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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

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.

Australia won't open its borders 'anytime soon,' says PM

Australia’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday that he will not open the country’s borders “anytime soon,” but would continue to discuss the possibility of establishing a safe travel zone with neighboring New Zealand.

Australians may well be able to travel to New Zealand before they are allowed to fly interstate if state leaders choose to keep their borders closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

Queensland and Western Australia have closed their borders to slow the coronavirus spread, while all other states, except for Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, have imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Saudi Arabia to amend coronavirus curfew, allow domestic travel

Saudis shop at the Panorama Mall in the capital Riyadh on Friday ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festiva, that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.Fayez Nureldine / AFP - Getty Images

Saudi Arabia will amend its curfew times and lift a ban on domestic travel, with the exception of the holy city of Mecca starting Thursday, its state news agency reported in a statement on Tuesday.

From May 31, holding prayers in mosques across the kingdom, except in Mecca, will be allowed, and both government and private sector employees we will be able to return to work, the statement added. Social gatherings will be limited to 50 people.

The government is hoping to lift curfew times entirely in all cities, excluding Mecca, on June 21, but has not ruled out a return to strict lockdown measures if infection numbers spike.

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.