Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 10:33 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020
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1:01 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties can start reopening Monday

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis talks during a press conference announcing a COVID-19 antibody testing mobile lab on-site at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on Wednesday, May 6.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis talks during a press conference announcing a COVID-19 antibody testing mobile lab on-site at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on Wednesday, May 6. David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Miami-Dade and Broward Counties can start reopening under phase one of the reopening plan starting Monday. The announcement was made during a press conference in Doral, Florida.

Miami-Dade and Broward are the two Florida counties most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Health. Collectively, the two counties account for 49% of the Covid-19 cases, with 35% in Miami-Dade County and 14% in Broward County.

On Monday, Miami-Dade and Broward will be joining the state’s 65 remaining counties currently in phase one of the state’s reopening plan.

12:52 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

DOJ: GOP senator under investigation for coronavirus stock trades surrendered his cellphone to the FBI 

From CNN's David Shortell and Evan Perez

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., arrives at a Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on Tuesday, May 12.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., arrives at a Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on Tuesday, May 12.

Sen. Richard Burr surrendered his cellphone to the FBI yesterday after a warrant was served on his lawyer, a senior Justice Department official said.

Use of the warrant had been signed off at the highest levels of the Justice Department, as is protocol, the official said.

More on this: Mitch McConnell confirmed today that Burr is stepping aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while he’s under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

12:52 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Pennsylvania coronavirus death toll surpasses 4,200

Residents in vehicles wait in line to enter a Rite Aid Corp. Covid-19 testing facility in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, April 21.
Residents in vehicles wait in line to enter a Rite Aid Corp. Covid-19 testing facility in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, April 21. Michael Swensen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Pennsylvania reported an additional 938 positive cases of Covid-19 bringing the statewide total to 59,636, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The state reported 44 new deaths overnight, and an additional 231 deaths as a result of reconciliation data over the past several weeks – bringing the statewide death toll to at least 4,218.

Pennsylvania has begun its phased reopening process

“As counties move from red to yellow, we need all Pennsylvanians to continue to follow the social distancing and mitigation efforts in place,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a Thursday press release.

12:20 p.m. ET, May 14, 2020

GOP senator to step down from chair position during investigation for trades after coronavirus briefings

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) attends a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12 in Washington.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) attends a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 12 in Washington. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Richard Burr is stepping aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while he’s under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that Burr “contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation.”

“We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow,” McConnell said.

What is this about: The FBI served Burr with a search warrant and seized a cell phone belonging to the North Carolina Republican on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported, as part of the FBI’s investigation into lawmaker stock trades.

CNN is reaching out to Burr's office for comment.

11:57 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Southwest Airlines will not deny boarding if customers don't wear masks, memo says

From CNN's Pete Muntean

Travelers check in at the Southwest Airline ticket counter at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport on May 7.
Travelers check in at the Southwest Airline ticket counter at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport on May 7. Gene J. Puskar/AP

Southwest Airlines has told flight crews not to stop passengers from boarding if they refuse to wear a mask, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.

“We will not deny boarding solely based on a Customer’s refusal to wear a face covering,” the memo reads.

This seems to be a more lax policy than some of the other airlines.

  • American Airlines’ policy says customers “may be denied boarding” for not wearing a mask. 
  • United’s policy would allow boarding in most cases but the policy notes, “there could be an isolated situation where a customer may be denied boarding as a last resort.”
  • JetBlue’s language seems to be the most restrictive, with its memo saying, “Customers who refuse to comply with our policy will be denied boarding.”

Southwest, like the other airlines, does not want its on-board flight attendants to enforce mask wearing, according to the memo. Saying flight attendants should approach the situation with “empathy and respect.”

The airline wants flight attendants to inform customers of the policy but not enforce it. “You are expected to inform Customers of our face covering requirement but are not expected to be the enforcers—ask the Customer to comply with wearing a face covering if they are able.” 

Southwest’s official policy, provided to CNN by the airline again Thursday morning, says customers “will be asked” to wear the masks when social distancing isn’t possible. The policy calls wearing a mask a “requirement” but does not address what happens when a customer refuses to wear one. 

11:55 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

CDC guidelines for some business reopenings will be released today, administration says

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Kenneth Lew, managing member at Crustacean Restaurant, wears a face mask while measuring distance for people to stand while waiting for takeout at the restaurant during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on May 12.
Kenneth Lew, managing member at Crustacean Restaurant, wears a face mask while measuring distance for people to stand while waiting for takeout at the restaurant during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on May 12. Jeff Chiu/AP

The contested CDC guidelines on how to reopen specific types of businesses are expected to be released publicly today, an administration official tells CNN, after weeks of back and forth between the White House and the CDC over their level of specificity.

It's not clear yet what format they will take or how specific they ended up after concerns were raised by the White House that they were overly prescriptive for states experiencing varying levels of outbreak.

The guidance includes sectors like restaurants and retail outlets, as well as schools and day cares.

11:27 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Doctors in at least 18 states and DC are looking into pediatric syndrome possibly linked to Covid-19

From CNN’s Michael Nedelman, Amanda Watts and Gisela Crespo

Doctors in at least 18 states and Washington, DC, are investigating cases of a rare and puzzling condition in children that may be linked to Covid-19 infection, a CNN survey finds. 

These cases include more than 150 children in the United States, most of them in New York. 

CNN found potential cases being investigated in California, Delaware, lllinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. The condition is not currently considered reportable in many states, but in some it is.

CNN has contacted departments of health, hospitals and state officials around the country. Some state health departments told CNN that they are awaiting an official case definition from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health said, “We are working with the [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on a case definition and are looking into possible cases but won’t have more until the CDC finalizes its definition.”

 A CDC spokesman previously told CNN that the agency was working on a definition and would issue a health Alert Network Notice about it to doctors across the country. The agency did not provide numbers of cases under investigation or states with such cases.

The condition, called multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, appears to be a post-viral syndrome, said Dr. Jeffrey Burns, a critical care specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital who has been coordinating a global group of doctors who compare notes on the condition.

11:25 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

New York is investigating more than 100 cases of an illness in children possibly related to Covid-19

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media during a coronavirus news conference at his office in New York City, on May 9.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media during a coronavirus news conference at his office in New York City, on May 9. John Roca/New York Post/Pool/AP

The New York Department of Health is investigating at least 103 cases of an inflammatory illness possibly related to Covid-19 in children, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on WAMC Radio Thursday.

That number is up from 102 cases reported Wednesday. 

“I think those numbers are going to increase,” Cuomo said.

CNN has previously reported that at least three children across New York have died of the virus.

11:16 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

NYPD head to officers on social distancing enforcement: "Remember how stressed people are"

From CNN’s Mark Morales

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea speaks during a live twitter q & a with members of the NYPD on May 14.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea speaks during a live twitter q & a with members of the NYPD on May 14. NYPD News/Twitter

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke about social distancing enforcement and police policy Thursday, saying, “Nothing has changed from when this pandemic has started,” during a live twitter Q&A with members of the NYPD Thursday. 

‘What we want to do is educate people. We want to get compliance but we want to do it without the use of summonses wherever and whenever possible,” Shea added. 

The NYPD has been accused of policing in an unequal manner.

“Remember how stressed people are. Everyone's lives have been turned upside down,” Shea said. 

 The commissioner asked for cops to redouble their efforts at de-escalation with the public.