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The Australian government coronavirus tracking app "COVIDSafe" installed on a phone in Sydney, Australia, Monday. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Almost 2 million Australians have downloaded a coronavirus tracing app within hours of its release, Health Minister Greg Hunt announced Monday, as the country moves to ease restrictions.

The big picture: A top health official stressed at a briefing Sunday that the app is "only for one purpose, to help contact tracing," as the government seeks to get at least 40% of the population to use the app for it to be effective. Australia has reported just over 6,700 cases and 83 deaths from COVID-19. In the U.S., most people told a Kaiser Family Foundation poll they'd share their coronavirus test results with public health officials, but fewer would download an app that tracks who they come in contact with.

Go deeper: Americans' buy-in for smart phone app could be red flag for coronavirus contact-tracing

Go deeper

Updated Nov 20, 2020 - Health

The states where face coverings are mandatory

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

New Hampshire on Friday 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 Aug 4, 2020 - Health

NYC health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response

Dr. Oxiris Barbot attends a Mayor bill de Blasio briefing on August 3. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City health commissioner Oxiris Barbot resigned Tuesday, citing "deep disappointment" that Mayor Bill de Blasio did not use the full extent of available disease control expertise to handle the pandemic, the New York Times reports.

Context: De Blasio has faced criticism from health officials for handing control of the city's army of coronavirus contract tracers to the public hospital system, rather than the health department, according to the Times. The health department conducted contact tracing at the start of the outbreak and has decades of experience doing the same for diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and Ebola.

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."