Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 9:26 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020
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2:29 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Yellowstone National Park to partially reopen on May 18

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Old Faithful geyser
Old Faithful geyser Gagliardi Giovanni/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Yellowstone National Park will begin to reopen on a limited basis on May 18, almost two months after it closed to visitors, according to a statement from the National Park Service.

The park has been closed to visitors since March 24 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The park has created a three-phased plan that initially opens the South and East entrances of Wyoming and limits visitor travel to the lower loop of the park. The first phase will allow visitors to visit Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, and Canyon Village as well as restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks in open parts of the park.

The entrances on the Montana border will remain closed for now as will campsites and overnight accommodations. The park is also not allowing commercial tour buses back in or opening hotels and dining establishments. 

The park said it has developed "a range of mitigation actions" to guard against Covid-19, including protective barriers where needed, encouraging the use of face masks in high-density areas, metering visitor access in certain locations, and increasing cleaning frequency of facilities.

The statement said that Wyoming had "requested the state’s entrances open the week of May 18."

"Montana and Idaho continue to have out-of-state restrictions in place and the park is working closely with these states and counties to open the remaining three entrances as soon as possible," the statement added.

2:25 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

New Jersey has at least 18 cases of inflammatory response syndrome in children

From CNN's Julian Cummings

There have been 18 reported cases of inflammatory response syndrome in children in the State of New Jersey, according to Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

The ages of the children showing symptoms of the syndrome range from 3 to 18. The cases are all under investigation and four of the children have tested positive for Covid-19.

Some more context: In neighboring state New York, there are more than 100 cases of children with the inflammatory syndrome, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier today.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing to release an alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for a dangerous inflammatory syndrome in children that could be linked to coronavirus infection, a CDC spokesman told CNN Tuesday.

2:14 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Disney suspends cruises through July 27

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

 Daniel Knighton/Getty Images
 Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

Disney Cruise Line has extended the suspension of its sailings through July 27, the company announced in a statement.

Guests currently booked on any of the sailings affected will be offered the choice of cruise credit (good for 15 months) or a full refund.

2:13 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

New Jersey revenue falls 60% in April 

From CNN's Julian Cummings

People walk along the closed boardwalk in Belmar, New Jersey, on May 2.
People walk along the closed boardwalk in Belmar, New Jersey, on May 2. Matt Rourke/AP

April revenue collections for New Jersey were down nearly 60%, or a loss of about $3.5 billion dollars, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. 

“These numbers are a sober reminder that the Covid-19 impact is not limited to the health of the people but to the states finances," he said.

Murphy called for an urgent need of direct assistance to New Jersey from the federal government because of the revenue shortfall to the state. 

“We cannot sustain a collapse of revenue without turning to unprecedented layoffs,” he said. “Layoffs of the very people that we are relaying on the most at this time. Our public health workers, our first responders, our educators."

New Jersey expects similar revenue shortfalls or worse in the state in the month of May. 

“This report shows the fiscal cliff we are now looking over the side of," Murphy said.

2:09 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

More than 83,000 people have died in the US from coronavirus

There are at least 1,379,756 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 83,150 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins on Wednesday reported 10,380 new cases and 794 deaths. 

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

 

1:58 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Iowa to lift restrictions in all 99 counties 

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

Patio furniture sits stacked outside a closed restaurant in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, May 8.
Patio furniture sits stacked outside a closed restaurant in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, May 8. Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday she is lifting restrictions in all 99 counties starting Friday.  

"With everyone working together, we can and must reopen our economy. We can restart in a stable, safe, and responsible way," Reynolds said during her daily briefing. "And we can slow the spread, protect the health of Iowans and their livelihood, and protect the health care system in the long run."

Reynolds previously lifted restrictions in 77 of Iowa's 99 counties, allowing restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and enclosed malls to reopen. Her announcement Wednesday allows the remaining 22 counties to reopen these businesses and adds salons, barbershops, and massage therapy services. 

Like the counties where restrictions have already been lifted, the remaining counties will all be allowed to resume some church services, elective surgeries, and dental services. Farmers markets, campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities, and medical spas will be allowed to reopen in the remaining 22 counties as well.  

The reopening comes with the same guidelines issued for Iowans in the previous 77 counties, which includes staying home as much as possible if you are over 65 or have an underlying condition, social distancing, and wearing a face covering when you cannot maintain six feet of distance.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has issued further guidelines for businesses that include frequent cleaning and disinfecting, providing hand soap and hand sanitizer, displaying signs that encourage people to stay six feet apart, and wearing face coverings when social distancing is not possible.  

1:49 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

West Virginia governor will reopen tanning salons later this month

From CNN's Taylor Romine

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced today that tanning salons will reopen under strict guidelines on May 21.

Justice said that there was an overwhelming amount of calls to his office about the salons, and after conferring with experts felt it was safe to do so. 

Justice reported one new death, and at least 480 cases of Covid-19. 

1:39 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

New Jersey will allow people to gather in vehicles

From CNN's Julian Cummings

Chris Pedota/The Record via AP
Chris Pedota/The Record via AP

People in New Jersey will be allowed to gather in vehicles in cases such as drive-in movies or religious services, Gov. Phil Murphy announced today. 

The action will not be in violation of the state's order prohibiting mass gatherings as long as all participants remain in their cars, he said.

“If vehicles are closer than six feet apart, then all windows, sunroofs, and convertible tops must remain closed unless the safety of the occupants is in danger," Murphy said.

In other cases, the ban on gatherings will still apply and Murphy urged residents to stay at home as much as possible.

1:29 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Amazon extends temporary pay increase for warehouse and delivery workers

From CNN’s Brian Fung

Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon extended a temporary pay increase on Wednesday for its warehouse and delivery workers, following concerns raised by employees and policymakers about the e-commerce giant's response to the pandemic. 

The company implemented a $2 hourly wage bump for those frontline employees in March. That policy will remain in effect through May 30, said Rachael Lighty, an Amazon spokesperson. 

Amazon will also be extending double overtime pay for employees in the United States and Canada, Lighty added. 

"These extensions increase our total investment in pay during COVID-19 to nearly $800 million for our hourly employees and partners,” she said in a statement to CNN. “We continue to see heavy demand during this difficult time and the team is doing incredible work for our customers and the community."

But Amazon declined to say whether it plans to reinstate unlimited unpaid pandemic leave in accordance with requests this week from more than a dozen attorneys general. 

The attention to Amazon’s workplace policies reflects weeks of protests by workers, many of whom have cited shortages of protective gear and difficulty maintaining social distancing while on the job.