More than 403,000 people have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Efforts to curb the outbreak led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shuttered in hopes of slowing transmission. After months of precautions and lockdowns, governments have begun to reopen their economies.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and its effects.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise in at least nine states — including Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona — since Memorial Day weekend, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The data suggests that the rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in these states is occurring for reasons beyond an increase in testing, according to the Post.
Texas, one of the first states to ease its stay-at-home order, has reportedly seen a 36% increase in new cases since Memorial Day on May 25. As of Tuesday, the state has recorded two consecutive days of record-breaking coronavirus hospitalizations, the Post reported.
Health experts have warned that mass gatherings, such as the anti-lockdown protests that began in mid-April and the anti-racism protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day, could lead to new outbreaks of the virus. They’ve encouraged attendees to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible during these demonstrations.
The United States has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world with nearly 2 million as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 112,000 coronavirus-linked deaths have been reported nationwide.
— Hayley Miller
The Brazilian Supreme Court has ordered the government to resume publishing full data on the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Associated Press reported. The health ministry of President Jair Bolsonaro had stopped publishing the total numbers of deaths and confirmed cases on Friday, leading to widespread allegations that the government is trying to hide the severity of the pandemic.
According to Johns Hopkins data, Brazil has had over 739,000 confirmed cases and more than 38,000 deaths. But a health ministry official said Monday there would be changes to the methodology for tallying the daily death toll.
— Liza Hearon
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that the coronavirus pandemic is his “worst nightmare” come to life, there’s a lot that’s still unknown about it, and it’s far from over.
“Oh my goodness. Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of really understanding,” Fauci told a biotechnology conference on Tuesday.
But he said he was hopeful that “multiple” vaccines would be created. He praised the pharmaceutical industry for its rapid response to the crisis.
— Liza Hearon
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 2,056 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on Tuesday — a 36% increase since Memorial Day, according to the Houston Chronicle. This was the highest number of hospitalizations reported in the state since cases were first confirmed there in March.
Texas was one of the earliest to begin gradually reopening businesses and other activities in early May, despite not meeting public health recommendations that there first be 14 days of declining coronavirus cases.
Last week, the state moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan, allowing almost all businesses to operate, albeit at about 50% capacity.
— Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
A U.S. Navy investigation has found that 60% of the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier have coronavirus antibodies, suggesting a far higher infection rate than roughly 25% infection rate reported as of April, according to Reuters.
The ship was a focus of attention after a leaked letter from the captain asking for stronger protective measures for his crew led to him being relieved of his command.
— Liza Hearon
The Canadian government will now allow anyone with immediate family members in Canada to enter the country if they do not have COVID-19 or show symptoms, provided they self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving.
The loosening restrictions go into effect at midnight Eastern time tonight, the government said, “to keep families together and support unity while respecting the need for continued vigilance and border measures at this time.“The U.S.-Canada border, which has been closed to discretionary travel since March 21 and limited to essential purposes like deliveries of food and medical supplies, will remain restricted through at least June 21.
Read more on the revised conditions here.
— Marina Fang
New York City, the area of the U.S. hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, officially begins its phased reopening process Monday, with a handful of businesses resuming operations.
It’s a major milestone for the city, where new COVID-19 cases have plummeted in recent weeks, after peaking in mid-April. Across New York state, the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back as positive has leveled off at about 1% for the past few days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said over the weekend.
Businesses in phase one of the reopening include manufacturing, wholesale, construction, landscaping and some retail, if they can ensure curbside or contactless pickup. Employers are required to provide masks to employees and follow cleaning protocols and, under a state executive order, businesses can turn away customers if they are not wearing masks.
About 400,000 New Yorkers are expected to return to work Monday. Mayor Bill de Blasio and public transit officials have faced fierce criticism for not coming up with a robust plan to ensure safety on the city’s buses and subways. They initially told riders to make their own decisions on whether they feel comfortable taking mass transit, or recommended commuting via car instead, even though most workers do not have the means to do so.
Since then, the city has pledged to make masks and hand sanitizer available at stations and will increase the frequency of buses and trains to limit crowding. The subway system will remain closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each night until further notice so that transit workers can disinfect the trains.
— Marina Fang
Coronavirus restrictions such as stay-at-home orders prevented about 4.8 million confirmed infections (and about 60 million total infections) in the U.S., according to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Nature.
In their study, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley examined the effects of 1,717 local, regional and national policies on the growth rate of infections in six countries: China, France, Iran, Italy, South Korea and the U.S. They found that the combined effect of these policies reduced the infection rate by “a substantial and statistically significant amount.”
There have been over 1.9 million documented cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 110,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
— Hayley Miller
The Brazilian government has been accused of “masking” the deadly impact of the pandemic after the health ministry removed months of data from a website that had been tracking COVID-19.
The ministry also stopped giving a total count of confirmed cases, which have shot past 685,000 – more than anywhere outside the United States – or a total death toll, which passed Italy this week, and was nearing 38,000 on Sunday.
“The cumulative data ... does not reflect the moment the country is in,” President Jair Bolsonaro said on Twitter. Neither Bolsonaro nor the ministry gave a reason for erasing most of the data on the covid.saude.gov.br website, which had been a key public resource for tracking COVID-19.
Diego Iraheta, the Editor-in-Chief of HuffPost Brazil, wrote in an editorial that the move was “yet another attack on the free press” in the country.
“The Bolsonaro government is trying to mask the dramatic reality of the pandemic in Brazil. It acts with intent to restrict access to public information about public health, which should be easily available to the press to report the (increasing) size of the problem,” Iraheta wrote.
Bolsonaro has long played down the dangers of the pandemic, replaced medical experts in the health ministry with military officials and argued against state lockdowns to fight the virus, hobbling the country’s public health response.
— James Martin
Arrivals into Britain are now required to self-isolate for two weeks under new government rules, in a bid to prevent a second wave of COVID-19. All passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – will have to fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details, as well as the address of where they will isolate.
People who fail to comply could be fined £1,000 ($1,260) in England, and police will be allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure they follow the rules.
The plans have been met with strong criticism from opposition parties as well as the travel industry. British Airways has begun legal proceedings over what it calls the government’s “unlawful” quarantine measures.
Speaking about the quarantine for international arrivals, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “What’s irrational about it is all of those countries have a much lower COVID rate than the UK.”
He added: “Millions of jobs are going to be lost in British tourism because British hotels, British guest houses, British visitor attractions – all over London, the Globe, the London Eye, Madame Tussauds – will be empty, because the hundreds of thousands of Italians and Spanish and French people you get coming to Britain every July and August simply won’t travel.” Read more.
— James Martin
With the recovery of its last known COVID-19 case, New Zealand appears to have eradicated the coronavirus. The nation of 5 million people will lift almost all lockdown restrictions but keep strict border controls in place, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday.
Ardern said she did a little dance in her living room when she heard the news. “We can hold public events without limitations. Private events such as weddings, functions and funerals without limitations,” Ardern said. “Retail is back without limitations. Hospitality is back without limitations. Public transport and travel across the country is fully opened.”
Experts say that New Zealand’s remote location and Ardern’s quick action to lock down the country helped it eliminate the spread of the disease. New Zealand has had 1,504 cases of the disease, with 22 deaths.
— Liza Hearon
There have now been at least 400,000 coronavirus-linked deaths reported worldwide, as the number of documented cases globally inches toward 7 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Roughly a quarter of those deaths — or about 100,000 — have occurred in the United States, largely within New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. The U.S. has the highest number of documented cases and deaths in the world.
Nearly 2 million cases have been reported nationwide as of Sunday, though experts believe that number is likely an undercount.
For more updates on the pandemic, go here.
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