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Ongoing stay-at-home orders prompted President Donald Trump on Friday to deem houses of worship essential. He threatened to override governors who have ordered churches, synagogues and mosques not to reopen in the coming days.
With the coronavirus threat looming, the long Memorial Day weekend won't look anything like years past.
Meanwhile, the nation's most populous county is getting ready to reopen by the next big summer holiday - July 4.
- 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. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
Arizona woman, 18, arrested in Hawaii after allegedly violating quarantine
An Arizona woman visiting Hawaii was arrested after allegedly violating the state's mandatory order that tourists and returning residents self-isolate for 14 days.
Alyza Alder, 18, of Gilbert, was taken into custody on Wednesday at a fast-food restaurant in Laie where she was working, according to a press release from the governor's office. She's being held on a $2,000 bail and faces charges of violating the order and for "unsworn falsification to authority," according to the release.
Alder arrived in O‘ahu on May 6 and days later began posting photos of herself at beaches in Laie and Hauula. Investigators said that during the time she should have been under quarantine, Alder got a job at a local restaurant.
Class of 2020 shares what it's like to graduate during a pandemic
Graduation season is full of traditions: caps and gowns, signs and advertisements, "Pomp and Circumstance."
However, this graduation season is unlike any other for both high school and college seniors as they prepare to celebrate their milestones amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
NBC News’ Social Newsgathering team spoke with 10 high school and 10 college graduates about what it's like to graduate during the pandemic, and how their celebrations are different than they initially planned.
Students like Freja-Jane Kjeldseth of Yankton High School in South Dakota tried to remain positive despite changing plans and a cloud of uncertainty about the future. “Keep your head up, keep a positive mindset because it sucks, but it’s a unique experience," she said. "Nobody else has ever had this kind of thing...and it’s a story you can tell your kids and grandkids when you're old."
Trump announces new CDC guidelines for places of worship
WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to release guidelines Friday for reopening places of worship amid the coronavirus crisis that were to include recommendations for face coverings, basic hygiene and avoiding shared materials like hymnals, said a White House official.
“Our big push has been, don’t be overly prescriptive,” the official said. “And keep in mind, these are recommendations.”
The guidelines were being finalized and circulated around the White House ahead of President Donald Trump's announcement Friday.
Read more here.
Two cases of rare COVID-19-linked illness in Washington state
Two children in Washington State were diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly COVID-19-linked condition.
The illness is known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C.
The children, one under the age of 10, are being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital, state officials announced Friday.
Those diagnosed with MIS-C are under 21 with a fever, laboratory evidence of inflammation, and severe illness, with no other plausible diagnoses, who've tested positive for COVID-19 or exposure to a confirmed case. Hundreds of children and young adults have been diagnosed with MIS-C in the United States.
Gay beach destinations plan for summer, with pandemic in mind
From New York’s Fire Island to Massachusetts’ Provincetown, the Northeast’s LGBTQ beach destinations are planning for a new normal this summer.
Another large study finds no benefit to hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine does not help COVID-19 patients, and indeed may increase deaths, according to a large, international study published Friday in The Lancet.
The research is the latest to show the drug — which President Donald Trump this week said he was taking as a preventive strategy — can lead to potentially deadly heart problems.
This might be the best weekend ever to buy a new car
Memorial Day weekend is typically one of the busiest times of the year for car dealerships — and this year's deals are expected to be some of the best ever.
Automakers have been offering incentives averaging about $5,000 on the typical new vehicle, with the givebacks on full-size pickups running well above $7,000, whether in the form of rebates, zero-interest loans or other deals.
With consumers locked down at home and auto plants shuttered, sales of new cars plunged last month to barely half what they were last April. But with most states easing up on lockdowns, “Dealers in most of the country will be open again,” whether online or in their showrooms, “and we expect to see the (big sales) carried forward,” said Nick Woolard, director of analytics with online auto site TrueCar.com.
"We're seeing far more generous incentives and deals out there than we typically would for Memorial Day weekend, and since more consumers might be looking at vehicles for summer road trips instead of airline travel, things might look up a bit for the industry," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights.
New York's hospitalizations, new cases and deaths are declining, governor says
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the number of new hospitalizations in the state is down as well as the number of new cases and deaths.
The governor said at a news briefing on Friday that the state had 109 deaths from the coronavirus, down from 105 on May 20.
Cuomo said that if the number of deaths in the Long Island and mid-Hudson regions of the state continue to decline and if those areas get their contact tracing for the virus online, they could reopen next week.
The Week in Pictures: Tentative reopenings and a world behind masks
See more photos as all 50 states begin to reopen.
Trump administration to start distributing $4.9 billion to nursing homes
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will begin distributing $4.9 billion in CARES Act funding to nursing homes in an effort to help the hard-hit facilities curb the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Friday.
Each nursing home will receive "a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed," according to HHS.
Nursing home providers and industry associations have been asking for $100 billion, but several groups said Friday they were still grateful for the government funding.
“We are working around the clock to protect the people who are most vulnerable to COVID-19," Mark Parkinson, CEO of American Health Care Association, the industry group for for-profit nursing homes. "That work makes this funding more important than ever."
LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan, who represents 5,000 non-profit senior living facilities, said they were "especially pleased. "
As of May 11, 27,333 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, according to an NBC News tally.