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Global death toll passes 100K as confirmed cases top 1.6 million

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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A healthcare worker talks with a patient at a COVID-19 testing site near Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on March 24, 2020.Matt Slocum / AP

The coronavirus death toll across the U.S. continues to climb and passed 18,500 by Friday evening, according to an NBC News tally. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state had reached 170,512.

Globally, the number of cases passed 1.6 million with more than 102,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, as countries deliberate over further lockdown measures or worry about second wave outbreaks. Millions of people around the world are preparing for religious celebrations and a holiday weekend.

Current and former U.S. officials, meanwhile, tell NBC News that American spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic.

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More than 2,200 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes

Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; Getty Images

Nearly 2,300 long-term care facilities in 35 states are battling coronavirus cases, according to data gathered by NBC News from state agencies. That's an explosive increase of 475 percent compared to a federal tally just 10 days ago. 

NBC News also found 2,246 deaths associated with long-term care facilities, based on responses from 24 states. 

The numbers are likely a significant undercount, given the limited access to testing and other constraints — and they show the need for more comprehensive data as nursing homes fight outbreaks, experts say. 

“It’s impossible to fight and contain this virus if we don’t know where it’s located,” said David Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. 

Read the full story here.

California governor says state plans to use smartphone contact tracing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his office spoke Friday with Apple about its tracing technology and is making it a part of the state’s planning for easing out of its statewide stay-at-home order.

“We look forward to continuing to build that capacity and partnership, and that is also part of the planning exercise as we see some light and we see a future where we’re not all permanently in this current state stay-at-home order," Newsom said.

The state's cooperation is important because Google and Apple said in their joint announcement Friday that the first phase of their work would rely on partnerships with government health authorities.

Race rises to the forefront for activists in the coronavirus pandemic

When COVID-19 first started to spread across the United States three months ago, urban myths, fueled by bad information and social media, pushed the self-serving theory that African Americans were not being severely affected -- or were less likely to be infected -- by the coronavirus.

Fast forward to the present, as mortality rates skyrocket and the virus has taken hold with a vengeance -- particularly among African Americans.

“Race is in the place,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “From fake information that this disease would not affect African Americans to the numbers of deaths that we are seeing. We call on the CDC in each and every state to gather accurate information on every person who has been infected and those who have unfortunately passed.”

Read the full story here.

Mia Farrow's daughter hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus

Mia Farrow with her daughter Quincy in Philadelphia on May 10, 2011.Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images file

Actress Mia Farrow revealed in a Twitter post Friday that her daughter, Quincy, was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus. 

"A personal request. If you would be so kind, would you please send up a prayer for my daughter Quincy. Today she had no alternative but to go the hospital for help in her struggle against the coronavirus," she wrote. 

Quincy, 26, was adopted by Farrow in 1994 when she was a year old, according to People. She's married with a young daughter named Coretta.

Surgeon General defends call for African Americans to avoid alcohol, tobacco 'for your big momma'

Surgeon General Jerome Adams defended his call for African Americans and Latinos to "avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs ... if not for yourself, do it for your abuela, do it for your granddaddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your pop-pop."

Adams made the statements during Friday's White House coronavirus briefing. Challenged about his statements later by PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor, Adams said he's met with NAACP leaders and was speaking from personal experience and that his comments were "not meant to be offensive."

"We need targeted outreach to the African American community, and I used the language that is used in my family," Adams said. "I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law. I call my granddaddy 'Granddaddy.' I have relatives who call their grandparents 'Big Momma.' So that was not meant to be offensive, that is the language that we use, and that I use, and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities."

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Fact check: Does recovery give you immunity to coronavirus?

“They have immunity if they’ve had the virus,” Trump said of people who have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus while discussing the issue of serology tests in development to gauge the true spread of the virus.

The president is exaggerating a bit here. It’s not yet known what kind of immunity recovered patients will have to COVID-19. Some infections result in lifelong immunity (think chicken pox) while other infections will produce short-term immunity in recovered patients. 

Studies into the potential immunity effects of the novel coronavirus are ongoing

Surgeon General Jerome Adams shows his inhaler to highlight asthma, coronavirus risks for minorities

Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate asthma risks for black and minority Americans at Friday's White House coronavirus briefing by pulling his own inhaler out of his pocket.

"I've been carrying around an inhaler in my pocket for 40 years, out of fear of having a fatal asthma attack," said Adams, 45, who is African-American. "I hope that showing you this inhaler shows little kids all across country that they can grow up to be surgeon general one day.

"But I more immediately share it so everyone knows it doesn't matter if you look fit, if you look young, you are still at risk for spreading and dying from coronavirus."

Photo: Tiny face shields protect babies in Thailand

A Thai nurse puts face shields on newborn babies as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic at Princ Hospital Suvarnabhumi in Samut Prakan on Wednesday in Thailand.Rungroj Yongrit / EPA

As coronavirus continues its spread, look through our Week in Pictures to see how it's impacting people around the globe.

Google and Apple will team up to track spread of coronavirus with smartphone tech

Apple and Google announced a partnership Friday to try to use technology to trace the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The two companies, usually fierce rivals, said they would work together in the coming weeks to build new tools that would enable people and health authorities to track the virus using Bluetooth proximity data from their smartphones.

“We hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life,” the two companies said in a rare joint statement.

Read the full story here.