Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 9:19 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020
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4:30 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

The Venetian on Las Vegas Strip now taking reservations for June 1

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

The Venetian resort in Las Vegas announced that it is now taking reservations for arrivals beginning June 1, "when we anticipate opening our doors to the public," the company said in a statement

The resort, which includes The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Venezia towers, is planning to open in phases, the statement said. 

 The Venetian will be the first to open, followed by The Palazzo at a later date. 

"Upon opening, our guests can expect the amenities of a luxury Las Vegas resort including: a full service casino, more than a dozen restaurants, our fully renovated Venetian pool deck and multiple retail outlets," the statement said.

Additionally, the resort said it will provide face masks to guests — though it will not require that they be worn. 

Some background: The resort "temporarily suspended all resort operations" on March 19 following the Nevada governor’s order for a statewide closure of all nonessential services, according to its website. 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board sent a notice to restaurants located in casinos on May 14 saying that they can reopen under phase one of the governor’s reopening plan. 

However, Gov. Steve Sisolak has not indicated when phase one would occur. In fact, he has previously said that the reopening of the state's casinos is still a long way off.

"The opening of the casinos and the gaming enterprises will probably come into third or fourth phase of what we're going to end up doing," Sisolak explained on April 29 during an ABC special about the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We're just not quite ready yet to handle that type of a volume," he added.

See barren casino in Vegas:

4:32 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

CNN and Sesame Street will host a special coronavirus town hall on May 30

From CNN staff

The cast of “Sesame Street” appears in a 2020 episode.
The cast of “Sesame Street” appears in a 2020 episode. Richard Termine/HBO

CNN is partnering with Sesame Street for a second special town hall about coronavirus, focused on kids and parents.

"The ABCs of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents" will air at 10 a.m. ET on May 30 and tackle issues such as summer safety, playdates, schooling and how kids and families around the world are creatively coping during these challenging times.

The 60-minute town hall will feature experts and Sesame Street characters — including Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rosita and Grover — answering questions submitted by families.

Big Bird will join CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN anchor and national correspondent Erica Hill to moderate the event.

How to watch: The town hall will air on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español. It will stream live on CNN.com's homepage and across mobile devices via CNN's apps, without requiring a cable log-in. You can also watch on CNNgo, and subscribers to cable/satellite systems can watch it on-demand.

Parents can send in their questions below, along with their full names and phone numbers.

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

US stocks snap three-day winning streak

From CNN’s Anneken Tappe

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on May 18.
People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City on May 18. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

US stocks ended at session lows on Tuesday, with major indexes snapping their three-day winning streaks.

Investors spent the day glued to the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the Senate Banking Committee.

But in the end, the hearing didn’t have a big impact on markets.

 Here's how the markets closed:

  • The Dow finished down 1.6%, or 391 points.
  • The S&P 500 slipped 1%.
  • The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.5% lower.

 

4:18 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Trump says he'd wear a mask during Ford visit "where it's appropriate"

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with his cabinet on Tuesday, May 19, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with his cabinet on Tuesday, May 19, in Washington. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump was asked if he plans to wear a mask when he visits a Ford facility on Thursday. He replied, "Where it's appropriate, I would do it, certainly. Yeah."

"I haven't even thought of it. It depends. In certain areas I would, in certain areas I don't. But, uh, I will certainly look at it. It depends on what the situation — am I standing right next to everybody or am I spread out? And also you look, you know, is something a hospital, is it a ward, is it — what is it exactly? I'm going to a plant. So we'll see. Where it's appropriate, I would do it, certainly. Yeah," Trump said.

What is this about: Ahead of Trump's visit on Thursday to a Ford components plant in Michigan, the automaker has detailed its safety policies to the White House — including that everyone wear a mask.

"In preparation for the visit, we’ve shared with the White House all of Ford’s safety protocols, including our self-assessment, thermal scanning and manufacturing playbook which outlines our policy that everyone wears PPE," a Ford spokesman told CNN.

Watch:

4:01 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

More than 91,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

Trucks used as temporary morgues are seen outside the New York City Chief Medical Examiner's office on May 12 in New York City.
Trucks used as temporary morgues are seen outside the New York City Chief Medical Examiner's office on May 12 in New York City. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

There are at least 1,520,029 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 91,187 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins reported Tuesday 11,721 new cases and 840 deaths. 

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

4:01 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Trump signs executive order on eliminating "unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery"

From CNN's Nikki Carvajal 

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order limiting regulations to support the economic recovery during a meeting with his cabinet on May 19 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order limiting regulations to support the economic recovery during a meeting with his cabinet on May 19 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

During a cabinet meeting at the White House Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order that he described as “instructing federal agencies to use any and all authority to weigh, suspend, and eliminate unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery.”

“And we want to leave it that way,” the President added, “we want to leave it that way. In some cases, we won't be able to, but in other cases, we will.” 

Trump said the order directs agencies to “review the hundreds of regulations we've already suspended in response to the virus and make the suspensions permanent where possible.”

“I'm also instructing agencies to use the emergency authorities to speed up regulation cuts for new rules that will create jobs and prosperity and get rid of unnecessary rules and regulations,” he added.

“The potential is you're going to find regulations that nobody's ever thought of before, because you're going to be doing it yourselves,” Trump told his cabinet members, seated around the table.

“When I look at (Environmental Protection Agency) sitting here and the veterans sitting here, and I look at all of the different people, Homeland Security, Chad (Wolf), I look at all of the great talent around this table. You have a right to do something that nobody would have ever thought you would have the right to do. And so I just want you to go to town and do it right, do it proper, make sure everything is safe, and make sure it's environmentally good for those of you that are in that category, but it's very important,” Trump said, shortly before signing the executive order. 

The White House has yet to release the text of the order.

4:00 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

38% of those who attended events at rural Arkansas church later tested positive for Covid-19, report says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Thirty-eight percent of congregants who attended events at a church in a rural Arkansas county during a six-day period in March later tested positive for Covid-19, according to a report published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, 35 of 92 people who attended events at the church from March 6 to 11 had lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19. The outbreak resulted in three deaths among church attendees, all people over 65. Six of the seven patients that were hospitalized were also in this same age range.

Contact tracing identified at least 26 additional people who tested positive for Covid-19 and had contact with members of the church. From this group, one person was hospitalized and subsequently died.

As of April 22, 61 confirmed cases had been identified in people directly and indirectly associated events at the church and there were a total of four deaths.

The church pastor developed symptoms on March 11 and his wife developed symptoms on March 10. After becoming aware of symptoms among churchgoers, the church was closed on March 12. The pastor and his wife sought testing on March 13 and received laboratory confirmation of Covid-19 on March 16. The Arkansas Department of Health was notified of those first two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the county on March 16 – also the same day national social distancing guidelines were announced.

An investigation afterward found two people who were symptomatic during March 6 to 8 “likely initiated the chain of transmission among church attendees.”

"The primary patients had no known Covid-19 exposures in the 14 days preceding their symptom onset dates, suggesting that local transmission was occurring before case detection," the CDC said in its report.

The report notes some limitations, including that not all of those who were infected sought testing and some were ineligible for testing based on the criteria at the time. Forty-five of 92 people who attended events at the church were tested for Covid-19.

The report said faith-based organizations "should be aware of the potential for high rates of transmission" for Covid-19.

"These organizations should work with local health officials to determine how to implement the U.S. Government’s guidelines for modifying activities during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent transmission of the virus to their members and their communities." 

3:52 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Washington governor announces that "about 30%" of state can move to phase 2 of reopening

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a press conference in Olympia, Washington, on May 19.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a press conference in Olympia, Washington, on May 19. Pool

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that new criteria will allow 10 more counties to be eligible to move onto phase 2 of the state's reopening plan.

The state currently has approved 10 of its 39 counties to move to phase 2, Inslee explained today in a press conference. Two other counties were eligible to move to phase 2 as well, but have not yet applied, Inslee said.

"That makes 22 counties in the state that are currently eligible for a variance upon application or already moving to phase two," Inslee said. 
"Combined, these counties represent about 30% of the state's population," he said.

Phase 2 allows for:

  • In-store retail purchases with restrictions
  • Reopening of barbershops and salons
  • Reopening of restaurants at 50% capacity and table sizes no larger than 5

None of the counties moving into the next reopening phase include the state's most populous ones like King, Pierce, or Snohomish - once the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in the US.

The new criteria focuses on counties having less than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 14 day span, Inslee said.

3:31 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Retail in Delaware can partially reopen tomorrow, governor says

From CNN's Jessica King

Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks during a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on May 19.
Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks during a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on May 19. KYW

Delaware’s retail establishments – currently scheduled to partially open June 1 – may operate as soon as tomorrow under certain guidelines, Gov. John Carney announced in a statement Tuesday. He also announced that restaurants and bars could apply for expanded seating for that June 1 reopening.

“All retail establishments in Delaware may operate by appointment only” starting tomorrow, Wednesday May 20 at 8 a.m. ET, Gov. Carney’s statement said. Stores may accept two appointments per half hour and must adhere to strict social distancing and cleaning, in accordance with the CDC and Delaware Division of Public Health guidance.

Some examples of stores given included clothing stores, shoe stores, florists and used merchandise retailers.

These establishments will then continue to be allowed to open their indoor spaces at 30% of fire capacity on June 1 as part of Phase 1 of Delaware’s re-opening.

Restaurants, bars, taprooms, and craft breweries – who are also scheduled to open at 30% indoor capacity starting June 1 – may now apply to expand their outdoor seating on that date as well. This does not change the current planned opening date. They will however be able to apply for that expansion starting this Friday, May 22.

“It’s our hope that these additional steps will safely bring some relief to Delaware businesses and workers who have made real financial sacrifices” during the Covid-19 crisis, Governor Carney said.

When asked in his daily coronavirus briefing how these guidelines will be enforced, the governor admitted that in the short-term they “rely heavily on voluntary compliance” but that mechanisms for enforcement may look different in the long-term.