As violence erupted in cities across the country over George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last week, protests have now been added to the list of concerns about a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.
Urging demonstrators to get tested, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Saturday evening: "There is still a pandemic in America that's killing black and brown people at higher numbers."
Her comments came as the U.S. death toll neared 104,000 early Sunday, according to an NBC News tally. Globally almost 370,000 people have died, according to John Hopkins University data.
Worldwide, the JHU data shows more than 6 million cases have been recorded with more than 500,000 of those reported in Brazil.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide; confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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With NYC poised to reopen starting June 8, focus is on city's infection hotspots
With New York City poised to begin reopening on June 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that the state has identified 10 coronavirus hotspots in the city.
"We are laser-focused on the 10 hotspots where infection rates are highest. It is not just coincidence that the hotspots are in low-income and minority communities. The inequality in health outcomes of this pandemic is just one of countless inequalities," Cuomo said during a press conference.
Most of the hotspots are located in neighborhoods around the Bronx and a few other areas in Brooklyn and Queens. Ten new coronavirus-testing sites will be added to these areas to address the disproportionate rate of infections. Efforts to distribute personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers and information on how to better practice social distancing around crowded living conditions will also be ramped up in these areas.
Cuomo also announced a partnership with Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in the state, to "go deeper" and "address the inequality in health care."
"Why are black people dying from COVID at higher rates than white people? Why are health outcomes worse in communities of color?" said Cuomo. "If you look across the nation, many more people of color died from the virus than white people. That is a fact."
Coronavirus deaths across New York reached an "all-time low," with the state reporting 67 deaths on Friday, said Cuomo. New hospitalizations and intubations have also continued to decrease across the state.
Supreme Court rejects challenge to coronavirus limits on church services
A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.
The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.
Roberts wrote in brief opinion that the restriction allowing churches to reopen at 25 percent of their capacity, with no more than 100 worshipers at a time, “appear consistent” with the First Amendment.
India’s coronavirus caseload surges again
India on Saturday registered another record single-day jump of 7,964 virus cases and 265 deaths, a day before the two-month lockdown is set to end. The Health Ministry put the total number of confirmed cases at 173,763 with 4,971 deaths.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an open letter marking the first year of his government’s second term, said India was on the path to victory in its battle against the virus. He said India will set “an example in economic revival” and asked the nation to show a “firm resolve.”
Modi also acknowledged the “tremendous suffering” of millions of migrant workers who had lost their jobs during the lockdown and have been forced to make grueling and dangerous trips back to their hometowns.
The federal government is expected to issue a new set of guidelines this weekend, possibly extending the lockdown in worst-hit areas.