With new measures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Senators returned to Washington on Monday. Soda machines were taped off, tables were spread out and basketball-size circles painted on the ground reminded visitors how far apart six feet is. Lawmakers were scheduled to take their first vote Monday night.
At the U.S. Supreme Court, justices conducted their first-ever oral argument by conference call. The audio was streamed live — also a first — on news sites and is available on CSPAN.
A report by the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence service details China's efforts to cover up the depth of its coronavirus outbreak while stockpiling medical supplies. The details come one day after one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China must be held accountable for spreading the deadly virus.
More than 68,000 people have been sickened with the disease across the United States, according to an NBC News tally. New York state tops the list, with more than 25,117 deaths. More than 1 million Americans have contracted the virus.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. are starting to reopen.
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Fewer players will be allowed once Nevada casino gambling resumes
There will be fewer players at blackjack and craps tables at casinos once Nevada lifts its temporary ban on gambling, regulators have said in documents.
Casinos must keep crowds at 50 percent of the occupancy limit, according to documents released Friday by the state's gaming control board.
Chairs must be removed so people at gaming machines like slot machines don't sit next to each other, and blackjack tables should be limited to three players, craps to six and roulette and poker to four. Casinos must submit plans on spacing as well as sanitation and other measures. Those must include how things like dice, cards and chips will be disinfected.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak in March ordered the suspension of all gaming operations in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, and it is unclear when the ban will be lifted.
The governor last week said that casino gambling will not be in the first phase of reopening, which is expected to last at least two to three weeks. He has extended his stay-at-home directive until May 15, but eased some restrictions.
South Korea readying for second wave by setting up 1,000 clinics
South Korea's government will set up 1,000 clinics to treat potential coronavirus patients in the coming months in preparation for a possible second wave of COVID-19 this fall and winter, the vice health minister said.
"Clinics dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients will open so that we can detect and treat the patients early on," Kim Gang-lip, the vice health minister in charge of the government response to the COVID-19 crisis, said in a briefing. "Five hundred clinics using the public healthcare centers will open first, then private clinics will join them.”
There have been more than 10,800 confirmed cases in the country with 252 deaths, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. More than 9,200 of people with confirmed cases have been discharged from isolation.
South Korea on Monday announced plans to reopen schools starting next week, the Yonhap news agency reported. The education minister warned that the school reopening should not be considered as "the end of the coronavirus," and that teachers, parents and students should closely follow guidelines.
Report: By June 1, daily death the toll could reach 3,000
Businesses manage expectations, safety while reopening
Businesses in several states reopened their doors Monday, hopeful to bring back customers while managing expectations and safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Monday marked another key date for states that are beginning to partly lift some social distancing restrictions in a test of how to safely reignite the economy during the pandemic, which has caused almost 1.2 million known cases in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 deaths.
Violent encounter in New York City prompts concerns about unequal policing of social distancing
A violent encounter between a New York City police officer and a bystander that police said began as an attempt to enforce social distancing rules has prompted concerns about unequal policing.
New York City's public advocate Jumaane Williams posted pictures on Twitter on Sunday — one of swarms of white people sitting in parks and three images from what appeared to depict encounters between police and people of color.
One of the images was a still from a video captured Saturday that has been widely shared online and showed a plainclothes police officer, who was not wearing a mask, pointing a Taser at bystanders on Avenue D in the East Village in Manhattan. NBC News has not been able to verify what happened before or after the events shown on the video. The video also depicted the officer, who has been identified by The New York Times and other media outlets as Francisco Garcia, punching and slapping one man to the ground.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter Sunday night that he was "really disturbed" by the video and that the behavior he saw in it "is simply not acceptable."
U.S Attorney warns landlords against pressuring tenants for sexual favors
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Southern California warned landlords that any attempt to solicit sexual favors from tenants strapped for cash "will result in an indictment."
Some residents who are unable to make rent have reported that landlords have asked for sexual favors in exchange for delaying rent payments, U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said in a release Monday. Brewer said it "is not only despicable -- it is illegal" to abuse vulnerable tenants this way.
Brewer's office said it will be using all available resources to investigate sexual harassment in housing.
NBC News reported last month that housing advocates worried such a tactic might be employed against some of the millions of Americans who have lost their ability to pay rent during the pandemic.
"We've already seen that the pandemic is exacerbating a lot of systemic issues and sexual harassment targeted at tenants by landlords is likely to be one of these issues," Renee Williams, a senior staff attorney at the National Housing Law Project, told NBC News in April.
'Virtual prom' lets high school seniors dance the night away
They saved money on limo and tux rentals, and maintaining distance on the dance floor took on a different meaning.
But a "virtual prom" hosted Saturday on Instagram Live gave more than 500 high school seniors a chance to celebrate the class of 2020 and participate in a rite of passage, albeit remotely.
The virtual WE ARE WELL PROM featured music and dancing, along with a digital red carpet complete with celebrity appearances from stars such as Netflix's Logan Allen and actor Max Jenkins; the event was DJed by DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Justice Department backs pastor challenging Va. Gov. Northam's social distancing order
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department is siding with a rural Virginia church that sued the state's governor after the pastor was charged with violating a social distancing order.
The government filed court papers Sunday in support of Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Chincoteague on Virginia's eastern shore, which said the state improperly discriminated by insisting that the church permit no more than 10 people to attend services, while allowing businesses to accommodate larger groups.
"The Commonwealth cannot treat religious gatherings less favorably than other similar secular gatherings," the Justice Department said in its submission.
White House seeks to limit congressional testimony for at least a month
No members of the White House coronavirus task force or their top deputies "may accept hearing invitations" from Congress during the month of May, the White House Office of Legislative Affairs told congressional staff directors in new guidance Monday.
The guidance, a copy of which was provided to NBC News, also seeks to limit the number of coronavirus-related hearings administration officials are called to attend.
“For the month of May, no Task Force members, or key deputies of Task Force members, may accept hearing invitations,” the guidance says, but adds that some exceptions may be made by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The guidance comes after the White House blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and current member of the task force, from testifying before the Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday. He is being allowed to testify in a hearing before the Republican-controlled Senate on May 12. That testimony before the committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is still scheduled to happen. Committee chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, said the panel will also hear from other task force members, including the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
"We’ll be doing our oversight responsibilities and we’ll be looking ahead to see what we have to do to keep Americans safe as we go back to work and go back to school,” Alexander said.
The guidance also says that “no more than one COVID-related hearing should be agreed to with the department’s primary House and Senate authorizing committee and appropriations subcommittee in the month of May” involving the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department —a total of "no more than four COVID-related hearings department-wide.”
Fever, fatigue, fear: For some recovering COVID-19 patients, weeks of illness, uncertainty
Kate Porter has had a fever nearly every day for 50 days. She can't shake the extreme exhaustion that hit when she became infected with the coronavirus nearly two months ago.
The longevity of her symptoms are unlike anything she's ever experienced. "I know it sounds crazy," Porter said, "but is this permanent?"