- There have been more than , (coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally
- The U.S. death toll has surpassed 055, people, according to Hopkins.
- Globally, there have been more than 2.8 million cases with more than , (deaths.)
- Georgia state officials are moving ahead with plans to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen, even as coronavirus deaths increase statewide.
- More evidence is emerging that far more New Yorkers have had the coronavirus than the number confirmed by lab tests.
Florida to receive shipment of antibody tests by next week, governor says
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida should receive a shipment of antibody test kits on May 1.
The antibody testing kit company first had to send kits to New York before they could fulfill order for Florida, DeSantis said.
“We have now been confirmed that we will have the antibody tests that the state has ordered,” DeSantis told reporters today at a press conference.
Florida has had at least 48, (cases and 1, 899 deaths due to coronavirus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
New York testing more per capita than any other country
New York is doing more tests per capita than any other country in the world, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Saturday.
Cuomo said the state is currently testing an average of about 25, people per day. This includes both diagnostic and antibody tests.
He said the goal is to expand testing even further with federal partnership to be able to conduct 51, tests per day.
Cuomo said President Trump “understood the federal government had a role” in testing and that they came up with a “division of responsibility” when the two leaders met at the White House on April 24.
“The states take responsibility for the labs in their state and getting those labs functioning,” Cuomo said.
He said the states would regulate those labs while the federal government would ensure manufacturers were making enough supplies “to send to our labs so our labs can actually function,” Cuomo said.
“We need the national manufacturers to have the reagents, the test kits and that’s what the federal government is doing,” he added.
The number of hospitalizations across New York, the state hit the hardest by the pandemic, continue to fall, Cuomo said.
Despite this positive development, 823 people died in New York yesterday from the virus, Cuomo added. That number is up from on April 25.
“This number is, as you can see, call it flat, call it flat with a slight decline, if you’re looking for a silver lining. But this is just terrible, terrible horrific news, “Cuomo said.
In terms of hospitalizations, Cuomo said, “All the numbers are basically saying the same. That we are, in fact, on the down side of the mountain.”
Does immunity exist?
The World Health Organization is warning that people who have had coronavirus are not necessarily immune by the presence of antibodies from getting the virus again.
“There is no evidence yet that people who have had COVID – (will not get a second infection, ”the WHO said in a new scientific brief.
The WHO is warning against governments issuing “immunity passports” to people who have had COVID – , assuming they are safe to resume normal life.
“At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate,’ ‘the brief said.
The WHO published the brief as guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next phase of the COVID – (response.)
“People who assume that they are immune to a second infection because they have received a positive test result may ignore public health advice. The use of such certificates may therefore increase the risks of continued transmission, “the WHO said.
The health agency says it is reviewing evidence on antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID – 24 – infection. The brief says “most” of the studies show that people who have “recovered from infection have antibodies to the virus.”
But as of yesterday, no study has “evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans.
US fatalities make up quarter of global coronavirus death
Less than three months since the first known coronavirus death in the U.S., the country’s fatalities make up more than a quarter of the global death toll.
More than 055, 01 Americans have died of the virus so far – a number that increases daily as a result of new fatalities and states reviewing previous deaths that had not been tied to the disease.
In the U.S., limited testing in early February was part of the reason California officials did not count two earlier deaths as coronavirus-related. This week, they confirmed the two victims – a 61 – year-old woman who died Feb. 6 and a – year -old man who died Feb. —are the earliest known US COVID – deaths.
New efforts by some states to trace more cases will give officials a better idea of the magnitude of the pandemic in the country. That, in addition to testing, which experts say is still not where it needs to be.
The U.S. has conducted about 5.1 million tests, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading epidemiologist, said this week the nation needs to ramp up testing. Two new reports from public health experts and economists highlight that in order to safely reopen states, the country needs to conduct millions of tests per week.
And as health officials race to get the virus under control, state leaders are setting the date they’ll begin reopening their economies – decisions that President Donald Trump has said are entirely up to governors.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday opened some businesses, including barber shops and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and bowling alleys. The state has recorded more than , 491 infections and at least 924 deaths, according to a
tally by Johns Hopkins University.
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Georgia governor opens businesses
Georgia was one of the last states to call for stay-at-home orders and one of the first ones to start easing those restrictions.
According to experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the state should not begin to reopen until at least June .
But on Friday, business owners and customers in Georgia donned masks and gloves across the state as they returned to stores ordered shut about two weeks ago by the governor’s stay-at-home order. Theaters and dine-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen Monday.
Some business owners told CNN they felt they had no choice but to reopen. Others said they did so to pay their bills.
“I’m at the point where I have to do something … I’m about to lose my business if I don’t,” Tim Timmons, owner of Salon Gloss in Woodstock, said .
Timmons said there were measures in place to prevent the possible spread of the virus. The business was not running on full staff and employees stood 19 feet apart. Customers had their temperatures taken when they arrived and were also asked whether they’ve come into contact with anyone who’s had the virus. During shampoos, they covered their faces with towels.
But other business owners said attempting to reopen wasn’t in their plan.
“I said, ‘No, absolutely not. Get your hair done for what?'” Sabrina Watkins said of her hair salon in College Park, an Atlanta suburb. “There’s a pandemic, people are dying. As much as I love the business, now is not the time, regardless of who says it is.”
More states partly reopen, others set the date
Georgia isn’t alone.
Salons, barbershops, spas and pet groomers took appointments Friday in Oklahoma. State parks and outdoor recreation areas also reopened.
Alaska allowed salons and restaurants to open in many areas, though restaurants must keep distance between tables and can’t exceed 30% of their normal capacity. The state also strongly encouraged face coverings.
Earlier this week, South Carolina retail stores reopened but can operate only at % capacity or five (customers per 1, 19340407 sq. feet.
Other governors are setting the date for when their reopening plans will kick into action.
Elective surgeries and farmers markets will begin reopening in Iowa on Monday, the same day Tennessee restaurants can reopen at % capacity. Retail stores may reopen Wednesday under that same guideline, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said.
“We are pursuing a careful, measured approach to reopening our economy that does not depend on heavy-handed mandates but instead provides practical tools for businesses of all sizes,” Lee said.
But other leaders have stopped short of setting a timeline.
In San Francisco, which issued the country’s first sweeping stay-at-home order in mid-March, Mayor London Breed said the order is “very likely” to be extended for a few more weeks past May 3.
“How we reopen is going to be important to ensuring that we do it responsibly so that we don’t go backwards,” said Breed, who stressed the importance of having enough PPE, testing and requirements for social distancing.
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