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Fauci joins CDC chief on growing White House quarantine list

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Recovered Coronavirus Patient Reunites With Family After 5 Weeks In The Hospital
Isaias Perez Yanez, 59, is cheered on by hospital staff as he is released from Sharp Coronado Hospital after battling COVID-19 for five weeks, on May 8, 2020, in Coronado, California.Mario Tama / Getty Images

Three members of the White House coronavirus task force will quarantine for two weeks after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to self-quarantine for 14 days following exposure to an unidentified White House aide who tested positive for coronavirus. Food and Drug Administration Director Stephen Hahn is already self-quarantining, he told staff Friday.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he will follow a "modified" quarantine for the next two weeks after a "low-risk" exposure at the White House.

The news comes after two other people with access to the White House tested positive for COVID-19, including Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk filed a federal lawsuit Saturday against Alameda County in California challenging its precautionary shutdown of the company's main factory. The suit seeks to overturn the county's health orders, which continue to keep businesses like Tesla's plant closed despite the governor's gradual reopening of the state.

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

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UFC bout dropped from card after fighter tests positive

A middleweight mixed martial arts bout was dropped from the card of an Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Florida on Saturday after a fighter tested positive for COVID-19, UFC said in a statement.

The UFC 249 bout in Jacksonville between Uriah Hall and Jacaré Souza was nixed after Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive, the organization said.

"UFC’s medical team examined Souza and his two cornermen and found them to be currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19," it said. "As per UFC’s health and safety protocols, all three men have left the host hotel and will be self-isolating off premises."

None of the other athletes on Saturday's card were positive, promoters said. The pay-per-view competition without a live audience was one of three scheduled this month in Jacksonville.

Fauci joins CDC chief on growing White House quarantine list

Three members of the White House coronavirus task force will self-quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19, administration officials said Saturday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, will quarantine for 14 days. Stephen Hahn, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, has already gone into quarantine.

Fauci, who has emerged as the most high-profile public health expert on President Donald Trump's task force, will follow a “modified” quarantine for the next two weeks after “low-risk” exposure to a White House aide who tested positive for coronavirus, according to an administration official.

Fauci is expected to work mostly from home but planned to testify in person next week before the Senate. Hahn and Redfield will also testify but via videoconference.

Read the full story here.

Tesla sues California county over factory shutdown

Electric carmaker Tesla filed a federal lawsuit Saturday against Alameda County in California in a bid to restart its North American factory.

The suit seeks to overturn the county's health order, which goes further than Gov. Gavin Newsom's phased statewide reopening by continuing to shutter businesses like Tesla's plant in Fremont to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted Saturday that the the county's order on Monday was the "final straw" and that he was moving Tesla's headquarters from California to "Texas/Nevada immediately."

Read the whole story here.

Death toll grows to 3 for New York children with coronavirus-related syndrome

Two more children in New York state have died of an inflammatory syndrome believed to be related to the coronavirus, raising the toll to three after the death of a 5-year-old boy became the first such fatality in the U.S.

"Three young New Yorkers have died of what may be a COVID-related illness in children," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a news conference Saturday.

"We thought initially that young people were not affected by COVID-19," Cuomo said. "We're not so sure that that is the fact anymore."

Hospitals have identified at least 73 cases of the newly-identified condition, called pediatric multisymptom inflammatory syndrome, among toddlers and elementary-school-age children in New York state.

Nationwide, nearly 100 children have been diagnosed with the condition. At least seven states besides New York — California, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington — as well as Washington, D.C., have reported cases.

Read the full story here.

Trump: government will buy $3 billion of meat, produce from farmers

President Donald Trump announced Saturday the federal government would purchase $3 billion of food from farmers.

"Starting early next week, at my order, the USA will be purchasing, from our Farmers, Ranchers & Specialty Crop Growers, 3 Billion Dollars worth of Dairy, Meat & Produce for Food Lines & Kitchens," Trump tweeted.

 

Some farmers and dairy operators have been forced to dump their products amid the coronavirus pandemic as a shift to at-home consumption has disrupted the food supply chain. Farmers who typically service the restaurant industry have been left with no place to send their goods, even as many Americans suffering from the economic impact of the coronavirus struggle to provide food for their families. 

Yes, there is less pollution, and a map shows it

A London-based remote sensing engineer used air pollution data to create an interactive map visualizing the impact of coronavirus-related shutdowns on the environment.Simon Andersson

An engineer used air pollution data to create an interactive map visualizing the impact of coronavirus-related shutdowns on the environment.

Simon Andersson, a London-based engineer who works at the earth observation company ICEYE, says he started his efforts as a “weekend project” after he came across a post about air pollution from the European Space Agency.

His application, which uses the Google Earth Engine, shows the stark differences in air pollution from last year to this year. The changes are especially notable for cities like Paris, New Delhi, Madrid and London. Fewer cars on roads and reduced production from factories during the pandemic have led to unintended climate benefits such as cleaner air and clearer water.

“I hope that we can learn from this that a drastic change in pollution and emissions is possible, which is what is needed in order to mitigate the climate crisis,” Andersson said in an email. “I hope that we continue to see fewer cars on the road, but really I hope that we can replace a significant amount of travel in cities with cycling.”

Andersson plans to participate in a joint hackathon hosted by NASA and other space agencies scheduled for the end of the month devoted to finding coronavirus solutions.

Photo: Undertaker waits for body of COVID-19 victim

An undertaker awaits the arrival of the body of a COVID-19 victim at the Caju cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 8, 2020. Brazil has registered more than 135,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 9,146 deaths so far -- by far the highest figures in Latin America.Mauro Pimentel / AFP - Getty Images

FDA approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country.

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can rapidly detect fragments of virus proteins in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity, the FDA said in a statement.

The antigen test is the third type of test to be authorized by the FDA.

Currently, the only way to diagnose active COVID-19 is to test a patient’s nasal swab for the genetic material of the virus. While considered highly accurate, the tests can take hours and require expensive, specialized equipment mainly found at commercial labs, hospitals or universities.

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Churches to help New York with coronavirus testing for communities of color

New York state is partnering with churches to ramp up coronavirus testing for communities of color, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

"We must address the racial disparities of this pandemic, and meet the need where it is," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Saturday morning.

The state is working with nonprofit health care network Northwell Health to open more than 20 temporary testing sites in churches located in predominantly low-income areas as well as in communities of color starting on May 12.

While the overall number of coronavirus hospitalizations and intubations continue to decline in New York, the majority of new cases have been reported in minority communities, Cuomo said.

Black people make up 28 percent of new coronavirus hospitalizations in New York City, although they are 23 percent of the population, the governor said.

"Of the 21 zip codes with the most new COVID-19 hospitalizations, 20 have greater-than-average black and/or Latino populations," he said.

Face mask rules lead to violent confrontations

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