Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Not every graduation in America is going virtual this year.

The state of play: In Alabama's Birmingham suburbs, some 1,950 graduates and guests could attend Tuesday night's ceremony at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (famous from MTV's "Two-A-Days"), AP reports. Another 3,450 could be on hand on Thursday.

Why it matters: Health officials fear large gatherings could result in coronavirus spread, especially since many people are contagious before experiencing symptoms.

  • Much of the U.S. is on week three of loosened their restrictions to some degree, the N.Y. Times notes.
  • Alabama's case count rose in early May, and it's held steady over the past week.

Between the lines: Health officials keep warning against large gatherings, but the ceremonies are outdoors with fewer guests and more space, plus face masks are provided.

  • In two nearby cities that also held outdoor ceremonies, the AP notes, few of the attendees wore protective face masks, and seniors hugged and gathered in tight groups of friends for pictures.

The big picture: Texas is charting a similar path after Gov. Greg Abbott said outdoor graduations are permissible starting May 29.

  • In San Antonio, some students get two guests and a single parking space for their outdoor ceremonies in June, per The Rivard Report, a local news nonprofit.
  • The city's Northside district is having "contactless" ceremonies featuring students walking individually across a stage. The schools will edit the walks into a single video, per the San Antonio News-Express.

The bottom line: These graduations are good examples of the temptations Americans will face — and the lengths they'll go to preserve some sense of normal — until a vaccine is widely available.

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GOP Rep. Rodney Davis tests positive for coronavirus

Rep. Rodney Davis. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said he has taken precautions against the virus, such as twice-daily temperature checks. He spoke to Republicans about staying safe after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive for the virus and spoke out against wearing face masks, Politico notes.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The Philippines' economy sunk into recession as its gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter — marking the lowest reading since 1981, official figures show.

The big picture: Millions of Filipinos went on lockdown Tuesday as cases surged past 106,300, with stay-at-home orders in place for two weeks in Manila and nearby provinces on the island of Luzon, per the BBC. The economy's contraction is the "deepest" on record, Bloomberg notes.

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

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

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.