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U.S. marks Memorial Day as deaths near 100,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: Visitors wear face masks at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on May 25, 2020.
Visitors wear face masks at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on Monday.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The United States marked Memorial Day with somber ceremonies and, in many places, reopened beaches, as the number of coronavirus deaths inched closer to 100,000, according to NBC news' count.

President Donald Trump, who participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, was also looking ahead to the Republican National Convention. Trump threatened on Twitter on Monday to move the event from Charlotte, North Carolina, if there is a chance the venue might not be filled there later this summer due to virus-related restrictions.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden appeared in public Monday for the first time in more than two months, laying a wreath to honor the fallen at a Delaware war memorial.

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

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Saluting veterans and coronavirus frontline workers on Memorial Day

On Memorial Day we honor the fallen heroes who fought for our freedoms. This Memorial Day we also salute the men and women in uniform and the first responders working together on the frontlines to fight COVID-19.

Hair salon in North Carolina refuses service to Tyson employees

A hair salon in North Carolina is denying service to employees at a Tyson plant in the area due to the coronavirus outbreak at the facility earlier this month. 

SmartCuts salon posted a sign on the location of their Wilkesboro location that read, “Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for Covid19, and given the close contact experiences during our services, we are unable to serve Tyson employees. We sincerely apologize for this decision, and we ask for your understanding.” 

The image, which has been widely circulated on social media, has received criticism from employees at the facility who are upset that they are being denied service due to the fact that they were “at work trying to put food on your tables.”

The salon released a statement that said they would begin serving Tyson employees two weeks after their initial opening on May 22nd and added, “With Tyson’s 2,200 employees in a relatively small market, we certainly did not take this decision lightly. We are doing our best to keep our employees and all people who come to our salon safe, and we hope the Tyson employees can understand this position. In order to show our appreciation for these customers, we are offering discounted services after this time period has passed.”

SmartCuts has multiple locations across North Carolina and Tennessee. 

Inside Brazil field hospital battling coronavirus

Located next to Brazil’s largest stadium, more than 50 people have died at the field hospital in two weeks.

University in Oklahoma adds 'back-up faculty' to prepare for in-person fall classes

An Oklahoma university with roughly 4,000 students annually has proposed a "back-up faculty of record" as a way to support professors in case any become absent due to reasons relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Before the semester begins, a designated faculty member will be included in the learning management system for each course should an instructor be unavailable to teach for any reason related to COVID-19," according to the University of Tulsa in a statement obtained by NBC News.

There is still the option for students and instructors who prefer virtual learning over in-person classes.

"The plan also covers education delivery to accommodate students and instructors who cannot or do not feel comfortable attending in-person classes," according to the statement.

Oklahoma has already begun to reopen in three phases. The state has a total of 6,090 coronavirus cases and the city of Tulsa has 926 cases. Overall, the state has had 313 deaths from the virus.

California releases guidance on church reopenings amid virus

California's state health department on Monday announced that counties can reopen places of worship for religious services, with restrictions that include limiting gatherings to 100 people or less.

California has been under pressure by the Justice Department over its restrictions on in-person worship services due to the coronavirus epidemic. President Donald Trump also said Friday that churches should be reopened

The guidelines restrict in-person worship services to 25 percent of a building's capacity, or up to 100 attendees, whichever is lower, and "upon approval by the county department of public health."

Still, the state health department is encouraging churches and other houses of worship to continue to hold remote services for those groups vulnerable to the coronavirus illness COVID-19, saying that even with social distancing, services can carry a higher risk of widespread transmission.

"In particular, activities such as singing and group recitation negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing," the guidance says. Newsom has said as the state relaxes statewide rules, counties would be able to go at a slower pace.

Illinois county creates virtual Memorial Day “honor map” to pay tribute to military service

An Illinois county created a virtual “honor map” for Memorial Day since in-person gatherings are not allowed during this time because of  a stay-at-home order in the state.

“We’re trying to find ways to continue to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and servicemen and women, but in a way that doesn’t prohibit or conflict with the stay-at-home order,” DuPage County Commissioner Greg Hart told NBC News.

The memorial has received several online submissions showing loved ones who have served their country with a photo and a short story.

“Bob was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Dad was loving, smart and generous in all aspects of life. He was our hero!” read a post for Robert “Bob” Scheidt for his service in WWII

“Grandpa taught me the benefits of always learning, hard work, and integrity. He was the toughest person I have ever met with the softest heart,” another submission read honoring U.S. Army veteran Anthony F. Studin.

Commissioner Hart said that this online memorial is not restricted to DuPage County and that anyone can submit a photo, video or story to remember a loved one.

"One of things that I love about DuPage County is the spirit of community that we had, and that partially came from in-person events. So, what we’re hoping this portal does is give our residents an opportunity to engage in that sense of community once again," Hart said.

French nursing homes employees protest pay, conditions

Employees demonstrate outside of a nursing home owned by the Korian group in Lille, France, on May 25, 2020.Michel Spingler / AP

(PARIS) — Employees of a major group of French nursing homes on Monday took part in protests across France to call for better pay amid the coronavirus crisis.

Protesters gathered outside homes owned by the Korian group in Paris, Lille and other French cities in response to a call from several far-left unions.

The government is formally opening on Monday two months of talks with health care workers over changes to France's public health system, which has suffered from decades of cuts.

France has recorded more than 14,000 COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total of more than 28,300 deaths.

Beaches and parks try for a new normal in Memorial Day weekend reopenings

People ride bicycles along the Ocean City boardwalk in N.J. on May 25, 2020.Jessica Kourkounis / Reuters

People across the country attempted to kick off summer this holiday weekend, as beaches, parks and bars began to reopen while following social distancing guidelines with varying degrees of success.

In New Jersey, poor weather kept many residents desperate to get outside off the beaches.

Belmar, New Jersey, Mayor Mark Walsifer said on MSNBC Monday that the city had “the weather gods on our side” to prevent crowds. Still, Walsifer said boardwalks were busy, and the city is getting used to adjusting to the new normal.

But in nearby Pleasant Point, protesters seemed to ignore social distancing guidelines to make their voices heard on Memorial Day, saying the governor needed to reopen the state immediately.

Read the full story here. 

OPINION: Israel's pandemic response was fast. I worry a rapid return to normal is a mistake.

People wearing masks visit a reopened market in Tel Aviv on May 7, 2020.Ariel Schalit / AP

TEL AVIV, Israel – Israel's plans for a gradual return to school in small, controlled groups after two months of coronavirus lockdowns were all but completely abandoned last week in favor of an an immediate return with full classes across much of the country. A group of principals lashed out at the decision (of which they were informed through news reports) as Israeli chaos.

That government decision only added to my feeling that Israel has embarked on an overly hasty modern-day Exodus from “corona times” even though the education ministry was concerned a staggered return would not work for students. The beaches are suddenly packed, as quickly as they were emptied, malls are open, with long lines crowding passageways to shop at Zara, and on the streets, most people are no longer even pretending to be vigilant. Masks, if they are seen at all beyond the confines of stores and schools, are usually dangling from a sleeve, or hanging on a chin.

Read the full THINK piece here. 

Photos: Staten Islanders mark Memorial Day in different ways

Residents in face masks watch the Memorial Day Parade of motorcycles and cars on Staten Island on Monday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images
A member of the Boy Scouts of America salutes at a ceremony for veterans on Staten Island on Monday. Jeenah Moon / Reuters

Gucci, Saint Laurent seek radical change to fashion calendars

Kaia Gerber leads other models during the Saint Laurent fashion show in Paris on Feb. 25, 2020.Vianney Le Caer / AP file

SOAVE, Italy — Gucci and Saint Laurent are two of the highest profile luxury fashion houses to announce they will leave the fashion calendar behind, with its relentless four-times-a-year rhythm, shuttling cadres of fashionistas between global capitals where they squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder around runways for 15 breathless minutes.

The coronavirus lockdown, which has hit luxury fashion houses on their bottom lines, has also given pause to rethink the pace of fashion, offering the possibility to return to less hectic, more considered periods of creativity and production — and perhaps consumption.

Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele imagines a twice yearly appointments — one in the fall and one in the spring — to present co-ed collections, getting away from the hyped-up calendar which has come to require pre-season collections before the major women’s and men’s runway shows and a one-off cruise collection, increasingly in exotic locations.

Saint Laurent hasn’t articulated its intentions, but said in a statement last month that it would “take control” of the fashion schedule “conscious of the current circumstances and its waves of radical change.”