Photo: Getty Images

The wildfires raging in the West are obviously horrendous on their own, but they're also raising the risk of further coronavirus spread, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: It's harder for people to take appropriate coronavirus precautions when they're being forced from their homes, or when the air quality is as bad as it is.

  • Thousands of Oregonians are staying at evacuation shelters, where they're allowed to sleep without masks. Other people have evacuated and are staying with friends and family, increasing household mingling.
  • Testing sites from Los Angeles to northern Washington have been forced to close due to smoke from the fires. County officials in Northern California are pressing the state to allow indoor dining at restaurants because of the poor air quality.
  • Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, told the WSJ that smoke also makes it easier for people to become infected by the virus by irritating the lining of their throats and making it "easier for the virus to land."

What they're saying: "We’re telling people to stay home, stay inside, close the windows” to maintain decent air quality, Jennifer Vines, health officer for Multnomah County, Oregon, told the Journal. "That goes against so much of our Covid messaging about good ventilation and taking activities outside to lower the risk of spread."

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New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

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New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

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U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases

Flags on the Washington National Mall on Sept. 22, each representing 1,000 people killed from the virus. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The United States reported 55,054 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: It was the highest single-day increase since August 14, when the country reported 64,350 new cases over a 24-hour span, and suggests that the U.S. has yet to contain the spread of the virus.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 32,870,631 — Total deaths: 994,534 — Total recoveries: 22,749,163Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 7,079,689 — Total deaths: 204,499 — Total recoveries: 2,750,459 — Total tests: 100,492,536Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.