More than 5.5 million people worldwide – including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies.
Live updates for Tuesday, May 26, continue below:
More than 40 cases reported at North Carolina nursing home
Update 11:44 p.m. EDT May 26: The Royal Park of Matthews is the latest North Carolina nursing home dealing with an outbreak -- with more than 40 cases reported within its walls.
State health officials announced Tuesday that 37 residents and 7 staff members have tested positive with more results pending.
In a statement, facility administration said it is doing everything it can to contain the virus -- but employees who didn’t want to be identified told WSOC-TV they don’t agree.
One employee said the workers who actually take care of the residents are getting about $1 an hour extra in pay, but it’s not enough for the risk they are taking.
Management told WSOC-TV that the outbreak spiraled out of control after two staff members tested positive on May 16. The next day, they said one of their residents tested positive and at that point they had everyone tested. Results started coming in and as of Tuesday there are more than 40 positive cases connected to the facility.
Family members said news about the outbreak came as a shock to them.
Melanie Sprague’s father is a resident at the nursing home. She told us the first time she heard about the outbreak was last week and on Saturday she learned that her father has the virus too.
“He’s very weak ... it sounds like he’s very depressed,” she said. “I can’t get in to see my dad. My sister can’t get in to see my dad, and it’s really hard, because there’s nobody to protect them.”
Royal Park administration told WSOC-TV that all employees are screened as they come in and out of the facility, and that they’re wearing masks, gowns, gloves and goggles, but somehow the virus still caught fire and spread.
Mecklenburg County, where Royal Park is, leads the state with 18 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and nursing home.
Germany to extend social distance measures to June 29
Update 10:29 p.m. EDT May 26: Germany will extend its social distance guidelines through June 29, government officials said Tuesday.
"This decision is based on the assessment that the number of SARS CoV2 new infections in Germany is at a low level a
month after the start of easing the measures," officials said.
The measures include limiting gatherings to 10 people in public, CNN reported.
Disney, SeaWorld to present reopening plans Wednesday
Update 9:03 p.m. EDT May 26: Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Walt Disney World and SeaWorld will virtually present their reopening plans to the county's Economic Recovery Task Force on Wednesday morning, WFTV-TV reported.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and run until noon.
The presentations will include the theme park operators' proposed reopening dates.
A team of Orange County and Florida Department of Health inspectors visited the theme parks Tuesday to determine if the operators were in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive orders.
For the parks to reopen, Demings must endorse their reopening plans and DeSantis must approve them.
Demings said Tuesday that he expects the parks' reopening plans to be similar to those of the Universal Orlando Resort, which have already been approved by DeSantis.
He said safety protocols include signage in multiple languages.
Nevada governor cancels news conference because of possible infection
Update 8:44 p.m. EDT May 26: Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak canceled a Tuesday in-person news conference to discuss the state's phased reopening after finding out an employee at a business he had recently visited tested positive for the coronavirus.
The governor's office found out about the employee's positive test Tuesday and immediately canceled the briefing, KOLO-TV reported.
Sisolak had no contact with the employee five days ago and has not shown any symptoms in the time since.
His update will now be given in a prerecorded video “out of an abundance of caution.”
Sisolak is expected to take a coronavirus test Wednesday.
New Hampshire plans legal action against race track owner who held races with spectators
Update 7:44 p.m. EDT May 26: A race track owner who held races over the weekend and allowed a large group of spectators into the stands, will face legal action by the New Hampshire State Attorney's Office.
The owner of Riverside Speedway was warned not to have spectators at recent events, CNN reported. Local officials notified potential spectators of the health risks by putting large electronic message boards leading to the track.
“We always want to work with individuals as opposed to saying there's a blanket template here,” Gov. Chris Sununu said. "There are still aspects of our economy that are going to be challenging to fully open without, you know, the potential for repercussions of what I keep calling the ‘super cluster events,’ where one individual can infect a whole bunch of people in a very short time period."
There are 4,197 confirmed cases and 210 deaths from the coronavirus in New Hampshire, according to The New York Times.
‘Phased return’ planned for Northwestern University
Update 7:17 p.m. EDT May 26: Officials are planning a "phased return" to campus for students, faculty and staff at Northwestern University for the fall.
Social distancing, using face masks and health monitoring measures are part of the plan that the school's Return to Campus and Safety Work Group developed, CNN reported.
"It is important that you only come to campus when your school or unit permits," a letter sent to faculty, staff and students read. "For many of you, that may mean continuing to work remotely in the months ahead."
The school is in its first step of its phased reopening, which allows essential faculty and staff to return. The school's second phase will open laboratories after the Illinois' stay-at-home order expires, which is expected to end June 1.
2 men face federal charges in PPE price-gouging cases
Update 6:24 p.m. EDT May 26: Federal prosecutors arrested Ronald Romano, 58, a used-car salesman in New Jersey, and Richard Schirripa, 66, a licensed pharmacist in New York, on charges that they hoarded personal protective equipment to exploit demand, The Washington Post reported.
Prosecutors said the men hiked up prices of the PPE as much as 500% above the original manufacturer’s prices, the newspaper reported.
“At a time when the pandemic was ravaging New York City, this defendant (Schirripa) greedily preyed on the city’s desperate need for protective equipment to stop the spread of the virus,” New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett said specifically about Romano.
Prosecutors allege that brokers representing Romano approached New York City to supply 7 million N95 respirators, and Romano also offered three-ply N99 masks to the Florida Division of Emergency Management at a more than 500 percent mark up, according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice.
Massachusetts reports 57 new deaths, 422 new cases
Update 6:07 p.m. EDT May 26: Health officials in Massachusetts announced 57 new deaths from the novel coronavirus were reported while 422 new cases were confirmed. As of Tuesday, an additional 4,920 people were tested for the virus, WFXT reported.
So far, Massachusetts has had 6,473 deaths from COVID-19, 93,693 cases confirmed and 545,481 tests performed, the television station reported.
Dow Jones surges 530 points as NYSE reopens floor
Update 5:50 p.m. EDT May 26: The floor of the New York Stock Exchange opened for the first time since March 23, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain of 530 points, The Washington Post reported. That was a gain of 2.2% as the Dow finished at 24,995.11.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index jumped 1.2% and NASDAQ rose 0.2%, the newspaper reported.
NHL will use 24-team playoff format if season resumes
Update 4:48 p.m. EDT May 26: The NHL said it will scrap the remainder of the regular season and adopt a 24-team playoff format if the league is able to resume play.
The plan is not a guarantee that play will resume, Commissioner Gary Bettman said adding the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association must still figure out health and safety protocols.
Face coverings to be required in public in Virginia
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia on Tuesday announced face coverings will be required in public places statewide beginning on Friday, according to WJLA.
The governor said Tuesday at a news conference that the order will apply to stores, restaurants, public transportation and any places where people can gather in groups, WJLA reported.
“I am taking this step because science increasingly shows us that the virus spreads less easily when everyone is wearing face coverings,” he said, according to the news station.
As of Tuesday morning, 39,342 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Virginia. Health officials said at least 1,236 people have died of coronavirus infections statewide.
109 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC
Update 2:55 p.m. EDT May 26: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Tuesday that 109 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 8,334.
Bowser said that as of Tuesday, 440 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus infections.
In a statement, the mayor said that officials have seen "13 days of sustained decrease in community spread of COVID-19. Still, she urged residents to continue to stay at home for all but essential purposes.
Delaware to allow for outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies with up to 250 guests
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. John Carney of Delaware announced Tuesday that he's lifting restrictions that barred people from holding outdoor gatherings as the state looks to reopen businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning June 1, outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies and other events with as many as 250 people attending will be allowed, Carney said. People who attend such events will be required to wear cloth face coverings and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.
As of Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, officials in Delaware had recorded 9,055 cases of COVID-19 statewide. At least 335 people have died of coronavirus infections, according to state health officials.
“We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” Carney said Tuesday in a statement.
“While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.”
More than 38,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana
Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Officials in Louisiana reported 245 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, raising the state's total number of infections to 38,054.
Statewide, at least 2,596 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 28,700 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said.
Officials urge people who crowded Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to self-quarantine
Update 12:55 p.m. EDT May 26: Leaders in Kansas City and St. Louis are urging people who partied close together at Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Big crowds were reported at swimming pools, bars and restaurants at the popular central Missouri lake. Postings showed people without masks partying and swimming together, seemingly ignoring guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and from the state, to keep at least 6 feet apart.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page called it “reckless behavior.” He asked the county’s health department to issue a travel advisory, citing concerns raised by residents and employers just as the county was beginning to reopen after weeks of shutdown caused by the virus.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, both Democrats, took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the crowds at the lake, which draws from the metropolitan areas on both sides of the state, along with neighboring Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Iowa.
“If you were part of a group that didn’t socially distance or wear masks, please, for the health of your family, coworkers and friends, stay home for the next 14 days,” Krewson said in a tweet.
Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer echoed the call for a 14-day self-quarantine.
703 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey
Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Tuesday that 703 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 155,764.
Murphy noted that reports of new cases, which fell Tuesday below the more than 900 new cases reported one day earlier, might be delayed due to the long holiday weekend.
“The key metrics from our hospitals continue to move in the right direction,” he said in a Twitter post. “We continue to see many positive signs that we can keep moving forward. We’re seeing many more good days than bad."
Officials also reported 54 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,191 people have died statewide of COVID-19.
Pence’s press secretary returns to work after recovering from COVID-19
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, said Tuesday that she's returned to work after recovering from a coronavirus infection.
President Donald Trump said May 8 that Miller was diagnosed with COVID-19 “all of a sudden.” Miller said Tuesday that she tested negative three times for COVID-19 before returning to work.
“Thank you to all my amazing doctors and everyone who reached out with support,” Miller wrote Tuesday in a tweet. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband who took great care of his pregnant wife.”
Miller is married to Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser.
New Jersey allows professional sports teams return to training, competition
Update 12:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that professional sports teams are now allowed to resume training and competition in the state.
"While leagues make their own decisions about operations, I am confident that teams are equipped to practice and eventually play in a responsible manner, protecting the health and safety of players, coaches, and team personnel," the governor said, according to NBC News.
New York Gov. Cuomo to meet with President Trump on Wednesday
Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said he will meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.
Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday that he plans “to talk about a number of things” with the president, including the possibility of ramping up infrastructure projects to boost the economy.
“There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and it’s infrastructure. Now is the time to do it. It’s especially the time to do it when some of the volume is lower.”
Jacksonville, Florida mayor says city ‘would be honored’ to host RNC
Update 12 p.m. EDT May 26: The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida said Tuesday that the city "would be honored to host the Republican National Convention" after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention from North Carolina due to the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a series of Twitter posts, Mayor Lenny Curry said his administration and Gov. Ron DeSantis “have created a regulatory framework that operates in (a) way that is attractive to significant events like these.”
He offered up the city’s partnership with the UFC, which led to several fan-free shows at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena earlier this month, as evidence that the city “has strongly demonstrated the ability to host large events in a safe (and) responsible way."
Earlier Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his state would be willing and able to safely host the RNC, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center.
As of Tuesday morning, 50,916 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in Florida and 2,259 people have died the viral infection. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection.
In North Carolina, officials said that as of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and 766 people have died statewide.
73 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York
Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that 73 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly less than the 95 new fatal cases reported one day earlier.
Georgia offers to host RNC after Trump threatens to pull convention from North Carolina
Update 11:10 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on Tuesday offered his state up as host of the Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the RNC from it's planned setting in North Carolina over the state's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention," Kemp wrote in a post on Twitter.
Trump said in a series of tweets published Monday that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper must immediately tell organizers whether or not they’ll be able to host the convention as expected from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center.
“Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” the president wrote. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.”
Cooper said Monday that state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and reviewing their plans for holding the convention, WSOC-TV reported.
"North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety," Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV.
As of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina and 766 people have died, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection.
New Jersey to allow for socially distanced graduation ceremonies
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that schools will be allowed to begin holding outdoor graduation ceremonies in July provided they comply with social distancing measures.
Murphy said the ceremonies will be allowed beginning July 6. The date is about two weeks later than graduations are typically held, according to North Jersey.com.
4,043 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK
Update 10:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 4,043 new coronavirus infections Tuesday morning, raising the country's total number of infections to 265,227.
Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,048 people had died nationwide of COVID-19.
Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow virus worries
Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 26: Wall Street opened sharply higher Tuesday as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries over the coronavirus pandemic.
The S&P 500 jumped to nearly a 3-month high, recovering much of its post-pandemic losses.
Investors are shifting their focus to how various nations are adapting to getting back to business, while striving to keep new COVID-19 cases in check. Reassuring comments by the head of China's central bank also helped spur buying.
Benchmarks in Paris, London and Tokyo also gained on Tuesday.
Brooklyn Nets allowed to begin voluntary player workouts, reopen training facility
Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials with the Brooklyn Nets said the NBA team plans to reopen its practice training facility Tuesday, two days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said professional sports teams in the state would be allowed to begin spring training statewide.
In a statement obtained by CNN, team officials said they plan to reopen the HSS Training Center for voluntary player workouts beginning Tuesday.
"The organization will strictly follow the protocols outlined by the NBA and infectious disease experts to ensure that all precautions are taken in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for players and staff," the statement said, according to CNN.
Several Nets players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for coronavirus infections in March.
Global deaths near 347K, total cases soar past 5.5M
Update 7:44 a.m. EDT May 26: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 346,700 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,518,905 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China's 84,102.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,662,768 cases, resulting in 98,223 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 374,898 cases, resulting in 23,473 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 362,342 cases, resulting in 3,807 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 262,547 cases, resulting in 36,996 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 235,400 cases, resulting in 26,834 deaths.
• Italy has reported 230,158 cases, resulting in 32,877 deaths.
• France has confirmed 183,067 cases, resulting in 28,460 deaths.
• Germany has reported 180,802 cases, resulting in 8,323 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 157,814 cases, resulting in 4,369 deaths
• India has recorded 146,371 cases, resulting in 4,187 deaths.
Colorado restaurant owners sue state over Mother’s Day license suspension
Update 7:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The owners of a Colorado restaurant who defied statewide shutdown orders by allowing throngs of customers to dine on Mother's Day have field suit against the state for having their license suspended.
The suit was filed Friday by the owners of C&C Coffee & Kitchen in Castle Rock against Gov. Jared Polis; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and its director; and the local tri-county health department in Douglas County District Court, The Washington Post reported.
The suit alleges owners Jesse and April Arellano were denied their "livelihood and ability to operate their business after they simply allowed customers onto their premises to serve food and beverages." More specifically, it claims that Polis' statewide restrictions lack empirical evidence to accurately quantify the novel coronavirus pandemic's toll because they are based on "fluctuating, often inaccurate projections," the Post reported.
Meanwhile, Polis announced Monday that Colorado restaurants will be allowed to reopen dining rooms beginning Wednesday but with strict capacity measures enforced, The Denver Post reported.
Global coronavirus cases top 5.5 million
Update 5:53 a.m. EDT May 26: The worldwide total of novel coronavirus cases eclipsed 5.5 million early Tuesday.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, a total of 5,508,904 cases have now been diagnosed globally, resulting in at least 346,508 deaths.
South Korea links nearly 250 coronavirus cases to popular Seoul entertainment district
Published 4:41 a.m. EDT May 26: A popular nightlife district in South Korean capital Seoul has been linked officially to 247 novel coronavirus cases since social distancing restrictions were eased.
According to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 83,000 tests have been performed specific to the Itaweon district outbreak, and about 30% of those who tested positive have remained asymptomatic.
D.C. officials confident they can contain coronavirus by July
Published 3:33 a.m. EDT May 26: The greater Washington, D.C., area could have enough testing equipment, laboratory capacity and contact tracers to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, but only if the public remains vigilant, The Washington Post reported.
According to public health officials in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, the region is expected to reach peak capacity for testing and tracing by June or early July, the Post reported.
Read more here.
Largest Latin American airline files for bankruptcy amid coronavirus disruptions
Update 2:14 a.m. EDT May 26: LATAM Airlines Group has filed for bankruptcy, and the largest Latin American airline cites the novel coronavirus pandemic as the primary cause.
In a statement posted to its website, the company said it will reorganize operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.
Specifically, CEO Roberto Alvo said LATAM will refocus “on transforming our group to adapt to a new and evolving way of flying, with the health and safety of our passengers and employees being paramount."
No immediate impact is expected to affect reservations, employee pay, flight vouchers or passenger and cargo operations, according to the statement.
US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths surpass 98K
Update 1:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Tuesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,662,302 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,223 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 362,764 cases and 29,229 deaths and New Jersey with 155,092 cases and 11,147 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,271 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,416, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 112,017. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each.
Five other states have now confirmed at least 51,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• California: 96,400 cases, resulting in 3,769 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 71,925 cases, resulting in 5,146 deaths
• Texas: 56,409 cases, resulting in 1,533 deaths
• Michigan: 54,881 cases, resulting in 5,241 deaths
• Florida: 51,746 cases, resulting in 2,252 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 13,458; Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,178 and Kansas with 9,125; Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Oklahoma and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.