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Coronavirus: U.S. Death Toll Closes In On 100,000 As Some Restrictions Are Relaxed Ahead Of Memorial Day – Update


UPDATED with latest: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Friday that the death toll in America from coronavirus has reached 94,150, with the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide now at 1,571,617.

The latest figures come as Memorial Day weekend arrives and all U.S. states are expected have some form of relaxed stay-at-home amid the pandemic. The country has been under a national emergency since March 13, part of a global shutdown that has imperiled economies both here and abroad.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator told reporters Friday at a White House press briefing that stay-at-home restrictions are not total.

“As you go out this weekend,” she said, “understand you can go out. You can be outside. You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches if you stay six feet apart.”

Globally, the World Health Organization reported Friday there are a total of 4,995,996 confirmed cases in 216 countries and territories worldwide, with 327,821 deaths due to the virus. The total number of U.S. cases surpass the total of the world’s next six most-infected countries combined — in order of cases that includes Russia (317,554 cases), which passed the 300,000 mark today; Brazil (271,628), which passed the UK (248,297) for the third-most cases overall worldwide; Spain (232,555), Italy (227,364) and Germany (176,752).

The UK (35,704) has the highest death toll outside the U.S.

Eleven countries have more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19, according to data from the WHO, which declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic March 11. Peru appears poised to join the glum list this week and now has 99,483 cases.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, which has been widely used and tends to track higher than the CDC and WHO numbers, show that the COVID-19 totals surpassed 5 million cases globally (5,180,982 as of Friday) with deaths surpassing 336,432. More than 1.94 million worldwide have now recovered from the virus, the database shows.

According to the CDC’s latest data, 29 U.S. states now have more than 10,000 cases. New York remains by far the most impacted, with the department of health reporting a total of 358,154 COVID-19 cases statewide as of Friday afternoon — more than any other country in the world. More than half of cases are in New York City, with the total there at 196,675. The state now has 23,195 deaths from the virus; NYC accounts for 17,489 of the fatalities.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s stay-at-home order through June 13, though several of the state’s counties have begun reopening sections of their economies after meeting a seven-item checklist of goals. Religious gatherings of no more than 10 people and drive-in and parking lot services were allowed as of Thursday.

In NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he doesn’t expect the city to reach those benchmarks until next month.

Some NYC restrictions are loosening ahead of the holiday weekend, with beaches opening to locals and religious services with gatherings of 10 or less allowed to resume but, de Blasio reminded on Friday, swimming at NYC beaches over the holiday weekend is prohibited.

California remains the fifth most-infected U.S. state with 86,197 positive cases and 3,542 deaths as of Wednesday, the latest figures available from the California Department of Public Health. The state is eighth nationally in fatalities.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that expected to release guidelines on Monday for religious services to resume, On Thursday Newsom said that the state will issue guidelines as soon as Monday that will allow some counties to move deeper into the governor’s four-phase plan for reopening. That will likely not include Los Angeles, which remains the trouble spot as deaths surpassed 2,000 in the region that includes Los Angeles, Pasadena and Long Beach. The county’s overall total of cases is 42,037.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that the previous 24 hours had seen 106,000 cases reported to the organization worldwide – the most in a single day since the outbreak began. Almost two thirds of these cases were reported in just four countriesl in Europe, the rate of infection and deaths appear to be trending downward, with some countries joining the U.S. in relaxing restrictions.

“We’re very concerned about the rising numbers of cases in low- and middle-income countries,” Tedros said.

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