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Another significant milestone came and went Thursday as the number of global new coronavirus cases topped 5 million. This came just a day after the World Health Organization reported the highest one-day total of new cases since the outbreak began late last year.

More than 100,000 new infections have been reported in the last 24 hours. Nearly two-thirds of the new cases came from only four countries, including the United States.

Additionally, the number of unemployed Americans climbed yet again last week. Nearly 39 million people have lost their jobs, a devastating aftershock of widespread business shutdowns caused by the new coronavirus.

More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a report Thursday said. This means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced millions of businesses to shrink their workforces.

Also, 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time.

Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday. More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found.

READ: Global Cases Top 5 Million As WHO Reports Worst Day Yet For New Infections

Jobless Claims Near 39M Since Virus Hit; 2.4M First-Time Filers

Steven Mnuchin speaks during a meeting with restaurant industry executives about the coronavirus response. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Mnuchin: ‘Strong Likelihood’ Of Another Stimulus

After the House of Representatives last week passed a $3 trillion measure aimed at providing more relief to financially strained Americans, that bill is now collecting dust in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to consider it.

However, it was U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who provided a bit of hope for those anxiously anticipating more aid.

“There is a strong likelihood we will need another bill” to keep the economy intact before a nationwide reopening, Mnuchin told The Hill.

Still, Mnuchin echoed statements previously made by GOP leaders and White House officials, saying, “We’re going to step back for a few weeks and think very clearly how we need to spend more money and if we need to do that.”

Mnuchin also said it’s too early to predict when the economy will make a comeback, though he anticipates “dreadful” second-quarter figures before a rebound through the second half of the year.

Dr. Drew Miller wears a homemade gown as he prepares to see potential COVID-19 patients in Lakin, Kansas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives

The United States may have waited too long to impose social distancing measures — a move that potentially cost as many as 36,000 lives.

New estimates from Columbia University disease modelers say that many lives would have been saved if the United States had put lockdowns and other social distancing measures in place just one week earlier. Doing it two weeks earlier would’ve spared 54,000.

“It’s a big, big difference. That small moment in time, catching it in that growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths,” Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia and the leader of the research team, told The New York Times.

The findings are based on infectious disease modeling that gauges how reduced contact between people starting in mid-March slowed transmission of the virus.

Top Democrats Want Flags Lowered When Deaths Hit 100K

Democratic leaders are urging President Donald Trump to fly flags at half-staff on public buildings across the country when the coronavirus death toll reaches 100,000.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the request in a letter sent to Trump on Thursday, The Associated Press reported in a morning roundup. They say the gesture would “serve as a national expression of grief so needed by everyone in our country.”

As of Thursday morning, there have been more than 93,500 COVID-19 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Miguel Colio cleans tables at the Goldfield Trading Post restaurant in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Americans Have Strong Fears Of New Infections

A new poll shows a majority of Americans aren’t entirely convinced it’s safe to go back to business as usual since the coronavirus upended many aspects of their lives.

An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 83 percent of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that lifting restrictions in their area will lead to a second wave of infections.

Slightly more than half of the people surveyed were “very or extremely concerned” that lifting restrictions would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The poll also showed six in 10 Americans polled said the availability of widespread testing is essential to reestablishing public activities.

The poll results come as every state in the country has taken steps to reopen, despite at least 17 states seeing an upward daily trend in new coronavirus cases.

Connecticut was the final state to begin lifting restrictions.

States in the Northeast and on the West Coast have waited the longest to reopen, while a handful of states in the South opened earlier and on a larger scale. Even with the reopenings, a number of social distancing requirements are still in place for every state.

A health care worker administers a coronavirus test in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

CDC Releases Detailed Guidelines For Reopening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued extensive guidance for schools and businesses reopening from coronavirus closings. The CDC quietly released the 60-page report over the weekend, but it received little notice until Wednesday. The report adds detail to a 38-page guidance document the CDC published last week.

The guidance also lays out an extensive blueprint for containing the virus through contact tracing and monitoring for outbreaks. The document does not include guidance on reopening churches, synagogues and other religious institutions; the Trump administration cited fears of religious discrimination in objections to guidelines for those institutions.

Diners have lunch on the outdoor patio of Mexicue restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

All 50 U.S. States Are Partially Reopen

As of Wednesday, all 50 states have now partially reopened from two-month coronavirus lockdowns; however, only 16 states have seen their average daily cases drop by more than 10 percent.

States have taken the reopening process at different speeds, with a collection of governors looking to take a county-by-county approach. Many major cities also still remain under stay-at-home orders.

In March, the White House released guidance to help states plan for reopening, but the measures were not mandatory, and governors were free to make their own decisions on the process.

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