Coronavirus

The big picture

Why we need to wear better masks
Why we need to wear better masks

A recent study shows why fitted masks like N95s are superior to surgical masks.

Jan 11, 2022 - Health
France mandates COVID health passes for dining and travel

People must show proof of vaccination, evidence they've recently recovered from COVID or show they've had a recent negative test.

Jul 26, 2021 - Health
YouTube pulls Bolsonaro videos over COVID misinformation

YouTube said it found incorrect comments about masks and hydroxychloroquine, in breach of its rules.

Jul 22, 2021 - Technology
While US hospitalizations are falling, COVID-19 variants concern experts

The average daily death rate over the past week remains above 3,000.

Jan 31, 2021 - Health
2020 was bad — but not nearly the worst

As bad as this year was, humanity is still far better off than it has been for nearly all of our history.

Dec 24, 2020 - Health
The states where face coverings are mandatory

More than 35 states across the country have mandated facial coverings.

Updated Dec 8, 2020 - Health

All Coronavirus stories

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: You can start ordering free COVID tests Wednesday — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy — Biden deploying military medical staff to help overwhelmed hospitals.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— Nurses across the U.S. strike against COVID working conditions— CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona's COVID aid over anti-mask rules — Students across U.S. walkout of classes to demand safer COVID protocols — West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
17 hours ago - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on January 14, 2022 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

19 hours ago - Health

Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics

A man looks through a window in a fence as a security guard walks in front of a hotel being used for people who have arrived for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics on January 14, 2022 in Beijing, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Beijing on Saturday reported its first locally transmitted case of Omicron, less than three weeks before the start of the Olympic Winter Games, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Lab testing found "mutations specific to the Omicron variant" in the individual, an official at the city's disease control authority told a news briefing, per Reuters.

21 hours ago - Health

Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data suggests that people with the Omicron variant frequently stay infectious for longer than five days, raising concerns about the CDC's updated isolation guidelines.

Why it matters: Experts say the issue could be resolved by using rapid tests to determine whether it is safe to exit isolation, but the CDC has not recommended a negative test as a condition to end isolation.

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

WHO recommends 2 new COVID treatments

A patient in the red zone of a COVID-19 ward at an emergency clinical hospital in Volgograd, Russia. Photo: Dmitry Rogulin/TASS via Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday that it has recommended two new drugs to treat COVID.

Why it matters: The recommendations come as cases spike around the world, and could especially serve lower-income countries that have struggled to contain the disease due to lack of vaccines and other medical necessities.

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Students across U.S. walkout of classes to demand safer COVID protocols

Public school students protest outside of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters after walking out of their classrooms on Jan. 14 in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Students in Boston and Chicago walked out of classes on Friday in protest, demanding a return to remote learning as the Omicron variant surges across the country.

Driving the news: The walkouts come two days after 340,000 Chicago students returned to the classroom after a five-day work stoppage due to the Chicago Teachers Union asking for tougher COVID-19 restrictions.

You can start ordering free COVID tests Wednesday

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The White House said Friday a new website, COVIDTests.gov, will begin accepting orders Jan. 19 for free rapid tests shipped to Americans' homes.

Why it matters: The White House emphasized the importance of testing during the Omicron surge, with President Biden on Thursday announcing plans for the government to have 1 billion tests.

Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona's COVID aid over anti-mask rules

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration warned Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) that it will take back the state's COVID-19 relief aid if it does not redesign programs that use the funding to discourage schools from mandating masks.

Driving the news: The state has two programs that are directed to schools and students. However, these programs take funding away from jurisdictions that have imposed mask requirements in schools, AP reports.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Jan 14, 2022 - Health

What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Omicron variant doesn't cause as much severe illness as other variants have, but its "mild" symptoms can still be pretty unpleasant.

The big picture: The way health care professionals and doctors differentiate between "mild" and "severe" illness may not align with a layperson's understanding of those terms.

Jan 14, 2022 - Health

America's vaccination drive runs out of gas

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The U.S. is likely reaching the end of the road on new vaccinations, after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for large employers.

Why it matters: Cash prizes and other incentives barely moved the needle on vaccinations. So the government turned from carrots to sticks — but now it has lost its biggest stick.

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