Coronavirus updates: TSA to require employees to wear ‘facial protection’

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 274,000 people worldwide.

Over 3.9 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 the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.2 million diagnosed cases and at least 76,706 deaths.

Today's biggest developments:

  • TSA to require employees to wear face masks
  • Coronavirus death toll tops 20,000 in New York state
  • US coronavirus death toll surpasses 75,000
  • Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

    12:30 a.m.: Men charged in death of security guard who asked them to wear mask

    Two men on the run and accused of murdering a security guard in Michigan last week have been arrested, officials announced Friday.

    Larry Teague, 44, and Ramonyea Bishop, 23, were arrested after they allegedly shot and killed 43-year-old Calvin Munerlyn at a Flint, Michigan, Family Dollar store following a dispute over the store's policy requiring everyone to wear a face mask.

    “Last Friday a simple request to wear a mask in order to protect others resulted in the brutal murder of a security guard,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a statement Friday. “His family lost a dedicated husband and father, and we all lost a devoted member of our community.”

    Bishop, according to ABC News affiliate WJRT in Flint, was arrested in a Bay City, Michigan, apartment complex Friday and Teague was arrested in a motel near Houston, Texas.

    Previously, Sharmel Teague, who is Bishop's mother and Larry Teague's wife, was also charged with murder. Authorities said Sharmel and her daughter were entering the store when Munerlyn asked the daughter to put on a mask. An argument ensued and 20 minutes later, officials said Larry Teague and Bishop came to the store and shot Munerlyn in the head.

    “It's incredibly sad that in this crisis that this life was lost,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Witmer said on Monday. “I send my condolences to the family of the security guard and I ask that Michiganders do the right thing and keep their wits about them.”

    9:12 p.m.: Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy, dies

    Roy Horn, of famous Las Vegas duo Siegfried and Roy, has died of coronavirus, according to his publicist.

    “Today, the world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.”

    The German magicians started performing in Las Vegas in 1967 and moved to The Mirage in 1989 for a multi-million dollar performance — replete with their famous white tigers — for 14 years.

    Horn, 75, was attacked by one of those tigers in October 2003, but survived despite severe injuries.

    5:32 p.m.: Only 40% of Floridians have received unemployment

    While the number of confirmed unemployment claims in Florida have been steadily rising for weeks, the number of applicants who've actually been paid continues to rise at a much slower rate.

    As of May 7, only about 494,944 Floridians have received unemployment benefits, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

    That means only 40% of unemployment applicants in the state since March 15 have received benefits.

    There have been 1.9 million unemployment claims submitted in the state and the department has verified over 1.2 million of those claims.

    New national unemployment numbers were released on Friday, showing the unemployment rate increased to 14.7% in April from a historic low of 3.5% in February.

    5:15 p.m.: 87 veterans have died at Massachusetts nursing home

    The Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services has announced that 87 veteran residents from the Holyoke Soldiers' Home have now died, equivalent to more than one-third of the facility's population when the virus first struck the home in March. Seventy-three of the deceased residents have tested positive for COVID-19, while 13 have tested negative and one cause of death remains unknown.

    There have been 78 other veteran residents who have also tested positive, and 106 veterans remain onsite at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home. Thirty-one other residents have been moved to offsite facilities.

    The Holyoke Soldiers' Home employs approximately 348 staff members, 83 of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.

    On April 10, federal prosecutors in Boston launched an investigation into whether the facility violated the civil rights of its residents by failing to provide them proper care during the pandemic.

    4 p.m.: New Jersey reports 1st child death

    A 4-year-old boy in New Jersey with underlying conditions has died of COVID-19, marking the state's first death of a child due to the virus, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

    “We’ve lost another blessed life. … In this case it’s unfathomable that it’s a 4-year-old,” Murphy said at his daily briefing.

    The boy's death was among the 162 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the governor said. There have been 8,952 deaths in the state in total.

    Murphy said that the rates of infection were slowing across the state, however, there were still 1,985 new cases, putting the total number of confirmed cases at 13,5454.

    He also announced that he was signing an executive order to create a restart and recovery advisory council.

    Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

    3:46 p.m.: Apple to reopen some stores beginning next week

    Apple will reopen some of its stores in the United States beginning next week, the company said in a statement to ABC News.

    Stores in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho and South Carolina will be the first to welcome back customers, the company said.

    Apple added that it is taking precautions with the reopening, including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings.

    The social distancing protocols mean that there will be a limited number of people in the stores, so delays may occur for walk-in customers.

    “As local guidance varies around the US there may be slight modifications to our procedures. As always, our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study and contain its spread,” according to Apple.

    3:10 p.m.: Member of Pence's staff tests positive

    Katie Miller, the press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence, is the staff member who tested positive for COVID-19, President Donald Trump said at a briefing.

    “She's a wonderful young woman, Katie,” Trump told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl when he asked if the president had any information on the sick staffer, whose identity until now had been kept anonymous. “It's — I believe the press person. Right? It’s a press person. So, she tested positive, out of the blue.”

    Multiple sources confirmed to ABC News that Miller is the staffer who tested positive. Miller is married to another White House aide, the president’s senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller.

    Trump said that she “hasn't come into contact with me,” but that she “spends some time with the vice president.”

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed earlier that a member of Pence's staff tested positive, but she did not reveal the person's name.

    This marks the second positive case reported in the White House in two days. CNN on Thursday reported one of President Donald Trump's personal valets had tested positive.

    “We have put in place the guidelines that are experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing, all of the recommended guidelines, these businesses that have essential workers. We are now putting them in place here in the White House. As America reopen safely, the white house is continuing to operate safely,” McEnany said.

    Pence was in Iowa on Friday.

    3:01 p.m.: Childhood vaccines are massively down

    Childhood vaccines are down during the pandemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    In April alone, there were about 3.2 million fewer doses ordered of non-flu vaccines compared to the same time last year, according to the CDC. For measles vaccinations, the agency reported there were about 400,000 fewer doses ordered.

    “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of vaccination. The identified declines in routine pediatric vaccine ordering and doses administered might indicate that U.S. children and their communities face increased risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases,” the CDC said in its report.

    The CDC said it was “critical” to remind parents of the “vital need to protect their children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.”

    When social distancing measures are lifted, it is possible children who are not vaccinated will be more vulnerable to preventable diseases, according to the CDC.

    2:46 p.m.: Large-scale events canceled in Boston through Labor Day

    Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that all events which bring crowds together, including parades and festivals, will not take place before Labor Day.

    “This is a hard public health decision, but it's the right one. I encourage people to rethink their events, and thank them for their work to inspire us, and help our communities get through this difficult time,” Walsh said.

    Some events that were already planned, including the Mother's Day Walk for Peace and a live performance from the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the Fourth of July, will be held virtually. Walsh also noted that no events should be planned through Labor Day that would involve more than 10 people.

    2:18 p.m.: Alabama to ease restrictions on Monday

    Bars and restaurants in Alabama will be allowed to open on Monday, so long as they have limited table seating and can maintain social distancing among patrons, according to Gov. Kay Ivey.

    It was one of a handful of restrictions being eased that Ivey announced at a briefing.

    Non-work gatherings will be allowed and there will no longer be a 10-person limit, Ivey said. She noted, however, that people in separate households should still maintain a distance of six feet apart.

    Fitness centers, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo services can also open with proper social distancing and sanitation measures in effect. Beaches will open with no limit on gatherings, but social distancing should still remain.

    Nightclubs, theaters and bowling alleys are still closed.

    12:41 p.m.: New cases coming mainly from minority communities, Cuomo says

    The majority of new infections in New York are coming from minority communities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

    Of the 21 communities with the most new cases, 20 of them have a greater-than-average black and Hispanic population, according to the governor.

    He noted that the high-rate of infection among minorities is not biological but related to demographics.

    Cuomo also broke down the fatalities by race, with Hispanic people in New York City making up 34% of the deaths and black people accounting for 28%. Hispanic people make up 29% of the population in the city and blacks make up 22%.

    Deaths have consistently stayed in the 200s in recent days, with 216 people dying in the last 24 hours.

    The governor also broke down the virus's spread from Europe to the East Coast. From December to March, around 3 million Europeans traveled through New York airports, he said.

    Although many landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport-, they then traveled elsewhere throughout the United States, according to the governor.

    He said the state is also seeing evidence that children infected with COVID-19 can develop Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in the walls of some blood vessels. Cuomo noted it was rare, but said health officials were looking into the matter as there have now been 73 reported cases in New York.

    On Thursday, a 5-year-old child died in New York City from COVID-related complications and the state is investigating other deaths.

    The governor did offer good news, saying he believes for the first time the state “is ahead” of the virus.

    “We turned that curve,” Cuomo said.

    11:46 a.m.: FDA authorizes first diagnostic test using at-home collection of saliva

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first diagnostic test that uses saliva collected at home.

    The agency announced Friday it issued an emergency use authorization to Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory, which developed a way to test saliva samples that were collected by patients at home.

    Patients will collect their own samples and send to the Rutgers laboratory in a sealed package for testing.

    The FDA described it as a “designated self-collection kit.”

    “This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor's office, hospital or testing site,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said in a statement.

    That test is currently the only authorized COVID-19 diagnostic test that uses saliva samples to test for SARS-CoV-2, the strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    The FDA said it was important to note that “this is not a general authorization for at-home collection of patient samples using other collection methods, saliva collection devices, or tests, or for tests fully conducted at home.”

    11:16 a.m.: Federal report details ‘immediate jeopardy' situation at NJ nursing home

    A New Jersey nursing home where 17 bodies were discovered in a makeshift morgue “was not in substantial compliance” with infection control regulations, according to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services inspection reports.

    The reports, which were obtained by ABC News, were completed after federal inspectors surveyed the Andover Subacute And Rehabilitation II facility. Inspectors identified an “immediate jeopardy situation” from April 6 to April 21.

    “The facility was not following infection control safety practices and guidance,” the report said.

    Staff did not isolate COVID-19 patients, failed to administer medicine and, in one case, did not administer CPR, the report said.

    Inspectors said the facility “must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.”

    The report also said the facility accrued $220,235 in civil money penalties.

    The owner and operator of Andover Subacute, Mutty Scheinbaum, released a statement via his PR firm Mercury in response to the report, saying in part, “CMS noted areas of improvement for Andover Subacute II, but determined that the facility’s remediation plan was acceptable as fatalities continue to drop at the facility. We look forward to continuing our cooperative relationship with CMS and the New Jersey Department of Health as we, and nursing home patients and staff across the country, continue to battle this deadly virus.”

    10:22 a.m.: Test and trace program in NYC outlined

    New York City will be able to test 20,000 people per day by the end of May through the new testing and tracing program, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    Right now, the city has been testing about 14,000 people per day. De Blasio hopes the number will reach 50,000 in the next few months.

    The program, called the Test and Trace Corps, is being formed to hamper the spread of the disease as New York City enters “low-level transmission.”

    “This is how we move forward,” de Blasio said.

    By early June, there will be 2,500 public health foot soldiers in the program to investigate and monitor cases, as well as trace contacts, according to the mayor, who added that nearly 7,000 people have applied to work in the program.

    For those who do test positive and cannot properly isolate, they will be put in one of the 1,200 hotel rooms that de Blasio said would open by June 1.

    The program will be run by Dr. Ted Long, who currently serves as vice president of ambulatory care at New York City Health Hospitals.

    De Blasio also said that as the city continues to battle the disease, social distancing will be increased in parks through police intervention.

    At Hudson River Park Piers 45 and 46 in Manhattan, the mayor said police will be at the site to limit the capacity of how many people are allowed in. He did not specify how many people would be allowed to enter the park or how police would monitor who enters.

    At Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he said there will be an increase in NYPD officers.

    The heightened presence and social distancing comes after the mayor and police were criticized for the overwhelming arrests of black people related to social distancing.

    8:39 a.m.: Unemployment rate skyrockets to 14.7%

    The unemployment rate in the United States increased to 14.7% in April from a historic low of 3.5% in February, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs last month. The report is one of the first snapshots to show the depth of the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    8:24 a.m.: ‘Red flags' in more rural communities, says former homeland security adviser

    As some states across America have begun to reopen, experts are checking for red flags. In some cases, they have seen them.

    Tom Bossert, a former homeland security adviser for the Trump administration and an ABC News contributor, said Friday on “Good Morning America” that more rural communities that have reopened are now experiencing daily increases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

    He said if those trends continue and the virus is not contained, those states “could end up with really devastating results in the next 72 days.”

    Bossert did not identify any specific states on the upward trend.

    He said the focus for reopening should partly be on meat processing plants and nursing homes, both of which have faced rampant spread.

    Bossert did offer some good news, saying that the numbers in the U.S. are relatively low when you combine New York totals with other states. New York currently has the highest number of infections in the country.

    7:27 a.m.: NYC mayor responds to overwhelming arrests of black people for social distancing violations

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said police are issuing summonses and making arrests to save lives.

    His comments were in direct response to a story from The New York Times, which reported that black people accounted for the majority of those arrested on charges of violating social distancing rules. The data was data provided to the NYT by the New York City Police Department and the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

    Between March 17 through May 4, 40 people were arrested in Brooklyn, according to the NYT, citing the district attorney's office. Of those 40 arrested, 35 were black, four were Hispanic and one was white.

    Data of citywide arrests, released by police, showed a similar trend: black people made up 68% of at least 120 arrests from March 16 to May 5, while Hispanic people made up 24%.

    De Blasio said in a tweet that “the disparity in the numbers does NOT reflect our values.”

    We HAVE TO do better and we WILL,” the mayor wrote.

    Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez, also responded to the news in a statement to ABC News.

    Gonzalez said the “disturbing images of arrests for social distancing throughout our city serve to erode the progress that has been made in enhancing police accountability and strengthening trust in our criminal justice system.”

    He said his office is reviewing allegations of excessive force regarding arrests that took place in Brooklyn and will investigate to determine whether disciplinary recommendations or criminal charges are warranted.

    While Gonzalez said that all New Yorkers should follow the social distancing rules, which is to stay six feet apart from others, he also said that enforcing those rules should consist of “distributing masks, gloves, sanitizers and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

    “Any arrest under these circumstances should always be the last resort. Simply stated, we cannot police ourselves out of this pandemic,” Gonzalez said. “Instead, we need to give people the knowledge and ability to keep safe.”

    6:17 a.m.: Drug maker says coronavirus vaccine trial could begin in weeks

    A drug maker has been given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration to move to phase 2 of its coronavirus vaccine trial.

    Moderna's chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks told ABC News that the next phase would begin dosing “very shortly,” which he said means in a matter of weeks. This puts the company on track to launch Phase 3 this summer.

    “I only have two competitors, the virus and the clock,” Zaks said, speaking with ABC News remotely from his home in Massachusetts.

    Moderna is leading one of at least three U.S. vaccine trials on humans.

    “We need to bring forward, every potential vaccine that has the opportunity to help because time is of the essence,” Zaks said.

    Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

    The company has not released results from its pre-clinical or phase 1 trials. Zaks says it’s still premature to disclose that information, but said their experience to date is what gives him confidence they’re on the right path.

    Zaks said they envision being able to produce up to a billion doses a year. But he cautions, “it's not going to be a black and white moment that says okay now everybody can take it.” He expects government agencies “to step up and help us make sure that it is first available to those who need it.”

    4:46 a.m.: TSA to require employees to wear ‘facial protection' at screening checkpoints

    After more than two months into the coronavirus pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration announced all employees must wear “facial protection” at screening checkpoints.

    The agency said the practice “will be implemented over the coming days.”

    “TSA is making this change to protect our employees and travelers as social distancing cannot always be maintained in the screening process.” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement Thursday.

    In mid-March, the union representing TSA officers requested the agency provide surgical masks to employees and allow officers to wear N95 respirators. It took two weeks for the agency to do both. Currently, TSA is providing employees with N95s, eye protection and installing plexiglass at the travel document checker in some airports.

    Multiple airports have already mandated that all employees and passengers must face coverings.

    This comes as the number of air travelers continues to tick up and after all major U.S. airlines announced they would require both passengers and crew to wear face coverings.

    TSA has had 534 federal employees test positive for COVID-19. As of Thursday morning, 285 of those employees have recovered, and six have died after contracting the virus.

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • ABC News' Jennifer Joseph, Amanda Maile, Kaylee Hartung, Jenna Harrison, Mina Kaji, William Gretsky, Catherine Thorbecke, Aaron Katersky, Eric Strauss, Matthew Mosk, Lucien Bruggeman, Rachel Katz, Jordyn Phelps, Victor Ordonez, Katherine Faulders, John Santucci, Terrance Smith and Jamie Aranoff contributed to this report.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *