Latest in coronavirus pandemic. New Coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can cause more severe illness or death.
—German experts say vaccines, a vital herd of immunity.
—We let the federal social distance guidelines end.
—The number of British deaths has jumped more than 26,000 with deaths in nursing homes.
—As lockdowns diminished, health officials urged vigilance of the virus.
PHOENIX – Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has extended his order at home until May 15, but he partially ended his order to close a non-essential business.
The Republican Governor said the spread of the corona virus appeared to have slowed in the state, but there were no clear signs of death and new cases were trending down.
He allowed several retail businesses to open next Monday, with more opening by the end of next week. He expects the restaurant to be allowed to reopen some in about two weeks, but hasn’t made it official yet.
The governor praised the general public and the business community for obeying orders to stay home and close, saying they saved lives.
CHEYENNE, Wyo – Governor Mark Gordon said Wyoming will ease some restrictions on the corona virus on Friday, with haircuts, gymnasiums, nail salons and child care centers among businesses that will be allowed to reopen on a limited basis.
Changes to replace health orders set to end on Thursday. They are the first step in the Republican governor’s plan to restart the country’s economy.
Gordon also said Wyoming residents would be allowed to camp in state parks starting May 15.
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz – Residents in Navajo Nation will be under another lockdown later this week because the tribe is trying to prevent the corona virus from spreading further into the community.
Lockdown is the fourth term the tribe has implemented. It came around the first month when tribal members often traveled to cities bordering reservations for food and other supplies.
Tribal officials say they are working with businesses on reservations to create protection for Navajo elders, such as extending special shopping hours for themselves and others who are at high risk for contracting the corona virus.
Anyone who does not need to leave home for food, medicine, or in an emergency is asked to remain at home.
On Tuesday, tribal health officials reported 1,873 positive cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths. Booking 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) stretches to Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
LOS ANGELES – More than half of prisoners in federal prisons in Los Angeles tested positive for the corona virus and two of them have died, officials said.
On Wednesday, 570 of 1,055 inmates at the Federal Penitentiary, Terminal Island had the virus, as did 10 staff members, according to the US Prison Bureau. Two prisoners died due to complications related to COVID-19, the agency said.
Many inmates have no symptoms, said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. Prison officials began testing prisoners for the virus on April 23 at a facility in Los Angeles Harbor, he said.
In the north in Santa Barbara County, 36 inmates and 10 staff tested positive at the Federal Penitentiary, Lompoc, according to the prison bureau. In the U.S. Penitentiary closest, Lompoc, 83 inmates and 15 staff suffered from the virus and one inmate had died, the agency said.
“The Prison Bureau and the Department of Justice must act immediately to reduce the imprisoned population and protect those in BOP detention – as well as correctional officers and staff – from this deadly virus,” US Senator Kamala Harris said in a statement.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he plans to travel to Arizona next week and hopes to continue the campaign again after spending more than a month largely confined to the White House because of coronavirus.
Trump said he was looking forward to his Arizona trip next week and also hoped to visit Ohio soon despite the fact that many countries remained in a kind of lockdown as the virus continued to spread.
He said: “We will start moving and hopefully in the not too distant future, we will have some large-scale demonstrations and people will sit side by side.”
Trump won’t say exactly when he hopes to continue the rally, but says it will depend, in part, on the country.
UNITED NATIONS – United Nations humanitarian chief says 44 COVID-19 cases and four deaths have been announced in Syria.
Mark Lowcock told the US Security Council that the health care system destroyed by nine years of war cannot be expected “to overcome crises that challenge even the richest countries.”
Lowcock said 43 cases were confirmed and three deaths have been announced by Syrian authorities in Damascus and its surroundings, and the first cases and deaths have been confirmed in northeast Syria.
He said “testing capacity is still very limited,” efforts are underway to regulate the isolation areas in the camps, and measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 are already detrimental to the most vulnerable.
MOSCOW – Russian officials say more than 1,000 cases of the corona virus were found among workers who built liquefied natural gas facilities in the far northern Murmansk region.
Interfax news agency quoted regional officials as saying 80 cases were found Wednesday at the Belokamenka work site, bringing the total to 1002 – more than 1% of all cases reported in Russia.
The infection was found in a camp that housed around 4,500 construction workers working for the project contractor.
There is also concern about a similar outbreak among workers in a gas field under construction in the northeastern Sakha region. The regional governor, Aisen Nikolayev, said this week that all workers had been tested and the number of infections was significant, although he did not provide figures.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis said Florida restaurants and retail stores will be allowed to reopen on Monday with a 25% capacity, if the local government allows it.
The governor specifically excluded the hard-hit and densely populated Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach areas, saying their business would begin the first phase when it was safer.
The governor will also allow hospitals and surgery centers to restart elective procedures that are not essential – but only if they have sufficient medical supplies and agree to help nursing homes and living facilities that are helped to prevent and respond to coronavirus outbreaks. Parks, golf courses and other outdoor recreation areas have reopened in several districts on Wednesday.
DeSantis, a Republican, is more careful than neighboring Georgia, as well as a task force set up by DeSantis last week to learn how to get people back to work.
UNITED NATIONS – Climate activist Greta Thunberg launched a campaign with the Danish foundation to help fund an emergency program for US children’s agencies to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Thunberg said in a statement that “like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child-rights crisis” which will affect children now and in the long run, especially the most vulnerable.
He urged people everywhere “to step up and join me in supporting UNICEF’s important work to save the lives of children, to protect health and continue education.”
The campaign was launched with $ 100,000 from the Greta Thunberg Foundation and $ 100,000 from the Danish Human Act Foundation.
GENEVA – A senior World Health Organization official said the US health agency is checking whether grandparents can hug their grandchildren safely without risking contracting the corona virus.
The comments from Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical emergency program leader, came after a Swiss health official this week suggested that grandparents could hold young grandchildren – under the age of 10 – shut down without the risk of contracting COVID-19 disease.
Most statistics show that older people and people with pre-existing health conditions make up the majority of victims who die from a pandemic.
At the WHO press conference, Van Kerkhove acknowledged that many grandparents “were very eager to hug their children, grandchildren” and said that the problem was one of the “life reviews” carried out by WHO.
DETROIT – The city of Detroit has passed 1,000 deaths due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.
Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair said 1,008 people in Detroit had died. The city has 8,954 confirmed corona virus cases.
Of the last 16 deaths, 14 of the victims are aged over 70 years, while eight of them are over 80 years according to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
HELSINKI – Finland says it will gradually reopen schools starting May 14 after the closure that began last month to stem the spread of the new corona virus.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin said primary, secondary and secondary schools would be opened “in a controlled manner” in accordance with the recommendations and guidance of health officials.
Among other things, that would include keeping classrooms as separate from each other as possible in different shifts.
Public schools in Finland have been closed since March 18. Education Minister Li Andersson stressed that the government could not continue the closure “because this is not epidemiologically sustainable.”
Finland, a country of 5.5 million, has recorded 206 COVID-19 deaths and 4,906 confirmed cases.
NICOSIA, Cyprus – The President of Cyprus has launched a road map to gradually revoke strict orders, living in homes that have successfully blocked the spread of COVID-19.
But Nicos Anastasiades said “the danger is not over” because the virus will not completely disappear in the near future. He warned that “deviations from or bad disciplinary action” against the authorities’ guidelines would lead to a return to locked conditions “that no one wanted.”
Movement restrictions will begin to be canceled on May 4, with out-of-home visits increasing from once a day to three. The curfew at night will remain in effect until restrictions are completely lifted on May 21, when restaurants, hair and beauty salons will also reopen.
Anastasiades did not say when the airport will be fully operational in a country that depends on tourism. The ban on all flights is still valid until May 17.
Cyprus, with a population of around 880,000, has recorded 843 confirmed cases of the corona virus and 15 deaths.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said the federal government would not extend social distance guidelines when they expire Thursday at the end of the month.
Trump told reporters at the Oval Office that the coronavirus guidelines would “fade” because of the work the governors were doing in their states.
Vice President Mike Pence said the guidelines issued 45 days ago had been incorporated into the guidelines given to countries on how they could begin the process of gradually reopening their economies.
The guidelines – which were originally supposed to last 15 days and then be extended for another 30 days – include encouraging Americans to work from home and avoiding restaurants and free travel and telling older Americans and those with serious health conditions to isolate themselves .
LONDON – The official UK death rate from coronavirus has jumped to more than 26,000, after deaths in nursing homes are added to daily totals for the first time.
The government says 3,811 more people have died after testing positive for the corona virus than previously reported.
The death toll now stands at 26,097, up from 21,678 announced Tuesday.
To date, hospital deaths have been reported every day, while deaths in nursing homes and other settings are reported separately every week.
The new total is the second highest official victim in Europe after Italy, although countries do not use the exact same action.
This might still be underestimated because testing has not been routinely done in nursing homes to date.
BERLIN – Four leading scientific research organizations in Germany say some of the steps put in place to curb the corona virus infection rate need to remain there until the vaccine is found or herd immunity is achieved.
They said in a joint statement that their mathematical model independently showed the reproduction rate of the outbreak had been below 1 in Germany since the end of March. This means that each person confirmed with COVID-19 has been infected with less than one other person during the past month.
The Fraunhofer Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society say the decline in new cases in Germany is thanks to restrictions and changes in behavior. But they warned “the situation is unstable, even a small increase in the reproduction rate will bring us back to the phase of exponential growth.”
They said fighting for herd immunity, where so many people gained immunity so that the virus effectively stopped spreading through the population, would need “several years” and some restrictions needed to be maintained. Experts say the vaccine may not be available until next year.
These institutions urge focus on three areas: sustainable hygiene measures; expanded testing and search capacity; and adjusted contact restrictions.
ROME – The head of Italy’s coronavirus pandemic strategy said the country was ready to face a second wave of infection “even greater than the first” if the reopening gradually led to a surge in new cases.
Domenico Arcuri told the House of Deputies that 20 Italian regions now have twice as many ventilators as are currently needed and the 5,200 intensive care beds that Italy had before the pandemic almost doubled to 9,000.
Italy, the center of a European pandemic with more than 27,000 people killed, entered the crisis with a fraction of the ICU’s capacity compared to other developed countries.
Arcuri told lawmakers that beds in sub-intensive care had increased sixfold, a similar increase in the capacity of Italian beds in infectious diseases and pneological wards.
The planned reopening of Italy begins May 4.
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