Live Updates

May 25 coronavirus news

Americans flock to beaches for holiday weekend

What you need to know

  • More than 5.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported worldwide, as well as at least 344,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The US has suspended entry for anyone who has been to Brazil in the previous 14 days, as the number of cases in the South American country spike.
  • UK leader Boris Johnson said he will not fire a top aide despite multiple reported lockdown breaches.
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Peru reports more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases

A health worker transports an oxygen tank at the Cesar Garayar support hospital in Iquitos, Peru, on May 22.

The Peruvian Health Ministry said on Monday that the total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Peru rose to at least 123,979 — an increase of 4,020 from the previous day.

The ministry said on Friday that a total of 3,629 people have died, including 173 additional deaths reported since the previous day. The ministry reports countrywide totals each day for cases confirmed through midnight of the previous day. 

Peru has the second highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Latin America behind Brazil. 

Brazil reports more than 11,000 new coronavirus cases in past 24 hours

The Brazilian health ministry said Monday the country registered 11,687 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 374,898.

The country recorded 807 new coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 23,473.

Brazil’s growing outbreak has caused the country to rise in the global rankings of countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The South American nation is now second only to the United States in reported number of cases. 

Daytona Beach mayor says city needs to remind visitors "they are guests" as it reopens to public

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry.

The mayor of Daytona Beach, Florida, Derrick Henry said the city needs to educate visitors about the rules and regulations that have been put in place to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“One of the things we have to do is educate our visitors of what our expectations are and remind them they are guests,” Henry told CNN on Monday.

“We have to do it through our website and use messaging boards as people are entering the city to inform them of what we’re expecting and what they can and cannot do,” he added.

This comes after a video released by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office showed a crowd of people not socially distancing while celebrating Memorial Day weekend in Daytona Beach.

Henry said the crowd came from Orlando and Miami for “a big celebration of sorts because they were happy to be out.”

“If you are going to be a guest, you are a guest and we want you to come with a guest mentality. Otherwise we want you to choose another destination,” he said.

The latest numbers: There has been at least 659 coronavirus cases and 37 deaths in Volusia county where Daytona Beach is located, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Cases in Florida increased this weekend – from at least 563 on Saturday to about 997 on Sunday.

White House moves Brazil travel suspension to start tomorrow

The White House released an amendment to the travel suspension for Brazil, moving the effective date up by two days to tomorrow, May 26 at 11:59 p.m. ET, instead of May 28.

The proclamation will suspend entry into the US for any individual who has been in Brazil within 14 days immediately preceding their attempt to enter the country.

It’s aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus coming into the United States from Brazil, the country with the second most cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the change.

Coronavirus pandemic is "far from over," researcher says

Dr. Christopher Murray and CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Dr. Chris Murray, a researcher behind an influential coronavirus model from the University of Washington, said Monday that the Covid-19 pandemic is “far from over.”

“We continue to forecast, really, an awful lot of deaths right through to August,” Murray told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “And if we think past August, the total will continue well past that date as well.” 

Murray cited new survey data on mask usage that shows “on average in the US, about 40% of Americans say in surveys that they wear a mask all the time. Eighty percent say they wear a mask some of the time or all of the time.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Sunday that there is “clear scientific evidence” that masks work to mitigate the spread of the virus.

The researcher said he believed that social distancing and mask usage were factors for why the Covid-19 crisis was “not as bad as it could have been.”

“We really think that’s because of mask use and people being more cautious,” Murray said. “But of course, the images this [Memorial] weekend make you wonder if people are starting to forget about that caution.”

Watch here:

Catch up: The latest coronavirus headlines

Visitors enjoy their Memorial Day weekend at Pensacola Beach on Saturday, May 23.

It’s almost 6 p.m. in New York and 11 p.m. in London. If you’re just joining us, here’s what you’ve missed:

  • WHO warns there could be a second peak, not a second wave: During a media briefing, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said the world is “right in the middle of the first wave, globally.” Ryan warned that a second peak or wave could come during the normal influenza season, “which will greatly complicate things for disease control.” WHO also announced today that it has temporarily halted studying hydroxychloroquine as a potential Covid-19 treatment in its Solidarity Trial due to safety concerns.
  • Trump administration’s testing plan continues to place responsibility with states: The Trump administration is promising to buy 100 million testing swabs and vials by the end of the year and distribute them to states as part of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report to Congress obtained by CNN. But the largest share of the responsibility to ramp up testing remains on the states themselves. Democratic leaders said in a written statement that Trump’s plan is “disappointing” and they accused the administration of not taking responsibility for testing on a national scale. 
  • UK top aide defends lockdown trip: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser, Dominic Cummings, defended his actions after receiving widespread criticism for traveling more than 250 miles from his London home during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, telling reporters on Monday that he traveled to Durham to ensure the welfare of his child and doesn’t regret his decision.
  • Americans crowd public places as Covid-19 cases rise in some states: Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the Memorial Day weekend — many venturing out without masks and others failing to keep their distance even as officials highlighted the continued importance of both in order to prevent another surge of infections.

Two-month lockdown in Palestine will be lifted this week

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures as he talks to reporters during a press conference in Ramallah on May 5.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced Monday that a two-month lockdown in the Palestinian territories would come to an end in the coming days.

Speaking from Ramallah, Shtayyeh said that government offices will return to regular work on Wednesday morning after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

He also said that shops, commercial and industrial establishments, and places of worship can reopen for prayers on Tuesday.  

Shtayyeh still urged caution, saying, “If we see new cases developing, we will reinstate all previous measures,” according to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency.

There are at least 122 active coronavirus cases in the Palestinian territories, according to Wafa.

More than 98,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There are at least 1,657,441 cases of coronavirus in the US, and at least 98,034 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

Johns Hopkins reported 14,195 new cases and 314 deaths on Monday.  

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Another Covid-19 vaccine enters human trials

Dr. Nita Patel, Director of Antibody discovery and Vaccine development, looks at a computer model showing the protein structure of a potential Covid-19 vaccine at Novavax labs in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 20.

Maryland-based biotechnology company Novavax announced plans Monday to begin enrolling approximately 130 people with a new experimental vaccine against the novel coronavirus. 

It’s the 10th company worldwide to start human trials of potential vaccines against Covid-19.

The first volunteer is expected to be vaccinated Monday evening in Australia, where the initial phase of the trial is being conducted at two sites.

The vaccine, called NVX‑CoV2373, produced high levels of neutralizing antibodies in pre-clinical testing, according to a company statement issued Monday.

“These results provide strong evidence that the vaccine candidate will be highly immunogenic in humans, leading to protection from COVID‑19 and thus helping to control the spread of this disease,” the statement said.

The announcement was made only in the statement, and the data has not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal. 

The company says it expects to have preliminary safety and effectiveness results in July. If the results are promising, the trial will proceed into its second phase, in which a larger group of participants in multiple countries would be tested to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and Covid-19 disease reduction capacity of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Novavax plans to produce the vaccine ahead of time, so a supply will be available if it is proven to work. The manufacturing is being accelerated with $388 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership among public, private and philanthropic organizations.

A company spokesperson tells CNN Novavax expects to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the year, and a billion doses in 2021.

France reports continued decrease of hospitalized patients with coronavirus

The number of patients hospitalized with coronavirus across France continues to decline, falling by 387 over the last 24 hours, the French Health Ministry confirmed Monday.

The total number of patients currently in hospitals with coronavirus now stands at 16,798.

France also continues to see a decline in the number of patients admitted to intensive care units, with a total of 1,609 patients currently in intensive care – 46 fewer than Sunday’s total.

This decline comes a day after the health ministry reported a spike in cases over the weekend.

According to the latest data released by the country’s health ministry, the nationwide death toll now stands at 28,432. These are the latest figures released by the government since Thursday, when the holiday weekend began.

Connecticut reports 49 new coronavirus deaths

Connecticut reported 405 new coronavirus cases and 49 new deaths, according to a statement released from the governor’s office on Monday.

Some of the latest numbers come from data that occurred over the last several days to a week, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.

As of 2 p.m. today, the state now has a total of 40,873 cases of coronavirus and 3,742 deaths.

At least 706 Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized.

California workers union calls for immediate closure of Los Angeles meat plant

The workers union representing 1,300 employees of Smithfield’s Farmer John plant just south of Los Angeles, California, are calling for its immediate closure in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak.

The company, which makes the Dodger Dog, a delicacy at baseball games, reported 153 cases among its 1,837 employees, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Of the 153, only 14 have returned to work. Smithfield has offered testing to all employees.

The union said the company needs to increase safety measures before reopening.

“Working conditions inside the plant are similar to what we are seeing nationwide in Smithfield plants,” John Grant, the president of UFCW Local 770, said in a statement. “Workers are still too close together on the line, in the breakroom, the bathrooms and other such hubs.”

Rina Chavarria, who works at the plant, said in the statement that workers do not feel safe.

“We work hard every day. Smithfield has not taken steps to make sure workers are protected and now so many of us are getting sick. We can’t go to the plant under these conditions. We are paid too little not to work so we call on Smithfield to do the right thing and close the plant while we keep our pay and benefits,” Chavarria said.

Some context: President Trump signed an executive order at the end of April aimed at keeping meat-processing facilities open during the pandemic.

This left plants across the country scrambling to balance worker safety with pressure from the federal government to remain operational.

Kuwait to end full Covid-19 curfew on May 30

Residents walk in a neighborhood of Kuwait City, on May 12, as authorities allowed people to exercise for two hours under a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kuwait will not extend its full coronavirus curfew beyond May 30, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA said on Monday, citing Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh.

Al-Saleh announced that Kuwait will instead turn to a partial curfew to pave the way “for restoration of normal life,” KUNA reported.

No further details were immediately provided about the partial curfew.

The country has so far recorded 21,967 coronavirus cases with 165 deaths, according to its health ministry.

Canada wants national sick leave plan in place for possible second wave of the pandemic

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill to attend the Special Committee meeting on the COVID-19 global pandemic in Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday, May 20.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is trying to give all workers a minimum of 10 days paid sick leave per year as Canada starts to prepare for a possible second wave of the pandemic. 

“Nobody should have to choose between taking a day off work due to illness or being able to pay their bills. Just like nobody should have to choose between staying home with COVID-19 symptoms or being able to afford rent or groceries,” Trudeau said during a press conference from Ottawa Monday. 

The effort is complicated by the fact that sick leave is usually a provincial jurisdiction. Trudeau said putting the necessary mechanisms in place for a national paid sick leave program would be challenging but his government and the provinces are determined to try. 

“When the fall comes and flu season starts up we don’t want people who develop a sniffle to suddenly worry that while they really shouldn’t go into work but they can’t afford to not go into work and therefore the risk of contributing to a wave significantly, could be a real problem,” said Trudeau. 

Canada’s top doctor repeated her assertion Monday that a second wave of the virus could be worse than the first and encouraged public health officials to build up capacity for testing, hospital beds and PPE in order to prepare. 

“I think you can never be overly prepared and we have to just keep going with some of these capacity developments and that goes for lab testing as well,“ said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

By the numbers: As of Monday, Canada had reported more than 86,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 6,500 deaths. 

Charlotte councilman says Trump's desire for RNC capacity crowds is "unrealistic"

Aerial view of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

A Charlotte city councilman said President Trump’s threats to pull the Republican National Convention from North Carolina aren’t realistic.

Earlier today, Trump contended that Gov. Roy Cooper is “unable to guarantee” that the arena will be allowed “full attendance.”

“I think that it’s unrealistic for the President, or anybody, to expect Governor Cooper… to be able to guarantee anything about what three months from now looks like,” said Larken Egleston, a Democrat who helped vote to bring the RNC to the Queen City.

He told CNN’s Brianna Keilar that he thinks the Covid-19 pandemic has been politicized.

“I think at first, at least in our state, we were seeing a lot of bipartisan cooperation for doing what’s best for the citizens of North Carolina. That seems to be fraying,” Egleston said.

Vice President Mike Pence on Monday suggested a trio of other states — all with Republican governors — as possible RNC replacements for North Carolina.

“It’s an issue we’ve been talking about because these national conventions literally take many months to organize and prepare and there are states around the country – we think of Texas, we think of Florida, Georgia, the last two states I visited last week that have made tremendous progress on reopening their communities and reopening their economies,” Pence said.

Egleston reacted to the mention of moving the convention to Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

“If the reason that they’re moving is because they don’t want to adhere to some of the precautions… I think it’d be pretty reckless of those states,” he said.

Watch full interview here:

Day camps in Colorado will be allowed to open next week, governor says

Colorado Governor holds a press conference outside of STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado on Monday, May 18.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced the state would loosen restrictions on restaurants and open summer day camps, ski resorts and campsites, a statement from his office announced today. The move is as part of an update and extension of his “Safer at Home” executive order.

Restaurants in the state will be able to open for in-person dining at 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever is less, starting Wednesday, the statement said. Restaurants are also encouraged to provide outdoor seating.

Meanwhile, bars will remain closed, the order said.

The new order also allows children’s day camps and youth sports camps to open on June 1 “with restrictions and strong precautionary measures,” the statement said.

Ski resorts and private campsites will also be allowed to reopen, though ski resorts will still need approval from local authorities. 

“We are still a long way from returning to normal, but these updates are a step in the right direction because Coloradans are doing a good job so far limiting our social interactions,” Polis said in the statement. 

The governor said they will be evaluating rules for establishments that do not serve food and overnight youth camps in June.

Thousands of UK stores to reopen mid-June as government relaxes lockdown restrictions

The UK retail sector is set to begin reopening in mid-June as part of the government’s planned second phase in the gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday, giving the go ahead for thousands of stores across the country to prepare to open their doors for business. 

“Today, I want to give the retail sector notice of our intentions to reopen shops,” Johnson said during a news conference today. “From June 15, we intend to allow all nonessential retail – ranging from department stores to small independent shops – to reopen,” he continued, adding that outdoor markets will be permitted to reopen from June 1. 

According to a government statement, retail businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment and taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure, in line with current Health and Safety legislation.

Those businesses failing to implement the safety measures set out by the government could face fines and even jail sentences of up to two years, the statement added. 

“This change will be contingent upon progress against the five tests, and will only be permitted for those premises that are Covid-secure,” the prime minister cautioned.

New York City reports more than 16,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths

Refrigerated trucks functioning as temporary morgues are seen at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on May 6, in New York City.

New York City has 16,482 confirmed coronavirus deaths and 4,777 probable coronavirus deaths as of May 25, according to the most recent data on the city’s website.

The New York City Health Department defines probable deaths as people who did not have a positive Covid-19 laboratory test, but their death certificate lists as the cause of death “COVID-19” or an equivalent.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus deaths and probable coronavirus deaths in New York City is 21,259.

There have been 196,098 cases of coronavirus in New York City and 51,197 people have been hospitalized, according to the city.

California issues guidelines for reopening churches

A church cross is seen in downtown Los Angeles on April 18.

California issued guidelines on Monday that would allow places of worship to open, while still “strongly recommending” institutions hold remote services for vulnerable populations including older adults.

Here are some of the suggestions included in the guidance:

  • Religious leaders are asked to “strongly consider” discontinuing singing and group recitation where transmission of the virus through exhaled droplets is increased.
  • Sharing items like prayer books, prayer rugs, and hymn books are discouraged and single use or digital copies are suggested as alternatives.
  • Potlucks should be discontinued and communion is suggested to be modified by offering in the hand rather than on the tongue.
  • Attendance should be held to 25% of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees, whichever is lower.
  • Holding services outside is encouraged.
  • Pews and other seating should be reconfigured to keep six feet of physical distance between households.
  • Shorter services and implementation of a reservation system to limit the number of attendees at one time are suggested.

Despite the guidelines, the state cautions that “even with adherence to physical distancing, convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of COVID-19.”

Dubai to ease restrictions on movement starting Wednesday

Residents hang their laundry off the railing on their balconies at their apartment building, to disinfect them under sunlight, in the city of Dubai on May 17.

Dubai will allow movement and business activity between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET - 3 p.m ET) starting on Wednesday, as the Emirate begins to ease restrictions imposed during Eid holidays to stop the spread of coronavirus, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed tweeted.

“We followed how the pandemic impacted most countries of the world, but what distinguishes us is our ability to deal positively with the changes,” he added.

Some context: The United Arab Emirates had imposed a strict nationwide curfew during Eid holidays, a time where families gather and people go out.

Reported cases and deaths during the month of May continued to rise in the UAE, which now has over 30,000 cases in total and 248 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

Other Emirates have not yet announced the easing of curfew.

"We have to pump the brakes," Houston mayor says after large weekend crowds gathered

Houston, Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner and CNN's Brianna Keilar.

The mayor of Houston, Texas, Sylvester Turner, said “we have to pump the brakes” on relaxing coronavirus restrictions after seeing images of crowds not complying with social distancing over the weekend.

“There are some pretending as though this virus no longer exists, and quite frankly, it’s not only endangering themselves and those who are at these gatherings, but they’re engaging everybody else when they leave these gatherings, they go back home, they go to their jobs and respected places, other people are being jeopardized,” Turner told CNN on Monday.

In response to the crowds, Turner announced yesterday that he will enforce the 25% capacity rule in bars and clubs –– two days after saying the rule would not be enforced. The city also will enforce the 50% rule for restaurants, he said.

Turner said if businesses do not voluntarily comply with the capacity rules, the city can close the establishment for that particular night.

He said they received 180 complaints yesterday.

“The fire marshals went out, talked to the establishments, the managers or the owners and in all cases where they went out, the people agreed to voluntarily comply,” Turner said. “That’s a good sign and we’re hoping that others will follow suit.”

The latest predictions: Texas is one of a handful of southern states at risk of seeing a rapid surge of new coronavirus cases in some areas, according to a new projection model.

That model predicts that Harris County, which includes Houston, could see more than 2,000 new cases each day by June.

Watch here:

City of Charlotte anticipates providing "guidance" next month on Republican convention 

The city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina released a joint statement Monday addressing preparations for the Republican National Convention set to be held in August. 

According to the statement, the city, county and “other local entities will continue to plan for the RNC while respecting national and state guidance regarding the pandemic.”

In a series of tweets Monday morning, President Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if the state’s governor did not “immediately” give on answer on whether the site of the convention would be allowed to be fully occupied.

Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February 

Doctors and nurses treat a patient in the Covid-19 department at the Bari Polyclinic in Bari, Italy, on May 05.

Italy has recorded 300 new confirmed cases of coronavirus over the last 24 hours, the national Civil Protection Agency confirmed Monday –– the lowest daily increase in new infections since February 29. 

According to the latest data, the number of active cases has also dropped by 2.29% to at least 55,300 on Monday.  

The total number of patients in intensive care is now at 541 –– a decrease of 12 patents over the last 24 hours. 

Italy is also reporting 92 new coronavirus deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 32,877, the agency said.

There has been at least 230,158 coronavirus cases in the country so far, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.