Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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10:46 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

NYC mayor expects to meet goals to begin reopening in first half of June

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

NYC Media
NYC Media

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is on track to start reopening in the first half of June.

“We clearly are making progress,” de Blasio said.

The city has met three of the seven metrics areas need to meet in order to reopen. De Blasio said progress is being made on the other four,

When it comes to number of available ICU and hospital beds, one of the metrics the city must achieve, de Blasio said, “We are getting close to those goals.”

Regarding contract tracers, de Blasio said he expects to hit that goal in the beginning of June.

Looking at trend lines, de Blasio said of the city and state goals, “Both will align in the first half of June.”

The mayor said he wants to make sure the city can hold off a second wave. It’s a “real subtle balance” to be struck.

About New York's reopening plans: The state has outlined four phases of reopening, and regions will be allowed to move into stage one when they meet the metrics. Last week, five regions — Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier — entered phase one.

Here's what can reopen in phase one:

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Retail (for curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale trade

Here's what the other three phases will look like:

  • Phase two: Professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate can reopen.
  • Phase three: Restaurants and food services can reopen.
  • Phase four: Arts, entertainment, recreation and education can reopen.
11:10 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

More than 500 nursing home residents have died from Covid-19 in Texas, new data shows

Nursing home beds are seen outside Spanish Meadows Nursing Center and Assisted Living in Brownsville, Texas, on Tuesday, May 12. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered widespread testing in Texas nursing homes after a surge in cases.
Nursing home beds are seen outside Spanish Meadows Nursing Center and Assisted Living in Brownsville, Texas, on Tuesday, May 12. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered widespread testing in Texas nursing homes after a surge in cases. Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald/AP

At least 3,103 residents have tested positive for Covid-19 and 509 have died among the 318 nursing homes with confirmed cases, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, which was last updated Sunday.

Another 531 residents have recovered, according to the data.

At least 399 residents have tested positive for Covid-19 and 99 have died at 113 assisted living facilities in the state, according to the data.

Statewide, the department of health has reported 47,784 cases of the virus, with 1,336 deaths as of Sunday.

10:24 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

States need federal funding by end of June, financial analyst says

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci

States need federal funding by a “drop dead deadline” of June 30, said Moody’s Analytics analyst Dan White.

“Many states and local governments need to craft a budget by July 1,” said White. “If they don’t know how much money they’ll get from the federal government, officials will be forced to cut budgets.” 

As a result, White estimates 3 million additional job losses through June 2021. 

White, who published new research today, warned that a delay in federal aid is detrimental to the entire US economy and that Congress needs to “move as soon as legislatively possible.”

10:27 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

145 New York City children may have illness connected to Covid-19, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to members of the media before taking a walk through Flushing Meadows Corona Park to hand out free face masks to park goers, in the Queens borough of New York, on Saturday, May 16.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to members of the media before taking a walk through Flushing Meadows Corona Park to hand out free face masks to park goers, in the Queens borough of New York, on Saturday, May 16. Anthony Behar/Sipa/AP

New York City has identified 145 children possibly suffering from multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), Mayor Bill de Blasio said today.

The city expects to update numbers later this week because of the new federal definition of the syndrome, according to the mayor.

Mayor de Blasio said there is one death, and 67 of the 145 children have tested positive for Covid-19 or antibodies.

10:15 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

University of South Carolina won't have face-to-face classes after Thanksgiving this year

From CNN's Annie Grayer

The University of South Carolina is canceling its regular fall break and ending face-to-face classes ahead of Thanksgiving break, university president Bob Caslen announced last night, as a way to mitigate risk of a second wave of Covid-19.

Caslen cited the major changes to the academic calendar came after evaluating the public health risks associated with allowing thousands of students and faculty to travel and then come back to campus during fall break. The decision to cancel in person instruction and start remote learning after Thanksgiving break was made to reduce the risk of a second wave hitting campus.

“I realize that students and faculty look forward to getting away and recharging in the middle of the semester, and I appreciate that many of you will not be pleased with the decision to cancel Fall Break,” Caslen said in a statement. “These changes are part of the new normal that all of us must embrace as we return to campus for work and study, and they are necessary for us to successfully resume in-person instruction. Most importantly, they reflect our top priority: your health, safety and wellbeing.”

Caslen said the university has still not made a decision about December commencement.

Here's the school's fall schedule:

  • Aug. 20: Classes begin for the fall semester
  • Sept. 7: Labor Day will be a remote class day, with classes held online 
  • Oct. 15-16: Previously scheduled fall break has been canceled, classes will be held
  • Nov. 3: General Election Day will be a remote class day with classes held online
  • Nov. 24: Face-to-face instruction ends ahead of Thanksgiving break
  • Nov. 25-29: Thanksgiving break
  • Nov. 30: Remote class day
  • December 1: Remote class day
  • December 2-4: Reading days ahead of final exams
  • December 7-14: Final exam period
10:17 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

Antibody testing program begins in New York City for first responders, mayor says

A man gets coronavirus antibody testing at the NYPD Community Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday, May 15.
A man gets coronavirus antibody testing at the NYPD Community Center in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday, May 15. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that as of Monday, 140,000 antibody tests provided to first responders and healthcare workers are available as part of a four-week federal testing program.

The program is in coordination with the federal government partnering with Department of Health and Human Services and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal government is covering all the costs, so this is free to first responders and healthcare workers. De Blasio said the program will help understand what’s going on with the virus.

The testing is voluntary and starts with FDNY, which includes paramedics and EMTs. Testers will go to worksites.

It’s the same setup starting today for those working with The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).

By the numbers: Testing goals for the city continue to evolve. For the week of May 25, the goal is 50,000. For the following week of June 1, the goal is 60,000+.

Over 150 Covid-19 test sites in the city are up and running. Sites include two more Health and Hospital test sites which opened Monday – one in Brooklyn's Midwood neighborhood and one in Washington Heights in Manhattan for a total of 25 within the public hospital system across the city. City Med clinics are also participating testing.

The city is partnering with local companies and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to produce the testing kits.

9:54 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

How some colleges are handling plans for the fall semester

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus stands empty as seen from above on Friday, May 1.
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus stands empty as seen from above on Friday, May 1. Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic canceled classes on college and university campuses across the country this spring — and now school officials are weighing what to do this fall.

Some schools have started to outline their fall plans. Here's a look at what some colleges and universities are saying about the fall semester:

  • The University of Arizona in Tucson is laying out details for its plan for in-person learning this fall. The university will test its students and staff sometimes this summer, and also plans to set aside a dorm for sick Covid-19 student patients who don’t need to be hospitalized, according to Pam Scott, Associate Vice President for Communications for the school.
  • The California State University system, which claims to be the nation's biggest four-year university system, plans to cancel nearly all in-person classes through the fall semester to reduce spread of the coronavirus, Chancellor Timothy White said last week at a board of trustees meeting. At the University of California, which has 10 campuses across the state, "it's likely none of our campuses will fully re-open in fall," Stett Holbrook, a spokesperson for UC, told CNN in an email on Tuesday. 
  • Colby College in Maine is exploring the idea of not re-opening at all in the fall, until students can be safely back on campus in January 2021.
9:57 a.m. ET, May 18, 2020

US stocks rally at the open on coronavirus vaccine hopes

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

In this screengrab taken from the Federal Reserve website, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell issues the Federal Open Market Committee statement on Wednesday, April 29, in Washington, DC.
In this screengrab taken from the Federal Reserve website, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell issues the Federal Open Market Committee statement on Wednesday, April 29, in Washington, DC. Federal Reserve/Getty Images

US stocks shot higher at Monday's opening bell, boosted by hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and more fiscal and monetary stimulus to support the economy.

Drug maker Moderna reported encouraging results from the human safety trial of a potential Covid-19 vaccine. The company's stock soared 30% at the open.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank, as well as Congress, might need to more to support the American economy through the coronavirus recession, during an interview with CBS' “60 Minutes” Sunday night.

Here's how the markets opened:

  • The Dow opened up 2.9%, or 690 points.
  • The S&P 500 kicked off 2.4% higher.
  • The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.8% at the open.
12:55 p.m. ET, May 18, 2020

Send CNN your questions about schools and education during the pandemic

Most students in the US will not be returning to the classroom this academic year, and when schools will reopen is still unknown. Education experts will join this week’s coronavirus town hall to talk about school during the pandemic.

Parents, do you or your children have questions? College students or educators, what would you like to ask? Leave your questions below along with your name, location and a phone number, and a producer may be in touch with you if we’re interested in using your question.