More than 5.2 million people worldwide -- including more than 1.6 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 Saturday, May 23, continue below:
Update 11:25 p.m. EDT May 23: Three new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were reported Sunday in China.
The National Health Commission said two of the cases came from outside of the country and the other was a locally transmitted in the province of Jilin. No new deaths have been reported.
There are 79 patients in treatment and another 380 are in isolation.
There have been 4,634 deaths from the coronavirus in China.
Update 10:45 p.m. EDT May 23: Families in need of food are invited to participate in a pig-hunting derby organized by the Guam Department of Agriculture.
The two-day hunt starts next Saturday.
The hunt is intended to help feed families, encourage familial hunter development and reduce the feral pig population.
There are 1,134 confirmed cases and six deaths from the coronavirus in Guam, according to The New York Times.
Update 9:30 p.m. EDT May 23: An order allowing foreign athletes from multiple professional sports leagues into the country was signed by acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on Friday.
Foreign athletes, essential staff and their dependents in professional sports including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League will be allowed to enter the country.
“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” Wolf said in a statement. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”
- Major League Baseball
- National Basketball Association
- Women’s National Basketball Association
- Professional Golfers’ Association Tour
- Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour
- National Hockey League
- Association of Tennis Professionals
- Women’s Tennis Association
Update 8:30 p.m. EDT May 23: Places of worship in Minnesota can open at 25% capacity starting May 27, Gov. Tim Walz said Saturday.
Congregants can gather as long as the places of worship follow strict social distance measures and other safety guidelines, CNN reported.
"As we move to try and have some of these places of worship open up, they’re done with a common goal of the safety and security of not only the congregants but the community at large," Walz said.
There are 19,854 confirmed cases and 861 deaths from the coronavirus in Minnesota, according to The New York Times.
Update 7:15 p.m. EDT May 23: A high school swim party in Arkansas lead to several swimmers testing positive for the coronavirus, officials said Saturday.
"I'm sure everybody thought was harmless," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, CNN reported. "They're young, they're swimming, they're just having activity and positive cases resulted from that."
Hutchinson did not offer additional information about the party.
"It is an important anecdote for people to understand how easy that this can spread and that we still need to be careful," he said. "During this Memorial (Day) weekend, we want to be out and we want to enjoy ourselves, we want to remember this holiday and those that have served our country and given their lives in service of our country. But let's be safe and let's be disciplined at the same time."
There are 5,612 confirmed cases and 113 deaths from the coronavirus in Arkansas, according to The New York Times.
Update 6:20 p.m. EDT May 23: As the coronavirus death toll inches toward 100,000 nationwide, The New York Times printed the name of 1,000 people who have died from the virus, covering its entire Sunday front page.
The unique page design is a rare move to not feature multiple stories or any images or art to bring attention to the loss caused by the pandemic.
The Times also launched a special section "Those We've Lost," which features stories about those who have died from the coronavirus.
There are more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 96,875 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins’ tracking information.
Update 3:28 p.m. EDT May 23: North Carolina experienced its highest one-day increase of cases, the day after Phase 2 protocols were implemented in the state, health officials said.
According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,107 cases reported Saturday.
“Phase two runs through at least Friday, June 26, unless changed or canceled,” the agency said in a tweet.
North Carolina’s Phase Two includes expanding restaurant capacity to 50% and reopening camps for children.
Update 1:56 p.m. EDT May 23: The NBA and the Walt Disney company have begun talks about restarting the 2019-2020 season at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said.
The season would resume in late July, according to ESPN.
"The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing," Bass said. "Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place."
The NBA suspended its season indefinitely March 11.
Update 1:01 p.m. EDT May 23: Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wold said lines at airport security checkpoints will likely be longer as the Transportation Security Administration adjusts its staffing. The move is in anticipation of more people beginning to travel.
More than 300,000 people went through airport security checkpoints Thursday, CNN reported, marking the highest number since March.
In an interview with Fox News, Wolf said the TSA would try to reduce person-to-person contact by having travelers scan their own boarding passes. Travelers also will be asked to pack food in a separate container to cut down the number of bags security agents must search.
Update 12:15 p.m. EDT May 23: First lady Melania Trump tweeted part of a video of a speech she made to graduates Friday at the White House. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos also addressed the graduates.
“Do not be discouraged, continue to chase your dreams, use your success to help others, and make this experience one to shape your future in a positive way,” the first ladytold the students.
Graduates who walked across the stage were handed a scroll by the President and posed for a photo with the Trumps and DeVos, according to the video.
Cuomo signed the order after the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a suit that objected to the governor’s order Thursday allowing groups of 10 people or less to gather for religious services or for Memorial Day celebrations. Cuomo’s latest order Friday night modified the previous one.
Update 9:22 a.m. EDT May 23: The Navajo Nation reported 149 deaths Friday related to the coronavirus, CNN reported. There have been 4,529 total positive cases.
The Navajo Nation encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
Update 8:40 a.m. EDT May 23: Pedro Sanchez, the prime minister of Spain, said the country’s soccer league, La Liga, will resume play June 8, according to The Associated Press.
Update 7:55 a.m. EDT May 23: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 338,612 early Friday, 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 5,235,452 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 12 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,081.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,601,434 cases, resulting in 96,007 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 335,682 cases, resulting in 3,249 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 330,890 cases, resulting in 20,047 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 255,544 cases, resulting in 36,124 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 234,824 cases, resulting in 27,940 deaths.
• Italy has reported 228,658 cases, resulting in 32,486 deaths.
• France has confirmed 182,015 cases, resulting in 28,218 deaths.
• Germany has reported 179,0730 cases, resulting in 8,212 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 154,500 cases, resulting in 4,249 deaths
• Iran has recorded 133,521 cases, resulting in 7,359 deaths.
Update 7:25 a.m. EDT May 23: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have placed two groups on notice for selling fraudulent products to fight the novel coronavirus.
Both Apollo Holding LLC and North Coast Biologics received warning letters Thursday for their virus-related products, CNN reported.
According to the letters, Apollo Holding was selling “NoronaPak” products, including “cannabidiol (CBD),” derived from the cannabis plant, according to one of the warning letters. The federal agencies chastised the company for marketing the products as “intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people” because the drugs do not carry federal approval and have been sold in violation of federal law.
Meanwhile, the letters state North Coast Biologics was offering an “nCoV19 spike protein vaccine” and that someone associated with the program bragged about the unverified vaccine in a March 21 Facebook post, saying “Just vaccinated 12 people in west Seattle tonight . . . 12 more to vaccinate in Burien . . . off to Anchorage and PHX next.”
Update 5:27 a.m. EDT May 23: The COVID-19 infection count in Brazil surpassed that of Russia early Saturday, meaning the nation has now confirmed the second-highest number of novel coronavirus cases worldwide.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, Brazil has reported a total of 330,890 cases, resulting in 21,048 deaths, and the South American country’s pace of new infections continues to increase. Health officials confirmed Friday that 20,803 new cases had been confirmed in the prior 24 hours.
The latest figures drop Russia’s 326,446 cases to third-most globally, but the United States’ more than 1.6 million coronavirus cases are nearly five times higher than Brazil’s.
Update 5:05 a.m. EDT May 23: A hairstylist who exposed as many as 91 customers and coworkers to the novel coronavirus has emerged as the poster child for the threat of community spread, Missouri health officials said.
Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, told CNN the stylist worked for eight days in May while symptomatic, exposing 84 clients and seven Great Clips colleagues to the virus.
“The individual and their clients were wearing face coverings. The 84 clients potentially directly exposed will be notified by the Health Department and be offered testing, as will seven coworkers,” the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said in a statement. “It is the hope of the department that because face coverings were worn throughout this exposure timeline, no additional cases will result.”
Update 4:15 a.m. EDT May 23: WW International, the company formerly known as Weight Watchers, fired an undisclosed number of employees one week ago during simultaneous Zoom calls across the country, multiple media outlets reported.
Not only did the move shock many longtime staffers who believed they were simply participating in a standard company Zoom meeting, but the health and wellness company declined to confirm the exact number of its roughly 17,000 mostly part-time employees let go, The New York Times reported. Company representatives attributed the restructuring in part to the novel coronavirus and in part to a shifting digital strategy.
“This is supposed to be a caring, wellness corporation,” Joanne Patten of Houston, a part-time WW employee for 11 years, told the newspaper adding, “The way they did it, it was just heartless.”
Update 2:25 a.m. EDT May 23: Several governors responded late Friday to President Donald Trump’s threat earlier in the day to override state leaders who do not allow places of worship to reopen amid the lingering novel coronavirus.
Asked about the president’s declaration, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told CNN he stands by his state’s policy of allowing services with 50% capacity, while a spokesman told the network Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan supports reopening churches and has no plans to force local county officials to enforce a recent 50% capacity order.
Meanwhile, David Postman, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s chief of staff, told The New York Times, “We don’t believe the president has the ability to dictate what states can and cannot open.”
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said her state continues to work toward resuming worship services on May 30 but not before protective social-distancing measures can be enacted.
“We’re not ready. Honestly, that would be reckless,” Raimondo said during a news conference.
Published 12:23 a.m. EDT May 23: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged past 1.6 million early Saturday 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 1,601,251 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 96,001 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 358,154 cases and 28,853 deaths and New Jersey with 152,579 cases and 10,985 deaths. Massachusetts, with 90,889 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,228, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 105,444. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each.
Seven other states have now confirmed at least 41,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 90,454 cases, resulting in 3,667 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 70,211 cases, resulting in 5,010 deaths
• Michigan: 53,913 cases, resulting in 5,158 deaths
• Texas: 53,539 cases, resulting in 1,470 deaths
• Florida: 49,451 cases, resulting in 2,190 deaths
• Maryland: 44,424 cases, resulting in 2,207 deaths
• Georgia: 41,482 cases, resulting in 1,808 deaths
Meanwhile, Connecticut, Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 30,000 cases; Colorado and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 22,000 cases; Tennessee, Washington and Minnesota each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases; Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases; Rhode Island and Alabama each has confirmed at least 13,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 12,625; Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 11,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 9,638; Kansas, Delaware, Kentucky and Utah each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed by New Mexico with 6,625; Oklahoma and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases.
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