Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Fan-free sports and curbside retail as California loosens coronavirus rules
Businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area may open for curbside retail and manufacturing, while fan-free professional sports events might be allowed as soon as June, as California continued to loosen coronavirus health restrictions on Monday. California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday the state has been in discussions with officials of all of the major sports leagues about a possible resumption of play. But rules aimed at protecting players and support staff from coronavirus-transmission have yet to be developed, and a possible June 1 opening date would depend on safety standards and infection rates in the most populous U.S. state.
Pandemic-related vaccination drop raises concern about U.S. measles outbreak
Researchers have documented a drop in child vaccination rates in Michigan since restrictions were imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, raising concern about outbreaks of other diseases such as measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on Monday. The findings by the CDC researchers indicated that stay-at-home orders during the pandemic like those imposed in Michigan and other U.S. states may be reducing accessibility to routine immunization services and exposing children to risks from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Exclusive: CDC plans sweeping COVID-19 antibody study in 25 metropolitan areas
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans a nationwide study of up to 325,000 people to track how the new coronavirus is spreading across the country into next year and beyond, a CDC spokeswoman and researchers conducting the effort told Reuters. The CDC study, expected to launch in June or July, will test samples from blood donors in 25 metropolitan areas for antibodies created when the immune system fights the coronavirus, said Dr. Michael Busch, director of the nonprofit Vitalant Research Institute.
California, New York open door for sports return
California governor Gavin Newsom cleared a path for the potential return of professional sport in the state, saying on Monday that an early June restart was possible under strict guidelines, including no fans. Shuttered for nearly two months by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB are all working up scenarios to restart their seasons but any plans have had to factor in state pandemic guidelines and restrictions on large gatherings.
Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine despite FDA warning
U.S. President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement, said on Monday he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus despite medical warnings about the use of the malaria drug. “I’m taking hydroxychloroquine,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day.”
Wisconsin lawsuit seeks absentee ballot forms, other poll changes amid coronavirus concerns
Advocacy groups sued Wisconsin election officials on Monday, seeking to force the state to send every voter an absentee ballot request form, hire more poll workers and launch a public education effort to ensure voters understand their options ahead of November’s presidential election. The complaint is the latest salvo from voting rights activists, who have filed dozens of lawsuits around the country to increase ballot access, such as universal vote-by-mail, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese parent in U.S. college admissions scandal fined $250,000
A U.S. judge ordered a Chinese woman who lives in Canada to pay a $250,000 fine after she admitted to paying $400,000 to secure her son’s admission to the University of California, Los Angeles, through bribery as a purported soccer recruit. Xiaoning Sui, 48, appeared before a federal judge in Boston via a Zoom videoconference, in the second sentencing to take place remotely in the U.S. college admissions scandal because of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. states press on with reopenings, markets boosted by virus vaccine potential
Nearly all 50 U.S. states were at some stage of reopening on Monday as authorities eased restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the new coronavirus and stock markets opened higher on optimism about a potential vaccine trial. Markets were also encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks over the weekend on a gradual economic recovery, and his affirmation that more monetary stimulus was on the way if required.
New cases? Deaths? U.S. states’ reopening plans are all over the map
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has set some distinct goals the federal district needs to meet in order for her to feel comfortable ending a stay-at-home order, she told reporters last week. If the U.S. capital, which reported more than 7,200 cases and around 400 deaths by Monday, hits certain metrics, including a declining number of cases over 14 days and sustained low transmission rate, she could lift the order before it expires on June 8.
Coronavirus deadliest in New York City’s black and Latino neighborhoods, data shows
Some New York City neighborhoods have seen death rates from the novel coronavirus nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department on Monday, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poor communities. The data shows for the first time a breakdown on the number of deaths in each of the city’s more than 60 ZIP codes. The highest death rate was seen on the edge of Brooklyn in a neighborhood dominated by a large subsidized-housing development called Starrett City.