Coronavirus pandemic in the US
The local health department in Orange County said there's an increase in coronavirus cases amid protests from residents to reopen the beaches.
OC Health Care Agency said there were 163 new cases confirmed in Orange County Friday, which is 22% higher that the previously recorded high for one day – 133 cases announced Thursday.
The news comes after hundreds of demonstrators gathered Friday in Huntington Beach, California, where, despite recommendations from public health officials that people socially distance, large crowds were packed shoulder-to-shoulder near the popular Huntington Beach Pier.
Most were not wearing masks.
House Appropriations Committee spokesman Evan Hollander tells CNN that the White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, from testifying on the Hill next week.
"The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying," Hollander said in a statement.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere confirmed the decision.
"While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings. We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time," Deere said in a statement.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order to allow couples to get married using video-conferencing technology.
The order amends the in-person requirements for couples to obtain a marriage license.
The order still requires that a marriage or civil union be solemnized in the physical presence of an officiant and two witnesses, but it can be satisfied through the use of live audio-visual technology, according to a statement.
The order will take effect Monday, May 4.
President Trump discussed the projected number of deaths from coronavirus saying that “hopefully we are going to come in below that 100,000 lives lost.”
Trump said Friday that thanks to the steps Americans have taken as part of the 30 days to slow the spread guidelines, “we have saved thousands of thousands of lives. I can even make that if you want, hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Trump said that the 100,000 number is a “horrible number nevertheless,” and added that coronavirus “should have been stopped at the source, but it wasn’t.”
The 100,000 predicted deaths is a higher number than Trump has used in recent weeks, he had been predicting a high of 50 to 60,000 or even 70,000 people dying from the virus.
The National Basketball Association said this year’s Draft Lottery and Draft Combine has been postponed due to concerns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Draft Lottery was scheduled for May 19, and May 21–24 for the combine. Both events were set to be held in Chicago.
The 2020 NBA Draft is still set for June 25. The NBA season was suspended on Wednesday, March 11.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said elective surgeries can start Monday as part of a "stay-at-home 2.0" order that will be in effect through May 31.
He said public campgrounds can be used and interior parks will open, but seacoast beaches will remain closed.
"You are healthier at home, we want you to stay at home," he said Friday.
People can begin golfing again, and barbers and hair salons can open on May 11, he said. He added customers and employees must wear face masks.
Retail shops will also be allowed to open to customers on May 11, with limited occupancy. Employees must wear personal protective equipment.
Restaurants can open on May 18, but only with outdoor seating options. Tables must be 6 feet apart and only six people will be allowed per table.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said houses of worships can reopen with limited capacity.
People were encouraged to wear face masks.
His guidance also suggested a phased approach to resuming worship gatherings among vulnerable populations, according to a statement from his office.
Services should be limited to 50% of maximum capacity with increased social distancing between families, the statement said.
People who may be symptomatic or in close contact with someone who is should stay home, according to the statement.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said the state's "work-or-home" order that was set to expire May 14 will be lifted May 4, according to a statement from his office.
Outdoor dining service can resume May 4 as well, according to the statement.
McMaster also lifted the executive order that required people entering the state from coronavirus hotspots to self-quarantine for two weeks.
More than 1,500 warnings have been issued to park visitors for violating reopening rules, according to the Miami Beach Police Department.
Miami Beach park rangers issued 899 verbal warnings to park visitors not wearing face coverings on Thursday, the police department said.
Park rangers also issued verbal warnings to 10 people for failing to social distance as well as 76 people being asked to leave the parks after closing time.
Miami Beach reopened parks on Wednesday with some restrictions, including face coverings and social distancing.
Park rangers issued 652 warnings on Wednesday to people not wearing masks and 23 warnings to people not social distancing.