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US Coronavirus live updates: Senate reconvenes; J.Crew files for bankruptcy; Pence regrets not wearing mask

17:41  04 may  2020
17:41  04 may  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Postal carriers, delivery workers keep Americans safe at home during coronavirus

  Postal carriers, delivery workers keep Americans safe at home during coronavirus A mail carrier says she misses seeing her customers but believes she’s playing an essential role in keeping Americans safely isolated at home.With each practiced flip of a mailbox lid, Bezerra reassures another household that, although the coronavirus has upended much of society, many basic services are running like clockwork.

The  GOP-led U.S. Senate reconvenes Monday, its members donning masks and promising to practice social distancing, while across the nation many states are slowly reopening their economies.

Bing COVID-19 tracker: Latest numbers by country and state

Th Senate schedule is heavy on reviewing President Donald Trump's conservative judicial nominees and light on the Democrats' push for another stimulus measure that would include bailouts for state and local governments. The Democratic-led U.S. House, citing health risks, declined to gather Monday.

Mom with COVID-19 delivers twins as husband faced death: 'Let me live'

  Mom with COVID-19 delivers twins as husband faced death: 'Let me live' A woman pregnant with twins drove herself to the hospital when her water broke. She and her husband both had COVID-19.Jennifer Laubach was battling COVID-19 symptoms the day her water broke. So was her husband, who raced upstairs to pack his wife's hospital bag, worried as she wasn't due for another eight weeks.

a group of people on a bridge over a river: Jake Drollinger, left, and Heather Cha wear masks while walking in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Sunday. © Jeff Chiu, AP Jake Drollinger, left, and Heather Cha wear masks while walking in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Sunday.

Also Monday, fashion retailer J. Crew became retail's first big-name casualty of the pandemic, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the company said it will continue to provide online sales and hopes to reopen stores when safe.

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Gallery by photo services

Coronavirus live updates: Pandemic could last 2 years, report says; some state lockdowns wind down; Trump pushes China virus theory

  Coronavirus live updates: Pandemic could last 2 years, report says; some state lockdowns wind down; Trump pushes China virus theory President Trump pushes theory that the virus came from a Wuhan lab. Airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks. More COVID-19 news Friday.Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is scheduled to leave the White House on Friday for the first time in a month to travel to Camp David, one day after the expiration of federal social distancing guidelines.

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing.

Here are the most important developments: 

  • President Donald Trump predicted 80,000 to 90,000 Americans could eventually die from the virus, which has killed more than 67,000 in the U.S. so far.
  • The Department of Homeland Security released a report that says Chinese leaders hid the severity of the coronavirus pandemic to hoard personal protective equipment.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said it was "devastatingly worrisome'' to watch anti-lockdown protesters fail to practice social distancing at demonstrations.

Good news: Amid a pandemic, teachers are finally getting the respect they deserve. "How most teachers are being viewed right now is right up there with health care workers," said Ruth Faden, a professor of biomedical ethics at Johns Hopkins University. Here are a few of their stories. 

A question you might have: Did the Obama administration send $3.7 million to a Wuhan lab? No, here are the facts. 

Coronavirus spares one neighborhood but ravages the next. Race and class spell the difference.

  Coronavirus spares one neighborhood but ravages the next. Race and class spell the difference. Coronavirus rates vary dramatically from one neighborhood to another, based in part on race and income, a USA TODAY analysis of ZIP code data shows.In one direction, a ZIP code relatively unscathed by the coronavirus outbreak. In the other, a community decimated by the disease. One mostly white, with six-figure incomes the norm. One mostly minority and earning much slimmer paychecks.

Italy eases some of the world's tightest restrictions

More than 4 million Italians returned to work Monday after two months on the sidelines as the nation of 62 million people began to tenuously emerge from its unprecedented lockdown. Construction and manufacturing restarted, although most stores are scheduled to remain closed for two more weeks. The pandemic has claimed the lives of almost 30,000 Italians, but daily death tolls have declined in recent days.

 "I wouldn't like the message to come across that it is all over and that we are starting afresh as if nothing had happened," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said. "Unfortunately, the epidemic is still here, although it is in some ways diminished.

Retailer J.Crew falls victim to pandemic

Fashion retailer J. Crew's parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, plunged into crisis mode by the impact of COVID-19 on top of an unsustainable amount of debt from a private-equity buyout deal in 2011. As of Monday, the company had 181 J. Crew retail stores, 140 Madewell locations and 170 factory stores in addition to its websites. The retailer had about 13,000 employees before the pandemic began. Company officials said online sales would continue with plans to reopen stores when it is safe to do so. The chain was negotiating for rent relief but acknowledged that some permanent store closing are possible. 

Nurse arrested in theft of credit card from dying COVID-19 patient, police say

  Nurse arrested in theft of credit card from dying COVID-19 patient, police say Danielle Conti, a nurse at a New York City hospital, was charged and arrested Thursday in the theft of a COVID-19 patient's credit card.Danielle Conti, 43, took a credit card from a 70-year-old patient while he was being treated at Staten Island University Hospital, the NYPD said. Conti is facing charges of grand larceny, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

– Nathan Bomey and Brett Molina

Lesley Stahl describes battle with COVID-19

“60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl says she's feeling better after a harrowing battle with COVID-19 that left her hospitalized for a week. The veteran journalist, 78, said Sunday that she was "really scared" as she spent two weeks in bed with pneumonia before going to the hospital. 

"I found an overworked, nearly overwhelmed staff," she said. "Every one of them kind, sympathetic, gentle and caring from the moment I arrived until the moment days later when I was wheeled out through a gauntlet of cheering medical workers."

In her closing Sunday, Stahl paid tribute to medical staff and the care she received: "They were fulfilling a mission, answering the call. Thanks to them, like so many other patients, I am well now. Tonight, we all owe them our gratitude, our admiration – and in some cases, our lives."

– Susan Haas

Delays in road, bridge reconstructions 'a very large concern'

The coronavirus pandemic had prompted a catastrophic decline in state and local transportation funding, which officials say threatens to bring road and bridge construction to a screeching halt for the next year and a half. Governments big and small are postponing projects as roads, bridges and tunnels continue to crumble. Collections of gas taxes and tolls that fuel construction have plummeted as motorists stay home. Despite historically low interest rates, voters and their governments are leery of borrowing because of uncertainty about repaying the debt.

Trump visit to Pennsylvania factory that produces PPE materials was scuttled after plant officials expressed concerns about health risks

  Trump visit to Pennsylvania factory that produces PPE materials was scuttled after plant officials expressed concerns about health risks The event was one of a number of appearances the White House sought to organize to showcase the president as a leader amid the coronavirus pandemic. 49/49 SLIDES © Spencer Platt/Getty Images People walk along Wall Street as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 8, in New York City. 49/49 SLIDES Slideshow by photo servicesTrump has refused to wear a mask in public, and Pence has only occasionally done so.

“It’s a very large concern,” said Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation and president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “This is a pressing, immediate issue.”

– Bart Jansen

Infection controls at nursing homes could be curbed despite pandemic

The federal government is considering rolling back infection control requirements in U.S. nursing homes despite the heavy toll COVID-19 is having on residents and workers.

A rule proposed last year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would modify the amount of time an infection preventionist must devote to a facility from at least part time to "sufficient time," an undefined term that lets the facility decide how much time should be spent. The regulation has not been finalized, but CMS last week defended its proposal.

"It makes no sense at all – prior to pandemic, but more so now during a pandemic," said Lindsay Heckler, a supervising attorney at the Center for Elder Law & Justice, a civil legal services agency in Buffalo, New York. "They should be strengthening these infection and control requirements."

– Marisa Kwiatkowski and Tricia L. Nadolny

Home sales expected to plunge; home prices not so much

Home sales will likely plunge this spring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic but bounce back by the end of next year, according to a new forecast from real estate search site Zillow. Sales will likely plummet by up to 60%, as stay-at-home mandates and overall worries about the economy take the steam out of what was previously expected to be a robust spring home-buying season, according to Zillow's economists and analysts.

But prices will likely experience a much slighter slide and a quicker recovery. Zillow expects prices to drop no more than 3% by the end of this year and then creep back up throughout 2021.

First Louisville inmates at Metro Corrections test positive for novel coronavirus

  First Louisville inmates at Metro Corrections test positive for novel coronavirus Two Louisville Metro Correction inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed caseas among Louisville's jail population.Tracy Dotson, spokesman for FOP Lodge 77, which represents corrections officers, said Tuesday there were at least two positive cases among inmates in the jail, out of almost 300 inmates tested.

– Charisse Jones

Two more California counties set to reopen despite stay-at-home order

Sparsely populated Modoc County, in California's northeast corner, reopened on Friday against the state's stay-at-home order. Two other northern counties will do the same on Monday. Yuba and Sutter counties will allow businesses including restaurants, retail operations, gyms, hair salons and public spaces such as parks and libraries to reopen, as long as people can follow social distancing guidelines.

“The purpose is to continue to mitigate the spread of the virus to the greatest extent possible while addressing the need to gradually reopen the economy in order to ensure vital services are resumed in a safe manner," said Dr. Phuong Luu, public health officer for both counties, in a press release issued Friday. 

Yuba and Sutter counties have reported a combined 50 coronavirus cases and three deaths as of Sunday afternoon.

Police: Woman licked hands before touching things at store, sub shop

A South Carolina woman is the latest person to be arrested after she allegedly licked her hands and touched things inside a grocery store, according to the Sumter Police Department

Shenir Gibson Holliday, 38, was arrested Saturday, the department said in a Facebook post. According to police, Gibson licked her hands and touched food and pulled on freezer doors in the store. She also licked her hands before touching things in the dry food area of the store, police said. 

Holliday was charged with aggravated breach of peace and food tampering and was issued a citation for violation of the state home or work order. Holliday also faces charges from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, which was seeking a woman who licked her hands and touched items at a local sub shop. 

Multiple people have been arrested in connection with licking and coughing on items in stores since the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States. A few have done so while recording their actions for social media videos. A Pennsylvania grocery store had to throw out tens of the thousands of dollars in groceries after a woman went through the store coughing on things. 

Jordan Culver

Vice President Mike Pence on Mayo Clinic visit: 'I should have worn a mask'

Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that he should have worn a face mask when he visited the Mayo Clinic last week.

“I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic,” Pence said during a Fox News virtual town hall with President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.

Mayo Clinic policy requires "all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask while at Mayo Clinic to guard against transmission of COVID-19." A post on the Mayo Clinic’s Twitter account indicated that Pence had been informed of the masking policy prior to his arrival. That tweet has since been deleted.

– Michael Collins

Uber to require drivers, riders to wear face masks as part of new safety plan

It's not just airlines requiring masks for passengers. Soon, Uber riders – and drivers – will need to wear face masks or some kind of face covering in post-shutdown America. The policy, approved by the ride-hailing giant's executives in a meeting last week, is expected to become official in the coming weeks.

Uber confirmed the plan, first reported by CNN Business, to USA TODAY.

“As countries reopen, Uber is focused on safety and proceeding with caution," the company said in a statement. "Today, we continue to ask riders to stay home if they can, while shipping safety supplies to drivers who are providing essential trips."

– Mike Snider

Donald Trump revises US coronavirus death estimates to 80,000 to 90,000

President Donald Trump is upping his estimates of the number of Americans who could die from the coronavirus. At an event at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, Trump predicted that as many as 80,000 to 90,000 Americans could eventually die from the virus, which already has killed more than 67,000 Americans.

“It’s going to go up,” Trump said of the death toll during a virtual town hall on Fox News.

Trump noted that in the past he has predicted the disease could kill 65,000 Americans. “Now, I’m saying 80 or 90 (thousand),” he said. Trump insisted U.S. mitigation efforts have been successful – "if you call losing 80 or 90,000 people successful."

– Michael Collins and David Jackson

State reopenings: Arkansas, Montana, Kansas take steps toward normalcy

Monday will bring a flurry of reopenings across the country, including gyms, fitness centers and indoor athletic facilities in Arkansas and restaurants, bars, casinos, breweries and distilleries in Montana.

Also, Kansas will begin a three-phase reopening strategy upon the expiration of its statewide stay-at-home order and Colorado and Minnesota will begin opening nonessential businesses. Find the latest on your state here.

More coronavirus headlines from USA TODAY

  • Straight-talking Dr. Anthony Fauci is the voice Americans want to hear right now. So, who is he?
  • 'Death is our greeter': Doctors, nurses struggle with mental health amid ongoing coronavirus crisis.
  • Going back to the office? Workers face 'uphill battle,' and here's why.
  • Are governors' stay-at-home orders bad for your health? We checked the facts.
  • Tracking coronavirus: Mapping the outbreak, state by state.

Potential COVID-19 treatment remdesivir will be available this week

Remdesivir, the first possible scientifically proven treatment for battling COVID-19, will become available for U.S. hospitals in the coming week, says the CEO of the biotech company producing the drug.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O'Day said the company had donated 1.5 million vials to the U.S. government, enough to treat 150,000 to 200,000 patients. Last week, early results from a global study conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found patients given the experimental drug remdesivir recovered faster and may be less likely to die. Patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster recovery time than those who received a placebo, the study found. 

– Mike Snider

More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY

  • Where's the beef ... and the chicken: Should we worry about a meat shortage?
  • 'Stop pretending tests are perfect': Antibody tests have yet to live up to promise.
  • Fact check: Are smokers at less risk for contracting the coronavirus?
  • What states are opening up, and when? Here's the list.
  • No sex, please, we're in a pandemic: Who can be intimate, who shouldn't while in coronavirus quarantine?

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus live updates: Senate reconvenes; J.Crew files for bankruptcy; Pence regrets not wearing mask

First Louisville inmates at Metro Corrections test positive for novel coronavirus .
Two Louisville Metro Correction inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed caseas among Louisville's jail population.Tracy Dotson, spokesman for FOP Lodge 77, which represents corrections officers, said Tuesday there were at least two positive cases among inmates in the jail, out of almost 300 inmates tested.

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