Nearly 3.9 million people worldwide – including almost 1.3 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 shifting their focus to reopening their economies.
Live updates for Friday, May 8, continue below:
Update 11:00 p.m. EDT May 8: Roy Horn, of the world-renowned duo Siegfried & Roy, died of complications from COVID-19 in Las Vegas Friday. He was 75.
Horn’s publicist confirmed the news Friday evening.
He had tested positive for the coronavirus last month, his publicist said.
Horn was born in Nordenham, Germany, paired with Siegfried Fischbacher to perform magic tricks and stunts with big cats. The pair performed worldwide and then became a staple in Las Vegas from 1990 to 2003, ABC News reported.
The act’s regular schedule of performances ended at The Mirage in 2003, when Horn was attacked onstage by his white Bengal tiger, Mantecore.
Update 10:00 p.m. EDT May 8: Palm Beach County — the home of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort — can start reopening its businesses next week, joining other parts of Florida that began allowing restaurants and retail shops to open their doors this week under certain limitations, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
Restaurants and shops in Palm Beach County can reopen provided they keep indoor capacity at 25% starting next Monday. The governor said he hopes two other South Florida counties that are still under restrictions to stop the spread of the new coronavirus — Broward and Miami-Dade — can start reopening businesses the following week.
“In order for Florida to come back, we need Palm Beach County in a leadership role,” DeSantis said at a news conference in West Palm Beach.
DeSantis partially lifted his “safer at home” order Monday, allowing restaurants and retail shops to begin operating at 25% capacity around Florida. Excluded from the initial reopening plan were the three South Florida counties that have been the epicenter of the pandemic in the state.
But the governor said Palm Beach County had been trending in the right, downward direction in terms of residents testing positive for the virus.
“It won’t happen overnight but this community is eager to move forward,” said Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner.
Update 7:55 p.m. EDT May 8: Jeff Guebara was among more than a dozen men who arrived before opening Friday at Uptown Barbershop in Phoenix. The Amazon delivery driver normally gets his hair cut every two weeks. This marked his first cut in two months.
“Hair was going into my mouth. I looked like a little Chia Pet,” Guebara said. “I was thinking ‘I got to get in here.’ “
He opted not to wear a mask, however, because his beard also needed trimming. But his barber was wearing one.
“I’m confident they’re doing a good job of disinfecting everything,” Guebara said.
Salons and barbershops in Arizona reopened for the first time after a month-long state-mandated shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
But most looked different in the new age of social distancing. Uptown Barbershop owner Ronnie Yagudaev was using a newly created electronic sign-in system outside. Every client is offered a mask before they sit. The barber stations are now 6 feet (2 meters) apart. With only six stations, Yagudaev was trying to keep the number of total occupants to between 10 and 12.
“It feels different. We’re gonna adapt to the changes — do it safe, do it right,” said Yagudaev, who runs two other locations nearby. It still felt great to be back among customers because “we need them just as much as they need us.”
Josh Rosenbaum, a regular client, said even a simple task like getting a haircut felt comforting.
“I’m a creature of habit, and I’m a teacher. So, I’ve been locked up all day. This is like my first venture out into civilization in two months,” Rosenbaum said.
At nearby Sola Salon Studios, social distancing is a little easier to manage. The space houses 30 one-room suites leased by independent hairstylists, barbers, aestheticians and other beauty professionals.
“It already reduces a lot of crowds, and it reduces possible groups,” said Christopher Nunez, a barber. “But we’re having everyone come in one at a time.”
In another suite, Sue Brower was blow-drying the hair of her first client of the day. Neither was wearing a mask.
“If they feel I need to have one, I would wear one,” Brower said.
In making his decision on the re-openings, Gov. Doug Ducey cited a downward trajectory in the percentage of positive tests along with declines in hospital visits for coronavirus symptoms.
Retail businesses also can resume full in-store sales. Restaurants will be permitted to offer limited dine-in service with precautionary measures starting next week.
Update 6:45 p.m. EDT May 8: The Pennsylvania Department said Friday that 200 more people with COVID-19 have died, raising the statewide death toll to 3,616.
The deaths took place over the past several weeks. The Health Department has been reconciling its records with data provided by hospitals, health care systems, municipal health departments and long-term care centers.
Residents of nursing homes and personal care homes account for more than two-thirds of the overall death toll, although the state Department of Health has not disclosed the number of deaths or cases by nursing home.
More than 1,300 additional people have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. To date, the virus has been confirmed in over 54,000 people in Pennsylvania.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. There is no data on how many people have recovered.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
Update 6:10 p.m. EDT May 8: Kansas state parks saw a “significant” increase in visits last month, especially with new users.
State Parks Director Linda Lanterman said the increase in the last weeks of April offset the revenue state parks lost in March, when Kansas issued its stay-at-home order, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.
The number of visits is up about 200,000 from last April, Lanterman said.
If the parks are able to remain open and the high traffic continues, “we can make good strides to increasing our revenue we lost,” she said.
Kansas’ state parks also lost about about $1.2 million in user fees as a result of summer flooding last year.
“I think during this pandemic, being outside is good for us,” she said.
There’s also plenty of room for social distancing given miles of trails and various campgrounds.
“The public understands that they need to social distance to have the benefit of going to a state park,” Lanterman said.
Update 5:20 p.m. EDT May 8: SeaWorld guests could be sitting in every other row of the stadium to watch orca shows when the parks eventually reopen, the company’s CEO said Friday.
Interim CEO Marc Swanson gave an update Friday on a coronavirus safety plan under development, but no official reopening dates have been announced, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“We are in regular contact with local, state and federal authorities, and we look forward to opening our parks and welcoming back our guests as soon as it’s safe and permitted to do so,” Swanson said in a news release.
Update 4:30 p.m. EDT May 8: The number of people dying from the coronavirus in Ohio’s nursing homes has continued to increase at an alarming pace.
Close to 500 residents of long-term care centers have died in the past three weeks, according to data released by the state this week. That’s nearly double the total reported for the previous two weeks.
The increase in deaths could be attributed to a significant jump or a backlog of cases being added over the past week, said Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for the state health department.
Since mid-April, more than 4,300 nursing home residents and staff members have tested positive for the virus.
The numbers, though, don’t tell the entire story of how the virus has devastated nursing homes during the pandemic because the Ohio Department of Health has only released the totals for just the past three weeks.
Before that, the state didn’t require local health departments to report nursing home deaths linked to the virus so any numbers collected before mid-April may not be accurate, Amato said Friday.
Update 3:40 p.m. EDT May 8: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Friday that 1,985 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 135,454.
Officials also reported 162 new fatal COVID-19 cases. Statewide, 8,952 people have died of coronavirus. Murphy said on social media that the death toll was approaching the number of New Jerseyans killed in World War II: 12,600.
“(We) know we will lose more, but how many – and whether we mark another solemn milestone we do not wish to pass – is up to us,” he said.
Update 3:35 p.m. EDT May 8: Officials in Florida will allow hair salons, barber shops and nail salons to reopen Monday with enhanced safety protocols as part of the first phase of the state’s reopening plan, WFTV reported.
Gov. Ron DeSantis shared video Friday of J Henry, owner of J Henry’s Barber Shop, announcing the decision. Henry said people in the businesses will have to wear gloves, wear masks and book appointments, according to WFTV.
Update 3:20 p.m. EDT May 8: Federal investigators have found “reasonable grounds” that a government whistleblower was punished for opposing widespread use of an unproven drug that President Donald Trump touted as a remedy for COVID-19, his lawyers said Friday.
Dr. Rick Bright headed the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. He had received a job performance review of outstanding before he was summarily transferred last month. The agency is a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Investigators with the Office of Special Counsel “made a threshold determination that HHS violated the Whistleblower Protection Act by removing Dr. Bright from his position because he made protected disclosures in the best interest of the American public," his lawyers Debra Katz and Lisa Banks said in a statement. The OSC is an agency that investigates whistleblower complaints.
The lawyers said investigators are requesting that HHS reinstate Bright.
Update 3 p.m. EDT May 8: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 4,649 new coronavirus infections Friday, raising the country’s number of COVID-19 cases to 211,364.
Officials said that as of 9 a.m. local time, 31,241 people had died of COVID-19.
Numbers released by the Department of Health and Social Care showed the country remained the fourth-hardest hit globally and third-hardest hit in Europe by the coronavirus. The U.S. has the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with over 1.2 million infections, according to numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Officials in Spain have reported more than 222,000 cases while authorities in Italy said more than 217,000 cases have been reported.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT May 8: President Donald Trump on Friday identified the aide to Vice President Mike Pence who tested positive earlier in the day for COVID-19.
“She’s a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive,” Trump said, according to CNN.
Earlier Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed a member of Pence’s staff had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
It is at least the second person close to the president to have contracted the viral infection. Earlier this week, officials said a personal valet for Trump also tested positive for COVID-19.
Update 2:05 p.m. EDT May 8: Scientists with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and The Rockefeller University are investigating whether llama antibodies can be used in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to KIRO-TV.
Researchers injected a llama named Marley with spike protein from the novel coronavirus soon after it arrived in the U.S., KIRO-TV reported. The virus does not make llamas sick but allows them to produce antibodies called nanobodies.
"(Llamas have) this strange property of producing these small simple antibodies,” John Aitchison of Seattle Children’s Research Institute told KIRO-TV.
“These are early days. I’m happy to report that Marley is producing antibodies that look promising so far."
Update 1:15 p.m. EDT May 8: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed Friday that a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
“There is a member of the vice president’s team who is positive for coronavirus,” McEnany said at a news briefing Friday.
Earlier this week, officials confirmed a personal valet for President Donald Trump tested positive for a novel coronavirus infection. White House officials said Trump and Pence have recently been tested for COVID-19 and found to be negative.
Update 1 p.m. EDT May 8: The death toll in Italy topped 30,000 on Friday as the number of active coronavirus infections continued to fall, according to numbers released by health officials.
Authorities said 30,201 people have died of COVID-19 in the country. As of Friday, 87,961 coronavirus infections remained active while 99,023 people had recovered from the virus.
Since the beginning of the viral outbreak, officials have identified 217,185 COVID-19 cases nationwide. Italy has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world behind Spain, which has more than 222,000 cases, and the United States, which has more than 1.2 million cases, according to health officials and numbers compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Update 12:50 p.m. EDT May 8: Officials in North Carolina have announced that Cabarrus County Schools will hold graduation ceremonies at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, WSOC-TV reported.
Students will receive their diplomas at the start/finish lines on the track during the in-car event, planned for June, according to WSOC-TV.
“We are grateful to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for making their facility available to some of our graduating seniors to give them the opportunity to have an unforgettable graduation this year,” North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson said.
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT May 8: Health regulators in the U.S. approved the first saliva-based coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home.
The new at-home option is expected to expand use of the test developed by Rutgers University, which the Food and Drug Administration first authorized last month. People can use the plastic tube at home to provide a saliva sample and ship it to a laboratory for processing.
The test will be available through a New Jersey network of hospitals and testing sites affiliated with Rutgers. Initially, the government limited the test to health care facilities and testing sites with professional supervision.
Wide-scale testing is considered essential to containing the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopening businesses and schools. But many states are still struggling to reach the testing levels recommended by health experts.
Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 8: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the number of new coronavirus-related deaths held steady Friday with 216 new fatal cases of COVID-19 reported.
The number was slightly lower than the 231 new fatal cases reported Thursday.
“You see that it’s been persistently constant in the 200 range for the past few days,” Cuomo said Friday at a news conference.
The governor said officials are closely watching the curve created by the reports.
“It’s a possibility that it flattens out at one point, but again, we don’t know," the governor said. "We don’t know. So we go day-to-day and we see the facts and we react.”
Update 11:50 a.m. EDT May 8: Some restaurant owners in Clarksdale, Mississippi, told WHBQ-TV they plan to take their time reopening despite getting approval to begin the process last week.
Businesses began to reopen after Gov. Tate Reeves lifted some restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Retail stores and other non-essential businesses were closed beginning in early April under the state’s shelter-in-place order, WHBQ-TV reported. They were allowed to reopen so long as they adopt social distancing measures which include allowing no more than 50% of their capacity of customers to visit at a time.
Paula Jackson, the owner of Rest Haven Restaurant, told WHBQ-TV that while business has been busy for curbside pickups, she likely won’t reopen her dining room until after things return to normal.
“It’s not going to be easy to control,” Jackson told the news station. “I mean I can separate my tables and all, but people will want to come in and when they see empty tables, they will wonder why they can’t come in and sit down. So I don’t know what I am going to do.”
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT May 8: An aide for Vice President Mike Pence has tested positive for COVID-19, CNBC reported Friday, citing an unidentified senior administration official.
Earlier Friday, Bloomberg News reported that a flight Pence planned to take to Iowa was delayed after an unidentified staffer tested positive for a coronavirus infection.
The news comes one day after a member of the U.S. Navy who serves as one of President Donald Trump’s personal valets tested positive for COVID-19.
Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said Thursday in a statement that the president and vice president were tested for COVID-19 after learning of the valet’s diagnosis. Both men tested negative.
Trump later told reporters that his staff will be tested daily for coronavirus infections, USA Today reported.
Update 10:30 a.m. EDT May 8: The first phase to reopen businesses forced to close due to the threat of the novel coronavirus begins Friday in North Carolina.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen starting at 5 p.m. Friday, with some restrictions, according to WSOC-TV. The state also plans to reopen all but one state park beginning Saturday.
The moves were possible after Gov. Roy Cooper announced a modified stay-at-home order for the state which removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses, WSOC-TV reported. The order allows for retail stores to open at no more than 50% capacity. Businesses are required to implement measures to promote social distancing.
“COVID-19 is still a serious threat to our state, and Phase 1 is designed to be a limited easing of restrictions that can boost parts of our economy while keeping important safety rules in place,” Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV.
“This is a careful and deliberate first step, guided by the data, and North Carolinians still must use caution while this virus is circulating.”
Update 10:05 a.m. EDT May 8: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Friday that 245 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 5,899.
Bowser also said 19 more people between the ages of 49 and 96 died of COVID-19. As of Friday, 304 Washington D.C. residents have died of coronavirus, officials said.
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT May 8: Stocks and bond yield rose early Friday on Wall Street after the release of a dismal April jobs report that still fell below more dire predictions from analysts. The S&P 500 rose 1%, and the yields on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.66%.
The Department of Labor reported the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7% last month as businesses were forced to shut down nationwide to fight the coronavirus. The figure was the highest since the Great Depression, but economists were bracing for an even worse reading of 16%, according to FactSet.
Investors are also embracing hopeful signals that the U.S. and China won’t renew their trade war.
Update 9 a.m. EDT May 8: The U.S. unemployment rate soared to 14.7% in April with 20.5 million jobs lost as the coronavirus pandemic forced business shutdowns nationwide.
The unemployment rate was the highest seen by the Labor Department since it began tracking figures in 1948.
In an interview Friday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” President Donald Trump said the number was “fully expected.”
“There’s no surprise. Everyone knows that,” the president said. “Even the Democrats aren’t blaming me for that.”
Trump emphasized the strength of the economy before the outbreak and vowed that “those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back soon.”
Update 8:45 a.m. EDT May 8: President Donald Trump said during an interview Friday on Fox News that he hasn’t taken a test to see if he has antibodies to the coronavirus.
“I haven’t but we’re getting that, and you know, we’re leading in that too,” Trump told the news network. “We’re leading in everything.”
He added that he expects he’ll be tested “probably soon.”
Update 7:52 a.m. EDT May 8: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 270,020 early Friday, 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 3,864,696 people worldwide. Meanwhile, nearly one in every four deaths reported worldwide has occurred in the United States, and 10 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 83,976.
The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows:
• The United States has reported 1,256,972 cases, resulting in 75,670 deaths.
• Spain has confirmed 221,447 cases, resulting in 26,070 deaths.
• Italy has reported 215,858 cases, resulting in 29,958 deaths.
• The United Kingdom has reported 207,977 cases, resulting in 30,689 deaths.
• Russia has confirmed 187,859 cases, resulting in 1,723 deaths.
• France has confirmed 174,918 cases, resulting in 25,990 deaths.
• Germany has reported 169,430 cases, resulting in 7,392 deaths.
• Brazil has recorded 136,519 cases, resulting in 9,190 deaths.
• Turkey has recorded 133,721 cases, resulting in 3,641 deaths
• Iran has recorded 104,691 cases, resulting in 6,486 deaths.
Update 7:05 a.m. EDT May 8: A fourth member of a family has been charged in connection to the fatal shooting of a Michigan security guard.
According to WXYZ-TV, Brya Shatonia Bishop, 24, is the sister of the man accused of firing at the guard at a Flint Family Dollar store.
Bishop has been charged with tampering with evidence by wiping her phone, lying to investigators and accessory after the fact to a felony, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton told the TV station.
“We think she helped them escape,” Leyton told WXYZ-TV.
Update 5:20 a.m. EDT May 8: In the hopes of moving forward with a full, just-in-time 2020 season, the National Football League released its regular-season schedule Thursday night.
The atypical schedule includes wiggle room should either the progression of the novel coronavirus pandemic or state and local restrictions related to the virus disrupt the first-look plan, The Washington Post reported.
The season opener pits the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions, against the Houston Texans on Sept. 10. Meanwhile, each team is scheduled to play two home games and two road games in the season’s first four weeks in order to simplify any potential adjustments public health concerns may require, the Post reported.
Update 4:40 a.m. EDT May 8: A woman who refused to wear a face mask inside an Alabama Walmart and was body-slammed by an off-duty police officer after she became combative is facing multiple charges related to the Tuesday night incident.
When the woman refused to leave the store and continued to resist the officer, he “used a takedown measure to gain control,” Birmingham Police Sgt. Rod Mauldin said, noting she was not arrested for refusing to wear a mask but charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal trespass, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
Read more here.
Update 2:56 a.m. EDT May 8: The newest estimate of the infection fatality rate from the novel coronavirus in the United States appears to be at least 10 times higher than that of the seasonal flu.
Using publicly available infection data attributed to the novel coronavirus through April 20, Anirban Basu, a professor in the University of Washington in Seattle’s pharmacy department, calculated a preliminary infection fatality rate of 1.3% compared with only 0.1% for the seasonal flu during a typical flu season.
Basu’s findings were published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs, where he noted the model does not account for asymptomatic cases and is hindered by the lack of widespread testing but yielded an infection fatality range of 0.5% to 3.6% at a county level, excluding the nation’s COVID-19 epicenter in New York City.
Meanwhile, Basu clarified that the true infection fatality rate will not be known until researchers can accurately report the number of confirmed infections and confirmed virus-related deaths, meaning the final figure will most likely be considerably lower.
Update 2:17 a.m. EDT May 8: Although both tech giants plan to reopen offices this summer, Google and Facebook announced Thursday that employees will be allowed to work remotely through the close of 2020.
Facebook, which became one of the first companies in early March to ask employees to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, said Thursday that most of its offices will begin to reopen July 6. Anyone wishing to work from home will be allowed through the end of the year, and gatherings of more than 50 people remain on hold until July 2021, The Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, Google told employees Thursday that offices should begin reopening in July, but work-from-home options will be honored thought the end of the year, the Post reported.
Update 12:37 a.m. EDT May 8: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.2 million early Friday 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 1,256,972 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 75,662 deaths.
The hardest-hit states remain New York with 327,469 cases and 26,144 deaths, New Jersey with 133,991 cases and 8,807 deaths and Massachusetts with 73,721 cases and 4,552 deaths. Only 11 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 2,000 cases each.
Nine other states have now confirmed at least 30,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including:
• Illinois: 70,871 cases, resulting in 3,111 deaths
• California: 62,360 cases, resulting in 2,546 deaths
• Pennsylvania: 55,956 cases, resulting in 3,589
• Michigan: 45,745 cases, resulting in 4,345 deaths
• Florida: 38,828 cases, resulting in 1,600 deaths
• Texas: 36,047 cases, resulting in 985 deaths
• Connecticut: 31,784 cases, resulting in 2,797 deaths
• Georgia: 31,603 cases, resulting in 1,352 deaths
• Louisiana: 30,652 cases, resulting in 2,208 deaths
Meanwhile, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Colorado, Washington state, Tennessee, North Carolina, Iowa and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Alabama each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases, followed closely by Mississippi with 8,686 cases; South Carolina and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Kansas and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases; Delaware, Nevada, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases; New Mexico and Oklahoma each has confirmed at least 4,000 cases, followed closely by Arkansas with 3,703 cases; and Oregon, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Idaho and Puerto Rico each has confirmed at least 2,000 cases.