Health officials double down on the dangers of mass gatherings as states reopen more venues

CNN's Manu Raju reports that the House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to spend more than $3 trillion for Covid-19 relief, despite opposition from Republicans as well as within their own ranks from some moderates and progressives.

Posted: May 17, 2020 1:30 PM
Updated: May 17, 2020 1:30 PM

Just as more Americans are allowed to visit beaches, attend church indoors or eat inside a restaurant, health officials say gathering in large groups could send states back to where they started.

Texas had its highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases Saturday, according to numbers from the Department of State Health Services.

The state, one of the first to start reopening, reported an increase of 1,801 positive coronavirus cases on Saturday.

But it's not clear whether the surge is simply due to more testing, or if the virus is spreading more rampantly.

What's clear is that it takes just one infected person to launch a new outbreak.

In California, more than 180 people may have been exposed by a person who had coronavirus during an in-person religious service last week, the Butte County Public Health Department said.

See how much faster coronavirus can spreads vs. the flu

"We all need to do our part to follow the orders and mitigation efforts so that our Reopen Butte County plan can continue to move forward," Butte County Public Health Director Danette York said.

"Moving too quickly through the reopening process can cause a major setback and could require us to revert back to more restrictive measures."

Across the US, more than 1,468,500 people have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 88,700 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

North Carolina churches can resume indoor services

In North Carolina, a federal judge granted churches the right to hold indoor services despite an order from the governor prohibiting services with more than 10 people, CNN affiliate WXII reported.

The governor's office had ordered earlier this month larger worship services were allowed as long as they were outdoors.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs wrote the governor's order "violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment," according to the affiliate.

In a statement, the governor's office said that while they did not agree with the decision, they would not appeal and instead urged "houses of worship and their leaders to voluntarily follow public health guidance to keep their members safe."

"We don't want indoor meetings to become hotspots for the virus and our health experts continue to warn that large groups sitting together inside for long periods of time are much more likely to cause the spread of Covid-19," the statement read.

Beaches set to reopen

With Memorial Day approaching, beaches on the East and West coasts are starting to welcome visitors again.

In Ocean City, New Jersey, a loudspeaker reminded sun lovers every 15 minutes this weekend to "practice social distancing while walking the boardwalk and beach."

All New Jersey beaches will open next weekend for the Memorial Day holiday and Ocean City took a "dry run" to see how well people respect the social distancing rules.

In California, Los Angeles County was the latest to re-open its shores -- with new rules.

The county requires visitors maintain at least 6 feet from each other and wear face coverings when they're out of the water. Activities such as sunbathing, picnicking, biking and organized sports are still not allowed.

FDA authorized 'at-home sample collection kit'

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized an "at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specific laboratories for Covid-19 diagnostic testing."

The kit received an emergency use authorization Saturday. It can be used by people who have already been screened using an online questionnaire that's reviewed by a healthcare provider.

It will allow people to "self-collect a nasal sample at home" using the kit that has been authorized, the FDA said.

"The authorization of a Covid-19 at-home collection kit that can be used with multiple tests at multiple labs not only provides increased patient access to tests, but also protects others from potential exposure," said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, the director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51079

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12019693
Lake5588248
Elkhart353959
Allen2939134
St. Joseph210669
Hamilton1691101
Cass16449
Hendricks1454100
Johnson1340118
Porter82638
Tippecanoe7709
Vanderburgh7276
Clark69544
Madison67464
LaPorte61628
Howard59858
Bartholomew59745
Kosciusko5754
Marshall5449
Noble51328
LaGrange4849
Boone48244
Jackson4783
Delaware47152
Hancock46736
Shelby45425
Floyd40644
Morgan34231
Monroe34028
Grant31826
Dubois3046
Henry30018
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27410
Dearborn25823
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Vigo2528
Warrick25029
Harrison21722
Greene19432
Miami1932
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1649
Wayne1546
Daviess15017
Perry14710
Orange13723
Steuben1362
Jasper1352
Ripley1307
Franklin1278
Gibson1202
Wabash1162
Carroll1142
Fayette1067
Whitley1066
Starke1043
Newton10010
Huntington942
Jefferson862
Wells821
Randolph794
Fulton731
Knox710
Jay700
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush613
Posey570
Spencer541
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain352
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike110
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64214

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin11724445
Cuyahoga8979393
Hamilton6781207
Lucas2952305
Marion274539
Montgomery244035
Summit2327209
Pickaway222241
Mahoning1928239
Butler182147
Columbiana137860
Stark1214114
Lorain112069
Trumbull104578
Warren97725
Clark80010
Delaware69815
Fairfield66717
Tuscarawas60410
Lake58923
Medina58232
Belmont56922
Licking56812
Miami50631
Portage49259
Wood48851
Clermont4737
Ashtabula44744
Geauga42543
Wayne37253
Richland3715
Allen35641
Greene3439
Mercer29910
Erie27122
Holmes2595
Darke25626
Huron2402
Madison2169
Ottawa17324
Sandusky16015
Washington14620
Ross1443
Coshocton1423
Athens1391
Crawford1385
Putnam13715
Hardin12312
Morrow1201
Auglaize1094
Jefferson1092
Muskingum1001
Union931
Preble901
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence830
Guernsey823
Clinton811
Hocking809
Williams762
Shelby744
Logan711
Ashland672
Carroll673
Fulton670
Scioto670
Wyandot635
Brown611
Fayette550
Defiance533
Knox531
Champaign511
Highland501
Van Wert471
Perry441
Seneca412
Henry330
Paulding300
Jackson280
Pike280
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia201
Noble140
Harrison131
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
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