This is your May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update. Follow the daily updates here

  • Global confirmed coronavirus cases – 5,110,172
  • Global coronavirus deaths – 330,106

As the global total surpassed 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the largest single-day total of new cases since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the WHO, nations around the world confirmed 106,000 new coronavirus cases in the last day. Two-thirds of those new cases were in only four countries – the US, Brazil, Russia, and India. Brazil surpassed the US for the first time with the largest new case count in a 24 hour period.

May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update
Nations with at least 1,000 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours. May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update

Legal Troubles at Church

Some churches in Minnesota say they will begin meeting once again in defiance of the governor’s lockdown orders. This move is in line with a growing trend across the country. In Oregon, a fight is taking shape within the courts after a group of churches sued the governor over the restrictions that prevented them from meeting. One judge ruled the governor’s restrictions on religious meetings was unconstitutional. Later the Oregon Supreme Court overruled the judge and said the restrictions on religious meetings had to stay in place while they reviewed the decision. Meanwhile, the Federal Justice Department sent a letter to the Governor of California, which stated the state’s reopening plan discriminates against churches.

May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update
Churches and state social distancing orders are heading toward confrontations. May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update

Churches have played a unique role in the spread of the virus around the world. (See this article I wrote in April.) As a reminder, there is no verse in scripture that requires Christians to meet in a building. The church was never about a building. It was about a people joining together (even virtually) in the name of Christ.

Possible Second Wave in the South

A research team that uses cell phone data to track social mobility and forecast the pandemic warned of a significant second wave hitting the southern United States in the next four weeks. The research team said preliminary data shows a potential for hot spots in many locations that reopened too quickly. The research included several large cities in Texas, the entire state of Alabama, and southeast Florida as areas of concern.

We previously tracked the timeline and spread of the pandemic for the US here and the globe here. The previous trackers will be archived and remain posted for research and record purposes. If you enjoyed this May 21, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update, please consider subscribing to the blog.