The big picture

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
Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines

Three major candidates now reporting efficacy rates of more than 90%.

Updated Nov 30, 2020 - Health
U.S. coronavirus updates

See where the virus has spread.

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health
Better testing can fight more than the pandemic

New technologies like saliva-based diagnostics and CRISPR have opened the door to rapid COVID-19 tests

Aug 22, 2020 - Health

All Coronavirus stories

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Mar 6, 2021 - World

Coronavirus variants driving another surge across Europe

A healthcare worker administering a coronavirus test on a person in Slany, Czech Republic, on March 5. Photo: Milan Jaros/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said this week that variants of the coronavirus are provoking another uptick in infections across Europe.

Why it matters: European countries reported around 1 million new cases last week, around a 9% increase from the week prior. Last week's surge ended a six-week decline in new infections, the WHO said Thursday, according to AP.

Mar 6, 2021 - Health

San Diego Zoo apes get experimental COVID-19 vaccine

Photo: Santi Visalli/Getty Images

Nine great apes from the San Diego Zoo have received an experimental coronavirus vaccine, not designed for human use, National Geographic first reported.

Details: Four orangutans and five bonobos were inoculated with the vaccine developed by Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company, according to The New York Times.

Mar 6, 2021 - World

Dalai Lama receives coronavirus vaccine

The Dalai Lama speaking in Boston in 2017. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Dalai Lama received his first dose of coronavirus vaccine on Saturday in a hospital in northern India, AP reports.

Why it matters: The 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader urged others to follow his example and get vaccinated. Ten other people who live in the Dalai Lama’s residence also got a dose of the vaccine.

Mar 6, 2021 - World

Maduro receives first dose of Russian vaccine

Photo: Matias Delacroix/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores on Saturday received their first dose of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Details: Both Maduro, 58, and Flores, 64, said they felt fine after receiving the vaccine. They must get their second doses in 21 days.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Mar 6, 2021 - Technology

COVID vaccine selfies provide needed dose of hope

Bryan Walsh's parents after getting their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo: Bryan Walsh's mother

People are lighting up social media with COVID-19 vaccination selfies.

Why it matters: After a long, hard year with COVID-19, vaccine selfies offer a much-needed dose of hope — and act as an advertisement for those on the fence about getting vaccinated.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Mar 6, 2021 - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Mar 6, 2021 - Health

A worrying decline in COVID testing

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Daily COVID-19 tests in the U.S. have declined by more than a quarter since mid-January.

Why it matters: Even with cases and deaths falling dramatically in recent weeks, the pandemic is far from finished, and less demand for testing could put us a step behind the spread.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Mar 6, 2021 - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

More Coronavirus stories