U.S. death toll nears 100,000 on muted Memorial Day weekend

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: People visit California's Huntington Beach on Memorial Day weekend on May 23, 2020.
People visit California's Huntington Beach on Memorial Day weekend on May 23, 2020.Patrick T. Fallon / Reuters

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No arcades. No rides. No concerts or special events. Closed playgrounds. Capacity limits on beaches. Just takeout at most bars and restaurants, and drones flying overhead to help authorities monitor it all. Memorial Day weekend is not anything like years past.

As the U.S. death toll creeps towards 100,000, according to an NBC News tally, home care professionals and nurses said the coronavirus pandemic shows how crucial the industry is.

They said it can be elaborate, involving a health care professional who provides additional oxygen, monitors vital signs, administers medication and helps with daily tasks such as eating, bathing and getting in and out of bed.

Elsewhere, for the first time since the pandemic began, China reported no new cases on Saturday and millions of Muslims are marking a muted and gloomy holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan — a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar.

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

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue to May 25 coronavirus news.

Over 100 workers at L.A. meat processing plant test positive

More than 100 workers at a Los Angeles-area meat plant that makes the famous Dodger hot dogs have tested positive for the coronavirus.

At least 116 people at the Smithfield Foods-owned Farmer John processing plant have been infected, according to the Los Angeles County public health department. Local media reports put the estimate closer to 140 people, NBC Los Angeles reported. 

Smithfield, which bought Farmer John in 2017, could not be reached for comment. The company previously closed multiple plants throughout the country because of coronavirus outbreaks among employees.

According to Smithfield's website, “every employee involved in handling, preparing and processing food wears personal protective equipment covering their heads, faces (including masks and face shields), hands and bodies. Additionally, employees undergo temperature checks and are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.”

New York Times' front page memorializes the dead

The New York Times plans to dedicate its entire Sunday front page to hundreds of names of Americans killed by the coronavirus.

On Saturday, it tweeted an image of the page, which is topped with the headline, "U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS."

An introduction to the list explains,"The 1,000 people here reflect just 1 percent of the toll." Victims get brief descriptions: "Florencio Almazo Morán, 65, New York City, one-man army."

Marc Lacey, the Times' national editor, said in a story explaining the presentation, "I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through."

In April, NBC News documented "60 Lives 60 Days: Stories of victims we've lost from COVID-19 two months since the first U.S. death."