Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the state capitol building in Lansing (Michigan state) on Thursday, April 30, to protest against restrictions in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The protest was dubbed the "American Patriot Rally" and called for businesses in the state to reopen on Friday, May 1, in contravention to the extension of stay-at-home measures by the Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer until Friday, May 15. Some of the protesters reportedly bore arms and were stopped from entering the floor of the chamber by state police and sergeants-at-arms. The Republican-controlled legislature had refused Governor Whitmer's request to extend the emergency orders; however, Whitmore responded by stating that her orders were made under the current states of emergency and disaster, which she has extended for a further 28 days through Thursday, May 28.
President Donald Trump announced on April 30 that he would not be extending the US government's federal guidelines on social distancing in relation to COVID-19 which were due to expire on Friday, May 1. Vice President Mike Pence added that it would now be in the hands of state governors to gradually ease restrictions in place and to begin to reopen the economy.
On Wednesday, April 29, California state Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all beaches and state parks from Friday, May 1, for an indefinite period to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order was announced after thousands of people flocked to Orange County beaches during a recent heatwave despite a statewide stay-at-home order.
Protesters denounced US COVID-19 restrictions in the states of Washington, Colorado, and Arizona on Sunday, April 19, and in Vermont state on Monday, April 20. Most reported protests took place at state capitols, where groups gathered to demonstrate their opposition to stay-at-home orders. Minor skirmishes between protesters and police were reported. Similar protests have occurred since and are likely across the US as COVID-19-shutdown measures continue.
As of May 1, there have been a total of 1,070,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, with 63,019 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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