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Britain divided over reopening schools as virus rules ease

Britain divided over reopening schools as virus rules ease

Britain divided over reopening schools as virus rules ease
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super
Year 6 teacher Jane Cooper uses a 2 meter length of ruler and pipe to check seat spacings in her classroom as measures are taken to prevent the transmission of coronavirus before the possible reopening of Lostock Hall Primary school in Poynton near Manchester, England, Wednesday May 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Britain divided over reopening schools as virus rules ease

David Waugh is putting down barrier tape and spraying yellow lines on the ground outside the main door of his school near Manchester.

Waugh, who oversees five schools in northwestern England, already has painted yellow arrows to ensure that children follow a one-way path around the building when they return next month from an extended break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Soft furniture and play equipment have been cordoned off, and desks have been spread apart. Waugh has stocked up on 7,500 face masks, hundreds of pairs of gloves, hand sanitizer and other supplies.

“The government says we don’t need them, but I certainly couldn’t have risked not having them,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s the unknown, the utter unknown. We’re taking baby steps forward at the moment, trying to win the hearts and minds of parents and teachers.”

Since March 20, the coronavirus has forced British schools to close to all but a small number of key workers’ children and those under social care. The government wants children to start returning to primary schools in stages from June 1. Those going back first include the youngest — ages 4 to 6. Daycare providers also have been told to start welcoming back babies and toddlers from June.

The reopening has divided the country and faced vehement opposition from teachers unions, which say it’s too risky for everyone and could cause a spike in infections. Dozens of local authorities have refused to follow the reopening timetable. Scotland and Northern Ireland, which have their own governments, are not opening schools until August at the earliest.

Worried parents are texting each other the same question: “Are you sending your kid back?”

Justine Roberts, who founded parenting website Mumsnet, said the decision to send the youngest children back first is “causing bafflement and some anger, and a suspicion that decisions are being driven by the need to get people back to work."

Teachers union NASUWT cited a poll of 29,000 members that suggested only 5% think the plan is safe. Other unions have told members not to engage with planning for an early June opening.

Mary Bousted, joint leader of the National Education Union, said the plan is “simply not safe, it is not fair, it is not feasible.”

Unions say they are unconvinced by the scientific evidence on the topic published by the government. They also want the tracking and tracing system for those infected to be in place first.

Charlotte Smith, whose 14-year-old son is unaffected by the plan, joined a small protest of the reopening Thursday in Manchester. She didn't believe administrators have thought through how to work out social distancing "that isn’t damaging to kids.”

“There’s absolutely no way I would want my kid to go into an environment that’s psychologically damaging for them,” she said. "We need to rethink education and we can’t do that in two weeks.”

In its guidance to schools, the Education Department said face masks are not recommended in schools, and acknowledged that young children can’t be expected to keep the 2-meter (6-foot) social-distancing guidelines. It said class sizes should be halved and limited to a maximum of 15, and that children should be separated into the same small groups.

Waugh’s school group, the True Learning Partnership in Cheshire, is doing that and more.

He is planning to split students into “mini school” zones, each with separate entrances, daily timetables and play areas. Meals will be delivered to classrooms. Teachers’ desks will be 2-meter “exclusion zones” ringed off with tape. Even the cutlery will be assigned to separate groups.

It’s “more than feasible” to make schools safe, he said, even if it’s a “logistical nightmare.”

English schools will be following those in Denmark, Germany, France and elsewhere that are easing restrictions. Proponents say the effect of being away from the classroom has been felt keenly by the most disadvantaged families.

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies said school closures will almost certainly increase educational inequality. Wealthier children are spending 30% more time on home learning during lockdown — about 5.8 hours a day — than those in poorer families and have access to better resources like online tutors, it found.

Working parents, too, are increasingly frustrated about working from home with children. Sarah Hesz, a mother of three, says that after considering the risks, she plans to send her 5-year-old back to school next month.

“People are so torn, worried and confused about what is best,” said Hesz, who works for a childcare app. “There is a massive part of me that want my kids to be learning again, to be with their friends again. At the moment, it's just impossible. I can't home school my kids and work."

But it’s a tough sell for many, and one key concern is the risk of infection from children to adults. The confusion was highlighted when the doctors union, the British Medical Association, first backed teachers who oppose a June 1 reopening, only to change its stance days later.

The BMA said Wednesday that while there was growing evidence that the virus risk to children is extremely small, there is conflicting evidence about the likelihood of children spreading it to others.

“A zero-risk approach is not possible,” it concluded. “This is about ‘safe’ being an acceptable level of risk.”

Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, acknowledged that data on how infectious children are is “pretty sparse.”

“There are significant welfare and wellbeing issues for children who are out (of school) months and months on end. It’s delicate and difficult, and I accept that,” he said.

Jane Cooper, who teaches older children at Lostock Hall Primary School, said she was looking forward to seeing her pupils again. She knows the new normal won’t be easy, especially for younger children who want to cuddle or hold hands.

“We can’t really sit next to children and teach them as we normally do, it’s not as hands-on teaching,” she said, adding that her students "will understand it, but the little ones won’t be able to, and that’s a bit sad really.”


Jo Kearney contributed.

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  • June 1 marks the official start of the hurricane season. At the same time, a storm, which may develop into the third named storm of the year, is starting to churn. If the weather pattern continues, the storm would be named Cristobal. The National Weather Service is watching an area over southern Mexico. Experts say it has an 80% chance of developing, CNN reported. It had been named Tropical Storm Amanda when it developed in the Pacific but had dissipated. It is now in the Atlantic Ocean basin, hence the potential name of Cristobal, CNN reported. There have already been two named storms that developed in May before the official start of the season, WTVJ reported. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2020 will be an above-normal year with between 13 and 19 named storms, six to 10 will be hurricanes and three to six will be major hurricanes with at least 111 mph winds. Hurricane season runs until Nov. 30.
  • Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are doing their part to help combat police brutality. The couple announced on Instagram that they have donated $200,000 to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, People magazine reported. “We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car,” they wrote in their post, which was posted to both of their accounts. “We don’t know what it’s like to experience that life day in and day out. We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.” The “Green Lantern” co-stars, who have three children, also said they would begin voting for candidates with platforms that were in alignment with those ideals, E!Online reported. “We want to know the positions of school board nominees, sheriffs, mayors, councilpersons.,” the couple said. 'We want to know their positions on justice. But mainly, we want to use our privilege and platform to be an ally. And to play a part in easing pain for so many who feel as though this grand experiment is failing them.” The actors’ statement comes as protests over police violence continue nationally. They were sparked by the death last week of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on the man’s neck for more than eight minutes.
  • Protests and demonstrations have led to violence in at least 30 cities across the United States in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd, 46, died after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Minneapolis police officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than five minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage.  As of Monday, at least 40 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews.  Live updates for Monday, June 1 continue below:  Florida governor activates National Guard Update 2:20 p.m. EDT June 1: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida National Guard after some protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent over the weekend, WFTV reported. The governor’s office said the specially trained units were put on standby Saturday, according to WFTV. More protests against police brutality are expected in Florida and nationwide in the wake of Floyd’s death last week. >> Read more on George Floyd’s brother urges people to vote during peaceful protest in Minneapolis Update 2:05 p.m. EDT June 1: One of George Floyd’s brothers, Terrence Floyd, urged protesters to remain peaceful Monday and told people that the best thing they can do to make change is to vote “not just in the presidential elections.” “If i’m not over here wilding out. If i’m not over here blowing stuff up. If I’m not here messing up my community, what are you all doing?” he asked as the crowd cheered him on. “You’re doing nothing. Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.” He compared the recent nights of looting and rioting to drinking. “It might feel good for a moment, like when you drink but ... you’re going to wonder what you did,” he said. More than 400 arrested in Santa Monica, California protest; most from out of town, police say Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 1: Police in Santa Monica, California, said authorities arrested more than 400 people in citywide protests overnight in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Police Chief Cynthia Renaud said 95% of those arrested “reside outside the city.' 30 arrested during protests in Orlando, Florida Update 1:15 p.m. EDT June 1: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said up to 30 people were arrested amid overnight protests in the city, according to WFTV. Police Chief Orlando Rolon said some of the arrests were connected to eight businesses that people attempted to break into or vandalize in the city, WFTV reported. Rolon said some demonstrators got onto Interstate 4 on Sunday and threw rocks and other objects at police officers, who responded by deploying tear gas. Dyer said he’s ordered the release of body camera footage from the situation in order to be fully transparent. >> Read more on Memorial for George Floyd scheduled for Thursday Update 1:05 p.m. EDT June 1: A funeral memorial will be held Thursday for George Floyd, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Monday, according to CNN. “It will be an important event both for the city of Minneapolis and Minnesota and for the nation to watch that process of celebrating a life that was taken in front of us,” he said, according to the news network. Floyd died May 25 after then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin pinned his neck under his knee for nearly nine minutes. Video of Floyd begging for air as he lay face-down on the ground surfaced after the situation, prompting widespread protests nationwide and calls for police reform. State of emergency declared in Birmingham, Alabama due to civil unrest Update 12:40 p.m. EDT June 1: Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama, declared a state of emergency for the city Monday due to civil unrest after protests over the weekend left behind widespread property damage. At a news conference Monday morning, Woodfin said that he “100 percent (supports) civil disobedience but that is very different from civil unrest.” “I support activism and your right to peacefully assemble, but I don’t support mobs and people destroying things just because,” he said. “And so, moving forward, the City of Birmingham as of today (is) declaring a state of emergency due to civil unrest and will be implementing a citywide curfew starting today at 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. everyday going forward.” On Sunday, demonstrators tried to tear down a Confederate monument in Linn Park and several members of the media were attacked, according to Windows were smashed at several businesses, the news site reported. Trump to governors: ‘Most of you are weak’ Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 1: President Donald Trump is telling the nation’s governors that most of them are “weak” and calling for tougher crackdowns on violence as protests rage across the nation. Trump is speaking to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials. He’s telling them they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses, saying: “Most of you are weak.” And he’s chastising them for failing to use the National Guard more aggressively, saying they’re making themselves “look like fools.” Attorney General Bill Barr is also on the call and telling governors they have to “dominate” the streets and control, not react to crowds. He’s calling on them to “go after troublemaker” and use “adequate force.” Curfew will be in effect for next two nights in Washington DC Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 1: Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday announced that the city will enforce a 7 p.m. curfew for the next two nights amid protests following the death last week of George Floyd. Bowser has enacted a curfew Sunday that didn’t go into effect until 11 p.m. The decision Sunday sparked criticism from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh MeEnany. “I think when you look at some of the befuddling actions, like right here in D.C., the mayor of D.C. didn’t issue a curfew until 11 p.m.,” McEnany said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” according to The Hill. “Well, guess what? At 10 p.m. you had St. John’s Church burning. Several other cities had curfews at 4 p.m., at 5 p.m., at 6 p.m.” Florida police officer suspended after video showed him pushing kneeling protester Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Interim Fort Lauderdale police Chief Rick Maglione said an officer who appeared to shove a protester without provocation Sunday as she was kneeling near him has been suspended from duty as authorities investigate the situation. Maglione said the situation began when an officer asked for help after she became surrounded by protesters. A short while later, some protesters began to attack a police car, smashing windows and jumping on the vehicle as a police officer sat inside. “In the middle of that event ... our officer, as he passed a female that was on the ground already, appears to shove her as he goes by her,” Maglione said. “That officer has been removed from any contact with the public. He is relieved from duty, basically, while this matter is investigated.” Maglione said officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have opened a criminal investigation into the situation. Mayor Dean Trantalis said he thought the situation was “offensive” and “should never have happened.” “I appreciate the fact that the department has relieved him of duty while this investigation happens,” he said at a news conference Monday. “I understand the state attorney has opened a file, an investigation to make sure that we get to the bottom of this and If it’s determined by those agencies that something wrong was done we will follow with swift disciplinary action.” New York City mayor: Police cars driving into crowd of protesters Saturday ‘unacceptable’ Update 11:20 a.m. EDT June 1: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that two police cars caught on video driving into a crowd during a protest Saturday of police brutality was “dangerous” and “unacceptable,' according to The Guardian. “There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers of any kind,” the mayor said, according to the newspaper. In a video that went viral Saturday, protesters could be seen carrying a yellow metal barricade to block a police SUV in Brooklyn, The New York Times reported. While some demonstrators began to throw things at the vehicles, both of them sped up into the crowd, according to the Times. The newspaper reported it was not clear whether anyone was injured in the incident. De Blasio said he had directed city officials to investigate the situation, the Times reported. Obama: Protests and political action necessary ‘if we want to bring about real change’ Update 11:10 a.m. EDT June 1: Former President Barack Obama said people need to be active in both protests and the political process if they want to bring about real, lasting change as protests erupted nationwide due to the death last week of George Floyd. “If we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics,” Obama said in a post published Friday on Medium. “We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.” Obama noted that while the focus is often on the federal government’s response to events like Floyd’s death, “the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” “The more specific we can make demands for criminal justice and police reform, the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away,” Obama said. “I recognize that these past few months have been hard and dispiriting — that the fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and hardship of a pandemic have been compounded by tragic reminders that prejudice and inequality still shape so much of American life. But watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.” At least 12 arrested during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon Update 10:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Portland, Oregon, said they arrested at least a dozen people after peaceful protests in the city spurred by the death of George Floyd turned violent. Authorities said they also detained two juveniles during Sunday night’s protests. Police said thousands of demonstrators marched Sunday to the city’s Justice Center. The gathering remained peaceful until around 11:30 p.m., when authorities said some demonstrators began to throw things at officers. When the crowd refused to disperse, police said they deployed “Riot Control Agents to disperse the crowd.” In response, some demonstrators threw what police described as fireworks at officers before the crowd broke into smaller groups, some of which set fires, smashed storefront windows and vandalized buildings and parked vehicles, authorities said. Police Chief Jami Resch said she met Sunday with demonstration leaders. “We agreed that the majority of demonstrators AND the police want a peaceful protest and are frustrated by those who are engaging in violence and destruction because it is not helpful for change efforts,” she said in a statement. “Unfortunately, while we were meeting, some individuals started to engage in violent acts toward Officers, which continued despite warnings to disperse. Officers deployed riot control agents to disperse the crowd for the safety of all.' NBA coaches: ‘We cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage’ Update 9:40 a.m. EDT June 1: The National Basketball Coaches Association released a statement Monday sharing condolences and prayers for the family of George Floyd and condemning his death. “The events of the past few weeks -- police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the group said. “Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis. As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.” Coaches said in the statement that they will work with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies in the cities where they are based “to create positive change in our communities.” “We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it,” the statement said. 1 dead after authorities, protesters exchange fire in Kentucky; police investigating Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 1: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that he’s authorized an investigation into a police-involved shooting that left one person dead during protests over the death of George Floyd. Beshear said the Louisville Metro Police Department and the Kentucky National Guard were dispatched around midnight to 26th Street and Broadway. “While working to disperse a crowd, LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard were fired upon,” the governor said. “LMPD and the Kentucky National Guard returned fire resulting in a death. Given the seriousness of the situation, I have authorized the Kentucky State Police to independently investigate the event.” DC mayor: Some protesters brought tools, supplies with them Update 9 a.m. EDT June 1: Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. said Friday that some protesters brought “tools and supplies” with them to demonstrations Sunday over the death of George Floyd. “We know that we have people that came here with tools and supplies and they re-upped their supplies,' Bowser said during an interview Monday with NBC’s “Today” show. 'They went to different parts of the city. So, we think there was a mix of people here but certainly people here who do this type of protest and demonstration.” Ask if the demonstrators were believed to have been “professional protesters,” Bowser told the “Today” show, “We’ve seen some of these tactics before so we know that they were among the groups here.” She described the tactics used as “the types of tools they use, restocking, setting fires here and there to try to draw in the police to various locations.” 2 killed, police officer injured during protests in Iowa Update 8:35 a.m. EDT June 1: Two people died and a police officer is injured Monday following a series of shootings reported during protests overnight in Davenport, Iowa, police said. One person died in a shooting reported at the Walmart on West Kimberly Road and one person died in a separate shooting in the 1100 block of West 15th Street, according to police. Officials said rioters ambushed police officers in a vehicle around 3 a.m., firing several shots, some of which hit a police car while officers were inside. Police Chief Paul Sirkorski said one officer was injured. Police were later able to find the vehicle and arrested several people after it crashed during a pursuit. Sirkorski said the officer was “doing okay” Monday morning. “What we experienced tonight, last night was completely unacceptable and it does not honor the memory of Mr. Floyd,” Sirkorski said at a news conference Monday. Mayor Mike Matson said that in light of the overnight violence, a curfew will be enacted for all of Scott County on Monday. He said he has also requested the help of the Iowa National Guard. Facebook pledges $10 million toward ‘efforts committed to ending racial injustice’  Update 7:51 a.m. EDT June 1: Facebook will donate $10 million to “efforts committed to ending racial injustice,” the social media juggernaut announced early Monday. Several Boston police officers injured, more than 3 dozen protesters arrested Sunday night Update 5:37 a.m. EDT June 1: The Boston Police Department has confirmed multiple officers were injured during Sunday night’s protests, and 40 demonstrators were arrested. According to the department, at least seven officers were transported to local hospitals for treatment of injuries, numerous others were treated at the scene of the violent clashes and at least 21 police cruisers were damaged during the protest.  Citing ‘violence and thefts,’ Washington county declares state of emergency Update 5:14 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington’s King County, which includes the city of Seattle, declared a state of emergency early Monday due to “violence and thefts associated with some of the local protests.” “King County values and respects the peaceful expression of political views, and supports all people in exercising their First Amendment rights,” the county government said in a news release. Derek Chauvin’s 1st court appearance postponed 1 week Update 4:55 a.m. EDT June 1: The first court appearance for the former Minnesota officer charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd has been postponed until June 8. Chauvin, the officer seen in a video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, originally had a hearing set for 1 p.m. Monday. Court records cite no specific reason for the delay. Chauvin was moved to the Hennepin County Jail from the Ramsey County Jail Sunday. Birmingham protesters tear down Confederate monument, set fire to Thomas Jefferson statue Update 4:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, were captured on video Sunday night looping a rope around the neck of a monument to a Confederate naval captain before dragging it to the ground. The statue, depicting Charles Linn, could be seen in the aftermath lying face down with “BLM” painted in large red letters along the back of his leg, The Washington Post reported. In addition to smashing the namesake of Birmingham’s Linn Park, protesters also set a statue of Thomas Jefferson ablaze. Police fatally shoot man at Louisville protest they say opened fire first Update 4:12 a.m. EDT June 1: A man has been shot and killed during protests in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, shots were fired at them first. The shooting occurred around 12:15 a.m., and the victim has not been identified. Washington activates statewide National Guard Update 3:38 a.m. EDT June 1: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has called up the National Guard for statewide deployment. “We must not let these illegal and dangerous actions detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd,” Inslee said in a statement. He also noted that members of the Guard engaged in crowd control must remain unarmed to ensure public safety. “But we also will not turn away from our responsibility to protect the residents of our state,” Inslee said in the statement. Florida police officer suspended after shoving kneeling protester Update 3:14 a.m. EDT June 1: A police officer has been suspended after video showed him shoving a kneeling woman during a Sunday afternoon protest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. According to The Washington Post, the video shows police walking through throngs of protesters as several people dropped to their knees and held their hands overhead. As one officer passed a black woman kneeling at his feet, he reached down and shoved the back of her head, sending her falling forward into the pavement. Nearby protesters erupted in shouts and several people threw water bottles at the police. The officer retreated, followed by other officers who appeared to be yelling at him over his actions, the Post reported. George Floyd's son says heart ‘really touched’ by mass protests Update 2:59 a.m. EDT June 1: Quincy Mason Floyd had not seen his father, George, since he was a young child. On Sunday night, the younger Floyd attended a Bryan, Texas, protest and spoke with CNN affiliate KBTX. 'Everyone is coming out and showing him love. My heart is really touched by all this,” Quincy Mason Floyd told the local station. DC’s historic St. John’s church set ablaze during Sunday protests Update 2:51 a.m. EDT June 1: A fire was set in the basement of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House, during Sunday night demonstrations calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. Tanker truck driver who plowed into crowd of Minnesota protesters charged with assault Update 2:32 a.m. EDT June 1: Bogdan Vechirko, the man who drove a tanker truck into a crowd of protesters on a Minnesota interstate Sunday, has been charged with assault, according to Hennepin County Jail records. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety described Vechirko’s actions as “inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators.”  He is being held without bail. The Massachusetts National Guard arrives in Boston Update 2:02 a.m. EDT June 1: The Massachusetts National Guard has arrived in Boston to disperse the remaining protesters, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio told CNN. Police have already made two arrests after two protesters jumped a fence and tried to get onto State House property, the network reported. Austin police fire on protesters after a day of peaceful demonstrations Update 1:42 a.m. EDT June 1: Police in Austin, Texas, opened fire on protesters early Sunday with what demonstrators described as rubber bullets, The Washington Post reported. The clash followed a day of peaceful protests in the Texas capital with witnesses stating the shots were fired by a group of officers on a nearby overpass at protesters who had been descending on police headquarters. .At least three people were struck by the projectiles, including a young woman who was hit in the back of the head, the Post reported. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Nearly 6.2 million people worldwide – including almost 1.8 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Monday, June 1, continue below:  More than 6.2M cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide Update 2:15 p.m. EDT June 1: More than 6.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide as of Monday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. The United States continues to lead the world with the most number of coronavirus infections reported. As of Monday, nearly 1.8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19. At least 104,000 people have died of the viral infection nationwide. The second-most cases in the world have been reported in Brazil, where officials had confirmed more than 514,000 cases of COVID-19 by Monday. The emergencies chief of the World Health Organization said Monday that Central America and South America are currently witnessing the most intense transmission of the coronavirus worldwide. “I don’t believe we’ve reached the peak” in the Americas, Dr. Michael Ryan said, noting that several factors in the region, including the number of urban poor and fragile health systems, made outbreaks in those countries particularly dangerous. Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett postpone planned tour Update 1:35 p.m. EDT June 1: An upcoming stadium tour featuring Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts has been postponed until 2021, according to a joint statement released Monday by the bands. “The official decision has been made to move all 2020 North American Stadium Tour dates into the summer of 2021,” the statement said. “The new stadium dates are being rescheduled, your tickets will be honored for all postponed shows and refund policy information will be made available shortly.” Western New York expected to move to Phase 2 of reopening  Update 1:25 p.m. EDT June 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that Western New York will likely be able to begin the second phase of reopening on Tuesday as the number of deaths, hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases continues to fall. “What we have done with this COVID virus is a really amazing accomplishment, if you take a step back,' the governor said at a news conference, according to WCBS-TV. 'Remember where we were. We had 800 people die in one day. We had the worst situation in the United States of America. At one point we had the worst situation on the globe.” On Monday, officials recorded the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases reported since March 16, according to WGRZ. Phase 2 of reopening in New York state will allow for barbershops, salons, offices, in-store retail and other businesses to open their doors to customers again, WGRZ reported. More than 40,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 1:15 p.m. EDT June 1: Officials in Louisiana reported 425 new coronavirus infections Monday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 40,341. Statewide, at least 2,690 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 31,728 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. Spain reports no new coronavirus deaths for first time since March Update 12:55 p.m. EDT June 1: For the first time since March, officials in Spain on Monday reported no new deaths due to the novel coronavirus, according to The Associated Press. At a news conference Monday, emergency health response chief Fernando Simon called the development “very, very encouraging” and noted that only 71 new coronavirus infections had been reported in the last 24 hours. “We are in a very good place in the evolution of the pandemic,” Simon said, according to the AP. “The statistics are following a trend. They are going in the right direction.” As of Monday, officials said they’ve confirmed 239,638 cases of COVID-19 nationwide. Gilead says remdesivir helped some moderate COVID-19 patients recover Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 1: Officials with Gilead Sciences shared mixed results Monday from its remdesivir trial which showed an improvement in moderate COVID-19 patients who received a 5-day course of the drug with no “statistically significant” difference in recovery time for those who took the drug for 10 days. The trial compared the recoveries of patients who received remdesivir for five days, patients who got the experimental drug for 10 days and patients who were not treated with remdesivir. Scientists said that, by day 11, “a higher proportion of patients in the 5-day treatment group achieved improvement in clinical status versus the standard of care group.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously granted emergency authorization to allow remdesivir to be used to treat patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. 54 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 1: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Monday that 54 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number is slightly lower than the 56 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Former CDC director predicts another 20,000 will die of COVID-19 in next month Update 10:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Tom Frieden, who headed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under President Barack Obama, told Axios Health on Monday that he believes another 20,000 people will die of novel coronavirus infections in the next month. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told Axios that people are under the mistaken impression that we’re coming out from under the threat of the novel coronavirus. Businesses in all 50 states that were shuttered due to the pandemic have begun to reopen in recent days. “We hit pause (on the virus), and now we’re hitting play, and we don’t know what the next song’s going to be,” she told Axios. Stocks pull back on Wall Street as trade worries flare again Update 9:45 a.m. EDT June 1: Stocks opened lower Monday on Wall Street as traders worry that trade tensions could flare again with China and as protests spread across the U.S. against police brutality, potentially threatening more outbreaks of the coronavirus. The S&P 500 index fell 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading Monday, led by declines in technology and health care companies. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains. Overseas, Hong Kong’s market rose after President Donald Trump didn’t pull out of a trade truce reached earlier with China. But traders still worried that more trade friction was on the way. Bars, nightclubs allowed to reopen in Georgia Update 8:50 a.m. EDT June 1: Several more businesses will be allowed to reopen Monday across Georgia including bars and nightclubs, according to WSB-TV. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the decision on Friday. “Bars and nightclubs can decide to reopen if they comply with strict sanitation and social distancing rules, all crafted to reflect industry practices and mitigate health risk,” Kemp said, according to WSB-TV. “To open their doors, bars and nightclubs must meet thirty-nine mandatory measures to ensure patron well-being.” WSB-TV reported summer schools and overnight summer camps will be allowed to resume, and pro sports will also be able to do team activities, but live entertainment venues will stay closed for now. >> Read more on Global cases near 6.2M, death toll tops 372K Update 7:26 a.m. EDT June 1: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 372,377 early Monday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 6,189,560 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,147. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,790,191 cases, resulting in 104,383 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 514,849 cases, resulting in 29,314 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 414,878 cases, resulting in 4,855 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 276,156 cases, resulting in 38,571 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 239,479 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths. • Italy has reported 232,997 cases, resulting in 33,415 deaths. • India has reported 191,041 cases, resulting in 5,413 deaths. • France has confirmed 189,010 cases, resulting in 28,805 deaths. • Germany has reported 183,508 cases, resulting in 8,546 deaths. • Peru has reported 164,476 cases, resulting in 4,506 deaths. Armenian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus Update 6:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed Monday he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. “It appeared yesterday that I had tested positive for coronavirus. I had no symptoms, but considering my plan to visit military units, I decided to take the test and it came back positive,” Pashinyan said on Facebook, The Washington Post reported. Pashinyan, who said he will be working from home throughout his illness, also confirmed his entire family has also contracted the disease, and the suspicion is that the virus was passed along by “a waiter, who brought us glasses of water” during a recent meeting. “I saw that he was wearing no gloves and rebuked him, but I think they were working without gloves earlier. The waiter has also tested positive for coronavirus,” Pashinyan said. Armenia has confirmed 9,282 cases of the coronavirus, resulting in 131 fatalities to date, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.  2 Connecticut tribal casinos set to reopen amid lingering coronavirus concerns  Update 6:25 a.m. EDT June 1: Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun are touting “limited” re-openings despite Gov. Ned Lamont saying he thinks it’s too early for them to do so, NPR reported. 'I think the idea of opening up on June 1 is early,' Lamont said, adding, “It's earlier than Las Vegas. It’s earlier than any of our regional casinos want to do. I'd like to have more time.' Tribal leaders, however, feel they have done the due diligence required to open safely, such as mandating Foxwoods’ reopening is contingent on maintaining strict 25% occupancy. “We feel like we’ve put forward a plan to mitigate the risk,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribal nation, told NPR. “Don’t go with the perception of what casinos were. Let’s focus on what we’re doing, and you have to come and see it.” Meanwhile, nearby Mohegan Sun is implementing similar safety guidelines but also requiring table-game players to remain separated by plexiglass and dice to be disinfected between rolls. Find answers to mortgage, rent relief options due to coronavirus Update 5:48 a.m. EDT June 1: Homeowners and renters worried about mortgage and rent payments are not entirely alone. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, more than 8% of U.S. homeowners, or about 4.7 million households, have sought help through mortgage relief programs, representing a roughly 2,000% increase since early March. Meanwhile, the number of the nation’s 40 million renters paying late has doubled since the novel coronavirus pandemic began, The Washington Post reported. In fact, data analytics real estate firm Amherst estimates as many as 28 million renters, or nearly 23% of all U.S. households, are at risk of eviction or foreclosure as a direct result of the virus’ financial toll, the Post reported. Click here for answers, compiled by the Post, to common questions about moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures passed due to the pandemic. US coronavirus deaths top 104K, total cases near 1.8M Update 12:28 a.m. EDT June 1: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.7 million early Monday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,790,172 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 104,381 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 370,770 cases and 29,784 deaths and New Jersey with 160,445 cases and 11,698 deaths. Massachusetts, with 96,965 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,846, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 120,260. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 50,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 111,951 cases, resulting in 4,172 deaths • Pennsylvania: 76,129 cases, resulting in 5,555 deaths • Texas: 64,652 cases, resulting in 1,675 deaths • Michigan: 57,397 cases, resulting in 5,491 deaths • Florida: 56,163 cases, resulting in 2,451 deaths • Maryland: 52,778 cases, resulting in 2,532 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 42,000 cases; Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 34,000 cases; North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 21,000 cases; Arizona and Iowa each has confirmed at least 19,000 cases, followed by Wisconsin with 18,403, Alabama with 17,952 and Mississippi with 15,523; Rhode Island and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Missouri with 13,438 and South Carolina with 11,861; Utah, Kentucky, Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia and Nevada each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; New Mexico and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases, followed by Oklahoma with 6,418. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A California woman has filed a lawsuit against San Leandro and several of its police officers, alleging they stomped on her stomach – leaving behind a shoeprint – during a June 2019 traffic stop and caused a miscarriage. Emerald Black’s May 25 lawsuit alleges the incident took place June 7 of last year, when her fiancé was pulled over for bad registration tags. The couple was returning home from Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, where Black had been examined and told she was at high risk of miscarriage. “Ms. Black remained in the passenger seat while one of the officers spoke with her fiancé,” the lawsuit states. “Although yet-to-be-identified officers did not suspect her of any criminal wrongdoing and she was visibly pregnant and still in clothing from the hospital, officers commanded her to get out of the car.” Black told the officers she had just come from the hospital and asked to remain in the car, the suit states. They refused. “Yet-to-be-identified officers yanked Ms. Black from the car, stomped on her stomach, piled on top of her and arrested her. Furthermore, they refused to allow Ms. Black to put on shoes. “No criminal charges were filed against her.” Black had a miscarriage shortly after the incident, the lawsuit states. Black’s attorney, Patrick Buelna, told the Mercury News in San Jose that his client “had committed absolutely no crimes, nor was she even suspected of any.” “If officers were adamant about her exiting the car, they should have simply, and gently, assisted Ms. Black getting out of the car. Instead, they treated her like she had just committed a violent felony, tore her from the car, piled on top of her and stomped on her stomach,” Buelna said. “Ms. Black was devastated by the loss of her unborn child caused by the officers’ senseless and grotesque behavior.” Read Emerald Black’s lawsuit below.  San Leandro city manager Eric Engelbart told the newspaper that the city was aware of the allegations, which he said are without merit. “As a result, the city has denied a claim for damages and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit,” Engelbart said. “Given the pending litigation, the city is not able to offer additional statements regarding this matter at this time.” Black’s lawsuit was filed the same day that George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died while being restrained by police officers in Minneapolis. Floyd, 46, was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a store. Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin and three other officers were fired following Floyd’s death. Chauvin, who was seen in cellphone footage holding Floyd down with a knee on his neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd’s death has sparked protests against police brutality nationwide.
  • The remains of a Vietnam veteran who died of the coronavirus have been returned to his family after his ashes were lost in the mail for two months. Don Tyler, of Billings, died of COVID-19 on March 19 while visiting Spain, KTVQ reported. His wife, Christine Tyler decided to have his body cremated and flown home, but the late veteran’s ashes were lost at one of three U.S. Postal facilities in Chicago, the television station reported. Getting Don Tyler’s cremains out of Spain was complicated because the country was a flashpoint for the coronavirus. “He stayed at the mortuary for almost a month before he was moved to the fleet post office in Rota, Spain,” Christine Tyler told KTVQ. Then, the Air Force veteran’s remains were lost once they got to the United States. Montana’s two U.S. senators, Steve Daines and Jon Tester, were contacted and were able to track down Don Tyler’s remains. “I’m glad to have played a part in locating Mr. Tyler’s remains. My prayers go out to Christine and the rest of her family as they mourn the loss of Mr. Tyler,” Daines told MTN News. Christine Tyler said the cremains were located in a corner of a Postal Service facility in Chicago. “It’s rather some payback I think, he used to makes his sisters squat in the corner when they were naughty,” Tyler told KTVQ in a Facebook message. Christine Tyler said Daines called her Saturday. “I got a call from Sen. Daines and their office is going to handle all the arrangements for the burial honors on the 31st,” Tyler told KTVQ. “ One more thing off my plate.' In an email, Tester’s office wrote that “After a push from our office, the USPS located the urn and it’s on its way to Billings.” While Christine Tyler was glad to finally get her husband’s remains, she said that the loss should not have happened. “No veteran should be treated this way, number one,' Christine Tyler told KTVQ. 'No remains of anyone should be treated like this, number two. “And I am willing to do whatever it takes to see that that changes.”