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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6:20 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

More than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 100,047 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. There are at least 1,694,599 cases of coronavirus in the country.

The first known US coronavirus-related fatality was February 6, 111 days ago.

For historical context in the US:

  • 100 deaths on March 17
  • 1,000 deaths on March 26
  • 10,000 deaths on April 6
  • 25,000 deaths on April 14
  • 50,000 deaths on April 24
  • 75,000 deaths on May 7


5:55 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Here are the latest updates from Kentucky

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Pool

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state has reached a total of 400 Covid-19 deaths, 399 of which are lab confirmed and one probable case.

“I never thought as governor, I’d stand up and talk about losing 400 people to something that I am, and we are battling,” he said.

He said the state reported 127 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total of cases to 9,077.

“Our numbers today continue to suggest that we are no longer in a plateau, but on a decline,” he said.

5:45 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Catch up: Here are the latest coronavirus updates from across the US

It's almost 6 p.m. in New York. Here's what you might have missed today:

  • A sudden jump in infections could lead to a "second peak": A second peak wouldn't unfold as neatly or gradually as a wave. A new peak would mean a sudden spike in cases, which could overburden health care systems again and possibly cause a greater number of deaths. The second peak could be worse than the first.
  • Top health expert implores Americans to wear masks in public: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he believes that while wearing a mask is not "100% effective," it is a valuable safeguard and shows "respect for another person."
  • Another Ford plant temporarily shuts down after an employee tests positive for Covid-19: The shutdown in the Missouri plant lasted only an hour, and Ford completed its scheduled production for the day. But the closure is a sign of the difficulty of building cars while keeping workers safe from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Trump intent on July 4 celebration as Washington slowly reopens: Across the nation, governors have found themselves under pressure from President Trump to lift some restrictions and allow businesses to reopen. Projecting a return to normalcy after a devastating period of coronavirus outbreak, the President has said Americans should be able to live their lives like they did before. But Washington's mayor reiterated Wednesday that a parade in the nation's capital had been scrapped.
5:43 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Maryland governor says restaurants can open for outdoor dining on Friday

From CNN’s Julie Gallagher

 Gov. Larry Hogan
Gov. Larry Hogan Pool

Restaurants in Maryland may reopen for outdoor dining at 5 p.m. ET Friday, Gov. Larry Hogan said.

Social organizations such as VFWs, youth sports leagues, day camps, outdoor pools and drive-in movie theaters can also reopen on Friday. 

Hogan said the reopenings are “the completion of stage one of the recovery plan,” after Maryland has seen a decreasing trend of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

For restaurants opening on Friday, proper precautions must be taken, he said. No more than six people may be seated at a table, with tables adequately spaced apart. Tables and chairs must be sanitized between parties and restaurants will have to check staffs’ temperatures daily.  

Hogan said he supports local leaders closing streets to expand the space that can be used for outdoor dining. He recommended using parking lots and other public spaces in order to allow for restaurants to safely maximize the number of guests that can be served. 

There will be capacity limitations, proper social-distancing practices enforced and sanitation procedures in place for youth sports, day camps and outdoor pools. 

5:24 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Maryland governor says state now conducting 10,000 tests per day 

From CNN’s Julie Gallagher

A Maryland National Guard member checks vehicles entering a drive-through coronavirus testing facility in a parking lot at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, May 15, in Baltimore.
A Maryland National Guard member checks vehicles entering a drive-through coronavirus testing facility in a parking lot at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, May 15, in Baltimore. Julio Cortez/AP

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said during a news conference Wednesday the state has reached its goal of conducting 10,000 Covid-19 tests per day.

Hogan added that 300,444 tests have been completed statewide to date.

He initially announced this goal during a news conference two weeks ago. 

5:14 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

California becomes 4th state with more than 100,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

 A worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at Mend Urgent Care testing site at the Westfield Fashion Square on May 13,  in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles.
 A worker performs drive-up COVID-19 testing at Mend Urgent Care testing site at the Westfield Fashion Square on May 13, in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

California has 100,146 confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the fourth in the country to reach that threshold.

New York, New Jersey and Illinois hold the top three spots.

More than 3,800 people have died from Covid-19 in California, according to data from John Hopkins University.

Despite the significant number of total cases, California has recorded an average of only 10 Covid-related deaths per 100,000 residents, a fraction of those recorded by other states with a high case count.

California was the first to enact a statewide stay-at-home order on March 19.

5:17 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Covid is hitting Native Americans harder, doctor says

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Dr. Thomas Dean Sequist
Dr. Thomas Dean Sequist House Ways and Means Committee

Dr. Thomas Dean Sequist, a member of the Taos Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, told the House Ways and Means Committee that many issues are exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic among Native American families across the United States.  

During the Wednesday hearing on the Disproportionate Impact of Covid-19 on Communities of Color, Sequist, who is a chief patient experience and equity officer at Mass General Brigham Hospital in Boston, said he has seen a shortage of testing and supplies.  

“What I've observed with the Navajo Nation is that the shortage of testing there, and the lack of personal protective equipment there, that far exceeds what we're seeing in Boston,” he said. 

Covid is impacting social issues as well, he said. “We already know that mental health actually impacts these communities to a much larger degree than other communities prior to Covid. We also know that these communities have a large history of historical trauma that the source of the trauma,” he said, adding, "We fully expect that there will be a wave of mental health need coming this summer, that’s going to follow this wave of infections."

Sequist said families have been hit hard across many generations. “There are entire families that have either been infected with it, or have had multiple deaths in the family, all at once. And that is going to create a trauma that's going to be long lasting and a need for mental health services,” he said.

“It's going to far outstrip, what are already stressed mental health system is able to provide,” he added.

“We cannot flip back into complacency,” Sequist said, adding the circumstances that created the crisis “existed long before Covid, and will persist long after unless we take decisive action starting today.”  


5:05 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Pennsylvania governor defers to businesses on whether to allow customers in without a mask

From CNN’s Ganesh Setty

As counties move toward the “green zone” of the governor’s reopening plan, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf deferred to businesses on whether they would allow customers in without a mask. 

During a question and answer session, he likened the mask guidelines as an addition to the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” standard, and stressed the importance of customers and employees feeling safe.

By the numbers: Pennsylvania estimated that about 62% of residents who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered from the disease, Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Wednesday. 

Pennsylvania now has 13 confirmed cases of childhood illness linked to Covid-19, while 10 are currently under investigation, Levine said. She said the 13 patients range from 11 months to 18 years old. 

As of today, the state is performing contact tracing for 2,000 Pennsylvanians, the governor said. 

5:00 p.m. ET, May 27, 2020

Salon owner who denied meat plant workers haircuts reverses the policy. Here's why.

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

A salon owner in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, has reversed his ban on haircuts for workers from a nearby Tyson Foods poultry plant which had become the site of a local coronavirus outbreak.

Bob Hartley, the owner of the Wilkesboro SmartCuts, said today he'd initially created the ban after the plant reported 570 of its 2,200 employees had been infected. He said prior to those infections there had only been 20-30 reported infections in the area. 

Speaking on CNN Wednesday, Hartley said he implemented the ban to protect his employees and the community from the outbreak at the plant, where the majority of the employees who tested positive were asymptomatic. 

"We had an extreme concern for two main reasons," he said. "One is our employer group, many of whom I've known for 15 to 20 years and also, our civic duty for the local Wilkesboro community."

But Hartley said he soon realized the ban, which garnered international attention, was creating a stigma for the frontline workers laboring in the plant and was being imitated by other local business including dental offices and babysitters.

"What we did want to slowly understand is the perspective of the Tyson employee," he said. "We did not fully understand how this was calling them out and offending them because of the local response to this same outbreak."

Harley said his intention was never to harm frontline workers, and that the salon has now added new screening and protection measures that's made him confident he can safely serve anyone in the community.

"Those folks truly are frontline people that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for what they're doing going through their efforts to feed hundreds of thousands of people literally and we certainly did not mean any disrespect and dishonor for those fine people," he said.