The new coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 308,000 people worldwide.
More than 4.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Actual numbers are said to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their country’s epidemics.
The United States is the most affected country, with more than 1.4 million cases diagnosed and at least 87,643 deaths.
The biggest developments today:
Here’s how the news got on Friday. Every hour in the East. Please refresh this page for updates.
12:25 p.m .: Creation of a new red zone in Italy
A red zone was established in a rural town near Naples, Italy, to stop a small epidemic.
The residents of Letino were sentenced to quarantine until May 20, according to a decree by the regional government of Campania.
The small town of about 600 has seen 10 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, in addition to three reported earlier this week, according to local newspaper Il Mattino. All patients were asymptomatic.
The decree stipulates that residents cannot leave the municipal area and all non-essential activities, including commercial and catering activities, will be prohibited.
Temporary quarantine takes place two days before the start of the next phase of lifting restrictions in the country. Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and hairdressers, will be allowed to reopen.
12:08 p.m .: Opening of fanless horse racing tracks in New York
Horse racing tracks in New York will open on June 1, but fans will not be allowed in, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The state’s three largest horse racing tracks are Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga. Aqueduct, in Queens, is the only facility outside of New York. Belmont Park is on Long Island and Saratoga is in the north.
The Watkins Glen International racetrack in western Schuyler County will also be allowed to reopen, Cuomo said. The governor has not provided details of the events that would take place there, but like horse racing tracks, fans will not be allowed yet.
Cuomo said he is looking to increase economic activity, including events that can run without crowds.
Elective surgeries and ambulatory care may also resume in Westchester and Suffolk counties. Hospitalization rates, intubations and the number of new cases continue to drop, even with 400 new hospitalizations in the state, Cuomo said.
157 other people have died in the last 24 hours.
11:47 a.m .: FDA authorizes the 1st autonomous sample collection kit at home
The United States Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first home sample collection kit for COVID-19, which can be used to send samples to specified laboratories for diagnostic testing.
The Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit allows an individual to collect a nasal sample at home. It can be used by people who have been screened using an online questionnaire reviewed by a health care provider, the FDA said.
In addition, the FDA has authorized two COVID-19 diagnostic tests that can be used with samples taken at home.
Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said the development provides “increased patient access to testing” and “protects others from potential exposure.”
“Today’s action is also another great example of public-private partnerships in which data from a privately funded study was used by industry to support a request for EUA, which Saves us precious time as we continue our fight against this pandemic, “said Shuren in a statement.
9:40 a.m .: CDC updates guidelines for pediatricians
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines for treating children during the pandemic to include information about a new disease associated with COVID-19.
The agency said it is working with national and international partners to better understand multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, aka MIS-C, including its frequency and risk factors.
There are 220 possible and confirmed cases in 20 states and in Washington, D.C., of the disease in children, according to an ABC News analysis. Three deaths have also been reported.
Some of the cases tested positive for COVID-19 or the antibodies, while others were negative. Many cases are still under investigation.
Children with MIS-C presented to hospitals with persistent fever and a variety of symptoms, including multi-organ involvement (eg, cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, hematologic, dermatologic, neurologic) and inflammatory markers high, according to the CDC.
However, the CDC warned pediatricians that some children may have unlisted symptoms
A child may start showing symptoms of MIS-C weeks after being infected with COVID-19, according to the CDC. However, a child may not have had symptoms of COVID-19, and the child and their parents may not even know they were infected.
The CDC said a child’s assessment for MIS-C could include a chest x-ray, echocardiography, or blood tests to determine if there is inflammation.
For questions about the disease, the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, open 24 hours a day at 770-488-7100, is open.
6:55 am: Charges Laid Against Pastor of Tampa
Charges against a Tampa pastor who was arrested after holding services despite local stay orders have been dropped.
State officials said they had dropped charges against Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne because he had followed the rules of social distancing on his church campus since his arrest.
“In deciding whether to prosecute violations of home orders, compliance is our North Star,” Hillsborough state attorney Andrew Warren said on Friday. “Each case is unique and each will be assessed on the facts and the law. But, in general, if the arrested person does not pose a permanent threat to public health, then our tendency will be not to continue the case beyond the arrest. “
Howard-Browne was first arrested and charged with unlawful assembly and breaching an emergency public health order after holding church services in defiance of the Safer Home initiative. county.
“The attorney general’s office has recognized that compliance, not law enforcement, is at the center of our emergency health laws,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Friday evening. “Law enforcement intervention through arrests has been rare during this health crisis, and while it remains a necessary tool to protect the health and safety of our community, we agree that further criminal sanctions are not necessary in this case. “
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Florida will begin reopening Phase 1 on Monday, which means that gymnasiums can reopen and restaurants can now have 50% capacity. Partial reopening of the state began on May 4.
There have been more than 44,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and at least 1,917 deaths in Florida.
4:09 am: New York tourist arrested in Hawaii for violation of mandatory quarantine
A 23-year-old tourist from New York City was arrested on Friday in Hawaii for violating the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine rule and for “swearing in oath of office.
Tarique Peters, according to the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, arrived in Oahu on Monday and quickly posted many photos of him on the beach on Instagram.
He is said to have left his hotel room on the day of his arrival and to travel to various locations using public transportation, officials said.
Citizens alerted local authorities to Peters’ social media posts, which showed him on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing and walking around Waikiki.
“We appreciate the help of locals who detect gross violations of our emergency rules on various social media sites and report them to the appropriate authorities,” said Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors on Friday evening.
Officials said the hotel had told them that Peters had been seen leaving his room and the hotel on numerous occasions this week.
Peters, who is from the Bronx, was arrested on Friday and his bail was set at $ 4,000.
Hawaii has only 638 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with at least 17 deaths.
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ABC News Ahmad Hemingway, Brian Hartman, Olivia Rubin, Soorin Kim, Eric Strauss, Joshua Hoyos and Clark Bentson contributed to this report.