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

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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:

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

As weather warms up, up to 100 miles of NYC streets to be closed so people can enjoy the outdoors

As the weather warms up in New York City, up to 100 miles of city streets will be blocked off to cars so that people can safely go out while still spreading out, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. 

De Blasio said he and the city council have worked together on a plan to open, at first, a minimum of 40 miles of streets, and then likely more "where there will be the most activity." Street closures will be focused around parks, in high-trafficked areas and in neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by coronavirus cases. 

When asked by an NBC New York reporter about closing streets so that restaurants can reopen and spill seating beyond sidewalks, de Blasio said the idea sounded "elegant" and he was "intrigued," but he added he would have to look into whether that would be an effective solution. 

New York City mayor announces easier, safer testing

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that testing for the coronavirus in the city had become easier by eliminating the need for a health care worker to administer the test. 

Previously, a health care worker would have to dress in full protective equipment to test someone, since swabbing of a patient's nose often caused that person to sneeze or cough. The new tests include a less intrusive nasal swab and saliva sample — both of which the patient can do themselves. 

The new tests are safer and easier, and will allow the city to test more people faster, de Blasio and health professionals said.

De Blasio also announced Monday that the city will hire some 1,000 health care workers to act as contact tracers.

Domestic abuse calls spike in Latin America during coronavirus lockdown

Lockdowns around Latin America are helping slow the spread of COVID-19, but are having a darker and less-intended consequence: a spike in calls to helplines suggests a rise in domestic abuse, in a region where almost 20 million women and girls suffer sexual and physical violence each year.

In cities from Buenos Aires to Mexico City, Santiago, São Paulo and La Paz, families and individuals have been confined in their homes in an unprecedented way, often only allowed out for emergencies or to shop for essentials.

Prosecutors, victim support teams, women’s movements and the United Nations all say this has caused a rise in domestic violence towards women. They cite increasing numbers of calls to abuse hotlines.

Read more here.

Trump tells advisers U.S. should pull troops as Afghanistan COVID-19 outbreak looms

President Donald Trump has pushed his military and national security advisers in recent days to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan amid concerns about a major coronavirus outbreak in the war-torn country, according to two current and one former senior U.S. officials.

Trump complains almost daily that U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan and are now vulnerable to a deadly pandemic, the officials said. His renewed push to withdraw all of them has been spurred by the convergence of his concern that coronavirus poses a force protection issue for thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and his impatience with the halting progress of his peace deal with the Taliban, the officials said.

Read the full story here.

Pelosi says Democrats will push for vote-by-mail in next coronavirus relief package

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday that Democrats will push for a vote-by-mail provision in Congress' next coronavirus relief package.

In an interview on MSNBC’s LIVE with Stephanie Ruhle, Pelosi said that it's important to protect the “life of our democracy” as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Democrats have been for weeks pushing vote-by-mail ahead of the May and June primary contests— over a dozen of which had been postponed due to coronavirus— and as they look ahead to the November election.

President Donald Trump, however, opposes the idea and has urged Republicans to fight the effort.

Read more here.

Swiss rush to get haircuts, visit dentists as coronavirus curbs ease

A barber cuts a customers hair in Lausanne after the Swiss government eased social distancing restrictions on Monday. Fabrice Coffrini / AFP - Getty Images

Haircuts, massages and shopping for garden supplies topped the agenda for Swiss on Monday as the country slowly started easing restrictions on public life imposed in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Queues formed in front of garden centers as people battling cabin fever emerged from six weeks of staying at home at the government's urging.

More than 1,300 people in Switzerland have died from the coronavirus so far, with the number of confirmed cases now over 29,000. 

Tyson Foods board chairman warns 'food supply chain is breaking'

The board chairman of Tyson Foods says "millions of pounds of meat" will disappear from the national supply chain as the coronavirus outbreak forces food processing plants to shutter.

"The food supply chain is breaking," John Tyson wrote in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

"There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed," Tyson added

Tyson Foods suspended operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is crucial to the nation's pork supply but had been gutted by the pandemic.

Automakers adjust to 'new normal' as they prepare to reopen plants

With Europe's largest auto plant reopening Monday, a growing list of U.S. automakers are also hoping to restart their assembly lines — some as early as this week — as manufacturers battle to prevent a record sales slump from steepening.

The 54 auto assembly lines in the U.S. — along with hundreds of parts plants — ground to a halt in mid-March as the extent of the coronavirus pandemic became increasingly apparent.

With new car sales drying up, that didn’t matter much for the past month. But with sales starting to rebound, manufacturers want to be positioned to meet resurgent consumer demand.

However, some workers say they have "a hard time believing" the plants will be "safe enough” to prevent more infections.

Read the full story here.

The Boston Globe ran 21 pages of obits on Sunday

British Grand Prix could take place behind closed doors, French race cancelled

The British Grand Prix and French Grand Prix are the latest global sporting events to be affected by coronavirus.

France has called off its event altogether, while Britain's race might take place without fans this year as the U.K. government continues to ban large gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Silverstone, the track that has hosted the race since 1952, said it was discussing with the government a plan to show the event on TV for free instead. Silverstone said it would give health care workers tickets for the 2021 event.

Nursing home industry pushes for immunity from lawsuits during coronavirus emergency

As the COVID-19 death toll at nursing homes climbs to nearly 12,000, the nursing home industry is pushing states to provide immunity from lawsuits to the owners and employees of the nation's 15,600 nursing homes.

So far at least six states have provided explicit immunity from coronavirus lawsuits for nursing homes, and six more have granted some form of immunity to health care providers, which legal experts say could likely be interpreted to include nursing homes.

Patient advocates worry that nursing homes accused of extreme neglect could avoid liability.

"I can't even believe this is a topic of discussion," said Anny Figueroa, whose 55-year-old mother was a resident at Andover Subacute & Rehab Center in New Jersey, where law enforcement discovered 17 bodies in a makeshift morgue this month.

Read the full story here.