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Trump says he takes hydroxychloroquine as U.S. death toll tops 90,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Rome
A woman wearing a face shield drinks coffee at a cafe as Italy eases some of its lockdown measures in Rome on May 18, 2020.Yara Nardi / Reuters

President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted. The FDA has warned the drug can cause serious heart problems.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll has topped 90,800, according to NBC News' count. More than 1.5 million cases have been confirmed in the country.Globally, more than 318,000 have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The number of deaths in the U.S. is expected to hit 100,000 by June 1, according to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, China pledged an extra $2 billion to deal with the coronavirus crisis at the World Health Assembly, which was held virtually. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that the World Health Organization's "failure cost many lives and it must not happen again."

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.

This live coverage has ended. Continue to May 19 coronavirus news.

929d ago / 7:02 AM UTC

Mexico's COVID-19 death toll could be three times official count

MEXICO CITY — A registry of death certificates in Mexico City suggests there have been 4,577 cases in which doctors mentioned coronavirus or COVID-19 as a possible or probable cause of death, more than three times the official count.

The federal government acknowledges only 1,332 confirmed deaths in Mexico City due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Mexicans Against Corruption said in a report Monday it obtained access to a database of death certificates issued in Mexico City between March 18 and May 12. It showed that in explanatory notes attached to 4,577 death certificates, doctors included the words “SARS,” “COV2,” “COV,” “Covid 19,” or “new coronavirus.”

The virus’ technical name is SARS-CoV-2. The notes the group counted included terms such as “suspected,” “probable,” or “possible” when describing the virus’ role in the deaths. In 3,209 certificates, it was listed as a suspected contributing factor along with other causes of death, like pneumonia, respiratory failure, septic shock or multiple organ failure.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has acknowledged there are more virus-related deaths than officially reported, and has said a special commission will review the death figures. Her office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the new report.

929d ago / 6:24 AM UTC

Thailand's travel ban impacts the country's elephants

929d ago / 6:07 AM UTC

Trump admin taps startup to build first stockpile of key drug ingredients

Seeking to secure the nation's supply of critical medications, the Trump administration has signed a $354 million contract that would create the nation's first strategic stockpile of key ingredients needed to make medicines.

The agreement was signed Monday with Phlow Corp., a generic drug maker based in Virginia. According to a news release to be made public Tuesday, the project will use federal funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority under the Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal is twofold: to enable the U.S. to manufacture essential drugs at risk of shortage and to create a reserve of active pharmaceutical ingredients to reduce the dependence on foreign suppliers.

Read the full story here

929d ago / 5:25 AM UTC

Essential workers balance low pay, COVID-19 worries while staying open for America

929d ago / 5:07 AM UTC

Trump threatens to make WHO funding freeze permanent

President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to make the freeze on U.S. funding for the World Health Organization permanent.

He also laid out allegations of "missteps" in the way the agency responded to the coronavirus in a letter he said he sent to the WHO's leader.

The letter, which was posted to Trump's Twitter account, is addressed to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It accuses the organization of an "alarming lack of independence from the People's Republic of China."

Read the full story here

929d ago / 4:29 AM UTC

Texas schools will be allowed to open for summer classes

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday eased more restrictions on restaurants and will allow summer school as soon as June 1.

Restaurants can now have up to 50 percent capacity and summer schools can reopen if they choose as long as social distancing and other regulations are maintained, the governor said. Still, he urged Texans to follow rules.

Also Monday, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said that all Masses at the Holy Ghost Church have been canceled after a parish priest died on May 13, and after five of seven people he shared a residence with tested positive for COVID-19.

The priest, Donnell Kirchner, 79, was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home, and the archdiocese said it was not clear if he was tested for COVID-19. But the others were tested, and this past weekend five of the seven who he shared a residence with tested positive, the archdiocese said.

Two of those who tested positive are priests who have been active in celebrating Masses at the church since it reopened May 2. The archdiocese said that crowds have been limited but encouraged anyone who attended Mass to monitor themselves for symptoms and to get tested as a precaution. 

929d ago / 3:26 AM UTC
929d ago / 2:37 AM UTC

Northam to open Virginia Beach in time for holiday weekend

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is relaxing restrictions on beachgoers in Virginia Beach ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Northam said Monday he is allowing the beaches to open under modified conditions including sunbathing and surfing starting Friday. Northam said there will still be a ban on group sports, alcohol use, electronic speakers, and tents. And beach parking will be capped at 50 percent capacity.

Last week, most of Virginia began Northam’s first phase of a gradual reopening plan, which kept in place beach closures except for exercise and fishing.

Those rules were not strictly enforced and warm weather last weekend drew large crowds to the Virginia Beach oceanfront, the state’s most popular beach.

The governor sternly warned that he could close the beaches again if his new rules aren’t followed.

929d ago / 1:48 AM UTC

University of Notre Dame plans to reopen campus to students in August

The University of Notre Dame plans to allow students back to campus in August after all in-person classes were canceled in March because to the coronavirus epidemic, the school's president said Monday.

There will be "comprehensive testing for COVID-19, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation protocols, social distancing and mask requirements, and enhanced cleaning of all campus spaces," the university in South Bend, Indiana, said in a statement.

Last week, the California State University System said that it plans to offer most of its courses for the fall virtually.

Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins said in a letter to the campus community that reopening the campus is like "assembling a small city of people" from all over the U.S. and the world.

"We recognize the challenge, but we believe it is one we can meet," Jenkins wrote. The university president cited remarks from Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb that he hopes to have the state "back on track" and on its final stage of reopening by July 4. That stage allows large events like conventions and sporting events, although with social distancing.

 

929d ago / 1:24 AM UTC

130,000 autoworkers return to factories

More than 130,000 autoworkers returned to factories across the U.S. for the first time in nearly two months Monday in one of the biggest steps yet to restart American industry.

Detroit’s Big Three — Fiat Chrysler, General Motors and Ford — as well as Honda and Toyota all had screening procedures in place at dozens of factories that reopened from the Great Lakes states south to Tennessee and Texas and out west at Tesla’s factory near the San Francisco Bay.

929d ago / 12:29 AM UTC

Do you love your grandma enough to be infected with coronavirus?

After forming in late March, a nonprofit called 1 Day Sooner has heard from more than 20,000 volunteers willing to be infected with COVID-19 to speed the development of a vaccine.

929d ago / 12:03 AM UTC

Tech workers grade states on ability to test and trace

A group of mostly tech workers is grading states on their ability to carry out comprehensive programs to "test and trace" for the coronavirus, a primary strategy of public health officials responding to the global pandemic. 

Current and former employees of tech companies including DoorDash and Facebook are posting the grades along with supporting data at testandtrace.com in an effort to push states to prepare by deploying enough tests and hiring more people to carry out contact tracing. Others from outside tech, including a writer for Bloomberg Opinion, are also part of the group. 

According to their grades, six states are fully prepared with sufficient tests and enough people to trace the recent contacts of new infections: Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Vermont. 

The group defines test and trace as "identifying people who have come into contact with an infected person (contact tracing), testing them, and then isolating them if they’re sick."

929d ago / 11:46 PM UTC

Italy reopens shops, bars after 10-week lockdown

Cafes, restaurants and bars are back open in much of Italy as lockdown restrictions continue to ease. 

929d ago / 11:05 PM UTC

Wisconsin governor says Democratic convention will likely be virtual

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, said Monday that the Democratic National Committee will likely host a virtual convention amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I want the Democratic convention to happen. But I also want to ensure that there isn't stress on the public health system, nor put the delegates and others that come to the convention in harm's way," Evers said. "I would believe it's likely that it would be virtual but I want to look at the data before I do any recommendation."

The DNC initially planned to have the nominating convention in July in Milwaukee but it was postponed until August due to COVID-19 to give planners more time to determine the best structure for the event. Evers has also had his emergency powers tested in Wisconsin by the GOP legislature and after the state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home order last week. 

929d ago / 10:14 PM UTC

Trump admin asks nursing homes to get all residents, staff tested before reopening, though many can't do so

The Trump administration said in press release Monday that before a nursing home can reopen it recommends — but does not require — that all residents and staff at the facility should get a diagnostic test to see if they are positive for COVID-19.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also recommended in the press release that states should conduct inspections prior to the reopening of a long-term care facility, and recommended that nursing homes delay reopening until their is a "sustained decrease" in coronavirus cases.

NBC News reported last week that while the White House was asking states to universally test all nursing home residents and staff over the coming two weeks, many states remain unable to do so, including Vice President Mike Pence's home state of Indiana.

929d ago / 9:07 PM UTC

Dropkick Murphys, Bruce Springsteen to livestream show from empty Fenway Park

The Dropkick Murphys will perform a live concert from an empty Fenway Park, the band announced on Monday

The show, dubbed “Streaming Outta Fenway,” a play on the group’s song “Shipping Up to Boston,” will be streamed live on the band’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch pages on May 29 at 6 p.m. EST. Bruce Springsteen will also join from a remote location. Together, they will play a Dropkick Murphys song and a Springsteen song. 

In a post on its website, the group said it is the first band in history to play a full show in an empty sports stadium and the first to play on the dirt and grass of Fenway Park’s infield. The concert, which is free of charge, will raise money for Boston Resiliency Fund, Habitat For Humanity and Feeding America. 

929d ago / 9:06 PM UTC

Trump says he's taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19

President Donald Trump on Monday said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an unproven treatment for COVID-19 that he has vigorously promoted.

“A lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it,” Trump said at the White House. “I happen to be taking it, I happen to be taking it… I’m taking it hydroxychloroquine, right now.”

The president said he has been taking the drug for “a couple weeks” and that it was prescribed by the White House doctor. The FDA has warned against its use for COVID-19 outside of a hospital setting due to a risk of serious heart problems.

Read the full story here. 

929d ago / 8:38 PM UTC

Oregon governor vows to appeal after court strikes down coronavirus executive orders

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown vowed to appeal a court ruling to the state's Supreme Court on Monday after a judge ruled her executive orders on social distancing guidelines "null and void."

The ruling by Baker County Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff claimed Brown's order was invalidated because she failed to have it approved by the state legislature following 28 days, according to NBC affiliate KGW. The suit was initially filed by a group of churches who claimed Brown's stay-at-home order was unconstitutional for infringing on a citizen's right to worship.

Brown stood by her actions in a Twitter thread Monday, and said that the "science behind my executive orders hasn’t changed." 

"It is irresponsible to dismiss the health risks and science behind our measures to stop COVID-19," Brown said. "We would be faced with the prospect of another mass outbreak without the tools that have proven to be effective in protecting our families, neighbors & loved ones from this disease."

929d ago / 8:00 PM UTC

Professional sports in California could resume in June, governor says

If coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in California, professional sports may be given the green light to return in the state as soon as June, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

Newsom's tentative announcement came while discussing hopes to reopen the state's economy, assuming that California continues its downward trend of cases. The governor said he hopes to allow non-essential retailers to open in-store shopping across the state rather than on a regional basis. 

"In addition to that, sporting events, pro sports in that first week of June without spectators and modifications, and very prescriptive conditions can continue to move forward," Newsom said. 

NASCAR resumed its season on Sunday without spectators at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, the league's first race since March. Other countries have also allowed some professional sports to continue without fans in the stands, such as Germany's Bundesliga soccer league and South Korea's Korean Baseball Organization. 

929d ago / 7:17 PM UTC

70 cases of COVID-19 at French schools days after re-opening

Image: Children social distance in a classroom at the Saint-Tronc Castelroc primary school in Marseille, France, on May 14, 2020.
Children social distance in a classroom at the Saint-Tronc Castelroc primary school in Marseille, France, on May 14, 2020.Daniel Cole / AP

PARIS — Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing of the coronavirus lockdown, there’s been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools.

Some lower grades in schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 junior high students went back to the classroom Monday as further restrictions were loosened by the government. The move initially spelled relief: the end of homeschooling for hundreds of thousands of exhausted French parents, many of whom were also working from home.

Read the full story here. 

929d ago / 6:55 PM UTC
930d ago / 6:06 PM UTC

Ousted HHS whistleblower Bright reports to work in new role

Lawyers for Dr. Rick Bright, a former top Health and Human Services official, told NBC News Monday that he has reported to the National Institutes of Health to begin his new assignment.

“Following the required onboarding process, he is prepared to begin working when NIH is ready,” his attorneys said.

Bright has said he was shoved out of a key coronavirus response job for objecting to "efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections." He was transferred to a role within the National Institutes of Health, which is part of HHS. Bright alleges that his reassignment from serving as head of the federal government’s vaccine agency to a lower-profile role at the NIH was an act of retaliation by the Trump administration for raising his concerns. 

He filed a whistleblower complaint earlier this month charging "an abuse of authority or gross mismanagement" at HHS and and unloaded on the Trump administration's coronavirus response in testimony to Congress last week. Bright had been taking sick leave since filing his whistleblower complaint.

930d ago / 5:52 PM UTC

Maryland restaurant creates social distancing tables out of inner tubes

A Maryland restaurant is planning to use specially-designed tables to comply with social distancing guidelines once it is able to re-open. 

Fish Tales in Ocean City, Maryland said the tables, made out of inner tubes, were designed by Revolution Event Design and Production, a special events company based in Baltimore. Videos posted on social media show Fish Tales staff members wearing the tables around their waists while rolling down a pier near the restaurant. 

Restaurants in Maryland are currently closed for in-person dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

930d ago / 5:39 PM UTC

Italy announces lowest COVID-19 death toll since March 9

Italy has reached its lowest daily toll of deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the lockdown on March 9. Only 99 fatalities and 451 new cases were reported during the weekend, the Civil Protection said in a statement. Italy's total death toll since February 21, when the outbreak started, now stands at 32,007, official figures show.

The European country reopened some of its business Monday - shops, restaurants and churches - as its 10-week lockdown eases. "We could wait for a vaccine, but we can’t afford it," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Saturday. "We have to accept [the risks], otherwise we will never be able to restart."

930d ago / 5:04 PM UTC

Wall Street soars as vaccine news prompts hope of economic recovery

Wall Street soared Monday after U.S.-based drugmaker Moderna said it has seen "positive" results from its first human trial for a vaccine against COVID-19, prompting hope among investors that economic recovery could be on the horizon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by around 830 points by midday Monday, with the S&P 500 notching up a gain of by 3 percent and the Nasdaq higher by 2.3 percent.

Tourism and airline stocks also rose, with Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United seeing double-digit gains. MGM Resorts, Carnival Cruise Line and Disney also rallied, on the possibility of a return to travel and entertainment.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has emphasized that full economic recovery “may have to await the arrival of a vaccine.”

Read the full story here. 

930d ago / 5:04 PM UTC

He thought the coronavirus was 'a fake crisis.' Then he contracted it.

Brian Hitchens
Brian Hitchens.WPTV

A Florida man who thought the coronavirus was "a fake crisis" has changed his mind after he and his wife contracted COVID-19.

Brian Hitchens, a rideshare driver who lives in Jupiter, downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus in Facebook posts in March and April.

"I'm honoring what our government says to do during this epidemic but I do not fear this virus because I know that my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be," he wrote in a post on April 2. "Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords."

In mid-April, Hitchens, 46, began documenting his and his wife's health on Facebook.

"Been home sick for over a week. Both my wife and I home sick," he wrote in a post on April 18. "I've got no energy and all I want to do is sleep."

Read the full story here.

930d ago / 5:01 PM UTC

Patients petition health groups to revise COVID-19 recovery guidelines

Patients who've endured ongoing COVID-19 symptoms are working to raise awareness of the long-lasting effects of the illness by petitioning public health groups. 

A grassroots effort was published Monday on change.org, targeting the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.K.'s National Health Service, to "revise the recovery guidelines to reflect a more accurate recovery time to ensure patients are receiving the appropriate care, attention, and respect during their difficult road to recovery."

Some patients, even those who were never sick enough to be hospitalized, have reported fever, fatigue and other symptoms for as many as 10 to 12 weeks.

Some public health groups and physicians have begun to discuss setting up registries of people who have recovered, or who are still recovering from COVID-19, to get a better sense of long-term symptoms. There is no indication yet, though, when such a registry would be established. 

930d ago / 4:48 PM UTC

China's Xi announces $2B for coronavirus response as WHO faces calls for investigation

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Tensions surrounding the global handling of the coronavirus pandemic came to a head at the World Health Organization's assembly Monday, with China pledging an extra $2 billion to deal with the crisis and the United States blaming the WHO for a failed response that "cost many lives."

Speaking by video link, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the 73rd World Health Assembly that his country's funding package would aid "economic and social development" in developing countries hit badly by COVID-19.

That contrasts with President Donald Trump's move to withdraw donations from the WHO, which would mean stepping back as the organization's biggest financial backer. He accuses the WHO of helping China cover up the pandemic's early stages and worsening its spread, which both the WHO and Beijing deny.

The WHO assembly, being held virtually for the first time, is officially focused on international cooperation on vaccinestreatments and testing to fight the virus.

Read more here.

930d ago / 4:39 PM UTC

N.Y. Gov. Cuomo says he has been encouraging sports teams to play without fans

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he has asked major sports teams to begin planning to play without fans. 

"New York state will help those major sport franchises to do just that," Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. "Hockey, basketball, baseball, football, whoever can reopen, we're a ready, willing and able partner."

930d ago / 4:33 PM UTC

Photo: Drinking coffee with a face shield

Image: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Rome
A woman enjoys a coffee in Rome on Monday as Italy eases some of its lockdown measures.Yara Nardi / Reuters
930d ago / 3:53 PM UTC

India threatened by cyclone amid coronavirus pandemic

Image: INDIA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Police personnel and officials escort a man tested positive for COVID-19 in an alley during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the coronavirus, in Siliguri, West Bengal State, India on May 18, 2020.Diptendu Dutta / AFP - Getty Images

BHUBANESWAR, India — India began evacuating thousands of villagers and halted port operations ahead of a cyclone expected to hit its east coast this week, officials said on Monday, piling pressure on emergency services grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The cyclone, expected to make landfall on Wednesday, comes as India eases the world's longest lockdown, imposed in April against the virus, which has infected more than 96,169 people and killed 3,029.

The states of Odisha and West Bengal sent disaster management teams to move families from homes of mud and thatch to places of shelter from the severe cyclonic storm, Amphan, which is expected to gain strength in the next 12 hours.

Read more here.

930d ago / 3:47 PM UTC

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he tested negative for COVID-19

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he tested negative for COVID-19. 

"It is peace of mind," he said.

Cuomo received a nasal swab test for the coronavirus during his daily press briefing Sunday. 

"There is no reason why people shouldn't be getting tested," he said Monday. "If you have any symptoms, get a test."

930d ago / 3:25 PM UTC

Tennessee couple adopts teenage son over Zoom

A Tennessee couple adopted their 17-year-old son via the Zoom video conferencing platform after courts moved hearings online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chad and Paul Beanblossom, who reside in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, first met their son Michael on October 30, 2019, the couple told NBC affiliate WBIR. By that time, Michael had spent the past 5 ½ years in nine different foster homes. But that was about to change. 

On Friday, May 1, the couple officially made Michael a permanent part of their family, with the adoption process finalized over Zoom. In a video posted on Chad Beanblossom’s Facebook page, the three embrace as family and friends give their congratulations. 

"I think he finally got to see we were in it with him for the long run," Chad Beanblossom told WBIR. “Regardless of the kid's age, they want love. They want family. They want normalcy.”

930d ago / 3:17 PM UTC

New York City won't hit phase one of reopening until at least June

While parts of New York state last week entered the "first phase" in a process of slowly reopening, New York City likely won't see that phase until June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. 

De Blasio said the city looked to be on track to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo's criteria to allow very limited businesses like construction, manufacturing, and landscaping and recreation like drive-in movies and tennis in “the first half of June.”

The city only met three of the seven criteria as of Monday. 

Meanwhile, de Blasio reversed an earlier decision and said New York City beaches would open, but that swimming, parties, gatherings and sports would not be allowed. He also said New Yorkers should not travel to the beach on public transportation.

If the rules are not followed, the city is preparing fencing to “close off the beaches.” 

930d ago / 2:47 PM UTC

Camps won't look 'typical this summer,' directors say as they release new safety guidelines

As thousands of camps across the country weigh whether to open this summer, the YMCA and the American Camp Association have released best practices to keep children safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The detailed guidelines include precautions such as having children wear masks when appropriate, engaging in smaller group activities than usual and regularly sanitizing sports equipment — if they decide to operate.

Read more here.

930d ago / 2:45 PM UTC

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine shows positive results, moves to larger studies

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown it can prompt an immune response in the human body, and was also found to be safe and well-tolerated in a small group of patients.

Moderna, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that manufactured the vaccine, announced the encouraging early results from its phase 1 clinical trial Monday morning. The drug is now being tested in larger studies.

The company reported that eight patients who received two doses of the vaccine developed neutralizing antibodies — which are believed to be key in providing protection from the virus — at levels seen in patients who've recovered from COVID-19.

Read more here.

930d ago / 2:24 PM UTC

Fearing Trump's green card policy, families with immigrants may opt out of coronavirus care

Image: Immigrants participate in a naturalization ceremony to become new U.S. citizens in Los Angeles
Immigrants participate in a naturalization ceremony to become new U.S. citizens in Los Angeles on March 20, 2018.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters file

Families who have at least one member without a green card are fearful of using public benefit programs because of a Trump immigration policy, creating concern on whether they will also avoid publicly available coronavirus testing and treatment.

The Urban Institute study found persistence of the chilling effect caused by the Trump administration’s public charge rule that expands the criteria for denying legal permanent residence applications based on past or potential use of government benefit programs.

Read more here.

930d ago / 1:57 PM UTC

Many Americans are unaware of the coronavirus-related financial assistance that's available to them

Many unemployed people may not be aware of the coronavirus-related financial assistance that is available to them.

A whopping 80 percent of unemployed Americans say they haven’t reached out for relief measures, according to Credit Karma.

They think they don’t qualify. They’re overwhelmed by all the information. They don’t even know where to start.

These are the top reasons for not accessing assistance, according to the financial advice website, which surveyed 1,037 U.S. adults in April about their understanding of government relief measures related to COVID-19.

The stimulus checks are the top story, but you may be able to access other types of relief.

Here’s what else you may qualify for.

930d ago / 1:56 PM UTC
930d ago / 1:50 PM UTC

930d ago / 1:38 PM UTC

From touchless payments to 'quarantined' returns, the retail experience may be forever changed

Eager shoppers will soon be able to browse their local retail stores as states continue to roll back stay-at-home orders. But instead of testing a swatch of lipsticks at a makeup counter or waiting in line to try on summer shorts, customers should expect “virtual try-on tools,” styling via app, shuttered fitting rooms, and returns that are quarantined for 72 hours.

With no vaccine for the coronavirus on the market, the role of the retail store has abruptly pivoted from a high-touch experience to safety and practicality as states begin to reopen nonessential businesses.

Aside from new sanitation practices, stores such as Gap are temporarily closing restrooms and quarantining returns for 24 hours before putting them back on the sales floor​. Nordstrom is keeping tried and returned merchandise off the sales floor for 72 hours. Gap and Kohl’s are also temporarily closing fitting rooms.

Several retailers have adopted Kroger's strategy of adding space between merchandise in their stores and designating certain shopping hours for high-risk customers.

But with the virus still not contained, some shoppers are avoiding leisure shopping altogether.

“They are ensuring that customers wear PPE or follow social distancing but I don't see a need to shop if there is no need,” said Michell Tinoco, a college student who recovered from the virus. “I will only go to a store in dire circumstances.”

930d ago / 1:27 PM UTC

Korean soccer team apologizes for apparently setting up sex dolls in stands

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Image: Mannequins sit in seats to "cheer on" South Korea's FC Seoul during a match against Gwangju FC on May 17, 2020.
Mannequins sit in seats to "cheer on" South Korea's FC Seoul during a match against Gwangju FC on May 17, 2020.Yonhap / via Reuters

South Korean soccer club FC Seoul apologized, expressing "sincere remorse," after it was accused of placing sex dolls in empty seats during a match.

Pro baseball and soccer have returned to Korea with leagues playing in empty stadiums until the risks of coronavirus infections are lowered. With players competing in front of empty seats, some soccer and baseball teams have been trying to create a festive and humorous atmosphere by filling stands with huge team banners, pictures of mask-wearing fans, or even vegetables.

FC Seoul said it was attempting to add “an element of fun,” during Sunday’s 1-0 win over visiting Gwangju FC, with the mannequins provided by Dalkom,  

The club didn’t directly address criticism of why it chose to work with Dalkom, which does manufacture sex dolls, according to the company’s website, or why nearly all the mannequins at the stadium were female in design.

930d ago / 11:59 AM UTC

Dutch health officials release new COVID-19 sex guidelines

The Dutch government has released new guidelines on sex during COVID-19, suggesting "sex with yourself or with others at a distance" among other recommendations published on its health ministry's website amid the relaxation of some lockdown rules. 

The new guidance, which was issued on by the Dutch National Institute for Health and Environment on May 16, acknowledges that it is "logical" for single people to seek physical contact, but advises minimizing risks by picking just one partner and discussing "how best to do this together.” Couples are reminded to avoid sex with partners who have been self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms, with officials going as far to suggest safer at-distance alternatives.

Lockdown rules in the Netherlands are being relaxed countrywide as part of a four-phase plan announced by Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the end of April. COVID-19 has caused 5,680 deaths in the country so far, with 43,995 cases reported, according to John Hopkins University.

930d ago / 11:56 AM UTC

Time off school could reduce kids' career earnings by 4%, research group warns

A research group in Germany warned Monday that students whose school years are significantly shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic risk lower incomes throughout their career.

The analysis by the Muncih-based ifo Institute showed that kids who lose a third of study time in one school year will on average receive around 3 to 4 percent less income over their professional lives. By looking at previously shortened school years, because of strikes and other interruptions, the ifo Institute found that individual student's study habits vary greatly during the downtime, with some barely studying at all.

"We must do all we can to ensure that all children and young people start studying again immediately — whether they're going to school or not," Ludger Woessmann, director of the ifo Center for the Economics of Education, wrote in the research group's monthly journal, ifo Schnelldienst.

930d ago / 11:52 AM UTC

Blood donations in five Southern states to be tested for coronavirus antibodies

Blood donations given through the not-for-profit blood center OneBlood will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies in a five Southern states, the organization announced on Monday. 

Donors in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama will be tested using an FDA-approved method that will indicate whether the donor's immune system has produced antibodies for the virus. It's thought that many people may have been exposed to the virus without ever showing symptoms. Donors will find out the results 48 hours after donating.

"In addition to donors learning if they have the antibody, OneBlood will be identifying additional people who can be COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors," said OneBlood Senior Vice President Susan Forbes. Convalescent plasma can help treat people critically ill with coronavirus.

930d ago / 11:36 AM UTC

Arnold Schwarzenegger reassures Norwegians they'll 'be back'

Arnold Schwarzenegger reassured Norwegians on Sunday that their national celebrations will eventually "be back" as the country held a socially distanced Constitution Day holiday. 

"We must live with limitations, rules and measures in order to take back the holiday as we know it," said Prime Minister Erne Solberg in a video address posted on Facebook, referring to the cancellation of traditional festivities that celebrate the signing of the country's constitution in 1814.

"For that reason, I have a message from someone who is very good at taking things back," teased Solberg. 

Wearing a stetson and sitting next to an American flag, Schwarzenegger reassured the Norwegian public that children's parades, sack races and everything they loved about their national day "will all be back" as long as they obeyed social distancing and remembered to wash their hands. 

Schwarzenegger, born in Austria, is known for his "Terminator" movies and as a former governor of California.

930d ago / 11:29 AM UTC

Egypt uses coronavirus to hold hundreds in pretrial detention without review, rights group says

Egyptian authorities have been holding hundreds, and most likely thousands, of people in pretrial detention without review since mid-March, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. 

Authorities have used the coronavirus to renew many pretrial detentions more or less automatically without hearings, the rights group said. 

“Covid-19 has peeled away the last fig leaf covering Egypt’s grossly unjust pretrial detention system by eliminating even a pretense of independent review,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

930d ago / 11:06 AM UTC

Kuwait warns that no face covering could mean a trip to jail

Image: Mask-clad residents walk in Kuwait City on May 12.
Mask-clad residents walk in Kuwait City on May 12.Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

People found not to be covering their nose and mouth in Kuwait could go to jail for up to three months, the country's health ministry has said. 

In a statement on Twitter on Sunday, the ministry said those flouting the rules could also be fined a maximum penalty of the equivalent of more than $16,000. 

There are 14,850 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kuwait, a country with a population of around four million, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. The country has also seen 112 coronavirus-related deaths. 

930d ago / 10:39 AM UTC

New coronavirus cases in Moscow decline as they grow outside the capital

Russia on Monday reported the lowest growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases since May 1, charting just 8,926 new infections and marking the third consecutive day that growth has been recorded below 10,000 per day. 

The decline in numbers has sparked hope that Russia may have passed its peak infection rate, however it is still too soon to say. Last week, with case numbers still growing, President Vladimir Putin called on Russian regions to begin easing some elements of their coronavirus restrictions.

Close examination of Russia's official data shows that the decline in daily confirmed cases is mostly centered in Moscow, which charted just 3,238 cases Monday, while the rest of the country continues to see consistent day-on-day growth in the mid to high 5,000 range. Currently the lockdown in Moscow is scheduled to be lifted on May 31. On Friday, the city launched an ambitious antibody testing program to help inform next steps.

930d ago / 10:21 AM UTC

WHO faces global call for investigation at general assembly

More than 100 health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic during the organization's 73rd general assembly on Monday.

The video conference is officially focused on international cooperation on vaccinestreatments and testing to fight the virus, but has already been marred by an intensifying blame game over the WHO's handling of the outbreak.

Several heads of state, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and China’s Xi Jinping, are scheduled to address the assembly, which is also expected to hear a resolution calling for an investigation into the origins of the virus and review of the WHO’s response.

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