Texas reports largest single day number of positive Covid-19 cases since beginning of pandemic
From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian
Texas saw its highest single day increase in positive coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic this past Saturday, according to numbers released by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
The state reported an increase of at least 1,801 positive coronavirus cases yesterday.
The majority of positive cases, 734 cases, originated from employees of meat plants in Potter and Randall counties, a result of targeted testing of employees at meat plants in the area, according to Texas DSHS.
CNN reporting shows an upward trend in increase of positive Covid-19 cases in Texas based on numbers reported from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Numbers from the Texas DSHS also shows this upward trend.
8:36 a.m. ET, May 17, 2020
Meet the man who donated iPads to local medical centers so families can stay connected
From CNN's Mirna Alsharif
Last month, John Lynch of New Jersey said a final goodbye to his father over FaceTime.
Hugh Lynch, who had dementia, died of natural causes at a memory care center in Atlanta on April 13. Because of Covid-19 guidelines restricting visitation to hospitals and care centers, John couldn't see his father in person before he died.
It was Lynch's experience with his father during the pandemic and conversations with medical worker friends that inspired him to take action.
"Within the first hour of reach-outs, we had 20 donated iPads," Lynch told CNN. "This initiative was driven by the community, without a doubt."
The foundation, which usually focuses on providing educational experiences to local children, has since collected and distributed 60 iPads to hospitals in New Jersey, New York and South Carolina as well as nursing homes in Cape May County, New Jersey, according to Lynch.
What you need to know about coronavirus this Sunday
From CNN's Ivana Kottasová in London
With the virus largely contained in China, life is slowly returning to normal there. Lockdowns have eased while some schools and factories have reopened.
But the country's top medical adviser, Dr. Zhong Nanshan, tells CNN that a potential second wave of Covid-19 infections remains a "big challenge." That's because we don't know whether people develop immunity to the virus after contracting it.
Zhong also confirmed that local authorities in Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first reported in December, suppressed key details about the magnitude of the initial outbreak. "At the very beginning they kept silent, and then I said probably we have (a larger) number of people being infected," he said.
Fears of a potential second wave have also rattled South Korea, where confirmed cases believed to be linked to Seoul's nightclub cluster rose to 168 today.
Many from the country's LGBTQ community, which still faces discrimination in South Korea, frequent the nightclubs. And fears of having their sexuality outed have kept some patrons who were potentially exposed from coming forward.
As global leaders weigh the risk of second waves of infections with the need to reopen their economies, people are increasingly losing patience. Protests against lockdown measures spread this weekend in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: My kids don't want to wear a mask. What should I do?
A: To ease their fears, try buying or making masks with fun designs. Or have your child customize his or her own mask by drawing on them with markers. You can also order children's face masks with superheroes on them, or show your kids photos of their favorite celebrities wearing masks. It's also important to wear a mask yourself. And let them know that by wearing one they'll be just like mom or dad.
South Korean schools will begin opening Wednesday, May 20, for students in third year through high school, South Korea’s Vice Education Minister said during a briefing on Sunday.
Public concern was raised about reopening of schools after a cluster infection was reported at nightclubs in Itaewon in the capital Seoul. As of Sunday, a total of 168 people have tested positive for the virus linked to the Itaewon cluster.
The minister, Park Baeg-beom, pointed out that many students are at a critical junction of their education, particularly those taking exams for job placement opportunities and students applying for arts and sports majors.
All 51 teachers and students who had been to clubs in the Itaewon area have tested negative and several hundred people who visited the area have been tested,” he said. "There are 10 confirmed students with the virus who had not visited the Itaewon area but contracted the virus from an instructor at a private academy in Incheon."
All students and faculty members with temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher will not be allowed to go to school, the minister added. Temperature checks will happen twice a day and anyone with symptoms will be transported to centers.
Why is this happening now: South Korea was among the first places to deal with a major coronavirus epidemic, and seemed to be on track to loosen restrictions, after weeks of social distancing measures and careful surveillance. But the new cluster raised questions as to whether restrictions should be eased.
Daily Covid-19 deaths in Spain fall below 100 for first time in two months
From CNN’s Tim Lister
The number of daily deaths due to Covid-19 fell to 87 for the latest 24-hour period -- the lowest figure since March 16, figures from the Spanish Health Ministry on Sunday show.
The total number of deaths in Spain now stands at 27,650.
The number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 has reached 231,350, an increase of 421. Of that total, the number of health workers infected is 50,938, according to the Health Ministry.
The Spanish government has embarked on a major, nationwide testing program to discover who has or may have had the virus.
Most of the new cases and reported deaths are in Madrid and Catalonia.
6:56 a.m. ET, May 17, 2020
UK recruits more than 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers
From CNN's Simon Cullen in London
The UK government is close to reaching its target of recruiting 18,000 contact tracers to help health authorities understand who may have been exposed to Covid-19 patients, Cabinet minister Michel Gove said Sunday.
“More than 17,000 people have been recruited for contact tracing, so we’re on course the meet that target,” Gove told Sky News.
Gove said the contact-tracing scheme should be up and running “by the end of this month.”
The job advert says contact tracers will be responsible for “liaising over the phone with Covid-19 patients, understanding their situation and assisting in the tracing and tracking of anyone they have been in contact with.”
6:40 a.m. ET, May 17, 2020
Weeks into country's reopening, health officials double down on the dangers of mass gatherings
In California, more than 180 people may have been exposed by a person who had the virus during an in-person religious service last week, the Butte County Public Health Department said.
"We all need to do our part to follow the orders and mitigation efforts so that our Reopen Butte County plan can continue to move forward," Butte County Public Health Director Danette York said in a statement Friday. "Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures."
And in Erie, Pennsylvania, officials said they will keep city parkfacilities closed to ensure a continued path toward the state's reopening -- despite repeated requests from residents to utilize park grounds for sports, exercise and picnics.
"It is vital for the health of our community that we all refrain from gathering in large groups to ensure that our community members remain safe while we work towards moving into the Green Phase," Mayor Joe Schember said in a statement.
The green phase is the last of three reopening stages for Pennsylvania, during which most restrictions will be lifted and regions can proceed into a "new normal," according to the governor's office.
The warnings echo conversations taking place across the US by health officials, residents, business owners and experts who are trying to tackle what a safe reopening looks like -- and what could happen if it's rushed.