National coronavirus updates: Global death toll from COVID-19 passes 400,000

The latest:There have been more than 1.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.The U.S. death toll has surpassed 109,000 people, according to Hopkins.New World Health Organization guidance recommends that fabric masks — which can be homemade — be at least three layers.The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 400,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that health experts say is still an undercount because many who died were not tested for the virus.The milestone was reached Sunday, a day after the Brazilian government stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections. Critics called the move an extraordinary attempt to hide the true toll of the disease rampaging through Latin America’s largest nation.Brazil’s last official numbers recorded over 34,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest toll in the world behind the U.S. and Britain.Worldwide, at least 6.9 million people have been infected by the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has seen nearly 110,000 confirmed virus-related deaths and Europe has recorded over 175,000 since the virus emerged in China late last year.Pope Francis warns ‘Be careful’ after lockdowns liftedPope Francis is cautioning people in countries emerging from coronavirus lockdowns to keep following authorities’ rules for COVID-19 containment.“Be careful, don’t cry victory, don’t cry victory too soon,” he said Sunday.Italy’s gradual easing of stay-at-home rules now allows the public to gather in St. Peter’s Square on Sundays for the pope’s noon blessing, and Francis was clearly delighted to see several hundred people gathered in the square below his window, standing safely either individually or as families.Francis told the faithful to “follow the rules, they are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead” again.“Thank God, we’re slowly coming out” from the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.But in his prepared remarks, the Argentine-born pontiff has also expressed dismay that the virus is still claiming many lives, especially in Latin America. In his off-the-cuff comments to the people in the square, he didn’t name any country, but said that two days earlier, in one day, a death of an infected person was registered every minute.As virus ebbs, New York loosens restrictions on houses of worshipNew York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is moving faster than expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, allowing the state to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in houses of worship.Churches, temples, mosques and other religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25% of their usual capacity once the region they are in reaches phase two of the state’s reopening plan.“We’re going to open the valve more then we originally anticipated because the metrics are so good,” Cuomo said.All of the state except for New York City is in phase two of loosening restrictions, or will enter it within a few days. That means larger religious gatherings can begin in most places immediately. New York City starts the first phase Monday.

The latest:

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  • There have been more than 1.9 million coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • The U.S. death toll has surpassed 109,000 people, according to Hopkins.
  • New World Health Organization guidance recommends that fabric masks — which can be homemade — be at least three layers.

The worldwide death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 400,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that health experts say is still an undercount because many who died were not tested for the virus.

The milestone was reached Sunday, a day after the Brazilian government stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections. Critics called the move an extraordinary attempt to hide the true toll of the disease rampaging through Latin America’s largest nation.

Brazil’s last official numbers recorded over 34,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest toll in the world behind the U.S. and Britain.

Worldwide, at least 6.9 million people have been infected by the virus, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has seen nearly 110,000 confirmed virus-related deaths and Europe has recorded over 175,000 since the virus emerged in China late last year.

Pope Francis warns ‘Be careful’ after lockdowns lifted

Pope Francis is cautioning people in countries emerging from coronavirus lockdowns to keep following authorities’ rules for COVID-19 containment.

“Be careful, don’t cry victory, don’t cry victory too soon,” he said Sunday.

Italy’s gradual easing of stay-at-home rules now allows the public to gather in St. Peter’s Square on Sundays for the pope’s noon blessing, and Francis was clearly delighted to see several hundred people gathered in the square below his window, standing safely either individually or as families.

Francis told the faithful to “follow the rules, they are rules that help us to avoid the virus getting ahead” again.

“Thank God, we’re slowly coming out” from the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

But in his prepared remarks, the Argentine-born pontiff has also expressed dismay that the virus is still claiming many lives, especially in Latin America. In his off-the-cuff comments to the people in the square, he didn’t name any country, but said that two days earlier, in one day, a death of an infected person was registered every minute.

As virus ebbs, New York loosens restrictions on houses of worship

New York’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is moving faster than expected, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, allowing the state to loosen some restrictions on gatherings in houses of worship.

Churches, temples, mosques and other religious buildings will be allowed to operate with 25% of their usual capacity once the region they are in reaches phase two of the state’s reopening plan.

“We’re going to open the valve more then we originally anticipated because the metrics are so good,” Cuomo said.

All of the state except for New York City is in phase two of loosening restrictions, or will enter it within a few days. That means larger religious gatherings can begin in most places immediately. New York City starts the first phase Monday.