By MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News
(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 323,000 people worldwide.
Over 4.9 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.5 million diagnosed cases and at least 91,938 deaths.
Here's how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:
5:41 a.m.: University of Cambridge to keep all lectures online until summer 2021
The prestigious University of Cambridge plans to keep all lectures online over the course of the next academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The University is constantly adapting to changing advice as it emerges during this pandemic," a spokesperson told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. "Given that it is likely that social distancing will continue to be required, the University has decided there will be no face-to-face lectures during the next academic year."
It's the first globally-known university to announce such plans beyond the upcoming fall term.
"Lectures will continue to be made available online and it may be possible to host smaller teaching groups in person, as long as this conforms to social distancing requirements," the spokesperson added. "This decision has been taken now to facilitate planning, but as ever, will be reviewed should there be changes to official advice on coronavirus."
The University of Cambridge, one of the oldest universities in the world, closed its campuses in the United Kingdom in March due to the pandemic. All teaching has been moved online and exams are conducted virtually.
4:19 a.m.: All 50 US states have now eased coronavirus restrictions
All 50 U.S. states have now taken steps to ease restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Connecticut was among the last to begin reopening its society and economy, with residents allowed to go to retail shops and dine outdoors at restaurants starting Wednesday. Hair salons and barbershops, however, won't be allowed to reopen until June 1, while guidance on gyms, nail salons, massage therapy businesses and tattoo parlors will come at a later date.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont called it a "slow and methodical reopening."
"There is a balance and there's nothing that is risk-free," Lamont said at a virtual press conference Tuesday. "I think we can proceed on a very thoughtful basis with those businesses that are least likely to be dangerous and most likely to have a real economic value for the state. And I'm looking forward, I think this is a good day for the state and I hope everybody maintains their discipline because that's going to make it successful."
The process hasn't been without controversy. Earlier this month, protesters gathered outside the Connecticut state capital and the governor's mansion in Hartford demanding that businesses be allowed to resume activities, as a growing number of other states across the country began reopening.
Connecticut, home to some 3.5 million people, has so far tested more than 185,000 people for COVID-19 and at least 38,430 have returned positive results.
At least 3,472 people in the state have died from the disease, while another 914 remained hospitalized Tuesday.
"These are trend lines that I think give us some confidence," Lamont said. "The timing is right, and we hit the key metrics that we thought we would."
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