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Customers shop at Macys on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans braved shopping malls and department stores to shop in-person on Black Friday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections are still on the rise across much of the U.S. during a season of travel and holiday gatherings. Hospitals across the country, especially in rural areas, are still overwhelmed.

Between the lines: Although some states have reintroduced COVID mitigation efforts in the face of rising cases — like mask mandates and lower occupancy levels in businesses — retail workers told the Los Angeles Times before Black Friday they were still worried for their safety.

Yes, but: Stores in Houston, Portland and eastern Kentucky reportedly saw light crowds on Black Friday, as more people took advantage of online deals. Thanksgiving Day online sales, meanwhile, reportedly hit a record $5.1 billion this year.

In photos
Shoppers walk through Macys in New York City on Nov. 27. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
A line outside of a Foot Locker store on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
An early morning line outside of a New Jersey Walmart on Nov. 27. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Shoppers in a New Jersey Walmart on Nov. 27. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Shoppers enter a Foot Locker on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
Shoppers wait outside a Target for a 7 a.m. opening in Manalapan, New Jersey on Nov. 27. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Black Friday shoppers at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
Black Friday shoppers at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper ... Podcast: Walmart U.S. CEO talks Black Friday

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - World

EU grants conditional approval of AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The European Commission on Friday granted conditional approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people 18 years and older.

Why it matters: This is the third vaccine to receive approval from the commission, coming hours after the Emergency Medicines Agency recommended its authorization.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer CEO says company will submit data for children's vaccine to FDA in "days" — The new booster dilemma — U.S. has enough COVID vaccines to meet demand for kids, boosters.
  2. Health: New York vaccine mandate for state health workers goes into effect — The antivirals are (hopefully) coming — Long COVID: A disabling disease — Montana VA medical center to treat non-veterans amid COVID surge.
  3. Politics: Federal judge upholds Cincinnati health care system's COVID vaccine mandate — Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit.
  4. Education: UT docs show faculty frustration amid Gov. Abbott's latest COVID orders — Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

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