New York opens further for Memorial Day travel; sick hairstylist may have exposed 91; US nears 100,000 deaths

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As Americans begin an unusual Memorial Day weekend, flags around the country will be at half-staff for victims of the virus. The death count in the U.S. is likely to hit 100,000 by early next week.

President Donald Trump said he ordered the flags to be lowered Friday through Sunday “in memory of the Americans we have lost to the CoronaVirus.” Flags will be at half-staff Monday “in honor of the men and women in our Military who have made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Nation,” Trump tweeted.

Americans itching to get out of the house this weekend “can be outside” if they take proper social distancing precautions, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx advised Friday. “You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches” while keeping at least six feet apart, she said.

New York Times’ Sunday front page is list of coronavirus victims

The New York Times has devoted Sunday’s entire front page to a long list of names of people who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

The names and brief descriptions culled from obituaries from around the country fill six columns under the headline “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss,” with a subheadline reading: “They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.”

The all-text list takes the place of the usual articles, photographs and graphics in an effort to convey the vastness and variety of lives lost, according to Simone Landon, assistant editor of the graphics desk.

Tom Bodkin, chief creative officer of The Times, said he did not remember any front pages without images, though there have been pages with only graphics, during his 40 years at the newspaper.

Sick hairstylist may have exposed 91 people

A Missouri hairstylist served 84 clients over eight days while experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, potentially exposing them and seven co-workers. Now, one of those coworkers is sick, health officials said.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced in a Facebook post Saturday that 56 other Great Clips clients were potentially exposed by the second stylist.

The announcement came one day after the health department’s director, Clay Goddard, said in a news briefing that the first stylist to get sick worked eight days from May 12 to May 20, with only the 18th off. The coworker then worked five shifts from May 16 to 20 while experiencing very mild symptoms.

All of the two stylists’ clients wore masks and will be tested. The owner of the Great Clips said in a statement that the salon will be closed until it goes through sanitizing and deep cleaning.

The two cases come just days after city officials announced plans to relax even more distancing requirements and about a week after the health department started seeing an influx of new travel-related infections.

Trump administration exempts foreign athletes from entry ban

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf signed an order Friday that exempts certain foreign professional athletes from the ban on entry into the U.S.

“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” Wolf said in a press release. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”

The order also exempts the athletes’ staff, team and league leadership, spouses and dependents from entry restrictions.

The order applies to Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.

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