As the global death toll from COVID-19 passed the 400,000 mark, and protests sparked by the death of George Floyd continue around the world, U.S. cities and European nations are this week relaxing measures that have seen millions confined to their homes.
Shops will partially reopen and thousands are expected to go back to work in New York City on Monday, for many weeks the hardest-hit city in the country.But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns "it doesn't mean we're going to back to the way we were."
Spain, Belgium, Ireland and Germany are among the countries to further lighten lockdown restrictions, while the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has declared the country free of COVID-19.
- 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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New York City begins reopening
About 400,000 workers can now return to jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail with curbside pickup. Cases in New York continue to decline, while other states that reopened sooner are seeing an increase.
Trump could resume rallies this month despite coronavirus concerns
President Donald Trump's re-election campaign is preparing to present the president with options to resume rallies in June, according to two officials familiar with the plans.
There are no final decisions yet on where and how this could be done safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last week, Trump has been asking advisers why he can’t be holding mass rallies when thousands are gathering in the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, these people said.
"Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump. The Great American Comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous. You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that Sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of," Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told NBC News in a statement.
Americans drove 112 billion fewer miles this April than April 2019
Americans drove 112 billion fewer miles in April than they did during the same month last year, according to data from the Department of Transportation.
Shelter-in-place orders led to a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of miles Americans drove, the DOT said Monday. With much of the country locked down due to the coronavirus, American motorists clocked 169.6 billion miles.
The response to the coronavirus pandemic, which began in March in many states, also saw travel for the first four months of this year decline 14.8 percent versus 2019, to around 858 billion miles. That was the lowest number since 2001, said the DOT.
All forms of travel were down, reported navigation service Inrix, including personal transportation and long- and short-haul trucking. Travel is just ramping back up as states begin relaxing restrictions, but May and June are expected to still see another year-over-year decline, according to transportation experts.
It's official: The U.S. entered a recession in February
The U.S. is officially in a recession, bringing an end to a historic 128 months of economic growth, after the coronavirus pandemic swept the country and shut down the economy.
For more than a decade, the American economy seemed to contradict the adage, “What goes up, must come down.” That ended in February, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the agency that identifies periods of economic growth and contraction.
The economic expansion would have turned 11 years old this month — a span unmatched in the postwar economy.
13 high school students test positive after unsanctioned prom
An unsanctioned prom and beach party has resulted in a group of Texas high school students getting diagnosed with coronavirus and spurred calls for those affected to be banned from attending graduation.
At least 13 students from Foster High School and George Ranch High School have tested positive for COVID-19 after reportedly attending a prom event in Katy on June 5. The event was not sanctioned by the schools, and the group then spent the weekend at a beach house in Galveston, according to the Fort Bend Herald.
Principals of both high schools did not immediately respond for comment. Officials at the Fort Bend County Health & Human Services Department also did not immediately respond.
Stories of the students testing positive have circulated among parents on email. The majority of the students are recent graduates or currently attend Foster High School in Richmond, the parents said.
Connecticut to review COVID-19 response in nursing homes, assisted living facilities
Connecticut will order an independent, third-party review of the preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic inside of the state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Gov. Ned Lamont said in a news release Monday.
The review will incorporate a top-to-bottom analysis of all elements of the pandemic and how it was addressed in these facilities, which account for more than 60 percent of total deaths in the state, according to the announcement.
“As we prepare for the possibility of a second wave, we must be proactive in analyzing what occurred, what needs to be improved, and how we can ensure the quality and safety of facilities that some of our most vulnerable residents call home,” Lamont said.
Virginia announces temporary moratorium on evictions
Virginia will issue a temporary statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings, Gov. Ralph Northam said in a news release Monday.
The order will halt all eviction proceedings through June 28 while the Northam administration implements a rent relief program for Virginians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am grateful to the Chief Justice for granting this order, and for the activists who have been working tirelessly on this important issue,” Northam said.
“Access to safe and stable housing is critically important, and this action will keep thousands of families in their homes as we work to get them the support they need.”
New York City is shaking off the coronavirus cobwebs
Some 100 days after the first case was confirmed and went on to claim nearly 22,000 lives, phase one of Gotham’s grand reopening got underway Monday.
"We're back," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Our mojo is back."
Nearly 400,000 workers were expected to begin returning to retail stores, factories and dormant construction sites as part of the state’s plan to get the mighty economic giant moving again.
“This is a triumphant moment for New Yorkers who fought back against this disease,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We were the epicenter and we got here only because New Yorkers went the extra mile.”
Returning to school in Spain
Pennsylvania reports 351 more COVID-19 cases
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced 351 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 75,943.