May 23 coronavirus news
Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.
The New York Times will list the names of 1,000 Americans who have died from coronavirus, or 1% of the nearly 100,000 US deaths, on its front page for Sunday. The newspaper tweeted a preview of the front page Saturday.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California Gov. Gavin Newsom's ban on in-person church services in a ruling issued Friday in a lawsuit filed by a church in Chula Vista.
"We conclude that appellants have not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on appeal. Where state action does not 'infringe upon or restrict practices because of their religious motivation' and does not 'in a selective manner impose burdens only on conduct motivated by religious belief,' it does not violate the First Amendment," the ruling said.
South Bay United Pentecostal Church filed for a temporary injunction and sued the governor along with several other state officers on May 8 following Newsom's May 4 announcement that stage two of the state's reopening plan would commence within a week, according to the ruling.
The state of California is currently in stage two of its four-phase reopening plan. Churches would be allowed to reopen in stage three of the plan as they are a "higher risk workplace," the ruling noted.
A district court denied the request for a temporary injunction on May 15, according to the ruling.
Foreign athletes from multiple professional sports leagues will be allowed to return to the United States after Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf signed an order on Friday exempting them from any proclamations barring their entry into the US during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity," Wolf said in a statement released by DHS. "In today's environment, Americans need their sports. It's time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work."
The statement said DHS will work with the leagues "to identify the specific athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents covered by this exemption."
The leagues include:
- Major League Baseball
- National Basketball Association
- Women’s National Basketball Association
- Professional Golfers’ Association Tour
- Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour
- National Hockey League
- Association of Tennis Professionals
- Women's Tennis Association
Hospitalized Covid-19 patients appear to fare better when they receive infusions of antibody-filled convalescent plasma, according to a study released on Friday.
The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed or published in an academic journal, but researchers said the findings are a good sign for the plasma therapy, which is derived from the blood of recovered Covid-19 patients.
We are encouraged that our initial assessment offers evidence in support of convalescent plasma as an effective intervention," said Dr. Nicole Bouvier, an associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a co-author on the study, in a statement.
Researchers are "remaining mindful that additional studies are needed to confirm these findings and draw more definitive conclusions in different populations," she said.
The new study was small. It compared 39 patients who received convalescent plasma with "matched controls" – patients who didn’t receive plasma but were similar to those who did.
It wasn't a traditional clinical trial because patients weren’t randomly assigned to a treatment group or a control group. Instead, the controls were picked after-the-fact using an algorithm.
Still, patients who received plasma saw improved survival. As of May 1, about 13% of patients who received the treatment had died, compared to 24% of those who didn’t.
The researchers said larger studies were needed, but they noted that the mortality benefit was limited to patients who didn’t need a breathing tube.
"We did not observe significant benefit of convalescent plasma in intubated patients, consistent with past literature demonstrating that passive antibody transfer therapies are most efficacious early in disease," they wrote.
British police have confirmed that an officer made contact with the father of Dominic Cummings – a senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – regarding his trip to Durham during the nationwide lockdown, the Press Association reported Saturday.
This information contradicts an earlier statement from Downing Street, which asserted that the police made no contact with Cummings or his family.
An officer spoke with the father of Dominic Cummings, who said that his son had traveled to the northeast of England and was "self-isolating in part of the property," according to Durham Police, the PA reported Saturday.
This comes after Downing Street issued a statement regarding Cummings' trip to Durham, asserting that "at no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported."
Cummings has come under fire for reportedly traveling to Durham – more than 250 miles from his home in London �� on two separate occasions, despite national lockdown regulations.
Downing Street has since denied these reports, featured in the Mirror and Guardian newspapers, arguing that they contain "false allegations" and "inaccurate stories" about Cummings.
"His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally," according to a statement from Downing Street.
The New York Police Department has lost a 43rd member to complications of Covid-19, according to the NYPD's daily coronavirus report.
Doris Kirkland died Friday after having served as a school safety agent for over 30 years, the NYPD said.
To date, 5,739 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus.
As of Saturday. 5,598 members of the NYPD have returned to work full-time after recovering from a positive test for the coronavirus, the report said.
On Saturday, 2.6%, or 926 members, of the NYPD's uniformed workforce were out sick – down from a high of 19.8%. A total of 80 uniformed members and 19 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus, the NYPD said.
Chile's Ministry of Health reported 3,536 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, bringing the country's total cases to 65,393, as of Saturday afternoon.
Health authorities reported 43 new deaths, bringing the country's death tally to 673.
After Brazil and Peru, Chile has one of the highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America.
Around 12.5% of Moscow's residents – or around 1.5 million people – are estimated to have the antibody for coronavirus, the city's health authorities said Saturday, following screening involving more than 50,000 residents over the past two weeks.
The Russian capital on May 15 formally launched a massive free coronavirus screening program, selecting Moscow residents at random to visit one of 30 city clinics for the free antibody tests. The city has also been screening medical workers and patients for antibodies.
The results of the study pointed to a possible easing of lockdown measures in the city, according to a statement from Alexey Khripun, the head of the city's health department.
"Such a percentage of immunity among Muscovites may point to a softening of the regime of self-isolation," Khripun said. "Yesterday the mayor of Moscow decided to expand planned medical treatment. This is an example of how Moscow will gradually move away from a strict regime of self-isolation."
Authorities in Moscow said the screening program is designed to better inform measures taken to contain the epidemic. The statement from the city’s health officials said the results were "comparable to cities that were among the first to encounter the virus," comparing Moscow’s results to those in Madrid.