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Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: STR/Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

Summer Olympics events in the Tokyo area will be held without spectators, after Japan declared a state of emergency in the capital following a surge in COVID-19 cases, Japan's Olympics minister announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's another huge blow to the spectacle and finances of the delayed and scaled-back Olympics, just two weeks ahead of the opening ceremony.

The big picture: Organizers had planned to allow venues to be filled up to 50% capacity, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators and no overseas fans. A surge in COVID-19 cases and the low rate of vaccinations forced them to reconsider.

  • Tokyo's fourth coronavirus state of emergency will run from this Monday, July 12 until Aug. 22, Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said. Bars and restaurants will be requested to suspend alcohol sales under the measures.
  • The Tokyo Games are due to begin with the opening ceremony on July 23.

What they're saying: "Taking into consideration the impact of the Delta strain, and in order to prevent the resurgence of infections from spreading across the country, we need to step up virus prevention measures," Suga said, per AP.

Flashback: International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates said in May that the Tokyo Olympics will proceed even if the city or other parts of Japan are under a COVID-19 state of emergency.

By the numbers: Tokyo reported 920 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, which was the highest total since 1,010 were reported on May 13, according to ESPN.

Go deeper ... Axios Today podcast: Controversy ahead of the Olympics

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the decision that the Olympics will be held without spectators.

Go deeper

Harris gets COVID-19 booster shot

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images.

Vice President Kamala Harris received a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, while calling on Americans to get vaccinated to "get through and beyond" the pandemic.

Driving the news: The White House said Harris qualifies for a booster shot due to her job duties that include frequent traveling and interacting with people, AP reports.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

1 hopeful thing: Nature is healing

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Getting outside is good for us — especially in a pandemic.

The big picture: Nature's benefits for mental health and well-being are part of the human experience and have been studied for decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a real-time experiment in studying exactly how green spaces can help us in difficult times.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Anxiety and depression symptoms vary by age and race

Data: CDC; Note: Asian, Black and white respondents identified as non-Hispanic and are of a single race; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Young adults and people of color are disproportionately reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to CDC data.

By the numbers: The portion of U.S. adults reporting these symptoms has hovered around 30% since this spring — a drop from the more than 40% of adults reporting symptoms last winter.

  • In 2019, only 11% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, per the CDC.