Virus review: CDC releases new reopening guidance; oil, manufacturing had best luck with PPP loans

Virus review: CDC releases new reopening guidance; oil, manufacturing had best luck with PPP loans

U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page “decision tool” documents that use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.

The tools are for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, and bars and restaurants. The CDC originally also authored a document for churches and other religious facilities, but that wasn't posted Thursday. The agency declined to say why.

In other news, almost 75% of small businesses applied for help from a United States loan program designed to keep workers employed during the coronavirus pandemic, but only 38% of small businesses received any money, according to results from a U.S. Census Bureau survey released Thursday.

Oil extraction and mining businesses had the best success in getting loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, with more than half of businesses surveyed in that sector reporting getting some help, according to the survey.

Just under half of small businesses in manufacturing and about 45% of small businesses in accommodations and food services reported receiving loans, the survey found.

In other developments:

  • Whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright warned the U.S. lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. Bright told a congressional panel the nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively. Bright alleges he was ousted from a high-level scientific post after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.
  • Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI served a search warrant for his phone as part of an insider trading investigation tied to the coronavirus pandemic. The Justice Department is investigating whether Burr broke the law with a well-timed sale of stocks before the coronavirus caused markets to plummet.
  • President Donald Trump said Thursday that he intends to prepare the country for future pandemics by restocking the national stockpile and bringing critical manufacturing back to the U.S. 
  • Worries about having enough to eat are adding to the anxiety of millions of people across the United States, according to the COVID Impact Survey. It found 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in the past month and 46% were worried about running out.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is struggling against a Republican revolt over his stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. Counties that have been egged on by state GOP lawmakers have threatened to defy his orders, forcing the Democratic governor to decide how far to go in enforcing them.
  • It will be a summer in the South for NASCAR: The stock car series announced Thursday it will stick to Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and Alabama for June races — all of them without fans. NASCAR has now set plans for 20 races — including nine in the elite Cup Series — as it returns to the tracks after being shut down for more than two months by concerns about the coronavirus.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, charts tracking testing and more.

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