A number of governors said that while they would take President Donald Trump's new guidelines to reopen state economies under consideration, they were wary of moving too fast in the face of unresolved issues like testing shortages.
But some Americans are calling for a quick return to business as normal and marched on state capitols Friday to make their voices heard. Meanwhile, extremists have interpreted Trump's recent tweets to "LIBERATE" certain states as a call to arms.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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Live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 18 coronavirus news here.
Parent in college admission scam leaving prison early because of coronavirus
Toby Macfarlane, a former real estate executive from Del Mar, California, will be released to home confinement after his lawyers argued the conditions behind bars put him at serious risk of contracting the virus. He will be released after he completes a 14-day quarantine in prison on April 21, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said this week.
Macfarlane was sentenced in November after admitting to paying $450,000 to get his children into the University of Southern California as fake athletic recruits.
The Week in Pictures
It was another challenging week with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world skyrocketing to over 2 million and the U.S. death toll passing 34,000.
Through it all, photojournalists around the globe have captured glimpses of humanity as people navigate these tough times. Check out The Week in Pictures.
Coronavirus restrictions highlight LGBTQ domestic abuse crisis
Restrictions on movement introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus have already greatly affected the day-to-day lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe. But for victims of domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence, lockdown measures can present serious safety risks.
“During this time of social distancing and for some quarantine, more than ever survivors are isolated,” said Sabrina Santiago, co-executive director of the Network/La Red, a survivor-led social justice organization based in Boston that works to end domestic abuse in LGBTQ communities.
“Being confined with their abuser will lead to escalations of abuse and removes tools of survival such as being able to leave the house to escape or de-escalate abuse,” Santiago added.
While many of the same methods of control used by heterosexual domestic abusers are also used by LGBTQ abusers, those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer face unique forms of manipulation related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, by threatening to “out” the victim of intimate partner violence to their family or employer if they attempt to reveal abuse, the abusive partner can make reporting violence to social services far more difficult.
Lady Gaga curating 'One World: Together at Home' fundraiser
Global Citizen is producing a massive concert this weekend event titled "One World: Together at Home" to raise money to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Curated by Lady Gaga, the concert Saturday will be live-streamed and broadcast in a multitude of ways. It's being touted as the largest (virtual) gathering of major artists and influencers since Live Aid in 1985.
The event will support frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization.
Unapproved Chinese antibody tests being used in at least 2 states
Officials across the country are racing to provide coronavirus tests to diagnose infections and to identify recovered patients with antibodies that may help others battle COVID-19, the disease it causes.
But some COVID-19 antibody tests, including those being used by public health departments in Denver and Los Angeles and provided to urgent care centers in Maryland and North Carolina, were supplied by Chinese manufacturers that are not approved by China's Center for Medical Device Evaluation, a unit of the National Medical Product Administration, or NMPA, the country's equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NBC News has found.
NYPD to wear black bands as death toll climbs
Officers with the New York City Police Department will wear black bands across their shields to honor the 28 uniformed and civilian members who have died from COVID-19.
“We do not know how long it will last, so we will continue to honor our colleagues in this way for the foreseeable future," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea wrote in a letter to the department. "We do know we will emerge stronger on the other side together."
More than 2,100 uniformed members and 600 civilian members are out sick after being diagnosed with COVID-19, and 1,450 uniformed members of the NYPD have returned to full-duty service after recovering from the coronavirus, the department said.
In some rural states with no lockdown orders, cases on the rise
Some rural states that have not enacted widespread lockdown orders are seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases.
From Tuesday to Friday, South Dakota and Nebraska had the largest percentage increase in cases, according to data compiled by NBC News. South Dakota confirmed 323 new cases since Tuesday evening, a 32 percent increase.
Neither state has enacted stay-at-home orders.
Some states that implemented stay-at-home orders in late March or early April have also reported sharp increases in cases including Virginia, Rhode Island and Texas.