President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he's extending his administration's guidelines on social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak until April 30. The move marks a significant change for the president, who said last week that he wanted to see much of the country return to normal by Easter, April 12, despite warnings from top health experts that easing guidelines could cause widespread death and economic damage.
Meanwhile, in an interview with "TODAY" on Monday morning, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said she's "very worried" about every city in the U.S., saying 100,000 to 200,000 American deaths would be the outcome of a response that works "almost perfectly," according to projections.
Birx's stark message comes after a weekend where the governors of Michigan and Louisiana warned of a lack of resources to respond to the crisis and said that shortages of ventilators and protective equipment could overwhelm hospitals as soon as this week.
The global death toll is now nearly 35,000, and there are more than 140,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
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China's manufacturing rebounds as virus controls ease
BEIJING — China’s manufacturing rebounded in March as authorities relaxed anti-disease controls and allowed factories to reopen, an official survey showed Tuesday, but an industry group warned the economy has yet to fully recover.
The ruling Communist Party is trying to revive the world’s second-largest economy after declaring victory over the coronavirus even as the United States and other governments shut down businesses.
The purchasing managers’ index issued by the Chinese statistics bureau and the official China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing rose to 52 from February’s record low of 35.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing.
The federation and private sector economists cautioned the economy still faces challenges as manufacturers rebuild supply chains and authorities try to prevent a spike in infections as employees stream back to work.
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11 vets die at Massachusetts Soldiers' Home
The superintendent of a veterans facility in Massachusetts was placed on leave Monday, the same day it was reported that 11 residents had died, including at least five who had tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19.
A state official said that test results are pending for five others who died at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. The status of the 11th person who died was unknown.
Eleven other residents have tested positive as well as five staff members, and an additional 25 veteran residents are awaiting test results. NBC affiliate WWLP of Springfield reported the deaths at the Soldiers' Home earlier Monday.
Los Angeles County sheriff reverses decision on closing gun stores
Los Angeles County's sheriff said Monday night that he will no longer seek to have gun stores closed under government orders requiring "non-essential" businesses to be shuttered.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement that the change is due in part to federal guidelines about what are essential critical infrastructure workers. But the move also comes after the National Rifle Association and others sued.
The orders are designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19. Villanueva said his office will investigate reports of any business that is not observing social distancing rules.
Nevada officials criticized after opening parking lot shelter for homeless
Officials are facing criticism for using a Las Vegas parking lot as a temporary shelter after a facility was closed when a homeless man tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
Officials from Las Vegas and Clark County opened the temporary shelter at an event site lot a few miles north of the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday after determining that 500 people using Catholic Charities' overnight facility would have nowhere to sleep, said David Riggleman, the city’s communications director.
When mats that could easily be disinfected weren’t available, hundreds of six-foot squares were painted onto the asphalt and surrounded by metal barricades — a grid meant to prevent more cases of the disease through social distancing measures, he said.
What if I run out of toilet paper?
Trump declares disaster in Pennsylvania
President Donald Trump on Monday declared a “major” disaster in Pennsylvania because of the coronavirus outbreak, the White House said.
The White House said Trump ordered federal assistance to the state, where 49 people have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. More than 4,000 cases in the state have been confirmed.
The funding can be used by local governments and non-profits for emergency protective measures, the White House said.
New York City turning tennis stadium into hospital
New York City will turn a Queens tennis stadium into a makeshift hospital to treat hundreds of non-COVID patients, officials said Monday.
In a statement, the city’s Emergency Management agency said it was planning to build the 350-bed facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The announcement came as the coronavirus death toll continued to climb in the city. Earlier Monday, officials said that 138 people had died in 24 hours.
NCAA to give spring sport athletes extra year of eligibility
The NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.
The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to give spring-sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but it did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year.
Winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, were not included in the decision because many athletes in those sports had completed all or most of their regular seasons, the council decided.