Over 200,000 now dead worldwide from COVID-19

More than 135 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at a Colorado prison.

April 26, 2020, 12:16 AM

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed over 200,000 people worldwide.

More than 2.89 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 939,000 diagnosed cases and at least 53,789 deaths.

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.

Today's biggest developments:

  • US cases top 900,000
  • Global death toll nears 200,000
  • Dozens of inmates test positive in Colorado
  • Here's how the news developed Saturday. All times Eastern.

    9:33 p.m.: Hawaii extends quarantine for travelers

    Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced he was extending the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers into the state until May 31. He is also extending the stay-at-home order until the same date.

    He said he was continuing to keep the quarantine in place for travelers since 100 people were still arriving every day.

    Tim Sakahara, spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, said passenger arrivals are down 99% from this time last year. The only flights coming in are from San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Guam.

    There have been 604 cases and 14 deaths, including two in the past day, in Hawaii. Wyoming, Montana and Alaska are the only states with fewer cases.

    7:40 p.m.: More cases tied to Wisconsin election

    At least 40 new cases of coronavirus in just Milwaukee County are tied to the Wisconsin election on April 7, according to the most recent data provided by the Milwaukee health commissioner.

    "So the data we have now, you know the last time we talked about this I said we have seven, but now there's 40 people," Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik said. "I'm not going to go into detail because that data is still being finalized."

    "We hope to have that data ready by Friday," she said, referring to May 1 for the date of the final report.

    As of today, Milwaukee County has 2,612 confirmed cases of the virus, and 149 deaths.

    6:08 p.m.: Trump says he'll scale back briefings

    President Donald Trump said on Twitter he will be scaling back the daily coronavirus task force briefings.

    In a tweet, he asked what is the purpose of having them "when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately."

    The comments came just one tweet after he incorrectly asserted he was talking to William Bryan, the head of science and technology directorate at the Department of Homeland Security, and not Dr. Debroah Birx when he discussed using UV light to kill the virus inside people at Thursday's briefing. He claimed on Friday he was being sarcastic.

    He actually specifically referred the question to Birx, though. The White House's official transcript even notes he spoke to her.

    He asked, "Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light, relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?"

    "Not as a treatment," she replied.

    5:44 p.m.: Boris heads back to work

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday morning telling members of his government he is "raring to go" in the fight against coronavirus, according to Downing Street.

    Johnson was hospitalized for a week after catching COVID-19 himself, spending three days in intensive care and two weeks recuperating at his official country residence after his release.

    Downing Street said he will be "back to his normal schedule" on Monday.

    3:55 p.m.: Spanish families will be allowed outside, solo outdoor sports

    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that starting on May 2 residents will be able to walk outside with people they live with and individual outdoor sports will be allowed.

    "This de-escalation will be extended until we find a vaccine stopping the propagation of the virus," said Sanchez.

    As of Saturday, there have been 223,759 confirmed coronavirus cases and 22,902 deaths in the country, according to the country's health ministry.

    The de-escalation will be gradual and asymmetric, but coordinated, said Sanchez.

    PHOTO: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez leaves after a session at the Lower Chamber of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on April 22, 2020.
    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez leaves after a session at the Lower Chamber of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid on April 22, 2020.
    Sebastian Mariscal/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

    Starting on Sunday one parent will be able to take up to three children, up to age 14, outside for one hour.

    "We started together and we will end this together," said Sanchez.

    Nevertheless, Sanchez admitted that this de-escalation will also depend on the different territories, not only between autonomous communities, but on cities and provinces.

    Spain's Congress of Deputies voted this week to extend the state of alarm to Sept. 5.

    The Director of Center for Coordination of Heath Alerts and Emergency Fernando Simon said at a daily press conference that it will be very hard to get a vaccine before the end of the year.

    3:44 p.m.: Illinois Smithfield Foods plant ordered to temporarily shutdown by health department

    A Smithfield Foods Inc. meat processing plant in St. Charles received an order from the Kane County Health Department to temporarily shutdown on Friday over concerns of the coronavirus.

    The order temporarily closes the facility so that the health department can work with the company in mitigation efforts as well as providing education relative to social distancing and employee safety relative to personal protective equipment (PPEs).

    A Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was shut down until further notice after more than 800 plant workers tested positive for COVID-19. Another Smithfield plant was closed in Monmouth, Illinois, on Friday after a "small portion" of the 1,700 employees there tested positive for COVID-19.

    Employees from a Milan, Missouri, location filed a lawsuit against the company on Wednesday seeking the courts to order their employer to change their policies to prevent the spread of the virus.

    2:08 p.m.: Over 200,000 people around the world have died from the coronavirus

    As of Saturday, 200,698 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

    The coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31.

    Over 2.8 million people around the world have tested positive for the virus and over 810,000 have recovered.

    1:53 p.m.: President Trump offers additional assistance for Ethiopia’s COVID-19 response efforts

    On a call with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali about the global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump offered additional assistance for Ethiopia’s response efforts, the White House said.

    "President Trump offered additional assistance for Ethiopia’s response efforts, including the provision of US-made ventilators to Ethiopia, and reaffirmed the longstanding support of the United States for the Ethiopian people," a readout from the White House read.

    President Trump and Prime Minister Abiy agreed that continued cooperation between their countries would be necessary to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other challenges faced by the region, including the locust threat in East Africa, the White House statement continued.

    1:45 p.m.: Florida pharmacists to administer coronavirus test

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that pharmacists will be allowed to administer COVID-19 tests to the general public as a way of expanding the testing locations.

    However, DeSantis did not elaborate or say on Saturday when this kind of testing might be rolled out.

    DeSantis said that the state has ran 37,000 COVID-19 tests in the past two days at seven drive-thru testing sites.

    12:49 p.m.: Active coronavirus cases in Italy are decreasing

    The number of active positive coronavirus cases in Italy are down 680 patients, according to The Protezione Civile.

    Although there were 2,357 new cases reported on Saturday, this is an increase of 1.2% from the previous day and is the lowest percentage for an increase in total cases the country has had.

    There were 415 new deaths reported for a total of 26,384 total deaths.

    Italy has had 195,351 total active, deceased and cured cases since first reports on January 31.

    The number of hospitalizations continues to decline.

    The total number of hospital patients dropped by 606. There were 71 fewer ICU patients and 535 fewer in regular hospital care.

    12:27 p.m.: NY hospitalization rate down again, pharmacies to become test collection sites

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the rate of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 was down to the same place it was 21 days ago.

    "Twenty-one days of hell, but we're back to where we were," Cuomo said of the 1,100 new hospitalizations. He added that the important question now becomes when the hospitalization rates can dwindle to hundreds per day.

    Testing for both the virus and antibodies remained the governor's focus.

    Cuomo said that he has authorized independent pharmacies to become collection sites for diagnostic testing. People will be able to get a test at a pharmacy, the pharmacy will then collect a sample and send it to a lab which produces the results, according to Cuomo.

    This is expected to add an additional 5,000 collection sites for diagnostic testing, the governor said. Currently, the state of New York is conducting about 20,000 tests per day.

    The number of deaths in the state continued on a mostly flattened, but astonishing rate.

    There were 437 deaths in the last 24 hours, a figure Cuomo called "terrible, terrible horrific news." It was also a slight uptick from the 422 number reported yesterday.

    A decision on whether the New York On Pause order will be extended is expected in the coming week. Cuomo said that while he is taking a tri-state regional approach, he will also work with certain localities in the state of New York for possible individualized plans.

    PHOTO: A woman walks through an almost-deserted Times Square in the early morning hours, on April 23, 2020, in New York City.
    A woman walks through an almost-deserted Times Square in the early morning hours, on April 23, 2020, in New York City.
    Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

    10:37 a.m.: UK death toll surpasses 20,000

    The death toll in the United Kingdom has reached 20,319, according to the National Health Service (NHS). That number includes the 813 new daily deaths reported in the country.

    The country is now the fifth in the world to surpass 20,000 fatalities, behind the United States, Italy, Spain and France.

    The number of confirmed positive cases in the U.K. has reached 148,377, out of the 517,836 people who have been tested, according to the NHS.

    PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask crosses Millennium Bridge, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, April 25, 2020.
    A man wearing a face mask crosses Millennium Bridge, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain, April 25, 2020.
    Simon Dawson/Reuters

    9:59 a.m.: DHS warns of 'opportunity' for criminal activity created by online learning

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned officials in law enforcement and school systems of the security risks posed by cybercriminals and cyber-actors who might want to exploit what has become the new normal of online learning under COVID-19, according to the notice reviewed by ABC News.

    “We assess cybercriminals likely view schools’ greater reliance on eLearning tools due to the pandemic as an opportunity to conduct a range of criminal activity against educational institutions, faculty and students who use these tools,” the April 24 document says.

    The risks outlined include theft of login information, identify theft, the ability of cybercriminals to obtain discarded computers that still had cached data on their drives, extortion by using confidential student or employee data to blackmail either the educational institution or an individual, or denial-of-service attacks in exchange for ransom payments.

    PHOTO: Lauryn Morley, a lower school substitute teacher for the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, works from her home due to the coronavirus outbreak, on April 1, 2020 in Arlington, Via.
    Lauryn Morley, a lower school substitute teacher for the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, works from her home due to the coronavirus outbreak, on April 1, 2020 in Arlington, Via.
    Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

    The notice warned that the theft of login information could be used for either profit or by foreign governments, like Iran, to gain access to data they could not otherwise view. The theft of one's identity could also be used for profit or by foreign governments like Russia, whose intelligence services have previously bought online ID info for spying and intel-gathering operations, according to the notice.

    Cyber experts at the DHS said that these threats are not hypothetical, every type of attack has been seen.

    They are warning employees who work on security and defense of IT systems to take proper precautions.

    6:33 a.m.: WHO warns against 'immunity passports'

    In response to some governments suggesting that detection of COVID-19 antibodies could serve as the basis of an "immunity passport" that would allow people to travel or return to work assuming they are protected from contracting again or spreading the coronavirus, the World Health Organization issued a warning that said such a program is not backed up by scientific evidence.

    "There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection," the WHO said in a statement Friday.

    No study, as of April 24, has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies guarantees immunity to subsequent infection of COVID-19 in humans, the organization said.

    The WHO said people who have tested positive might be prone to ignore public health advice and "increase the risks of continued transmission" to other people.

    The warning comes as some states in the U.S. look to ease social distancing restrictions and to let some nonessential businesses reopen.

    States like Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, while all taking a different approach, are now reopening businesses to jumpstart their economies. Georgia, despite criticism from President Donald Trump, will allow many businesses to reopen this week, including tattoo parlors, movie theaters, bowling alleys and more.

    5:20 a.m.: 138 inmates in Colorado prison test positive

    At least 138 inmates at the Sterling Correctional Facility in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Department of Corrections, and that number will likely rise soon.

    “Given the insidious nature of this virus, we had suspected that despite seeing a relatively low number of inmates with symptoms, the number of positives was potentially much higher,” Department of Corrections Executive Director Dean Williams said in a statement Friday. “That is exactly why we conducted this large scale testing, so that we can continue to isolate, monitor and treat any inmates who were positive and try to mitigate the spread to others inside the facility.”

    At least 473 symptomatic and asymptomatic inmates were tested for the novel coronavirus last week. Of those, only 255 results have been returned; 138 were positive, 104 were negative, 12 were inconclusive and one was unsatisfactory. The state is still waiting for the results of 218 inmate tests.

    Inside the prison, inmates are largely kept in their cells to help slow the spread of the virus, the state said. Outside of showering or using the restroom, they remain in their cells. All meals and medications are delivered to inmates during the quarantine.

    The facility previously had eight inmates that tested positive.

    Prisons across the U.S. are struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 inside their walls. At the Rikers Island jail in New York City, 367 inmates have tested positive for the virus while 235 detainees in custody at Cook County Jail in Illinois are currently positive for COVID-19.

    PHOTO: Medical staff takes a sample to test people for coronavirus antibodies in Prague, Czech Republic, April 23, 2020.
    Medical staff takes a sample to test people for coronavirus antibodies in Prague, Czech Republic, April 23, 2020. Czech Republic started voluntary testing for coronavirus antibodies in a few cities across the country and plans to test 27.000 people in age between 18 and 89.
    Martin Divisek/EPA via Shutterstock

    What to know about coronavirus:

    ABC News' Timmy Truong, Josh Margolin and Mike Trew contributed to this report.

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