The big picture

The states where face coverings are mandatory

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

Updated Nov 20, 2020 - Health
U.S. coronavirus updates

See where the virus has spread.

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health
No more pandemic blue skies

The return of poor air quality underscores the damage that air pollution can do, even in a pandemic.

Sep 9, 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
Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

The runaway growth in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing.

Jul 6, 2020 - Health
Why coronavirus contact tracing is failing

As more states become hot spots, efforts to trace infections are badly lagging.

Jun 27, 2020 - Health

All Coronavirus stories

15 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

16 hours ago - Health

Berlin to open six mass COVID vaccination centers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at German federal parliament in Berlin on Nov. 26. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin aims to open six centers with the capacity to vaccinate up to 4,000 people per day with an approved COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, project coordinator Albrecht Broemme told Reuters on Thursday.

Why it matters: If successful, Germany could be a model for the U.S. and other wealthy countries to handle the logistical challenges of administering a vaccine that requires strict temperature control and storage.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

18 hours ago - Health

California officials plan to relocate thousands of homeless people from hotels

A homeless man stands outside tents on Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 25. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

California officials say they plan to shut down many of the hotels that have housed over 23,000 homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.

The big picture: U.S. cities have bought up vacant hotels, apartments and other buildings to ease the burden on shelters of housing homeless people during the pandemic, as many centers have struggled to follow CDC guidelines and are accepting less people to allow for social distancing.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
21 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

21 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

22 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

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

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated Nov 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

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