Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 10:26 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020
42 Posts
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12:18 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Outdoor restaurant service could open in Washington, DC, next week if cases don't spike

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

Signs are posted indicating where to stand to stay 6 feet apart to maintain social distancing on the sidewalk outside of Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington on April 15.
Signs are posted indicating where to stand to stay 6 feet apart to maintain social distancing on the sidewalk outside of Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington on April 15. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced today that the District can begin stage one of its reopening on Friday, May 29 if there are no spikes in the number of community spread coronavirus cases.

Stage one includes outdoor restaurant service and curbside pick-up for non-essential retail. Beauty salons and barbershops will be allowed to operate by appointment only and up to 10 people will be permitted to gather for worship.

The ReOpen DC Advisory Group presented a full outline of their recommendations for reopening during a news briefing on Thursday. The recommendations detail a four-phase process.

DC businesses will be provided with a checklist from the ReOpen DC Advisory group tomorrow.

The District's stay-at-home order is currently in place until June 8, but the mayor is expected to provide an update next Tuesday, May 26.

12:12 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Colorado will test asymptomatic nursing home employees and residents

From CNN's Gregory Lemos  

The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center announced scientists from Colorado State University will conduct eight weeks of Covid-19 tests on workers and residents in up to 30 skilled nursing facilities. 

"This will help prevent outbreaks, monitor the risk of exposure for residents, and help recovered workers return to work," the CSEOC said in a statement Thursday.  

CSU will be given $4.2 million as part of this partnership between the university and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  

"A majority of the funding will go to the testing of asymptomatic workers, with their consent, using nasopharyngeal swabs," the statement said.  

Some context: In Colorado, more than 50% of coronavirus-related deaths have been among older adults and people with disabilities who live in places like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to the statement.

12:04 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Ohio cancels state fair scheduled for the end of July

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran DeWine eat a cream puff at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, in 2019.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran DeWine eat a cream puff at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, in 2019. Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

Ohio's State Fair, schedule to take place July 29 through August 9, has been cancelled because of public health concerns, as well as "the financial feasibility of hosting a socially distant fair."

“After careful thought and deliberation, we have decided to cancel the Ohio State Fair. Knowing how easily the virus spreads in large groups, we believe it is the safest path forward for the health and safety of all Ohioans,” Andy Doehrel, chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission said in the statement on Thursday.

“The financial ramifications of hosting a reduced-capacity Fair would be too great, and we need to protect the great Ohio State Fair for future generations," the statement continued.

Last year, 934,925 people attended the Ohio State Fair during its 12-day run, according to the statement. These attendees came from each of Ohio’s 88 counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Mexico.

Read the tweet:

12:09 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Mnuchin: "Strong likelihood" another stimulus bill will be needed

From CNN’s Katie Lobosco

Evan Vucci/AP
Evan Vucci/AP

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday there is a “strong likelihood” that another stimulus bill will be needed to keep the economy afloat. 

He added, however, that for now, Congress needs to take a step back and allow the $3 trillion in aid already appropriated to get pumped into the economy. 

His remarks, which were made at a virtual summit sponsored by The Hill, come as Republicans are pumping the breaks on approving more coronavirus stimulus spending. 

Last week, House Democrats pushed forward a sweeping $3 trillion package. 

Mnuchin also said at the event Thursday that he is tested for Covid-19 on a regular basis because he is in daily contact with the President and vice president. Mnuchin said he has tested negative. 

12:08 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Here’s how New York will contact people who may have been exposed to Covid-19

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Pool via NY1
Pool via NY1

New York is now starting contact tracing operations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will call people who came in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

When tracers call, the caller ID will show up as "NYS contact tracing."

“Tracers will contact [the person who tested positive] and ask who they may have exposed,” Cuomo said. “And you could get a phone call following up on this tracing information, saying you were with John Smith last night. John Smith is now positive, you may want to be tested.”

“You should answer that call. It's not a hoax, it's not a scam, it's not a fraud,” Cuomo said.

“It's for your health, it's for your family's health.”

You can read more about the program here.

Watch here:

12:04 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

If you're going to a New York beach on Memorial Day, keep these restrictions in mind

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Pool via NY1
Pool via NY1

Beaches in New York state are opening tomorrow, but if you are planning on taking a trip on Memorial Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there will be some restrictions.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Beaches will be limited to 50% capacity, which the governor said he expects to be reached as early as 10 a.m. "That's something to take into consideration," he said. "You don't want to take that ride and get all the way out there and find out the beach is already closed."
  • No group contact activities will be allowed, including sports like volleyball and football.
  • Certain areas, such as playgrounds and pavilions, will be closed.
  • Social distancing will be enforced, but anytime it is not possible, beach employees and visitors will be required to wear a mask.

Remember: New York City beaches are not following these reopening guidelines for the holiday. City beaches will remain closed to swimming, but walking on the beach is permitted, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The NYPD will increase patrols across the beaches and parks, he added.

12:20 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

New NY cases "lower than we were when this first started," Cuomo says

From CNN's Melanie Schuman

Pool via NY1
Pool via NY1

New York Gov. Cuomo said today that coronavirus cases in the state are down to 246. Hospitalizations were also down at 5,187.

“New cases are down 246, which is actually lower than we were when this first started.  So we're back to a point earlier than we were when this Covid-19 crisis hit us, and we started that spike, so that's really good news,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo reiterated that the state is making progress and is on the back end of the curve.

“The overall trajectory of this situation — March 20-May 20 — been a period of time that will go down in history. A lot of pain, a unique period, but we got through it. We got through it, we got over the mountain. Literally and figuratively,” Cuomo said.
11:56 a.m. ET, May 21, 2020

Cuomo: New York state is investigating 157 cases of Covid-related childhood illness

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the state is now investigating 157 cases of an inflammatory syndrome in children that has been linked to Covid-19.

He added that today they are aware of cases of this illness in 13 countries and 25 states in the US. That is a change from 7 countries and 17 states last Thursday.

"This is one of those situations where the more they look, I believe the more they're going to find," the governor said.

Watch here:

12:25 p.m. ET, May 21, 2020

New York governor says it's "still too early" to decide on schools reopening in fall

Pool via NY1
Pool via NY1

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it's "still too early" to decide if students should return to classrooms this fall.

"In terms of opening up school for the fall, it's still too early to make that determination," he said. He noted that officials need to learn more about the rare but serious new syndrome affecting children that could be related to Covid-19.

He said he's also waiting to see what developments are made in possible treatments and vaccines before making a call on schools.