OROVILLE, Calif. — A person who attended a religious service on Mother’s Day has tested positive for the coronavirus, possibly exposing it to more than 180 members of a congregation.

The church in Butte County, north of Sacramento, chose to open its doors despite rules banning gatherings of any size, county public health officials said in a statement Friday.

“Moving too quickly through the reopening process cancause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures,” the statement said.

Most people with the virus experience fever and cough for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority recover.

Venezuela sees its largest one-day virus increase

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela is reporting its biggest one-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic hit the South American nation.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said Saturday that the 45 new cases bring Venezuela’s total to 504 illnesses, with 10 resulting in death. Officials have reported a relatively low number of cases since the first were discovered in mid-March.

While Venezuela has reported relatively few cases so far, health experts say its hospitals are especially vulnerable to being overwhelmed. Venezuela is in a deep political and economic crisis that has left its health care system in a shamble.

President Nicolás Maduro ordered a nationwide lockdown shortly after the first cases, and he recently extended it until mid-June, hoping to contain the virus’ spread.

Officials say that 35 of Saturday’s cases involved people returning to Venezuela, including several on a flight from Peru.

Shanghai schools to reopen June 2

BEIJING — China on Sunday reported five new cases of coronavirus, as the commercial hub of Shanghai announced the restart of classes for kindergarteners, first-, second- and third-graders from June 2.

Also, airlines say they have seen a revival of flights.

Of the new cases, two were imported and three were domestic infections in the northeastern province of Jilin that has seen a small spike in cases of unknown origin.

In Shanghai, students retain the option of continuing to follow classes online rather than facing virus testing and social distancing measures to be imposed at schools. As in Beijing and other cities, Shanghai has already re-started classes for middle and high school students preparing for exams.

No new deaths have been reported for the past month, but Jilin added one fatality retroactively, bringing China’s total to 4,634 out of 82,947 cases reported since the outbreak was first detected in the central city of Wuhan late last year. Just 86 people remain hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 while another 519 people are in supervised isolation for showing signs of the virus or having tested positive without displaying symptoms.

China now has the capacity to perform 1.5 million nucleic acid tests per day, National Health Commission Guo Yanhong told reporters Saturday. The commission is placing a new emphasis on bio-safety, management of laboratories and training of personnel, Guo said.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic flights has returned to 60 percent of pre-outbreak levels, exceeding 10,000 per day for the first time since Feb. 1, the country’s civil aviation regulator reported. The number of flight hit 10,262 on Friday, up from a low of 3,931 flights on Feb. 13, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said. No passenger numbers were given.

With the summer holidays approaching, numerous tourist sites have re-opened, including Beijing’s storied Forbidden City palace complex and Shanghai’s Disneyland resort, although with strict social distancing measures still in place.

8 more sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive again

WASHINGTON — Eight more sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive a second time for the new coronavirus, raising to 13 the number who appear to have become infected again while serving aboard the sidelined aircraft carrier.

All the sailors had previously tested positive and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. Before they were allowed to go back to the ship, all had to test negative twice in a row, with the tests separated by at least a day or two.

On Saturday, a Navy official confirmed eight additional sailors had tested positive again. A day earlier the Navy had said in a statement that five had tested positive a second time. The Navy official was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Washington state death total reaches 1,000

SEATTLE — The number of deaths in Washington state because of the new coronavirus has reached 1,000.

The Washington State Department of Health on Saturday added eight more deaths and listed the total number of confirmed cases at 18,288.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was in the state on Jan. 20 when a man tested positive. He had been traveling in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak appears to have originated and had returned to the Seattle area five days earlier.

The Seattle area also saw the nation’s first deadly coronavirus cluster at a nursing home. The Life Care Center of Kirkland was linked to more than 40 deaths.

Atlanta zoo opens outdoor exhibits

ATLANTA — Outdoor exhibits along a one-way flow for visitors at Zoo Atlanta opened Saturday for the first time since mid-March, but indoor habitats, rides, playgrounds and other attractions remain closed because of COVID-19.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the zoo is limiting the number of visitors by requiring them to make reservations with specific times to enter the park.

Zoo employees had to answer a health survey and have their temperatures taken before returning to work.

Zoo Atlanta deputy director Hayley Murphy says disinfectant is used on the grounds every 60 to 90 minutes and every hour in restrooms.

Louisiana governor releases proposal to close budget gap

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to close a $1 billion budget gap caused by the coronavirus pandemic would avoid deep cuts to health care and education programs by relying on hundreds of millions in federal relief aid and a portion of the state’s “rainy day” fund.

Under the plan offered by Edwards, Louisiana would use nearly $1.2 billion in federal assistance approved by Congress to respond to the pandemic and about $90 million from the rainy day fund to fill most of the gaps in the state’s $30 billion-plus budget.

The recommendations would require only modest reductions in the financial year that begins July 1. The free college tuition program, K-12 schools and the social services department would be spared cuts entirely, though college campuses and health programs would take hits.

The Edwards administration submitted its reworked budget proposal to legislative leaders Friday night.

New Mexico begins to reopen

SANTA FE, N.M. — The loosening of some restrictions imposed on nonessential businesses by New Mexico’s governor to slow the coronavirus outbreak’s spread took effect Saturday, along with a new edict that people wear masks in public under most circumstances.

State officials reported six additional deaths from the outbreak and 185 additional COVID-19 cases.

The loosening of restrictions applied to most of the state but not in the northwest region, where much of the outbreak is centered. Retailers and many services, along with houses of worship, can reopen at limited capacity.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered that face masks be worn in public, except with exceptions that include eating, drinking and exercising.

Florida health care company reports thousands of unreliable COVID-19 tests

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The results of more than 35,000 COVID-19 tests ordered by a Florida-based health care system and performed by a third-party lab are unreliable, the company said Saturday.

According to AdventHealth, a faith-based health care system, the situation has created “unacceptable delays.” AdventHealth didn’t name the third-party lab but said it had terminated its contract with the lab.

The tests were a mixture of positive and negative results, and some had been at the lab for a while. About 25,000 of the unreliable tests were in the central Florida area.

AdventHealth president and CEO Terry Shaw said the company will notify patients who are impacted.

AdventHealth has 49 hospitals in nine states. Company spokeswoman Melanie Lawhorn said two of those states are joint venture systems and were not affected by the unreliable testing.

North Carolina judge blocks enforcement of governor’s rules regarding indoor religious services

GREENVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge on Saturday blocked the enforcement of restrictions that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered affecting indoor religious services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The order from Judge James C. Dever III came days after two Baptist churches, a minister and a Christian revival group filed a federal lawsuit seeking to immediately block enforcement of rules within the Democratic governor’s executive orders regarding religious services. Dever agreed with the plaintiffs, who argued that the limits violate their right to worship freely and treat churches differently from retailers and other secular activities.

Cooper’s latest order still largely prevented most faith organizations from holding indoor services attended by more than 10 people. His office had said the newest order stating permitted services may “take place outdoors unless impossible” carries only a narrow exception, such as when religious activities dictate they occur indoors with more people.

Cooper’s spokesman, Ford Porter, said the governor’s office disagrees with the decision but will not appeal.

Central California city defies governor, not enforcing restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO — More parks and hiking trails welcomed visitors again in California, and one city declared itself a “sanctuary” from the state’s stay-at-home order as diverse regions carved their own path toward reopening.

Officials in Atwater, a city of 30,000 in central California, unanimously agreed not to enforce a nearly 2-month-old order intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. That means local authorities won’t interfere with any business or church that decides to reopen ahead of state restrictions.

The declaration was a symbolic gesture of defiance against Gov. Gavin Newson’s order, and the city’s mayor cautioned that businesses were taking their own risks by reopening.

California is moving through the second phase of relaxing its restrictions. Businesses deemed lower risk have been gradually allowed to reopen, with retailers offering curbside pickup.

Turkey’s death rate lowest since early March

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s health ministry says 41 more people have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 4,096.

The death rate is the lowest registered since the end of March.

Minister Fahrettin Koca also tweeted Saturday that 1,610 new infections were confirmed, which brings the total number of confirmed cases 148,067.

Fifteen provinces, including Istanbul, are on a four-day lockdown. The country has instituted partial lockdowns to combat the novel coronavirus. People under 20 and above 65 have been stuck at home for weeks, though they are now allowed to leave for a few hours on allotted days.

Other easing measures have gone into effect, including the opening of malls, barbershops and hair salons.

The number of provinces under lockdown on weekends and national holidays has dropped from 31 to 15.

Sudan reports its highest one-day total of cases

CAIRO — Sudan’s Health Ministry has reported the country’s highest one-day tally of coronavirus infections, with 325 new COVID-19 patients and six deaths.

Saturday’s figures have taken the country’s tally to 2,289 confirmed cases, including 97 fatalities, the ministry said. A total of 222 were discharged after recovering.

Most of the country’s COVID-19 patients were in the capital, Khartoum where authorities imposed round-the-clock curfew in April to stem the spread of the virus.

Sudan’s health care system has been weakened by decades of war and sanctions. The country is still reeling from last year’s uprising that toppled longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Italian leader: “We must accept” risk of new outbreaks

ROME — Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte acknowledged on Saturday that the reopening of the Italian economy brings a risk of new outbreaks of the coronavirus but said ‘’we must accept it.’’

Conte told reporters during a press conference that the nationwide lockdown that began in early March had brought ‘’the expected results,’’ putting the country in a position to expand economic activity in the second phase of reopening.

Stores, bars, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and museums are among the business and cultural activities that can resume starting Monday. Gyms and swimming pools can reopen a week after. Travel between regions and into Italy from abroad will be permitted starting June 3.

Conte said the country must accept the risks and open before the availability of a vaccine. But an extensive monitoring system is in place and the government would intervene to close areas if there are new outbreaks.

New Orleans begins to reopen

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans began taking its first steps Saturday toward loosening two months of restrictions on businesses, restaurants and houses of worship.

The city is restricting buildings to 25% of capacity and requiring restaurants, nail salons and other businesses to only take customers by reservation. Malls and retail stores can reopen, but casinos, video poker, live entertainment and bars are still closed.

Officials are still urging people to stay home as much as possible and requiring people to wear masks in public unless exercising.

The coronavirus struck New Orleans so quickly in March there were worries the pandemic would overwhelm the state health system. Hospitalizations have been going down for nearly a month, but officials warned a spike in cases or deaths could lead to putting restrictions back in place.

Kroger offers workers bonuses after cutting hazard pay

CINCINNATI — Just days after announcing it would end hazard “hero” pay to front-line workers, Kroger says it will give them extra “thank you” bonuses.

That’s according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The move comes after an outcry from the grocery store’s union, which said workers are still risking their lives by coming to work.

The bonus is $400 for full-time workers and $200 for part-time workers, to be paid in two installments, Kroger announced. Hazard pay was a $2-per-hour supplement.

The Cincinnati-based grocer estimates the new bonus will provide $130 million to its workers.

United Food and Commercial Workers International estimates that nationwide at least 65 grocery workers have died at Kroger and other retailers after contracting the coronavirus.

Plane carrying coronavirus patient crashes, killing 4

RIO DE JANEIRO — A small plane carrying a doctor sick with COVID-19 crashed in the Brazilian state of Ceara on Friday night, killing all four people on the aircraft, according to online news site G1, citing the state’s firefighters.

The sick doctor was being transferred to an intensive care unit in his home state of Piaui. Two medical staffers treating him, as well as the pilot, were also on the plane.

The Ceara Fire Department and Sao Bernardo municipality, where the plane crashed, did not immediately respond to requests for information.

Italy records lowest number of deaths since early in lockdown

MILAN — Italy recorded the lowest number of deaths in a 24-hour period since early in its coronavirus lockdown at just 153.

That brings the total in the epidemic to 31,763, the civil protection agency reported on Saturday. The last time the death count was that low was March 9, the day after the nationwide lockdown was announced.

The number of confirmed new infections rose by 875 for a total of 224,760, while the number of currently infected dropped to just over 70,000.

Nepal confirms first virus death

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal reported its first confirmed coronavirus death.

The Health Ministry says a new mother fell sick and died Thursday at a hospital near Kathmandu. Hospital results showed she tested positive for the virus.

The 29-year-old woman had given birth on May 8 in Kathmandu and returned home. She was brought to a hospital after felling sick. Authorities have sealed the hospital, her village and are contacting people she met in the past few days.

Nepal has 281 confirmed coronavirus cases. A lockdown on March 24 has been extended several times and scheduled to end Sunday.

All flights and ground transport have been halted and people are prohibited from leaving their houses. All schools and most markets are closed.

Greece announces 2 new deaths

ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities have announced two new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 162.

There were nine new confirmed cases, with the total at 2,819.

The relaxation of quarantine measures continued Saturday, with 515 organized beaches opened across the country amid a heatwave with temperatures approaching 100 degrees. On Monday, people will be allowed to travel to all destinations in mainland Greece and the island of Crete.

Health authorities have approved opening bars, cafes and restaurants on May 25.

Spain’s PM wants to extend state of emergency

MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he’ll ask Parliament for what he hopes will be the last extension of the state of emergency.

Sánchez says he’ll seek the support of the legislature to support a one-month extension of the state of emergency that gives his government extraordinary powers to maintain the nation’s two-month lockdown. Previously, Sánchez received parliamentary support for two-week extensions to the state of emergency that took effect on March 14 and expires May 24.

Health authorities reported 102 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday, taking Spain’s death toll to 27,563. Over a month ago Spain, had more than 900 deaths a day before the lockdown measures for an outbreak that’s infected a confirmed 276,505.

Support for Sánchez’s minority, left-wing coalition government has been waning with each vote to extend the state of emergency. But the Socialist leader managed to salvage a key vote two weeks ago by striking last-minute deals with two smaller parties.

UN concerned about alleged abuse of teenager

TIRANA, Albania — The U.N. children’s agency says it is concerned about alleged police abuse of an Albanian teenager who apparently violated the coronavirus curfew.

UNICEF commented on the incident shown on social media of four police officers beating a 15-year-old boy on Friday in Tirana.

“Violence committed by those who are mandated to protect the law and order is truly disturbing,” says UNICEF in a statement, urging “an investigation and adequate steps by the responsible state structures.”

Police suspended the officer involved and is investigating the case.

“State police strongly denounce such acts which violate the police image among the citizens,” says State Police spokesman Gentian Mullai.

Albania has imposed a curfew since mid-March that continues in the capital of Tirana, which is the most virus-affected area. Individuals can go out for two hours with online permission and not after 5.30 p.m.

Albania is in total lockdown with all its borders shut. Next week it will relax rules for most of the businesses but not public transportion, sports, cultural and entertainment activities.

Albania has 933 confirmed virus cases and 31 deaths

Greece reopens public beaches with strict social distancing

ATHENS, Greece — Greece reopened organized public beaches under strict social distancing measures during a heat wave.

City dwellers flocked to the beaches while temperatures reached 98 degrees, hoping for a refreshing swim less than a week after full lockdown measures were lifted.

Easing beach restrictions is seen as key to salvaging the tourism industry over the summer in a country expected to have the worst recession in the European Union as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, swimming and sun loungers were permitted but no group sports or food operations. The government issued strict beach guidelines, with businesses facing fines of up 20,000 euros ($21,650) and a three-month closure for violations.

The number of beachgoers cannot exceed 40 people per 1,000 sq. meters (10,764 sq. feet) and two beach umbrellas must be 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. The distance between groups must be 4 meters (13 feet).

The government is considering opening bars and restaurants on May 25.

Officials discourage visiting tourists spots in UK

LONDON — Local officials and tourism boards are discouraging people from visiting popular tourist spots on the first weekend since lockdown rules for England were eased.

The County Councils Network, which represents 36 rural and coastal authorities in England, says its concerned “day trippers” from cities and towns could raise the infection rate in counties and overwhelm parks and beaches.

Spokesman Julian German says, “Our coastal and rural areas will be there when this is over.”

The British government relaxed lockdown rules on Wednesday to allow people in England to spend more time outdoors. They can play golf and tennis, sunbathe, go fishing and have a picnic. Meeting one other person is allowed with social distancing.

Rules for the rest of Britain — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland —haven’t been eased.

British researchers testing if dogs can smell virus

LONDON — British researchers are launching a trial to see whether dogs can use their noses to detect whether humans have COVID-19 before they show symptoms.

Britain’s health department said Saturday that disease control experts are looking into whether dogs which have been trained to sniff out certain cancers and malaria can potentially be used as a “non-invasive, early warning measure” to identify the coronavirus.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Durham University are collaborating with the charity Medical Detection Dogs. The trial is getting 500,000 pounds ($600,000) of British government funding.

Six dogs, including Labradors and Cocker Spaniels, have started basic training for the trial. In the initial phase, researchers plan to gather odor samples from both people infected with the virus and those who aren’t.

The health department says the dogs will then undergo thorough training using the samples and will only be deployed if backed by strong scientific evidence.

Restaurant owners protest in Milan

MILAN — Dozens of restaurant owners have protested outside of Milan’s main train station against the new rules for reopening as of Monday.

They say the rules remain unclear and that the entire sector — including suppliers and food producers — is suffering.

They protested in front of signs reading: ‘’I won’t open today to close tomorrow,’’ and calling for an abolition to taxes and more concrete help.

The government early Saturday posted rules for restaurants to reopen, including a distance of at least one-meter (three feet) between patrons, a requirement to take reservations and keep records for at least two weeks and a recommendation to use disposable or electronic menus that can be read on personal devices. It also recommends but does not require taking temperatures of diners as they arrive.

In Italy’s financial capital, 3,400 restaurants plan to open Monday along with 4,800 bars, 2,900 hairdressers, 2,200 clothing stores and 700 shoe shops.

Man treated with blood from virus patient has recovered

KARACHI, Pakistan — The first Pakistani COVID-19 patient who was treated at a hospital with blood donated from a man who survived the disease has fully recovered.

The patient was treated at a hospital in the country’s southern Sindh province.

Several COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing the plasma therapy after authorities allowed 350 patients to undergo such a clinical trial across the country.

A Pakistani doctor who treated the patient has urged those who defeated coronavirus to donate blood for the treatment that uses plasma from people who have recovered to help seriously ill patients.

The development comes as Pakistan reported 31 more deaths from coronavirus, raising virus-related fatalities to 834.

Pakistan has 38,799 confirmed cases and the increase in infections also coincides with a growing number of daily tests being carried out in this country of 220 million.

Italy begins easing travel restrictions

ROME — The Italian government is easing travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, allowing people to move freely inside the region where they live as of Monday, and between regions starting June 3.

The government decree announced early Saturday also permits international travel to and from Italy from June 3.

Italy imposed nationwide lockdown rules in early March after it became the first country outside Asia with a major outbreak of coronavirus. More than 31,000 people have died, leaving Italy with the highest death toll after the United States and Britain. But the government led by Premier Giuseppe Conte has gradually reopened the country as the rates of infections and deaths have fallen.

Social distancing rules are being implemented in the sectors of the economy that have reopened, including factories and some businesses. Schools remain closed and crowds are not permitted, though people will be allowed to attend Mass in churches with some restrictions starting next week.

India’s cases have surpassed China’s

NEW DELHI — India’s coronavirus infection cases have surpassed China’s with the health ministry on Saturday reporting the spike to 85,940 cases with 2,752 deaths.

In total, China has reported 4,633 deaths among 82,933 cases since the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.

The worst hit Indian states are Maharashtra with 29,100 cases, Tamil Nadu 10,108, Gujarat 9,931 and New Delhi 8,895.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is due to announce this weekend a decision whether to extend the 54-day-old lockdown. Early this month, it started gradually easing the restrictions to resume economic activity by allowing neighborhood shops to reopen and manufacturing and farming to resume. It also has resumed a limited train service across the country to help stranded migrant workers, students and tourists.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: