Remdesivir is reportedly showing promise, but there's no guarantee the initial reports will lead to a commercially available treatment for COVID-19. USA TODAY
Officials instates including California andNew Jersey are urging people enjoying recently increased access to parks and beaches to observe social distancing regulations this weekend.
States across the nation are constantly changing their social distancing restrictions, slowlyrelaxing an uneven patchwork of regulations and making moves to reopen ravaged economies. The weekend will again bring challenges as some worry nice weather will cause crowding
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Here are the most significant developments to get your weekend started:
What we're talking about today:Should we worry about a meat shortage?
Some good news:Don't feel pressure to exercise too much as you're stuck at home"Whatever your regular exercise routine was, I wouldn't alter it," one expert recommends.
California authorities pleaded for beachgoers to follow social distancing rules over the weekend after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday temporarily shuttered Orange Countys coastline,a move he said was prompted by overcrowded beaches last weekend.
At least in some places, officials were pleased with results. In San Diego, where people can exercise on the beach but not linger, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer praised residents for heeding safety restrictions that public health officials have credited at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
But even as Newsom and others seek a cautious, phased reopening of the state, protesters dont want to wait.In Huntington Beach, police estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people gathered for May Day on a beachside street. They waved American flags and held signs. Most of them wore no masks and didnt practice social distancing.
In Sacramento, as police lined steps outside the Capitol, protesters waved signs that said Defend Freedom and broke into U-S-A chants.
A similar situation played out in various states on the East Coast on Saturday. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was pleased with initial reports of social distancing from a beachfront park, state parks and some golf courses that also reopened on Saturday. Meanwhile aReopen Maryland rallydrew a large crowd addressed by Rep. Andy Harris.
More than 30 gravely ill patients who took part in an experimentaltreatment for COVID-19 at Houston Methodist Research Institute have recovered from the illness and have left the hospital, the physician overseeing the therapy said Friday.
"All of these people were very, very sick," Dr. James A. Musser, chairman of the department of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, said in a phone interview. "Many of them were on ventilators. That was the common theme."
It cannot be said with certainty the treatment in which plasma donated by people who had fully recovered from the illness caused by the contagious and sometimes deadly coronavirus is injected into those still sick was responsible for recoveries, Musser said. But it appears to be a hopeful sign, he added.
Experts are still seeking to determine the types of patients who appeared to have benefited from the therapy and thetypes who did not.
John C Moritz
In an effort to limit further coronavirus infections, New York is initiating an intensive projectto identify the population with antibodies and determine the source of new cases.
Newly admitted virus patients into hospitals a majority in the downstate region hover at about 900 daily on a three-day average, including 831 Friday.
In an effort to lower the rate, the state's Department of Health is collecting more detailed demographic data on incoming cases, identifying residence, age, gender, race, underlying conditions, occupation, commuting method and other data to determine patterns in the newly infected and other clues on how new cases are generated.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the aim is to determine if infections, for example, are spread through the homeor limited to front line workers.
In preliminary antibody testing of 15,000 people, up from 3,000 last week, one in five New York City residents tested positive for the virus antibody.
- Jeff Platsky
Spaniards flocked to the streets and parks Saturday to end seven weeks of a strict coronavirus lockdownwhileItaly and France are poised toease rules for businesses on Monday.
Spanish authorities, however, remained cautious, keeping beaches closed and requiring face maskson public transportation. Some small businesses willreopen Monday on a limited basis. In mid-May, each province will begin gradually reopening more broadly every two weeks, as long as individual provinces do not experience a reversal in coronavirus cases.
Italy will begin liftingitsnationwide lockdown Monday by allowing some key businesses primarily construction and manufacturing to reopen under strictsocial distancingrules.Funerals will also be permitted, with participationrestricted to no more than 15 people. Barring a reversal,Italian retail shops will be able to reopen later in May with restaurants, cafes, hair salons and barber shops to follow on June 1. Schools will not reopen until September.
Meannwhile in France, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools will reopen May 11, followed bycafes, restaurants and bars. Germanywill allow hair salons toreopen Monday.
The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds will fly over parts of the Washington, D.C., area, Baltimore, Atlanta and Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Saturday as a tribute to health care and essential workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.
The tribute, which included a flyover Tuesday in New York City, Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey,is part of President Donald Trumps Operation America Strong salute.
Residents within the flight path can expect to hear jet noise as the 12 high-performance aircraft flyin precise formation, and people should be able to view the flyover from their homes.
Ohio's loosening of stay-at-home orders Friday represents Gov. Mike DeWine's cautious approach, starting with an easing of rules for hospitals, dentists and veterinarians, followed Monday withthe opening of construction and manufacturing. Retail and customer service shops will remain shuttered until May 12.
Meanwhile, to usher in the first ofMay, more than a dozen states like Louisiana and Colorado have allowed restaurants, storesor some other business to reopen, but under tightrestrictionsto keep people apart.Find the latest on your state here.
The coronavirus has left one Chicago neighborhood reeling. Blocks away, residents are living life largely as normal. The difference? Income and race.
USA TODAY took an exclusive look at how the pandemic hasbeen felt inneighborhoods across the nation by collecting the ZIP code-level data from health departments in 12 states.The results paint a grim picture of COVID-19's devastation in places just miles orblocks from communities experiencing far less harm:
Read the report here.
- Grace Hauck, Mark Nichols, Miriam Marini and Andrew Pantazi
For Kentuckians and many across the horse racing industry, the first Saturday in May is a sacred holiday reserved for one thing: The Kentucky Derby.
Today would have marked the 146th running at Churchill Downs, which postponed the race until September due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event annually draws 150,000 people to the Louisville racetrack who come dressed in their best spring attire colorful hats, seersucker suits, linen pants and bow ties all to catch a glimpse of the fastest 2 minutes in sports, drink a Mint Julep and maybe spot a celebrity.
The last time the Derby wasn't held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the U.S. government temporarily banned horse racing because of World War II.
And while racetracks in California, Kentucky and New York are closed,all eyes are on the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, which rescheduled its race for 3-year-olds fromApril 11 to May 2.
- Rachel Aretakis
Reporters and experts from across the country and the USA TODAY Network talk about America's most urgent questions on disinfection and reinfection. USA TODAY
California has gained praisefor its speed in enactingsocial distancing orders which have helpedkeepthe most populousstate from suffering the kind of runaway outbreaks that have plagued other states. But a USA TODAY Network analysis finds the state is still woefully unprepared to reopenin accordance with public health recommendations.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently laid out a reopening plan with benchmarks that must be met before he will recommend walking back stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures.He called for California to test between 60,000 and 80,000 people daily.
California is doing just a third of that, as of late April, conducting only about 52 tests per 100,000 people each day, according to a USA TODAY Networkanalysis. Across the nation, Californiafalls slightly into the bottom half of all states.
California is far behind behind the national leaders Rhode Island, North Dakota and New Mexico which are respectively averaging about 260, 209 and 163 tests per 100,000 residents each day. No other states have yet to achievethe recommended testing metric, though New York and Massachusetts are close.
Newsom has saidsome business sectors, such as retail and manufacturing, may be able to open within weeks if the state's testing capability grows and case numbers slow. Butother businesses such as hair salons will take longer.Large gatherings such as concerts still remain out of reach, he said.
Nicole Hayden,Mark Olalde, Jordan Culver and Joel Shannon
The FDAon Friday issued emergency authorization for use of remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalized coronavirus patients. Remdesivir"may be effective in treating COVID-19,"and "there is no adequate, approvedand available alternative,"the FDAs chief scientist Denise Hinton said in a letter.
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug from the American biotech firm Gilead Sciences. It was originally tested as a treatment for Ebola and other coronaviruses including SARS and is now being tested as a possible COVID-19 treatment.
Early data from a global study released Wednesday found patients given remdesivir recovered faster and may be less likely to die. However, another study published the same day in the British medical journal The Lancet found no clinical benefits to the drug.
- Grace Hauck
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has invoked the states Riot Control Act to seal off all roads to nonessential traffic in the city of Gallupto help control a surging coronavirus outbreak in the former trading post on the outskirts of the Navajo Reservation.
Gallup, a city of 70,000,is the seat of McKinley County andhas reported 1,027 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, the highest for any New Mexico county. Under Lujan Grishams order, which remains in effect until noon Monday, only two people per vehicle are allowed and residents should stay home except for essential trips.
The spread of #COVID19 in McKinley County is frightful. Physical distancing has not occurred & is not occurring, Lujan Grisham tweeted, after enacting the order at the request of Gallups mayor. Stricter measures are necessary to stop the virus.
Statewide, the governor reported eight deaths Friday, bringing the total to133, and 104 cases, raising the total to 3,513.
McKinley County includes part of the Navajo Nation reservation, which spans parts of New Mexico, Arizonaand Utah. The Navajo Nation ordered its own 57-hour weekend curfew starting at 8 p.m.
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Coronavirus live updates: Officials urge social distancing at beaches; over 65K have died in US - USA TODAY