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.

Senate, House to reconvene on May 4

House and Senate leaders said Monday that both chambers would reconvene next week.

The Senate will return to the Capitol next Monday, May 4, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced in a statement Monday afternoon.

“We will modify routines in ways that are smart and safe, but we will honor our constitutional duty to the American people and conduct critical business in person,” he said. 

“The Senate must focus on concrete steps to strengthen our response to this complex crisis. We cannot get distracted by pre-existing partisan wish-lists or calls to paper over decades of reckless decisions that had nothing to do with COVID-19,” McConnell added.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told lawmakers on a Democratic caucus conference call later Monday afternoon that the House would also be in session next week as of May 4, according to his office.

L.A. Lakers received $4.6 million from federal loan program — but returned it

The Staples Center court during a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors in 2012.Stephen Dunn / Getty Images file

The Los Angeles Lakers qualified for and received approximately $4.6 million from the government's Paycheck Protection Program, which was established to provide relief to small businesses suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. The Lakers eventually returned the money.

The team, one of the most profitable franchises in the NBA, was able to secure a Small Business Administration loans during the first round of distributions. The $349 billion dedicated to the program was quickly depleted as companies of all sizes rushed to get loans.

“The Lakers qualified for a loan under the Payroll Protection Program but the team promptly decided to repay the funds," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a text message.

Read the full story here.

Photo: Thanking Britain's NHS

A cyclist passes a display coordinated by artist and local resident Peter Liversidge to support the National Health Service in east London on Monday.Matt Dunham / AP

Almost 1 in 4 New York City residents who took test for COVID-19 antibodies tested positive

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that 14.9 percent of New York state residents who have participated in the state's antibody testing program to date have tested positive for coronavirus.

For New York City residents, the percentage was 24.7, or nearly one in four of those tested. In suburban Westchester County, where many of the first cases appeared, the percentage was 15.1.

The test is not a true random sample. The tests are administered by state health personnel, who ask people they encounter in public if they would like to be tested. So far, 7,500 people have agreed to be tested.

New York state has now reported at least 300 COVID-19 deaths per day every day since March 31. The total of 17,303 does not include presumptive COVID-19 deaths, meaning deaths that were likely -- but not officially -- caused by COVID-19, which top 5,000 in New York City alone.

Afghanistan set to release 12,000 more prisoners amid coronavirus outbreak

Afghanistan plans to release more than 12,000 prisoners as it battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the total number of inmates the government has pledged to release amid the pandemic to over 22,000, an Afghan official said Monday.

Ahmed Rashid Totakhail, head of prison administration told reporters Monday, said that President Ashraf Ghani had signed a decree to release a further 12,399 out of the approximately 36,000 people currently serving time in Afghanistan.

It follows an earlier presidential decree to release 10,000 prisoners amid the outbreak signed on March 26. Totakhail said Monday that so far out of those 10,000 people identified for release, more than 6,000 had been set free. Separately, the Afghan government and the Taliban are currently pursuing a prisoner swap as part of the withdrawal deal signed by the United States and the Taliban in February. 

It was not immediately clear how many, if any, of the more than 22,000 identified for release on Monday or March 26 were members of the Taliban. 

Global cases surpass 3 million, according to Johns Hopkins tally

The total number of global coronavirus cases topped 3 million on Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

The number stood at 3,002,303 as of 1 p.m. ET.

Recovered from COVID-19? Here's how to donate plasma

Plasma is precious for people sick with COVID-19.

The liquid portion of blood taken from survivors of the disease may be rich in antibodies that doctors hope can speed up recovery for the sickest patients.

The effort to gather plasma is a top priority for the Red Cross, but they're struggling to keep up with demand.

Read the full story on TODAY.

New York State effectively cancels Democratic presidential primary

Citing coronavirus concerns, the New York State Board of Elections on Monday decided that Sen. Bernie Sanders' name will be removed from the June 23 presidential primary ballot - effectively canceling the primary and making Joe Biden the winner.

"I think it's time for us to recognize that the presidential contest is over," Commissioner Doug Kellner said, citing concerns from voters.

The move, which Sanders had been urging the board against, leaves Biden as "the only candidate" and "effectively the winner of the New York primary," Kellner said.

Fellow Democratic commissioner Andrew Spano, explaining his decision, said that "we should minimize the number of people on ballot," citing the coronavirus outbreak linked to Wisconsin's presidential primary. He said the move would help minimize the number of people in close quarters at polling locations throughout the state. 

Speaking at a separate coronavirus briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would not "second guess" the board's decision.

Another 337 dead from COVID-19 in New York state

Caskets of Muslims who have passed away from the coronavirus are prepared for burial at a busy Brooklyn funeral home on the first day of Ramadan on April 24, 2020 in N.Y.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

New York state added at least another 337 victims to its COVID-19 death toll, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. 

The grim total has now reached 17,303 deaths, not including those who are presumptive COVID-19 victims. 

It was, however, the second consecutive day that New York's daily tally came in at under 400 fatalities. 

Trump: Federal govt. shouldn't rescue states and cities struggling under pandemic

President Donald Trump suggested Monday that the federal government should not be responsible for bailing out states and cities that are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat-run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

“I am open to discussing anything, but just asking?” he added.

Read more here.