(NEW YORK) — The death toll amid the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to skyrocket as more than 8,500 people in the United States have died from COVID-19 as of Sunday morning, a day after the U.S. recorded its largest number of deaths in a 24-hour span.
There are now more than 312,000 diagnosed cases in the U.S. and more than 1.2 million around the world. The actual number is 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.
Over 65,700 have died across the globe and more than 252,000 people have recovered, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Today’s biggest developments:
-3,656 dead in New York State
-US death toll crosses 8,000 as cases exceed 300,000
-Italy reports decrease in ICU patients for 1st time
Medical workers bring in patients at a special coronavirus intake tent at Maimonides Medical Center in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, on April 02, 2020, in New York City. Hospitals in New York City, which has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus, are facing shortages of beds, ventilators and protective equipment for medical staff.
Here’s the latest on the developing situation. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.
9 a.m.: First responders get fast-lane service at some grocery stores
In an effort to support those on the front lines in the battle against the pandemic, some grocery stores in New York are creating “express lanes” for first responders.
PSK Market, Foodtown and Pathmark stores have already established the special first-responder lanes and announced they will hand out $100,000 in gift cards to people who work in hospitals.
“After a 12-hour shift, we should get them through the aisles, and let them get what they need,” said Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who is a former police officer, told ABC station WABC in New York City.
Adams said he hopes the first-responder supermarket “express lanes” will catch on across the state and nation.
“All first responders should simply be brought to the front of the line,” says Adams.
8:30 a.m.: Joe Biden offers again to speak with President Trump
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nominee, said on Sunday that President Donald Trump has yet to take him up on his offer to have a phone conversation about the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, it hasn’t happened. I’m happy to talk to him and I’d just tell him what we found is important to do … and that is to move swiftly and … we have to move more rapidly,” Biden told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning on “This Week.”
Biden currently leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by more than 300 delegates in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — a lead that is expected to grow as Wisconsin voters cast their ballots in the primary on Tuesday.
4:38 a.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweets thanks to the British public for staying home
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tweeted his thanks to the British public for staying home and saving lives.
Johnson himself is still in isolation after testing positive for the novel coronavirus on March 26. Yesterday it was announced that his pregnant fiancée, 32-year-old Carrie Symonds, has been self-isolating after suffering from symptoms of coronavirus and has been in bed for the past week.
2:01 a.m.: City in New Jersey now requiring all employees of essential businesses to wear face covers
Ravinder Bhalla, the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, announced in a statement that all employees of essential businesses still operating in the city are now required to wear face covers or masks while working.
The directive, issued by the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management, came on the same day that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey had suffered its worst day since the coronavirus outbreak began. The death toll in the Garden State has so far reached 846 with 34,124 positive cases reported.
“Today, the Hoboken Office of Emergency Management issued a directive requiring that all employees of essential businesses, including but not limited to supermarkets, pharmacies and all restaurants and food establishments, wear a face cover and gloves while at work and serving customers,” read the statement from Mayor Bhalla. “Face covers can include a bandana or scarf, or similar material. Face masks are also permitted, however, N95 masks and other PPE are urged to be left for medical professionals and first responders.”
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.