ABC - COVID-19 News

©Jessica Hromas/CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.(LOS ANGELES) -- CBS announced on Monday that The Bold and the Beautiful, which resumed production over two weeks ago, will start airing new episodes on July 20. 

The daytime drama on June 16 became the first U.S. broadcast series to resume production on stage, following strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but shut down after one day to “modify [its] testing protocol to better accommodate the large volume of testing needed.” 

The soap, which films at Television City in Los Angeles, resumed production on June 24 and has been taping ever since.  

 

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kckate16/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- After shutting down beginning in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, today is the day California officials have allowed for film and television production to resume in the state.  However, all productions will have to adhere to a state-mandated set of safety protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department only released their so-called “Reopening Protocol” Thursday.  The ten pages of protocols address all aspects of film, music and TV production – from auditions, location scouting, music production, wardrobe, hair and makeup, craft services and catering and more – as well as general workplace measures for infection control. 

Although production is permitted to resume today, it’s generally thought it’ll take until July or August for most producers to get things ready to go. 

California currently has the sixth-highest reported number of COVID-19 cases in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 143,377, after New York state, Moscow, New Jersey, Sao Paolo, Brazil and England.

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(NEW YORK) -- Here's the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus as of 9:40 a.m. ET.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 7,540,679
Global deaths: 421,948.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 113,820.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 3,561,804

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 2,023,347 diagnosed cases in 50 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 113,820.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 30,580.
U.S. total patients recovered: 540,292
U.S. total people tested: 21,933,301

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in New York, with 380,892 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 19.5 million.  That is the most reported cases than in any other single region in the world.  Moscow, Russia is next, with 202,935 reported cases out of a total population of at least 12.5 million.

Latest reported deaths per state
Visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html for the latest numbers.

School closures
For a state-by-state interactive map of current school closures, please visit the Education Week website, where numbers are updated once daily.

There are 98,277 public schools and 34,576 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

The latest headlines
Film, TV production officially OK to resume today in California
After shutting down beginning in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, today is the day California officials have allowed for film and television production to resume in the state.  However, all productions will have to adhere to a state-mandated set of safety protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  The Los Angeles County Public Health Department only released their so-called “Reopening Protocol” Thursday.  The ten pages of protocols address all aspects of film, music and TV production – from auditions, location scouting, music production, wardrobe, hair and makeup, craft services and catering and more – as well as general workplace measures for infection control.  Although production is permitted to resume today, it’s generally thought it’ll take until July or August for most producers to get things ready to go.  California currently has the sixth-highest reported number of COVID-19 cases in the world, with 143,377, after New York state, Moscow, New Jersey, Sao Paolo, Brazil and England.

COVID-19 infections continue rising in eight states; lack of social distancing cited
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising in eight states, with experts pointing to a lack of diligent social distancing an eagerness to reopen businesses as the likely causes.  Hospitalization numbers are increasing are Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah, according to a new analysis by ABC News of public data from the past two weeks.  Arkansas has experienced a dramatic 74% increase in average hospitalizations since after the Memorial Day weekend, while WTVD Raleigh reports North Carolina saw a record number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations for the fourth consecutive day Thursday, with a total 812 people hospitalized and 1,310 new positive cases reported.  South Carolina saw 687 new cases Thursday, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.  Experts also say data shows the increase in reported cases is not the result of increased testing, the latter of which has remained largely the same.

Second Lake of the Ozarks pool party attendee tests positive for COVID-19
KMBC Kansas City reports a second person who attended a notorious Memorial Day pool party at the state’s Lake of the Ozarks has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Johnson County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners says the new infected person, who was not identified, was at the same bar as the previously confirmed positive case in Camden County, Missouri.  Widely-circulated videos taken Memorial Day weekend of large crowds in swimming pools at Lake of the Ozarks businesses, not practicing social distancing, drew widespread criticism from health officials concerned about the potential to spread COVID-19.  That prompted officials to issue travel advisories, warning of the potential for attendees to become infected and potentially spread the virus.  The CDC says every non-quarantined person infected with COVID-19 on average can infect 2.2-2.7 people, who in turn can infect others.

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RapidEye/iStock(CONROE, Texas) -- An attorney and district judge candidate in Conroe, Texas has been charged with criminal mischief for egging a judge’s car over COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, according to Community Impact Newspaper.

The Conroe Police Department charged Eric Yollick, who's running for district judge in Monroe County, with throwing an egg at current Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough’s car back in March.

Yollick writes the stunt off as “a small private protest between two friends over the terrible decision of my friend to 'lay an egg' on the constitutional rights of Montgomery County families, individuals and businesses.”

The criminal mischief charge is a class C misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $500 and stated mandated court costs of $81 in the event of conviction,”, City Prosecutor Mike Garner told the newspaper.

The trial is set for October.

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iStock/lucadp(NEW YORK) -- As states across the country are working on reopening, COVID-19 cases are back on the rise -- which is rattling the volatile stock market once more.

COVID-19 cases are up in about 20 states, with hospitalizations on the rise in at least eight.  The new trend has health officials concerned that the long-predicted second wave, which was originally anticipated this fall, is now underway.

Dr. Lawrence Kleinman, MD MPH of Rutgers University, offered, "I think people mistake the idea of society reopening with the idea that society is safer, but things are no safer today than they were weeks ago when we were in full lockdown."

In addition to rising coronavirus cases, an additional 1.542 million Americans applied for unemployment in the week ending May 30, according to numbers released this morning by the Department of Labor. More than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, a level that hasn't been seen since the Great Depression.

Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday said they expect total unemployment to be around 9.3% by year’s end, with the U.S. economy shrinking by some 6%.

Due to this news, paired with the recent unemployment reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up more than 6.9 percent on Thursday, roughly 1,860 points due to investor concerns that a second wave of COVID-19 could cause another round of shutdowns.   Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw significant losses on Thursday, with the S&P tumbling by 5.9 percent and the Nasdaq shedding 5.3 percent.

This is now the worst day seen in the stock market since March 16. 

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ABFF(MIAMI BEACH) -- The 24th annual American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach will be going virtual. ABFF Ventures announced on Thursday that it is moving the annual fest online, where it will now run from August 21 to 30 this year.

"While we will surely miss being with our ABFF community in Miami Beach this year and connecting in person, what truly binds us together is our shared commitment to ensure inclusion in Hollywood and sustaining a place of inspiration for diverse storytellers," said ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday said in a statement. "We will persevere through this year and end up a stronger community on the other side of this crisis."

The virtual edition, which will be featured on abff.com, will host screenings of indie black cinema, studio premieres, conversations and panels, in addition to business of entertainment seminars and digital networking events.

Using the theme of "Community First!," ABFF said it will dedicate the 2020 edition as a "platform for social change in response to the scourge of racial injustice in our country, as well as educate and support its community in an effort to help in its recovery from the coronavirus."

As previously reported, Mary J. Blige is still expected to headline the event as this year's ABFF Ambassador.

ABFF's decision to go virtual comes after the fest's original dates of June 17 to 21 were moved to October 21 to 25 amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19.

For more information for how to view the fest, go to ABFF.com.

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Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella(INDIO, CA) -- California's Riverside County has officially canceled Coachella 2020. 

The annual Indio, California festival had originally been scheduled for this past April before being postponed to this coming October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Headliners included the reunited Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott.

In a press release, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser says, "I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall."

"Events like Coachella...would fall under [California] Governor [Gavin] Newsom's Stage 4, which he has previously stated would require treatments or a vaccine to enter," Dr. Kaiser says. "Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward."

Earlier this week, Billboard reported that Coachella and its producer Goldenvoice were contemplating whether to plan for a "limited-capacity return" next April, or a "larger, higher capacity" festival in October 2021.

As of Thursday morning, neither Coachella nor Goldenvoice has made a public statement about the cancellation.

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(NEW YORK) -- Here's the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus as of 9:15 a.m. ET.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 7,397,349
Global deaths: 417,109.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 112,924.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 3,478,385

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 2,464,000 diagnosed cases in 50 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 112,924.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 30,542.
U.S. total patients recovered: 533,504
U.S. total people tested: 21,467,820

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in New York, with 380,156 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 19.5 million.  That is the most reported cases than in any other single region in the world.  Moscow, Russia is next, with 201,221 reported cases out of a total population of at least 12.5 million.

Latest reported deaths per state
Visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html for the latest numbers.

School closures
For a state-by-state interactive map of current school closures, please visit the Education Week website, where numbers are updated once daily.

There are 98,277 public schools and 34,576 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

The latest headlines
COVID-19 cases in the US top two million
The number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has now exceeded two million.  The nation officially crossed that threshold Wednesday night, with 2,464,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  The milestone has been passed 44 days after the number of reported coronavirus infections in the U.S. exceeded one million.  Just two weeks ago, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passed 100,000 – that number has already increased to 112,924 as if Thursday morning.  Coronavirus infections are reported to be significantly on the upswing in at least 20 states as lockdowns continue to be lifted and social distancing relaxed, with hospitalizations also rising in at least eight of those states, prompting renewed concern among experts that the long-predicted second wave of COVID-19 infections may be underway.

Unemployment claims rise by 1.5 million
An additional 1.542 million Americans applied for unemployment in the week ending May 30, according to numbers released this morning by the Department of Labor.  Those numbers are a decrease of 355,000 from the previous week’s revised level, and continues the trend of fewer people applying for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the economy.  While unemployment claims are trending down, the numbers remain at levels not seen since the Great Depression, with more than 40 million Americans now having applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.  Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics – the government agency that keeps track of the U.S. unemployment rate -- recently revealed that data collection efforts contributed to their June 5 report that U.S. unemployment decreased to 13.3% from April’s reported 14.8%, when a corrected report puts the unemployment level at an increased 16.3%.  Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday said they expect total unemployment to be around 9.3% by year’s end, with the U.S. economy shrinking by some 6%.

Two COVID-19 vaccine trials about to begin
Two pharmaceutical companies have announced they’re moving forward with human trials of a potential vaccine for COVID-19.  Regeneron is starting two clinical trials for an antibody drug cocktail called REGN-COV2.  One trial will see if the company's antibody cocktail can help prevent COVID-19, while the other will see if it can help treat people who have already been infected.  The drug is a similar to convalescent plasma, except instead of harvesting antibodies from the blood of someone who has recovered, Regeneron has created man-made antibodies.  Meanwhile, pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Phase 3 trials in the U.S. of their mRNA-1273 vaccine against COVID-19, with plans to vaccinate some 30,000 people in July – half with the vaccine and half with a placebo.  If the vaccine works and is approved, Moderna says they’re prepared to deliver between 500 million to one billion doses per year beginning in 2021.

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ffikretow/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has now exceeded two million.  The nation officially crossed that threshold Wednesday night, with 2,464,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

The milestone has been passed 44 days after the number of reported coronavirus infections in the U.S. exceeded one million.  Just two weeks ago, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 passed 100,000 – that number has already increased to 112,924 as if Thursday morning. 

Coronavirus infections are reported to be significantly on the upswing in at least 20 states as lockdowns continue to be lifted and social distancing relaxed, with hospitalizations also rising in at least eight of those states. The resurgence is prompting renewed concern among experts that the long-predicted second wave of COVID-19 infections may be underway.

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David 'Dee' Delgado/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With thousands of protestors across America demanding justice for George Floyd, health officials have raised concerns over how the lack of social distancing seen in the crowds will affect future cases of COVID-19.  

Speaking to Good Morning America on Wednesday, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases Doctor Anthony Fauci is worried of how the demonstrations will affect the progress made in flattening the curve.

"When you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations," he said, "that's taking a risk."  He added that while he is happy to see demonstrators wearing mask, it's "masks plus physical separation" that helps prevent the virus from spreading.

While there may be a reduced risk of spreading the virus in an outdoor setting, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, says there's room for concern regarding the protests.

Smoke from tear gas, pepper spray and fires from the riots all contribute to coughing -- which aerosolizes the virus.

In addition, rates of COVID-19 cases have gone up in eight states.  With the coronavirus having an incubation up to 14 days, it's believed that the bump in cases is due to the crowds seen during Memorial Day alongside states reopening their economies.  It isn't believed the current numbers reflect the demonstrations -- yet.

Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah all reported an increase in cases. 

As of early Thursday, the U.S. surpassed two million confirmed cases and has a death toll of nearly 113,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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iStock/wildpixel(MARYLAND) -- Nanoparticles -- tiny materials that can be programmed to do various functions -- were once the stuff of science fiction, but now real-life science is seeing them pressed into service in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a way to use plasmonic gold nanoparticles to detect the COVID-19 virus in as little as 10 minutes, making tests that are not only faster, but more reliable than others.

In this case, a patient provides a nasal swab or saliva sample, and the nanoparticles are used to analyze it: if the virus is detected, a liquid in which the nanoparticles are contained will turn from purple to blue.

"Based on our preliminary results, we believe this promising new test may detect RNA material from the virus as early as the first day of infection. Additional studies are needed, however, to confirm whether this is indeed the case," says lead author Dipanjan Pan, PhD, a professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine and pediatrics at the school, in a press release.

This new breed of testing cuts down on false negatives, and also makes it possible for a person to get their results on-site, as opposed to a hospital having to send samples to a lab for analysis.

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iStock/Nattakorn ManeeratThe AMC theater chain laid out an ambitious plan on Tuesday to have almost all of its theaters open sometime in July. 

The plan includes partnering with companies like Clorox to create theatre environments as safe and clean as possible, educating theatergoers on how to keep safe, and looking into high tech sanitation techniques, including the use of electrostatic sprayers, HEPA vacuums and wherever possible upgraded MERV 13 air ventilation filters. 

AMC reported a staggering $2.2 billion loss in the first quarter on Tuesday as a result of the global theatrical shutdown caused by COVID-19.

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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- It’s been a rough month for Days of Our Lives star Judi Evans, who contracted COVID-19 while in the hospital recovering from a serious horseback riding accident.

Howie Tiger Simon, a rep for the 55-year-old actress gave an update on her condition in a Facebook post on Monday, reporting she experienced “mild” coronavirus symptoms -- like fever, body aches and a cough -- but ”nearly had both legs amputated on two different occasions,” due to “COVID blood clots.

“On top of everything," Simon continues, “when she went into surgery on one of her legs, they forgot to numb the leg and cut into her leg while she was fully conscience with no numbing of the area!”

Evans is in “good spirits and back to Judi ‘humor’ despite all these spiraling turn of events,” adds Simon. “She has said she appreciates all the prayers for her and they’ve helped her mentally, physically and spiritually!…She just wants to continue to test negative on COVID19 before she can go home and get the rest she so needs!!!”

The actress, who plays Adrienne Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives suffered a broken collarbone, several broken ribs, two chipped vertebra and a collapsed lung from blunt force trauma in the horseback riding accident that occurred on May 16, according to Access.

Evans’ character died in a car accident back in January. However, Wally Kurth — who plays her onscreen husband Justin Kirakis — assured fans that Evans would be returning to the show, but didn’t reveal how.

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(NEW YORK) -- Here's the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus as of 8:40 a.m. ET.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 7,257,519
Global deaths: 411,681.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 112,006.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 3,387,891

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 1,979,893 diagnosed cases in 50 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 112,006.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 30,458.
U.S. total patients recovered: 524,855
U.S. total people tested: 21,048,183

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in New York, with 379,482 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 19.5 million.  That is the most reported cases than in any other single region in the world.  Moscow, Russia is next, with 199,785 reported cases out of a total population of at least 12.5 million.

Latest reported deaths per state
Visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html for the latest numbers.

School closures
For a state-by-state interactive map of current school closures, please visit the Education Week website, where numbers are updated once daily.

There are 98,277 public schools and 34,576 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

The latest headlines
COVID-19 hospitalizations rising in eight states
Eight U.S. states are reporting increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, ABC News has learned.  The climb in hospitalizations comes two weeks after Memorial Day celebrations, which public health officials in some affected states say likely contributed to the spike.  Arkansas saw the greatest percentage increase in hospitalizations since May 25, with 65.8%.  Tennessee is next, with a 65.1% increase, followed by Arizona, with 45.1%; North Carolina, 19.3%; Texas and Utah, both with 10.5%; South Carolina, 6.6%; and Mississippi, 3.5%.  Dr. Matthew G. Heinz of Arizona’s Tucson Medical Center told ABC News “we weren’t ready to reopen,” referring to the state’s pandemic lockdown.  “We hadn't met the criteria set down by the WHO or the CDC to even begin to look at reopening the state but political leadership pushed us in that direction.”  The New York Times earlier this week reported COVID-19 cases are on the upswing in some 20 states, plus Puerto Rico, in what could be a sign of the pandemic resurgence many experts have been predicting.

WHO official clarifies comments about asymptomatic COVID-19 spread
A top World Health organization official has clarified comments she made earlier this week, when she declared that it was “rare” for people infected with COVID-19 but who show no outward symptoms to spread the virus.  Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, told reporters Monday, "it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.”  Following widespread pushback from infectious disease experts and public health officials, Kerkhove Tuesday said her comments were the result of a “misunderstanding” during a Q&A and did not reflect WHO policy.  Health officials worldwide have been mandating the wearing of masks by everyone in order to guard against COVID-19 infection by asymptomatic people.  "There is, unequivocally, asymptomatic spread," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles Public Health Director, told ABC news. "I don't want anyone to get confused that people who are asymptomatic may not be capable of spreading.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci “concerned” about how protests may spread COVID-19
The nation’s top infectious disease expert told ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday that he’s concerned about how the ongoing national protests may accelerate the spread of COVID-19. “When you get congregations like we saw with the demonstrations as we have said, myself and other health officials, that's taking a risk and unfortunately, what we're seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  While many of the demonstrators have worn masks, Fauci noted that “masks can help, but it's masks plus physical separation” that best safeguards against viral transmission.  Fauci said he remains “cautiously optimistic” about the progress toward an effective vaccine by year’s end or early 2021 but also cautioned that even then, “it’s not the end of the game.”

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Jeremy Poland/iStock(MELBOURNE) -- It seems workers at a gin distillery in Australia might have been hitting the sauce themselves after it was discovered that they accidentally shipped gin bottles filled with hand sanitizer instead of alcohol.

The the Apollo Bay Distillery outside Melbourne posted a product safety recall on its Facebook page Monday, warning people that the bottles, which contain 1.45 percent glycerol and 0.125 percent hydrogen peroxide, isn’t lethal if consumed, but it can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea.

Like many alcohol distilleries around the world, Apollo Bay had previously converted part of its facility into hand sanitizer production to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia has done relatively well managing the pandemic, reporting just 7,276 cases and 102 deaths to date, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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