The Wider World

Many businesses may reopen soon

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM announced on Monday that most California counties would be allowed to open businesses if they met certain criteria (Shutterstock).

The light at the end of the business shutdown tunnel appeared Monday when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that most counties in California would be allowed to re-open many businesses soon, including retail stores and personal services operations such as hair dressers.

Which counties would be able to ease restrictions would depend on local success in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. “We recognize the conditions across the state are unique and distinctive depending on where you are,” he said, according to multiple sources.

The rollback will likely apply to 53 of California’s 58 counties. Los Angeles County and the Bay Area are not expected to meet the criteria. It’s unclear whether Orange County will be one of the 53, based on recent statistics from the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The criteria for easing the rules would include:

  • a positive test rate of less than 8 percent countywide.
  • no more than a 5 percent weekly increase in hospitalizations.
  • no more than 25 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days.

Also announced was allowing sports events to return in June, but without fans in attendance.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

New drug could prevent COVID-19

The early test results for a possible coronavirus vaccine are showing “positive” results, its developer announced on Monday.

According to United Press International, “mRNA-173” created antibodies to attack the virus in 45 of 45 test subjects. Second phase testing will begin “shortly” and Moderna is planning to manufacture the drug if further testing is positive and it receives approval from the FDA.

Trump is taking antimalarial drug

President Donald Trump is taking an antimalarial drug as a protection against the coronavirus, despite warnings from government scientists against its misuse or potential side effects.

DONALD TRUMP (Gage Skidmore photo).

According to the Associated Press, the president made the announcement on Monday, telling reporters he has been taking hydroxychloroquine and a zinc supplement daily for “about a week and a half.”

He has spoken favorably about the drug as a cure or treatment for COVID-19.

Last month the federal Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that the drug should not be used except in a hospital or as part of research and that side effects could be fatal.

“All I can tell you is, so far I seem to be ok,” the president said.

Wall Street stocks in big jump

Reacting to good news about possible coronavirus drugs and other developments, Wall Street unleashed big increases in stock value on Monday.

According to Marketwatch, the Dow Jones Average rose nearly 912 points, with the S&P 500 up 90.21 and Nasdaq jumped 220.27. The biggest mover was United Airlines with a jump of 21.1 points.

Worldwide coronavirus cases at 4.7 million

The count of global confirmed coronavirus cases is at a total of 4,786,672, according to Johns Hopkins University. Of that total, 1,506,732 are in the United States, followed by Russia with 290,678 and the United Kingdom with 247,706. The global death toll is at 317,695, with the U.S. also the leader with 90,236, followed by the U.K. with 34,876 and Italy with 32,007.

Weather: Rain followed by sunny days

For Orange County, showers are expected Monday afternoon. Tuesday should be mostly Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, with a high near 73. The rest of the week should be sunny with highs ranging from 75 to 80.

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