Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:10 p.m. ET, May 26, 2020
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12:13 p.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Missouri man among 140 customers exposed to Covid-19 at a hair salon 

From CNN’s Gregory Lemos

A Missouri man said he felt angry when he found out he was one of the 140 customers who were exposed to Covid-19 at a hair salon in Springfield-Greene County.

"My first thoughts were anger, you know, just a normal reaction," Erik Chase told CNN on Tuesday. "And then I had grief and then it was guilt. And then after that, it was, okay, I need to go into proactive mode and go down my list of people I have come into contact with and notify them that I had been exposed." 

Chase said he had his hair cut at the salon on May 17 and was notified May 23 by the county Health Department that he had been exposed and was mandated to quarantine until May 31. Chase said he was not told where he had been exposed.  

Chase said one of the most difficult aspects of being quarantined is he cannot take care of his mother, who is currently in the hospital.   

"I'm her primary point of contact, so the ability to reach out and see her and see how she's doing, like through that human connect, I'm not able to do because I'm on quarantine," Chase said.

He said he is "concerned" of testing positive for Covid-19 as he is both diabetic and immunocompromised. 

"Because now you have that sense of, if I get a cough or I sneeze, I'm a little cold, do I have it?" Chase said.

Chase said he is currently asymptomatic and expects to be tested for the virus either today or tomorrow.   

12:12 p.m. ET, May 26, 2020

39 inmates test positive for coronavirus at West Virginia prison 

From CNN's Carma Hassan

Jim Justice/Facebook
Jim Justice/Facebook

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said 39 inmates tested positive for coronavirus at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.

He ordered everyone, including approximately 1,029 inmates, at the correctional facility to be tested and the results are still coming in. No staff members have tested positive, he said. 

“But we do expect as these … thousand plus tests come back, that that number is going to rise. We’re on it and our people are staying right on top of it and we again ran to the fire and I commend them for doing so,” Justice said. 

Commissioner Betsy Jividen with the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation said contact tracing for the prison has already begun and her office is working closely with the governor’s office, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the National Guard.

“We are doing our best, as we enter this phase two where we do now have positives in our facilities, to be proactive and to protect the health of both our inmate population and of course our staff who is on the frontline everyday facing these challenges and difficulties in their personal lives and their professional lives,” Jividen said.

12:07 p.m. ET, May 26, 2020

New York Gov. Cuomo says he'll meet with President Trump tomorrow

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he'll meet with President Trump tomorrow in Washington, DC.

"Scheduled to meet with the President to talk about a number of things," he said, noting that one of those things is the possibility of starting infrastructure projects that need federal help and approval as the state begins to reopen from the coronavirus pandemic.

He specifically mentioned the state could work on cross-Hudson tunnels, a possible train to LaGuardia airport and subway extensions.

12:14 p.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Gov. Cuomo: “We’re now going to focus on reopening New York City”

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s focus will now be on reopening New York City’s economy.  

Officials will use data and tests to continue to pinpoint areas where coronavirus is still spreading, Cuomo said.

Those ZIP codes tend to be predominantly lower-income and minority communities, he said. In some areas, the infection rate is 40% — about double the rate in the city as a whole. 

“The infection rate is not spreading among essential workers; it's spreading among workers who have stayed home or are unemployed. It's spreading in the home, it's spreading in the community. We're going to focus on those ZIP codes. … We want to slow the infection rate even in those communities, and that will really bring the numbers down in New York City. We started that last week, but we're going to bring it to a new level starting this week,” he said. 

“We want to attack the virus at its source,” he added.

Cuomo also said that the city needs to amp up its number of contact tracers. 

11:53 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

New York governor says Long Island will reopen tomorrow

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that Long Island will start to reopen tomorrow.

"Long Island will open tomorrow. We're going to bring on the last of what's called the tracers who do the contact tracing after testing, and they'll be coming online today, and Long Island will open tomorrow," the governor said.

New York has been opening up different parts of the state as regions hit key metrics mandated by the state. One of the metrics is employing a certain number of contact tracers.

Long Island will begin phase one of reopening tomorrow. That means construction, agriculture, curbside and in-store pick up retail and select other industries are allowed to reopen.

Cuomo discussed how officials will monitor reopening in the state moving forward.

"Each region has a regional control group. I've spoken to many of the county executives across the state who are key on these regional control groups, and I said to the county executives, watch the numbers. When you see a cluster of cases, jump on it. Jump on it," he said.



11:48 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Cuomo says he went to the beach over Memorial Day weekend


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he visited a beach over Memorial Day weekend, while still urging residents to continue to maintain distancing measures and not “all run back to the beach.”

“I hope everyone had a good weekend. I had a great weekend. Stayed at home Saturday, went to the beach Sunday, went to the intrepid yesterday. Plus, I changed the oil in the car, so I had a good day, good weekend,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the state is focusing on reopening and how it will occur. 

“Memorial Day is going to be a point where maybe we don't all run back to the beach, but we're going to turn the page on Covid-19. And we're going to start focusing on reopening and how we reopen and how smart we are in reopening,” he said.

11:42 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

New York reports lowest daily death toll "since this started," Cuomo says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at least 73 people died from coronavirus yesterday — the lowest single-day total yet, he said.

"That's the lowest level we have seen since this started," he said. "In this absurd new reality, that is good news."

Cuomo also noted that overall hospitalizations, new hospitalizations and intubations are all down in the state.


11:42 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

Amtrak says it needs nearly $1.5 billion more from Congress to keep running

From CNN's Greg Wallace

Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Amtrak said in a letter Tuesday it is asking Congress for nearly $1.5 billion to keep operating at minimum levels during the coronavirus pandemic.

The railroad company said the request is “in addition to Amtrak’s $2.040 billion annual grant request submitted to Congress earlier this year.” 

Without the support, Amtrak said it will be “unable to minimize the impacts to service and its workforce.” 

The letter says the railway expects to carry only half of the passengers it did last year - down from 32 million to just 16 million. 

Prior to the pandemic, Amtrak was forecasting “its first break-even year in the company’s history.” 

“Current demand is running around 5% of normal,” Amtrak President and CEO William J. Flynn wrote.

11:28 a.m. ET, May 26, 2020

New Jersey reports more than 700 new cases

From CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph

There were 54 coronavirus-related deaths reported in New Jersey Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a press conference Tuesday morning, brining the statewide death toll to 11,191.

There were at least 703 new positive coronavirus cases reported Monday, bringing the statewide total of positive cases to 155,764.