Live Coronavirus Updates – The New York Times


The U.S. loosens restrictions, even as it nears 100,000 deaths.

The United States edged closer to 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Saturday, even as overall infections have slowed and the country has moved to loosen restrictions intended to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Medical experts have warned that lifting lockdowns could cause a spike in cases, but governors continued to ease rules in hopes of reviving the economy, while President Trump played golf at his members-only club in Virginia.

In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distancing protocols were followed. On Saturday the governor reported 84 new deaths from the virus statewide, the first time the daily death toll has fallen below 100 since late March.

The risks of trying to return to normal life were underscored in Missouri, where health officials said that a hair stylist who worked for eight days at a salon while sick with the virus had potentially exposed 84 clients and seven co-workers.

And a new study found that, compared with white or Hispanic patients, black patients seeking care have more advanced cases of Covid-19.

The disparity remained even after researchers took into account differences in age, sex, income and chronic health problems that exacerbate Covid-19, like hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

The finding suggested that black patients may have had limited access to medical care or that they postponed seeking help until later in the course of their illness, when the disease was more advanced.

On Thursday nights, Britons bang pots and pans and let out hearty cheers of support for doctors and nurses who care for coronavirus patients and for other essential workers amid the pandemic.

But Annemarie Plas, the organizer who started #ClapForOurCarers, said in an interview with the BBC on Friday that next week’s national applause, the 10th, should be the last, pointing to concerns that the act of recognizing the workers had become politicized.

“I think that would be beautiful to be the end of the series, to maybe then stop and move to an annual moment,” Ms. Plas said. “I feel like this had its moment and then we can, after that, continue to something else.”

Ms. Plas said that she believed the ritual was “slowly shifting” and that other opinions had “started to rise to the surface,” referring to some criticism the movement has received. An opinion article in The Independent questioned the point of applauding if health care workers were underpaid. And some National Health Service workers have said they felt “stabbed in the back” by people who ignore public health guidelines.

While Britons have shown their appreciation for health care workers, Ms. Plas said, it’s now time for people in power to “reward and give them the respect they deserve.”

“I think to maintain the positive impact that it’s had so far, it’s best to stop at its peak,” she told the BBC.

The future of nightly clapping rituals in cities like New York, where it began in late March and continues to go strong in some neighborhoods, remains unclear.

The N.B.A. is in the early stages of discussions with the Walt Disney Company to restart its suspended season in late July at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a league spokesman said Saturday.

The restart would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which would act as “a single site for an N.BA. campus for games, practices and housing,” said the spokesman, Mike Bass.

“Our priority continues to be the health and safety of all involved, and we are working with public health experts and government officials on a comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure that appropriate medical protocols and protections are in place,” Mr. Bass said in a statement.

The N.B.A. was among the first major sports leagues to suspend its season on March 11 as a result of the coronavirus, beginning a cascade of other leagues doing the same. Since then several players, including the Nets star Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the virus.

Several hurdles remain to a resumed season. One is testing. The league was criticized when some of its teams were able to obtain tests for their players even though there was a nationwide testing shortage, raising questions of greater accessibility for the wealthy.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bass said, “Regular testing will be key in our return to play,” and that the league wanted to ensure that it “does not come at the expense of testing front line health care workers or others who need it.”

Any return to play must also come with a green light from the players’ union. A union spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is also unclear how many, if any, fans would be allowed into an arena for games.

As of Friday, unions representing athletes in major North American team sports were still negotiating specific plans for returning to play, including extra protection for the most vulnerable employees. For some athletes and team staff members with conditions that put them at greater risk from the coronavirus, balancing health needs against the zeal to play is an especially delicate matter.

U.S. government scientists finally publish remdesivir data.

Nearly a month after U.S. government scientists claimed that an experimental drug had helped patients severely ill with the coronavirus, the research has been published.

The drug, remdesivir, was quickly authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of coronavirus patients, and hospitals rushed to obtain supplies.

But until now, researchers and physicians had not seen the actual data.

The long-awaited study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The New England Journal of Medicine’s website on Friday evening. It confirmed the essence of the government’s assertions: Remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients. The study defined recovery as “either discharge from the hospital or hospitalization.”

The trial was rigorous, randomly assigning 1,063 seriously ill patients to receive either remdesivir or a placebo. Those who received the drug not only recovered faster but also did not have serious adverse events more often than those who were given the placebo.

Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Sopan Deb, Gina Kolata, Michael Levenson, Sharon Otterman, Roni Caryn Rabin, Luis Ferré Sadurní, Edgar Sandoval, Marc Stein, Matt Stevens, Derrick Bryson Taylor, James Wagner and Alex Williams.



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