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Anthony Fauci testified to a Senate committee on Tuesday that the "consequences could be really serious" for states and cities that reopen without meeting federal guidelines.

Why it matters: Dozens of states have taken steps to reopen their economies, but few — if any — have met the Trump administration's recommendations for a 14-day "downward trajectory" in reported cases and infrastructure for "robust" testing and contact tracing capabilities.

  • Fauci stressed that even states that are reopening at an "appropriate pace" and "under the best of circumstances" should prepare for more cases when they pull back from mitigation.

What he's saying:

“I feel, if [premature opening] occurs, there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control. Which, in fact, paradoxically will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery. It would almost turn the clock back rather than going forward. That is my major concern."

The big picture: Fauci, who testified virtually alongside CDC director Robert Redfield, FDA commissioner Stephan Hahn, and testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir, said that it's unlikely a coronavirus vaccine will be available in time for the fall semester. He also testified that the coronavirus death toll is "almost certainly" higher than the official count.

Go deeper: The states where coronavirus is spreading fastest

Go deeper

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."

Coronavirus hotspots keep improving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. continues to slow, driven by significant progress in the South and Southwest, where cases skyrocketed earlier this summer.

Why it matters: All of the second-order controversies consuming the U.S. — like whether to open schools for in-person instruction — would be easier to resolve if we could get the virus under control and keep it there.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Aug 20, 2020 - Health

Many Americans still don't have coronavirus testing access

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Even after months of building up testing capacity, more than 67 million Americans — or 20% of the population — live far away from a coronavirus testing site, according to a new analysis by GoodRx.

Why it matters: The spread of the virus makes it clear that nowhere is immune from it, and the only way to stop its spread is to know who has it.