This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Tuesday, May 12th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

Read our guide to understanding New York on PAUSE, NY's stay-at-home order; a look at preparing for the spread of coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our regularly updated coronavirus FAQ. Here are some local and state hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.


Cuomo Says State Needs $61 Billion In Federal Aid To Avoid Cuts To Essential Services

4:00 p.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said New York may have to enact a 20 percent cut to schools, local governments and hospitals if Congress fails to pass another stimulus bill to assist states whose economies have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The bill has to fund state and local governments," Cuomo said, during his press briefing.

He said New York alone needs $61 billion in federal aid.

"Who does the state fund?" he said "The state funds schools, local governments and hospitals. You really want New York state to turn around and have to cut schools and local governments?"

"You want me to cut hospitals?" he added.

The issue of funding states has become an increasingly partisan issue, with Republicans and the White House painting the aid as a bailout to Democratic states. In reality, most states have been badly hurt by the virus. Republican states like Texas and Ohio are also grappling with large budget shortfalls.

On Monday, President Donald Trump accused Democratic states of stalling their reopenings. “There just seems to be no effort on certain blue states to get back into gear,” he said.

Some Republicans have wanted to insert conditions on state funding, such as not allowing the money to go toward funding pensions. Either way, both the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have indicated they are in no rush to pass a bill, dimming hopes that states will be assured of stimulus funding before Memorial Day.

"This is not about politics," Cuomo insisted. "Every state, red state, blue states, they all need funding."

"A Truly Disturbing Situation," Says Cuomo As Roughly 100 Children Are Reported For New Covid-Related Illness

2:15 p.m. New York state is investigating approximately 100 cases of children who have been reported as showing symptoms for a new inflammatory illness linked to coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

At a press briefing held at Binghamton University, Cuomo called the unexpected trend a "truly disturbing situation."

The majority of patients fall between the ages 5 through 14, though ages have ranged from those in infancy to adults as old as 21.

Three children, ranging in ages from 5 to a young adult of 18, have died from the condition, known as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or PMIS. One was a 5-year-old boy from New York City who died last week.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 52 cases have now been reported in New York City.

Many of the children have either tested positive for coronavirus or for the antibodies. Some experts have described the illness as a "post-viral" condition affecting children who have previously been infected.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention deployed a team on Monday to New York to investigate the cases and help form a criteria for the illness, which fell under the radar of New York City health officials in late April.

The symptoms resemble toxic shock syndrome, a complication arising from a bacterial infection, and Kawasaki disease, which causes an inflammation of blood vessels. Parents have being instructed to contact their pediatrician if their children show signs of prolonged fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, rash, and swollen tongues.

On Tuesday, the state health department notably produced a more expanded list of symptoms including difficulty feeding for infants, changes in skin color, trouble breathing, a racing heart or chest pain, decreased amount or frequency of urine and lethargy, irritability or confusion.

Hospitals in New York are now being ordered to prioritize coronavirus testing for children who exhibit symptoms.

At least five children are currently being treated in Connecticut. Doctors in Massachusetts and California have also reported cases.

"If we have this issue in New York, it’s probably in other states, and probably haven’t been diagnosed yet in other states," Cuomo said.

Broadway Theaters Will Stay Closed Through Labor Day

March 12th, 2020, the first night of Broadway going dark

Photo by Gretchen Robinette / Gothamist

1:30 p.m. The Broadway theater district will remain closed through at least Labor Day due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Broadway League, which represents 41 theaters, issued the announcement in a press release on Tuesday.

“While all Broadway shows would love to resume performances as soon as possible, we need to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes to the theatre – behind the curtain and in front of it – before shows can return. The Broadway League’s membership is working in cooperation with the theatrical unions, government officials, and health experts to determine the safest ways to restart our industry,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League.

She added that the league was working with Governor Andrew Cuomo on when Broadway shows could possibly resume.

Governor Cuomo ordered Broadway to close on March 12th, upsetting the livelihoods of thousands of people in one of the city's trademark industries. The show district has been on a winning streak of late, posting 14.6 million patrons last year, the best on record, and grossing $1.8 billion.

But as part of the state's reopening plan, arts and entertainment are considered lowest in priority. The sector has been placed in the last phase of the reopening.

De Blasio Tells NYers To "Double Down" On Social Distancing, As City Death Toll Surpasses 20,000

11:15 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that New Yorkers should prepare to "double down" on social distancing for at least the remainder of the month — and potentially much longer — as the city's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 20,000.

While total hospitalizations have continued to decrease citywide, the percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 and the number of people with the virus in public hospital ICUs have ticked up slightly, the mayor said during his daily press briefing on Tuesday.

"Clearly these indicators are not getting us the kind of answers we need [to begin reopening]," de Blasio said. "We’re going to remain in the state we’re in for the month of May. In the beginning of June, that will be the first chance we get to do something differently, but only if the indicators show us that."

The city's three indicators, which come on top of seven criteria from the state for local reopening, have shown inconsistent promise so far. While Governor Andrew Cuomo signaled this week that certain low-risk activities — such as tennis or drive-in movie theaters — would begin to open statewide, de Blasio said he was waiting to see the executive order before determining the "practical implications" for NYC.

“We are talking to our public health experts to determine what can be done safely," a spokesperson for de Blasio added via email on Tuesday. "No action will be taken before it is safe to do so."

De Blasio also lamented the "painful milestone" reached on Monday night, as the city health department revealed that more than 20,000 New Yorkers have now died from the virus — accounting for more than a quarter of fatalities nationwide.

That number includes probable deaths, but is still likely a significant undercount. A report issued by the CDC on Monday found that the city had seen more than 24,000 deaths above their usual mortality figures.

According to de Blasio, "a very substantial number of those deaths" were likely connected to COVID-19, but would not be included in the city's count, at least in the short term.

The mayor also provided an update on the "sobering, bluntly frightening" inflammatory illness, linked to the coronavirus, that has emerged as a threat to young children. There have now been 52 cases of the mystifying disease, which health officials are calling pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome (PMIS), across the city — up from 38 cases the state reported on Monday. At least one child in NYC has died from the virus.

The mayor encouraged parents to call their primary care doctor if their child seems lethargic or otherwise "off." Families without a doctor should call 311 to be connected to the public hospital system, he said.

"This is not something the health care community saw on its radar," the mayor added. "In last week or two, suddenly, we’re seeing something that’s very troubling.”

As U.S. Death Toll Exceeds 80,0000, Fauci Will Testify Before Senate

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the most prominent and experienced members of the White House coronavirus task force, is expected to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday, warning the American public that attempts to reopen too quickly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic could cause "needless suffering and death."

The New York Times late Monday reported that Fauci, an infectious disease expert who heads the National Health Institute, had emailed one of their reporters on what he planned to say at the hearing.

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” he wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

Several other federal officials, including Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will also testify at the hearing via videoconference. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has pushed for a faster reopening even as the U.S. death toll rises, it has now surpassed 80,000. The president recently said that total deaths could grow to as many as 100,000.

More than half of states that had issued lockdown orders have now either reopened or plan to reopen soon, leading many experts to predict that the country will likely experience a resurgence of the disease.

Even the White House has not been able to seal itself from the virus. After two aides tested positive, the Trump administration ordered everyone in the West Wing to wear masks unless they are sitting at their desks. But the new rules will not apply to the president nor Vice President Mike Pence.

Here in New York, three upstate regions that have had relative few virus cases have been cleared to reopen this weekend. Under a phased reopening plan, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that regions must reach seven health and testing benchmarks before reopening certain businesses.

Beginning Friday, landscaping and gardening work, outdoor sports like tennis, and drive-in movie theaters in the state can reopen, Cuomo announced Monday.

On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has outlined his own milestones for a reopening plan, said he did not think New York City would not be ready until at least June.