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

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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

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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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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading May 26 coronavirus news.

World Health Organization warns of 'second peak' in areas where COVID-19 declining

GENEVA — Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an "immediate second peak" if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr. Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.

Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided. There was also a chance that infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon.

Read the full story here. 

Second immigrant in ICE custody dies from COVID-19

A man in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody died from COVID-19 complications on Sunday, the agency said in a news release

Santiago Baten-Oxlag, 34, who was awaiting departure to his native Guatemala, died at a hospital in Columbus, Georgia, after being transferred from the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. He had been receiving care at the hospital since April 17. 

The preliminary cause of death was “complications related to COVID-19,” according to the news release. It is unknown if Baten-Oxlag had any underlying medical conditions. 

Baten-Oxlag is the second known detainee to die from COVID-19 while in ICE custody. In early May, a 57-year-old man from El Salvador died from COVID-19 at a San Diego-area hospital while in ICE detention. More than 1,200 detainees have tested positive for COVID-19 in ICE facilities, according to data on the agency’s website. 

NHL moves closer to restart with practices in early June

A lone skater before a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Capitals in Washington on March 12, the day the NHL suspended its season. Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The NHL announced plans Monday to allow small groups of players, no more than six, to gather for workouts in early June, with an eye toward restarting play and resuming its coronavirus-halted season.

A league memo did not say when in early June this "Phase 2"  would begin or how long it would last before games are actually played.

Phase 3 would be a full training camp and Phase 4 the playing of actual games. Players and club owners have agreed to the framework of a 24-team playoff system.

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing out of the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus

Basketball legend and Georgetown University coach Patrick Ewing has been released from the hospital and is resting at home after testing positive for coronavirus, his family said Monday.

“I want to thank all of the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us and since his diagnosis,” his son Patrick Ewing Jr. said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

Big changes coming to public pools this summer

A closed public pool in Mission, Kan., on May 15, 2020.Charlie Riedel / AP file

Public pools will look very different this summer if they open at all with the coronavirus threat still looming, as teenage lifeguards will be tasked with maintaining social distancing and spotting COVID-19 symptoms in addition to their primary responsibility of preventing drownings.

Pools that do plan to open will take precautions, including screening temperatures on entry, requiring lifeguards to wear masks and significantly reducing the number of swimmers allowed in the water and locker rooms, said Dr. Justin Sempsrott, the medical director for the lifeguard certification program Starguard Elite and executive director of Lifeguards Without Borders, which works to reduce drownings worldwide.

“It's definitely not going to be business as usual this season," he said.

Read the full story here. 

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in more than two months

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.

Read the full story here. 

WHO temporarily halts trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that it's suspending a trial of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19, saying fears of the drug's potential danger is causing it to "err on the side of caution."

The medication, best known for use against malaria and autoimmune disorders, has been touted as a possible answer to COVID-19 by President Donald Trump.

But WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said evidence has shown harmful side effects of hydroxychloroquine, including heart problems.

Read the full story here. 

100-year-old World War II veteran released from hospital after recovering from COVID-19

A World War II veteran was discharged after spending 58 days in the hospital fighting COVID-19.

Lloyd Falk, 100, was admitted to Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, on March 24 as one of the hospital’s first COVID-19 patients. He had also lost his wife of 74 years to the virus. Despite all odds, he was released from the hospital on May 20 after making a full recovery.

In a video posted on the hospital’s Facebook page, health care workers can be seen lining the hallways and cheering as he is wheeled out of the hospital to begin his rehabilitation. 

“We salute you, Mr. Falk,” the hospital wrote on Facebook. “Your courage and resilience inspires us all.”