Coronavirus updates: Army plans West Point graduation ceremony amid pandemic

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

More than 2.8 million people worldwide -- including more than 924,000 people in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. as hospitals manage unprecedented patient surges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here.

Live updates for Saturday, April 25, continue below:

Army plans West Point graduation ceremony amid pandemic

Update 11:13 p.m. EDT April 25: About 1,000 cadets are being recalled to the United States Military Academy at West Point for the 2020 graduation ceremony June 13.

Cadets have been away from campus since spring break started March 6, CBS News reported.

"After careful consideration of the steps the Army can take to mitigate risk, I made the decision to proceed with the West Point graduation," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Saturday, CNN reported. "We are fully committed to the health and safety of our Cadets and believe we can safely conduct the graduation ceremony and associated activities. Over the next couple of days, West Point leadership will communicate the plan. We are putting the appropriate measures in place to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and to protect our Force, Cadets and Families."

President Donald Trump is scheduled to give the commencement address.

"I'm doing it at West Point, which I look forward to," Trump said, CNN reported. "I did it last year at Air Force. I did it in Annapolis. I did it at the Coast Guard Academy and I'm doing it at West Point. And I assume ... they'll have (social) distancing. They'll have some big distance, so it'll look very different than it ever looked."

IRS recalls thousands of workers 

Update 10:55 p.m. EDT April 25: The Internal Revenue Service is asking 10,000 employees to return to work Monday to help open mail, process returns and other tasks, Bloomberg reported.

Those who return will be given incentive pay, CNN reported.

The agency is working to get personal protective equipment for employees who will be required to wear face masks.

"Bringing employees back to work is essential to address mission-critical needs for the nation, and the IRS is an essential component to our country's whole-of-government approach to confronting the COVID-19 pandemic," the agency said in a statement. "To provide American taxpayers, including the most vulnerable, with the services they expect, it is essential that the IRS resumes a number of key responsibilities, including opening mail that has been held for a number of weeks, processing of paper tax returns that may offer refunds to taxpayers, working on returns with refundable credits, answering taxpayers' questions on our toll-free lines, and performing Income Verification Express Service and certain lien/levy functions. The IRS will continue to do everything possible to protect employees while also providing important services and assistance to the nation's taxpayers."

Fauci: Testing should double across country

Update 7:46 p.m. EDT April 25: The country's head of infectious diseases said Saturday the country needs to double its testing, and is in a position to do so.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a National Academy of Sciences webcast Saturday that there are nearly 2 million tests for coronavirus administered each week, CNN reported.

“We probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks and I think we will,” Fauci said. “Testing is an important part but it’s not the only part.”

Boris Johnson expected to start work Monday 

Update 6:49 p.m. EDT April 25: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent three days in an intensive care unit while he was infected with the coronavirus, will return to work Monday, CNN reported.

Johnson, 55, tested positive for the coronavirus March 27.

"I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life, no question," Johnson said in a video April 12. "It's hard to find the words to express my debt."

Dominic Raab will step down as acting prime minister, CNN reported.

France, Spain plan to present plans to ease restrictions Tuesday

Update 6:25 p.m. EDT April 25: Leaders of France and Spain both plan to present plans Tuesday to ease restrictions and reopen their countries.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philipe will present a plan to the the French National Assembly to ease confinement and other restrictions put in place since March, CNN reported Saturday.

The presentation will be followed by debate and a vote.

In Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday he will present his de-escalation plan Tuesday, CNN reported.

Sánchez said that the gradual process will depend on the region. The coronavirus has affected some parts of the country more heavily than others.

“Caution and unity should guide us,” Sánchez said. “Victory is not close, but we have started to win.”

There are 159,952 confirmed cases and 22,614 deaths from the coronavirus in France, according to Johns Hopkins' tracking information. There are 223,759 confirmed cases and 22,902 deaths in Spain.

FDA gives OK to 3 more coronavirus tests

Update 5:44 p.m. EDT April 25: The Food and Drug Administration approved three new coronavirus antibody tests under the emergency-use authorization, which is a lower standard used when benefits could outweigh the risks.

Companies DiaSorin, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and Autobio Diagnostics were given the authorizations, bringing the total number of approved tests to seven, CNN reported.

The tests are restricted to approved laboratories, CNN reported. The tests are expected to detect if a patient had the virus even if they did not show symptoms. The tests would not be very effective at diagnosing current infections.

Worldwide death toll passes 200,000

Update 1:59 a.m. EDT April 25: Another grim coronavirus milestone was passed Saturday afternoon, as Johns Hopkins University's count of deaths worldwide topped 200,000 people.

The university reported at least 200,698 confirmed deaths worldwide. As of 1:45 p.m. EDT, there have been 2,858,439 confirmed worldwide cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases in the United States is now at least 924,576, with at least 52,782 deaths.

Cuomo: NY ‘on down side of the mountain’

Update 11:55 a.m. EDT April 25: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference that the number of hospitalizations in the state has dropped, but said 437 people died from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours

“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.

As for people being hospitalized, Cuomo said, “All the numbers are basically saying the same. That we are, in fact, on the down side of the mountain.”

Cuomo also said New York is testing about 20,000 people daily for COVID-19. The governor said he wants to expand testing and is setting a goal of at least 40,000 tests per day.

Death toll in United Kingdom tops 20,000

Update 10:54 a.m. EDT April 25: The United Kingdom's Department of Health and Social Care announced that the death toll from the coronavirus has topped 20,000. The agency said Saturday that 813 deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, pushing the total to 20,319.

According to the BBC, the UK now joins the United States, Italy, Spain, France and China as the countries to have more than 20,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

WHO cautions against antibody 'immunity passports’

Update 10:12 a.m. EDT April 25: The World Health Organization warned governments not to issue "immunity passports," noting there was not enough evidence that a person who has recovered from coronavirus is immune from another infection.

In a scientific brief released Saturday, WHO said there is “no evidence yet” that those who have recovered from COVID-19 will not get a second infection.

“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 WHO brief said. “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."

Miami murder-free for 7 weeks for first time since 1957

Update 9:15 a.m. EDT April 25: Stay-at-home and social distancing have helped the city of Miami go murder-free for seven weeks, a feat that has not been achieved since 1957.

"We can say that it's due to our police high visibility, attributed with the pandemic and the stay-at-home order," a Miami Police Department spokesman told CBS News

Miami has not had a reported homicide between Feb. 17 and April 12 -- a total of seven weeks and six days -- the Miami Herald reported. In 1957, the city went seven weeks, three days without a reported murder, the newspaper reported.

Global death toll hits 197,578 as total cases march toward 3M

Update 7:50 a.m. EDT April 25: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 197,578 early Saturday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 2,824,728 people worldwide. Meanwhile, Turkey became the seventh nation to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases, and roughly one in every four deaths reported worldwide have occurred in the United States. In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain each has recorded a minimum of 20,000 virus-related deaths.

The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:

• The United States has reported 905,333 cases, resulting in 51,949 deaths.

• Spain has confirmed 219,764 cases, resulting in 22,524 deaths.

• Italy has reported 192,994 infections, resulting in 25,969 deaths.

• France has confirmed 159,952 infections, resulting in 22,279 deaths.

• Germany has reported 155,054 cases, resulting in 5,767 deaths.

• The United Kingdom has reported 144,640 cases, resulting in 19,567 deaths.

• Turkey has recorded 104,912 cases, resulting in 2,600 deaths

• Iran has recorded 88,194 cases, resulting in 5,574 deaths.

• China has recorded 83,901 cases, resulting in 4,636 deaths.

• Russia has confirmed 74,588 cases, resulting in 681 deaths.

UK runs out of home-testing kits in 15 minutes

Update 7:36 a.m. EDT April 25: It took only about 15 minutes Saturday morning for every available home-testing kits in the United Kingdom to get snatched up, The Washington Post reported.

The rush comes as the British government widened eligibility to include millions of essential workers, including health care professionals, teachers, law enforcement and even transportation workers as well as the families of all included.

In turn, the government reopened its booking system for testing on Saturday morning after it was overwhelmed with requests at Friday's launch, the Post reported.

NASA designs coronavirus-specific ventilator in 37 days

Update 6:54 a.m. EDT April 25: NASA engineers have developed a "high-pressure" ventilator prototype, designed specifically to help coronavirus patients, the agency confirmed.

VITAL, or Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally, was tested at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City on a "high-fidelity human patient simulator" after only 37 days in development, NASA said in a statement released Thursday.

The machine is not intended to replace current ventilators, NASA said in a subsequent Friday statement, noting that VITAL is designed to last as many as four months and is “specifically tailored” to treat novel coronavirus patients.

For instance, VITAL is designed to offer more oxygen at higher pressures than traditional models because many of the most acute patients require that specified level of care, CNN reported.

“Intensive care units are seeing COVID-19 patients who require highly dynamic ventilators,” Dr. J.D. Polk, NASA’s chief health and medical officer, said in a statement, adding, “The intention with VITAL is to decrease the likelihood patients will get to that advanced stage of the disease and require more advanced ventilator assistance.”

CDC triples number of primary coronavirus symptoms

Update 5:33 a.m. EDT April 25: In response to the "wide range" of ailments reported by patients, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tripled the number of novel coronavirus symptoms it lists on its website.

The most commonly reported symptoms among the more than 905,000 COVID-19 patients in the United States to date have been shortness of breath, cough and fever, but the list has now been expanded to include the following:

• Chills

• Repeated shaking with chills

• Muscle pain

• Headache

• Sore throat

• New loss of taste or smell

Read more here.

Colorado Walmart closes after 3 coronavirus deaths, days of complaints

Update 4:04 a.m. EDT April 25: Health officials in Aurora, Colorado, announced this week they are shuttering a Walmart location, following three business-related coronavirus deaths and days of employee and customer complaints.

According to The Washington Post, a 72-year-old employee and 69-year-old security guard at the store have died after contracting COVID-19 on the job, and an employee's husband also died from the virus.

At least six employee and shopper complaints were filed against the store this week, alleging inadequate conditions such as people not practicing social distancing and the lack of facial coverings, the Denver Post reported.

“These deaths underscore the severity of the highly-contagious coronavirus, and the need for diligent safety precautions to prevent any further spread, including the wearing of masks,” John M. Douglas Jr., executive director of Tri-County Health Department, said in a news release this week.

There is no timeline for reopening the store.

Amazon extends pay bump, tweaks time-off policy as coronavirus lingers

Update 3:49 a.m. EDT April 25: Amazon has re-evaluated its time off policies for warehouse employees as the global fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic has stretched from weeks into months.

The online retail giant announced Friday the unlimited, unpaid time off it's been offering employees since the public health crisis began will end April 20. Beginning May 1, workers choosing to stay home can either use accrued time off or request a leave of absence.

Meanwhile, the company has extended its $2-per-hour pay bump and double overtime – set to expire April 30 – through May 16

Amazon warehouse employees had been able to take unlimited unpaid time off during the coronavirus pandemic. But starting May 1, Amazon will instead ask workers who want to stay home to use their regular accrued time off or request a leave of absence.

Global coronavirus cases surpass 2.8M, US cases top 905K

Update 3:15 a.m. EDT April 25: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surpassed 900,000 early Friday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 905,333 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 51,949 deaths.

Meanwhile, total global infections have reached 2,809,979, resulting in more than 197,000 deaths.

UFC to stage 3 May events in Florida, offer ‘escape’ from coronavirus fatigue

Update 3:05 a.m. EDT April 25: Mixed martial arts juggernaut UFC announced Friday it will stage three fanless events next month in Jacksonville, Florida.

UFC 249, featuring an interim lightweight title bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, will be televised as a pay-per-view event by ESPN on May 9.

"Sports play an important role in people's lives and can bring moments of escape in challenging times. We look forward to bringing UFC to fans again," the network said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, events are also slated for May 13 and May 16.

"As we move step-by-step on the path toward economic recovery, we are proud to host these UFC events at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena," Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in the news release, adding, "The UFC organization is a renowned entertainment brand that's presented a safe and sensible plan to use this Jacksonville location, and we are thrilled to have our city highlighted nationally on ESPN and ESPN+. With Jacksonville continuing to outpace other cities and regions, we are excited to continue to lead as host to these world-class, international sports entertainment organizations."

Aggressive social distancing may have prevented 70K coronavirus cases in Oregon

Update 2:38 a.m. EDT April 25: Aggressive social distancing measures may have prevented as many as 70,000 novel coronavirus cases in Oregon, health officials announced Friday.

“Our modeling continues to show that our collective efforts are working,” state epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger said in a statement.

The report also speculates that as many as 1,500 hospitalizations were avoided.

A host of factors were considered in the analysis, prepared for the Oregon Health Authority by the Bellevue, Washington-based Institute for Disease Modeling. Chief among those factors were:

• data on confirmed cases

• completed tests

• hospitalizations

• intensive care unit admissions

• statewide deaths

According to a tally maintained by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Oregon has confirmed a total of 2,178 coronavirus infections to date, resulting in at least 86 deaths.

The analysis’ authors estimate, however, that as many as 8,400 Oregonians might actually have been infected, or roughly four times the official count.

US coronavirus deaths hit 51,017, total cases top 890K

Published 12:40 a.m. EDT April 25: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States neared 900,000 early Saturday morning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there are at least 890,524 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 51,017 deaths. Of those cases, more than 271,000 have been reported in New York, meaning the state has, itself, confirmed more cases than any other nation outside the United States, including the United Kingdom with 144,635 cases, Germany with 154,545, France with 159,495, Italy with 192,994 and Spain with 219,764.

Of the confirmed U.S. deaths, 21,349 – or roughly 42% of the nationwide total – have occurred in New York, 5,426 in New Jersey, 3,037 in Michigan, 2,360 in Massachusetts, 1,795 in Illinois and 1,734 in Pennsylvania.

In terms of diagnosed cases, New York remains the epicenter of the nation's outbreak with at least 271,590 confirmed cases, followed by New Jersey with 100,025, Massachusetts with 46,023, California with 39,719, Illinois with 39,654, Pennsylvania with 39,409 and Michigan with 36,255.

Five other states have now confirmed at least 20,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:

• Florida: 30,174, resulting in 1,012 deaths

• Louisiana: 26,140, resulting in 1,660 deaths

• Connecticut: 23,936, resulting in 1,767 deaths

• Texas: 22,842, resulting in 608 deaths

• Georgia: 22,147, resulting in 892 deaths

Meanwhile, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Washington state, Virginia and Colorado each has confirmed at least 11,000 cases; Tennessee and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Missouri, Rhode Island and Arizona each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases; Alabama, Mississippi and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases; Utah, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Delaware, Minnesota and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 3,000 cases; and Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oregon and South Dakota each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.

Click here to see CNN's state-by-state breakdown.

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