The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended that people wear "cloth face coverings," in places where it is hard to maintain social distancing — like grocery stores. Officials say surgical masks or respirators should be reserved for health care workers.
The U.S. recorded more than 1,000 deaths between Thursday and Friday, according to NBC News' tally. As of Friday night, more than 7,000 U.S. deaths have been linked to the disease. Globally, the death toll is more than 59,100, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate soared to 4.4 percent from 3.5 percent.
Support on Capitol Hill among both Republicans and Democrats for an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the country’s response to the outbreak appeared to be growing.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not doing — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
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Walmart to limit customer access
Starting on Saturday, only five customers per 1,000 square feet can enter a Walmart, which will be about 20 percent of each locale's listed capacity, according to a statement by Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith.
And in many stores next week, markers will be put down to direct shoppers to one-way foot traffic "so to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop," according to Smith.
For the full story, read here.
Fact check: Trump falsely claims he inherited 'broken' COVID-19 tests
“The original test, the ones we inherited… were broken, they were obsolete, they were not good tests,” Trump said during Friday night’s news conference.
We’ve fact checked this claim before. It's impossible for Trump to have inherited a broken testing system for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The novel coronavirus did not exist until late last year, when researchers believe it was transmitted from an animal to a human for the first time.
Read more of the fact check here.
1 in 4 New York City emergency medical services workers out sick
As the New York City Fire Department announced the coronavirus death of Deputy Chief Inspector Syed Rahman, newly released data shows that nearly one in four of its Emergency Medical Services members is out sick.
Nearly two in 10 firefighters, or 17 percent, are also on medical leave, the FDNY said. About 3,000 total first responders were out sick; 376 have tested positive for the virus, the department said.
Rahman, 59, served 22 years with FDNY, leading a team that ultimately oversaw potentially high-risk buildings under construction, as well as those slated to undergo demolition and asbestos abatement.
"Deputy Chief Inspector Rahman dedicated his life to helping others through his service to the Department, and New Yorkers were safer because of his outstanding work," FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. He is survived by his wife Sadia and four sons.
NYC sends emergency alert to phones
New York City has transmitted an emergency alert to phones, asking all licensed health care workers to support the city's health facilities by logging on to a website to find out where help is needed the most.
The city expects ventilator and healthcare worker shortages in the coming days. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and now senior city officials are sounding the alarm to all available health care workers.
Trump administration says Americans should wear non-medical masks
President Donald Trump on Friday said Americans should wear non-surgical masks when they're out of their homes to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
"The CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as a voluntary health measure," Trump, referring to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during his daily briefing on the pandemic. "It is voluntary."
"The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks," he added.
The decision, made after the cities of New York and Los Angeles advised their residents to wear cloth masks, was expected. Officials want to save surgical-grade and N95 masks for health workers.
Alabama governor issues stay-at-home order
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Friday she's ordering residents who aren't essential workers to stay at home unless getting takeout food, groceries or gas starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.
As state health officials reported 1,454 coronavirus cases and 21 deaths related to the disease in Alabama, Ivey said on Twitter, "I plead with you" to help stop the spread of the virus by staying home and practicing social distancing.
"You CAN still go get groceries & medicines," she said. "You’re ENCOURAGED to still order food out from your favorite restaurants, but the stores will be required to institute more stringent rules to keep a safe number of customers shopping at any one time."
McConnell: Expect 'plenty of mistakes' as stimulus package is implemented
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday there are “bound to be plenty of mistakes” as the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package is implemented across the country.
“You can’t pass a bill of this magnitude in a week and have a perfect implementation of $2.2 trillion, so sure there are going to be glitches,” McConnell, R-Ky., told McClatchy in a phone interview.
He refused to say what he thinks might be needed for a "phase 4" relief package, saying his main focus now is "watching how this is implemented."
McConnell also suggested Congress might not reconvene on April 20th, since the president has extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April.
Shasta County, California, to receive state's fifth federal pop-up hospital
A team of 40 to 60 soldiers from the California National Guard is set to deploy Saturday to Redding, California, about 160 miles north of Sacramento. Their mission will be to quickly construct the state’s fifth “federal medical station,” or FMS, effectively a pop-up hospital, at the Redding Convention Center and Civic Auditorium.
Shasta County, where Redding is located, has 11 reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. The state's other pop-up hospitals are in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, with more likely to come. They were all constructed recently in one to two working days usually by teams of 60 to 100 guardsmen, as ordered by the California Office of Emergency Services to help mitigate hospital overflow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an undated fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an FMS has beds, supplies and medicine for 250 patients for up to three days.
New York City needs 45,000 medical professionals
New York, hit harder by the coronavirus than any other city in the country, needs 45,000 clinical employees for an incoming tidal wave of patients, officials said Friday.
The outbreak started with 125,000 medical employees in America's largest city, but a massive spike is coming that'll require 45,000 more to join those ranks this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.
About 7,500 of those employees will be needed in traditional, standing hospitals while 37,500 others would work at hastily constructed field hospitals, such at those popping up at the Javits Center, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and hotels.