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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's not just restaurants and bars: The reopening of America will be centered around reducing our pre-virus conceptions of how many people can congregate together indoors.

The big picture: Social distancing and spacing is strongly encouraged by the CDC in its new guidelines for reopening various parts of American life.

  • It leaves the "how" more up to local government, but you can easily imagine the scale of this challenge.

The 6 sectors:

  1. Workplaces: Even keeping at-risk staffers at home will require creative planning to allow social distancing.
  2. Restaurants and bars: The service sector was built around thin margins, and many businesses will fail if they can't run at full occupancy.
  3. Child care: America already lacks availability for affordable daycare. That won't get cheaper if providers have to tighten capacity.
  4. Schools: Those that do open in the fall will need lots more space — or creative scheduling. Richer districts might be able to figure it out. Poorer districts — especially while states are bleeding funding — might be on their own.
  5. Youth programs and camps: Parents were already sweating summer plans. Now the guidance tells camps to spread out and distance. This won't be easy for the barracks-style housing for campers.
  6. Mass transit: New Yorkers and Washingtonians know that it's way easier to suggest distancing on trains — not to mention the platforms — than to handle it during rush hour.

Between the lines: The virus is also unleashing a supply chain issue for taking care of kids — much like restaurant closures messed with the food supply.

  • Social distancing for schools could easily mean that some kids stay home on certain days — leaving the parents scrambling for care.
  • The virus will also leave many former providers unwilling or unable to work because of health concerns.
  • Finally, parents with concerns about putting their kids in either school or day care will face agonizing choices this fall.

The bottom line: This doesn't need to be our reality forever, but until this virus is fully under control, get used to this new normal.

Go deeper

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 22, 2020 - World

South Korea reenters lockdown after spike in coronavirus infections

A coronavirus test being done in Seoul. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea is shuttering nightclubs and churches and cancelling professional sports and large social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 infections, AP reports.

The state of play: Health Minister Park Neung-hoo enacted the new rules on Saturday after 332 new cases were confirmed. To date, South Korea has seen 17,002 confirmed coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins University. Most of the outbreak is centralized in Seoul, but it is spreading to major cities throughout the country. South Korea has consistently been one of the strictest countries on COVID-19 precautions.

  • Seoul was placed under stricter lockdown rules earlier this week.

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