May 16, 2020 - World

Churches, mosques and temples livestream religious services

Pope Francis livestreams his Sunday Angelus blessing from his private library in Vatican City on May 10. Photo: Vatican Media/Vatican Pool via Getty Images

Churches, mosques and temples around the world — including the Vatican — are continuing to livestream religious services amid the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Zoom in: In the U.S., some pastors in Maryland and Virginia are hesitant to reopen their doors as states begin to relax stay-at-home orders, per the Washington Post.

What's happening: Jerusalem's Western Wall, Japan's Todaiji Buddhist temple and Vaishno Devi, a revered Hindu shrine in India, are all live-streaming prayers, AP reports.

  • In Texas, the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research is uploading YouTube videos, per AP, drawing 20 million views over the last six weeks.

The other side: Churches in Italy and Spain — two European countries with some of the highest known coronavirus death tolls in the world — have reopened as the countries continue phased economic reopenings.

Women pray in the church of San Policarpo in Rome's Tuscolano district on May 10. Photo: Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Getty Images
Priest Antonio Gomez gives the holy communion to worshippers at the San Miguel Basilica in Palma de Mallorca, Spain on May 11. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: God and COVID-19

Go deeper

Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After being told for months to stay away from others, the idea of being shoulder to shoulder again in a bus or subway terrifies many people, requiring sweeping changes to public transit systems for the COVID-19 era.

Why it matters: Cities can't come close to resuming normal economic activity until large numbers of people feel comfortable using public transportation.

The policies that could help fix policing

 Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

George Floyd's death has reignited the long and frustrating push to reform a law enforcement system whose systemic flaws have been visible for years.

Why it matters: Solving these problems will require deep political, structural and cultural changes, experts and advocates say — but they also point to a handful of specific policy changes that, while not a cure, would make a difference.

53 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus diagnostic test pricing is relatively tame

A medical professional administers a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site run by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Anecdotes of labs charging thousands of dollars for coronavirus diagnostic tests are the exception rather than the rule, according to data provided to Axios by a national health insurer.

Yes, but: Some labs that don’t contract with the insurer charged rates that are multiple times higher than what Medicare pays for the diagnostic tests, and in some scenarios, patients may be at risk of receiving surprise bills.