Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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1:21 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

NBA says facilities can open this Friday

From CNN's David Close

Exterior of the UCLA Health Training Center where the the Los Angeles Lakers practice seen on April 28, in El Segundo, California.
Exterior of the UCLA Health Training Center where the the Los Angeles Lakers practice seen on April 28, in El Segundo, California. Harry How/Getty Images

The NBA has informed all of its franchises that their facilities may open on Friday and be used on a voluntary basis by up to four individual players, as long as local or state guidelines are followed.

In a league-wide memo sent late Wednesday night, teams were told to designate up to six assistant coaches or player personnel who may supervise a player’s workout but that no more than four of those coaches or personnel may be in the facility at one time.

A source with knowledge of the memo shared some of its details. CNN has not seen the original memo. Team head coaches are not allowed to observe or take part in the workouts, according to the source. Team practices and scrimmages remain prohibited.

The Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed to CNN that their facility will be open on Friday for players to utilize.

1:06 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

It's Thursday in the US. Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're just joining our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, here are the key headlines today:

  • More than 73,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States: There are at least 1,231,992 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 73,573 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.
  • Another 3.2 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits: In total, more than 33.5 million people have filed first-time claims since mid-March as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing businesses to close and lay off workers. That represents 21% of the March labor force. 
  • One of Trump's personal valets tests positive for coronavirus: A member of the US Navy who serves as one of President Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus, CNN has learned Thursday, raising concerns about the President's possible exposure to the virus. Trump was upset when he was informed yesterday that the valet had tested positive, a source told CNN, and he was subsequently tested again by the White House physician.
  • What New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called "amazingly good news": Cuomo said 27,000 workers got antibody tests at 25 downstate health care facilities. The percent of health care workers in New York City and Westchester County who tested positive was actually about half of the general population, he said. In Long Island, the numbers were nearly the same. “That is amazingly good news,” Cuomo said. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced this morning that 140,000 New Yorkers will undergo antibody tests beginning next week.
3:02 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Texas governor modifies executive order after salon owner jailed for opening early

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that he has modified his Covid-19 executive order to "eliminate confinement as a punishment for violating the order" after a salon owner in Dallas was jailed for opening her business. 

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said. 

Abbott said the modifications are retroactive to April 2, and supersede local orders. If “correctly applied” the order should free the salon owner, Abbott said. 

What this is about: Salon owner Shelley Luther was found in civil and criminal contempt of court Tuesday in Dallas for ignoring a temporary restraining order prohibiting her from operating her business, Salon A la Mode, according to a court document.

As a result, Dallas Civil District Judge Eric Moyé ordered Luther to seven days in jail and fined her $500 for every day the salon stayed open.

According to Abbott's orders, salons are allowed to open tomorrow, with restrictions: There can only be one customer per stylist and there must be six feet between stations. Masks are strongly recommended but aren't mandatory.

See Dallas salon owner's response for defying lockdown

3:07 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

New York Police Commissioner after arrest video controversy: "We need extra patience"

Yana Paskova/Getty Images
Yana Paskova/Getty Images

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said today that New York police officers, "need extra patience, we need de-escalation more than ever."

The comments came after video showed an officer, who was responding to social distancing violation complaints, punching a man during an arrest.

Here's what the commissioner said during a live Twitter Q&A Thursday:

"All across New York City people are stressed out, people are tired of being cooped up, people are worried about health, people are worried about where their next meal is coming from, that's the reality of what we're doing, and they're going to rely on the NYPD to get 'em through this, they're going to rely on you to get 'em through this. We need extra patience, we need de-escalation more than ever. If it comes to summonses, then it's going to come to summonses and we're going to have to do it, but exercise that discretion as you always do, and we're going to count on you to do it more than ever.”

What this is about: The police commissioner made the comments after a controversial video emerged of an officer violently punching a man during an arrest this past weekend. The officers were responding to complaints over a lack of social distancing and people not wearing masks.

The officer captured in the video has been placed on modified duty. He was stripped of his gun and badge and an investigation has been launched by the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau. 

"There's a controversy right now," Shea continued. "We have to make sure that we are impartial in how we enforce the law ... but we have a couple videos that people think otherwise.”

Shea added, "I'm going to look at every incident and I'm going to call it as I see it."

Watch the video here:

12:29 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Here's what Gov. Cuomo calls "amazingly good news"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

State of New York
State of New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has been “aggressively” testing frontline workers for coronavirus. The state gave antibody tests to about 27,000 workers at 25 downstate health care facilities.

The percent of health care workers in New York City and Westchester County who tested positive was actually about half of the general population, he said. In Long Island, the numbers were nearly the same.  

“That is amazingly good news,” Cuomo said. “…We were afraid of what was going to happen, and the health care workers actually are at about the same or lower than the general population in that area.”

Cuomo says there are two points out of these findings:

  • Health care workers must be protected, so the state never has to go through a supply shortage ever again. 
  • Masks, gloves and sanitizer really work in fighting the coronavirus.

See more:

11:57 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

New York City could limit number of people in parks as weather gets warmer, mayor says

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

New York City could limit the number of people that go into parks as the weather gets warmer to help with social distancing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his morning Covid-19 presser.

The mayor said he has been having discussions with New York Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea to see how limiting park goers could work to prevent overcrowding which can happen quickly.

He said he expects to discuss this more tomorrow.

12:07 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

New York extends ban on evictions for not paying rent

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced extra protections for renters during the coronavirus crisis.

He extended a ban on evictions due to non-payment of rent for both commercial and residential tenants until Aug. 20. Previously, he issued a moratorium on evictions until June.

"It's not that the bill collectors have taken a vacation," Cuomo said.

The governor also said he is banning late fees on rent, and he's allowing tenants to use their security deposit as a rent payment.

See more:

11:49 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

At least 231 people in New York died of coronavirus yesterday

At least 231 people died across New York from coronavirus yesterday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the death toll is decreasing, but slowly.

"You can see how slow that has come down and how painfully high it still is," he said.

Watch the moment:

11:50 a.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Health director says ramping up testing will be "a wild ride"

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Andrew Harnik/AP
Andrew Harnik/AP

Dr. Francis Collins, Director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said the race to ramp up testing across the United States will be “a wild ride.”

Speaking today to the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee about new ideas for defeating coronavirus, Collins said, last week NIH announced a program called Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostic (RADx), “the goal of RADx is to help make millions more accurate and easy to use tests per week available to all Americans by the end of summer, and even more in time for the flu season,” Collins said.

Since it announcement last week, Collins said he is “delighted and somewhat astounded” that as of yesterday afternoon, “there were 1,087 applications initiated, 79 of those already complete.” 

 “In 27 years at NIH, I have honestly never seen anything move this quickly. The expert review team already in place has identified 20 of these completed applications that are ready to move into that first phase of intense scrutiny and the game is on, and it's going to be a wild ride,” he said.

Collins warned, the goal of RADx “is a stretch goal that goes well beyond what most experts think will be possible. I have encountered some stunned expressions, when describing these goals and this timetable.” 

“The scientific and logistical challenges are truly daunting, but I remain optimistic because of the track record of American ingenuity and the outpouring that has already happened, of great ideas coming into this Shark Tank,” Collins said.