Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that his state, along with the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, will form a regional task force to guide the easing of coronavirus restrictions. Massachusetts joined the group later on Monday as well.

Why it matters: Widespread shutdowns of nonessential businesses have caused significant economic damage not just in New York, an epicenter of the crisis in the U.S., but also in the surrounding states that rely on New York City as a business hub.

  • Governors will name a public health official, an economic official and their respective chief of staff to the task force, which will look to provide recommendations in a matter of weeks.

The big picture: California, Oregon and Washington announced a similar plan to move jointly toward reopening their economies on Monday. It comes as President Trump insisted on Twitter Monday that he, not governors, has the authority to reopen state economies.

What they're saying: "We should start looking forward to reopening, but reopening with a plan and a smart plan, because if you do it wrong, it can backfire," Cuomo said at a press conference Monday.

  • "Our economies are connected," said Delaware Gov. John Carney. "Our states are connected in a real way, in terms of transportation and visitation and the rest. And so our working together, sharing our information and intelligence, I think will help each of us to make better decisions,"
  • "We have not yet plateaued. We're a couple of beats behind New York. Our positive tests have begun to flatten, but we're not yet there," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
  • But Murphy added: "An economic recovery only occurs on the back of a complete health care recovery, and that order is essential and getting that wrong ... could have inadvertent unintended consequences which could be grave."

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 19,861,683 — Total deaths: 731,326 — Total recoveries — 12,115,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.