House holds moment of silence for COVID-19 victims

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A woman walks by a memorial for those who have died from the coronavirus outside Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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The House on Thursday afternoon held a moment of silence to honor those who have died during the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for the moment around 1:15 p.m. "in remembrance of the over 100,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus."

COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam combined.

While the pandemic is confusing to adults, it's especially so for children who have suddenly lost their school, their connections with friends and grandparents, and even their ability to play freely outside. To them, coronavirus is like an unseen monster under the bed. What no one knows yet is just how sharp its fangs are.

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 reading May 29 coronavirus news here.

Oklahoma signs off on Saturday classes for schools in case of 2nd surge

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Department Department of Education on Thursday approved Saturday classes in case of another surge of coronavirus cases.

The board approved a plan starting in the fall in which Saturday classes will be counted toward minimum attendance requirements, which is currently prohibited by state law.

Health officials have warned of a possible second surge of coronavirus cases and state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister has said she wants schools to prepare multiple calendars for the fall, in case of another outbreak.

Oklahoma schools canceled in-person classes and moved to distance learning in mid-March as the virus spread in the state.

Missouri governor delays rolling out phase two of reopening

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delayed rolling out the second of phase of the state’s reopening plan on Thursday, saying the extension would give some communities “more time to prepare.”

Parson partially ended a stay-at-home order May 4, allowing businesses to reopen with social distancing rules in place. Parson extended the plan’s first phase to June 15.

Widely circulated images of a crowded Memorial Day pool party that local health officials called “reckless” didn’t play a role in Thursday’s decision, he said. “The thing at the Lake of the Ozarks is a very, very small sample of what's going on in the state, and for the most part, people were doing their part and I think they're going to continue to do that,” he said.

The number of confirmed cases in the state has continued to rise, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. As of Wednesday, data showed the state had recorded roughly 12,800 cases and 689 deaths.

44 deaths among meatpacking workers in U.S., union says

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — At least 44 meatpacking workers in the U.S. have died from the new coronavirus and another 3,000 have tested positive, according to an estimate released Thursday by the largest union representing workers.

Meat processing plants have become hot spots for infections in communities across the country, but most have stayed open since President Donald Trump's executive order a month ago declaring them critical infrastructure. The United Food and Commercial Workers union said 30 meatpacking plants have closed at some point since March, resulting in an estimated 40% reduction in pork production and a 25% reduction in beef.

The actual number of employees with the coronavirus is likely higher than the estimate, said Mark Lauritsen, director of the food processing and meatpacking division for the United Food and Commercial Workers International. The union compiled the figures from local union members who either received data from the meatpacking plant or verified infections with employees.

RNC signals convention to stay in North Carolina after Trump threats

The top officials from the Republican National Committee and the Republican National Convention signaled in a letter Thursday that its presidential convention will remain in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

This comes as President Donald Trump in recent days has threatened to move the convention elsewhere unless Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper loosens some of his COVID-19 restrictions. 

NBC News obtained a letter from top Republican officials to Cooper’s office about proceeding with the RNC in Charlotte as planned but asked North Carolina officials for “clear guidelines” given the time crunch. 

Ronna McDaniels, the RNC chairwoman, and Marcia Lee Kelly, the president of the Republican National Convention, have asked the Democratic governor to sign off on “safety protocols,” including pre-travel health surveys and thermal scans of all mandatory attendees. They are also requesting an “aggressive sanitizing protocol for all public areas."

Trump has said stated he wants to view proposals by next week to make a decision. 

How private jet owners got a subsidy from coronavirus relief funds

A California aviation management company to the elite is sharing the benefits of a taxpayer-financed loan with its private jet-owning clients after it won the loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to three clients and a copy of a letter announcing the plan.

Congress and President Donald Trump enacted the loan program, known as PPP, to prevent workers at small businesses from being laid off during the coronavirus crisis. The company, Clay Lacy Aviation of Van Nuys in Los Angeles, will be able to keep pilots and flight attendants employed with the money it received.

But the company also decided to provide a benefit for clients who own the jets it manages, a rich set who weren't the target of federal coronavirus relief funds.

Read the full story.

People are accidentally throwing out their stimulus check — because it looks like junk mail

Some Americans may be unwittingly throwing their long-awaited stimulus check in the trash. That's because, starting last week, the Treasury Department and the IRS started sending out economic impact payments in regular white envelopes that could be confused for junk mail.

Almost 4 million people — including those for whom the agency does not have a bank account on file — will be getting their stimulus check in the form of a prepaid debit card. The only problem is that the debit cards come in an envelope that says “Money Network Cardholder Services” and does not bear any federal markings.

That has prompted some recipients to complain they look too similar to an unwanted credit card offer, leading some to accidentally throw the card — which could contain as much as $3,400 for a family of four — in the trash.

To help taxpayers identify the card, the IRS said in an FAQ that the cards will bear the Visa logo and are issued by MetaBank. A letter included with the card explains that the card is the Economic Impact Payment Card. More information is available at eipcard.com.

Read the full story here.

Cancer, coronavirus are a dangerous mix, new studies find

New research shows how dangerous the coronavirus is for current and former cancer patients. Those who developed COVID-19 were much more likely to die within a month than people without cancer who got it, two studies found.

They are the largest reports on people with both diseases in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Canada. In one study, half of 928 current and former cancer patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 13 percent died. That’s far more than the various rates that have been reported in the general population.

Read more. 

EMTs, paramedics return home after helping NYC battle COVID-19 pandemic

The FDNY thanked volunteer emergency medical technicians and paramedics who came to New York City to aid in the fight against COVID-19 with a parade near their EMS academy at Fort Totten. 

In videos posted on social media, members of the FDNY carrying American flags can be seen clapping and waving as the last of the volunteers leave New York to return to their hometowns. Sirens blare as members of the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums join in on the celebration. The volunteers responded to more than 31,000 medical emergencies during their time in New York City, the FDNY said.

“We could not be more thankful for all the hard work that these brave men and women put into their service to this city,” FDNY Chief of EMS Operations Lillian Bonsignore said. “They saved many, many lives along the way.”

Coronavirus crisis puts hog farmers in uncharted territory: Kill their healthy livestock

Meat processing plants have shut down across the United States as the coronavirus has spread among workers, creating enormous bottlenecks in an inelastic supply chain. The result has been empty shelves in grocery stores and millions of pigs that are all fattened up with nowhere to go.

Facing rising costs and increasingly cramped conditions for their herds, some hog farmers across the Midwest have taken drastic action: killing their perfectly healthy pigs.

“This goes against everything we do,” Mike Patterson, a hog farmer from Kenyon, Minnesota, told NBC News. “We realize these animals are going to be killed, but we take great pride in knowing we are putting food on Americans’ tables and trying to give the animals the best care we can to ensure they are healthy and thriving every day. To see that go to waste is difficult.”

Read the full story here.

7-year-old boy throws 'mini-prom' for nanny

A 7-year-old boy in North Carolina felt bad after he found out his nanny’s prom was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic so he decided to throw her a prom of her own.

Curtis Rogers, who just finished first grade, decided to put together a prom in his backyard for his nanny Rachel Chapman, a senior at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. Rogers decided to ask Chapman to the prom with a “promposal” by using a sign that said “mini prom is not today, but will you join me on Monday?"

At the backyard prom Rogers even thought to order Chapman’s favorite foods: Chick-fil-A and smoothies from Tropical Smoothie.

Rachel and Curtis were able to enjoy the evening together and used a pool noodle to maintain social distance.Courtesy Rachel Chapman

“I was so surprised. It was really fun. It made me feel special because it showed he really cared and wanted to do something nice for me,” Chapman told NBC News.

The two enjoyed the evening together and were able to share a dance, complete with a pool noodle between them, in order to allow for social distancing.