A sign encourages visitors at Old Orchard Beach in Maine to wear a mask on July 13. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Black people in Maine account for nearly 23% of coronavirus cases, despite making up about 2% of the state's population, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Despite Maine having among the lowest rates of coronavirus infections in the country, the state has followed the national trend of high rates of infections among Black people.

  • Officials said contact tracing indicates many of the infected Black Mainers are immigrants whose jobs leave them vulnerable to the pandemic. Maine does not collect data on coronavirus for immigrants, following federal guidelines.
  • Officials have addressed the issue by offering more testing and health care, finding ways to provide aid directly to immigrant groups and hiring more bilingual staff.

What to watch: "[A]dvocates for immigrants warn that conditions in Maine are ripe for a spike in infections if officials do not reach immigrants directly," the Post's Maria Sacchetti writes.

  • Most of the Black immigrants in Maine are from African nations including Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Go deeper: Why the coronavirus pandemic is hitting minorities harder

Go deeper

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.

23 hours ago - Health

Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital near Miami on July 30. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida has reported over 500,000 total confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, according to the state's health department.

Why it matters: Florida joins California as the only two states to surpass this milestone. Texas, which is reporting the third-most confirmed cases in the country, is not far behind, according to Johns Hopkins data.

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.