More than 1 million people in the United States have been infected by the coronavirus as of Tuesday, a mark that comes as some states begin to ease lockdowns.
The U.S. has recorded more than 56,000 deaths due to COVID-19, according to NBC News' tally. Worldwide, over 3 million people have been sickened and more than 212,000 have died.
Some parts of the U.S. have shown indications of a leveling off of new cases and deaths. That has, in turn, sparked greater calls — particularly from supporters of the Trump administration — to push for governors to begin reopening stores and public spaces.
But health professionals warn that coronavirus cases could easily spike again if proper social distancing is not maintained.
President Donald Trump said Monday that the effort to expand testing is being done with the private sector to "help local governments get this horrible plague over with and over with fast."
- 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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California Gov. Newsom says state may modify stay-at-home order 'in a few weeks'
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that he may modify the state's stay-at-home order in the next few weeks and begin to discuss when schools can reopen.
"In a few weeks, we believe we could modify our stay-at-home order and expand the notion of what's available in manufacturing and logistics at retail stores and begin to have this important conversation," he said in an interview on NBC's "TODAY" show.
Newsom said he's hopeful that the school year could potentially start earlier than normal, but it won't be "back to normal," he said. Instead, school routines will be modified.
Still, the governor said he's worried because even though he feels in his gut that the worst might be over, that progress could still be wiped out.
"We've made so much progress, and we just don't want to run the 90 yard dash," he said. "If people just assume, like they did down in Newport Beach over the weekend, that the virus is going to take the weekend off or maybe go on summer vacation, then we're in real trouble with a potential second wave that erases all the progress and potentially puts literally tens of thousands of lives at risk."
Tupac Shakur unemployment claim raises eyebrows in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. — It’s no joke — Tupac Shakur lives in Kentucky and needs unemployment benefits to pay his bills.
The Lexington man’s name was brought up by Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday night as he spoke about how the state is trying to process all unemployment claims filed in March amid the coronavirus pandemic by the end of April.
According to Beshear, a few “bad apples” including a person who filed an unemployment claim under the name of the late rapper Tupac Shakur are responsible for slowing down the state’s unemployment processing.
But the Lexington Herald-Leader reports Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who goes by Malik, lives in Lexington and worked as a cook before restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus shut down restaurants.
“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said.
Read the full story here.
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Newport Beach votes to keep sand and surf open
The city of Newport Beach, California, on Tuesday decided to continue letting people frolic on the sand and in the surf even after California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized beachgoers for being too close to one another over the weekend.
The City Council voted to keep its beaches open after having second thoughts about access. Tens of thousands of people sought the ocean breezes of the Southern California coastline during the weekend heatwave.
The city said in a statement that "greater police and lifeguard presence" would be enough to enforce social distancing.
Pope urges virus lockdown obedience amid church-state debate
Pope Francis waded into the church-state debate about virus-imposed lockdowns of religious services, calling Tuesday for “prudence and obedience” to government protocols to prevent infections from surging again.
Francis’ appeal came just two days after Italian bishops bitterly complained that the Italian government offered no provisions for Masses to resume in its plan to reopen Italian business, social and sporting life starting May 4.
While it wasn’t clear if Francis intended to send a different message than the bishops, his appeal for obedience and prudence was in line with his previous calls to protect the most vulnerable, and for economic interests to take a back seat to shows of solidarity.
“As we are beginning to have protocols to get out of quarantine, let us pray that the Lord gives his people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to the protocols so that the pandemic doesn’t return,” Francis said Tuesday.
NYPD breaks up massive crowd gathered for rabbi's funeral
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sent police to Brooklyn on Tuesday to disperse a massive crowd that had gathered for a rabbi's funeral in defiance of a statewide shutdown over coronavirus.
There were no summonses or arrests of those mourning Rabbi Chaim Mertz, according to a New York Police Department spokesman.
Photos and video showed streets packed with mourners, which the mayor said was “absolutely unacceptable.”
What it's like to fly during a pandemic
Federal inmate who gave birth while on ventilator dies
A 30-year-old federal inmate who gave birth while on a ventilator four weeks ago died from coronavirus Tuesday, the Bureau of Prisons said.
Andrea Circle Bear was serving a 26-month sentence for maintaining a drug-involved premises, the agency said in a news release.
Circle Bear, of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, appears to be the first female inmate to die in custody, according to a review of other reported coronavirus-related deaths within the federal prison system.
Roy Horn, of Siegfried and Roy, tests positive for coronavirus
Roy Horn, one half of the Siegfried and Roy”Las Vegas magic and entertainment act, has tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson said Tuesday.
In a statement, the spokesperson said Horn, 75, is responding well to treatment and that he and Siegfried Fischbacher “send positive wishes to everyone impacted by the pandemic.”
The pair was a Las Vegas staple for more than a decade, known for their performances with big cats. In 2003, a 380-pound tiger, Mantecore, bit Horn’s neck during a show and dragged him off stage at the Mirage.
In Latin America, pandemic leaves household maids with no safety net
MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of many of Latin America’s household maids, leaving them without work or government assistance or effectively trapping them inside the homes of their employers because of government-ordered lockdowns.
Millions of domestic servants are woven into the fabric of family life throughout the region, where even lower middle-class families often have hired help. They are paid as little as $4 per day, under the table, with no benefits.
Servants frequently care for their employers’ children as much or more than they can care for their own, as depicted in the 2018 Oscar-winning movie “Roma.” Maids sometimes live in rooms on the roofs of their employers’ homes or rent rooms atop tenement apartment buildings.