CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus Live Updates: Read The Latest About The COVID-19 Outbreak

Stay up to date as we cover the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects across the world.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

More than 4.1 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 282,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.) 

South Korea Donates 2 Million Face Masks To U.S. — 5/11/2020, 3:58 a.m. ET

South Korea’s foreign ministry said Sunday that it had donated 2 million face masks to the United States, in a show of “support for our ally.” The masks were set to arrive in America on Monday aboard a U.S. cargo flight, the ministry said, per South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Harry Harris, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, thanked the country on Twitter for the shipment. 

“Our alliance and friendship are as vital and ironclad today as it was 70 years ago,” Harris wrote.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Boris Johnson Sets Out ‘5 Alert’ Plan For Britain To Ease Lockdown — 5/10/20, 2:30 p.m.

U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has announced the country’s first changes to the coronavirus lockdown, which will come into force on Wednesday, but warned it would be “madness” to remove restrictions entirely this week.

Johnson said people will be permitted to do “unlimited” outdoor exercise, sunbathe, play sports with members of their household, and “drive to other destinations.” He added that from Monday people who cannot work from home will be “actively encouraged” to return to their jobs.

But in the pre-recorded speech to the nation on Sunday evening, the prime minister said that while some rules will be relaxed, fines for people who break the lockdown guidelines will be increased.

Johnson said some primary-age children could return to school by June 1 “at the earliest.” The “phased” reopening of shops could also be allowed at the start of next month. Under the P.M.’s plan, some of the hospitality industry and other public places could be allowed to reopen at the beginning of July.

A new alert system, similar to that used to monitor active terrorist threats, is being established to monitor the threat posed by the virus. The U.K. is currently at level four of the five-tier system, just below the “most critical” threat.

The number of registered deaths from COVID-19 currently stands at 33,021 across the country.

Read more here.

— Ned Simons

Mnuchin: Actual U.S. Employment Rate ‘Could Be’ Close To 25% — 5/10/20, 12:15 p.m.

The Labor Department reported this week that the unemployment rate has hit a record 14.7%, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the actual rate could be closer to 25%.

The latter figure would match the joblessness rate during the Great Depression, which is estimated to have peaked at 24.9% in 1933.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Mnuchin said the reported unemployment numbers would probably “get worse before they get better.”

“That’s why we’re very focused on rebuilding this economy and getting back to where it was,” he said. “This is no fault of American business. This no fault of American workers. This is the result of a virus.”

— Hayley Miller

White House Officials Killed Report On Reopening Country, Not The CDC ― 5/8/20, 7:07 p.m. ET

It was high-ranking White House officials who made the decision to shelf detailed reopening guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Associated Press reported Friday.

AP’s findings conflict with claims by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who said Friday that CDC Director Robert Redfield did not approve the documents. Emails obtained by the AP show that he did. 

AP also found that CDC officials repeatedly inquired why the White House hadn’t posted their guidance, which included “decision trees,” a type of flow chart that would establish benchmarks for when communities can resume business as usual. But the White House killed the documents for good on April 30. 

― Lydia O’Connor

U.S. Unemployment Rate Shoots Up To 14.7% in April — 5/8/20, 8:40 a.m. ET

Unemployment in the United States has reached its highest levels since the Great Depression, a horrifying milestone that may take the country years to recover from.

Some 20.5 million jobs disappeared in the worst monthly loss on record, meaning that nearly all of the job growth since the 2008 recession has been lost in one month.

The new coronavirus has wrought economic devastation with stunning speed, considering the unemployment rate was just 3.5% in February. During the Great Depression, that figure reached nearly 25%.

In New York, the epicenter of the public health crisis, a statewide pause on eviction proceedings was enacted so families struggling the most do not have to pay rent during the crisis. Across the country, Americans have turned to food banks as they go weeks without paychecks.

— Sara Boboltz

New York Extends Ban On Evictions Through August — 5/7/2020, 1:19 p.m. ET

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced some extra protections for renters in his state on Thursday. They include a moratorium on evictions due to nonpayment of rent until Aug. 20, which extends the ban 60 days past its original end date in June. It applies to both residential and commercial tenants.

“People literally are worried about being able to pay rent. You don’t work for two months and that rent bill keeps coming in,” he said at a press conference Thursday.

Cuomo added that he is banning any fees on late rent payments. Additionally, landlords must continue to let tenants dip into their security deposits to pay rent. 

“I hope it gives families a deep breath. Nothing can happen until Aug. 20,” he said, noting they will continue to assess the situation between now and then. 

― Lydia O’Connor

Nearly 3.2 Million More Americans Filed For Unemployment Last Week — 5/7/20, 9:02 a.m. ET

Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers in the U.S. applied for unemployment aid last week, bringing the total number of Americans who have filed unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic forced widespread business shutdowns to 33.5 million, The Associated Press reports.  

One in five Americans who had been in the workforce as of February have now been laid off.

The pandemic has caused the country’s worst economic downturn in decades. The Department of Labor’s April jobs report, which will be issued Friday, is expected to be the worst one in 60 years. Economists predict the U.S. unemployment rate will reach at least 16%, the highest since the Great Depression.

In February, the unemployment rate had dropped to 3.5%, a 50-year low.

Read more here.

— Marina Fang

UN Asks For More Money To Help Poor Countries Fight Virus — 5/7/2020, 6:20 a.m. ET

The U.N. has increased the amount of money it’s asking for to fight the pandemic in poorer countries, from $2 billion to $6.7 billion. Humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that while the peak of the pandemic isn’t expected to hit the world’s poorest countries for another three to six months, there is already evidence of job losses and disruption to food supply.

“Unless we take action now, we should be prepared for a significant rise in conflict, hunger and poverty,” he warned. “The specter of multiple famines looms.”

Since March 25, the U.N. has raised $1 billion to support efforts across 37 fragile countries, The Associated Press reports.

— Liza Hearon

For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here. 

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus