LIVE BLOG: Coronavirus updates from May 2 - May 16

Below are archived coronavirus blog updates from May 2, 2020 through May 16, 2020. For the latest coronavirus live blog updates from News 12, visit: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 
May 16, 11 p.m. School buildings are closed and graduation ceremonies have been canceled, but America came together Saturday night to celebrate the class of 2020 with a star-studded special, #GraduateTogether. It aired on several networks at 8 p.m and also streamed at 11 p.m. on News 12's Facebook pages, featuring appearances by Alicia Keys, the Jonas Brothers, LeBron James and more.


May 16, 2 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy says he's signing an executive order to allow chartered boat services, including fishing and watercraft rentals, to resume starting Sunday morning. He says social distancing and sanitation procedures need to be followed, and charter firms will need to preserve customer logs.
May 16, 12 p.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at Saturday's press briefing that horse racing tracks across the state and Watkins Glen International Racetrack will be allowed to open without fans as of June 1. The state will issue guidance on how they can open safely reopen in the coming week. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says that includes the racetrack at Belmont.
May 16, 7:15 a.m. 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.
May 15, 9:45 p.m. President Trump took to Twitter Friday night and commented on a News 12 reporter's confrontation with protesters, tweeting, "‘FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL,'" echoing comments made by the protesters at the rally. MORE COVERAGE: President Trump tweets about Kevin Vesey's confrontation with protesters, says 'FAKE NEWS IS NOT ESSENTIAL' 
May 15, 9:30 p.m. Democrats have powered a massive $3 trillion coronavirus response bill through the House, over Republican opposition. The 1,815-page measure is aimed at propping up a U.S. economy in free fall and a health care system overwhelmed by a pandemic that’s still ravaging the country. The measure has no chance of passing the GOP-controlled Senate and has already drawn a White House veto threat.
May 15, 7 p.m. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed troubled department store chain J.C. Penney into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth major retailer to meet that fate. Texas-based Penney said late Friday it will be reducing its store count and will be disclosing details and timing in the next few weeks. 
May 15, 1 p.m. President Donald Trump vowed to use “every plane, truck and soldier” to distribute COVID-19 vaccines he hopes will be ready by year's end, as he formally unveiled an ambitious project dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.” The goal is to make millions of doses before scientists know which if any will really work. 

May 15, 12:16 p.m. Gov. Cuomo says beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE will be open Memorial Day weekend with capacity restrictions and precautionary measures. 
May 15, 10:35 a.m. U.S. layoffs soared in March to a record 11.4 million after state and local governments closed restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other nonessential businesses in response to the intensifying COVID-19 outbreak. The Labor Department said Friday that job openings plunged and hiring also fell sharply, though those changes weren't nearly as dramatic as layoffs, which rose more than six-fold. The number of available jobs fell nearly 12%, to 6.2 million. The number of hires declined 13%, to 5.2 million. 
May 15, 8:30 a.m. U.S. retail sales tumbled 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened stores across the country and weighed down a sinking economy.
May 14, 7:15 p.m. The leader of a union representing California state workers says the governor will propose a 10% pay cut to help cover a projected $54.3 billion budget deficit.
May 14, 6:45 p.m. President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club will partially reopen to members this weekend as South Florida slowly reopens.
May 14, 1:11 p.m. NJ Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the Jersey Shore will be open Memorial Day weekend, with restrictions.
May 14, 8:30 a.m. Nearly 3 million workers sought jobless aid last week, raising total layoffs since virus struck to 36 million, Labor Department says.
May 14, 6 a.m. All upcoming LA Phil-presented concerts for the 2020 Hollywood Bowl season. This includes concerts scheduled from June 6 through Sept. 26.

May 13, 10 p.m.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers' stay-at-home restrictions. The high court ruled for Republicans in a challenge to an extension issued by the governor's health secretary, arguing she exceeded her authority.
May 13: 7 p.m. U.S. states are beginning to restart their economies after months of paralyzing coronavirus lockdowns, but it could take weeks until it becomes clear whether those reopenings will cause a spike in COVID-19 cases, experts said Wednesday.
May 13: 5 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy says that starting next week nonessential businesses can reopen for curbside pickup and nonessential construction projects can resume statewide.
May 13: 1:15 p.m. Gov Phil Murphy announces 1,028 new cases of coronavirus, 197 additional deaths in New Jersey.
May 13: 12:30 p.m. 'Make sure it's in the final bill.' - Gov. Cuomo says SALT repeal is 'single best piece of action' in proposed $3 trillion aid package.
May 13, 9 a.m. Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's onetime presidential campaign chairman who was convicted as part of the special counsel's Russia investigation, has been released from federal prison to serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus, his lawyer said.
May 12, 5:45 p.m. After being shuttered for almost 2 months, Universal Orlando plans to allow the reopening of some restaurants and shops on a limited basis in the theme park resort's entertainment district this week.
May 12, 3:06 p.m. The Broadway League announced Tuesday that all NYC theaters will remain closed through at least Sept. 6.
May 12, 3:02 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package, providing nearly $1 trillion for states and cities, “hazard pay” for essential workers and a new round of cash payments to individuals.
May 12, 3 p.m. During a Senate panel hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that there would be 'suffering and death' if the United States reopens too soon.  The comments come as President Trump has stressed the importance of restarting the economy. 
May 12, 9 a.m. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says he is hospitalized with the coronavirus. Peskov, a key aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday, “Yes, I’ve gotten sick. I’m being treated.”
May 11, 10:45 p.m., Gov. Ned Lamont says hair salons can offer blow dry services when they reopen on May 20, despite originally saying it would not be permitted.
May 11, 8 p.m. A star-studded telethon that aired on News 12 raised funds for COVID-19 relief. Hosted by Tina Fey, stars including Robert DeNiro, Mariah Carey, Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez and more took part, all to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation.
May 11, 4:10 p.m. MLB owners have approved a plan for the baseball season to start in July, according to an Associated Press source. The proposal will be made to the MLB Players Association.
May 11, 12:15 p.m. New York Gov. Cuomo said at a press conference Monday that some regions of the state are close to meeting all the criteria to begin a phased reopening when the NY on PAUSE order expires on Friday. He announced "regional control rooms" to monitor the progress as parts of the state begin to roll back restrictions.
May 11, 5 a.m. Visitors wearing face masks streamed into Shanghai Disneyland as China’s most prominent theme park reopened Monday in a new step toward rolling back anti-coronavirus controls that shut down its economy. 
May 10, 6:35 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence was self-isolating Sunday after an aide tested positive for the coronavirus last week, but he planned to return to the White House on Monday.
May 10, 6:30 p.m. Top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci will testify before a Senate panel hearing Tuesday by video conference as he self-quarantines. It comes after Fauci and two other members of the White House coronavirus task force came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. They are undergoing self-quarantine as a precaution. The Senate panel was to hear from Fauci and three other members of the coronavirus task force in a hearing focused on how to safely get people back to work and school.
May 10, 12:30 p.m. The New York state Dept. of Health is investigating up to 85 cases of an emerging illness affecting children that's believed to be linked to COVID-19 with 3 confirmed deaths; 2 additional deaths are under investigation, Gov. Cuomo says.
May 10, 12:25 p.m. Gov. Cuomo announced new COVID-19 policies for nursing homes, including twice-weekly diagnostic tests for all staffers and a directive that facilities must transfer patients if they can't provide appropriate care.
 May 10, 10:30 a.m. New York City will ramp up its force of 'social distancing ambassadors' to increase outreach and distribute face coverings in the community, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Sunday morning. The city has 1,000 ambassadors already; by next weekend, that number will increase to 2,300 according to the mayor.
May 10, 7 a.m. Three members of the White House coronavirus task force, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have placed themselves in quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Also quarantining are the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn.
May 9, 8 p.m. Rhode Island is allowing some retail shops to reopen to small numbers of customers as the state begins to lift restrictions mean to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Gov. Gina Raimondo said the state is taking “baby steps” out of caution and that more types of businesses could resume operations in coming weeks. 
May 9, 7:15 p.m. Former President Barack Obama harshly criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” during a conversation with ex-members of his administration, according to a recording obtained by Yahoo News. Obama’s comments Friday came during a call with 3,000 people who served in his administration. He said combating the virus would have been bad even for the best of governments, but it’s been “an absolute chaotic disaster” when the mindset of “what’s in it for me” infiltrates government.
May 9, 1:30 p.m. New Jersey reported 166 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the state's total death toll past 9,000. A total of 9,116 New Jerseyans have died from the virus.
 May 9, 12 p.m. New York is partnering with Northwell Health to open 24 coronavirus testing sites at churches to help expand testing in predominantly minority communities, Gov. Cuomo says.
May 9, 11:45 a.m. Calling the development 'truly disturbing,' Gov. Cuomo says 3 young New Yorkers have died from a COVID-linked illness affecting children. He says the state is helping to develop criteria for identifying and responding to the syndrome at CDC's request. The third death to be reported is a teen from Suffolk County.
May 9, 8:30 a.m. New York residents who were sexually abused as children now have until January to sue those responsible. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday extended the Child Victims Act filing deadline to make up for curtailed court services during the coronavirus pandemic. The one-year window for pursuing legal action was scheduled to close in mid-August.
May 8, 9:23 p.m. Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy passed away due to complications from the coronavirus. He was 75.
May 8, 8 p.m. A decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press. The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the guidance document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked for approval.
May 8, 4:15 p.m. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano tested positive for antibodies linked to coronavirus and may have had the virus, his spokesperson says.
May 8, 12:17 p.m. Two children in New York have died from a serious inflammatory disease that may be related to coronavirus. Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler says it's too early to determine if the syndrome is a post-viral syndrome caused by COVID-19. Health officials say it is called Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, a rare syndrome showing up in a small number of children roughly two to six weeks after they were diagnosed with coronavirus.
May 8, 8:36 a.m. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has soared to 14.7%, the highest rate since the Great Depression.  20.5 million jobs were lost in April, according to the monthly government report.  
May 8, 6 a.m. Walt Disney World plans to reopen its restaurant and entertainment area later this month, though the theme parks and hotels will remain closed. Disney Springs vice president Matt Simon posted Thursday on the official Disney Parks Blog that the area will reopen May 20 with enhanced safety measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
May 7, 6:39 p.m. A News 12 investigation shows that some restaurants in Connecticut are openly violating COVID-19 guidelines put in place by Gov. Ned Lamont to stop the spread of the virus.
May 7, 5:32 p.m. Gov. Ned Lamont outlined the criteria needed to start phase one of reopening in Connecticut on May 20.
May 7, 1 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is extending the moratorium period on evictions in New York until Aug. 20.
May 7, 8:30 a.m. Nearly 3.2 million American workers sought jobless aid last week, raising total layoffs since virus struck to 33 million.
May 6, 7:21 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy took questions from News 12 New Jersey viewers about the COVID-19 outbreak in New Jersey.
May 6, 1:08 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order to extend New Jersey's public health emergency by 30 days.
May 6, 12:43 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo appoints Eric Schmidt, a former CEO and executive chairman of Google, to chair the 15-member blue-ribbon commission on reopening NY.
May 6, 6 a.m. The subways in New York City are back up and running after being shut down overnight for an intensive cleaning. The MTA says it is the first time it has done a shutdown like this in 116 years. The overnight shutdowns will now be a daily occurrence to disinfect trains between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
May 5, 7:30 p.m. federal judge has restored New York's Democratic presidential primary for June 23, saying that eliminating it was unconstitutional.
May 5, 4:56 p.m. Officials say that Connecticut summer camps will be allowed to open June 29 under strict health guidelines
May 5, 1:30 p.m. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a three-part action plan to support 311 amid the COVID-19 crisis. The mayor says 285 trained new call-takers will be brought on, and four new call centers will be built. They will also incorporate FDNY and NYPD leadership.
May 5, 1:11 p.m. Schools in Connecticut are to remain closed until the end of the academic school year, Gov. Ned Lamont announced.
May 5, 12 p.m. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York state is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on a plan to take advantage of technology to reimagine education.
May 5, 9:30 a.m. New York state reports more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities.
May 4, 8:15 p.m. The Senate convenes for the first time since March.
May 4, 2:35 p.m. Westchester County will start testing everyone in nursing homes for COVID-19 after getting the state's approval, Westchester County Executive George Latimer says.
May 4, 2:28 p.m. Gov. Phil Murphy has announced all New Jersey schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year.
May 3, 12:45 p.m. Govs. Cuomo, Lamont, Murphy and other Northeast governors announced a 'regional purchasing consortium' to jointly procure PPE, COVID-19 tests and other supplies.
May 3, 10:45 a.m. Faced with 19,000 coronavirus deaths and counting, the nation’s nursing homes are pushing back against a potential flood of lawsuits with a sweeping lobbying effort to get states to grant them emergency protection from claims of inadequate care, the Associated Press reports. At least 15 states have enacted laws or governors’ orders that explicitly or apparently provide nursing homes and long-term care facilities some protection from lawsuits arising from the crisis. And in New York, which leads the nation in deaths in such facilities, a lobbying group wrote the first draft of a measure that apparently makes it the only state with specific protection from both civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution.
May 3, 10 a.m. "We have to stick with what's working," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Sunday morning. He says the distancing measures that New York has implemented have helped slow the spread of the virus and must be continued as the weather warms. He adds that the NYPD has ramped up enforcement.
May 2, 11:10 a.m. At a press briefing Saturday, Gov. Cuomo gave updated preliminary results of community antibody testing across New York. So far more than 15,000 people have been tested, the largest survey of its kind in the country, Cuomo says. The updated rate of infection detected is at 12.3%, down slightly from previous results with smaller sample size. It's closer to 20% among New York City residents. 
May 2, 10:45 a.m. The NYPD says it has dispatched 1,000 officers this weekend to enforce social distancing and a ban on congregating in public spaces as warmer weather hits the city. Officers set out on foot, bicycles and cars to break up crowds and remind those enjoying the sunshine of public health restrictions requiring they keep 6 feet away from others. 
May 2, 9 a.m. New Jersey reopened state parks and golf courses Saturday as the state slowly moves to relax some guidelines set due to the coronavirus pandemic. State parks are open for activities like running, biking and horseback riding. Picnic areas, playgrounds and restrooms remain closed.