Gap, Kohl’s, Macy’s to furlough workers due to coronavirus downturn

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 36,900 people across the globe.

The new respiratory virus, which causes an illness known officially as COVID-19, has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica since first emerging in China in December. There are now more than 775,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Over 164,000 of those patients have recovered from the disease.

With more than 159,000 diagnosed COVID-19 cases, the United States has by far the highest national tally in the world. At least 2,945 people have died in the U.S.

Monday’s biggest developments:

  • Gap, Kohl’s, Macy’s to furlough workers
  • FDA gives anti-malaria drugs emergency approval to treat COVID-19
  • Tokyo Olympics will open in July 2021
  • Navy hospital ship arrives in New York
  • Pastor arrested for holding services despite ‘safer at home’ order
  • Here’s how the news developing Monday. All times Eastern.

    11:21 p.m.: At least 5 dead from coronavirus in Mass. veterans’ home

    The mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, said the city is grief-stricken following the death of 11 residents of a local veteran’s home.

    Officials said that at least five residents of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke had died from COVID-19 and that authorities were still waiting for test results from five more of the deceased.

    Eleven other residents of the Western Massachusetts facility have also been diagnosed with the virus.

    The Department of Health and Human Services announced it had placed the home’s superintendent on administrative leave following the deaths.

    “To the families who have lost a loved one, know that all of Holyoke shares your grief,” said Mayor Alex Morse, who ordered that flags in the city be lowered to half mast in honor of those who died.

    9:38 p.m.: Cuomo calls for “rolling” approach to fighting pandemic

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on health care workers from beyond New York to help his state through its fight against the coronavirus, so New York will be able to reciprocate.

    “[The virus] will happen at different times across the country, and if we’re really smart, we address it in a rolling apex as I call it,” Cuomo told “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir during the “20/20“ special, “America Rising: Fighting the Pandemic.” “When a community really has an intense need, let’s all go help that community. They get past it, and then we move on to the next.”

    “New York happens to be the first one — we are the tip of the spear, and I hope people help us,” the governor said. “I’m asking other health care professionals from across the country: Come help New York, and we will reciprocate and will be there to help you when you need help.”

    Cuomo said that based on data from “four or five modelers,” the apex of the virus in New York is expected to arrive “anywhere from about one week for the apex, some people saying another 21 days.”

    “Every model however, shows it well over the capacity of the health care system,” he added.

    8:13 p.m.: More than 100 detainees test positive in Cook County Jail

    Administrators at Cook County Jail in Illinois said that 134 detainees have tested positive for COVID-19.

    The number is more than triple the 38 detainees who tested positive on Friday. So far, only nine detainees have tested negative, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

    Twenty sheriff’s office staff members have also tested positive, according to administrators.

    7:07 p.m.: New York City deaths near 1,000

    New York City’s Health Department released new figures about its growing COVID-19 cases showing that 914 have died from the virus.

    This was a jump of 124 coronavirus fatalities from a Health Department report issued earlier in the day.

    Overall, the city has 38,087 confirmed cases, the Health Department said.

    6:40 p.m.: First U.S. military member dies from disease

    The Pentagon announced that a New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away from COVID-19 complications, marking the first death of an active U.S. military member.

    The unidentified guardsman was diagnosed with the virus on March 19 and had been hospitalized since March 21, according to the Pentagon.

    “This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in a statement.

    6:13 p.m.: NYPD loses fourth officer to COVID-19

    The NYPD announced that it has lost its fourth member to the coronavirus.

    School Safety Agent Sabrina Jefferson was a 26-year veteran who was stationed in Queens, according to the NYPD. There are 824 uniformed members and 106 civilian members tested positive for COVID-19, the department said.

    The police are awaiting the test results from Senior Police Administrative Aide Gwendolyn King, who died on Monday.

    6:04 p.m.: President says national stay at home order ‘pretty unlikely’

    President Trump said his administration has mulled a national stay-at-home order, but added, “it’s pretty unlikely I would think at this time,” during his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House.

    The president said he would defer such decisions to individual governors.

    “Staying at home with respect to what we’re talking about doesn’t bother me at all,” he said. “People should be staying at home. That’s what we want.”

    Also at the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would anticipate the virus coming back in the fall, but noted that the world may be better equipped to handle it.

    He cited the ongoing lab work to develop a treatment, and the search for a vaccine to give the public better protection against the virus.

    “If you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ball game of what happened when we first got hit with it in the beginning of this year,” he said.

    5:45 p.m.: Dozens of Marines test positive at boot camp

    Between 35 to 40 Marine recruits and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 at its Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, a defense official told ABC News.

    The Marine Corps said it would suspend sending recruits to that boot camp, which is the service’s largest camp in the East Coast.

    “Recruit training for individuals already at the Depot will continue as planned, with continued emphasis on personal and environmental cleanliness and social distancing,” the Marine Corps said in a statement

    The Marine Corps will continue to send recruits to its West Coast boot camp, but they are receiving a decreased number “to ensure that there is enough space to provide social distancing and adequate staff to safely screen and evaluate incoming recruits,” according to a Marine representative.

    4:48 p.m.: GAP, Kohl’s, Macy’s to furlough workers

    The Gap is the latest retail giant to announce it will furlough most of its North American employees.

    Company officials said the move comes as sales from its clothing stores have dropped due to the pandemic.

    The chain said it would continue provide its employees with their benefits during the furlough period, which will last until stores reopen. Sonia Syngal, the president and CEO of Gap Inc., said that corporate leaders will be taking a pay cut as well.

    “We are doing everything we can to provide support during this time, and we are intensely focused on welcoming back our store teams and customers as soon as we are able,” she said in a statement.

    Kohl’s also announced that it would furlough store and store distribution center associates, as well as some corporate office associates as its locations remain closed. Those employees will still receive benefits during the store closures, according to the company.

    Earlier in the day, Macy’s announced it would furlough the majority of its workforce starting this week.

    Nordstrom said last week it was furloughing a portion of its corporate staff, and the company that operates DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse said it was furloughing 80% of its workers, according to the Associated Press.

    3:45 p.m.: Renowned doctor dies from coronavirus

    Dr. James Goodrich, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at New York City’s Montefiore Medical Center, died of COVID-19 complications on Monday, according to the medical center.

    Goodrich specialized in children with complex neurological conditions and created an approach for separating twins who are fused at the brain and skull, according to the medical center, where he worked for three decades.

    In 2016, he famously led a team of doctors in a 27-hour-long procedure to separate 13-month-old twin boys.

    Goodrich was not only a “pioneer” in his field, but also “a humble and truly caring man” remembered for baking holiday cookies and delivering them to the Children’s Hospital nurses each year, Montefiore Medical Center officials said in a statement.

    “Dr. Goodrich was a beacon of our institution and he will be truly missed,” Montefiore Medicine CEO Dr. Philip Ozuah said in a statement. “His expertise and ability were second only to his kind heart and manner.”

    “Dr. Goodrich was admired by his Montefiore Einstein colleagues and adored by his patients and Montefiore Einstein will not be the same without his presence,” Ozuah said.

    Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

    3:25 p.m.: Pastor arrested for holding services despite safer at home order

    A Florida pastor has been arrested after he allegedly held two large services on Sunday despite a safer at home order issued in the state.

    Tampa-area pastor Rodney Howard-Browne “intentionally and repeatedly chose to disregard the order set in place by our president, our governor, the CDC, and the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a news conference Monday.

    He was arrested on a charge of unlawful assembly in violation of a public health emergency order.

    Chronister said the pastor’s “reckless disregard for human life put hundreds” of congregants and thousands of residents at risk.

    Since Friday, the sheriff’s office was in contact with The River at Tampa Bay Church and received an anonymous tip that Howard-Browne refused the request to stop large gatherings, the sheriff said.

    Officers went to the church to speak with Howard-Browne, but according to the sheriff, the pastor would not speak with them. Attorneys for the church told the sheriff’s office that they refused to cancel services, according to Chronister.

    The church could have opted for livestream services, but instead disobeyed the safer at home order and even provided bus transportation for parishioners, the sheriff said.

    Howard-Browne told congregants Sunday, “I know they’re trying to beat me up about having the church operational, but we are not a nonessential service.”

    2 p.m.: Maryland governor worried pandemic will soon escalate in DC area

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is warning that medical experts say the coronavirus pandemic could escalate within two weeks in the Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland region, where it could resemble the current level of cases in New York City.

    Hogan issued a “stay-at-home” executive order on Monday that directs state residents to stay at home unless they have an essential job, need to leave buy food or medicine, or get medical attention. 

    The governor warned that violators would be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.

    He also said that residents should not travel out of state unless absolutely necessary.

    Maryland has now surpassed 1,400 cases of COVID-19.

    Stay-at-home orders were also issued Monday in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said “any individual who willfully violates the stay-at-home order may be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.”

    1:30 p.m.: Over 1,000 dead in New York state

    At least 1,218 have died from coronavirus in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

    “We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me we’re beyond staggering already,” Cuomo said. “The only point now is do everything you can to save every life possible.”

    Only one county in New York state has no diagnosed COVID-19 cases, Cuomo said.

    Over 66,000 people have tested positive in the state, including 9,500 patients in hospitals, Cuomo said. Of those in hospitals, 2,300 people are in intensive care units.

    Over 4,200 people have been hospitalized and discharged, he said.

    In New York City, over 36,000 have tested positive and at least 790 people have died.

    New York City still has too much density, Cuomo said, threatening to close down playgrounds if people do not stay inside or maintain effective social distancing while going outside for fresh air.

    12:40 p.m.: Cruise lines extend suspensions

    After the coronavirus outbreak quarantined thousands of passengers on massive cruise liners, Carnival Cruise Line said Monday it will continue to suspend operations in North America through May 11.

    Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival, said it will extend its suspension of global ship operations through May 14.

    Royal Caribbean has currently suspended global operations through May 11 and Princess Cruse Line has suspended trips until at least May 10.

    Norwegian Cruise Line currently plans to lift its suspension on April 12.

    12:26 p.m.: Italy now has over 100,000 reported cases

    Italy — by far the hardest-hit when it comes to fatalities — has now reached 101,739 total coronavirus cases, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

    As of Monday, 11,591 people in Italy have died, officials said

    But Italy — which went on a country-wide lockdown on March 9 — is seeing some positive news as the total number of active infected patients rose by only 2.2% over the last 24 hours. There were 1,648 new cases in the last day, as opposed to 3,815 from the day before. 

    Also, the number of patients reported as having recovered from the illness as of Monday is the highest daily total reported so far with 1,590 no longer infected. 

    11:50 a.m.: USNS Comfort arrives in New York 

    The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in the harbor of hard-hit New York City Monday morning.

    The ship will treat non-coronavirus patients on board to try to lighten the burden on the city’s hospitals where doctors are focusing on combating the pandemic.

    At least 776 people have died in New York City.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the ship’s arrival a “major moment in this long battle.”

    “Our nation has heard our plea for help,” he said. “There could not be a better example of all of America pulling for New York City than the arrival of the USNS Comfort.

    The mayor called the ship a “big boost” in the city’s need to triple hospital bed capacity by May.

    To all New Yorkers, the mayor said, “we are not alone. Our nation is helping us in our hour of need.”

    As the death toll climbs in New York, the mayor warned, “the toughest weeks are still ahead.”

    Another hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, has opened for business in the port of Los Angeles, where it’ll be treating non-coronavirus patients on board.

    At least 37 people have died in Los Angeles County.

    What to know about the novel coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and worldwide: coronavirus map
  • 8:21 a.m.: Tokyo Olympics will open in July 2021

    The opening ceremony of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been rescheduled for July 23, 2021, Japanese organizers announced Monday.

    The closing ceremony will now be held on Aug. 8, 2021.

    The Paralympics were rescheduled to open on Aug. 24, 2021, and close on Sept. 5, 2021, organizers said.

    The Tokyo Games were originally slated to kick off this summer on July 24, but the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers announced last week that the event would be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    8:05 a.m.: ‘Urgent action’ needed to counter major threat to life in conflict zones, ICRC warns

    The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Monday that it will be nearly impossible to fight the novel coronavirus in countries already devastated by conflict, unless a concerted response by governments and humanitarian organizations is launched immediately.

    “Our fear is that unless urgent action is taken to curb the spread of the virus, it will devastate some of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement.

    Governments around the world have implemented social distancing guidelines and other measures in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, but physical distancing is not possible in displacement camps and prisons. Health systems in conflict-torn regions such as Afghanistan, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen are not prepared to handle a flood of COVID-19 cases without a surge in support. It’s also difficult to trace and isolate suspected cases when people are fleeing their homes due to violence, as warfare carries on despite the pandemic.

    “Our work helping victims of conflict is still needed even amid an increased response to the virus. This work is made extra difficult because of the scale of this current pandemic, and the necessary and vital measures countries are now taking to contain it, such as movement restrictions of people and goods,” Maurer said. “To avoid a catastrophe, governments and other armed actors in conflict theaters must facilitate the work of humanitarians as a priority. Viruses know no borders: this is a global problem which will only be solved by global action.”

    7:19 a.m.: ‘We will lose more people,’ Dr. Fauci warns

    The United States can expect to see more fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic, even if the nationwide social distancing guidelines are extended, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    “Even if these guidelines are extended, we will lose more people. Exactly how many more we would lose is uncertain, depending upon the efficiency of the mitigation methods,” Fauci told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview Monday on “Good Morning America.”

    The 15-day guidelines were set to expire Monday. But President Donald Trump announced during a press conference Sunday that he had decided to extend the guidelines for another 30 days, after suggesting over the past week that he wanted to relax them reopen the country for business by Easter.

    “None of us felt that 15 days was adequate,” Fauci said, adding that they had “intensive conversations” with Trump and that they ultimately “convinced him.”

    “To pull back the mitigation methods before you reach the peak and turned the corner I think really would have been imprudent because that would have merely regenerated the spike to go up,” Fauci said. “If we prematurely did it, it would likely rebound and that’s one thing you do not want to happen.”

    Fauci said they think “April might do it” but it’s possible the guidelines will have to be extended even further.

    When asked about the clinical trials on potential therapeutics to treat COVID-19, Fauci said he hopes by late spring or early summer they’ll “get a signal in one of those drugs to see whether it works or not.”

    “And if it does, we’ll widely distribute it,” he added. “And if it doesn’t, we’ll just get it off the shelf, get it off the table, because it wont be useable.”

    Fauci said a vaccine will take longer.

    “We’re in the phase one trial. We went into it as quickly as we possibly could, the fastest ever,” he said. ” But still the process at rocket speed takes about a year to a year and a half. So if we cycle with this outbreak and it comes back next fall and winter, we might have the early components of a vaccine ready to counter that outbreak likely next winter.”

    6:23 a.m.: Nearly 200 aboard Florida-bound cruise report flu-like symptoms

    At least 189 people aboard a Holland America Line cruise ship are suffering flu-like symptoms, a cruise line spokesperson told ABC News.

    Four people have died aboard the MS Zaandam, Holland America Line announced Friday. At least two people tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday, according to the cruise line.

    The MS Zaandam set out from Buenos Aires for a South America cruise on March 7, with 1,243 guests and 586 crew on board. The voyage was supposed to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21 but the vessel has remained at sea since the Chilean government refused it permission to dock and disembark.

    The ship began passing through the the Panama Canal late Sunday night after being moored off the coast of Panama for several days. The country’s government wouldn’t allow the ship to disembark passengers. The ship exited the canal on Monday morning.

    In a video message from Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford, which was broadcast to MS Zaandam passengers on Sunday, he apologized that the cruise “turned out to not be the exact the vacation that you initially signed up for,” calling it a “safety and a humanitarian effort.”

    Holland America Line on Friday announced plans to move “healthy” people from the MS Zaandam to another one of its ships, the MS Rotterdam. Ashford said he wanted to dispel the myth of a healthy ship versus a sick one, explaining that the intention is for the two cruises to work in tandem so that they can reduce the workload on each vessel, “create maximum flexibility” and move passengers that have been stuck self-isolating in inside cabins for a week to cabins that have access to light and fresh air.

    Holland America Line previously said the MS Zaandam would travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and dock at Port Everglades after transiting through the Panama Canal. But in Sunday’s video message, Ashford told passengers to self-isolate on both the MS Zaandam and the MS Rotterdam “while we figure out where it is that we’re going to take you.”

    In a statement to ABC News on Sunday night, the U.S. Coast Guard said: “We are aware of the Zaandam and Rotterdam situations and are monitoring them. The Coast Guard is a member of, and coordinating with, the Port Everglades Unified Command on this situation. Further action may be taken if or when either ship crosses the Panama Canal into our area of responsibility.”

    5:11 a.m.: EasyJet grounds all flights due to pandemic

    EasyJet, one of Europe’s largest airlines, said it has grounded all aircraft due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, EasyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft,” the airline said in a statement Monday morning. “At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view.”

    In recent days, the British budget carrier has helped repatriate more than 45,000 people on over 650 rescue flights. The last of those rescue flights were operated on Sunday.

    “We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested,” the airline added.

    3:00 a.m.: FDA gives anti-malaria drugs emergency approval to treat COVID-19

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a limited emergency-use authorization for two antimalarial drugs to treat those infected with the novel coronavirus.

    In a statement released Sunday night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it had received 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and one million doses of hloroquine phosphate donated to a national stockpile of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which are oral prescription drugs used primarily to prevent and treat malaria, are both being investigated as potential therapeutics for COVID-19.

    The statement noted that the FDA had issued an emergency-use authorization to allow both donated drugs “to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”

    Federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, are working together to plan clinical trials.

    ABC New’s Gio Benitez, Clark Bentson, Dee Carden, Mina Kaji, Aaron Katersky, Amanda Maile, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Kelly McCarthy and Phoebe Natanson contributed to this report.

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