National coronavirus updates: Experts say US would see virus rebound if social distancing is relaxed

The latest:There are more than 556,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 22,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 1.8 million with more than 114,000 deaths.The U.S. is set to reach its highest daily number of deaths on or around Sunday, according to models by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.The Pentagon executed its first project under the authorities granted by the Defense Production Act in order to produce more than 39 million N95 masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. NJ law school grads can temporarily practice law without passing bar, state SC rulesThe New Jersey Supreme Court is allowing 2020 law school graduates to temporarily practice law after the July 2020 bar exam was postponed to the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.According to an order signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, court rules will be relaxed so that 2020 graduates who haven’t completed the bar exam can practice under supervision of an attorney in good standing with a three-year license.”At this challenging time, the public has a continuing and growing need for legal services in many critical areas,” Rabner stated in the order Monday. “Newly admitted lawyers can help meet that need.”The graduates must apply to take the first exam scheduled after graduation, or qualify for an extension, and must also earn certification from the Supreme Court Committee on Character before they can practice.Under the order, 2020 law school graduates will be able to:enter appearances.draft legal documents and pleadings.provide legal services to clients.engage in negotiations and settlement discussions.provide other counsel consistent with the practice of law in New Jersey”The temporary ability to practice law will lapse if the graduate does not sit for the first bar exam scheduled after graduation, unless granted an extension, or if the graduate does not pass the exam,” the release said.France records lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths since early AprilFrance recorded 561 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, according to the nation’s Health Ministry, bringing the countrywide total to 14,393.This is the lowest recorded daily increase in deaths since the start of April. “We are seeing the start of a very high plateau,” the French Health Ministry said in a statement.While the outbreak continues to leave the country “hard hit,” containment efforts, including drastic social distancing efforts, are starting to have an impact, the Health Ministry said.“Containment measures … physical distancing of a minimum of one meter, social distancing and a drastic reduction in contact are producing their first effects,” the statement said. “We must remain vigilant because hospital and intensive care services are taking care of a very large number of patients. We must not relax our efforts and continue to reduce the number of contacts every day to curb the transmission of the virus all together.”There are 6,845 patients in intensive care, a drop of 38 overall, the Health Ministry said.Walt Disney World to furlough 43,000 employees amid coronavirusWalt Disney World will temporarily furlough 43,000 employees at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando effective April 19, President of Unite Here Union Eric Clinton said in a video address on Sunday. Clinton is president of one of six unions in the Service Trades Council Union that represents 43,000 cast members at Walt Disney World. “This is a decision that the union doesn’t like, however, it’s within the company’s right to lay-off and furlough employees in this situation,” he said.“Disney has reached agreements with several unions for hourly cast members that will maintain members’ health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19,” a statement from a Disney spokesperson reads.Clinton explained that the union secured a historic agreement that “provides healthcare for 12 months to any Disney cast member that currently has healthcare at no cost to them at all.”“These agreements provide an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our cast and members navigate these unprecedented times,” the statement from Disney reads. US would see virus rebound if social distancing is relaxed, expert saysDr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said Sunday on CBS that if the social distancing measures and closures were relaxed May 1, the country would see a rebound of coronavirus cases.”We don’t think the capability in the states exists yet to deal with that volume of cases and so by July or August we could be back in the same situation we are in now” if there was premature opening of the country, Murray said. Murray noted states on the West Coast that are farther along in the pandemic will still need “weeks of closures” beyond the peak for the opportunity to conduct proper testing and contact tracing. Citing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statements on CNN that some states would open up in mid-May, relaxing closures and social distancing measures on a rolling basis poses a new set of questions that have not been addressed, Murray said. “Of course there’s a big issue if states are on different timings of their epidemics, which we know is the case. How are they going to control importation from other states into their state,” Murray added.States try new approaches to religious gatherings on EasterEaster Sunday is dawning across America like none before it.States are trying new approaches to religious gatherings as the coronavirus compels social distancing to fight its spread. Many congregations are celebrating online, but others have vowed to continue to gather, despite efforts to get them to stop.All 50 states are under a federal disaster declaration for the first time in U.S. history.On Saturday night, the Justice Department said it will take action this week against regulations on religious institutions, as states and local governments try to curtail gatherings.Various courts are already hearing cases about the regulations, but the department said it may file lawsuits alongside churches.Updates from states reducing religious gatherings• In Kentucky, authorities said they will record license plates of those who show up to any gatherings and hand that information over to the local health department. That will require those people to stay quarantined for 14 days, Gov. Andy Beshear said.• In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state amended a public health order banning mass gatherings to include houses of worship.• The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, tried to stop a church from holding a drive-in Easter service, even though drive-in liquor stores are still permitted under the state’s stay-at-home policy. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Saturday that overturned the effort.Efforts to contain virus continue across statesPresident Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration Saturday for Wyoming, the final state to get one. It makes federal funds available to supplement state and local efforts to deal with the pandemic.A state declaration of disaster also focuses the entire state government on the emergency and heightens awareness. Declarations also allow governors to sidestep certain laws and regulations.Most emergency responses in the U.S. come from the bottom up. They typically filter from local authorities to state governments to the federal government.In addition to the states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico have also been declared disasters.States are feeling the impact of the pandemic in many ways.• Illinois announced its second highest day of deaths Saturday, with 1,293 new reported cases and 81 additional deaths.• In South Florida, families lined up for up to five hours before food distribution even began outside Magic City Casino, according to CNN affiliate WPLG.• And in New Jersey, the state with the second highest number of coronavirus cases, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is asking all businesses — even those deemed essential — to shut down for “Be Still Mondays.” The goal is to further limit the spread of the virus as the death toll rises in the state and, according to Baraka, “We can get everything else back. What we can’t get back is people’s lives.”Pushes to reopen and the risksTrump said Saturday night that he hopes to make a decision “fairly soon” on when to reopen the country currently shutdown by the coronavirus pandemic. He said he will set up a council to examine the issue and will base his decision on “facts” and “instinct.”Two weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to open the country by Easter, but Friday he said he wouldn’t do anything until he knew the country was healthy again.Internally, officials are pushing to reopen the country by next month, with specific discussions underway about May 1, a person familiar with the talks told CNN.But government projections obtained by the New York Times show that if stay at home orders were lifted after a month, there would be a bump in demand for ventilators and the U.S. death toll could see a dramatic increase to 200,000, the Times reported.The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that if the country keeps social distancing measures until the end of May, about 61,500 Americans will lose their lives to the virus by August.”If we were to stop at the national level May 1, we’re seeing (in models) a return to almost where we are now sometime in July, so a rebound,” IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray told CNN. “There’s a very substantial risk of rebound if we don’t wait to the point where most transmission is near zero in each state.”

The latest:

  • There are more than 556,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 22,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins.
  • Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 1.8 million with more than 114,000 deaths.
  • The U.S. is set to reach its highest daily number of deaths on or around Sunday, according to models by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.
  • The Pentagon executed its first project under the authorities granted by the Defense Production Act in order to produce more than 39 million N95 masks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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NJ law school grads can temporarily practice law without passing bar, state SC rules

The New Jersey Supreme Court is allowing 2020 law school graduates to temporarily practice law after the July 2020 bar exam was postponed to the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to an order signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, court rules will be relaxed so that 2020 graduates who haven’t completed the bar exam can practice under supervision of an attorney in good standing with a three-year license.

“At this challenging time, the public has a continuing and growing need for legal services in many critical areas,” Rabner stated in the order Monday. “Newly admitted lawyers can help meet that need.”

The graduates must apply to take the first exam scheduled after graduation, or qualify for an extension, and must also earn certification from the Supreme Court Committee on Character before they can practice.

Under the order, 2020 law school graduates will be able to:

  • enter appearances.
  • draft legal documents and pleadings.
  • provide legal services to clients.
  • engage in negotiations and settlement discussions.
  • provide other counsel consistent with the practice of law in New Jersey

“The temporary ability to practice law will lapse if the graduate does not sit for the first bar exam scheduled after graduation, unless granted an extension, or if the graduate does not pass the exam,” the release said.

France records lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths since early April

France recorded 561 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, according to the nation’s Health Ministry, bringing the countrywide total to 14,393.

This is the lowest recorded daily increase in deaths since the start of April.

“We are seeing the start of a very high plateau,” the French Health Ministry said in a statement.

While the outbreak continues to leave the country “hard hit,” containment efforts, including drastic social distancing efforts, are starting to have an impact, the Health Ministry said.

“Containment measures … physical distancing of a minimum of one meter, social distancing and a drastic reduction in contact are producing their first effects,” the statement said. “We must remain vigilant because hospital and intensive care services are taking care of a very large number of patients. We must not relax our efforts and continue to reduce the number of contacts every day to curb the transmission of the virus all together.”

There are 6,845 patients in intensive care, a drop of 38 overall, the Health Ministry said.

Walt Disney World to furlough 43,000 employees amid coronavirus

Walt Disney World will temporarily furlough 43,000 employees at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando effective April 19, President of Unite Here Union Eric Clinton said in a video address on Sunday.

Clinton is president of one of six unions in the Service Trades Council Union that represents 43,000 cast members at Walt Disney World.

“This is a decision that the union doesn’t like, however, it’s within the company’s right to lay-off and furlough employees in this situation,” he said.

“Disney has reached agreements with several unions for hourly cast members that will maintain members’ health insurance benefits coverage, educational support and additional employee assistance programs during a temporary furlough effective April 19,” a statement from a Disney spokesperson reads.

Clinton explained that the union secured a historic agreement that “provides healthcare for 12 months to any Disney cast member that currently has healthcare at no cost to them at all.”

“These agreements provide an easier return to work when our community recovers from the impact of COVID-19. We are grateful to have worked together in good faith to help our cast and members navigate these unprecedented times,” the statement from Disney reads.

US would see virus rebound if social distancing is relaxed, expert says

Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said Sunday on CBS that if the social distancing measures and closures were relaxed May 1, the country would see a rebound of coronavirus cases.

“We don’t think the capability in the states exists yet to deal with that volume of cases and so by July or August we could be back in the same situation we are in now” if there was premature opening of the country, Murray said.

Murray noted states on the West Coast that are farther along in the pandemic will still need “weeks of closures” beyond the peak for the opportunity to conduct proper testing and contact tracing.

Citing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statements on CNN that some states would open up in mid-May, relaxing closures and social distancing measures on a rolling basis poses a new set of questions that have not been addressed, Murray said.

“Of course there’s a big issue if states are on different timings of their epidemics, which we know is the case. How are they going to control importation from other states into their state,” Murray added.

States try new approaches to religious gatherings on Easter

Easter Sunday is dawning across America like none before it.

States are trying new approaches to religious gatherings as the coronavirus compels social distancing to fight its spread. Many congregations are celebrating online, but others have vowed to continue to gather, despite efforts to get them to stop.

All 50 states are under a federal disaster declaration for the first time in U.S. history.

On Saturday night, the Justice Department said it will take action this week against regulations on religious institutions, as states and local governments try to curtail gatherings.

Various courts are already hearing cases about the regulations, but the department said it may file lawsuits alongside churches.

Updates from states reducing religious gatherings

• In Kentucky, authorities said they will record license plates of those who show up to any gatherings and hand that information over to the local health department. That will require those people to stay quarantined for 14 days, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

• In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state amended a public health order banning mass gatherings to include houses of worship.

• The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, tried to stop a church from holding a drive-in Easter service, even though drive-in liquor stores are still permitted under the state’s stay-at-home policy. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Saturday that overturned the effort.

Efforts to contain virus continue across states

President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration Saturday for Wyoming, the final state to get one. It makes federal funds available to supplement state and local efforts to deal with the pandemic.

A state declaration of disaster also focuses the entire state government on the emergency and heightens awareness. Declarations also allow governors to sidestep certain laws and regulations.

Most emergency responses in the U.S. come from the bottom up. They typically filter from local authorities to state governments to the federal government.

In addition to the states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico have also been declared disasters.

States are feeling the impact of the pandemic in many ways.

• Illinois announced its second highest day of deaths Saturday, with 1,293 new reported cases and 81 additional deaths.

• In South Florida, families lined up for up to five hours before food distribution even began outside Magic City Casino, according to CNN affiliate WPLG.

• And in New Jersey, the state with the second highest number of coronavirus cases, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is asking all businesses — even those deemed essential — to shut down for “Be Still Mondays.” The goal is to further limit the spread of the virus as the death toll rises in the state and, according to Baraka, “We can get everything else back. What we can’t get back is people’s lives.”

Pushes to reopen and the risks

Trump said Saturday night that he hopes to make a decision “fairly soon” on when to reopen the country currently shutdown by the coronavirus pandemic. He said he will set up a council to examine the issue and will base his decision on “facts” and “instinct.”

Two weeks ago, Trump said he wanted to open the country by Easter, but Friday he said he wouldn’t do anything until he knew the country was healthy again.

Internally, officials are pushing to reopen the country by next month, with specific discussions underway about May 1, a person familiar with the talks told CNN.

But government projections obtained by the New York Times show that if stay at home orders were lifted after a month, there would be a bump in demand for ventilators and the U.S. death toll could see a dramatic increase to 200,000, the Times reported.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that if the country keeps social distancing measures until the end of May, about 61,500 Americans will lose their lives to the virus by August.

“If we were to stop at the national level May 1, we’re seeing (in models) a return to almost where we are now sometime in July, so a rebound,” IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray told CNN. “There’s a very substantial risk of rebound if we don’t wait to the point where most transmission is near zero in each state.”