Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Protests Raise Fears Over COVID-19 Outbreaks

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Rival Soccer Fans Come Together In Anti-Bolsonaro Protest — 6/1/20, 4:55 a.m. ET

Fans of some of Brazil’s biggest soccer teams took to the streets of Sao Paulo on Sunday in the largest street march against President Jair Bolsonaro in months.

Several hundred members from the Corinthians, Palmeiras and Santos fan groups shouted “democracy” and “dictatorship, never again.”

Similar protests involving fans of the Flamengo team also took place in Rio de Janeiro, HuffPost Brazil reported. Brazil has reported nearly half a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths — figures widely considered understatements due to a lack of adequate testing.

However, the military police said they fired tear gas in an attempt to keep rival protest groups apart after pro-Bolsonaro supporters, carrying what a police spokesman described as a neo-Nazi flag, approached the pro-democracy group.

Supporters of the president have gathered weekly to back Bolsonaro and his calls for easing restrictions on movement, gatherings and work.

— James Martin

U.S. Protests Raise Fears Over New Coronavirus Outbreaks — 5/31/20, 2:45 p.m. ET

Local and state officials are warning of potential coronavirus outbreaks as thousands of people across the U.S. gather to protests police violence and racial inequality after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

“If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms warned over the weekend. “There is still a pandemic in America that’s killing Black and brown people at higher numbers.”

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey earlier in the week called on protesters to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible during demonstrations. “We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other,” he said.

As of Sunday, there were more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and more than 104,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Black people are disproportionally impacted by the virus, accounting for 52% of diagnoses and 58% of coronavirus deaths nationally, according to a study released earlier this month.

Read more from the Associated Press.

— Hayley Miller

True Coronavirus Death Toll In U.S. Likely Passed 100,000 Weeks Ago: Report — 5/30/20, 2:28 p.m. ET

Reported coronavirus deaths hit a dark milestone this week as Johns Hopkins University’s tally surpassed 100,000. But a Washington Post analysis of nationwide mortality data indicates that the U.S. likely hit that milestone three weeks ago.

A team at the Yale School of Public Health compared the total number of deaths from all causes to the projected number of deaths for the same time period. Based on historical data, we have a pretty good understanding of how many deaths the U.S. can expect to see on a weekly basis. Between March 1 and May 9, there were around 101,600 excess deaths — that is, more than 100,000 over the number expected. That leaves about 26,000 more deaths than have been officially attributed to COVID-19 on the patients’ death certificates, the paper said, citing federal data.

How COVID-19 directly impacted the deaths of the additional 26,000 — if it did at all — is not clear. Fear of contracting the virus may have stopped some people from seeking medical attention in a timely fashion. There may also have been higher rates of deaths from causes such as suicide or domestic violence.

Public health experts largely believe the true coronavirus death toll is higher than official reports. Due to spotty testing early on in the crisis and confusion on exactly when the virus came over here, though, it’s hard to come up with precise figures. That’s why experts are turning to the metric of excess deaths to help illustrate the virus’s real impact — and the Yale researchers’ findings support the theory that the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is worse than official statistics describe.

“It’s clear that the burden is quite a bit higher than reported totals,” Daniel Weinberger, the epidemiologist who led the analysis, told The Washington Post.

— Sara Boboltz

Tyson Shuts Down Pork Processing Plant In Iowa After Hundreds Fall Ill — 5/29/20, 2:20 p.m. ET

A Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, is temporarily halting operations after 22% of the plant’s 2,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter told the Des Moines Register that 555 of the plant’s 2,517 employees tested positive, which the company blamed on “a delay in COVID-19 testing results and team member absences related to quarantine.“

Tyson said it plans to reopen next week after a “deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire facility.”

Mayra Lopez, vice president of the Storm Lake League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, told the Register that Tyson could have done more to prevent the outbreak.

A meeting with Tyson earlier this month regarding the company’s efforts was “very short, very scripted, and very vague,” she said, though she agreed a lack of adequate testing was at least partly to blame.

“We finally, finally have the testing we’ve been waiting for,” she said. “I don’t think people are getting results quickly enough. I’ve heard Tyson employees waiting as long as a week to hear back if they have a confirmed case. By the time they get the results, it could be too late and they’ve passed it on to someone else.”

Meat processing plants have become COVID-19 hot spots in rural communities across the country. As of last week, an estimated 17,000 workers in processing plants across the United States have fallen ill and 66 have died.

— Ryan Grenoble

For more updates on the pandemic, go here. 



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