Coronavirus live updates: U.S. death toll nears 55,000

The . toll neared 55,000 early Monday, with more than 972,000 confirmed cases, according to News’ tally.

The grim milestone comes as the White coronavirus Dr. warned that many the social measures that have upended be a fixture through the .

To get a more accurate picture of the ’ spread, the U.S. needs a “breakthrough” on coronavirus testing, she on ’ “” Sunday.

Meanwhile in , ’s hardest hit country, the laid out plans for a phased end to restrictions, including the opening of and libraries in mid-.

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

45m ago / 12:13 UTC

Grand Prix could take place behind closed doors, French cancelled

and are the latest global sporting to be affected by coronavirus.

has called off its event altogether, while ’s race might take place without fans this year as the U.. government continues to ban large gatherings to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Silverstone, the track that has hosted the race since 1952, said it was discussing with the government a plan to show the event on for free instead. Silverstone said it would give care for the 2021 event.

✍️An update from our , Stuart Pringle about the Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020. pic..com/APIXq8F2OS

— Silverstone (@SilverstoneUK)

home pushes for immunity from lawsuits during coronavirus emergency

As the -19 death toll at nursing homes climbs to nearly 12,000, the nursing home industry is pushing states to provide immunity from lawsuits to the owners and of ’s 15,600 nursing homes.

So far at least six states have provided immunity from coronavirus lawsuits for nursing homes, and six more have granted some of immunity to providers, which legal experts say could likely be interpreted to nursing homes.

Patient advocates worry that nursing homes accused of extreme neglect could avoid liability.

“I can’t even believe this is a topic of discussion,” said Anny Figueroa, whose 55-year- mother was a resident at  in , where enforcement discovered 17 bodies in a makeshift morgue this month.

1h ago / 11:52 AM UTC

Italian expat in shows off country’s lack of restrictions

An Italian PhD candidate living in Sweden has documented the “parallel universe” of daily life in Sweden, a country where the government has not enforced strict social distancing measures amid Covid-19.

Alessandra Palusco, 28, who is studying at the University of Orebro, posted several videos on social life in Sweden and the difference with living under lockdown. Palusco told NBC News via text that she lied to her back in Italy to reassure them that locals are wearing in ,”otherwise they would crazy.”

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Anne Linde denied in a news conference on April 17 that “life goes on as normal in Sweden,” but Palusco believes that the has not taken firm enough action on the virus. “I really don’t understand, if they implement certain measures, it means that they basically know that the situation is dangerous,” Palusco told NBC News.

“Masks do very , if anything at ”. We forget misinformed people, and this is the result 👏👏👏 @Folkhalsomynd #COVID19 #COVID19sverige #covid19swed pic.twitter.com/BaUEDro1J4

— Alessandra • 桑德拉 (@alex_paiusco)

1h ago / 11:37 AM UTC

Salons, florists and garden centers allowed to reopen in

Hospitals in Switzerland reopened for outpatient and non-urgent procedures on Monday as the country began easing measures put in place to contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

Beauty salons, stores, garden centers and florists were also permitted to reopen, the government announced laid out its staged plans to lift the lockdown. On May 11th, elementary and other shops will be allowed to reopen “if the situation allows,” the government said in a statement. Then in June, high , zoos and libraries will be allowed to open their doors.

Switzerland has nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,600 deaths since the began.

2h ago / 11:19 AM UTC

Two funeral home workers in Harlem, .Y. said they are turning away families whose loved ones have died because there are more bodies than they can handle.

“We want to be able to everyone,” manager told “Kasie ” Sunday evening, adding that they often have to tell families to call back because they have no room. Both , who at International Funeral and Cremation Services, said the emotional toll of helping the families weighs heavily on them.

“Just I had a family call because they’re pretty much at the cut-off for the to hold their loved one. And out of desperation, she cried to us and she begged,” said Nicole Warring, adding the woman was fearful her father would end up buried in an unmarked grave. “It’s tough when we just don’t have the capacity.”

to open mosques in areas with few coronavirus cases

Iran plans to loosen restrictions in some parts of the country by classifying regions as either white, yellow or based on the spread of the coronavirus, has said.

Iran has been one of the Middle East’s worst hit countries with more than 91,000 cases of coronavirus recorded as of Monday, as well as around 5,800 deaths.

2h ago / 10:37 AM UTC

Nearly 2 million people download tracking app

More than 1.8 million people downloaded a tracking app released by Government that claims to “speed up contacting people exposed to coronavirus,” according to the country’s Health Department.

COVIDSafe is available to all Australian residents, though participation is not mandatory. It tracks the movement and interaction of residents with the aim of quickly locating and informing anyone that may have been in contact with someone who has tested for COVID-19. If a user tests , the other users of the app that have been in close proximity to that initial user will be informed so they can get tested and themselves. Health officials will not name the person who was infected.

Officials have said 40 percent of the population will need to download the app for it to work effectively. Australia has been one of the most successful countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, recording just 83 deaths and 6,700 cases.

3h ago / 9:53 AM UTC

Italy’s prime minister lays out plan to slowly reopen in May

Construction workers and factories will restart in Italy on May 4, Prime Minister said as he laid out plans for a phased end to the country’s strict nationwide lockdown. 

Public parks will reopen then as will takeout and delivery services. “We will live with the virus and we will have to adopt every precaution possible,” Conte said Sunday evening. Shops, , and public libraries will reopen on May 18, and hairdressers, bars and restaurants will be open from June 1. Schools , will remain closed until September.

The announcement comes a week after the country reported its decline in the number of people sick with coronavirus since the virus hit. The country has recorded 26,384 coronavirus deaths and 195,351 confirmed cases.

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