Coronavirus

President Trump, in a speech Friday at Mount Rushmore that lasted more than 40 minutes, focused on statues and "cancel culture," and accused his political opponents of fascism. But he spared just a few words for the pandemic that has killed 130,000 Americans, thanking "the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus." And that was it.

Exercise is good for physical and mental health, but with coronavirus cases surging across the country, exercising indoors with other people could increase your chance of infection. So, as gyms reopen across the country, here are some things to consider before heading for your workout.

Assess your own risk

It starts with you, says Dr. Saadia Griffith-Howard, an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente.

The grim news has taken no respite this Fourth of July.

I've been stranded in Kenya since March, trying to get a "repatriation" flight to return home to the United States. I was finally able to book a flight but I'm still not sure I'll be able to board at the scheduled departure time – a week from Saturday. Not only are cancellations part of the new normal for international flights, but passengers in some countries need to present evidence they're likely not infected with the novel coronavirus before being allowed to board.

Audrey just turned 18 and relishes crossing into adulthood: She voted for the first time this year, graduated high school and is college-bound next month. The honors student typically wakes up "a bundle of nerves," she says, which had fueled her work volunteering, playing varsity sports and leading student government.

But for years, she also struggled with anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder — all of which drove her to work harder.

More widespread wearing of face masks could prevent tens of thousands of deaths by COVID-19, epidemiologists and mathematicians project.

A model from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that near-universal wearing of cloth or homemade masks could prevent between 17,742 and 28,030 deaths across the US before Oct. 1.

Major League Baseball is cancelling the 2020 All-Star game over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and restricting on mass gatherings, the league says.

In the middle of March, when the coronavirus forced schools to shutter around the country, Francesca Montanaro, 11, abruptly transferred from fifth grade to "pizza school."

She started calling into her Zoom English class from a small table squeezed in the back of her father's pizzeria, Katonah Pizza & Pasta in the Bronx borough of New York City. Surrounded by sacks of flour, she wrote an essay on A Midsummer Night's Dream in a room filled with the aromas of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

With coronavirus cases surging in the U.S., many people are concluding they'll have to learn to live with the virus until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and that's led to a huge increase in orders for plexiglass and other types of clear plastic barriers meant to keep us safe.

"Demand is ridiculously high," said Jackie Yong, a 17-year employee of J. Freeman, Inc., a plastics distributor and sign supplier in Boston whose products include plexiglass and other plastic sheets. "Everything's just been flying out the door."

The U.S. Supreme Court in an emergency ruling Thursday evening temporarily blocked a lower court's decision that, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, would have made it easier for residents of three Alabama counties to vote by absentee ballot in July 14 primary runoff elections.

England will lift a 14-day quarantine requirement on travelers from more than 50 countries and territories that have been a deemed a "reduced risk" for spreading the coronavirus, the U.K. government has announced.

Wanting to get together with friends and family to celebrate this holiday weekend but nervous about the coronavirus?

With new infections climbing in most states, infectious disease experts discourage group get-togethers, especially one that involves drinking. Bottom line: Watch out for parties or bars.

Across the United States the coronavirus is once again on the march. On Wednesday alone there were nearly 50,000 new cases — a record. The case counts for each state suggest the disease is mainly spreading in a band stretching from Florida across much of the southernmost states and westward to California, with Idaho and Iowa also in trouble.

But when you use tools to drill down to more local data, the picture gets more complicated — and even more concerning. Here are five takeaways:

It may be time for a statewide lockdown in Arizona and Florida

People once wished each other well on Independence Day by saying: "Have a glorious Fourth!"

A bit antique, perhaps, in the best of times, but a phrase you still heard. Until now.

Can you imagine well-wishers offering that sentiment this weekend, without a trace of irony or a wistful look?

Not likely, not in the summer of 2020, the summer of resurgent COVID-19 cases, of restaurants and beaches that had reopened only to close again — of workers recently returned to work who have been laid off again.

In the Idaho mountain town of Grangeville, population 3,200, signs in windows on Main Street advertise that Border Days "is on."

The annual Fourth of July celebration boasts street dances, Idaho's longest-running rodeo and even the world's largest egg toss. Like in a lot of small towns, Grangeville's economy has been struggling throughout this pandemic.

Border Days planners decided to go ahead with an altered, if slightly scaled back version of the festival this year amid worries about a possible spike in coronavirus cases.

The United States has reached a daily global record for the coronavirus pandemic — reporting more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases. The daily U.S. tally stood at 55,274 late Thursday, which exceeds the previous single-day record of 54,771 set by Brazil on June 19.

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,739,879, an increase of 53,399 over Wednesday's figure.

Erika Mahoney

 

On July 2, the California Department of Public Health added Monterey County to the state’s COVID-19 watch list due to elevated disease transmission and hospitalizations. County officials also announced sweeping beach closures. This year, Fourth of July will feel quite different. 

The Trump administration is urging airlines to leave some airplane seats empty to help protect travelers and crew members from the coronavirus but it is stopping short of requiring airlines to keep seats open to create physical distancing on flights.

The federal COVID-19 guidelines also encourage all passengers to wear face coverings or masks but again, the administration will not mandate it.

As new cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in California, one Golden State sheriff's office announced on Wednesday that it would impose a fine of $300 on people caught in public without a mask.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department West Hollywood Station stepped up enforcement of an order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom, saying in a Facebook post that it would issue citations that come with a $250 fine and $50 in fees.

Arizona is contending with one of the worst outbreaks of any state as coronavirus cases surge again across the United States. Hospitals are bracing for a wave of seriously ill patients, and health officials are pleading with the public to wear masks and heed guidance about social distancing — even in the absence of a second stay-at-home order.

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