Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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9:21 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic in the US has ended for the day. Get the latest updates from around the globe here.

8:23 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

California records second highest daily Covid-19 death toll as counties prepare to reopen

Workers wearing personal protective equipment perform drive-up Covid-19 tests at Mend Urgent Care testing site on May 13 in Los Angeles, California.
Workers wearing personal protective equipment perform drive-up Covid-19 tests at Mend Urgent Care testing site on May 13 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

More than half of all California counties are now moving forward with plans to further reopen their economies despite data showing the state recorded its second highest number of daily Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday.

According to California Department of Public Health, there were 102 deaths reported in the state Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,436.

The last time California reported more deaths in one day was on April 21. On that day, 115 deaths were recorded statewide, the most deaths California has seen in a single day since the pandemic began.

Some more context: As of Wednesday evening, 32 of California’s 58 counties attested to meeting guidelines that ensure the stability of the virus in their area, and have been approved to move forward by the Department of Public Health.

The counties “have submitted such attestations demonstrating the readiness of the county to respond in case of increased disease prevalence with testing, contact tracing, hospital surge capacity and PPE,” a California Department of Public Health spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.

Orange County in Southern California, on the other hand, reported its single worst day for deaths and new coronavirus cases.

The county reported 249 new cases and 10 deaths Wednesday, raising the county's totals to 4,742 cases and 98 fatalities.

8:26 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Woman injured by bison 2 days after Yellowstone reopens

Only two days after Yellowstone National Park partially reopened following coronavirus restrictions, a woman was injured by a bison Wednesday afternoon. 

The victim had been following the wild animal too closely, according to a statement from park spokesperson Linda Veress.

The woman – whose name was not released – was knocked to the ground and received attention from park medical staff, but did not go to the hospital. Veress said the woman did not follow the park’s guidance to stay at least 25 yards away from all large animals.

On May 12 – while the park was still closed – a different visitor entered the park illegally and fell into what Veress described as a “thermal feature” near Old Faithful. She had to be taken by air ambulance to a burn center for treatment.

8:18 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

FEMA releases Covid-19 pandemic operational guidance for upcoming hurricane season

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday released guidance for the 2020 hurricane season, taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The 59-page document details what the agency — and its partners — will need to consider when responding to hurricanes, given the pandemic, like practicing social distancing at shelters and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect personnel and survivors. 

For example, the agency — in coordination with state and local partners — will develop “localized mitigation strategies, including temperature and health screenings, increased cleaning and disinfection requirements, and reduced personnel footprints for social distancing,” when considering new disaster facilities. 

FEMA says it will also address the use of face coverings and guidance for individuals instructed not to enter FEMA facilities, like people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

While the document focuses on hurricane season preparedness, the agency notes that “most planning considerations can also be applied to any disaster operation in the COVID-19 environment, including no-notice incidents, spring flooding and wildfire seasons, and typhoon response.”

The document also acknowledges that FEMA is responding to the pandemic and as a result, the agency “is preparing additional personnel and physical space to meet expanded [National Response Coordination Center] incident support requirements,” and planning for contingencies.

8:08 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

NCAA allows Division I football and basketball to resume voluntary athletics activities starting June 1

The NCAA has announced that Division I football and men’s and women’s basketball players can participate in on-campus voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1.

The decision was made by the NCAA Division I Council in a virtual meeting Wednesday, as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed.

The status of voluntary athletics activities in all other sports and summer access activities in football and men’s and women’s basketball will be determined via electronic vote.

8:19 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Ventura County added to California's list of counties reopening

Kathie Webster, of Simi Valley, votes Tuesday from inside her car as Jessica Ocegueda, a records technician for the Ventura County Elections Office, helps with the special election for the 25th Congressional District at the polling station at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum.
Kathie Webster, of Simi Valley, votes Tuesday from inside her car as Jessica Ocegueda, a records technician for the Ventura County Elections Office, helps with the special election for the 25th Congressional District at the polling station at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Juan Carlo/Ventura County Star/USA Today

Ventura is the latest county to receive the green light to proceed forward into the "expanded phase two" of reopening in California.

As California counties move one by one further into reopening, Gov. Gavin Newsom is warning that Los Angeles is “likely a few weeks behind” the rest of the state. About a quarter of all California residents live in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles is “seeing some good signs which are very encouraging,” Newsom said in a round table discussion with entertainment leaders. He added that Los Angeles “remains a challenging part of the state.”

More counties reopen: In Central California, Kern and Kings counties were also granted permission to allow retail shopping and in-restaurant dining.

Meanwhile, San Diego officials said they are submitting a plan to move forward, but California Public Health noted the county has seen a marked rise in its infection rate, which jumped nearly 40% in the past two weeks.

In the Bay Area, Solano County leaders have submitted required information requesting permission to take the next step and say they anticipate approval.

Newsom expects to release guidelines next Monday allowing counties meeting defined criteria to continue moving even further into the process of reopening.

7:59 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Protesters stage Covid-19 funeral procession outside White House

CNN
CNN

Protesters staged a mock funeral at Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, to protest the White House coronavirus response.

Dozens of cars lined the street honking near the White House, while protesters lined body bags in the park.

Some protesters held signs criticizing President Trump, including one sign reading “How many graves can one President dig?”

The “Day of Mourning” protest was organized by multiple activist and political action groups, including Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn, Indivisible and Care in Action.

CNN
CNN

8:13 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

New census survey shows 47% of households have lost employment income during the pandemic

The US Census Bureau released the first results from its new “pulse survey” today in response to the pandemic. In the April 23-May 5 period, 74,413 households responded.

Here are some of the key findings:

EMPLOYMENT

  • Among the population of adults 18 and over 47% either lost employment income or another adult in their household had lost employment income since March 13.
  • 39% of adults expected that they or someone in their household would lose employment income over the next four weeks.

FOOD INSECURITY

  • About 10% of adults reported that they did not get enough of the food they needed some of the time or often. Another 32% reported getting enough food, but not the kinds of food they needed.
  • On average, households spent $196 a week to buy food at supermarkets, grocery stores, online, and other places to be prepared and eaten at home.

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Adults who responded reported feeling anxious or nervous more than half the days last week or nearly every day 29.7% of the time.
  • They reported not being able to stop or control worrying more than half the days last week or nearly every day 22.8% of the time.
  • For measures related to depression, 18.6% of adults report feeling down more than half the days or nearly every day last week, and 21.4% reported having little interest or pleasure in doing things more than half the days or nearly every day last week.

 OPTING TO DELAY MEDICAL CARE

  • 38.7% of adults report that over the last four weeks, they delayed getting medical care because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 HOUSING INSECURITY

  • Being unable to pay rent or mortgage on time was reported by 10.7% of adults, while another 3.2% reported they deferred payments.
  • When asked about the likelihood of being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time, 21.3% reported only slight or no confidence in being able to pay next month’s rent or mortgage on time. Another 2.5% reported next month’s mortgage is or will be deferred.

 HOMESCHOOLING

  • In households with children enrolled in public or private school (K-12), adults spent 13 hours on average on teaching activities during the last seven days.

Expectations for loss in income have been most extreme in Hawaii, New Jersey and Nevada.

Food scarcity has been at the highest levels in Mississippi, Illinois and Louisiana.

8:06 p.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Orange County reports highest number of deaths and cases in single day

Orange County in Southern California reported its highest number of deaths and new cases in a single day on Wednesday with 10 deaths and 249 confirmed cases.

At least 4,742 cases and 98 deaths have been reported in the county, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA).

Data from the Orange County HCA shows that 30 of the county’s 98 deaths were from skilled nursing facilities. Of the 4,742 confirmed cases, 514 were from skilled nursing facilities and 360 were jail inmates.

Earlier this month, crowds of more than 2,500 people gathered in Huntington Beach to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to temporarily close all Orange County beaches to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.