Evacuees prepare to board a bus out of Lake Charles, La., before Laura hits. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The hazards posed by a hurricane are already worrying enough, but when one collides with a pandemic, disaster on both sides will likely follow.

What we're watching: This is a two-way street: The hurricane will increase the risk from the coronavirus, and the coronavirus will increase the risk from the hurricane.

  • Shelters will have to accommodate fewer people, if they're open at all. Louisiana officials have stockpiled masks and lined up buses to take people to other parts of the state, National Geographic reports,
  • But buses also have a limited capacity, and officials will likely have to deal with some residents who refuse to wear masks.

By the numbers: A recent study estimated that a large-scale hurricane evacuation could lead to somewhere between 6,000 and 60,000 new coronavirus cases.

On the flip side, social distancing — the risks of staying in a hotel, shelter or with family or friends — has made many people less likely to evacuate in a hurricane, according to CityLab.

  • Luckily, Texas' wave of infections earlier in the summer has ebbed, so hospitals along the state's coast are no longer at or near capacity as Laura makes landfall.
  • Some hospitals in the storm's path have already transferred their sickest patients — including coronavirus patients, to other facilities.

What they're saying: "It's crazy," Darrell Pile, the CEO of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council, told NBC News. "You do get to a point where you're like, 'What else do you want to put on us?'"

Go deeper

Oct 24, 2020 - World

Poland's president tests positive for coronavirus

Duda. Photo: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson announced on Saturday.

The big picture: Duda is reportedly feeling well and in isolation. His positive test comes amid a massive uptick in COVID-19 throughout the country and elsewhere across Europe.

  • Poland had previously warded off the virus with relative success, but is now facing a massive influx of cases that threatens to overwhelm its medical system.
  • The nation on Saturday tracked "13,628 new cases and 179 new deaths — a record number of deaths in one day since the start of pandemic," AP reports.
Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery

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