A medical worker at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn on April 4. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched two new national tracking tools for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. on Saturday — one to monitor fatalities and another for hospitalizations.

Why it matters: The coronavirus testing kit shortage has challenged public health experts' ability to understand the scope of the outbreak in the U.S., NPR reports. States have scrambled to produce their own systems and monitor the data.

Driving the news: Deaths caused by pneumonia associated with COVID-19 have risen sharply since February, while deaths caused by influenza "increased modestly through early March" and declined the week of March 28, the agency said.

Details: The agency's hospitalization tracker currently covers roughly 32 million people, or 10% of the U.S. population. The data covered by the CDC is subject to change as more information becomes available.

  • The highest hospitalization rates in the U.S. are currently for those 65 years and older followed by those between 50 and 64 years old.
  • The national percentage of respiratory specimen testing positive for COVID-19 is 16.5% at public health labs and 8.8.% at clinical labs, the CDC reports. Commercial labs are not included in that roundup.

Be smart: Deaths recorded by the CDC's national system rely on completed death certificates, which can take anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks to be fully processed and included in the data set, the agency says.

  • But, the data breaks down COVID-19 deaths by age range — a helpful measure of what demographics are impacted.
  • The CDC has recorded the most coronavirus deaths in those 85 years and older, and Americans between 55 to 85 years old are still facing higher fatality rates than younger Americans.

What's next: The CDC will begin releasing weekly summaries of the data, alongside statistics on outpatient visits, ER visits and how many specimens of the virus have been tested to date.

Go deeper... U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,000

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Updated 19 mins ago - World

Protests erupt in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.

Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 19,909,062 — Total deaths: 732,128 — Total recoveries — 12,138,271Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,053,123 — Total deaths: 163,047 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  4. Public health: How America can do smarter testing.
  5. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Indoor air is the next hotspot.

Twitter jumps into the fray for TikTok

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Twitter is the latest to join the cast of the ongoing spectacle that is TikTok’s battle to stay open for business in the U.S., per a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The saga to keep TikTok available to U.S. users is getting more complicated, with the company already in a President Trump-imposed time crunch and juggling a number of options.