The novel COVID-19 pandemic has now killed more than 593,000 people worldwide.
Over 13.9 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 3.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 138,979 deaths.
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.
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.