May 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon, Aditi Sangal and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 0424 GMT (1224 HKT) May 7, 2021
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3:01 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

CDC ensemble forecast projects decrease in newly reported deaths over the next four weeks

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Deaths from coronavirus are likely to fall off a little in the coming weeks, according to a new ensemble forecast published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This week’s national ensemble predicts that the number of newly reported Covid-19 deaths will likely decrease over the next 4 weeks, with 1,400 to 5,500 new deaths likely reported in the week ending May 29, 2021,” CDC said. 

The ensemble forecast predicts 586,000 to 600,000 Covid-19 deaths will be reported by May 29. The previous ensemble forecast, published April 28, projected up to 595,000 deaths by May 22. 

2:34 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Average daily pace of Covid-19 vaccine doses reported administered down 20% from last week

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

A man arrives at a Covid-19 vaccine facility in Los Angeles on May 3.
A man arrives at a Covid-19 vaccine facility in Los Angeles on May 3. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The pace of immunization against coronavirus has slowed by about 20% in the US, according to data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It shows nearly 250 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States.

The CDC reported that 249,566,820 total doses have been administered, about 78% of the 321,549,335 doses delivered.

That’s about 1.8 million more doses reported administered since Tuesday, dropping the seven-day average down to about 2.1 million doses reported administered per day. That’s about 20% slower than last week.

About 45% of the population — nearly 149 million people — have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and about 32% — more than 107 million people — are fully vaccinated.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported.

2:35 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

NYSE is updating its Covid-19 guidance and will allow vaccinated traders to be unmasked indoors

From CNN’s Keri Enriquez

The New York Stock Exchange is loosening Covid-19 protocol and will allow fully vaccinated people on the trading floor to go unmasked when socially distanced, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN Tuesday.

Beginning on Monday May 10, fully vaccinated members of the NYSE floor community will be able to remove face masks indoors when socially distanced and seated at assigned workstations, according to the memo. Fully vaccinated members will also no longer be included in the exchange’s random Covid-19 testing program. 

When moving on the trading floor, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will still be required to wear a face mask, it reads. The memo cites improving public health conditions in the New York City area, and the progress in the nationwide vaccine rollout.

The NYSE did not immediately respond to queries from CNN. 

The memo also states that If 100% of a firm’s floor team has been fully vaccinated, that firm will be allowed to increase its headcount on the trading floor. If the increase in a firm’s personnel no longer allows for social distancing in their workstation, masks will again be required irrespective of vaccination status.

Current US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance says fully vaccinated people can gather with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or having to keep 6 feet apart, but also encourages the continued use of masks in indoor public settings – even for the fully vaccinated. The CDC also notes people, vaccinated or not, should still avoid large indoor gatherings.

2:12 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

CVS now offering walk-in Covid-19 vaccination appointments at more than 8,300 locations

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

A CVS store is seen on February 16 in San Francisco.
A CVS store is seen on February 16 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

CVS said Wednesday it is now offering walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations at over 8,300 pharmacy locations in the United States. 

In an email to CNN, the company confirmed that it will be administering Covid-19 vaccinations without requiring an appointment, and that same-day scheduling is also available through its vaccine appointment system. 

According to CVS, the company has a second-dose compliance rate of 90% at its vaccination locations, and has administered over 17 million doses through federal and industry partnerships. 

1:32 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Here's how a Michelin-star chef is helping fight India's Covid-19 crisis

Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper about relief efforts he's coordinating from the US to India including 550 oxygen tanks and personal protective equipment.

Watch the interview here:

1:16 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

White House: Americans can expect guidance on masks to "continue to be updated"

From CNN's Allie Malloy

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 5.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 5. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Americans can expect guidance on mask wearing to “continue to be updated” and “changed” when asked about the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to have children wear masks at summer camp, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

“There’s no question that what the CDC is trying to do is to provide guidance to the American public, to parents, to families,” she said, adding that the updated guidance last week also recommends wearing a mask in crowded areas outdoors. 

Asked whether the administration is concerned there will be compliance if guidance continues to change on mask wearing, Psaki said, "I think everyone can expect that the guidance will continue to be updated and will continue to change. And I think as a parent myself…I would welcome that.” 

“Obviously there is nuance in all of these applications and people are still learning how to apply it,” she added. 

Some context: CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on CNN’s New Day Wednesday that summer camp guidance from the CDC is there to try to make it so children can have as normal of a summer as possible. 

CDC’s guidance for summer camps includes wearing masks except when eating and swimming and maintaining social distancing. 

Walensky compared children playing tennis to children playing soccer, saying that if children are far away from each other playing tennis, they can take their masks off, but if they are crowded onto a soccer field, on top of each other and heavily breathing, then the CDC does not think it’s a good idea for them to be maskless when they are likely not vaccinated. 

12:57 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Federal agencies announce new Covid-19 services for disproportionately affected communities

From CNN's Liz Stark

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are joining forces to boost access to Covid vaccinations, the agencies’ leaders announced Wednesday.

The joint effort, unveiled by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, directs community health centers, public housing providers and others to take steps to increase Covid-19 testing and vaccinations, with a focus on those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

“We have now, in writing, directed our agencies to work together to reach individuals in public housing,” Becerra said of the partnership. “And so it's not just that we want to do it, we're directing our people now to work together to get that done.”

Wednesday’s announcement comes one day after President Joe Biden set a new goal of administering at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to 70% of the US adult population and having 160 million US adults fully vaccinated by July 4.

To reach this goal, the two agency heads both acknowledged that more work needs to be done to address vaccine hesitancy, which they hope to combat by reaching people where they are. 

“Just because it is available doesn't mean that people have access,” Fudge said, adding their goal is “to meet people where we find them – to go to places where people congregate, whether it be in public housing authorities, whether it be in community centers. We're trying to take the vaccine to the people.” 

In response to a question about why this partnership is being announced now, especially given the Biden administration’s focus on equity in its pandemic response, Fudge outlined some of the challenges of reaching people during the pandemic. 

“It’s just difficult because of the Covid itself, it’s harder to get to people,” Fudge said, pointing to those who lack transportation or internet access to schedule appointments.

12:42 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

India prioritizing oxygen-related foreign aid along with medicines, according to government source

From CNN’s Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Workers load medical aid to be flown to India at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on May 4.
Workers load medical aid to be flown to India at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on May 4. Menahem Kahana/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Over the past two weeks, India has received huge quantities of foreign aid to help battle the devastating second wave of Covid-19 that has consumed hundreds of lives.

Ranging from entire oxygen producing plants to N-95 masks, the Indian government has slowly distributed the aid to hospitals across the country, according to a government source.

Even as it continues to receive aid, India is looking mainly for supplies that would help them bridge the yawning gap that is currently resulting in a severe shortage of basic medical supplies.

 "We are primarily looking at oxygen-related which is where large oxygen plants are very helpful because they make our hospitals autonomous," the source said. 

India is also looking for oxygen generators, oxygen cylinders, oxygen tankers for transport and liquid oxygen through ships.

"The other element we are looking for through our embassies and partner governments is basically Remdesivir and Tocilizumab — key medicines that we feel will help," he said.

The government is also dealing with a shortage of raw materials to produce vaccinations instead of doses. 

"Additional vaccines would be useful but... more than that what we are really looking at are raw materials to expand and enhance our very own vaccine production capacity in the country. That is actually a major priority. Because we will require lot more vaccines than a few million here and there," he added.

1:19 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Broadway shows will reopen in September at 100% capacity, New York governor says

Broadway theaters stand closed in the theater district on June 30, 2020, in New York City.
Broadway theaters stand closed in the theater district on June 30, 2020, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that Broadway shows will be "ready to open September 14 at 100% capacity."

Tickets will go on sale tomorrow, he announced in a tweet.

The logistics regarding how theaters will reopen are still being ironed out, State Budget Director Robert Mujica said at the news conference.