Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at Florida State University on Aug. 11. Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Bars across Florida will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity next week, state officials announced late Thursday.

Why it matters: The number of daily cases in Florida has consistently decreased since reaching peak-levels in July, although fewer tests have been administered, per the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitalizations have also declined since late July.

  • The state averaged 2,531 infections per day over the past week, per the New York Times — a 24% decrease from two weeks ago.
  • Yes, but: The state recorded 213 new deaths on Thursday, the highest daily total in more than three weeks, per AP. Most states report COVID-19 deaths within 10 days, per the CDC.

What they're saying: "In meetings with hundreds of owners of bars and breweries across the state, I've heard their stories of struggle, and I've observed their serious commitment to making health and safety a continuing priority in their businesses," said Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears said in a statement, per AP.

  • "It's time that we take this step, and it's vital that we start moving forward with this sector of our hospitality industry who have endured one of the toughest paths for sustaining a business during this pandemic," Beshears said, adding on Twitter that bars will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity starting on Monday.
  • Beshears' emergency order on Thursday that rescinded a previous order banning the sale of alcohol at bars was issued at the direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, AP reports.

Of note: NIAID director Anthony Fauci stressed this summer that closing bars, where people can congregate without masks, is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus.

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Oct 24, 2020 - World

Poland's president tests positive for coronavirus

Duda. Photo: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson announced on Saturday.

The big picture: Duda is reportedly feeling well and in isolation. His positive test comes amid a massive uptick in COVID-19 throughout the country and elsewhere across Europe.

  • Poland had previously warded off the virus with relative success, but is now facing a massive influx of cases that threatens to overwhelm its medical system.
  • The nation on Saturday tracked "13,628 new cases and 179 new deaths — a record number of deaths in one day since the start of pandemic," AP reports.
Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery