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

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A healthcare worker in Los Angeles handling a coronavirus test on. Aug 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California reported almost 8,000 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the state's tally to more than 600,000 since the pandemic began, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

Why it matters: California is the first state to surpass the 600,000-case milestone. It also reported 188 deaths associated with the virus on Friday, bumping its total to almost 11,000 — the third-highest death toll in the U.S. behind New York and New Jersey, according to Johns Hopkins University.

What they're saying: When asked about the case count at a news briefing on Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is more focused on the state’s positivity rate — the proportion of Californians who test positive for COVID-19 out of everyone who has been tested — which currently hovers about 6.2%, according to the Los Angeles Times.

  • Newsom added that "we’re not playing to the political frame that somehow tests are bad because they will, by definition, show a higher count of total number of positives.”
  • “And I can assure you ... it’s significantly, I would argue, more prevalent than those numbers, even in California, suggest. And it’s simply because we haven’t put the testing protocols in place and we haven’t scaled our testing capacity as the most innovative nation on the planet. That includes California. We’ve got work to do.”

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Nov 21, 2020 - Health

Over 1 million U.S. travelers flew on Friday, despite calls to avoid holiday travel

Travelers walk through Newark International Airport on November 21, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1 million people flew through U.S. airports on Friday, according to TSA data, the second highest number since the coronavirus pandemic began hit the U.S. in mid-March.

Why it matters: As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued to soar this week, the CDC issued new guidance on Thursday advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, warning doing so may increase the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Nov 22, 2020 - Health

Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays as coronavirus cases surge

Passengers wear mandatory protective masks while riding on a bus in in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Portugal will ban most domestic travel and close schools on the days around two upcoming national holidays, the country's ministry of health said Saturday.

Why it matters: Portugal recorded 6,472 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, per the health ministry. The country of 10 million ranks seventh in Europe for the number of total cases per 100,000 people and 14th for new deaths from the virus, Reuters reported, citing the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control figures.

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