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

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Atul Gawande, a member of President-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the former vice president's team does not believe a nationwide shelter-in-place order is necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

The big picture: Governors and state-level officials have so far made the call on how long stay-at-home orders should be in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, not the federal government. Virus cases are currently soaring in practically every state.

Where it stands: States, including New Mexico and Oregon, are issuing new stay-at-home orders and telling businesses to close as coronavirus infections reach new highs across the country.

What he's saying: "We are not in support of a nationwide lockdown and believe there is not a scenario, unless — there simply isn't a scenario, because we can get this under control," Gawande said.

  • "The critical parts are understanding what we've learned since we did a nationwide lockdown in early April," he said.
  • "You can have targeted measures, building on mask-wearing to include widespread testing, can include dialing up and down capacity restrictions, and those measures need to happen in a more localized basis," he said, praising New York City for using ZIP codes to identify hotspots that need more COVID restrictions.
  • "We do not need to go into a nationwide shelter-in-place shutdown."

The bottom line: The U.S. has never controlled the coronavirus and isn't about to start.

Go deeper

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.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.