May 25 coronavirus news

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3:42 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Aerial view of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.
Aerial view of downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Shutterstock

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:

3:26 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Konstantin Toropin

Colorado Governor holds a press conference outside of STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado on Monday, May 18.
Colorado Governor holds a press conference outside of STRIDE Community Health Center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado on Monday, May 18. Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty Images

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.

3:01 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Nada Bashir

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.


3:42 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Rob Frehse

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

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.

2:48 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

California issues guidelines for reopening churches

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

A church cross is seen in downtown Los Angeles on April 18.
A church cross is seen in downtown Los Angeles on April 18. David McNew/Getty Images

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.”

2:42 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Dubai to ease restrictions on movement starting Wednesday

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem

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.
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. Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

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.

“The decision was made based on a careful assessment of the current situation, with its various health, economic and social dimensions," he said, according to the Dubai Media Office.

"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.

3:21 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Elise Hammond

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

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:

2:33 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

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

From CNN's Dianne Gallagher 

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. 

“We are working with stakeholders to develop guidelines for several large events planned for Charlotte in the coming months including the RNC and anticipate providing that guidance in June,” the statement said. 

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.

2:30 p.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February 

From CNN's Hada Messia, Nicola Ruotolo and Mia Albert

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

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.