By WILLIAM MANSELL and ELLA TORRES, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 589,000 people worldwide.
Over 13.8 million people across the globe 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. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 138,359 deaths.
Here is how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.
4:46 p.m.: Chicago Public Schools propose ‘hybrid model’ for fall
Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have released what they’re calling a “hybrid model” for reopening schools this fall.
The model includes sending K-10 students back to class for two consecutive days a week, one day of virtual learning with a teacher and two days of independent at-home learning. No more than 15 students can be in class at once.
Pre-K students will be in class, while 11th and 12th graders would be remote learning only.
The district is taking the proposal to parents for feedback before unveiling an official plan in August.
The Chicago Teachers Union has already said they don’t want to go back to the classrooms under current conditions.
4:25 p.m.: California details back-to-school plan
California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined five principles to advise schools on how to reopen in the fall.
The first principle is that schools may physically open in counties that have been off the “monitoring list” for 14 consecutive days. For counties on the list, they must begin their school year with distanced learning.
Currently, more than 80% of the state population is on the “monitoring list.”
The second and third principle include new measures to be adopted in the school, including mask requirements and social distancing. For school staff and students in thirrd grade and above, masks must be worn. For students in second grade and below, masks are strongly encouraged.
Staff will also be required maintain at least 6 feet between each other and students and have their symptoms checked at the start of the day. Additional hand-washing stations will also be placed in schools.
The fourth principle focuses on testing. It will require staff is tested regularly and on a rotating basis.
The final principle requires that all kids have access to devices and connectivity when distance learning. There will be daily live interactions with teachers and students and “challenging assignments equivalent to in-person classes,” according to Newsom.
He noted that in-person learning would stop for a handful of reasons.
If there is a confirmed case, a classroom will go home and if 5% of a school is positive, the whole school goes home.
A district goes home if 25% of their schools have to close within a two-week period.
3:46 p.m.: Delta to require passengers who refuse mask to complete virtual health consultation
Delta Airlines will require passengers who refuse to wear a mask on board to complete a “virtual consultation” with a health professional prior to travel.
Delta said this will “ensure everyone’s safety, because nothing is more important.” The airline currently mandates that all passengers wear a mask.
The airline is the first to attempt to crack down on a potential loophole in which customers could say they cannot comply with the face covering requirement because of a medical condition.
The consultation will consist of a private phone call facilitated by Delta employees at the airport, according to an airline spokesperson.
The call will be with “medical professional consultants, including doctors” from STAT-MD, according to Delta. STAT-MD is an arm of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which Delta has partnered with in the past, the airline stated.
Pending outcome of the consultation, a final determination to fly is made, the spokesperson said.
3:26 p.m.: 18 states in ‘red zone’ for COVID cases: WH document
More than a dozen states around the country are in a “red zone” for coronavirus cases, according to an unpublished document prepared for the White House coronavirus task force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity.
The document, which is dated July 14, categorizes 18 states as being in the “red zone” for cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 in the population last week. Eleven states are in the “red zone” when it comes to test positivity, meaning more than 10% of diagnostic test results came back positive.
The states in the “red zone” for cases are Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
The states in the “red zone” for test positivity are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
When asked why the White House is not releasing the document, a senior official said it is intended to inform and assist local response efforts.
3:00 p.m.: Barcelona residents told to stay home amid rise in cases
Catalan health authorities have asked Barcelona’s residents to stay at home as much as possible after a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
The new guidelines on staying home are not mandated, though authorities have banned social gatherings of more than 10 and ordered nightclubs and gyms to close.
Residents are asked only to leave their home for “essential” reasons, including to go to work, go grocery shopping or for medical reasons.
Nearly 1,300 more people were confirmed or suspected of carrying the virus in Catalonia on Thursday, the highest daily increase in weeks.
2:45 p.m.: Florida governor says hospital capacity is not an issue
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis painted a rosy picture of the state’s COVID-19 situation on Friday, despite seeing a record number of hospitalizations the day before.
“We have 21% of the beds statewide available. Less than 80% of the beds are actually in use,” DeSantis said. “So there is capacity.”
He also applauded the state’s testing efforts, saying the number of tests conducted so far is “something we never thought we could do.”
The average number of tests per day over the past week was 100,000, according to DeSantis.
He also said the percentage of people testing positive was starting to stabilize. An ABC News analysis, however, showed that the rate of positivity in Florida was increasing.
1:35 p.m.: Additional CDC guidance on schools reopening won’t come until end of July
Additional guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on schools reopening won’t be released until the end of July, a spokesman confirmed to ABC News.
The delay on the guidelines now bumps up against August, when many students were supposed to return.
“CDC’s Reopening Schools Safely documents will not be released this week; instead the full set will be published before the end of the month,” the spokesman said. “These science- and evidence-based resources and tools will provide additional information for administrators, teachers and staff, parents, caregivers and guardians, as together we work towards the public health-oriented goal of safely opening schools this fall.”
President Trump said the existing guidance for schools, which mandated things like masks and 6 feet of distance among students, is too tough and expensive to implement.
CDC Director Robert Redfield told “Good Morning America” the new guidance would be five additional reference documents to help guide parents and teachers.
1:03 p.m.: Texas school districts can apply for distanced learning
School districts in Texas can now apply for distanced learning for up to eight weeks, according to a statement from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
A school district can conduct distanced learning for the first four weeks of school, the statement said. A board-approved request to TEA has to be made for the additional four weeks.
“These changes give the needed flexibility for schools to effectively provide a smooth transition for students, teachers, and staff so that they will experience the safest and least disruptive mode of learning during the beginning of the school year,” the statement said.
Additional changes include allowing high schools, with the school board approval, to convert to a full-time hybrid model of on-site and distanced learning when students are allowed back on campus.
“This model will provide for a more socially distanced school experience, where students receive a portion of their instruction on-campus and a portion of their instruction remotely at home,” according to the statement.
12:37 p.m.: NYC on track to enter Phase 4 next week
New York City is on track to enter Phase 4 of its reopening plan on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference.
That means outdoor entertainment, including zoos and gardens, can reopen at 33% capacity. The production of movies and TV shows can also proceed.
De Blasio said that museums and malls would remain closed for now.
The open restaurants program, which allows restaurants to expand outdoor seating options for dining, will run through Oct. 31. There are currently 8,600 restaurants participating in the program.
This weekend, 40 more blocks will be opened for outdoor dining.
12:28 p.m.: Fauci calls to ‘intensify’ COVID response to stop resurgence
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the U.S. may need to “intensify” its response to stop the coronavirus resurgence currently happening in the U.S.
Fauci pointed to the rise in cases in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona.
“We’ve got to do something about that,” Fauci said in a conversation with the Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “I think the time has come that we really do need to take a look at what’s going on and see if we can intensify the things we do to prevent the resurgence is that we’re seeing.”
Asked whether the country reopened too soon, Fauci declined to call out individual states but noted that some skipped over “benchmarks and checkpoints” designed to flatten infection rates.
“That could have been one of the issues that led to the surge,” Fauci said, adding that some states followed proper protocols but people chose not to follow the guidelines.
He once again stressed the importance of wearing masks and acknowledged it can be tough for business owners trying to enforce mask rules.
“It gets difficult when people don’t want to cooperate and you don’t want to have a hostile environment in your business, for obvious reasons, but on the other hand, you want to maintain the highest levels of safety,” Fauci said.
11:55 a.m.: 28 states have issued state-wide mask mandates so far
As the debate over mask mandates continues, a growing number of states have begun issuing new mask requirements.
As of Friday, 28 states and Washington, D.C., have issued state-wide mask mandates, according to an ABC News analysis.
The 28 states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
This list only includes state-wide mandates and does not include orders at the city or county level.
11:38 a.m.: Florida reports 11,548 new cases
Cases in Florida continued to rise, with 11,548 new cases reported in the state in the last 24 hours, according to the state’s Department of Health.
There were also an additional 128 deaths, bringing the total to 4,910, according to the department.
More than 20,000 have been hospitalized, which is an increase of 366 since Thursday. Some 9,000 of those hospitalizations are currently active.
The positivity rate in the state was 11.85%. Some counties, however, saw higher positivity rates, with Miami-Dade reporting a rate of 18.3%.
11:16 a.m.: Kellyanne Conway urges Trump to hold COVID briefings
Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to President Trump, publicly urged him to hold more coronavirus-focused events, saying his poll numbers were stronger when he held such briefings.
“His approval in the pandemic was higher when he was speaking. I don’t think anybody needs to be up there for two hours — it can be 20 minutes, it can be 30 minutes, it can be two questions, it can be no questions respectfully, as long as the information is being delivered,” Conway told reporters.
“I think it’s important for the country to hear from President Trump,” she added.
None of Trump’s events this week have focused on the pandemic.
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday defended the president’s public schedule.
“The president’s focusing on a lot,” McEnany responded when asked why none of the events were related to the surging number of cases.
Conway, also speaking on Fox News, said not everyone in the White House agrees with her view and that “some people are encouraging him to stop.”
10:42 a.m.: Florida sheriff says they will take ‘more aggressive’ stance on policing during COVID
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said his office will “take a much more aggressive stance” when it comes to policing parties, specifically house parties.
Tony said the office is “cutting out warnings” and may introduce a curfew if the policing does not work.
He added that a curfew is something he doesn’t want to implement and noted there “are many good people…following the rules.”
Tony cited an “increase in crime,” including crime from large gatherings, as the reason for the ramped up policing.
10:09 a.m.: Georgia governor says people should wear masks but won’t enforce it
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said all state residents should wear masks when in public to curb the spread of the virus, but he will not enforce it through an executive order.
“I’m confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” Kemp said at a press conference Friday. He acknowledged, however, that “many well-intentioned and well-informed” residents want a mask mandate.
“Instead of issuing mandates that are confusing and unenforceable, I’m asking all local leaders to enforce the current executive order. Enforce the rules that we have put in place to keep employees and customers safe at local businesses. Enforce the provisions that keep folks staying 6 feet apart at large gatherings. Enforce measures to protect the medically fragile,” Kemp said.
He encouraged wearing a mask- when in public and when maintaining social distance is not possible. Kemp also urged people to wash their hands.
On Thursday, Kemp filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta for what he called a mask mandate and other restrictions.
Kemp said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms cannot enforce such a mandate in her city.
Bottoms responded to the lawsuit on Twitter, condemning the governor.
Bottoms added that “reading is fundamental. [Kemp] is suing Atlanta over RECOMMENDED guidelines.”
A spokesperson for Bottoms’ office said to the best of their knowledge, the city had not yet been served.
9:20 a.m.: New cases in US increased by 18% in last week
There were more than 436,000 new coronavirus cases in the United States from last Thursday to Wednesday, marking an 18.4% increase from the previous week, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.
The national test positivity rate also increased from 9.4% to 9.9% in the last seven days and the case fatality rate reached 3.9%, according to the memo.
The memo also offered a detailed and startling look at how the pandemic is affecting certain states.
In Iowa, there were 31 deaths in the past week — a 94% increase compared to the prior week — and 3,852 new cases reported in the past week — a 31% increase compared to the week before.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds attributed the new cases to a rise in young people, specifically those in the 18 to 40 age group, getting infected, according to the memo.
In Kansas, of the 3,203 new cases reported in the past week, the average age of the infected was 37 years old.
Mississippi recorded 165 new cases per 100,000 population in the past week, compared with a national average of 119 per 100,000.
Both Mississippi and South Carolina reported a test positivity rate of more than 10%.
8:56 a.m.: Maryland governor says Trump is ‘his own worst enemy’ during COVID crisis
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan stood by his criticism of President Donald Trump’s early handling of the coronavirus, saying that the president is “his own worst enemy.”
In an interview Friday on Good Morning America, Hogan said he thinks Trump sometimes “just reacts” rather than listens to the experts.
“I do think that sometimes the president still ought to focus on listening to people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, listening to the folks at the CDC and really taking good advice of some of the people on his team working hard and doing a good job rather than just, you know, kind of changing their message and changing the position,” Hogan said.
He went on, “Sometimes I think he just reacts, he’s his own worst enemy by coming out and just tweeting something that makes no sense and goes against what everyone else in the administration is saying.”
Hogan, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said it’s “no secret” that other Republicans have concerns about the president’s leadership.
“Well, there’s no secret, I think, that there are other Republican elected officials, both governors and senators and congressmen who have some frustrations, you know, that while they may be supportive of the president they still have some pretty big concerns about some of the shortcomings and some of the things that have gone wrong,” Hogan said.
Hogan said it’s understandable that some don’t want the “wrath of the president,” but he noted his strong polling position in his home state compared to the president’s.
Hogan, who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, declined to say if he’ll vote for the president in November.
7:24 a.m.: India surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases
India has now surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, joining the United States and Brazil as the only three countries in the world to do so.
There are at least 1,003,832 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in India, according to a John Hopkins University tally. The coronavirus death toll in the country now stands at least 25,602.
The U.S., leading the world in coronavirus cases, has more than three times that amount with at least 3,576,221 diagnosed cases.
India’s announcement that it crossed the tragic milestone followed Brazil, which said it surpassed 2 million cases on Thursday.
4:40 a.m.: Illinois governor files suit to require masks in schools
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, along with the state health director and the state superintendent, have filed a lawsuit aimed at requiring face coverings in schools.
“As a father, I would not send my children to a school where face coverings are not required because the science is clear: face coverings are critical to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Pritzker said in a statement Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday, according to the Illinois attorney general’s office.
The complaint is being brought against three schools that have “announced their refusal” to follow the public health guidance from the various state agencies and the governor’s executive orders, according to the complaint.
“From the CDC to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors and epidemiologists agree that in order to bring large groups of people together, especially indoors, a face covering is needed to stop the spread. As school districts finalize their fall operations plans, it is imperative that they understand these clear evidence-based requirements to wear face coverings need to be followed to keep our children, teachers and communities healthy and safe,” Pritzker said.
According to the lawsuit, three schools issued a letter contending the governor’s order was not lawful. The state asks the court to verify that the governor’s order was lawful, and for “injunctive relief to require the Schools to stop refusing to comply with the executive orders and Guidance,” according to the complaint.
Illinois has more than 159,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with at least 7,452 deaths.
Pritzker’s lawsuit seeking to require masks comes after Georgia’s governor is doing the opposite. Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Wednesday banning mask mandates and announced the state is suing Atlanta after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms enacted a citywide face-covering rule.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.