The latest:There have been more than 614,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 27,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.The U.S. recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day on Tuesday with 2,405 deaths.Globally, there have been 2 million cases with more than 132,000 deaths.The IRS began sending out stimulus payments this week, with 80 million expected to receive them by Wednesday.President Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. will halt funding to the World Health Organization.The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CDC and FEMA have drafted a national plan to reopen the United States.Multiple airlines reported Tuesday they are receiving billions of dollars from the federal government to help pay workers.Government relief checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage to the U.S. from the coronavirus piled up Wednesday and sluggish sales at reopened stores in Europe and China made it clear that business won’t necessarily bounce right back when the crisis eases.With lockdowns and other restrictions bringing factories to a shuddering halt, American industrial output shriveled in March, registering its biggest decline since the U.S. demobilized in 1946 at the end of World War II. And retail sales fell by an unprecedented 8.7%, with April expected to be far worse. The world’s biggest economy began issuing one-time payments this week to tens of millions of people as part of its $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, with adults receiving up to $1,200 each and $500 per child to help them pay the rent or cover other bills. The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts or mailed to households, depending on how they filed their tax returns.World surpasses 2 million casesThe number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 2 million on Wednesday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.COVID-19 had infected at least 2,006,513 people and killed at least 128,886 people globally as of Wednesday morning.The United States leads with the most deaths and the most confirmed cases worldwide. There are at least 609,995 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 26,069 deaths from the disease.US marks highest number of deaths in a day after several days of a downward trendThe U.S. recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day after several days in which the death toll had fallen or was nearly flat.The daily death toll was 2,405 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.Despite the grim numbers, health officials have said they believe U.S. numbers are leveling, but warn states shouldn’t yet ease up on social distancing measures, because a resurgence of the virus is highly likely once Americans begin getting out of the house again.What will be key to preventing another deadly wave in the country are the tools to track and monitor new cases.”You want your resources to be able to very efficiently in real-time identify, isolate and contact trace,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.In the meantime, finding the right time to reopen the country is still a work in progress. A team led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has drafted a strategy to return the country to work that includes guidance for local and state governments on how to reopen the country safely and in phases, the Washington Post reported. CNN has reached out to the government agencies for comment.Meanwhile, governors across the country have also begun diving into discussions about the first steps toward reopening their economies, with many of the nation’s stay-at-home orders, as well as the federal government’s social distancing guidelines, set to expire at the end of the month.But many state leaders who are still seeing their number of cases climb say it’s still too soon to begin thinking about lifting any measures.How will states know when to reopen?Nearly a dozen states have begun working together to determine what the first steps should be once stay-at-home orders are lifted.But with experts cautioning that each state should be treated as a separate situation and assessed individually, there are still few answers to the questions of when each part of the country will begin reopening and what that will look like.All that some state leaders have offered so far are indicators of when their state may begin thinking about reopening.California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said he’ll be working with Washington and Oregon to determine a path forward, announced Tuesday a set of indicators that will help the state pin down the right time to begin lifting measures.Those include the state’s ability to track and monitor infected individuals through testing, contact tracing and isolating procedures, as well as its ability to prevent infection of at-risk groups.”Science, not politics must be the guide. It cannot be ideological,” he said. “We can’t get ahead of ourselves. … I don’t want to make a political decision. That puts people’s lives at risk.”Starting at midnight, Los Angeles residents will be required to wear a face covering or mask while venturing out for essential services, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger told CNN.“Masks clearly are something that I think is here, and I believe is going to be here for a while,” Barger said.About sporting events and other mass gatherings, Barger said she believes they are unlikely until a vaccine for coronavirus is available. When it comes to bars and nightclubs, Barger said, “I think that’s way out there.” Fitness centers and gyms are also probably low on the list for reopening but many construction projects are considered essential and still working within social distancing guidelines. “Masks definitely are going to be and are a must at all construction sites,” Barger said.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is issuing an executive order that all people in the state must wear a mask or mouth and nose covering in public, whenever they are in a situation where they cannot maintain social distancing of 6 feet or less.“If you’re going to get on public transit, you’re going to get on a bus, you’re going to get on a subway, you’re going to stand on a subway platform, you’re going to walk in a neighborhood that is busy, you’re going to be on a sidewalk, you’re going to pass other people on a sidewalk, you’re not going to be able to maintain social distancing, you must wear a mask,” Cuomo said.There will be a three-day notice period before the order is enforced, allowing New Yorkers to secure masks or face coverings, Cuomo announced Wednesday afternoon.Local governments should start to enforce it, but there won’t be any penalties as of right now, he added.Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told residents of his state he was expecting “difficult days and weeks ahead.”He said officials have begun conversations around reopening the state, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before a plan is set into motion.The state will need to have testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine procedures in place to reopen, the governor said.Baker, who will work together with other governors of the Northeast in a plan toward reopening said that while his priority is doing “what’s right for Massachusetts,” it will also help staying in sync with other state leaders.”I think it’s going to be really important that we all pay attention to what the others are up to, and to make sure that nobody does anything that puts somebody in a really bad spot, because they just weren’t thinking about what that impact was going to be on some other part of the Northeastern part of the U.S.,” he said.In Ohio, Director of the Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton said that the state would first need to see a sustained decrease in the number of new cases — so low that officials could trace each infected resident — before considering reopening the state.But even when that happens, until there’s a vaccine, daily life won’t look like it did before, the state’s governor said, and institutions will need to take precautions to prevent further infections.”Until there is a vaccine — this monster is going to be working around us. When we start opening businesses and schools back up, it’s going to be different,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.We might not go back to normal for another 2 years DeWine’s assessment was underscored by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who published findings Tuesday that projected the U.S. may have to endure social distancing measures — such as stay-at-home orders and school closures — until 2022, unless a vaccine becomes available.”Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available,” they wrote in their report.Those findings directly contradict research cited by the White House that suggests the pandemic could stop by this summer.And much like experts have already warned, the Harvard team warned that another round of the virus is possible once social distancing measures are lifted.”Even in the event of apparent elimination, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024,” they wrote.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued emergency use authorizations for two new coronavirus antibody tests, which are able to detect past infections after people have recovered.A total of three tests are now authorized by the agency, which determined that the benefits of using the quickly-designed tests during the pandemic outweigh the risks — such as false negatives or false positives.The tests, which use blood samples instead of a swab, are limited to use in authorized laboratories. Instead of looking for traces of the virus, they look for our body’s response to the virus: antibodies.The FDA, though, is warning that the tests could lead to false negatives, since antibodies aren’t present at the earliest stages of infection.“A negative result may occur if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection,” the agency said in fact sheets published Wednesday.While the tests may miss some recent infections, experts say they’re useful to understand how widespread the coronavirus really is — since they should be able to detect past infections, even if people had few or no symptoms.It’s unclear how long immunity might last after someone recovers from COVID-19, but the antibody tests could also offer insight into who may be protected against re-infection.

The latest:

  • There have been more than 614,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 27,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • The U.S. recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day on Tuesday with 2,405 deaths.
  • Globally, there have been 2 million cases with more than 132,000 deaths.
  • The IRS began sending out stimulus payments this week, with 80 million expected to receive them by Wednesday.
  • President Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. will halt funding to the World Health Organization.
  • The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CDC and FEMA have drafted a national plan to reopen the United States.
  • Multiple airlines reported Tuesday they are receiving billions of dollars from the federal government to help pay workers.

Government relief checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage to the U.S. from the coronavirus piled up Wednesday and sluggish sales at reopened stores in Europe and China made it clear that business won’t necessarily bounce right back when the crisis eases.

With lockdowns and other restrictions bringing factories to a shuddering halt, American industrial output shriveled in March, registering its biggest decline since the U.S. demobilized in 1946 at the end of World War II. And retail sales fell by an unprecedented 8.7%, with April expected to be far worse.

The world’s biggest economy began issuing one-time payments this week to tens of millions of people as part of its $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, with adults receiving up to $1,200 each and $500 per child to help them pay the rent or cover other bills. The checks will be directly deposited into bank accounts or mailed to households, depending on how they filed their tax returns.

World surpasses 2 million cases

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 2 million on Wednesday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

COVID-19 had infected at least 2,006,513 people and killed at least 128,886 people globally as of Wednesday morning.

The United States leads with the most deaths and the most confirmed cases worldwide. There are at least 609,995 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 26,069 deaths from the disease.

US marks highest number of deaths in a day after several days of a downward trend

The U.S. recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day after several days in which the death toll had fallen or was nearly flat.

The daily death toll was 2,405 on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

Despite the grim numbers, health officials have said they believe U.S. numbers are leveling, but warn states shouldn’t yet ease up on social distancing measures, because a resurgence of the virus is highly likely once Americans begin getting out of the house again.

What will be key to preventing another deadly wave in the country are the tools to track and monitor new cases.

“You want your resources to be able to very efficiently in real-time identify, isolate and contact trace,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

In the meantime, finding the right time to reopen the country is still a work in progress.

A team led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has drafted a strategy to return the country to work that includes guidance for local and state governments on how to reopen the country safely and in phases, the Washington Post reported. CNN has reached out to the government agencies for comment.

Meanwhile, governors across the country have also begun diving into discussions about the first steps toward reopening their economies, with many of the nation’s stay-at-home orders, as well as the federal government’s social distancing guidelines, set to expire at the end of the month.

But many state leaders who are still seeing their number of cases climb say it’s still too soon to begin thinking about lifting any measures.

How will states know when to reopen?

Nearly a dozen states have begun working together to determine what the first steps should be once stay-at-home orders are lifted.

But with experts cautioning that each state should be treated as a separate situation and assessed individually, there are still few answers to the questions of when each part of the country will begin reopening and what that will look like.

All that some state leaders have offered so far are indicators of when their state may begin thinking about reopening.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said he’ll be working with Washington and Oregon to determine a path forward, announced Tuesday a set of indicators that will help the state pin down the right time to begin lifting measures.

Those include the state’s ability to track and monitor infected individuals through testing, contact tracing and isolating procedures, as well as its ability to prevent infection of at-risk groups.

“Science, not politics must be the guide. It cannot be ideological,” he said. “We can’t get ahead of ourselves. … I don’t want to make a political decision. That puts people’s lives at risk.”

Starting at midnight, Los Angeles residents will be required to wear a face covering or mask while venturing out for essential services, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger told CNN.

“Masks clearly are something that I think is here, and I believe is going to be here for a while,” Barger said.

About sporting events and other mass gatherings, Barger said she believes they are unlikely until a vaccine for coronavirus is available. When it comes to bars and nightclubs, Barger said, “I think that’s way out there.”

Fitness centers and gyms are also probably low on the list for reopening but many construction projects are considered essential and still working within social distancing guidelines.

“Masks definitely are going to be and are a must at all construction sites,” Barger said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is issuing an executive order that all people in the state must wear a mask or mouth and nose covering in public, whenever they are in a situation where they cannot maintain social distancing of 6 feet or less.

“If you’re going to get on public transit, you’re going to get on a bus, you’re going to get on a subway, you’re going to stand on a subway platform, you’re going to walk in a neighborhood that is busy, you’re going to be on a sidewalk, you’re going to pass other people on a sidewalk, you’re not going to be able to maintain social distancing, you must wear a mask,” Cuomo said.

There will be a three-day notice period before the order is enforced, allowing New Yorkers to secure masks or face coverings, Cuomo announced Wednesday afternoon.

Local governments should start to enforce it, but there won’t be any penalties as of right now, he added.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told residents of his state he was expecting “difficult days and weeks ahead.”

He said officials have begun conversations around reopening the state, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before a plan is set into motion.

The state will need to have testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine procedures in place to reopen, the governor said.

Baker, who will work together with other governors of the Northeast in a plan toward reopening said that while his priority is doing “what’s right for Massachusetts,” it will also help staying in sync with other state leaders.

“I think it’s going to be really important that we all pay attention to what the others are up to, and to make sure that nobody does anything that puts somebody in a really bad spot, because they just weren’t thinking about what that impact was going to be on some other part of the Northeastern part of the U.S.,” he said.

In Ohio, Director of the Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton said that the state would first need to see a sustained decrease in the number of new cases — so low that officials could trace each infected resident — before considering reopening the state.

But even when that happens, until there’s a vaccine, daily life won’t look like it did before, the state’s governor said, and institutions will need to take precautions to prevent further infections.

“Until there is a vaccine — this monster is going to be working around us. When we start opening businesses and schools back up, it’s going to be different,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.

We might not go back to normal for another 2 years

DeWine’s assessment was underscored by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who published findings Tuesday that projected the U.S. may have to endure social distancing measures — such as stay-at-home orders and school closures — until 2022, unless a vaccine becomes available.

“Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available,” they wrote in their report.

Those findings directly contradict research cited by the White House that suggests the pandemic could stop by this summer.

And much like experts have already warned, the Harvard team warned that another round of the virus is possible once social distancing measures are lifted.

“Even in the event of apparent elimination, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024,” they wrote.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued emergency use authorizations for two new coronavirus antibody tests, which are able to detect past infections after people have recovered.

A total of three tests are now authorized by the agency, which determined that the benefits of using the quickly-designed tests during the pandemic outweigh the risks — such as false negatives or false positives.

The tests, which use blood samples instead of a swab, are limited to use in authorized laboratories. Instead of looking for traces of the virus, they look for our body’s response to the virus: antibodies.

The FDA, though, is warning that the tests could lead to false negatives, since antibodies aren’t present at the earliest stages of infection.

“A negative result may occur if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection,” the agency said in fact sheets published Wednesday.

While the tests may miss some recent infections, experts say they’re useful to understand how widespread the coronavirus really is — since they should be able to detect past infections, even if people had few or no symptoms.

It’s unclear how long immunity might last after someone recovers from COVID-19, but the antibody tests could also offer insight into who may be protected against re-infection.

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