A day after the U.S. recorded 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, economists are estimating the Labor Department's weekly report will include an additional 2.4 million unemployment claims last week. That would push the total to 41 million Americans who have applied for unemployment in just 10 weeks.
Meanwhile, gyms have been ordered to remain closed in many states as other businesses gradually reopen, prompting gym owners in three states to file lawsuits in an effort to force officials to allow them to restart their businesses.
There are more than 5.7 million confirmed cases around the world, with nearly 1.7 million in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. More than 355,000 people have died worldwide.
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Here are a few of the major developments from Wednesday:The U.S. reached a grim milestone, with more than 100,000 coronavirus deaths over a span of less than four months. That's more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. These are some of them.Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon canceled six major rodeo events this summer because of the coronavirus, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world's largest outdoor rodeo.The National Women's Soccer League announced Wednesday it will return in June with a 25-game tournament.
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What we're talking about: The U.S. hit a grim milestone Wednesday, surpassing 100,000 coronavirus deaths. We reached out to experts in various fields to get an assessment of what the new normal may look like in the next 100 days.
Your daily dose of good news: A 103-year-old Massachusetts woman survived the coronavirus and celebrated with a Bud Light.
North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey gym owners file lawsuits to reopen
Gym owners in North Carolina, Michigan and New Jersey have filed lawsuits against state officials in the last two weeks for not allowing them to reopen meanwhile other businesses have started to reopen. The owners argue that it's unconstitutional and a violation of their rights.
“If reopening businesses safely is the goal, then all businesses — including gyms — should be afforded the same opportunity to do so," attorney Scott M. Erskine, who is representing a coalition of 120 gyms in Michigan, said in a press release
In North Carolina, a Facebook page was created to raise money for owners to retain an attorney, reports The News & Observer. A group of nine plaintiffs filed the lawsuit Wednesday, asking for a temporary restraining order that would prevent Gov. Roy Cooper from keeping gyms closed.
A gym in New Jersey that reopened last week in defiance of state orders also filed a lawsuit for similar reasons. The lawsuit says the owners took "extraordinary precautions" to implement "health protocols … sufficiently similar to those businesses that were allowed to remain open" when it reopened.
Wyoming cancels Cheyenne Frontier Days, other major rodeos this summer
Wyoming, the self-proclaimed Cowboy State, canceled six major rodeos this summer because of the coronavirus — including Cheyenne Frontier Days, Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wednesday.
“This reality is not an easy one,” Gordon said in a news conference. “In my soul, I know how important those events are to our communities and our citizens."
It's the first time Frontier Days has been canceled in its 124-year history. The world's largest outdoor rodeo draws more than 140,000 people annually. The other canceled rodeos are the Thermopolis Rendezvous, Cody Stampede, Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo in Casper, Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Laramie Jubilee Days.
Tom Hanks donates plasma in California to help fight coronavirus
Tom Hanks is "plasmatic." The "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" actor, 63, kept his spirits high while donating plasma at the University of California in Los Angeles to help fight against the coronavirus following his own recovery.
He documented his experience on Instagram Wednesday, sharing several photos of his left arm hooked up to a machine and a picture of the end result: Two bags full of plasma.
"Plasmatic on 3! 1,2,3 PLASMATIC!" he captioned the series of pictures.
In March, Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were hospitalized in Queensland, Australia after being diagnosed with coronavirus, becoming the first major celebrities to test positive. Hanks told NPR in April that he hopes the plasma will be beneficial toward vaccine research.
– Cydney Henderson
Unemployment claims poised to reach 41M in 10 weeks amid coronavirus
Between 2.1 million and 2.4 million Americans filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, economists estimate. At the high end, that would match the number who filed claims the week before, but it's down from the record 6.9 million who sought assistance in late March.
Still, if the latest tally matches that forecast, it will mean roughly 41 million Americans have applied for unemployment in just 10 weeks. The Labor Department will report the number of claims Thursday.
A record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April, according to the Labor Department, spiking the jobless rate to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression and four times the 3.5% unemployment rate reported in February which represented a 50-year low.
– Charisse Jones
US reaches grim milestone of 100K coronavirus deaths, most in the world
The U.S., the only country to record anywhere near 1 million cases of the coronavirus, reached another somber milestone Wednesday when it became the first to go over 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.
The path toward 100,000 – more than twice as many fatalities as the next nation on the list, the United Kingdom with more than 37,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data – has been grim and swift. As of the end of March, the U.S. had registered about 4,000 deaths. But the figure took a drastic upward turn in April, when the disease killed nearly 60,000 Americans, and has continued at a slower but still devastating pace. Some models estimate the death toll could approach 200,000 in early August.
Moreover, epidemiology experts generally agree the actual total of fatalities is larger than the tally reported by the highly respected Johns Hopkins University dashboard, considering there’s no certainty about when the first U.S. victim of COVID-19 died. In addition, deaths outside a hospital setting might not have been recorded as being due to the coronavirus, especially in the early stages of the outbreak.
– Jorge Ortiz
National Women's Soccer League to return in June with Utah tournament
Pro soccer returns to the U.S. next month when the National Women's Soccer League starts a 25-game tournament in a pair of stadiums in Utah that will be kept clear of fans to protect players from the coronavirus.
Players from the nine teams will train and live at two Salt Lake City-area hotels, the league announced Wednesday. All players will be tested for COVID-19 before leaving for Utah, and then will be regularly screened during their monthlong stay.
No fans will be allowed into the Zions Bank or Rio Tinto stadiums, two suburban Salt Lake City venues that will host the matches.
The tournament begins June 27, with games to be televised and streamed by CBS and its online and broadcast affiliates. It's a boon for a league that was looking for a new TV partner in the wake of the U.S. women's victory in the World Cup last year, and now finds itself on the front end of American leagues returning and offering live sports in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAYThe next 100 days: How coronavirus will continue to change our lives.100,000 Americans are dead. What have we learned about coronavirus?The coronavirus timeline:How COVID-19 has unfolded in the U.S.Traveling? These states are requiring self-quarantine.Are you paying more attention to your pet in quarantine? You're not alone.Mapping coronavirus: Tracking the U.S. outbreak, state by state.
Disney World plans July 11 reopening for Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World plans to reopen July 11, according to a presentation the company made to an economic recovery task force Wednesday.
The theme park has been closed since March 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and its reopening will follow its Florida rival, Universal Orlando, which is set to reopen June 5.
Disney is planning a phased reopening, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening July 11. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are set to reopen July 15.
Disney World visitors will undergo a temperature check and be required to wear a face mask. The park will provide masks to people who do not bring their own.
Social distancing markers will be visible throughout the park. Disney's "cast members" will enforce the rules, including the mask requirement, as part of a social-distancing squad. Park capacity will also be limited and not all attractions will reopen right away.
– Curtis Tate
Contributing: The Associated Press