WED MAY 20 COVID-19 UPDATES: AAA skips Memorial Day travel projections

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(WOWT) -- Get a quick look at today's local, state, and national developments in the COVID-19 outbreak.


TODAY'S CASES: Nebraska | Iowa

RELATED: More coverage | Case map | Metro exposure sites | INFO

Today's developments

6 p.m. -- According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website, the state has 11,122 total cases and 138 deaths. The state of Iowa has reached 15,618 cases which are up 269 from yesterday's total of 15,349. Iowa deaths are up by 21 from Tuesday.

5:44 p.m. -- A Better Business Bureau spokesman said scammers are having a field day with so many Americans out of work, while a local FBI special agent said COVID-19 scams are spreading across the nation. 6 News was told many of the scams we’re seeing are being perpetrated by offshore crime gangs.

4:59 p.m. -- Like just about everything else, the coronavirus pandemic is gutting Memorial Day travel. Things are bad enough that AAA didn’t release its holiday weekend travel forecast this year. The lowest record that AAA has was set back in 2009 with 31 million people.

4:49 p.m. -- The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is opening 35 state recreation areas at Smith Falls State Park on Friday for camping.

4:41 p.m. -- Remote learning for special education students during the coronavirus has been largely left up to the school districts and the states. Now, the special education services that students receive depend on where they live, according to a survey by InvestigateTV.

4:32 p.m. -- The Douglas County Health Department announced a change in Thursday and Friday schedules for the drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic.

4:12 p.m. -- Three Rivers Public Health Department reported a total of 333 cases in their area Wednesday afternoon, an increase of 16 cases from their last report May 18.

4:01 p.m. -- Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour told the health board she wants to see more testing sites throughout Omaha.

3:50 p.m. -- The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday they did an inspection of the Elkhorn Life Care Center Monday.

3:44 p.m. -- Twin Creek Cinema in Bellevue plans to open a drive-in theater starting Friday night.

3:19 p.m. -- The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced eight additional cases of COVID-19 in their area, bringing the community total to 918.

3:02 p.m. -- The two astronauts who will end a nine-year launch drought for NASA arrived at Kennedy Space Center, exactly one week before their historic SpaceX flight. The welcoming committee was reduced drastically in size because of the coronavirus pandemic.

2:56 p.m. -- Speaking to Columbia University Law School graduates via video, Joe Biden warned that those “tasked with enforcing the law are abusing their powers,” offering a measured critique of the Trump administration. The former vice president's comments came amid escalating rhetoric from President Trump and his allies pushing conspiracy theories and alleging improper behavior during the Obama administration.

2:32 p.m. -- The Pottawattamie Public Health Department has reported that an elderly individual with pre-existing conditions has died from COVID-19. This is the county's 3rd death. The county also has reported seven new cases.

1:56 p.m. -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City will offer free coronavirus tests at the city's 169 nursing homes and will provide staff to replace nursing home employees who test positive for the virus.

1:51 p.m. -- Apple and Google released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

1:41 p.m. -- Buffett Early Childhood Institute issues guidance for reopening child care centers in Nebraska. [DETAILS]

1:32 p.m. -- A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds strong concern about a second wave of coronavirus infections is reinforcing widespread opposition among Americans to reopening public places, even as many state leaders step up efforts to return to life before the pandemic.

1:32 p.m. -- Kohl's announced it has reopened all Nebraska stores with reduced hours.

1:15 p.m. -- Central District Health Department reports three additional deaths and 17 more cases of COVID-19.

1:11 p.m. -- The Douglas County Health Department reported 145 additional cases in the area, totaling 2,715 cases to date.

12:55 p.m. -- New college graduates were set to enter the best job market in half a century. But that all changed in their final semester. When college seniors entered their final year just last fall, the national unemployment rate was at a near-record low of 3.7%. Today, it’s at a jaw-dropping 14.7%.

12:50 p.m. -- As businesses around the world adopt new practices due to coronavirus, one Japanese pub is taking an extreme approach to customer safety by spraying its customers with disinfectant.

12:27 p.m.-- Creighton announces it has furloughed 190 employees.

11:54 a.m. -- U.S. health officials have quietly released more reopening guidance that was created more than a month ago but initially shelved. As with other recently released guidance, religious organizations were not included. Instead, the document has advice for childcare facilities, schools, day camps, mass transit systems, restaurants, bars and other businesses and organizations that have workers at high risk of becoming sick from the coronavirus.

11 a.m. -- Gov. Kim Reynolds announced in her daily news conference that several more Iowa businesses can reopen on Friday, with more to follow ahead of Memorial Day weekend. Some school activities will also be allowed to resume in June. [PROCLAMATION]

10:59 a.m. -- Two more residents of Life Care Center in Elkhorn have died, and three more have been hospitalized.

10:33 a.m. -- A man in a Colorado is accused of shooting a Waffle House cook who refused to serve him since he wasn’t wearing a mask.

10:22 a.m. -- Nebraska University is reducing tuition rates for most online classes by 9% and locking in that rate for two years.

10:08 a.m. -- The interest rate on new undergraduate federal student loans will decrease to 2.75%, the lowest point on record, for the 2020-21 school year. That is a drop of 39% from 4.53% in 2019-20.

9:41 a.m. -- President Trump threatened to hold up coronavirus relief money for Michigan after he said — erroneously — that the state had sent absentee ballots to millions of voters. It's not clear that he can do so.

8:53 a.m. -- The Federal Trade Commission warned nursing homes residents and their families of reports of facilities trying to take the coronavirus stimulus payments of people on Medicaid.

8:16 a.m. -- A southern California community is upset because the graduation signs they put up in their yards were taken down by a homeowners association.

6:59 a.m. -- CVS Health says it is returning $43 million it received from the federal government for coronavirus relief.

5:50 a.m. -- New Jersey’s top homeland security official received nearly nonstop calls in early March from grocery chains, trucking companies and other logistics firms wanting to know if rumors of an impending national lockdown were true.

5:25 a.m. -- Children who may have developed the new coronavirus-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome will likely have to be hospitalized, but their parents should still bring them for treatment, doctors say.

4:18 a.m. -- As nations around the world loosen coronavirus restrictions, people are discovering that the return to normal is anything but.

Today's livestreams

11 a.m. -- Iowa governor's COVID-19 update [WATCH]
2 p.m. -- Nebraska governor's COVID-19 update [WATCH]
3:30 p.m. -- Lincoln-Lancaster County COVID-19 update [WATCH]
4 p.m. -- COVID-19 Q&A with Ben Salazar [WATCH]