Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

The big picture: Retail and recreation has become steadily available in many states over the past two weeks, as nearly every state across the U.S. has taken steps to reopen their economies partially or completely, per analysis by the New York Times.

  • New York, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana began to ease more stay-at-home restrictions over the weekend, the NYT reports. Many people did take precautions against COVID-19, as Americans ventured outside to enjoy the weekend some three months after the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.
People wait for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to participate in a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, on May 25. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Lake Tillery in Mount Gilead, North Carolina, on May 25. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images
An Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era actors interact with members of the public at Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 25. Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac, Washington, on May 25. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
The entrance to Sheep Meadow in New York City's Central Park on May 24. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
The line for a water park in Kissimmee, Florida, on May 23. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Holly Meyer hands out flags to volunteers at the Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, New York, on May 23. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brian Carabine, 78, replaces the U.S. flags at the South End Cemetery in East Hampton, New York, on May 23. Photo: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A member of the Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment places flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Stephen Wilmer of Lindenhurst, N.Y., tries to get a kite aloft for his daughter, Emma, in a light breeze at Jones Beach on Long Island. Photo; Kathy Willens/AP

Go deeper: Trump's holiday weekend pressure campaign

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the holiday weekend.

Go deeper

Sep 2, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus is the leading cause of death for law enforcement in 2020

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Coronavirus infections contracted in the line of duty are the leading cause of death among police officers so far in 2020, resulting in at least 100 fatalities, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 was deadlier than gun violence, car accidents and all other causes combined, data compiled by the Officer Down Memorial Page and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 2, 2020 - Health

America's botched coronavirus response foretells a dark future

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

America's failures in handling the coronavirus pandemic bode ill for our ability to deal with climate change and other threats that loom on the horizon.

Why it matters: America's ongoing struggles with the coronavirus have caused tremendous human and economic pain. But what should worry us for future disasters that could be far worse is the way the pandemic has exposed deep political divisions and a disinformation ecosystem that muddies even the hardest facts.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."