U.S. death toll nears 100,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A man wears a protective mask as he walks on Wall Street during the coronavirus outbreak in New York
A man wears a protective mask as he walks on Wall Street during the coronavirus outbreak in New York on March 13, 2020.Lucas Jackson / Reuters file

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The number of U.S. coronavirus deaths approached 100,000, with more than 99,600 deaths recorded as of early Wednesday, according to NBC News' count. The U.S. leads the world in both deaths and confirmed cases, with 1.69 million infections.

The National Hockey League on Tuesday announced a plan to resume its suspended season by moving directly into playoffs, but details, including which "hub cities" would host the contests, remained up in the air.

Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called President Donald Trump "an absolute fool to talk that way" after Trump criticized Biden for wearing a mask during a Memorial Day remembrance.

"Every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," Biden said in a CNN interview.

Trump, who did not wear a mask during Memorial Day services, retweeted Fox News commentator Brit Hume's Monday night tweet criticizing Biden. Trump denied mocking Biden at a Tuesday news conference.

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 27 coronavirus news.

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.