More than 5.9 million people worldwide – including more than 1.7 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies.
Live updates for Thursday, May 28, continue below:
Rising US job losses stir fears of lasting economic damage
Update 10:55 p.m. EDT May 28: The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy.
Despite a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world’s most populous countries reported rising infections and deaths. The confirmed U.S. death toll has surpassed 100,000, the highest in the world.
The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March.
There were some encouraging signs: The overall number of Americans currently drawing jobless benefits dropped for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million. And first-time applications for unemployment benefits have fallen for eight straight weeks, as states gradually let stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen and the auto industry starts up factories again.
But the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits is still extraordinarily high by historical standards, and that suggests businesses are failing or permanently downsizing, not just laying off people until the crisis can pass, economists warn.
Legal sports betting pitched as California budget salve
Update 9:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Two California lawmakers on Thursday pitched legalized sports betting as a way to help prop up a state budget devastated by the economic shutdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, though their revised proposal immediately reignited a turf battle between powerful gambling interests.
State Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa and Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced are lobbying to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow horse racetracks and the Las Vegas-style casinos run by American Indian tribes to also offer sports wagering, both at their locations and through mobile devices.
The proposal, like others before it, is controversial in part because of competition between gambling interests including card rooms, which offer table games like blackjack and poker.
The legislation would also allow tribal casinos to offer craps and roulette, but the California Nations Indian Gaming Association fears it would aid card rooms by legalizing a practice that the state attorney general last year sought to outlaw.
Card rooms say the attorney general’s regulatory proposal would change the way player-dealer games like blackjack have operated for decades. The tribal casinos contend that those operations have long been illegal and that writing them into law now would amount to “a massive expansion of games” by their rivals.
Association chairman James Siva added that by the time the proposed new revenue surfaces, the economic crisis caused by the pandemic is likely to have subsided.
It would take a two-thirds legislative vote to put the Democratic lawmakers’ measure on the ballot, and a majority of voters would then have to approve.
Montana gates to Yellowstone park opening Monday
Update 8:10 p.m. EDT May 28: Montana’s three entrances to Yellowstone National Park will reopen to visitors Monday, as the state moves to its second phase of restarting the economy after shutdowns because of the coronavirus.
Parts of Glacier National Park could open in mid-June, Gov. Steve Bullock added Thursday, but a specific day has not been set.
The West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Cooke City entrances to Yellowstone will open two weeks after Wyoming’s entrances near Cody and Jackson. The park, famous for its geysers and bison, remains open for day use only. No overnight accommodations are available, and large tour buses aren’t allowed yet, park Superintendent Cam Sholly said.
Park employees won’t be policing visitors’ compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines such as social distancing and wearing masks, Sholly said Thursday.
“We have to have the respect of the public to adhere to health guidelines,” he said.
The opening of Yellowstone remains a gradual one. Limited overnight facilities, such as cabins and campgrounds, will begin reopening later in June, Sholly said.
The Montana gates will reopen at 10 a.m. Monday.
Hurricane season to be challenging amid pandemic
Update 7:35 p.m. EDT May 28: Emergency management officials briefed President Donald Trump Thursday about the challenges of preparing for what is expected to be an above-average hurricane season amidst a coronavirus pandemic.
During an Oval Office meeting, officials reported that the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 13 to 19 named storms and six to 10 of those storms could develop into hurricanes.
Vice President Mike Pence says that when people are displaced by tropical storms or hurricanes, they are used to congregating at local schools or gyms. He says there will be “different challenges now” and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided recommendations to local and state officials on how to respond to natural disasters during a pandemic.
Recommendations include encouraging evacuees to plan on staying with friends and families rather than end up in shelters.
In a NY state of mind, Guetta readies virus relief concert
Update 6:45 p.m. EDT May 28: When hundreds of artists started singing from their living rooms when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Grammy-winning DJ-producer David Guetta still wanted to perform in front of a live audience.
So the hitmaker set up shop in front of a 205-foot pool at the Icon Brickell in downtown Miami, performing for 90 minutes as 8,000 locals danced along from their balconies during the feel-good moment last month.
Now, he’s launching his second United At Home event at an undisclosed location in New York on Saturday to connect with fans and raise money for health care workers and virus relief efforts.
“A lot of artists, especially DJs, were doing performances from their bedrooms. I felt like that was a little bit frustrating. I really wanted to feel like I have a crowd,” Guetta said in an interview with The Associated Press this week. “So, I had the idea of doing this in the middle of towers and people were on the balconies and that was absolutely amazing.”
Job losses continue to mount in US despite reopenings
Update 5:50 p.m. EDT May 28: The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy.
Amid a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world’s most populous countries continued to report rising infections and deaths. The confirmed U.S. death toll topped 100,000, the highest in the world, on Wednesday.
The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March.
There were some encouraging signs: The overall number of Americans currently drawing jobless benefits dropped for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million. And first-time applications for unemployment have fallen for eight straight weeks, as states gradually let stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen and the auto industry starts up factories again.
But the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment is still extraordinarily high by historical standards, and that suggests businesses are failing or permanently downsizing, not just laying off people until the crisis can pass, economists warn.
“That is the kind of economic destruction you cannot quickly put back in the bottle,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork.
Mitch McConnell says wearing masks is important
Update 4:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday preached the importance of wearing masks in public as the nation’s economy reopens from the “cataclysmic” damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.
During a tour of hospitals in his home state of Kentucky, the Republican leader stressed wearing masks in public and following social distancing guidelines.
“There should be no stigma attached to wearing a mask,” McConnell said during an appearance Thursday in Owensboro. “And even among age groups that are least likely to either contract this disease or die from it, you could be a carrier. So I think what we all need to do is say, ‘OK, I’m going to take responsibility not only for myself but for others.’”
McConnell, who is in his late 70s and is in the midst of his own re-election campaign, has worn masks at his appearances. On Thursday, he stuffed the face covering into his coat jacket to speak, then donned it again afterward.
President Donald Trump has refused to wear face coverings. Manw coronavirus epidemic, some two weeks ago. The country has been gradually lifting virus restrictions as the number of new cases fell to none or one or two daily.
Ohio to allow for outdoor visitations at some assisted living facilities
Update 3:45 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio on Thursday announced that, beginning next month, assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities in the state will be allowed to resume outdoor visitations, WHIO-TV reported.
The governor also announced guidance for county fairs and said he plans to release information about the reopening of amusement parks and zoos next week, according to WHIO-TV.
Florida’s Pulse nightclub holding virtual ceremony to remember victims of 2016 mass shooting
Update 3:35 p.m. EDT May 28: Officials said Thursday that Pulse nightclub will hold its annual ceremony to remember the 49 people killed at the club in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings online next month due to the coronavirus pandemic, WFTV reported.
The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. local time June 12 on Facebook and YouTube, according to WFTV. The ceremony will also honor survivors of the shooting and first responders.
Businesses to face fines of $10K or more if they violate Washington state’s Safe Start plan
Update 3 p.m. EDT May 28: Businesses in Washington that stay open or operate in violation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order and Safe Start plan could face fines of $10,000 or more, KIRO-TV reported, citing new emergency rules filed Wednesday by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
The rules allow the Department of Labor & Industries to cite businesses for being open or for operating in a way that is “purposely defying the phased-in approach and, as a result, putting their workers at risk,” officials said.
2020 Boston Marathon canceled
Update 2:55 p.m. EDT May 28: Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston announced Thursday that the Boston Marathon has been canceled for this year, WFXT reported.
The mayor had previously announced that the marathon would be postponed until September 14, according to WFXT. However, he said Thursday that it “became increasingly clear” that the planned date was no longer feasible.
Instead, organizers plan to hold a virtual marathon, WFXT reported.
NY Gov. Cuomo to issue executive order allowing businesses to deny service to maskless customers
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that he plans to issue an executive order allowing businesses to deny service to customers who decline to wear masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We are giving the store owners the right to say, ‘If you are not wearing a mask, you can’t come in,’” Cuomo said during a news conference. “That store owner has the right to protect himself.”
1,261 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Thursday that 1,261 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 157,815.
On social media, the governor noted that the number of new cases, new deaths and hospitalized patients reported statewide continued to fall. However, he urged people to continue to practice social distancing measures.
“We’re not out of the woods,” he wrote.
Officials also reported 66 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, 11,401 people have died statewide of COVID-19.
Coronavirus restrictions eased on Long Island, continued in New York City
Update 1:15 p.m. EDT May 28: The easing of some coronavirus restrictions Wednesday on Long Island left New York City as the only part of the hardest-hit U.S. state that has yet to begin the process of reopening the economy.
The sprawling suburbs of Nassau and Suffolk counties, where the virus has killed at least 4,000 people, won approval Tuesday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to gradually restart construction, manufacturing, agriculture and retail activity two months after nonessential business ceased.
The Democratic governor also lobbied President Donald Trump in Washington for help with massive New York City transportation projects — including train tunnels, a subway expansion and an airport rail link — and accused top Republicans who oppose more aid of “abusing” states, such as New York, that suffered heavy coronavirus losses.
The projects require some federal funding or approval. Cuomo said he and the Republican president, who are often at odds, will talk again next week.
1,887 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK
Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 28: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,887 new coronavirus infections Thursday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 269,127.
Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Wednesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,837 people had died nationwide of COVID-19.
74 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT May 28: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Thursday that 74 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number of new fatal cases reported one day earlier was also 74.
The governor said Thursday at a news conference that key indicators of the coronavirus pandemic continued to fall across the board.
“The total number of hospitalizations are down. The rolling total is down,” Cuomo said. “The change in intubations -- the number of people put on ventilators -- is down, and that’s good.”
COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina reach single-day high for second straight day
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 28: Health officials in North Carolina reported the state’s highest single-day number of hospitalizations connected to the coronavirus pandemic for a second straight day Thursday, WSOC-TV reported.
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said 708 people were hospitalized due to severe complications associated with the novel coronavirus. Officials said that 29% of the state’s 19,048 in-patient beds and 22% percent of its 3,223 intensive care unit beds remained open Thursday.
Officials have reported 25,412 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. Nearly 830 people statewide have died of coronavirus infections, WSOC-TV reported.
Study: 5-day course of remdesivir as effective at treating COVID-19 as 10-day course
Update 11:20 a.m. EDT May 28: A study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine found no major differences between the recoveries of COVID-19 patients who took a five-day course of remdesivir and patients who took a 10-day course of the experimental drug.
Dr. Francisco Marty, an associate physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, worked on the study, according to WFXT.
“People were counting on 10 days of treatment per patient for the supply that’s available,” Marty told WFXT. “Now I think with confidence we can say, five days is enough, so now you have twice as many treatment courses.”
Sen. Tim Kaine says he’s tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies
Update 11 a.m. EDT May 28: Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Thursday that he and his wife, Anne, have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies.
Kaine said he tested positive earlier this year for the flu but that even after getting medication to treat the illness, his symptoms lingered. At the end of March, Kaine said he "experienced new symptoms that I initially thought were flu remnants and a reaction to the unusually high spring pollen count.” He and his wife spoke to their health care providers in early April after she also began to feel ill.
“They thought it possible that we had mild cases of coronavirus,” Kaine said. “Due to the national testing shortage, we were not tested for the virus but continued isolating and watched for any worsening of symptoms. By mid-April we were symptom free."
He said he and his wife got positive results from a coronavirus antibody test this month.
“While those antibodies could make us less likely to be re-infected or infect others, there is still too much uncertainty over what protection antibodies may actually provide,” he said. "So we will keep following CDC guideline s —hand-washing, mask wearing, social distancing. We encourage others to do so as well. It shows those around you that you care about them.”
86 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 28: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Thursday that 86 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,492.
Bowser also announced eight more people between the ages of 37 and 96 had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 453.
Wall Street opens modestly higher, extending recent gains
Update 10 a.m. EDT May 28: Stocks are opening slightly higher Thursday on Wall Street, extending recent gains that brought the S&P 500 back above 3,000 for the first time since March.
The benchmark index was up about 0.1% in the first few minutes of trading Thursday.
Health care companies and makers of consumer products were among the biggest winners in early trading. The modest gains came even as more dire reports on the economy came in, including another 2.1 million claims for unemployment benefits. Twitter fell as President Donald Trump prepared to sign an executive aimed at curbing liability protections for social media companies.
Trump shares sympathies after more than 100,000 Americans die of COVID-19
Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 28: President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to remember the more than 100,000 Americans who have died after contracting coronavirus infections.
The president called the death toll “a very sad milestone.”
“To all of the families (and) friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy (and) love for everything that these great people stood for (and) represent,” Trump wrote. “God be with you!”
The United States has lost more people to the coronavirus pandemic than any other country in the world. Health officials in the country with the second-most number of fatal COVID-19 cases, the United Kingdom, said Wednesday that 37,460 people have died of the viral infection.
41 million Americans have lost jobs since virus hit
Update 8:40 a.m. EDT May 28: Roughly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a sign that companies are still slashing jobs in the face of a deep recession even as more businesses reopen and rehire some laid-off employees.
About 41 million people have now applied for aid since the virus outbreak intensified in March, though not all of them are still unemployed. The Labor Department’s report Thursday includes a count of all the people now receiving unemployment aid: 21 million. That is a rough measure of the number of unemployed Americans.
The national jobless rate was 14.7% in April, the highest since the Great Depression, and many economists expect it will near 20% in May.
LA sues wellness company, alleging ‘sophisticated’ fraud via ‘at-home’ COVID-19 testing kits
Update 7:29 a.m. EDT May 28: The city of Los Angeles is suing Wellness Matrix Group for what it called a “sophisticated” and “wide ranging” scheme to defraud people concerned about their risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, NPR reported.
The suit contends the California-based company sold “at-home” coronavirus tests it claimed falsely were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The company also sold a supposedly coronavirus-killing “virucide,” claiming that the product could "build a force field around your event or even spray your entire city,” NPR reported.
L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer accused the company of “shockingly deceptive conduct” that included attaching “false government registration numbers to these products and fabricated phony scientific studies and white papers to substantiate their false claims,” the news outlet reported.
NBA eyes ‘bubble’ to house select family members when season resumes
Update 6:58 a.m. EDT May 28: The National Basketball Association and its players’ association are working to craft a plan that will allow select family members to stay in a “bubble” with the teams once the season resumes.
The bubble refers to a proposed enclosed environment in which all dwellers live, practice and play games, CNN reported.
The discussions come days after the network confirmed the league and players’ association are in talks with Disney to hold the rest of the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida.
Google alerts nearly 2K users hackers posing as WHO targeted them in April
Update 6:22 a.m. EDT May 28: Google sent 1,755 warnings to users who were targeted by government-backed hackers in April, according to a Wednesday blog post.
The majority of the hacking and phishing schemes Google detected preyed on public fear of the novel coronavirus and lured users into disclosing personal information.
The ruses included the creation of spoof email accounts purporting to be the World Health Organization. The ploys typically asked users to sign up for coronavirus updates, but the goal was to mine the information provided for passwords and other private data, The Washington Post reported.
Business leaders in the United States, Slovenia, Canada, India, Bahrain, Cyprus and the United Kingdom were the most common targets of the phishing campaigns, the company said in its post.
South Korea closing public facilities in Seoul in bid to stop potential COVID-19 outbreak
Update 5:55 a.m. EDT May 28: Beginning Friday, South Korea will close all public facilities in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area following detection of a novel coronavirus cluster at a logistics center near the South Korean capital, CNN reported.
Specifically, government-operated parks and retreat facilities as well as art galleries, museum and theaters will be shuttered until June 14, with all government-hosted events either postponed or canceled, the network reported citing Health Minister Park Neung-hoo.
Meanwhile, Park also advised private businesses to follow suit and said residents should refrain from going outdoors or hosting public gatherings until June 14.
To date, South Korea has confirmed 11,344 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 269 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
The nation recorded Wednesday its highest spike in new infections since April 5 with 79 new cases, 54 of which have been linked to a logistics center in Bucheon, located about 25 miles from Seoul. To date, 82 cases have been linked to the logistics center cluster, CNN reported.
Global coronavirus deaths surpass 356K, worldwide cases top 5.7M
Update 4:51 a.m. EDT May 28: The global count of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 5.7 million early Thursday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,707,163 people worldwide, resulting in at least 356,042 deaths.
Brazil records more than 20K coronavirus cases, 1K deaths in a single day
Update 3:47 a.m. EDT May 28: Brazil added another 1,086 coronavirus-related deaths during the past 24 hours bringing its nationwide death toll to 25,598, the nation’s health ministry reported Wednesday.
The latest figures, which added 20,599 new cases in one day, bring Brazil’s total number of confirmed infections to 411,821, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. Brazil trails only the United States for the most confirmed cases.
American Airlines slashing management, support staff by 30%
Update 2:16 a.m. EDT May 28: The ongoing stress caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel the airline industry with one of the United States’ largest carriers telling employees Wednesday that steeper cuts yet are on the way.
Elise Eberwein, American Airlines executive vice president of people and global engagement, said in a letter to employees that “fleet retirement accelerations are underway, and we will fly roughly 100 fewer aircraft next summer — mostly widebodies — than we had originally planned.”
“Additionally, running a smaller airline means we will need a management and support staff team that is roughly 30% leaner,” Eberwein added.
According to The Washington Post, the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline had already reduced its carrying capacity and nearly 39,000 employees have taken either voluntary leave or early retirement.
Meanwhile, Eberwein asked any willing employees to leave their jobs voluntarily by June 10, but she also noted that if voluntary departures do not result in the needed 30% reduction in staff, layoffs will be the next step, the Post reported.
“There is no doubt this is going to be a painful time for all, especially for our departing colleagues, who have given American Airlines their all and are leaving through no fault of their own,” Eberwein wrote in the letter. “They deserve our respect and gratitude.”
US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths climb past 100K
Update 12:44 a.m. EDT May 28: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Thursday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,699,933 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 100,442 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 364,965 cases and 29,484 deaths and New Jersey with 156,628 cases and 11,339 deaths. Massachusetts, with 94,220 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,547, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 114,306. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each.
Five other states have now confirmed at least 52,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 101,807 cases, resulting in 3,919 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 73,557 cases, resulting in 5,265 deaths
• Texas: 58,542 cases, resulting in 1,581 deaths
• Michigan: 55,608 cases, resulting in 5,334 deaths
• Florida: 52,634 cases, resulting in 2,319 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia, Connecticut and Virginia each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 32,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases, followed by Iowa with 18,369 and Arizona with 17,318; Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 16,000 cases; Rhode Island and Mississippi each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,623; Kansas, Delaware and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; Utah, the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 7,252; Arkansas and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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