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.

Dow up 300 as states begin to reopen economies

Investors are happy to see states starting to reopen or think about reopening. The markets started off this week on a high note with the Dow Jones Industrial up 300 points.

Texas to lift stay-at-home order this week, many businesses can reopen Friday

Closed outlet stores in El Paso, Texas, after social distancing measures were put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus on March 21, 2020.Paul Ratje / AFP via Getty Images file

Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday he will allow the stay-at-home order in Texas to expire on Thursday, simultaneously saying that many establishments will be allowed to reopen on Friday.

Retail establishments given the green light to resume business on Friday include restaurants, shopping malls and movie theaters. Libraries and museums can also open their doors. But all establishments must limit those inside to 25 percent capacity

Bars, gyms, barber shops and salons didn't make Friday's list of business openings and must remain closed.

“I believe we can re-engage our economy while using the same strategies we’ve been using,” Abbott said.

McConnell says Congress will 'probably' take up emergency relief for state and local governments

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves Capitol Hill on April 16, 2020.Tom Brenner / Reuters file

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated Monday that Congress will "probably" be taking up a bill to provide emergency relief funding for state and local governments hit hard by the coronavirus.

"There probably will be another state and local funding bill," McConnell told Fox News Radio host Guy Benson. "We need to make sure that we achieve something that will go beyond just sending out money."

McConnell said he wants to include provisions in such a bill that prevent the money from going towards fiscal issues that existed prior to the pandemic while also guaranteeing that businesses are protected from lawsuits they could face after states begin reopening.

McConnell's comments came after he caught heat from governors like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, after he said last week that he was not in favor of passing such funding and instead would prefer states to have the ability to declare bankruptcy if need be. State and local governments are facing a massive budget shortfall as COVID-19 dries up revenue sources.

Banksy's 'Girl With a Pierced Eardrum' gets coronavirus update

Passersby admire Banksy's mural in Bristol, England, on Monday.Dan Mullan / Getty Images

Banksy's "Girl with a Pierced Eardrum" has been updated for the coronavirus era with the addition of a blue surgical face mask.

The mural, a take on Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" but with a security alarm replacing the pearl, was painted on a harborside building in the street artist's home city of Bristol in 2014.

It is not known whether Banksy, whose identity is a closely guarded secret, or somebody else attached the fabric face mask to the painted girl.

CDC adds 6 newly identified symptoms to its list

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the list of recognized symptoms, based on reports from doctors treating COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

Fever, cough and shortness of breath are still the most common warning signs, but the CDC website included these additional symptoms:

These more detailed descriptions of the illness show how doctors and researchers are still learning about the disease in real time. 

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. 

Read the full story here. 

Alabama abortion fund expands mission to support financially struggling families

When the coronavirus hit Alabama, Amanda Reyes noticed that many of the state's low-income residents were struggling to buy essential items, from toilet paper to soap and detergent. 

Reyes, executive director of the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama-based nonprofit that offers funding and support for women who have abortions, said the fund's staff members heard from women who were economically affected by the pandemic and couldn't afford necessities. 

“It’s wild that these people haven’t been able to get any of the basic things that they need to respond to this crisis," Reyes said. 

Reyes said she wanted to find a way to support these women, so she teamed up with another local organization, The Knights and Orchids Society, an LGBTQ support group that was also getting requests from people who were struggling financially, to buy and give away supplies. They've dropped off supplies, including bleach and hand sanitizer, with more than 400 families in Selma so far. 

The fund is also working with Left Hand Soap Co. in Tuscaloosa to make enough soap and hand sanitizer to keep up with demand.

The coronavirus pandemic also prompted the Yellowhammer Fund to begin offering free emergency contraception, commonly known as the morning-after pill, by mail to people in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. The fund has shipped more than 300 packs of emergency contraception since the beginning of April to women who reached out online.

Ohio will require face coverings for both employees and customers for May 12 retail reopening

Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday laid out the mandatory requirements for reopening retail establishments in Ohio, scheduled to begin May 12.

Most notably, both employees and shoppers must wear masks or other face coverings in consumer and retail establishments. Both employees and shoppers must also maintain 6 feet of distance between people.

Other measures for employees include daily symptom assessments, regular hand washing and cleaning of high-touch items like carts and baskets.

Customers will have to abide by specific hours for at risk people, such as times of the day where only the elderly are allowed entry, and entry into an establishment will have to be staggered to maintain social distancing.

Magic Johnson: Sports will first return without fans in the stands

NBA legend Magic Johnson said Monday that when professional sports return, they will be played without fans in the stands. 

The priority will be to "keep the players safe," said Johnson, who is a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oklahoma City Dodgers and the Los Angeles Sparks.

Johnson said he believes many people who have missed sports since the coronavirus pandemic brought seasons to a halt would not mind that they can't attend games in person. 

"I think all of us will take that because if we’re home and we get to see sports, that’s all we want in the beginning. We just need something to make us feel good and to give us some hope, and we can laugh or cheer for our team, and yell at the TV screen," Johnson said. "We need that right now." 

Read the full story here. 

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