Coronavirus Live Updates: Several Florida Theme Parks Announce Reopening Plans

More than 5.6 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 351,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.

HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.

Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Several Florida Theme Parks Announce Reopening Plans — 5/27/20, 12:06 p.m.
Several popular theme parks have announced plans to reopen in recent weeks, as a number of states across the U.S. continue to ease social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Wednesday, Disney World in Orlando, Florida, presented plans to a Central Florida economic task force outlining a strategy to reopen some portions of its theme park on July 11 and others on July 15. The park temporarily closed in March to curb the spread of the virus.

Disney World patrons will be required to adhere to the park’s newly established health guidelines, including undergoing a temperature check and wearing a mask, which the park says will be provided to patrons without them. 

Seaworld Orlando also announced plans on Wednesday to reopen to the public beginning July 11. Similarly, Seaworld guests will reportedly undergo a temperature check prior to entry and will be instructed to practice social distancing once inside. Both Seaworld Orlando and Disney World say they will institute contactless pay methods to avoid the exchange of physical currency. 

Wednesday’s reopening proposals are expected to be approved by Florida’s governor, Ron Desantis (R). They follow a previous announcement from Universal Studios Orlando declaring the park will reopen on June 5.

Ja’han Jones

France Bans Hydroxychloroquine To Treat COVID-19 — 5/27/20, 6:15 a.m.

HPFR 27 May

HPFR 27 May

France has halted the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for patients suffering severe forms of COVID-19.

HuffPost France reports (in French) that the decision comes just two days after the World Health Organization said it was pausing a large trial of the malaria drug due to safety concerns.

British medical journal The Lancet reported that patients getting hydroxychloroquine had increased death rates and irregular heartbeats, adding to a series of other disappointing results for the drug as a way to treat COVID-19.

U.S. President Donald Trump and others, including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, have pushed hydroxychloroquine in recent months as a possible coronavirus treatment.

France decided at the end of March to allow the use of hydroxychloroquine in specific situations and in hospitals only. No vaccine or treatment has yet been approved to treat COVID-19 which has killed more than 350,000 people globally.

— James Martin

Media Under Attack As Brazil Records Fourth Day Over 1,000 Deaths — 5/27/20, 5:50 a.m.

HPBR 27 May

HPBR 27 May

The march of coronavirus through Brazil shows no sign of slowing after the country recorded more than a thousand deaths in a day for the fourth time.

The total death toll in Brazil now stands at 24,512, while infections have risen to 391,222, second only to the U.S.

HuffPost Brazil reports (in Portuguese) that the state of São Paulo has recorded 6,423 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro with 4,361 deaths. The latest figures come as Brazil’s four largest news media outlets said they have withdrawn their reporters from coverage of President Jair Bolsonaro’s official residence due to the lack of security to protect them from heckling and abuse by his supporters.

Bolsonaro has made a habit of stopping at the residence’s entrance to speak to cheering supporters, take selfies with them and make comments to the journalists, but in recent days his supporters at the gates have turned on the reporters with angry verbal attacks. On Monday, about 60 supporters heckled the reporters loudly, with shouts of “liars,” “scum” and “communists.”

The attacks on journalists have intensified as Bolsonaro’s political situation has deteriorated under criticism of mishandling the coronavirus crisis. He is also under investigation for allegedly interfering in law enforcement and his supporters see the media as part of a plot to oust him.

— James Martin

New York Stock Exchange Reopens — 5/26/20, 10:50 a.m.

For the first time since it shut down in mid-March, traders returned to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday morning, operating under COVID-19 safety measures, including temperature checks for anyone entering the building, mandatory mask-wearing and reduced capacity on the trading floor.

To commemorate Wall Street’s reopening, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) rang the bell at 9:30 a.m., which signals the traditional beginning of the trading day. 

—Marina Fang

WHO Suspends Trial Of Hydroxychloroquine Over Safety Fears For COVID-19 Patients — 5/26/2020, 7:15 a.m.

The World Health Organization is pausing an international trial of hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malarial drug touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for the coronavirus — due to concerns for the safety of patients, HuffPost’s Mary Papenfuss reports.

Officials cited a large study of 100,000 patients published Friday in The Lancet. Researchers found that patients treated with the drug in the hospital had a “significantly higher risk of death” than those who weren’t given it.

An April study of U.S. veterans produced similar results.

Since March, Trump has pitched the treatment as a “game-changer,” without evidence. On Sunday, he said in an interview that he had just completed a two-week course of treatment. “And by the way, I’m still here,” he told Full Measure News.

— Liza Hearon

UK Minister Quits In Protest Over Advisor’s Lockdown Journey — 5/26/20, 5:55 a.m.

Pressure continues to build on Prime Minister Boris Johnson after a junior minister resigned from the British government over an alleged breach of lockdown rules by the U.K. prime minister’s top advisor, HuffPost U.K reports.

Douglas Ross, a junior minister in the Scotland Office, said Tuesday that he was quitting after hearing about Dominic Cummings’ efforts to defend his 270-mile trip from London to the northeast of England in March.

Ross said he could not “in good faith” tell his constituents who could not care for sick relatives or say goodbye to dying ones while obeying lockdown rules that Cummings acted appropriately.

Cummings remains under fire over allegations he breached coronavirus lockdown restrictions but Johnson’s chief adviser has said he does not regret his actions and declined to apologize.

At least 15 Conservative MPs have said Cummings should go, while several others have spoken out against his actions.

— Ned Simons

For more on the pandemic, go here.

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