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Global cases surpass 3 million, U.S. states begin to reopen

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
300 ventilators arrive at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, England, on April 4, 2020.
300 ventilators arrive at MOD Donnington in Shropshire, England, on April 4, 2020.Sgt. Ben Beale / Ministry of Defense via PA

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 28 coronavirus news.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 55,000 Monday, with more than 985,000 confirmed cases, according to NBC News' tally.

Globally, there are now more than 3 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestones comes as the White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx warned that many of the social distancing measures that have upended American life will be a fixture through the summer.

President Donald Trump said during an address in the Rose Garden Monday that the number of tests performed across the country spiked after his administration gave a list of laboratory facilities to governors. But the COVID Tracking Project data did not show any "skyrocket" in testing.

On the state level, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state's stay-at-home order will expire on Thursday and many businesses will be allowed to open on Friday. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine laid out strict guidelines for the resumption of retail business in May, including requirements for both employees and shoppers to wear face coverings.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is seeking to overturn a ruling by a judge who issued a restraining order against the extension of his stay-at-home order. Similarly, Attorney General William Barr directed the nation's federal prosecutors to look for stay-at-home orders that could be unconstitutional.

Meanwhile in Italy, Europe's hardest hit country, the prime minister laid out plans for a phased end to restrictions, including the opening of restaurants and libraries in mid-May.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments:

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Italy's prime minister lays out plan to slowly reopen in May

Construction workers and factories will restart in Italy on May 4, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said as he laid out plans for a phased end to the country’s strict nationwide lockdown

Public parks will reopen then as will restaurant takeout and delivery services. "We will live with the virus and we will have to adopt every precaution possible," Conte said Sunday evening. Shops, museums, exhibitions and public libraries will reopen on May 18, and hairdressers, bars and restaurants will be open from June 1. Schools however, will remain closed until September.

The announcement comes a week after the country reported its first decline in the number of people sick with coronavirus since the virus hit. The country has recorded 26,384 coronavirus deaths and 195,351 confirmed cases.

Neighbors celebrate musician's 90th birthday under coronavirus lockdown

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to work after coronavirus recovery

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work on Monday after recovering from COVID-19. In an address to the nation outside 10 Downing Street, Johnson said it was too early to lift the strict restrictions currently in place.

Calling this the “moment of maximum risk,” Johnson — who spent time in intensive care during his illness — acknowledged frustration with the lockdown measures and said that his government would be guided by scientists on when to begin loosening them. Britain is one of the worst-hit countries in the world, and has recorded more than 20,000 deaths.

“I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict,” he said.

New Zealand set to lift some restrictions

New Zealand will lift some of its strictest coronavirus restrictions on Monday night after four weeks of lockdown. Prime Minister Ardern warned that "we must make sure that we do not let the virus run away on us again and cause a new wave of cases and deaths". 

Residents will be permitted to reconnect with close family, bring caregivers into the home and some people will be allowed to return to work. Those displaced when the lockdown came into place will be permitted to travel. Public gatherings remain banned.

The current restrictions will be put in place for two weeks before the government considers further loosening.  The country of 5 million has seen 1,469 confirmed coronavirus cases and 18 deaths.

South Korea mulls reopening schools

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea reported only 10 new cases of the coronavirus, its 26th straight day below 100 as officials mulled reopening schools amid the slowing caseload.

The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday brought the national totals to 10,738 cases and 243 deaths.

At least 1,044 infections have been linked to international arrivals, but such cases have also declined in recent weeks amid tightened border controls.

NFL draft averages record 8.4M viewers across 3 days

Seth Markman was just as nervous as NFL coaches and general managers about the unknown factors involved with a virtual draft. But the ESPN executive producer said he was overwhelmed with how everything came together over the three days.

It also ended up being must-see TV as the first significant live sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic ground everything to a halt. The draft averaged a record 8.4 million viewers over all three days, according to the NFL and Nielsen. The previous high was 6.2 million last year.

“I thought a coach or general manager might put a towel on the camera or point it another direction, but there were zero issues,” Markman said. “There were a couple times that we lost a feed or two, but it quickly came back.”