This article contains ongoing U.S. and international updates on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Here are some key updates for Monday, May 4, 2020. You can find more details by scrolling through the story.
- The worldwide death toll has passed 250,000
- Journey cancels its 2020 tour
- NFL moves scheduled international games back to the U.S.
- ESPN announced it will air South Korea's Korea Baseball Organization games.
- World leaders -- but not the US or Russia -- have pledged billions of dollars to help fund research into a coronavirus vaccine.
- Carnival Cruise Line on Monday announced plans to phase a few North American services this summer, starting on August 1.
- Italy began stirring again Monday after a two-month coronavirus shutdown.
- Greece has begun gradually lifting its restrictive measures after a 42-day lockdown
There were more than 1.17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. by 5:45 p.m. ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 68,000 people in the United States have died.
Worldwide, over 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. More than 250,000 people have died around the globe.
For most, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Allegiant Air to provide passengers with masks, gloves
Allegiant Airlines will provide its passengers with masks, gloves and wipes before each flight, according to an announcement from Chief Operating Officer Scott Sheldon. The airline did not say if masks and gloves were mandatory.
Journey cancels 2020 tour
Citing the coronavirus, rock band Journey announced it would be canceling its upcoming tour and refunding ticket holders.
"Having seen what the world has endured the last 45 days, & not knowing what the rest of this year or 2021 will bring, we knew the right thing to do was to make sure our fans’ health was not put in jeopardy and to provide immediate access to refund options," the band said on Twitter.
NFL moving London, Mexico City games back to US stadiums
The NFL is moving its five games scheduled for London and Mexico City this season back to U.S. stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic. All five regular-season games will be played at the stadiums of the host teams.
Scheduled were two home games for the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London and two at Tottenham’s new facility, with the Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins as hosts.
The Arizona Cardinals were set to be the home team for the game at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
"After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK," said NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Christopher Halpin. "We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season."
Halpin added: "We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK."
ESPN to televise South Korea's Korea Baseball Organization games
ESPN announced Monday it will air South Korea's Korea Baseball Organization games during the upcoming 2020 season. The league's opening day is on Tuesday.
"We're thrilled to become the exclusive English-language home to the KBO League and to showcase its compelling action and high-level of competition," said Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president of programming. "We have a long-standing history of documenting the game of baseball and we're excited to deliver these live events to sports fans."
ESPN said the first game to air will be between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions at 1 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
World leaders pledge billions for virus vaccine research
World leaders have pledged billions of dollars to help fund research into a coronavirus vaccine and to develop new treatments and better testing.
The aim is to gather about $4.37 billion for vaccine research, around half that for treatments and $1.64 billion for testing.
Officials say the funding is just the start, as much more will be needed in coming months to scale up production and distribution. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the money being sought Monday is merely a “down-payment” and that five times that amount may be needed in the long term.
Apart from many European leaders, heads of state and government from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Africa and Turkey were also due to speak, along with China’s EU ambassador. The United States, where more than 67,000 people have died, was a notable absentee, as was Russia.
Carnival Cruise Line Announces Plan To Phase-In Service
Carnival Cruise Line on Monday announced its plans to phase a few North American services this summer, starting on August 1.
Eight ships will be departing from Miami, Port Canaveral and Galveston.
All North American cruises from June 27 to July 31 will be canceled, and all other trips in North America and Australia, not leaving from the three designated ports, will be canceled through August 31.
All Carnival Spirit Alaskan cruises from Seattle will be canceled, as well as the Carnival Spirit Vancouver-Honolulu cruise on September 25 and the Honolulu-Brisbane transpacific cruise on October 6.
"Impacted guests and their travel advisors are being notified by email, including options for a combined future cruise credit (FCC) and onboard credit (OBC) package, or a full refund," the company's statement said. "We are committed to supporting all public health efforts to manage the COVID-19 situation. We are taking a measured approach, focusing our return to service on a select number of homeports where we have more significant operations that are easily accessible by car for the majority of our guests."
Supreme Court begins 1st arguments by phone
It’s a morning of firsts for the Supreme Court: the first time audio of the court’s arguments is being heard live by the world and the first arguments by telephone. The changes are a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made holding courtroom sessions unsafe, especially with six justices aged 65 or older and at risk of getting seriously sick from the virus.
The experiment that began Monday could propel the court to routinely livestream its arguments. Or the 10 cases over 6 days could end up as extraordinary exceptions to the court’s sustained opposition to airing its proceedings live.
Big Ten Conference extends suspension of team activities
The Big Ten Conference announced it would be extending its suspension on all organized team activities until June 1.
The conference previously canceled all spring sports through the end of the academic year and announced a moratorium on all on and off-campus recruiting for the "foreseeable future."
Starbucks reopening locations across the country
Starbucks has announced it is reopening locations across the United States and Canada starting Monday after some were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But it’s not back to business as usual. Customers can expect a handful of adjustments to the Starbucks experience.
Pulitzer Prizes to be announced after delay caused by virus
The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts will be announced Monday after being postponed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The announcement of Pulitzer winners was postponed from April 20 to give Pulitzer Board members who were busy covering the pandemic more time to evaluate the finalists. The awards luncheon that is traditionally held at Columbia University in May will be postponed as well. Details of a fall celebration will be announced at a later date.
The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were first awarded in 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor in the U.S.
Russia sees steady rise in virus cases
Russian officials are reporting a steady rise in the number of the new coronavirus infections that raises pressure on the nation’s healthcare system.
The government’s headquarters dealing with the outbreak reported more than 10,500 new cases Monday, including nearly 6,000 in Moscow.
That has brought the nation’s total to over 145,000, including almost 1,400 deaths.
The number of cases has risen quickly over the past few days, fueling concerns that the nation’s hospitals could be overwhelmed. Authorities have charged that broader testing has contributed to a surge.
Russia’s economy has been partially shut down since late March, and the lockdown measures have been extended through May 11.
Donor gives employees at hospital $1 million for bonuses
An anonymous donor has gifted their local hospital $1 million, designating the funds to go entirely to the staff, from floor cleaners to nurses.
This means $800 bonuses this month for staff at Dignity Health Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California. Nursing supervisor Amy Loudon says she’s amazed at the generosity of a stranger, and especially appreciative it’s being shared with everyone on their team, working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Many Italians get back to work as lockdown eases
Italy began stirring again Monday after a two-month coronavirus shutdown, with 4.4 million Italians able to return to work and restrictions on movement eased in the first European country to lock down in a bid to stem infections.
Around the country, construction sites and manufacturing operations resumed, and restaurants and gelaterie scrubbed their floors in preparation for take-out service.
Sit-down service in bars and restaurants, as well as the reopening of commercial shops and hairdressers is still several weeks off and dependent on the implementation of social distancing and hygiene measures. Italians were told to wear masks in closed spaces and public transport.
Mourners were able to attend funerals for some of Italy’s nearly 29,000 dead, but the services were limited to 15 people and there was still no word on when Masses would resume. Professional athletes were allowed to get back to training and parks opened their gates to stir-crazy joggers, parents and children, though playgrounds were still off-limits.
Greece gradually lifts 42-day lockdown
Greece has begun gradually lifting its restrictive measures after a 42-day lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Monday morning, Greeks are no longer restricted as to why they can leave their homes, and don’t need to send an SMS or carry a self-written permit justifying being outdoors.
The first businesses have also opened as part of what authorities have said will be a staggered re-opening of the economy. Hair salons, barber shops and stores selling books, sporting goods, stationary, and other items can now open, albeit with strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place.