly 250 staff in the field today" contact tracing..

Kemp announced an online tool that officials are calling the "Healthy Georgia Collaborative," which will "streamline contact tracing across the state." The tool will allow "Georgians to identify contacts and monitor symptoms."

Kemp encouraged anyone who is contacted by Department of Public Health staff to participate.

"We need your help to defeat this virus. Together, we can continue to take measured steps forward in the days ahead," Kemp said. 

5:48 p.m. ET, May 12, 2020

Two patients in Kentucky diagnosed with inflammatory syndrome

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky is now aware of two patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19-related pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said.

One case is a 10-year-old and is critically ill in the intensive care unit, and the second patient is a 16-year-old, who is doing well and is in a regular medical bed, Stack said.

The teenager was admitted to the hospital out an abundance of caution and to be monitored closely, the health director said.

Stack said the 10-year-old patient is showing signs of improvement.

“The children who get sick with this can have cardiovascular collapse and require supportive measures to maintain their blood pressure, or respiratory collapse requiring breathing support with a mechanical ventilator,” Stack said.