May 10 coronavirus news

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6:59 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Boris Johnson to ease lockdown measures, unveil Covid-19 alert system

From CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey in Atlanta

 Peter Summers/Getty Images
 Peter Summers/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to ease lockdown restrictions and announce a new five-tier COVID-19 warning system during a televised national address on Sunday evening local time, the UK's PA Media reported on Saturday.

The new warning system will use local infection rates to rank the threat level on a color-coded scale from green at level one to red at level five.

During his address, Johnson is expected to announce that the country is close to moving from a level four threat to level three.

Johnson is also expected to encourage workers unable to work from home to return to their workplaces while practicing social distancing.

Restrictions limiting outdoor exercise to once per day will be lifted and garden centers will be allowed to reopen, though fines for breaking lockdown rules will be increased.

6:58 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Parts of the White House will undergo "heightened levels of cleaning," memo says

From CNN’s Sarah Westwood

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The White House sent a memo to all staff on Friday after Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The note detailed measures taken by the White House to prevent the spread of the virus, including maintaining maximum telework for staff, reporting travel and self-monitoring of symptoms, according to a copy reviewed by CNN. 

Areas considered "high-touch points" in the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building will receive "heightened levels of cleaning," the memo said.

Some departments, such as the Office of Management and Budget, are calling political appointees back to the office despite the maximum telework order.

Earlier this week, White House staff received a separate memo informing them that they would be asked upon entry about their symptoms. The measure would be in addition to the temperature checks required for admission to the White House complex. Anyone who acknowledged having the symptoms may be pulled for further screening or barred entry, that memo said. 

Neither memo mentioned anything about wearing face coverings.

6:58 a.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Coronavirus death toll in Brazil surpasses 10,000

From CNN’s Taylor Barnes

Cemetery worker Bruno Avelino walks through a graveyard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, May 8.
Cemetery worker Bruno Avelino walks through a graveyard in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Friday, May 8. Leo Correa/AP

The novel coronavirus continues to hit Brazil hard, with at least 10,627 people there having died from Covid-19, the country's Health Ministry said on Saturday.

At least 10,611 new cases of the virus have been reported in the last couple of days, bringing the countrywide total to 156,061 cases.

Some context: Brazil has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America and is in the top 10 countries globally for this, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly dismissed the virus threat, warning against the effect preventive measures, such as quarantines and lockdowns, could have on Brazil's economy.

9:01 p.m. ET, May 9, 2020

Fauci is now under a 'modified quarantine'

From CNN's Jake Tapper

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN he is undertaking a "modified quarantine" after it was determined that he was not in close proximity to a White House staffer who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The nation's top infectious disease expert said he is at "low risk" and tested negative for the virus on Friday.

Fauci says he will stay at home and telework -- though he might go to his office at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he would be the only one there -- and wear a mask continually for 14 days. He is expected to be tested every day for the virus.

Fauci is the third member of the White House coronavirus task force going into quarantine. Dr. Stephen Hahn, director of the Food and Drug Administration, and Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are also going to quarantine for 14 days.

9:07 p.m. ET, May 9, 2020

CDC director will self-quarantine for two weeks

From CNN's Wesley Bruer, Kevin Bohn and Jeremy Diamond

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "will be teleworking" for the next two weeks after he was exposed to a person at the White House who tested positive for Covid-19, a CDC spokesman told CNN.

The Washington Post first reported Redfield's action.

Redfield "has been determined to have had a low risk exposure on May 6 to a person at the White House who has Covid-19. He is feeling fine and has no symptoms. He will be teleworking for the next two weeks," the spokesperson said.

The decision comes after the Food and Drug Administration announced that its commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, planned to self-quarantine after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus.

Neither agencies have named the person or people with whom Redfield and Hahn came into contact. 

Both men are members of the White House coronavirus task force, which held its most recent meeting on Thursday. 

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere declined to confirm the report that Redfield will self-quarantine, but he said the physician to the President and White House operations officials "continue to work closely to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the President, First Family and the entire White House Complex safe and healthy."

8:41 p.m. ET, May 9, 2020

Covid-19 patients who took a heartburn drug were more likely to survive ... but it's unclear if that was a coincidence, researchers say

From CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Dr. Minali Nigam

Patients who took famotidine while hospitalized for Covid-19 were more than twice as likely to survive the infection, according to a paper posted Friday on a pre-publication website. 

"Compared to the rest of the patients, those who received famotidine had a greater than 2-fold decreased risk of either dying or being intubated," the authors of the study at Columbia University Irving Medical Center said.

Among the 1,536 patients in the study who were not taking famotidine, 332, or 22%, either died or were intubated and put on a ventilator. Of the 84 patients who were taking famotidine, eight, or 10%, died or were put on a ventilator.

But the study doesn't prove the drug caused the lower death rate, its authors say. It's possible that it was just a coincidence.

"It is not clear why those patients who received famotidine had improved outcomes," the authors wrote in their statement. "This is merely an association, and these findings should not be interpreted to mean that famotidine improves outcomes in patients hospitalized with COVID-19."

The drug is a common heartburn medicine and has been on the market for nearly 40 years. It's an active ingredient in the popular over-the-counter heartburn treatment Pepcid.

Read the full story here.

9:02 p.m. ET, May 9, 2020

Canada's Trudeau says he's worried about peak of cases in Montreal

From CNN’s Paula Newton in Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 7.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 7. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP

The spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed down significantly in most parts of Canada but the situation in Montreal remains critical.

"Of course, I'm worried ��� as a Quebecer, as an MP — about the situation going on in my riding, in the province, as I am concerned about Canadians coast to coast," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Saturday in Ottawa.

There are more than 68,000 cases of the virus in Canada and about 4,800 people have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Montreal's cases account for about a quarter of the country's cases, Quebec officials say.

More background: Trudeau’s electoral district is in Montreal, where senior centers have been reporting outbreaks.

Projections released by the Quebec’s public health institute on Friday indicate the virus could lead to as many as 150 deaths per day if Montreal fully reopens and strict social distancing guidelines are loosened.

Earlier this week, authorities in Quebec, the province where Montreal is located, postponed plans to lift some restrictions in the city from mid-May to May 25.

9:01 p.m. ET, May 9, 2020

Coronavirus global cases surpass 4 million

A health worker collects blood samples for mass coronavirus testing in Manila, Philippines, on May 8.
A health worker collects blood samples for mass coronavirus testing in Manila, Philippines, on May 8. Aaron Favila/AP

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 4 million people and killed more than 227,000 worldwide, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

At least 1.3 million people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the US and more than 78,000 people have died from the disease there.