Coronavirus live updates: Oklahoma City bombing anniversary marked virtually; some states begin reopening; White House touts low death rates

Coronavirus live updates: Oklahoma City bombing anniversary marked virtually; some states begin reopening; White House touts low death rates

Mindful of social distancing, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was conducting a virtual ceremony Sunday to mark the 25th anniversary of one of the most deadly terror attacks in U.S. history – the bombing that killed 168 people.

“What breaks our hearts the most is ... we know we can’t assemble the large crowds that normally come to this remembrance ceremony," organizers said in a statement. The tribute will include 168 seconds of silence, and the names of 168 persons killed in the bombing will be read aloud.

COVID-19 claimed the lives of almost 1,900 Americans Saturday, raising the U.S. death toll above 39,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University's data dashboard.

The per-capita U.S. death rate for COVID-19 is lower than many countries in Europe — according to data cited by the White House — thanks in part to the nation's social distancing efforts, restrictions some states are in the process of reevaluating.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx presented data Saturday showing the U.S. is reporting 11.24 deaths per 100,000 people, a lower rate than Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, the UK and the Netherlands. She credited social distancing measures with keeping that rate low.

As unemployment soars and economic fallout increases, the White House has announced guidelines for states to start opening their economies. A handful of states are starting the process of relaxing restrictions as protests crop up across the country.

There are over 725,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and over 2.3 million worldwide.

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Texas, Florida among states making moves to ease restrictions

Texas will ease some of the most severe coronavirus restrictions on retail stores and parks this week. Gov. Greg Abbott said all stores in Texas will be able to operate retail-to-go beginning Friday. Retailers can deliver items to customer’s cars, homes or other locations.

Floridians began flocking to the ocean after Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light ot reopening some beaches. New York made moves to relax some restrictions by joining Connecticut and New Jersey to open up their marinas, boatyards and boat launches for recreational use.

President Donald Trump on Saturday said Vermont, Montana, Ohio, North Dakota and Idaho are among other states taking various steps toward a "safe, gradual and phased opening."

“We’re now beginning to see glimmers that the worst of COVID-19 may soon be behind us,” Abbott said Friday. “We have demonstrated that we can corral the coronavirus.”

– Jonathan Tilove, CD Davidson-Hiers

Broadway's Nick Cordero facing leg amputation

Broadway star Nick Cordero's wife said the actor was having his right leg amputated because of complications from coronavirus. Amanda Kloots shared the news to her Instagram Story on Saturday, telling followers blood thinners doctors were using to help with clotting in Cordero's leg were causing other issues.

"We took him off blood thinners but that again was going to cause some clotting in the right leg, so the right leg will be amputated today," she said. Later she said Cordero "made it out of surgery alive and is headed to his room to rest and recover."

Canadian-born Cordero had been admitted to the hospital for what was initially thought to be pneumonia, Kloots wrote on Instagram on April 1. An initial coronavirus test came up negative. She wrote at the time that Cordero had been placed in a medically induced coma to aid his breathing.

– Rasha Ali

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• Hospitals in the field: How the Army Corps of Engineers fights COVID-19 with tents.

• Staying Apart, Together. Sign up for our newsletter on coping with a world changed by coronavirus.

California's COVID-19 death rate alarmingly high for African Americans

California is seeing a disproportionately high number of coronavirus deaths among African Americans, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health on Saturday. African Americans make up just 6% of the state's population of nearly 40 million but account for 12% of the 1,072 coronavirus-related deaths. Latinos, who make up 39% of the state’s populace, account for 39% and 31% of deaths, officials said.

In addition to high death figures among African Americans, the department said that Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders are another group "of heightened concern," although the death count for the population is small and "therefore limits statistical comparison." Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders make up 0.3% of the population but have accounted for 2% of the state's total cases and 1% of the state's total deaths.

Whites, who account for 37% of the population, have had 30% of the cases and 36% of the deaths. Asians, who are 15% of the population, have had 13% of total cases but 16% of deaths.

– Julie Makinen, Desert Sun

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/19/coronavirus-live-updates-some-states-make-moves-toward-reopening/5149933002/

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