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

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Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

America's coronavirus outbreak is slowing down after a summer of explosive growth.

By the numbers: The U.S. is averaging roughly 52,000 new cases per day — still a lot of cases, but about 10.5% fewer than it was averaging last week.

Where it stands: New cases slowed over the past week in 21 states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and the Southern states that experienced dramatic outbreaks in June and July.

  • Details: Each week, Axios tracks the change in new cases in each state. We use a seven-day average to minimize disruptions from inconsistencies in states’ reporting.

The big picture: Infections skyrocketed over the summer, and this week’s improvements aren’t enough to offset that damage. States will have to keep this downward trend going for a long time before they can consider their outbreaks to be well controlled.

The catch: Testing is also down across the U.S., by about 4.5%.

  • Tighter limits on testing may help reduce the long turnaround times — often close to two weeks — that had made testing significantly less useful.
  • But it could also mean that some infected people will slip through the cracks, potentially infecting others before they begin to feel sick.

The bottom line: Progress has to start somewhere, and these numbers are encouraging. But the U.S. still has a very big coronavirus outbreak and a flawed, incomplete plan of attack to fight it.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Toronto, Peel placed under lockdown as COVID cases soar across Canada

A medical worker walks outside a COVID-19 assessment center in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Zou Zheng/Xinhua via Getty Images

Ontario officials announced new coronavirus lockdown measures for Toronto and Peel Region on Friday, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged all residents to stay home, saying COVID-19 "cases across the country are spiking massively."

Why it matters: Canadian officials predict that by end of the month, the death toll from COVID-19 could be between 11,870 and 12,120, with the country's total cases between 366,500 and 378,600, Reuters reports. Canada has recorded 315,751 cases and 11,265 deaths since the pandemic began.

Nov 20, 2020 - Health

Pentagon to tighten restrictions after civilian leaders test positive for COVID-19

Aerial view of the Pentagon building. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

The Pentagon plans to add health restrictions for its workforce in light of a possible coronavirus outbreak among its civilian leaders, Politico reported Friday.

Why it matters: The added layers of security come on the heels of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Washington, D.C. area, which has led to infections among top officials including temporary Pentagon Policy Chief Anthony Tata, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Charles Ray and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary Thomas.

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