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Coronavirus live updates: US deaths near 100K; Nevada casinos to reopen June 4; Los Angeles opens largest US testing site

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Poetry, yoga, and lots of reading are among the ways these kids are coping with being out of school and stuck at home under coronavirus restrictions.

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The national coronavirus toll was closing in on a stunning 100,000 deaths Wednesday as states slowly reopened their economies while attempting to control the number of new infections, hospitalizations and fatalities.

In New York state, where almost 30,000 people have died, Long Island began reopening Wednesday, leaving New York City as the only area remaining essentially locked down. In California, barbershops and hair salons will be allowed to reopen across most of the state.

“We’re making progress,” Newsom said. “We’re moving forward.”

Some state are discouraging travel by requiring or recommending that visitors and residents returning from other states quarantine for 14 days. There are more than 5.6 million confirmed cases around the globe, with nearly 1.7 million in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. More than 350,000 people have died worldwide. The U.S. has reported more than 98,900 dead in a span of less than four months, more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.

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Here are a few of the major developments from Tuesday:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, criticized President Donald Trump for saying that wearing a face mask is “politically correct.”
  • Six in 10 parents say they would likely not send their kids back into classrooms if they reopen in the fall, and 1 in 5 teachers say they likely won’t return either, according to an exclusive USA TODAY/Ipsos poll.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarified its “confusing” guideline language about the spread of coronavirus on surfaces and objects. 

What we’re talking about: In America’s debate over face masks, public ridicule and judgment have become commonplace — for people who selectively cover up and for those who forgo them altogether.

Staying Apart, Together: USA TODAY brings a newsletter about how to cope with these trying times straight to your inbox.

Your daily dose of good news: Have you gotten closer to your pet during the coronavirus quarantine? You’re not alone, according to a new survey.

Brazil death toll expected to rise sharply, near US total

Brazil’s reported death toll, now at about 25,000, could exceed 125,000 by early August and continue to increase after that, according to forecasts from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. IHME projects the U.S. death total at 132,000 by early August, but the U.S. is forecast to be near the end of the the cycle by then. IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said Brazil must follow the lead of Wuhan, China, as well as Italy, Spain, and New York by enforcing measures to reduce transmission of the virus and gain control of the fast-growing epidemic.

“Until then, IHME is forecasting the death toll in Brazil will continue to climb,” Murray said. “There will be a shortage of critical hospital resources, and the peak of deaths may not occur until mid-July.”

CDC clarifies guidelines on coronavirus and its spread on surfaces, objects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an update to their recent changes to the coronavirus guidelines. Two days after the guidelines said COVID-19 “does not spread easily” by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, the CDC clarified that the wording they used was “confusing.”

“This change was intended to make it easier to read, and was not a result of any new science,” the CDC said in a news release. The agency had always warned that “it may be possible” to become infected with coronavirus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects although the primary way to get infected is through person-to-person contact. That statement still holds true with the recently updated guidelines saying: “This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.”

Nevada set to reopen casinos with social distancing restrictions on June 4

Nevada will soon welcome tourists again as casinos are set to open June 4 with social distancing restrictions, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced late Tuesday.

“We welcome the visitors from across the country to come here, to have a good time, no different than they did previously, but we’re gonna be cautious,” Sisolak told reporters.

Sisolak said the state will be prepared to close down again if there’s a spike in cases. He shut down the casinos 10 weeks ago in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. The governor also announced the second phase of reopening that will begin Friday. Gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, shopping malls and bars will reopen with restrictions. In-person religious services with up to 50 people will also be allowed, he said. Brothels, night clubs and strip clubs are excluded.

Joe Biden calls Donald Trump ‘a fool’ for saying masks are politically correct

President Donald Trump called wearing a face mask “politically correct” on Tuesday, while former vice president Joe Biden called Trump “a fool” for demeaning them, highlighting the politicization that has emerged around face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, during a news conference in the Rose Garden, Trump asked a reporter, “Can you take it off, because I cannot hear you,” referencing the face mask.

“I’ll just speak louder, sir,” the reporter responded.

“OK, you want to be politically correct. Go ahead,” Trump replied. The reporter refused to take the mask off. 

Last week, Ford executives encouraged Trump to don a face mask during his visit to one of its factories, but he said he chose not to wear it near photographers because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

– Savannah Behrmann

Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli reveals COVID-19 infection

Andrea Bocelli is the latest star on a long list of celebrities who have tested positive for COVID-19. In a video shared by Italian newspaper La Stampa and translated by French outlet France 24, the opera singer, 61, confirmed to a group of journalists that both he and his family had experienced the novel coronavirus.

“My whole family was contaminated,” he said in an English translation. “We all had a fever — though thankfully not high ones — with sneezing and coughing.”

He continued, “I had to cancel many concerts… It was like living a nightmare because I felt like I was no longer in control of things. I was hoping to wake up at any moment.”

Sara M Moniuszko

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Los Angeles opens largest coronavirus testing site in US at Dodger Stadium

The city of Los Angeles opened its biggest testing site at Dodger Stadium, which can test up to 6,000 people daily for free. It’s the largest site in the U.S., according to Community Organized Response Effort, a non-profit organization that helps vulnerable communities during a crisis.

“Dodger Stadium is a place where Angelenos usually rally around a common goal of victories on the field –– and today, it is uniting us around a mission to save lives,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

CORE has worked with state and city officials to open 12 sites in Los Angeles, and 28 sites across the nation. Los Angeles was the first U.S. city to offer free testing to all residents, whether they had symptoms or not. 

More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY

More than 100 Apple Stores scheduled to reopen this week across US

Some Apple Stores will reopen this week, with 100 of the 271 U.S. outlets opening their doors again. However, shopping won’t resume like it used to do pre-coronavirus. In most of the stores, customers won’t be allowed to enter the premises, and instead will only be able to pick up products in front of the store or via a dedicated curbside location. Apple will be setting up Genius Bar appointments in front of the stores as well. 

The Genius Bar is where customers go to get free tech support, or to have data moved from Apple devices. However, some stores will allow customers to come in and shop, including locations in the San Diego and Santa Barbara areas in California, Las Vegas, Houston, Texas, and Boca Raton, Florida.  

Jefferson Graham

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If you’ve been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic and are on the job hunt, you’re probably wondering how to explain it on your resume.

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NHL unveils plan to restart with 24-team postseason tournament

The NHL took a big step Tuesday toward completing its 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced a 24-team playoff format that was accepted by the Players’ Association through a vote that concluded Friday.

The tournament will feature the top 12 teams in each conference, with seeds based on points percentage and calculated using every team’s record at the time of the pause. The top four seeds in each conference would automatically advance to the traditional round of 16, but seed Nos. 5 through 12 would have to play their way in. The tournament will be played in two hub cities to be announced at a later date, Bettman said – one for the Eastern Conference playoffs and one for the Western Conference playoffs.

– Vincent Z. Mercogliano

Contributing: The Associated Press

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