NHL announces plan to resume season with amended playoffs amid COVID-19 pandemic

The league says it will restart team training camps by mid-July.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 348,000 people worldwide.

More than 5.5 million people across the globe 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. 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.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 98,717 deaths.

Today's biggest developments:

  • NHL announces plan to resume play
  • California reopening hair salons, barbershops in 47 of state's 58 counties
  • 'The door is open' to hold Republican convention in Florida, governor says
  • UK authorizes experimental drug remdesivir for COVID-19 patients
  • Here's how the news developed Tuesday. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

    6:39 p.m.: NHL announces framework to resume play

    The National Hockey League, on hiatus since March 12, announced its intention to restart team training camps by mid-July in preparation for an amended Stanley Cup playoffs to be held in two "hub" cities.

    Twenty-four of the league's 31 teams will return to the ice to vie for the Stanley Cup, up from the 16 teams that usually make the playoffs.

    Each of the two conferences will conduct its games in a "hub" city to be selected from among Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver, league officials said.

    The top four teams in each conference will play a round-robin series to determine seeding, while the conference's remaining eight teams will play a best-of-five qualifying round, with the winners joining the top seeds for the playoffs' first round.

    Game dates and series formats are yet to be announced and will depend on medical conditions and government regulations.

    "We are hopeful the Return To Play Plan will allow us to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup in a manner in which the health and safety of our players, on-ice officials, team staff and associated individuals involved are paramount," Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

    Officials with the National Basketball Association, whose season runs roughly parallel to the NHL's, are holding exploratory talks with The Walt Disney Company, ABC News' parent company, about resuming the NBA season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, in late July, league officials say.

    This report was featured in the Wednesday, May 27, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.

    "Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.

    6:10 p.m.: Ford pauses production at Kansas City plant

    A little more than two weeks after reopening its Kansas City plant, Ford Motor Co. has paused production after one of its workers tested positive for COVID-19, the automaker announced Tuesday.

    Production of the Ford Transit van at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, is temporarily paused until a deep clean is completed, the company said. The plant also manufactures the F-150 pickup truck.

    “[Our] protocol calls for us to deep clean and disinfect the employees’ work area, equipment, team area and the path that the employee took while at the plant today," the company said in a statement. "We are notifying people known to have been in close contact with the infected individual and asking them to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

    After closing its U.S. factories in mid-March, Ford resumed production at most plants, including Kansas City, on May 18. New safety protocols include maintaining six feet of distance at workstations, wearing masks and, in some cases, face shields, and temperature scans upon entering the building.

    5 p.m.: California reopening hair salons, barbershops in most counties

    Hair salons, barbershops can now reopen in 47 of California's 58 counties, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, as the state moves into "phase three" of its reopening.

    "Forty-seven counties have self-attested to having plans of action as it relates to PPE, having the adequate number of testing ability to cohort individuals who have tested positive, or who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive," he said.

    Cyclists ride along the Venice Beach boardwalk on May 25, 2020 in Venice, California.
    Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

    Retail stores can also reopen with proper safety modifications, and places of worship can open with 25% capacity or 100 people maximum, he said.

    Guidelines for childcare and summer camps are expected to be released on Wednesday while plans for the television and film industry are expected to be announced this week or over the weekend, Newsom said.

    Nearly 100,000 Californians have been diagnosed and more than 3,800 have lost their lives due to the virus, Newsom 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.

    3:31 p.m.: 'The door is open' to hold GOP convention in Fla., governor says

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signaled his openness to hosting the Republican National Convention in Florida.

    This comes after President Donald Trump on Memorial Day tweeted a threat to move the convention from North Carolina if the southern state's "Democrat Governor," Roy Cooper, wouldn't guarantee that a "full attendance in the Arena" would be allowed in August.

    De Santis said Tuesday, "Florida would love to have the RNC. Heck, I'm a Republican, it would be good for us to have the DNC in terms of the in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that."

    "The door is open, we want to have the conversation," he said.

    But DeSantis also urged that the state would "abide" by any safety restrictions to host the event in an alternative venue.

    "So my posture on all this is we should try to get it done as best we can and in accordance with whatever safety requirements," he said. "But you know, his government will be talking about the safety restrictions, the president's government, so if he's going to do a convention obviously he's gonna want to abide by whatever they're saying. So if we can get that done and do it in a way that's safe, that would be a huge economic impact for the state of Florida."

    A woman orders food at the window of a restaurant in Miami Beach, Miami, May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
    Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

    North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Mandy Cohen, has sent a letter to Republican National Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly, requesting "a written plan" for how to "approach the COVID-19 safety aspects of the convention."

    The letter -- obtained by ABC Raleigh station WTVD -- comes in response to the president's tweet on Monday, and confirms that the RNC and state officials in North Carolina were in talks about convention planning as recently as Friday.

    "We also discussed on Friday the need to plan for different levels of impact of COVID-19 so the RNC convention logistics could be tailored to the COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in at the end of August," Cohen wrote.

    She urged the RNC to consider "several scenarios" as they continue to move forward with planning.

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, "it's OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be. Already, we've been in talks with the RNC about the kind of convention that they would need to run and the kind of options that we need on the table."

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper listens to a question during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., May 20, 2020.
    Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP

    "We have asked the RNC to present to us in writing their proposal," Cooper said. "We asked NASCAR to do the very same thing, and NASCAR did a good job this weekend of executing their plan of face coverings, of social distancing, signage, cleaning."

    North Carolina has over 24,000 people diagnosed with the coronavirus. At least 766 people have died.

    Tyler Page works to disinfect and protect Sharky's Place in Raleigh, N.C., May 22, 2020, before reopening.
    Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP

    Cooper warned Tuesday, "over the weekend we saw our highest one-day increase in positive cases and our highest day of hospitalizations yet."

    "This virus remains a serious threat and we cannot let our guard down," Cooper said.

    3:10 p.m.: Virginia to require face coverings in public

    Everyone ages 10 and above in Virginia must wear a face covering when inside or at a public place starting this Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said.

    People wait in line to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Arlington, Va., May 26, 2020.
    Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    This includes while on public transportation, while inside all personal care and grooming establishments, and while inside food and beverage establishments.

    Exceptions are for eating, drinking and exercising, as well as if health conditions prevent residents from wearing a covering, he said.

    Law enforcement will not have a role in making sure that people wear masks, Northam said.

    Virginia has over 39,000 cases of the coronavirus. At least 1,236 people have died.

    2:20 p.m.: Chicago ramps up contact tracing

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday that the city is ramping-up community-level contact tracing with a new $56 million request for proposal (RFP) to expand contact tracing.

    Lightfoot said 85% of the funds will be directed to support at least 30 organizations that are neighborhood-based or service residents most impacted by COVID-19.

    At least 600 people will join the contact tracing team, the mayor said.

    Chicago has over 42,000 cases of COVID-19. Illinois has over 110,000 cases.

    A sign is displayed on a business across the street from the Chicago Cubs home stadium of Wrigley Field, which has been closed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Chicago, May 20, 2020.
    Joshua Lott/Reuters

    11:57 a.m.: Over 600 TSA employees test positive

    A total of 614 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the agency.

    More than 400 of those employees have since recovered from the virus. Six TSA employees have died from the virus.

    A TSA worker waits for travellers at the Pittsburgh International Airport, May 7, 2020, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Jeff Swensen/Getty Images, FILE

    The TSA last week said it's rolling out adjusted rules for traveling during the pandemic.

    Flyers are now permitted to bring a hand sanitizer container that's up to 12 ounces in their carry-on bags.

    Also, instead of handing their paper or electronic boarding pass over to the TSA officer, travelers can place the boarding pass directly on the scanner.

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