Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Fernando Alfonso III and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 0126 GMT (0926 HKT) May 29, 2020
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7:10 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

California records highest single-day increase in Covid-19 cases

Cars line-up in a drive-through novel coronavirus testing site at the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium parking lot, in Los Angeles, on May 26.
Cars line-up in a drive-through novel coronavirus testing site at the Los Angeles Dodgers stadium parking lot, in Los Angeles, on May 26. Agustin Paullier/AFP/Getty Images

California is reporting the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

California Department of Public Health data shows 2,617 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. California’s previous high was 2,603 cases on May 5.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the state is 101,697. The virus has claimed 3,973 lives in California alone.

 

6:56 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

New Mexico governor says salons, gyms, indoor malls and dine-in restaurants can reopen

From CNN’s Janine Mack

New Mexico will allow businesses across the state to reopen on Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during news conference on Thursday.

She said restaurants may operate indoor dine-in service at 50% occupancy with social distancing.

Hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and nail salons may open at 25% occupancy.

Indoor malls may open at 25% occupancy with the food courts remaining closed, gyms may operate at 50% occupancy with Covid-safe practice, and hotels may operate at 50% occupancy, Lujan Grisham said.

The 14-day quarantine order for people arriving at the airport is amended for business and certain travelers. Bars will remain closed, mass gatherings are still prohibited, face coverings are still required in public and it is recommended to stay home as much as possible to minimize the spread of Covid-19, she said.

6:55 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Georgia governor asks people who attend places of worship to "heed the public health advice"

From CNN's Lindsay Benson 

Governor Brian Kemp makes a statement and answers questions from the media following a tour of Fieldale Farms while visiting Gainesville, on Friday, May 15.
Governor Brian Kemp makes a statement and answers questions from the media following a tour of Fieldale Farms while visiting Gainesville, on Friday, May 15. Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp asked anyone in the state who is planning to attend in-person services at place of worship "to heed the public health advice."

"As you know here in Georgia, we never closed places of worship, but we encouraged congregations to hold online or drive-in services to mitigate the risk of exposure. Now many churches and religious institutions are beginning to reopen their doors for traditional services, and we ask that Georgians continue to heed the public health advice if they decide to attend in person," he said.

"Please use social distancing, wash your hands, protect the elderly and the medically fragile and continue to prioritize your health," Kemp added.

He also thanked faith leaders who "have answered the call and held remote services," and said their "leadership has literally saved lives in our state."

7:08 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

"We still see many deaths coming," coronavirus researcher says  

From CNN's Leinz Vales

Dr. Chris Murray
Dr. Chris Murray CNN

Dr. Chris Murray, a researcher behind an influential coronavirus model from the University of Washington, said Thursday that he still see "many deaths coming," despite the coronavirus model projecting 132,000 deaths – which is 11,000 fewer than it forecasted a week ago.

"The major difference here is that we've been expecting the upsurge in mobility that started at the end of April," Murray told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." 

"We see it in the cellphone data and has continued all the way through May. We thought that would have translated into much more transmission of the virus by now, and we're seeing that in some states but not most. And so it's a bit of a surprise we haven't yet seen transmission take off."

Blitzer asked Murray if it was too early to start thinking about coronavirus projections in the fall.

"We're starting to be pretty worried about that," Murray said. "We crunch the numbers almost every night and we try to make sense of them."

Murray cited three factors that may impact where the US will be with the virus in the fall.

  1. "What the government does as band-aids"
  2. “What we do as people, wearing a mask, avoiding contact”
  3. "How much we expect transmission to go back up because of seasonality"

Murray went on to say that the US "should expect transmission to start to go back up in September and then really pick up speed towards January." 

"That's the part we need to get our thinking around," Murray said. "How do we prevent that? How do we prepare for those cities where transmission may tip over into exponential growth again, and what are we going to do when that happens." 

Watch:

6:46 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Texas will allow outdoor sporting events to host spectators at 25% occupancy

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans pumps up the fans against the Buffalo Bills in a AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 4, in Houston, Texas.
J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans pumps up the fans against the Buffalo Bills in a AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 4, in Houston, Texas. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Texas is set to allow outdoor sporting events to host spectators up to 25% capacity starting on Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday.  

"Each professional sports league that desires to reopen must first submit a plan to the Texas Department of State Health Services,” Abbott announced. “Spectators are allowed for outdoor events, provided that outdoor venues limit the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the normal operating limits of the venue as determined by the facility owner. Spectators are not permitted for indoor events. Each plan must incorporate these minimum health protocols to the greatest extent possible."

Abbott signed the expansion to his phase two order last week and will allow outdoor pro sporting events to host spectators at 25% capacity, becoming the first state in the United States to do so.

With the exception of some counties, leagues throughout the state will have to apply to state health officials in order to be approved.

The PGA Tour's Charles Schwab on June 11-14 in Fort Worth, Texas, will be the first major sports event in the state, but have announced they will not allow fans.

The signed order does not include high school and college sports.  

6:00 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Roughly 20% of Tyson employees tested positive for Covid-19 at plant 

From CNN’s Raja Razek

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Tyson Foods announced in a statement that more than 20% of its employees at the Texas Sherman plant have tested positive for Covid-19. 

"Of the 1,604 team members who work at the facility and were tested, 326 tested positive," the company's statement Thursday said. 

Tyson said it would disclose verified test results at other plants where it is conducting facility-wide testing to health and government officials, team members, and stakeholders.

"Disclosing our testing results is an important step in protecting our team members and helping provide the wider Sherman community with the information it needs to control the spread of the virus," the statement read. 
5:37 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Rhode Island will begin Phase 2 of reopening Monday

From CNN’s Pam Wessmann

 

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo arrives for a news conference giving a coronavirus update at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, on May 12.
Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo arrives for a news conference giving a coronavirus update at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, on May 12. John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced today that phase two of Rhode Island's reopening will begin on June 1.

The governor said everything will be posted for general business, retail, personal services and indoor dining on the website reopeningri.com later today. 

The governor said there would be major changes. Among them, relaxing retail rules so more people can go into stores, allowing indoor dining, opening gyms, barbershops and salons.

“Pretty much every area of the economy except for large group gatherings is going to start to reopen,” Raimondo said.

The governor explained that indoor dining rules would include allowing 50% capacity, taking reservations and prohibiting self-service style food.

Personal services effected would include hairdressers, barbers, hair-braiders, nail salons, tanning facilities, tattoo parlors and probably many other categories, Raimondo added.

The governor said personal services would also have a capacity limit, and things like waiting rooms should not be used. 

5:37 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Idaho to allow theaters and bars to reopen Saturday

From CNN’s Andy Rose

Champions Grill & Bar is closed as part of city wide order to help prevent spread of the coronavirus in Moscow, Idaho, on March 20.
Champions Grill & Bar is closed as part of city wide order to help prevent spread of the coronavirus in Moscow, Idaho, on March 20. Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Movie theaters and bars in Idaho will be allowed to open earlier than first planned under a new order from Gov. Brad Little. 

Those businesses will be included in Saturday’s start to the state's phase three plan, the governor said Thursday. That’s two weeks sooner than originally announced.

Gatherings of up to 50 people also will be allowed, but all businesses must follow social distancing requirements.

“Half a million Idahoans are at risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19 if they contract it, and we cannot rebound if a huge segment of our population is concerned to engage in the economy again,” he said.
5:28 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Cancer patients given hydroxychloroquine combination for Covid-19 infection more like to die, study finds

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on Wedneday, May 20.
Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on Wedneday, May 20. George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

New data on cancer patients who were sick with Covid-19 finds those treated with the controversial combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin were more likely to die than those who weren’t.

Early data published in the medical journal The Lancet on Thursday showed that patients treated with the two drugs, once strongly promoted by President Trump, were nearly three times as likely to die within about a month. The researchers found no significant increase in risk for patients given either drug alone.

The researchers from across North America and Europe looked at data on 928 cancer patients who also were infected with Covid-19 in March and April. Overall, 121 patients total — or 13% — died during the study period and within 30 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19.

"This is early and evolving data, and more time and analysis will be needed to confirm and expand on these findings," Dr. Jeremy Warner, who worked on the research and is an associate professor of medicine and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said in a written statement on Thursday.

"Right now, we’re working to quickly get information about why some patients with cancer become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and identify the factors that affect disease severity and death," Warner said. "We're also interested in the effects of treatments that are being used to treat patients with cancer who have COVID-19."

Other studies have also found a higher risk of death among coronavirus patients treated with the drugs. One is an antibiotic and the other is a malaria drug also approved for inflammatory diseases such as lupus.