Happy Tuesday. It’s getting really nice out where your Morning Dispatchers are, and we’re getting positively stir crazy—here’s hoping the weather remains foul wherever you’re reading this, to cut down on temptation!
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
As of Monday night, there are now 164,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (a 15.6 percent increase from yesterday) and 3,164 deaths (a 27.6 percent increase from yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 1.9 percent (the true mortality rate is difficult to calculate due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 944,854 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States, 17 percent have come back positive, per the COVID Tracking Project, a separate dataset with slightly different topline numbers.
Macy’s—which closed its 775 locations due to coronavirus concerns on March 18—announced it will be furloughing most of its 125,000 employees due to the shutdown’s impact on sales. Furloughed workers will continue to receive health insurance through May, and the company hopes to bring back employees “on a staggered basis as business resumes.”
Johnson & Johnson is set to begin clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine by September, and the company said it’s hopeful the vaccine will be eligible for emergency use authorization from the FDA by early 2021.