Coronavirus pandemic in the US

By Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020
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6:17 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Meat packing plant says employee on ventilator will receive "the support she deserves"

From CNN’s Jeremy Harlan

A JBS Greeley beef plant spokesperson said an 11-year employee will receive “the support she deserves" after her daughter told CNN Wednesday about her mother getting sick while working at the plant.

Tin Aye is now in a local Colorado hospital connected to a ventilator due to Covid-19, according to her daughter.

Aye’s daughter San Aye told CNN Wednesday her family filed a Family Medical Leave Act claim with JBS.   

“We were not aware of her FMLA claim before it was brought to our attention, but they do not need to worry about the claim. We will make things right and ensure she and the family will receive the support they deserve,” Nikki Richardson with JBS Corporate Communications said in an updated statement to CNN.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Aye started feeling ill in March and went to a JBS clinic to be checked by plant staff, according to her daughter.

Aye said the clinic staff told her mother that her symptoms were that of a common cold and she could return to work on the plant’s production lines.

In a previous statement, Richardson said: “If this is true, it would be a clear violation of our culture and procedures, which puts team member health and safety first.”

6:15 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

White House staffers and Secret Service agents sent for testing following Covid-19 case in West Wing

From CNN's Peter Morris, Allie Malloy and Kaitlan Collins

White House staffers, US Secret Service agents and officers working at the White House were seen heading to the White House Medical Unit for testing Thursday in response to news that a presidential valet testing positive for Covid-19.

More than 100 special agents and uniformed division officers were dispatched to the White House Medical Unit located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the West Wing.

A law enforcement source familiar with White House security operation told CNN the hastily arranged testing was ordered under the direction of the White House Medical Unit.  

President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the senior staffers who regularly interact with them have been getting tested weekly for coronavirus, two people familiar told CNN.

Later on Thursday, Trump told reporters he would be tested daily, saying there were "a number of days missed" between when the valet was last tested and when the valet discovered he had coronavirus.

Thursday’s testing included any Secret Service agent or officer who could potentially be in the proximity of the President or the Vice President, this includes special agents of the presidential protection detail and a variety of specialized officers and agents.  

“White House Medical is calling all the shots," the source said.

A United States Secret Service spokesperson told CNN it would not be disclosing information on testing practices.

“To protect the privacy of our employee’s health information and for operational security, the Secret Service is not releasing how many of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19, nor how many of its employees were, or currently are, quarantined,” a statement from USSS read.

6:11 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

San Francisco won't begin to reopen until May 18

From CNN’s Cheri Mossburg and Sarah Moon

A woman carries shopping bags during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco, on Thursday, May 7.
A woman carries shopping bags during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco, on Thursday, May 7.

San Francisco will not lift stay-home restrictions until May 18, Mayor London Breed said.

The city will not join the rest of California in reopening on Friday.

“As long as SF continues progress reducing the spread of Covid-19, we anticipate allowing some businesses to resume operations with storefront pickup as soon as May 18th,” Breed tweeted on Thursday. 

“Retailers like bookstores, florists, & music stores will be the first allowed to operate storefront pickup,” she added.

The stay-at-home order for seven Bay Area jurisdictions, which began on May 4, still remains in effect. 

“The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses, and that is not allowed to begin on Friday, May 8,” the counties said in a statement. 

“We appreciate that the Governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level,” they added.

The areas covered in the regional order are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, along with the city of Berkeley. 

“The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway,” the statement said. “Our communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. We expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations.”

6:01 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Disney Springs begins phased reopening on May 20

From CNN’s Natasha Chen

An empty street is viewed in front of the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment district, on Monday, April 6, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
An empty street is viewed in front of the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment district, on Monday, April 6, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

Following the announcement of Shanghai Disneyland's reopening on May 11, Disney announced today that Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment area in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, will begin a phased reopening on May 20. 

The statement said the reopening would include “increased cleaning procedures, the use of appropriate face coverings by both cast members and guests, limited-contact guest services and additional safety training for cast members.”

Theme parks and resort hotels will remain closed.

Florida began allowing restaurants to begin dine-in service on May 4, but restaurants at Disney Springs did not reopen on that date.

5:59 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Former CDC chief warns black and Latino communities will pay the price if economy reopens too early

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Local residents fill out paperwork at a mobile COVID-19 testing station in a public school parking area in Compton, California, on Tuesday, April 28. St. John's Well Child and Family Center is providing COVID-19 testing sites in African-American and Latino communities which have been neglected in terms of testing as compared to wealthier areas of Los Angeles County.
Local residents fill out paperwork at a mobile COVID-19 testing station in a public school parking area in Compton, California, on Tuesday, April 28. St. John's Well Child and Family Center is providing COVID-19 testing sites in African-American and Latino communities which have been neglected in terms of testing as compared to wealthier areas of Los Angeles County. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued a warning this afternoon on the White House's decision not to implement the latest CDC guidelines on when businesses could begin to safely reopen.

"If workplaces can decide for themselves what they're going to do, we're going to see the same burden put on the same populations, black Americans, Latinos, frontline workers who have just been getting slammed during this pandemic, he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "They are going to be at risk if these kind of standards aren't adhered too."

Besser's remarks came after reports the Trump administration had decided not to implement a 17-page draft recommendation from the CDC for reopening America, a document which provided more detailed suggestions beyond the reopening guidelines the administration had put forth last month, including specific suggestions for schools and churches. 

Besser went on to say that as states move to quickly reopen, they face the potential for further coronavirus outbreak.

“If you look at the trends around the nation, and you look at the number of states that are opening up their economy, it’s a really risky proposition,” Besser said. “I worry that we’re going to see very significant outbreaks in many of those places.”

5:49 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Kentucky governor says restaurants can open on May 22

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

A restaurant offering takeout only stands in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, April 25.
A restaurant offering takeout only stands in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, April 25. Stacie Scott/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Restaurants will be able to reopen with outdoor seating and 33% capacity on May 22, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday.

He said movie theaters and fitness centers will be allowed to reopen on June 1. Campgrounds will reopen on June 11.

The state’s goal is to allow childcare along with low-touch and outdoor youth sports by June 15, he said.

Beshear said phase three of the reopening plan will begin in July and plans include bars and groups of 50 people.

5:56 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Southern California’s Orange County will reopen beaches today

From CNN's Sarah Moon

Lifeguards patrol an empty beach in front of the Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday, May 3, in Huntington Beach, California.
Lifeguards patrol an empty beach in front of the Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday, May 3, in Huntington Beach, California. Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Beaches in Southern California’s Orange County will reopen starting today for active recreational use, county officials announced Thursday.

The announcement comes just a week after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all beaches in Orange County to close when large crowds gathered one weekend. 

Newsom gave the county permission to reopen and announced in an earlier press conference on Thursday that an agreement was made for a “very thoughtful reopening.”

The state reviewed and approved the county’s phased beach reopening plan this morning, director of Orange County Community Resources Dylan Wright said.

It is consistent with the governor’s order, Wright added. 

Orange County supervisor Michelle Steel said she’s still confused as to the governor’s motives on singling out their county.

“I want to reiterate that the governor’s actions on this front were clearly arbitrary and capricious and completely unnecessary,” Steel said.

 

5:43 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Arkansas governor says casinos to resume limited operations on May 18 

From CNN's Janine Mack

The start of the 10th race at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on Derby Day during the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday, May 2, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The start of the 10th race at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on Derby Day during the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday, May 2, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Arkansas will allow the state's three casinos to resume limited operations May 18, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday.

Southland Casino Racing in West Memphis, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs and Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff have been closed since mid-March.

"On May 18, we will be working to provide new guidance for the three gaming casinos in Arkansas so that they can renew limited operations," he said. "They will be opening on May 18 at one-third capacity, one-third capacity with social, with stringent, social distancing requirements in place."

Hutchinson said this is part of his phase one plan to reopen the state during the coronavirus pandemic.

5:41 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Georgia creates Spanish-language task force to share coronavirus safety measures

From CNN’s Kevin Conlon

Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King announced the creation of a task force to communicate and educate critical information and important coronavirus measures in Spanish.  

“Priority one is to find ways to communicate effectively and safety measures, including practicing social distancing, wearing masks in public and avoiding large social gatherings,” King said. “This work will involve coordinating with local businesses, radio stations, churches and other organizations to stop the spread of this disease using the Hispanic community, which has been especially hit hard.”

King said he wants the workers at the town’s poultry plants to practice the same precautions at home as they are required to at work.

“I've toured local poultry plants firsthand to see the safety measures that have been put in place to protect workers while maintaining the supply. Now the next step is to ensure workers continue maintaining these same practices while at home in their communities," King said.