Armed anti-lockdown protesters in Michigan, beaches closed in California

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seattle
A physician administers a test for COVID-19 at a mobile testing site Wednesday in Seattle. David Ryder / Reuters

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As states around the U.S. consider reopening, the country's death toll topped 61,000, according to an NBC News tally. Globally, there have been more than 232,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Protesters, some armed, demonstrated on Thursday against the Michigan lockdown on the steps of the state capitol building. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down beaches in Orange County after seeing what he called "disturbing" images of crowds from over the weekend.

Florida on Wednesday announced that it would slowly reopen. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the plan to lift restrictions "in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way," will go into effect Monday in every county except the three where most of the state's COVID-19 cases have been reported.

Meanwhile, South Korea recorded no new domestic COVID-19 cases for the first time in 72 days. The country dealt with the first major outbreak outside China, but brought the crisis under control with a massive testing campaign and intensive contact tracing.

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

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Gov. Murphy thanks Trump for coronavirus relief during New Jersey's 'darkest hour'

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy spoke with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell on what he called a "good discussion" with President Donald Trump on the coronavirus pandemic and detailed part of  the plan for his state's reopening.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin tests positive for the virus

Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin informed President Vladimir Putin that he had tested positive for coronavirus during a video conference on Thursday evening, according to a Kremlin transcript of their conversation.   

"It has just became known that the tests I took for coronavirus have given a positive result," Mishutin said, adding that he "must observe self-isolation as the doctors order."  

He said that planned to stay in contact with his colleagues by phone and videocall. 

Putin then wished Mishustin a speedy recovery. 

Photos: Navy hospital ship departs New York

The USNS Comfort heads past lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center as it returns to its home port of Norfolk, Va., on Thursday.Mike Segar / Reuters

A Navy hospital ship left New York City on Thursday, a month after it was sent to relieve stress on hospitals at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

After arriving to great fanfare, the USNS Comfort treated just 182 people as a surge in cases in the hard-hit city fell short of the worst-case projections. The last dozen patients on the ship were discharged or transferred to other hospitals over the weekend.

Police officers salute as the Comfort departs Pier 90 in Manhattan. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

WHO investigating link between virus and syndrome that affects young kids

The World Health Organization is “urgently” investigating a potential link between the coronavirus and Kawasaki syndrome, an illness of unknown cause that primarily affects children under 5.

“We are aware of this newly described syndrome from a number of countries in Europe and potentially a small number of cases in North America,” Dr. Adam Finn, chair of the WHO's European Technical Advisory Group, told a news briefing Thursday.

“We are urgently conducting a surveillance study in the United Kingdom to establish what is going on,” he added.

Also known as Kawasaki disease, on its website the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes Kawasaki syndrome as “acute febrile illness of unknown cause" that "primarily affects children younger than five years of age.”

Read more here. 

Boris Johnson leads first briefing since COVID-19 recovery

Leading his first coronavirus press briefing at No. 10 Downing Street since he recovered from COVID-19, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday paid tribute to the U.K.'s National Health Service.

Johnson, whose fianceé, Carrie Symonds, gave birth to their son on Wednesday, said, "I want to thank everybody who has been doing such a good job in my absence, and I want to thank the NHS for so much — including getting me back here and, I might add, a very much happier hospital visit yesterday."

He added that an additional 674 patients had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the U.K. as of 5 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, bringing the country's death toll to 26,771. 

Utah pledges free masks for every resident

As Utah begins to reopen its economy, the state is promising a face mask to anyone who needs one, free of charge.

Gov. Gary Hebert this week announced the new initiative, called “A Mask for Every Utahn.”

“We want to do everything we can as we work together as a state to combat COVID-19,” Gov. Hebert said in a statement. “Wearing a mask when we are out in public may not be convenient, but it can help slow the spread of the virus. Let’s all do our part in stopping the spread and helping to protect those around us.”

The project, funded through the federal CARES Act, will produce two million masks for the state’s residents in partnership with the Utah Manufacturers Association and Cotopaxi, an outdoor apparel company. The masks will all be made in Utah and the order will help employ more than 200 residents, according to the news release.

Residents are able to request a mask through an online form on the state’s coronavirus website.

New York City subways to shut down overnight, Cuomo says

New York City's subway system will close down in the overnight hours as the state combats the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

The overnight shutdowns for the largely 24 hours a day, seven days a week system will begin on May 6, with trains being stopped for cleaning between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. every night, Cuomo said at his coronavirus briefing. 

The move follows multiple published reports about a growing homeless population and poor sanitary conditions that had been growing for weeks. Subway ridership has plummeted since New York's stay-at-home order went into place last month.

“You now have more homeless people on fewer trains and you have fewer people to conduct outreach for the homeless people,” Cuomo said. 

Buses, vans, and for-hire vehicles will be used to transport essential workers during the hours the subways are shuttered, the governor said.

Read more here.

Photo: Forbidden City open again

A bride-to-be wears her dress and a protective mask as she waits to change after taking pictures ahead of her wedding near Beijing's Forbidden City on Thursday. Beijing lowered its risk level after more than three months Thursday in advance of May holidays, allowing most domestic travelers arriving in the city to do so without having to do 14 days of quarantine. The Forbidden City will open to a limited number of visitors as of Thursday morning.Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

Churches, museums and playgrounds to reopen as Germany eases lockdown measures

Church and religious services will be allowed to take place in Germany and playgrounds, galleries, museums, and zoos will be allowed to reopen, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday, she announced that lockdown measures in the country would be eased. However, concerts and major sporting events will remain closed.  

"We need to further slow the spread of the virus," Merkel said, adding that the country needed to bring down further the number of daily new infections and social distancing rules must be observed in public places to avoid a spike in infections.

Merkel said there were “difficult decisions” on how to proceed but insisted: “We have a great responsibility so that there is no relapse in a more difficult phase."

Biden calls on Trump to lower White House flag to honor coronavirus victims

Joe Biden, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, called on President Donald Trump to lower the White House flag to half-staff to honor the thousands of victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

“By the end of this month, we will have lost more people to the coronavirus, dead, than we lost in the entire Vietnam War, Americans lost in the entire Vietnam War,” Biden said in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday.

“I think the president should lower the flag on the White House to half-mast to recognize their loss, and all they leave behind,” he said. "Folks, I think if he does not do that, when I’m president, I promise you that’s what I’ll do.”

Pelosi says House plans to come back the week of May 11

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that Democrats are planning to bring the House back into session the week of May 11. 

When asked at her weekly press conference when the House will come back to vote on the next major coronavirus relief package, Pelosi said lawmakers are at the “mercy of the virus in terms of when they have the Capitol physician and the sergeant-at-arms say that we can come together and our large number.”

A few minutes later, she said, “We're not coming back this week. Our plan is to come back the following week.”

The speaker said that lawmakers are focused on working and voting on the next relief package as soon as possible, and the timing could change. Earlier this week, Democratic leaders said that the House would reconvene next week, but they were later advised by the Capitol physician not to return because of the coronavirus threat.