The latest:There have been more than 835,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 45,000 people, according to Hopkins.Globally, there have been more than 2.6 million cases with more than 182,000 deaths.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director gave an ominous forecast of a possible second wave of the virus in the winter. New autopsy results show the coronavirus killed two Californians in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first U.S. death from the virus.South Carolina became the latest state to announce its schools would remain closed through the remainder of the school year.President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of certain immigration green cards. With a handful of states reopening parts of their economies, a coronavirus model routinely cited by the White House warns that no state should be opening before May 1.South Carolina and Georgia, which are leading the pack to get their economic engines humming again this week, should not open until June 5 and June 19, respectively, according to the model maintained by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It was updated Tuesday. Montana has the best forecast at May 1, while the only other states that should open by May 10, the model says, are Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia. North Carolina is the only of the six states with more than 1,000 cases, as of Wednesday afternoon.About half the states in the country should remain closed until May 25 or later, with Arizona (June 23), South Dakota (June 25), Iowa (June 26), Nebraska (June 30) and North Dakota (July 12) rounding out the bottom of the list.The reopening dates are based on an assumption that states will have other measures in place — aggressive testing, contact tracing, isolation, limits on the size of gatherings — to prevent a resurgence of the virus.The IHME model relies on a conservative threshold of one infection per 1 million people, which is the level of infection each state could conceivably manage using containment strategies, such as widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of new cases, according to an explanation of the model.While the model has been influential, it is one of many, and the IHME has warned against relying too heavily on its projections.”If I were a governor of a state, I would certainly not make a decision based just on our model,” IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a virtual news briefing last week.Another IHME model offered more grim news, as the projected U.S. death toll by August jumped 10%, to 66,000.The change came as states began updating their death tallies, adding residents of nursing homes whom officials are now counting as presumptive positives, Murray said Tuesday.Two Californians died of coronavirus weeks before previously known 1st US deathNew autopsy results show the coronavirus killed two Californians in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first U.S. death from the virus.These deaths now stand as the country’s first two attributed to the novel coronavirus, a development that may change the understanding of how early the virus was spreading in the country, health experts told CNN Wednesday. Two deaths in Northern California’s Santa Clara County happened Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, the county said in a news release Tuesday. The two people died at home.The previously understood first coronavirus death happened in Kirkland, Washington, on Feb. 29.“Samples from the two individuals were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” county health officials said in a statement.On Tuesday, health officials received confirmation from the CDC that both samples were positive for COVID-19.The Santa Clara County medical examiner also identified another person who died of COVID-19 on March 6. That was before a virus-related death on March 9, which was initially thought to be the first COVID-19 death in the county. California town one of the first to try to test all its residentsTo safely move forward, experts have long emphasized the country should be able to track, trace and isolate cases.Bolinas, a remote Northern California community, may be one of the first in the world to attempt to test all of its residents for the virus and for the antibodies that may make people immune.Less than 2,000 people live in the town and in the first two days of testing, more than 700 residents showed up. The community-wide free testing is voluntary and part of a new study launched by the University of California, San Francisco, that’s attempting to get a more complete understanding of how the virus is invisibly spreading.That unseen spread is something health officials all over the state are trying to tackle, now recommending coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people who live or work in high-risk environments such as nursing homes or hospitals.The new guidelines, from the state’s department of health, were announced in an April 19 memo and make California the first state in the nation to broaden its guidelines for testing to include those without symptoms, state health officials told CNN.According to a spokesperson from the department, the previous guidance from the CDC was to test high-risk patients with symptoms and healthcare workers with symptoms.Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday the state is currently averaging 14,500 coronavirus tests a day.That number, he said, “is still inadequate” and the state has a long way to go before attempting to reopen.The US has so far conducted 4 million testsIn two different plans for reopening society, economists and public health experts have said millions of tests should be conducted each week before restrictions can be lifted.One report estimates 3 to 30 million tests should be conducted weekly, while the other says the U.S. should be conducting 20 million tests each day to get a handle on the pandemic.So far, the country has performed about 4 million tests. And while federal officials tout the country has testing capacity, some state leaders — including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker — have reported that while they may have the necessary machines, they’re lacking the materials and staff to run them.A new test that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may mean Americans can mail in their results. The test would allow patients to collect their samples using an at-home test kit and then mail it into the lab for testing, the FDA said Tuesday.That test could be available in most states to consumers who have a doctor’s order within the coming weeks, the agency said.”Throughout this pandemic, we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the agency’s announcement.The news comes as an announcement from another company warned of possibly misleading results.Abbott Laboratories, the maker of a rapid coronavirus test that’s been widely used across the country and distributed by the federal government, warned its device can produce false negatives if a certain solution is used to move or store the patients’ samples.The company told health care workers not to use “viral transport media” solutions on its device and instead said customers should only place swabs with patients’ samples directly in the device. States are grappling with how to move forwardDespite the questions surrounding tests, many U.S. governors have turned their attention to reopening their economies.Last week, the federal government said in order to launch the first of three phases of reopening, states should wait to see a 14-day decline in cases.South Carolina and Georgia have hit neither milestone but announced they’ll be easing restrictions.Atlanta is exploring whether the city has legal grounds for putting different orders in place than what Kemp has announced, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN on Tuesday.”I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on,” she said.In Boston, officials have plenty of work to do to contain the virus, Mayor Marty Walsh told CNN, and it’s “pretty scary” to think some states are considering reopening.South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced certain stores are allowed to open at 20% capacity, and beaches can reopen, too, but schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee announced most businesses across the state will be able to reopen May 1, once the state’s stay-at-home order has expired — but hinted some may be able to open sooner.

The latest:

  • There have been more than 835,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 45,000 people, according to Hopkins.
  • Globally, there have been more than 2.6 million cases with more than 182,000 deaths.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director gave an ominous forecast of a possible second wave of the virus in the winter.
  • New autopsy results show the coronavirus killed two Californians in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first U.S. death from the virus.
  • South Carolina became the latest state to announce its schools would remain closed through the remainder of the school year.
  • President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of certain immigration green cards.

With a handful of states reopening parts of their economies, a coronavirus model routinely cited by the White House warns that no state should be opening before May 1.

South Carolina and Georgia, which are leading the pack to get their economic engines humming again this week, should not open until June 5 and June 19, respectively, according to the model maintained by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It was updated Tuesday.

Montana has the best forecast at May 1, while the only other states that should open by May 10, the model says, are Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia. North Carolina is the only of the six states with more than 1,000 cases, as of Wednesday afternoon.

About half the states in the country should remain closed until May 25 or later, with Arizona (June 23), South Dakota (June 25), Iowa (June 26), Nebraska (June 30) and North Dakota (July 12) rounding out the bottom of the list.

The reopening dates are based on an assumption that states will have other measures in place — aggressive testing, contact tracing, isolation, limits on the size of gatherings — to prevent a resurgence of the virus.

The IHME model relies on a conservative threshold of one infection per 1 million people, which is the level of infection each state could conceivably manage using containment strategies, such as widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of new cases, according to an explanation of the model.

While the model has been influential, it is one of many, and the IHME has warned against relying too heavily on its projections.

“If I were a governor of a state, I would certainly not make a decision based just on our model,” IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a virtual news briefing last week.

Another IHME model offered more grim news, as the projected U.S. death toll by August jumped 10%, to 66,000.

The change came as states began updating their death tallies, adding residents of nursing homes whom officials are now counting as presumptive positives, Murray said Tuesday.

Two Californians died of coronavirus weeks before previously known 1st US death

New autopsy results show the coronavirus killed two Californians in early and mid-February — up to three weeks before the previously known first U.S. death from the virus.

These deaths now stand as the country’s first two attributed to the novel coronavirus, a development that may change the understanding of how early the virus was spreading in the country, health experts told CNN Wednesday.

Two deaths in Northern California’s Santa Clara County happened Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, the county said in a news release Tuesday. The two people died at home.

The previously understood first coronavirus death happened in Kirkland, Washington, on Feb. 29.

“Samples from the two individuals were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” county health officials said in a statement.

On Tuesday, health officials received confirmation from the CDC that both samples were positive for COVID-19.

The Santa Clara County medical examiner also identified another person who died of COVID-19 on March 6. That was before a virus-related death on March 9, which was initially thought to be the first COVID-19 death in the county.

California town one of the first to try to test all its residents

To safely move forward, experts have long emphasized the country should be able to track, trace and isolate cases.

Bolinas, a remote Northern California community, may be one of the first in the world to attempt to test all of its residents for the virus and for the antibodies that may make people immune.

Less than 2,000 people live in the town and in the first two days of testing, more than 700 residents showed up. The community-wide free testing is voluntary and part of a new study launched by the University of California, San Francisco, that’s attempting to get a more complete understanding of how the virus is invisibly spreading.

That unseen spread is something health officials all over the state are trying to tackle, now recommending coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people who live or work in high-risk environments such as nursing homes or hospitals.

The new guidelines, from the state’s department of health, were announced in an April 19 memo and make California the first state in the nation to broaden its guidelines for testing to include those without symptoms, state health officials told CNN.

According to a spokesperson from the department, the previous guidance from the CDC was to test high-risk patients with symptoms and healthcare workers with symptoms.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday the state is currently averaging 14,500 coronavirus tests a day.

That number, he said, “is still inadequate” and the state has a long way to go before attempting to reopen.

The US has so far conducted 4 million tests

In two different plans for reopening society, economists and public health experts have said millions of tests should be conducted each week before restrictions can be lifted.

One report estimates 3 to 30 million tests should be conducted weekly, while the other says the U.S. should be conducting 20 million tests each day to get a handle on the pandemic.

So far, the country has performed about 4 million tests. And while federal officials tout the country has testing capacity, some state leaders — including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker — have reported that while they may have the necessary machines, they’re lacking the materials and staff to run them.

A new test that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may mean Americans can mail in their results. The test would allow patients to collect their samples using an at-home test kit and then mail it into the lab for testing, the FDA said Tuesday.

That test could be available in most states to consumers who have a doctor’s order within the coming weeks, the agency said.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in the agency’s announcement.

The news comes as an announcement from another company warned of possibly misleading results.

Abbott Laboratories, the maker of a rapid coronavirus test that’s been widely used across the country and distributed by the federal government, warned its device can produce false negatives if a certain solution is used to move or store the patients’ samples.

The company told health care workers not to use “viral transport media” solutions on its device and instead said customers should only place swabs with patients’ samples directly in the device.

States are grappling with how to move forward

Despite the questions surrounding tests, many U.S. governors have turned their attention to reopening their economies.

Last week, the federal government said in order to launch the first of three phases of reopening, states should wait to see a 14-day decline in cases.

South Carolina and Georgia have hit neither milestone but announced they’ll be easing restrictions.

Atlanta is exploring whether the city has legal grounds for putting different orders in place than what Kemp has announced, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN on Tuesday.

“I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on,” she said.

In Boston, officials have plenty of work to do to contain the virus, Mayor Marty Walsh told CNN, and it’s “pretty scary” to think some states are considering reopening.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced certain stores are allowed to open at 20% capacity, and beaches can reopen, too, but schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.

In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee announced most businesses across the state will be able to reopen May 1, once the state’s stay-at-home order has expired — but hinted some may be able to open sooner.

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