ABC - COVID-19 News

CBS via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Fran Drescher surprised fans of The Nanny by revealing that she and the rest of the cast of the beloved '90s sitcom would be reuniting for a table read...and it'll be available via the video app Zoom. 

"NANNY FANS ALERT," she wrote on her socials, and linked to an article in Variety that shows a photo of the cast, shown boxed into the Zoom video views that are now familiar to those riding out the COVID-19 pandemic from home.

"It's happening!!!! MONDAY 4/6 the original cast of The Nanny together AGAIN in a virtual read of the pilot episode!!!" she wrote.

"Laughter is the best medicine!" Drescher told Variety in a statement. "So, in these challenging times, Peter and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we pulled together the original cast of The Nanny for a virtual read of the pilot?"

"Peter" is the show’s co-creator and Drescher's ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson.

According to Variety, the table read will be posted on the Sony Pictures YouTube page the morning of Monday, April 6.

"It’s a once in a lifetime Pandemic Performance for our fans around the world who are currently stressing in isolation and could use a real upper!" she added. "It sure has given each of us a lift and we hope it does for you as well."

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iStock/simpson33(LOS ANGELES) -- In what will come as a shock to no one, new Neilsen numbers show that Americans who are sheltering from the coronavirus pandemic are streaming like never before. 

In fact, the data quoted by Variety show an 85% jump in Americans streaming TV programming over the first three weeks of March compared to last year -- some 400 billion estimated minutes. 

During the week of March 16 alone, viewers watched about 156.1 billion minutes of streaming content on TV, Variety said, up 22% from the week prior and more than two times as much as they watched last year in that same period. 

While the Nielsen numbers are jaw-dropping -- or perhaps butt-numbing -- they're just a fraction of how much content people are really streaming. The numbers refer only to people streaming to their TVs, and don't count people watching video content on mobile devices, PCs and game consoles. 

Out of all the streaming vehicles, Netflix enjoys 23% of streaming to TVs for the week of March 16, Variety notes.  YouTube follows at 20%, Hulu with 10% of TV streaming, and Amazon Prime Video, 9%. 

However, the Neilsen numbers also rank an "other" category at 31%.  In that space, Disney seems to have boomed, no doubt helped by homebound kids and decisions to move Frozen 2 and other films to the service sooner than initially anticipated.

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR(NEW YORK) -- CNN host Chris Cuomo has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Cuomo revealed the news via Twitter, writing, "I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath. I just hope I didn't give it to the kids and [wife] Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness!"

Despite his diagnosis, Crumo says he'll continue to broadcast his daily show -- just from a different location.

"I am quarantined in my basement (which actually makes the rest of the family seem pleased!) I will do my shows from here. We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!"

On Monday night, Cuomo's most recent interview with New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo -- Chris' older brother -- saw the politician poking fun of his "meatball" younger bro's basement digs, but made no mention of his diagnosis.

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(NEW YORK) -- With millions of people stuck at home with COVID-19 social distancing, it's no secret we're streaming moves more than ever. The video-on-demand service FandangoNOW has charted its most popular titles from last week through the weekend, and the horror flick The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss, topped their list for the second week in a row. 

Pixar's animated film Onward, Vin Diesel's Bloodshot, and Margot Robbie's Birds of Prey -- three additional movies that were bumped to streaming earlier than plan due to coronovirus theater closings -- took the second, third, and fourth slots, respectively.  The blockbuster sequel Jumanji: The Next Level took the fifth slot. 

Here are FandangoNOW’s top ten films, based on sales and rentals:

 1. The Invisible Man
 2. Onward
 3. Bloodshot
 4. Birds of Prey
 5. Jumanji: The Next Level
 6. 1917
 7. I Still Believe
 8. The Way Back
 9. Dolittle
10. The Hunt

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FangXiaNuo/iStock(LONDON) -- There's a fetish for everything, but those who have a kink for dressing up like doctors and nurses are forgoing theirs to help real medical professionals.

MedFetUK, a site for those who really like playing doctor, donated all their medical supplies to the National Health Service (NHS) over the weekend.

In a five-part Twitter thread, the website announced, "Today we donated our entire stock of disposable scrubs to an NHS hospital. It was just a few sets, because we don't carry large stocks, but they were desperate, so we sent them free of charge."  

MedFetUK went on to say that, while they don't want to get political, they felt they had to weigh in on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mostly, they called out politicians who claim the NHS has everything it needs to combat the outbreak.

"When you see someone from the government saying the NHS is getting what it needs, that is a LIE," fumed MedFet, "We have been contacted this week by representatives of NHS procurement all over the country, trying to source basic protective equipment and clothing."

The website went on to call this entire incident "scandalous" because "we, a tiny company set up to serve a small section of the kink community, find ourselves being sought out as a last-resort supplier."

MedFet later tweeted that they didn't assist the NHS for "special kudos" but because it was the "obvious and only right thing to do."  The website also shouted out healthcare workers for bravely fighting on the front lines against the pandemic.

The UK currently has over 22,400 confirmed cases and more than 1,400 deaths.

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ABC/Stewart Cook(LOS ANGELES) -- The COVID-19 coronavirus has claimed another TV show: ABC has scrapped its planned The Bachelor Summer Games as a result of the pandemic, according to Variety

The series, which was never formally announced, was reportedly to have run during this summer's Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which were recently postponed to 2021.  The follow-up to 2018's The Bachelor: Winter Games, pits Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants going head-to-head in Olympic-themed athletic challenges. 

It's the franchise's second show to feel the effects of COVID-19. The Bachelorette's 16th season, featuring Clare Crawley, was put on hold as well.

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John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Urgent care clinics and doctors' offices around the nation will soon have a new method to test for COVID-19, dubbed "a whole new ballgame" by President Donald Trump.

The device, made my Abbott, makes testing for COVID-19 as easy as testing for the flu.  The test received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

John Frels, Ph.D., Abbott’s vice president of research and development, announced "This is going to be the fastest molecular point-of-care test to date.  It generates a positive result in 5 minutes and negative results in 13 minutes."

President Trump showed off the new equipment at his daily press briefing on Monday, saying it is "highly accurate."

Called the ID NOW machine, it can test multiple samples.  Once a caretaker administers a swab test, the swab is then mixed in a chemical solution that dissolves the virus and releases the genetic material.  

The broken-down sample will then be transported to the ID NOW machine, which will be able to detect the genetic material of the COVID-19 coronavirus.  

The cost of having such a test will parallel that of the ID NOW flu test, which will be covered by most insurances.

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Sony Pictures(LOS ANGELES) -- Sony Pictures has done some last-minute shuffling with a few of its films in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Deadline

Ghostbusters: Afterlife has been pushed to March 5, 2021 from its original July 10 release date, while Sony/Marvel’s Morbius, starring Jared Leto, will hit theaters March 19, 2021, instead of July 31. 

Greyhound, Tom Hanks’ World War II drama slated for a June 12 release, has been postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date, while the Kevin Hart comedy Fatherhood will now hit theaters on October 23, 2021, instead of January 15.

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ABC/Nicole Wilder(LOS ANGELES) -- We’ve all heard it a million times already, but Matthew McConaughey took to Instagram on Monday to urge all Americans to stay home.

In the new PSA, in which he co-created, called "At War with the Virus," McConaughey is heard speaking under a montage of medical professionals treating patients as ordinary people are seen working from home.

"We are at war with a virus," he begins.  "And healthcare workers and first responders are on the frontline fighting it every day."

"Let’s join the fight by staying home," he encourages. "Staying home is not a retreat.  It’s the most brave and aggressive weapon we have against this enemy.  'Cause when we do stay at home, we help prevent overwhelming our hospitals, while buying time for our scientists to find a vaccine."

"And that is how we beat it," he concludes in a serious tone.

As of Monday, the U.S. has reported 160,020 cases and the COVID-19 virus has spread to all 50 states.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Here's the latest information on the COVID-19 coronavirus as of 9:30 a.m. ET.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 801,400
Global deaths: 38,743
Number of countries/regions: at least 178
Total patients recovered globally: 172,657

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
At least 164,610 diagnosed cases in 50 states the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam.  This is now more than any other country. 
U.S. deaths: at least 3,170
Total U.S. patients recovered: 5,896

Latest reported deaths per state
Visit https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.htmlfor the latest numbers.

School closures
For a state-by-state interactive map of current school closures, please visit the Education Week website, where numbers are updated once daily.

There are 98,277 public schools and 34,576 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

The latest headlines
Global COVID-19 cases top 800,000; US leads with the most confirmed infections
Global COVID-19 coronavirus infections exceeded 800,000 Tuesday in a total of 178 countries, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.  Just over 20% of those cases are in the United States, which has 164,601 confirmed cases as of Monday morning.  The second-highest number of confirmed cases is in Italy.  China, where the virus originated, currently has the fourth-highest number of reported confirmed cases, with 82,276, after posting the greatest number of cases just over a week ago.

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patient used to treat critical patient
As researchers worldwide work hard to develop a COVID-19 treatment, WFAA in Dallas reports doctors at Harris Methodist Hospital treated a 42-year-old man in critical condition from the virus with plasma from a recovered patient.  The hope is that antibodies from the recovered patient will help the sick patient recover.  Pulmonologist Dr. John Burk, who oversaw the infusion, said it’ll be a few days before it can be determined whether the treatment is having any positive effect.  Similar experimental infusions are being administered across the country.

Deputies arrest Florida pastor who ignored social-distancing mandate
The Hillsborough County, Florida, Sheriff’s Department Monday announced the arrest of Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of The River at Tampa Bay Church, for ignoring state and county mandates to stay at home and avoid social gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a news conference that Howard-Browne “intentionally and repeatedly chose to disregard the orders set in place by our president, the governor, the CDC and the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group. His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger."  Chronister said the arrest decision was made only after repeated contacts with the pastor and his attorneys failed to result in a resolution.  Church officials claimed they should officially be declared an essential service, like medical personnel and law enforcement, and so should be exempt from any prohibitions.  “Our goal is not to stop anyone from worshiping but the safety and well-being must always come first,” said Chronister.  Howard-Browne was charged with unlawful assembly assembly in violation of public health emergency order.


Good news!
General Motors to deliver 20,000 face masks by April 8; nurses sew N95 mask covers
General Motors, which has begun manufacturing medical face masks March 20, said today it’ll deliver some 20,000 of them to healthcare workers by April 8.  The automaker further said it expects to manufacture an estimated 50,000 masks per day, or 1.5 million masks per month, once it ramps up mask-producing operations to full capacity at Detroit-area facilities.  Nurses at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado aren’t waiting for GM or anyone else to provide the much-needed masks.  As KMGH reports, Kristen Dirksen and Brady Heuer set up a sewing room in the hospital to create modified surgical masks that are designed to me worn over N95 masks, hypothetically extending the latter’s life up to five times.  Using the fabric they use to sterilize surgical instruments, they’ve created 5,000 of the mask covers so far.

NCAA to give spring-sport athletes extra year of eligibility
Some college athletes received some good news Monday.  ESPN reports the NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes to have an additional year of eligibility, since their current year has been prematurely ended by the COVID-19 virus.  Spring sports include baseball, softball, lacrosse and others.  The NCAA Division 1 Council vote covers all spring-sport athletes, regardless of their current year in school, but doesn’t guarantee financial aid to current seniors if they elect to return to school next year to play and recover their lost year of eligibility.

NYC restaurant names a dish after Dr. Anthony Fauci
You know you’ve made it in New York when a restaurant names a menu item after you.  WABC in NYC reports Peter’s Clam Bar in Island Park, Long Island, NY, now proudly serves Fauci linguini, named after the 79-year-old Brooklyn, NY native who’s served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health since 1985.  Fauci’s been the public face of COVID-19 information and prevention in White House briefings and press interviews since the coronavirus pandemic began.  The dish features white clam sauce, which the restaurant claims was created in Sciacca, Italy, Fauci’s ancestral home. It’s only available for take-out only, per social isolation protocols.  By the way, Peter’s Clam Bar also donates Manhattan and New England clam chowder to all healthcare workers fighting COVID-19.

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FOX(LOS ANGELES) -- Elton John, Mariah Carey, Billie Eilish and other major music stars gathered together for the Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America on Sunday, and raised nearly $8 million to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and salute the strength and resilience of the U.S. people during the health crisis.

Highlights included Demi Lovato performing her hit "Skyscaper"; Eilish and her brother Finneas teaming up for an acoustic rendition of "bad guy"; Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes joining forces for her song "My Oh My"; and Mariah belting out her hit, "Always Be My Baby.”

Elton, who hostedthe event from his home, closed out the evening with a special performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."

Other performers included Backstreet Boys, Dave Grohl, Green Day’s Billie Jo Armstrong, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw.

The hour-long special drew more than 8.7 million viewers across multiple networks, who were encouraged to donate to two of the many charitable organizations that are helping COVID-19 victims and front line workers, such as health care professionals: Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.

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amenic181/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Move over toilet paper -- the latest item people are panic-buying in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is seeds.

Seed manufacturers say business has been booming lately, so much so that they're having trouble keeping up with the demand, according to The Washington Post.

It could be that people are just discovering the benefits of growing their own vegetables, says the newspaper, or possibly a fear of contamination or a shortage of supermarket produce.

In any case, seed companies are seeing vegetables -- particularly ones high in nutrients, such as kale, spinach and other quick-to-grow leafy greens -- flying off the shelves faster than they can restock them.

“Spinach is off the charts,” Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms of Kitchen Garden Seeds in Bantam, Connecticut tells the Post.

The other big sellers are beans, which are as versatile as they are nutritious.

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Mike Coppola/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As New York grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and area hospitals struggle to safely treat patients due to dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment, Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively extended a much-needed hand on Monday.

E! News reports that the couple personally reached out to the state's four hardest-hit hospitals -- Elmhurst, Mount Sinai, Northern Westchester and NYU Hospital -- and gifted each with $100,000.  

In New York City alone, dubbed the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, cases have swelled to 38,087 as of Monday afternoon, and 914 individuals have died.  

In the state of New York as a whole, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the virus claimed 1,218 lives and infected 66,000 people.  

"We've lost over 1,000 New Yorkers. To me we're beyond staggering already.  The only point now is do everything you can to save every life possible," announced Cuomo on Monday.

Sending $400,000 to New York hospitals is just the latest in a series of donations made by Blake and Ryan.  The two have fiercely advocated for the community to step up and assist those in need during the pandemic.

Two weeks ago, the couple donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada and, just last week, Reynolds announced that he'll be donating 30% of his Aviation Gin proceeds to bartenders that lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

In addition, Reynolds personally called shocked subscribers of Mint Mobile to let them know their provider was giving them free unlimited high speed data through mid-April.

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iStock/Gwengoat(NEW YORK) -- Businesses entering their second week of closure across America are starting to feel the deeper effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  GAP, which is one of the nation's largest retail chains, announced Monday it will furlough the majority of its North American workforce. 

The decision to furlough employees comes as shopping declines across the nation, with clothing sales dropping significantly since the start of the outbreak.  

Workers will continue to receive benefits during the furlough and corporate leaders will take a pay cut.

Sonia Syngal, the president and CEO of Gap Inc., announced "We are doing everything we can to provide support during this time, and we are intensely focused on welcoming back our store teams and customers as soon as we are able."

Macy's and Khol's announced similar measures on Monday.  The decision to furlough employees follows the announcement made by Nordstrom last week, a decision that affected 80 percent of its workforce.

This comes as President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he will expand the nation's social distancing guidelines to April 30 because "The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks."

This means that large public gatherings will be banned, travel restrictions will remain in place, and closures will still affect schools and businesses.

Despite retail stores contracting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the stock markets had a slight rebound on Monday following weeks of declines.  

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 690 points, which is slightly above three percent.  The S&P 500 gained 3.3 percent while the Nasdaq rebounded 3.6 percent. 

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L-R - Shelley Hack, Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd -- Walt Disney Television via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With the constantly scary headlines that are coming from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no surprise people are using their time at home to seek comfort in old television favorites.

As previously reported, Hallmark Channel is running its popular Christmas movies now, while retro cable channel COZI TV tells ABC Audio that it's seen a spike in viewership.

In fact, COZI viewing has grown 24% over the past three weeks compared to the same period last year, according Meredith McGinn, the network's senior vice president.

"COZI TV's broadcast lineup has become comfort TV during these uncertain times," McGinn said. "As more and more viewers tune in, we look forward to welcoming them with feel-good family fun, filled with our iconic catalog of sitcoms, dramas and action series that will give families a much-needed reprieve."

One of those feel-good shows? The '70s classic Charlie's Angels, which airs weekday mornings at 9 AM Eastern time, and in a three-hour block on Saturdays.  The show, which inspired several films, follows three young women who work for a private detective firm run by Charles "Charlie" Townsend.

Cheryl Ladd played Kris Munroe on the show; her character was the little sister of Farrah Fawcett-Majors' character Jill Munroe.  In a recent chat with ABC Audio, Ladd explained the Angels' ongoing appeal. 

She expliained, "I just think people connect with the characters...I mean, we were grown-up Girl Scouts really in the show. There wasn't anything too racy about it. The wonderful thing about that show is the whole family could watch it."

Ladd explains, "I've run into so many women who are now police sergeants and firefighters...all of these women that were inspired by those characters, which is always so rewarding to hear." 

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