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Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

High school baseball and softball returned to Iowa on Monday, the first sanctioned high school sports to return since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports in March.

Details: Practices have resumed with a long list of safety guidelines, including temperature checks, no use of the dugout and the required sanitizing of shared equipment after use.

  • The backdrop: As of 11 p.m. ET Monday evening, Iowa had over 19,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 555 deaths.
  • What's next: Games can start June 15.

What they're saying:

  • "Think about how many times a ballplayer touches their face," Jean Berger, executive director of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union, told ESPN. "They spit. They chew seed. ... We have to retrain. This is the summer of being a mom for us — Don't touch your face, go wash your hands."
  • "We're happy to be back, especially for our seniors," Hoover softball coach Melissa Helm told the Des Moines Register. "Honestly, I was a little bit surprised that they made the decision to do this, just with everything else going on and the fact that we didn't even finish the school year."

Go deeper...Special report: Baseball in America

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.