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Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The good news is that the number of daily coronavirus tests is going up again. The bad news is that it's still not nearly enough for the country to safely reopen.

Why it matters: If we don't know who has the virus, we can't stop it from spreading without resorting to stringent social distancing measures.

Driving the news: On Saturday, Anthony Fauci said that the U.S. is testing roughly 1.5 million to 2 million people a week, but "we probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks, and I think we will."

  • Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said yesterday that "we have to realize that we have to have a breakthrough innovation in testing." She said we'll need tests that can detect antigen, or the part of a pathogen that triggers an immune response.

Between the lines: Testing has been hampered by shortages of supplies like swabs and test kits. There has also been a lack of coordination between labs with excess testing capacity and communities struggling to meet testing demand.

What we're watching: Some major cities and states — including New York and California — have begun to expand testing beyond the sickest patients, which is a good sign.

Go deeper

First bipartisan multistate coronavirus testing drive to tackle shortages

A Whittier Street Health Center nurse performs a COVID-19 test in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on Monday. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

A bipartisan group of governors has joined the Rockefeller Foundation to deliver 3 million rapid coronavirus antigen tests to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help states safely reopen, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: With no national plan, the initiative with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) would be the first coordinated testing strategy in the U.S.

Updated Dec 8, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Wyoming on Monday became the latest state to implement a mask mandate to fight COVID-19, amid a steep spike in cases across the country.

The big picture: States are reintroducing mitigation efforts like closing businesses and advising people to stay home as the U.S. averages the most daily cases of any point in the pandemic.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
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."