US coronavirus death toll tops 100,000

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:04 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020
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1:58 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Percentage of positive coronavirus cases continue to decline in Massachusetts

From CNN’s Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

A medical professional works at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Hospital in Somerville, Massachusetts, on April 28.
A medical professional works at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Hospital in Somerville, Massachusetts, on April 28. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Approximately 8.6% of those tested for coronavirus over the past week were positive, Gov. Charlie Baker said at a news conference Wednesday.

The number has declined from the 20% or 30% in April, Baker said. 

On Tuesday, about 4,900 Covid-19 tests were reported, bringing the total amount of tests completed in the state to more than 545,000, according to Baker.

There are currently about 2,100 individuals hospitalized due to Covid-19, Baker said, which has continued to trend downward over the course of the past few weeks.

"These numbers show steady progress and we’re going to continue to carefully monitor them,” Baker said.
1:52 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

New York's Long Island region marks 44th day of declining hospitalizations as it enters Phase 1 of reopening

From CNN’s Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

A sign in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island directs patients to a drive-thru coronavirus test site at Stony Brook University on March 28.
A sign in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island directs patients to a drive-thru coronavirus test site at Stony Brook University on March 28. John Paraskevas/Newsday via Getty Images

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said today that Covid-19 hospitalizations in the county are down again, marking the 44th straight day of declining hospitalizations in Long Island since the peak of the virus.

This is the longest streak of declining current hospitalizations in any region in New York state, Curran said. There are currently 407 Covid-19-related hospitalizations in the county, she said.

Curran announced 67 new cases of Covid-19 in the county, and said that only 3% of those tested for the virus tested positive.

Long Island has also seen a 14 day decline in hospital deaths, she said, noting that the county has put together an “army” of contact tracers. 

In total, there have been 39,974 individuals who tested positive for Covid-19 and 2,108 Covid-19 related deaths in the county, a poster showed. 

Some more context: Today marks the first day of Phase 1 reopening in Nassau County, Curran said, noting that lower-risk industries such as construction, curbside retail, and in-store pickup for retail can now reopen. Manufacturing, forestry, farming and fishing can also reopen, she said. 

Curran laid out the guidelines for physical distancing for construction sites, noting that six feet of space must be kept between workers, but if that’s not possible then they must wear a face covering. For indoor construction projects, there can be no more than one worker per 250 square feet. 

Manufacturing, construction and wholesale trade accounts for 17% of the Nassau County economy, Curran said. 

Phase 2 in Nassau County would mean reopening of professional services including accounting and law firms. Phase 2 also reopens full retail services, though they would look different with additional PPE and sanitizing.

Curran is pushing for barber shops to be opened in Phase 2 as well, though it’s still unclear under state guidance what phase they are in, she said. 

Regarding summer camps and summer daycare, Curran is still waiting for state guidance on what these services may look like and when they’d be able to reopen, she said.

1:49 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Cuomo on Trump infrastructure meeting: "It was a good conversation"

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news conference that he and President Trump have "political differences” but their meeting today was about how to “supercharge” reopening the state. 

Cuomo called the meeting with the President a “good conversation” and said Trump “understood what we were talking about." 

“It was not about politics. It was not about any of that. It was about how do we supercharge the reopening, especially in New York, which has been hardest hit. How do we take some of these big infrastructure projects that have been sitting around for a long time, which if we were all smarter and better, we would have done 30 years ago, and actually get them up and running because we have to do this work anyway, and because we need the jobs now more than ever,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo added the President acknowledged that New York is "very aggressive" about getting these infrastructure projects done.

“Now is the time to stimulate the economy by doing construction, you want to supercharge the opening, that’s how you do it," he said.

“We are still living on the infrastructure built by our grandparents,” the governor added.

Cuomo met with the President at the White House in a closed meeting earlier today to discuss infrastructure projects as well as the economic and medical impact of the coronavirus.

1:40 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Cuomo blasts Congress for delaying recovery funds

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted Congress on Wednesday for delaying funding to the states during the coronavirus pandemic.

There can be no national recovery if state and local governments aren’t funded, he said.

“Do you really think we should starve state governments?” Cuomo asked.

“What is the national economy but for a function of the states, there is no nation without the states," he added.

Cuomo, who met with President Trump earlier in the day, demanded action from lawmakers, saying that they tend to forget that in this town. 

“Mr. Federal legislature, you are nothing without the states and you represent the United States," he said.

“That is an ugly, ugly sentiment. It is an unAmerican response,” speaking to senators who want to delay funding for New York.


1:38 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

New Jersey reports 148 new coronavirus-related deaths

From CNN's Elizabeth Hartfield

News 12 NJ/Pool
News 12 NJ/Pool

New Jersey reported 970 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 156,628 cases, Gov. Phil Murphy announced in his daily briefing.

The state reported 148 new deaths, bringing the total to 11,339 coronavirus-related fatalities. 

Murphy noted that of the total number of cases in the state, 31,099 have been in long-term care facilities. At least 4,871 of the deaths related to Covid-19 have been in those facilities. 

The governor said that although the battle against the virus continues, key public health indicators across the state continue to be positive. New hospitalizations are down, as are the numbers of patients in intensive care and on ventilators. 

“We are now well past the peak,” Murphy said.

He also said that he and his wife got tested for the virus this morning.

1:12 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

New York state reported 74 new coronavirus-related deaths as hospitalizations continue to fall

New York state has reported 74 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The number of hospitalizations across the state also continues to drop, as are intubations, the governor said today at his daily news briefing.

"It's rare that good things happen after an intubation. And the number of new cases is down, which is very encouraging news. These are the number of new cases that are walking through the door," Cuomo said. "Again, only in this time of crisis would 74 deaths would be anything less than truly tragic news. But when you have gone through what we have gone through, it's a sign that we're headed in the right direction."

On May 25, New York reported 73 deaths due to the virus, an all-time low, the governor said.


12:59 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Caesars Palace and Flamingo to reopen in Las Vegas June 4

From CNN’s Stephanie Becker

People walk in front of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 9.
People walk in front of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 9. Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Caesars Palace and Flamingo in Las Vegas will reopen June 4, according to a statement from Caesars Entertainment.

Visitors will be able to stay at the hotels and place their bets – all in accordance with physical distancing guidelines.

Self-parking is free and dining and pool options will also be open.

Caesars expects Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and the gaming floor at The LINQ Hotel and Casino to be the next properties in the city to reopen, with timing "based on customer demand."

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced yesterday the state's move into phase two starting on Friday.

1:00 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Washington University in St. Louis will stagger fall start dates for students

From CNN's Elizabeth Stuart

Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis
Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis Stephen Ehlers/Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Washington University in St. Louis said it will take a phased approach to bring students and faculty back to campus, with a staggered calendar that will start the fall and spring semesters several weeks apart.

The school said this will allow extra time to continue preparing for a majority of students to be back on campus, according to a letter sent Wednesday to the university community from Chancellor Andrew D. Martin.

"We have every intention of teaching courses in the classroom this fall," Martin wrote. "At the same time, we know the fall semester will not be business as usual."

The university's Brown School (Social Work and Public Health) and Law School will have the first day of classes on August 24. The spring semester for those two schools will start on January 19. 

For Arts & Sciences, McKelvey Engineering, Olin Business School, Sam Fox School (Design & Visual Arts), and University College (continuing education) will start three weeks later on September 14, and the spring semester for those schools will start on January 25.

The letter said it's possible that some courses, such as those typically held in a large lecture hall, will be held online or through "a hybrid model with some students in the classroom and others participating remotely."

The university said it will provide more details on its plans for the fall semester by July 31, and acknowledged, as other universities have, that these plans are subject to change.

"As hopeful as we are that we will be able to welcome students and employees back to campus in August and September, we are also mindful that a lot could change in the coming weeks — for better or worse — and that there may still be some tough decisions ahead," Martin wrote.
12:41 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Pennsylvania reports 113 new coronavirus-related deaths

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

As of noon Tuesday, Pennsylvania reported an additional 780 positive Covid-19 cases, bringing the statewide total to 69,417, a statement from the Pennsylvania Department of Health said.

The statement, released just before noon Wednesday, also noted an increase of 113 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 5,265.

“As Pennsylvania continues to move forward in the process to reopen, we need to remember that the threat from Covid-19 has not gone away,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.