May 24 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 10:04 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020
48 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Large crowds spotted at pool party at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri 

From CNN's Amanda Jackson

Jodi Akins
Jodi Akins

Jodi Akins visited Backwater Jacks Bar & Grill in Osage Beach, Missouri, on Saturday for a pool party.

Akins, from Blue Springs, went with four friends and acknowledged it was hard to social distance but said the bar took their temperatures before going in.

"Me and four of my friends attended the pool party. When we walked up my first words were 'oh my gosh' it was intense for sure!! Social distancing was nonexistent. However everyone was enjoying themselves. It was a very carefree environment but security was heavy," Akins told CNN.

Akins said the bar had bottles of hand sanitizer for patrons to use.

The bar posted on Facebook that this was its of summer launch party called "Zero Ducks Given Pool Party."  It advertised several DJs and bands performing throughout the event.

Watch here:

1:58 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

FDA commissioner issues Memorial Day warning: "Coronavirus is not yet contained"

From CNN's Devan Cole

FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn speaks at a coronavirus task force briefing on April 4.
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn speaks at a coronavirus task force briefing on April 4. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday urged Americans observing Memorial Day weekend to follow federal guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, saying the deadly virus "is not yet contained."

"With the country starting to open up this holiday weekend, I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks protect us all," Dr. Stephen Hahn wrote in a tweet.

Some context: The commissioner's Memorial Day warning comes as some states begin to reopen, allowing people to go to beaches, cookouts and bars as they observe one of the more popular holidays that's to take place amid the pandemic. But as social activities increase, health experts like Hahn warn the US is still not out of the woods.

"Even as states and some state officials rush to reopen it's on us to make smart and safe decisions," Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former disease detective at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN Saturday night.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told the public last week that going outside was fine, with cautious measures.

"Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you can have the physical distancing," he told a CNN coronavirus town hall. "Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing. As long as you're not in a crowd and you're not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus."

2:14 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Chile reports more than 3,700 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Ana Cucalon and Jackie Castillo

Chile's Ministry of Health reported 3,709 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, bringing the country's total number of cases to 69,102.

Health authorities also reported 45 new deaths, bringing the country's death tally to 718.

After Brazil and Peru, Chile has one of the highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America.

1:54 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

South Africa to reopen the majority of its economy

From CNN's Brent Swails

A customer buys a book at Magic Tree Books in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 1.
A customer buys a book at Magic Tree Books in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 1. Phill Magakoe/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa will reopen the majority of its economy starting June 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during a televised address to the nation on Sunday evening.

Most sectors will open under new level three regulations, but with strict observance of social distancing and health safety measures. 

The national borders will remain closed and flights will continue to be grounded, except for cargo. Schools will begin a phased reopening, with grades 7 and 12 beginning on June 1.

All public universities will be expected to begin remote teaching.

The nation’s coronavirus-related alcohol ban will be lifted for home consumption, but its ban on cigarettes continues under level three.

“We are in much better position than many other countries at this stage in the progression of the disease,” Ramaphosa said.

Some context: South Africa has conducted close to 600,000 coronavirus tests and more than 12 million screenings thanks to an army of around 60,000 public health workers deployed at the start of the country’s outbreak. 

Ramaphosa admitted that one third of South Africa’s cumulative cases occurred in the last week alone, adding that modeling shows that “the coronavirus pandemic is going to get much worse before it gets better.”

“We have known all along that the lockdown would only delay the spread of the virus, but it would not be able to stop it,” said Ramaphosa.

1:17 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

42 rabbis in Minnesota Rabbinical Association agree to keep doors closed

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

The Minnesota Rabbinical Association released an addendum to their statement issued Friday announcing they have agreed to keep the doors to their synagogues closed.

There are 42 rabbis in the association who agreed; all of them released a unanimous statement following guidance issued by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to continue worshiping at home.

1:04 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Ohio governor says wearing a face mask is not political

From CNN's Melissa Alonso 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine told NBC that wearing a face mask is not about politics.

DeWine said he agreed with the emotional plea made by fellow Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota on Friday.

“This is not about politics. This is not about whether you're liberal or conservative, left or right, republican, democrat. We wear the mask, and it's been very clear what the studies have shown. You wear the mask not to protect yourself so much as to protect others,” DeWine said.

DeWine urged Ohio residents to wear masks when in public.

"When you go out and interact directly with people, we're asking Ohioans to do this. And so, it doesn't — it's not about politics. It's not about conservative or liberal. It's about helping other people," DeWine said.

12:37 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

UK schools to begin reopening on June 1, prime minister says

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio in London

Children walk home from school in Altrincham, England, on March 20.
Children walk home from school in Altrincham, England, on March 20. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Schools in the United Kingdom will start to reopen on June 1, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a daily briefing on the novel coronavirus Sunday.

“In line with the approach being taken in many other countries, we want to start taking our children back into the classroom, in a way that is as manageable and as safe as possible,” Johnson said. “We said we would begin with early years' settings and reception, year one, and year six in primary schools.”

“We then intend from June 15 for secondary schools to provide some contact for ear 10 and year 12 students to help them to prepare for exams next year, with up to a quarter of these students in at any point," Johnson added.

Johnson went on to say, schools would be provided with guidelines on how to reopen in a way that is safe for students, teachers and parents, which would include:

  • Reducing the size of classes
  • Staggered breaks and lunch times, as well as drop-offs and pick-ups
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning
  • Reducing the use of shared items
  • Utilizing outdoor space

“All children and staff and their families will have access to testing, if they display symptoms,” Johnson added.

12:18 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

All professional sports in New York can "begin training camps," Gov. Cuomo says

Gov. Cuomo's Office
Gov. Cuomo's Office

Professional sports in New York can open their training camps, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today during a news briefing.

"Starting today, all the New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps. I believe that sports that can come back without having people in the stadium, without having people in the arena, do it! Do it! Work out the economics, if you can. We want you up. We people to be able to watch sports to the extent people are still staying home. It gives people something to do. It's a return to normalcy," Cuomo said.

Other news: Cuomo also said veterinarians practices in all regions can being on Tuesday. 

Campgrounds and RV parks will be open statewide Monday, he said.

12:19 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Boris Johnson refuses to sack embattled aide over reported lockdown breaches

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings leave 10 Downing Street on October 28.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings leave 10 Downing Street on October 28. Peter Summers/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stood by his embattled chief aide Dominic Cummings after it emerged that he made at least one journey across England despite the country's coronavirus lockdown.

Johnson said that Cummings "followed the instincts of every father and every parent, and I do not mark him down for that."

The prime minister said he has spoken to the aide and decided he had "no alternative" but to make a 260-mile journey to stay at his parents' property while his wife was sick with Covid-19 symptoms, in order to have his relatives care for his child.