Coronavirus updates: Some recovered COVID-19 patients re-tested positive: WHO

(NEW YORK) — While many countries around the world and cities in the U.S. are pointing toward positive signs that social distancing might be finally flattening the curve, the novel coronavirus death toll continues to be staggering.

In the U.S., more than 500,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At least 18,693 people in the U.S. have died.

Across the globe, at least 102,800 people have died from the coronavirus.

Worldwide, more than 1.69 million people have been diagnosed since the virus emerged in China in December. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Today’s biggest developments:

US cases now over half a million
Michael Avenatti granted release from prison due to COVID-19
Global death toll tops 100,000

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates. 

7:46 am.: Some COVID-19 patients testing positive again: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was looking into reports of some COVID-19 patients testing positive again after initially testing negative for the disease while being considered for discharge from hospitals.

South Korean officials on Friday reported 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again

6:15 a.m.: 70 Georgia nursing home resident test positive

A nursing home in Georgia announced Friday that 70 of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Three of those residents have been hospitalized.

“We are doing everything we can to protect our residents and staff. This includes providing appropriate PPE, taking heightened precautions and adhering to protocols outlined by the Center for Disease Control,” Windermere Health and Rehabilitation Center’s parent company, SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, said in a statement Friday.

The senior living center said it has isolated the positive patients, is screening employees before every shift and has cut off visitation to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We know that this is an unsettling and scary time for our residents and their family members,” the nursing home said. “We are in the process of contacting the family members of every single resident in our Center to keep them informed of their loved one’s condition as it evolves.”

Nursing homes and other facilities that care for the elderly have been particularly hit hard by the coronavirus. The Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, was the scene of one of the first and most-deadly coronavirus outbreaks last month, with 81 residents infected and 34 deaths.

Since Feb. 29, at least 400 nursing facilities in more than 25 states have seen at least one resident contract COVID-19, according to the CDC.

4:47 a.m.: Michael Avenatti granted temporary release from prison due to COVID-19

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, was granted temporary release from jail by a California federal judge late Friday due to COVID-19.

Once released from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, Avenatti will be quarantined for 14 days at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility to make sure he’s not infected with the coronavirus. After completing the mandatory quarantine, he will be allowed to travel to Los Angeles to stay at the home of a friend for 90 days.

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He will not be allowed to leave the house except for emergencies and must wear a monitoring bracelet. The judge also said Avenatti can’t use the internet, can’t open any new bank or credit accounts and can’t engage in any transaction exceeding $500.

Avenatti’s $1 million bail was posted by Hubert Bromma, who has authored a book called “How to Invest in Offshore Real Estate and Pay Little or No Taxes.”

A jury convicted Avenatti in February for trying to extort Nike. He was found guilty on wire fraud, extortion and transmitting a threat in interstate communications charges.

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